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Radial Shockwaves Will be Used in the Textile Care


“There were quite impressive results”, says Prof. Dr. Hans G. Hloch, Managing Overseer at wfk. The task was focused on the elderly and nursing home outerwear that is often strongly damaged by hydrophilic soil such as excretions, food components or perspiration. Due to the character of the soils it could be expected that the jackets is additionally contaminated with bacteria.

Radial Shockwaves Will be Used in the Textile Care

Objective of the project was to use radial shockwaves to clean under cold wash conditions at 20℃ towards a more gentle way. Thus, friction and deformation force on the fabrics was replaced by pressure force as well as through the textiles. “Previously, people used washboards to clean up textiles thanks to friction”, says Hloch. “Radial shockwaves do less harm to the textile.” For that reason, the institute designed a washing machine with a built-in shockwave generator and then measured the pressure and flooding movements on and through the fabrics.

The shockwave generators were positioned in front side door of the cleaning device that included a treating drum. Furthermore, the alcohol flow and textile movements were varied by load and load factor as well as by the g-factor and the treating rhythm. The g-factor decides the centrifugal force. The larger the g-factor, the less moisture resides in the garments or fabrics. Reversing is a technical term from material care and means that the drum changes the movement direction during the washing process. Concerning the load size values around 30L/kg (filling ratio) and the water volume principles of the wash alcohol ratio of 18L/kg demonstrated to be optimal. To understand the way the process works it could be good to know, that 100. 000 shockwaves within 9 minutes at 20℃ achieved the best results. In contrast: a normal household washing machine needs at least half an hour and a significantly higher temperature for dirty garments.

Benefits of the new washing procedure are the reduced main temperature and the reduced use of common liquid detergents. Additionally, fabrics are less damaged from damages or change in color compared to common washing procedures. (How to measure the color fastness during washing procedures, checking washing fastness tester for more details)

Radial Shockwaves Will be Used in the Textile Care

For business clothing it appears to be very interesting, that the new procedures resulted in less modification in fabric structure and that therefore the finishing is easier. Whether or not by now, the shockwave procedure needs a higher water volume, experts are optimistic to deal with this modifying the machine. Because of the cold wash conditions less energy is needed in comparison to common procedures. As a result, radial shockwaves must have good chances to flow into the daily laundry and cleaning business. This is one step they have already achieved in the medical sector where they {are being used} to remove gall stones and alleviate orthopaedic sufferings.

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