In workout regimens such as CrossFit, the Olympic Barbell is an integral piece of equipment used in over 13,000 gyms across the globe. To effectively increase an athlete's grip on the barbell, a manufacturing process called knurling is completed in which angled patterns are rolled onto the surface. As knurling provides an enhanced grip on the barbell, it also becomes an area of chalk buildup. Barbell manufacturers currently suggest using a wire brush to remove this buildup from the knurling on a weekly basis. However, due to the time required to complete this with a wire brush, it is not a common practice in most gyms. When chalk gathers on the surface of the knurling, ambient moisture is absorbed. This accelerates oxidation of the outer layer of the barbell, but also provides an optimal breeding ground for bacterial growth.
According to a study conducted by Elliptical Reviews, the CrossFit barbell contained over 48 times the amount of colony forming bacteria compared to the average public toilet seat, 98% of which was considered harmful to humans. Standard procedures in a CrossFit gym require athletes to wipe down the barbell with a disinfecting wipe. Though as explained by the Environmental Protection Agency, disinfecting without first cleaning is not effective as the buildup of chalk on the surface can allow germs to remain hidden and reduce the capability of the disinfectants to thoroughly clean the bacteria.
The Trú Barbell Cleaner is an all-encompassing device that cleans and disinfects the surface of the barbell in a matter of seconds. Once the barbell is placed inside the Trú Barbell Cleaner and the device is powered on, both the cleaning and disinfecting processes begin. A pair of opposing drive wheels rotate the shaft of the barbell. As the barbell rotates, pads of stiff nylon brushes located on the back wall of the enclosure remove built up chalk and debris from the barbell’s surface. Debris is collected as it falls to the bottom of the enclosure by a small internal vacuum, which stores the collected debris in a disposable container. As the nylon brushes work to clean the barbell, an ultraviolet light is used to disinfect the barbell’s surface, while also disinfecting the nylon brushes. This ensures the brushes do not hinder the effectiveness of the UV on future barbells. In just a matter of seconds, the Trú Barbell Cleaner provides the athlete with a clean, disinfected, and dry barbell that is ready for the next workout.
Manufacturing of the Trú Barbell Cleaner consists of fabricating the device's enclosure and attaching the various components such as the brush pads, drive wheels, ultraviolet light, and vacuum system. These components are then connected to a microcontroller, allowing the end user to operate the device with a push of a button.
The Trú Barbell Cleaner will provide gym owners with an effective and cost efficient disinfecting system that extends the lifespan of their most valuable asset by reducing moisture exposure and protects their athletes from unnecessary bacterial exposure.