Looking for a way to dry your clothes quickly and cheaply? If so an ultrasonic drying machine could be for you – although you'll have to wait a few more years before you can buy one.
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, US, have built a clothes dryer that uses intense vibrations instead to quite literally shake clothes dry. What's more, it can dry a full load of clothes in as little as 20 minutes – roughly half the time it would take a traditional dryer to do the same job.
The prototype machine has been built in collaboration in US electronics and manufacturing conglomerate General Electrics and the US Department of Energy, which has provided nearly $900,000 (£625,000 €750,000) funding toward the two-year project, reports Business Insider.
Inside the drum if the dryer is an amplifier and several transducers which convert electricity into high-frequency – or ultrasonic – vibrations, shaking the water from freshly-washed clothes. Its creators claim this method of drying is as much as five times more energy-efficient that heat-based dryers, making it practical, economical and environmentally-friendly.
Due to the lack of heat, the ultrasonic dryer also eliminates any risk of clothes shrinking or fading, as well as removing the hassle of having to constantly clean lint from the machine.
Other manufacturers, including LG, have been exploring how ultrasonic waves can be used to create waterless, heatless washers and dryers, although the technology isn't ready for commercialisation just yet.