2.4 million reports of burns are recored a year in the USA due to the mishandling of domestic laundry irons. Current irons can reach temperatures of 166 degrees celcius which can cause instant 3rd degree burns upon touch. We wanted to create and iron with a built-in saftey mechanism that could reduce the risk of burns without interupting the ironing routine.
Our induction iron gently pivots upwards on its back edge when the user releases of the handle. Once the bottom plate of the iron has been seperated from the plate of the ironing board, the iron plate begins to cool as there is no current causing the copper coil inside to trigger heat. This is much like when you remove a pan from an induction hob.
From dismantling a series of conventional irons we found that on average, each iron contained over 130 components. Dismantling an iron took around about 96 steps and required tools such screw-drivers, a hammer, plyers and a chisel. The irons comprised essentially of steel, iron, aluminium, rubber, glue and various plastics.
Water is added to the iron via an opening at the top of the handle. The water percolates through the inners of the product through a series of tubes. Inside, are two foam rings which contain the water. As pressure is applied to the handle, the foam rings compress causing the water to seep out of the exit holes in the bottom of the plate.
The model making process began by creating random shapes and structures which paved the way to many vital design decisions that led us to our finished product. The ergonomics of the iron was one of our biggest concerns as accorinding to our research, people would experience considerable discomfort while ironing for long periods of time. Our testing of the iron reduced the time taken iron a general load of clothes by up to 35%. This was due to the seemless movement of the iron which facilitated the user by not having to place the iron carefully on the resting tray of the ironing board.