A new type of clothes dryer that uses vibration rather than heat to dry wet clothes, and claims it can cut laundry time in half, is being developed in the US.

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, working with the US Department of Energy, have created a concept tumble dryer that uses movement to dry clothes rather than heat.

The concept works by turning electricity into vibrations using devices known as piezoelectric transducers, which vibrate at a high frequency and turn water into a cool mist as it is removed from fabric.

According to the Department of Energy, the technology could be up to five times more efficient than today’s tumble dryers.

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It has also been suggested that the removal or minimising of heat within the process would help to reduce the risk of damage to clothes or fading of colours.

The hope is to eventually have the technology in dryers and in production for general sale.

tumble dryer
(Department of Energy)


The ORNL is working with US firm General Electric Appliances to “make design tweaks, perform field tests and build out a cost-effective production line”, according to the Department of Energy.

This entire process is likely to take around five years.

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