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Thread: Removing clothing wrinkles using ultrasonics or similar

  1. #1 Removing clothing wrinkles using ultrasonics or similar 
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    Hello,
    My name is Joe and I am a industrial design student currently working on my final year project in university. I am seeking some information regarding the project, which I hope someone on here may be able to help with.
    My question is regarding clothing irons and how can wrinkles in clothes be removed without the use of heat. I am aware that currently the particles are disrupted by heat and pressure in conventional domestic irons and whilst they are broken the pressure of the iron re aligns them. As the temperature cools bonds are reformed in there un creased state. My apologies if this is incorrect as I have very little physics knowledge.

    I am writing to ask if technology such as ultrasonics would be able to disrupt the bonds in replace of heat? I am aware steam is able to do this but would be keen to hear anyones thoughts on how this could possibly be done without heat or steam.

    Thank you for your time to read this. I look forward to your responses.

    Joe


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Acoustic cleaning is a maintenance method used in material-handling and storage systems that handle bulk granular or particulate materials, such as grain elevators, to remove the buildup of material on surfaces. Acoustic cleaning apparatus, usually built into the material-handling equipment, works by generating powerful sound waves which shake particulates loose from surfaces, reducing the need for manual cleaning.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...7bk8pMRK66gkNA

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...AixZD67azsj8ug


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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Wrinkling and unwrinkling is making and breaking weak hydrogen bonds. Not unlike using a curling iron or straightener on hair, or wetting hair, setting it on rollers, and letting it dry.

    Most antiwrinkle techniques (permanent press) involve changing the structure of the fibers in the clothe so those hydrogen bonds do not form easily when the fabric is exposed to water/and or heat.

    Why do clothes wrinkle?


    There was this patent in the link above for ultrasonic wrinkle removal. Interestingly, the patent applicant is Proctor and Gamble.
    Patent WO2001075211A2 - Methods and apparatus for removal of wrinkles from fabrics - Google Patents

    The ultrasonic methods still involve the generation of heat. The method above incorporates a transmission fluid, which, I assume, someone like P&G is going to sell you.

    To summarize, it involves "applying an effective amount of an ultrasonic transmission fluid to the fabrics; and (ii) imparting ultrasonic waves to the fabrics using the ultrasonic source in a manner that avoids fiber-damaging heat that could scorch, shine or flatten fabric. In accordance with a sixth aspect of the present invention, an ultrasonic de- wrinkling apparatus is provided. The ultrasonic de- wrinkling apparatus comprises, a plate; ultrasonic means attached to the plate for generating ultrasonic waves in the plate; a housing attached to the plate having handle means for grasping the housing and moving the housing and the plate on the fabric; and means to prevent the generation of heat in the plate by the moving of the plate on the fabric"
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  5. #4  
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    I'd like to start by saying thank you to the both of you. As mentioned this is in no way my area of expertise so appreciate your help / knowledge. The acoustic cleaning sounds interesting and is something i shall take a look into.<br><br>DianeG That is some very useful information, i'd actually just came across the patent you found just before I checked back on the post. Regarding heat, I understand that there may be no way to eliminate heat alltogether but my goal is to reduce the heat on the actual iron soleplate. My original idea sprouted from ultrasonic infrared hair irons. (if you search ultrasonic iron into youtube then the first video demonstrates this)

    If only certain molecules need to be broken then would technology like this be able to do that?&nbsp;<br><br>Once again thank you for your responses, some very useful and valuable information<br><br>Joe<br><br><br>
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  6. #5  
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    I have found this product:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UltraSonic...item338a7321de

    Demonstration of product:

    The Healthy Hair Lab

    which seems to use FIR infrared and ultrasonics.

    "Ultrasonic: 36000 magnetic vibrations per second.
    Infrared: 14 professional lights"

    A similar unit quotes the below spec

    "Ultrasonic Frequency: 600,000times/second
    Infrared Wavelength: 690 nm"

    From watching this product turn water into steam almost instantaneous would this allow the hydrogen bonds inside the fabric application to also break down and allow the creases to be removed?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joedp View Post
    I have found this product:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UltraSonic...item338a7321de

    Demonstration of product:

    The Healthy Hair Lab

    which seems to use FIR infrared and ultrasonics.

    "Ultrasonic: 36000 magnetic vibrations per second.
    Infrared: 14 professional lights"

    A similar unit quotes the below spec

    "Ultrasonic Frequency: 600,000times/second
    Infrared Wavelength: 690 nm"

    From watching this product turn water into steam almost instantaneous would this allow the hydrogen bonds inside the fabric application to also break down and allow the creases to be removed?
    I suppose it would but then I would think you would need either heat or evaporation to form new ones to maintain the desired flattened shape. Heat is faster but more damaging. If you've got lots of time, you can always just dampen something and hang it on a clothes line.
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  8. #7  
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    Sorry for the slow reply. I have ordered a set of these to test so shall report back with the findings. On a second note would anyone have alternatives methods that could be suitable. My intention is to be able to iron clothes but without the soleplate of the domestic iron being hot or if it needs to become hot, cooling much faster than conventional. I have seen Far infrared heaters as a possible option would anyone else be able to suggest alternatives?
    dan hunter likes this.
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  9. #8  
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    There are quite a few steaming irons that use low temperature steam. Fabric steamers and garment steamers are pretty common too.
    Some garment steamers are small enough for using as a travel iron. Steamers tend to be fast and they are not irons so clothes can be steamed even if they are hanging up.
    Because steaming doesn't require you to press the fabic steamers work well for delicate fabrics and ones with more complicated or sculpted surfaces that an iron or press would flatten.
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  10. #9  
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    Hi Dan, thanks for your advice. i've looked into steamers however feel there are drawbacks to using the steam which a iron is able to better.

    My goal is the create a clothing iron which uses minimal to no heat to decrease fabric. My understanding of why clothes wrinkle are the specific hydrogen and polymer bonds set and when heat is applied they can be reformed to remove the crease. I have found this article that explains hydrogen bond breaking by vibration but a lot of this goes beyond my understanding of physics. I would be incredibly grateful is someone could help me understand if this article could support my theory that something like ultrasonics or vibration can remove the clothes wrinkles. Thank you



    Watching Hydrogen Bonds Break: A Transient Absorption Study of Water
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