Device could make washing machines lighter and greener

A simple device to cut the weight of washing machines could save fuel, cut carbon emissions, and reduce back injuries, according to researchers. A typical budget washing machine is weighted by 25kg of concrete to stop it moving while on a spin cycle.

The new invention is a sealable plastic container that is filled with water – but only once the machine is in place. The team at Nottingham Trent University says the change makes machines easier – and cheaper – to transport.

By replacing the concrete with empty containers, the weight of the machine is cut by a third. If the change became standard, it would cut the weight of trucks carrying the machines which would in turn cut emissions. The research suggests that with around 3.5 million washing machines sold annually in the UK, the new device could save around 44,625 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Researchers replaced the concrete block (left) with a plastic container that can be filled with water (right)

The idea was devised by product design company Tochi Tech Ltd, which works with the university to find innovative solutions to manufacturing common appliances. It was tested by an undergraduate on a project, Dylan Knight, 22. He told BBC News: “Everyone thinks the idea must have been thought of before. No one can really believe it. But I promise you it definitely works.” Source – BBC

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