Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Washing Clothes

April 22, 2002
The flow of soap solutions through fibres is of great importance for the final result of the washing process. This is one of the conclusions from the research project of Annemoon Timmerman. She will defend her thesis on Monday 22 April at TU Delft. With this conclusion she supports a theory that was disbelieved for years by experts in the field. Timmerman: "I have now experimentally proven why the laundry is actually clean after less than half an hour of washing. Up to now, that was a mystery." The research was funded by TNO-Cleaning Technologies.

In the washing of clothes, four factors are important: chemistry (the soap), mechanical action (the stretching of the fibre by the washing machine), temperature and time. Timmerman: "Using these four factors, improvements have been made in the washing process in recent times. But despite the centuries of practical knowledge on the subject, it has actually always remained a mystery why it is that laundry is actually clean in a relatively short time."

So how does the washing process work? Periodic mechanical forces are exerted on the fibres. This causes tiny flows in and out of the pores in the fibres. Timmerman: "For a long time it was thought that these flows of soap solution had nothing to do with the cleaning of the laundry. It was thought that diffusion allowed the soap to reach the dirt." Diffusion is the process in which soap is drawn through the outer layer of the fibre, reaching the dirt. With the help of literature studies and experiments, the Delft researcher determined that there were definitely flows through the pores of fibres as well as diffusion. Timmerman: "There is a convection flow through the fibre with moving layers of soap molecules along the pore walls that loosen the dirt particles from within the fibre." The clothing is cleaned from the inside out. This was never believed in the industry. "Convection along the pore wall? Impossible." Timmerman's findings also explain why the actual washing process only takes about ten minutes. "If it were to take place through only diffusion, it would take hours," says Timmerman. "And we are all witnesses to the fact that that is not the case."

Timmerman's research has also shown that the four most important factors, especially chemistry and mechanical action are strongly linked. These two factors, together with the temperature, determine how effective the washing process is. Timmerman: "We are a little closer to solving the secrets of washing."

Delft University of Technology


Science Research Departments



Earth Science

Alternative Energy  |   Anthropology and Archaeology  |   Earthquakes and Volcanoes  |   Environment and Nature News  |   Global Warming  |   High-Energy and Particle Physics  |   Ozone Hole  |   Scientists Slow Light  |   Tsunami


Space Science

Astronomy and Space News  |   Black Holes  |   Chandra X-Ray Observatory  |   Extrasolar Planets  |   Hubble Telescope  |   International Space Station  |   Jupiter Galileo Mission  |   Jupiter Cassini Mission Flyby  |   Mars Exploration  |   Mars Odyssey 2001  |   Mars Global Surveyor  |   Mars Polar Lander  |   Mars Climate Orbiter  |   Mars Pathfinder  |   Meteors and Asteroids  |   Mir Space Station  |   NEAR Asteroid Probe Mission  |   Pluto Planet Debate |   Search for Extraterrestrial Life  |   Space Shuttle Program  |   Space Shuttle Mission: STS-102  |   Space Weather


Life Science

Animal News  |   Biotechnology and Genetics  |   Brain Research  |   Human Cloning  |   Dinosaur and Fossil Discoveries  |   Endangered Species  |   Gene Therapy  |   Genetically Modified Food  |   Stem Cell Research  |   Whales and Whaling


The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works

The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works
by National Geographic (Author), Marshall Brain (Foreword)


The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works encapsulates centuries of scientific thought in one volume. Natural phenomena, revolutionary inventions, scientific facts, and the most up-to-date questions are all explained in detailed text that is complemented by visually arresting graphics.
 
Six major sections ranging from the universe and the planet Earth to biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics are further broken down into subsections that encompass everything from microscopic life to nuclear power.
 
The Science Book covers a wide range of scientific areas, providing both a general overview of topics for the browsing reader, and more specific information for those who wish to obtain in-depth insight into a particular subject...

223 Amazing Science Facts, Tidbits and Quotes

223 Amazing Science Facts, Tidbits and Quotes
by Lulu.com


A collection of fascinating facts, tidbits and quotes from the world of science and technology.
This is a quick read, which you can easily scan through and find easy to read, short facts about the world around us, as well as some quotes from well known faces in science.
Topics in the book include;
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Health
Society
Earth & Environment
Animals & Nature
Space
Technology & Engineering
Quotes

The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!

The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!
by Tom Robinson (Author)


Science has never been so easy--or so much fun!With The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book, all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments. High school science teacher Tom Robinson shows you how to expand your scientific horizons--from biology to chemistry to physics to outer space.You'll discover answers to questions like:Is it possible to blow up a balloon without actually blowing into it?What is inside coins?Can a magnet ever be "turned off"?Do toilets always flush in the same direction?Can a swimming pool be cleaned with just the breath of one person? You won't want to wait for a rainy day or your school's science fair to test these cool experiments for...

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
by Randall Munroe (Author)


From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His...

The Science Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

The Science Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)
by DK (Author)


With over 225,000 copies in print, DK's Big Ideas series has struck a chord with readers fascinated-but also intimidated-by complex subjects like philosophy, psychology, politics, and religion. The newest title in this successful and acclaimed series is The Science Book, an inventive visual take on astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. With eye-catching artwork, step-by-step diagrams, and illustrations that break down complicated ideas into manageable concepts, The Science Book will have readers conversant in genetic engineering, black holes, and global warming in no time. Along the way are found mini-biographies of the most well-known scientists, and a glossary of helpful scientific terms. For students, and students of the world, there is no better way to explore the...

A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson (Author)


One of the world’s most beloved writers and bestselling author of One Summer takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.

In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most...

Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy

Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy
by Robert M. Hazen (Author), James Trefil (Author)


Knowledge of the basic ideas and principles of science is fundamental to cultural literacy. But most books on science are often too obscure or too specialized to do the general reader much good.

Science Matters is a rare exception-a science book for the general reader that is informative enough to be a popular textbook for introductory courses in high school and college, and yet well-written enough to appeal to general readers uncomfortable with scientific jargon and complicated mathematics. And now, revised and expanded for the first time in nearly two decades, it is up-to-date, so that readers can enjoy Hazen and Trefil's refreshingly accessible explanations of the most recent developments in science, from particle physics to biotechnology.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
by Theodore Gray (Author), Nick Mann (Photographer)


The Elements has become an international sensation, with over one million copies in-print worldwide. 

The highly-anticipated paperback edition of The Elements is finally available.

An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table. 

The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on seven years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table,...

Science: The Definitive Visual Guide

Science: The Definitive Visual Guide
by Robert Dinwiddie (Author), Giles Sparrow (Author), Marcus Weeks (Author), Carole Stott (Author), Jack Challoner (Author), David Hughes (Author), David Burnie (Author), Adam Hart-Davis (Editor)


Encompassing everything from ancient Greek geometry and quantum physics to the wedge and the World Wide Web, Science is a remarkable reference book that tells the story of science from earliest times to the present day — now available in paperback!

Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation

Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation
by Bill Nye (Author)


Sparked by the a provocative comment to BigThink.com last fall, and fueled by a highly controversial debate with Creation Museum curator Ken Ham, Bill Nye's campaign to confront the scientific shortcoming of creationism has exploded in just a few months into a national crusade. In this book, he expands the points he has made, and claims that this debate is not so much about religion versus science, as about the nature of science itself. With infectious enthusiasm, he reveals the mechanics of evolutionary theory, explains how it is rooted in the testable and verifiable scientific method, and why it is therefore a sound explanation of our beginning. He argues passionately that to continue to assert otherwise, to continue to insist that creationism has a place in the science classroom...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com