Paper Towel Absorbency

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Tests of absorbency:
Absorbency was tested in one of two ways, speed of absorption and volume of absorption. When testing speed, the more rapidly the water moves through the towel, the more absorbent the towel. When testing volume, the more water a towel will hold, the more absorbent the towel.

(5) Place a paper towel in the embroidery hoop. Draw a circle 2 inches in diameter in the center of the towel.
a) Place drops of water in the center of the towel. Count the number of drops added until the water spreads out to fill the circle. The towels requiring fewer drops are the more absorbent towels.

b) Place 10 drops of water in the center of the circle. Measure the time it takes for water to spread out and fill the circle. The towels with shorter times are the more absorbent towels.
(6) Cut towels into strips 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Draw marks 1 inch from each end with an overhead pen. Fill a cup with water. Hold each strip vertically with tweezers with the bottom end one inch in the water. Measure the time it takes for the water to travel from bottom mark (at the top of the water) to the top mark. This measures how quickly the towel absorbs water. The faster the water moves through the towel, the more absorbent the towel.

(7) Put one cup of water in a measuring cup. Submerge a towel in the water for 5 seconds. Remove the towel. Measure the amount of water remaining in the cup to determine the amount of water removed from the measuring cup. The greater the amount of water removed from the cup, the more absorbent the towel. The size of the paper towels varies as does the cost. This experiment can be modified to compare

a) a single sheet, since that’s what people use
b) a fixed area, either by a fixed area of towel or by using a whole towel and making measurement on a per unit area basis
c) fixed price, either by using a section that costs 0.5 cents or by making the measurement on a fixed cost basis. NCSSM Statistics...
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