engineering careers  No heavy loads – Engineers develop simple solution for greener, lighter washing machine
engineering careers  No heavy loads – Engineers develop simple solution for greener, lighter washing machine

You might remember Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh from the wave machine created from old bike parts – now he has teamed up with 22-year-old undergraduate Dylan Knight to make a splash in the world of washing machines

A from Nottingham Trent University have developed a hollow plastic container which can be filled with water once the machine is in place to stop it shaking violently or shuffling across the floor.


Pictured – Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh and Dylan Knight

With nearly 3.5m washing machines sold every year in the UK alone, the carbon savings could be 44,625 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Simply reducing the weight of washing machines in a lorry by 100kg could we could save 8.5g of carbon dioxide emissions and 0.35 litres of fuel per 100km travelled.

The hollow container is left unfilled until the appliance is installed. We found it worked as good as a concrete counterweight, stopping the spinning drum from heavily vibrating the machine… Concrete is actually quite bad for the environment due to the CO2 released when it is produced. The use of concrete is also the reason why washing machines are normally very heavy to move. Dylan Knight, Product Design Undergraduate, Nottingham Trent

Replacing concrete with water cuts the weight of a typical machine a 1/3rd. The knock on effect is a reduction of the financial and environmental cost of fuel for transportation.

The idea is very simple – replace the solid concrete brick with a hollow container that can be left unfilled until the appliance is installed. Once it is filled with water it then acts in an identical way to a concrete counterweight, stopping the spinning drum from heavily vibrating the machine.

The team worked with Tochi Tech, a design company who partner with researchers and students at the university to find innovative and sustainable solutions to appliance manufacturing, to come up with the idea.


The research was driven by the Enabling Innovation programme at Nottingham Trent University.

The scheme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which “aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union”.

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