A new counterweight could be the answer to quieter and stationary washing machines thanks to two UK budding inventors.
An undergraduate and a professor from a British university have come up with a plastic counterweight to replace the concrete blocks used in washing machines to stabilise them. Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh and undergraduate Dylan Knight teamed up at Nottingham Trent University to create a counterweight that is filled with water to stop washing machines from vibrating during use.
The product, which only weighs 3kg unfilled, is more sustainable than the concrete blocks currently used in washing machines to make them stable, as a lot of CO2 is released when concrete blocks are produced. It also means machines are lighter and therefore easier to move and is just as effective as the concrete when it is filled with water. By rolling out this device, the carbon footprint would also be much improved for transport companies as trucks would need to transport 100kg less than they usually do, saving on massively on fuel consumption.
The research was supported by the Enabling Innovation programme at Nottingham Trent University, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme provides subsidised support to help SMEs in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to grow and innovate.
The breakthrough could see a whole host of health benefits for delivery drivers and homes, with the need for four person deliveries and upheaval in the home when appliances need to be moved, a thing of the past. There are a huge environmental benefits too and just like the pedal-powered washing machine in the US, which costs less than USD 40 to make and uses less water and no electricity, long-term ones too.
Could this lightweight device be used in other electrical appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and cookers? Will this mean a monumental leap forward for the global social cause movement?