Interview about 2022 DIA Award-winning Works | Automatic Disinfection Handrail for Public Transport Facilities, Say No to Cross-infection!

Forbidden City, West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Huangshan Mountain, Nanjing Presidential Palace... Countless tourists are visiting famous and unknown tourist attractions; College students, ridiculed by netizens as "tourism special forces” are leaving their footprints all over major tourist cities; Zibo, a down-to-earth and hospitable city, has set off a Dionysus-like wave of revelry among Chinese tourists. In the post-COVID-19 era, "revenge" travel is growing vigorously. It seems that they want to wash away the depression and anxiety brought by the three-year epidemic through traveling and getting together again and again, and go straight to the mountains or embrace the sea.


The trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t gone away. Actually the experience and lessons learnt from it are of great benefit for a better future of human beings. Inspired by what they experienced during the pandemic, Lu Fan, Cheng Yu, Zhu Xiurong and Wu Manqian, students in product and interaction design of the School of Design, Anhui Polytechnic University, designed an automatic disinfection handrail. They noticed that the traditional disinfection for public transport facilities is still manual disinfection, which is not only time-consuming and labor-intensive, but cannot guarantee the frequency and effect. For example, even if the handrails in public transport facilities are sterilized, they will soon be contaminated by a large number of bacteria through the touch of passengers, and become an important way for virus breeding and indirect transmission.

Under the guidance of Associate Professor Jin Dong and Associate Dean Zhang Xuedong, the design team analyzed and designed the contactless and automatic disinfection of public handrail disinfection equipment. After market research, field investigation, conceptual design, sketch making and field test, it took three months for them to complete the "Design of Automatic Disinfection Handrail for Public Transport Facilities". The product won the 2022 DIA Young Talents Award of the Concept Group.


Automatic disinfection handrail

Design team: Lu Fan, Cheng Yu, Zhu Xiurong and Wu Manqian

2022 DIA Young Talents Award of the Concept Group


This automatic disinfection handrail is a product that can be automatically disinfected by infrared induction. When the infrared sensor senses that the passenger's hand leaves the handrail, it will trigger the built-in disinfection device, which then will spray 75% alcohol disinfectant on the handrail to realize automatic disinfection, so as to ensure the hand hygiene of every passenger who touched the handrail in public transport facilities and reduce the possibility of cross-infection in the crowd.


The principle is easy, but the design team still encountered some bottlenecks and challenges in the design process. For example, how should one integrate the disinfection device into the handrail without increasing the space in the carriage, and ensure the reliability and safety of the product. Another example is how to set the amount of alcohol sprayed each time, and so on.


After much discussion, testing and optimization, the team solved a series of problems in the design. The disinfection handrail has a replaceable disinfectant box, and the snap-in alcohol disinfectant box is space-efficient, and users can easily replace it or add alcohol to it. The drawer-type power supply design is also convenient for users to replace batteries.


Considering factors such as alcohol concentration, disinfection effect and safety, the team found a balance between disinfection effect and safety, and controlled the amount of alcohol sprayed each time between 0.2ml and 0.5ml, so as to ensure the disinfection effect without causing harm to the user and the environment.


The disinfection device also has a reminder function when the disinfectant is exhausted. At this time, the LED indicator will flash to remind the user to change the disinfectant in time.


Finally, a humanized product with ingenious structure and strong adaptability is presented to us, and the product can be easily assembled and disassembled, locally cleaned and replaced, saves disinfectant and human resource cost.



Compared with other products of the same type in the market, this automatic disinfection handrail for public transport facilities has obvious advantages in automatic disinfection, practicability, cost saving and sustainability. This handrail can be disinfected automatically. Compared with the traditional manual wiping or spraying method, it can avoid errors and loopholes in manual operation, and can also improve disinfection efficiency and safety; The design and installation of the handrail has high practicability and operability; Moreover, its economic cost is relatively low, and it can also save labor and time costs; With the sustainable product, users can reduce the consumption of energy and resources through the intelligent control system.


As an innovative and practical design, the automatic disinfection handrail for public transportation facilities has been widely recognized and promoted, and similar products are also being used in other fields. Next, the design team will consider applying for patents at home or abroad to protect its intellectual property rights and obtain other related rights and interests. In the future, they may also launch it in the market when conditions permit , so that this handrail can really benefit the people.


Accept the award at the 2022 DIA Award Ceremony(The fourth from the right in the right picture is the representative of the design team)

Because of its professionalism, innovation and internationalization, the Design Intelligence Award (DIA) attracts universities, enterprises, design teams and individuals from home and abroad to participate in it. As the first international academic award in the field of industrial design in China, DIA will continue to forge ahead, do a good job in award evaluation and related services with international professional standards, pay more attention to our social value, shoulder more social responsibilities, let more outstanding talents and works stand on the international stage to show their strength and value, gain opportunities for industrial cooperation, and turn ideas and concepts into realities. In 2023, with the theme of "Design Evolution", the 2023 DIA will continue to open channels for entries at home and abroad. Now the registration is in progress. Welcome to participate in DIA! 


Author  | Lu Fan

Editor  | Xia Jia

Executive Editor  | Fan Fei

Reviewer  | Yang Duoying


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