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Auto-Coiling Garden Hose

Hose that puts itself away when not in use
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

Garden hoses: easy to uncoil, a pain in the behind to coil back up. Sure you can just leave them laying in the grass, and then you get a line of dead grass or end up running it over with the lawnmower. So what if you had a hose that waits until you're finished with it and then automatically tidies itself up?

Better yet, what if this could be accomplished without any fancy electronics or motors or even an external power supply?

I propose a standard black rubber hose built around a coiled "spine" of shape-memory alloy. Turn on the water and deploy the hose as normal; to the user it would work just like an ordinary hose. But then, the water is turned off, and as the hose sits in the hot sun, it begins to heat up. Eventually the heat activates the alloy and it returns to the coil shape. No user intervention required!

kyle90, Aug 19 2012

Towed array http://www.virtuala...ument/1750/briefing
Prior Art [8th of 7, Aug 19 2012]

Bimetallic solar tracking... http://www.youtube....watch?v=HFUQTiT8bAc
you go Roger! [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 19 2012]

Self coiling hose http://www.youtube....watch?v=aky0VOQiSaw
This is probably what everyone is talking about. I'm sure it's a POS. [DIYMatt, Aug 20 2012]


       Really? If you mean those pre-coiled watering hoses, I don't think that that is what this is.   

       I think it's a flat hose while cold and self coiling as it heats from a nitinol strip up its length.   

       I can't find that to exist, widely known or otherwise.   

       [m-f-d] disputed. Self coiling hoses based on moulded polymers are indeed widley known to exist; however, the suggestion to use shape- memory metal as a component of the design appears to be a genuine innovation.
8th of 7, Aug 19 2012

       MFD dispute seconded.   

       Shape memory allow garden hoses exist? Can you provide a link, [21 Quest]?
tatterdemalion, Aug 19 2012

       No, but worryingly, venomous snakes that look like coiled garden hoses do exist.   

       // the idea doesn't explain how or why shape metal is a better material //   

       Yes it does.   

       When cold (cooled by water passing through it) the hose can be pulled straight, exerting no recoil impulse. When warmed, the hose automatically recoils.
8th of 7, Aug 19 2012

       This isn't a patent office. Novelty is sufficient, with no absolute requirement for utility. Anyway, I like it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 19 2012

       This posting just gave me an idea for making a passive bimetallic solar tracking device... and this kid has already made one. [link]   

       <adds this guy to hero list>   

       It's an innovative idea. Practical, who knows... better than current means? Maybe not. But since when have those been halfbakery deletion criteria?   

       I'm all for memory metal being used whenever possible.
tatterdemalion, Aug 19 2012

       Using [21]'s interpretation of the criteria for innovation, we would be forced to MFD the hallowed Hullaballoon, because a propeller driven dirigible is a "better" airship.   

       Dispute thirded, and upheld.   

       I just don't think a memory alloy strip has the strain ratio to coil a garden hose from across the yard into a neat stack. I think you'd end up with a general coil-like contraction leading to an un-neat spiral of hose, still strewn across the lawn.
Custardguts, Aug 20 2012

       What's annoying is how this bullshit MFD turns the annotations into an effort to justify the idea to [21 Quest].
tatterdemalion, Aug 20 2012

       Well, he does have extensive experience with flimsy...   

       A simple clockspring in the hose reel would suffice. But then again, we don't do simple here.
RayfordSteele, Aug 20 2012

       //don't think a memory alloy strip has the strain ratio//   

       The strain ratio needed would be very low. Are you thinking of stress? If so, a thick enough memory metal strip would do it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 20 2012

       The memory strip would work better if the hose was made out of a lighter, more flexible material. Since this is already a very expensive hose lets just say Dyneema. Shape memory material would be more likely to return to its original shape than a scrunchie hose. I see no reason for the MFD, and I bun thy uber-expensive hose.
DIYMatt, Aug 20 2012

       // MFD turns … into an effort to justify the idea to [21 Quest] //   

       No, questioning ideas and playing Devil's Advocate is a perfectly legitimate position.   

       [21Q] has not engaged in ad hominem argument or abused the poster. His questions and doubts are rational and legitimate.   

       The test of the idea is its ability to withstand such criticism.
8th of 7, Aug 20 2012

       I have a hose storage box that uses water pressure to wind up the hose (which can be any plain old garden hose up to several hundred feet long). With the water running, you flip a lever on the side of the box and it retracts the hose into the box, winding it around an internal reel. It's pretty nifty, but you have to supervise it to make sure the hose gets fed into the box without any kinks, lest they constrict the flow of the hose the next time you go to use it. Still, it's a lot easier and neater to use than a manual hose reel.   

       Not sure what, if any, relevance this has to the idea, but I just thought I'd share.
ytk, Aug 23 2012


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