Dryer Lint Fires

Topics: Clothes dryer, Laundry, Humidity Pages: 5 (1031 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Innovative Analysis

dryer lint fires

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1. Brief description of the situation
Over 15,000 fires occur every year in the USA due to lint build-up in dryer vent hoses. As clothes dry, tiny fibers come loose and become suspended in the air being expelled through the vent hose. These fibers can become stuck to the inside of the dryer hose and clump together forming lint.

Early in the drying cycle, the air contains a large amount of moisture (that being extracted from the clothing) which tends to lessen the chance of fire. But as the clothes dry, the air becomes less humid and any lint in the vent hose becomes easier to ignite.

Lint clogging the vent hose prevents proper airflow. This causes heat to build within the vent hose. Hotspots can form and lint can ignite into flame. The ensuing fire can damage just the hose or spread to the dryer, the laundry room and even the entire house. Vent hoses are typically constructed to be light and flexible to ease in installation and allow movement of the dryer. However, the bends and kinks in the hose creates places that catch lint and make the problem worse. Needed are improvements to the dryer, the hose, or the air vent system of a dryer to lessen or prevent lint fires.

2. detailed description of the situation


This section contains the results of doing the “8-Way analysis.” At right is the 8-Way diagram showing four pairs representing four different ways to describe your system. The brief description is one abstraction of your system. This section contains four additional abstractions. Later, the PF diagram represents yet another abstraction. Each of the four ways to view the system has its own section number (2.1 – 2.4). You can use text here, but diagrams are also useful since they convey a large amount of information. The purpose of this section is to identify important characteristics, components, features, parts, processes, and entities related to the system your are studying. This, along with the brief description should give you plenty of information with which to draw the PF diagram. In general, everything in y our PF diagram should appear somewhere in these descriptions. However, you may choose not to include something you describe here in your PF diagram. Part of the reason for doing this analysis is to help you narrow down your efforts on a part of the system.

2.1 Supersytem/subsystem analysis

2.2 input/output analysis
Inputs| Outputs| States|
* Wet Clothes * Unused Dryer Sheets * Settings (Information) * Miscellaneous Items left in pockets of clothes| * Dry Clothes * Used Dryer Sheets * Sound/Noise * Lights (Information) * Beeps (Information) * Vibration * Heat * Odors * Air * Lint| * Idle * Clear * Warm Dryer * Hot Dryer * Cold Dryer|

2.3 cause/effect analysis
Cause/Effect| * Loading wet clothes into dryer causes them to dry * Pressing buttons for the settings causes heat to blow thru dryer * Pressing buttons for the settings causes the drum to turn * Pressing the power buttons causes energy to be used * Drying clothes causes lint to come out * When dry cycle is done dryer beeps|

2.4 past/future analysis
FUTURE| Uses solar air to dry clothes
Dryer uses natural dry air instead of loads of energy

3. resources, constraints, and limitations

3.1 available resources
* Heat
* aluminum
* lint
* clothes (wet)
* metal
* person
* energy
* metal
* fabric particles
* plastic

3.2 allowable changes to the system
* Make the vent hose without ridges so that lint can not get caught inside of those ridges. * Adding a layer of mesh material as a filter to filter the lint within the vent hose so hat the lint does not build up * Change the shape...
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