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...

The Science Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

The Science Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)
by DK Publishing (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 Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)

A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
by Barbara Oakley (Author)


Whether you are a student struggling to fulfill a math or science requirement, or you are embarking on a career change that requires a higher level of math competency, A Mind for Numbers offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating but inescapable field. Engineering professor Barbara Oakley knows firsthand how it feels to struggle with math. She flunked her way through high school math and science courses, before enlisting in the army immediately after graduation. When she saw how her lack of mathematical and technical savvy severely limited her options—both to rise in the military and to explore other careers—she returned to school with a newfound determination to re-tool her brain to master the very subjects that had given her so much trouble throughout her...

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!

National Geographic Science of Everything: How Things Work in Our World

National Geographic Science of Everything: How Things Work in Our World
by National Geographic (Author), David Pogue (Foreword)


National Geographic answers all the questions about how things work--the science, technology, biology, chemistry, physics, and mechanics--in an indispensible book that reveals the science behind virtually everything. How does the voice of a distant radio announcer make it through your alarm clock in the morning? How does your gas stove work? How does the remote control open your garage door? What happens when you turn the key in the ignition? What do antibiotics really do? Divided into four big realms--Mechanics, Natural Forces, Materials & Chemistry, Biology & Medicine--The Science of Everything takes readers on a fascinating tour, using plain talk, colorful photography, instructive diagrams, and everyday examples to explain the science behind all the things we take for granted in our...

Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century

Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century
by Oculus Publishers


If you want to learn about one of history's most fascinating minds and uncover some of his secrets of imagination--secrets that enabled him to invent machines light years ahead of his time and literally bring light to the world--then you want to read this book.

Imagination amplifies and colors every other element of genius, and unlocks our potential for understanding and ability.

It's no coincidence that geniuses not only dare to dream of the impossible for their work, but do the same for their lives. They're audacious enough to think that they're not just ordinary players.

Few stories better illustrate this better than the life of the father of the modern world, a man of legendary imaginative power and wonder: Nikola Tesla.

In this book,...

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...

The Einstein Theory of Relativity A Concise Statement

The Einstein Theory of Relativity A Concise Statement


This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

The Science of Good Cooking (Cook's Illustrated Cookbooks)

The Science of Good Cooking (Cook's Illustrated Cookbooks)
by The Editors of America's Test Kitchen and Guy Crosby Ph.D (Author)


THE REVOLUTIONARY BOOK THAT
BRINGS SCIENCE TO THE STOVE
Great cooks seem to operate on intuition. Watch one at work and you might think he or she must have a sixth sense that switches on in the kitchen. But great cooks aren t psychic. They simply understand the fundamental principles of cooking the unspoken rules that guide their every move in the kitchen. What s behind these principles? Science.
At America s Test Kitchen, we know something about that. The team at Cook s Illustrated has spent the past 20 years investigating every facet and every detail associated with home cooking through tens of thousands of kitchen tests. In The Science of Good Cooking, we distill the past two decades of this test kitchen work into 50 basic cooking concepts, ones that every home cook should...

CK-12 Earth Science Honors For Middle School

CK-12 Earth Science Honors For Middle School
by CK-12 Foundation


CK-12 Earth Science covers the study of Earth - its minerals and energy resources, processes inside and on its surface, its past, water, weather and climate, the environment and human actions, and astronomy.

© 2014 BrightSurf.com