Patents are a virtue: Squeaky-clean door handles

Patents are a virtue: Squeaky-clean door handles

AJ Park patent specialists Anton Blijlevens and Jillian Lim touch on an interesting patent to look out for on the shelves.

Self-sanitising door handles

After kitchen sinks and mobile phones, door handles are one of the most bacteria-laden surfaces. But when was the last time you remembered to sanitise your door handles?

Patent application, US 20140208541, filed by Cowburn, D., describes a door handle that automatically sanitises itself using UV light. Importantly, the UV light source is contained within the door. The door handle rotates through the door, so that only the portion of the handle that is within the door is irradiated.

The patent application describes several ways of rotating the handle through the door. It could be rotated manually each time a user pulls or pushes on the handle. For example, the pull/push force could bias a spring, which subsequently applies rotational force onto the handle.  

For automatic actuation, a motor could rotate the handle at predetermined frequencies. Or to save power, touch sensors on the handle could detect when the handle is used, and only activate rotation after each use.