Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Automatic counterweight for washing machines

Attach weights and balance loads with them
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It's a common problem for a load of laundry to be imbalanced due to one side being more hydrophobic then the other. This can cause significant wear and in the worst case banging and the need to rebalance.

The idea is a sensor and attach points on the outside of the drum. When the load is off balance a weight can be attached automatically to rebalance.

Voice, Nov 10 2014

latter-day truck tyre version.. http://www.innovati...ing.com/service.htm
[not_morrison_rm, Nov 11 2014]

[link]






       would you? I think it would just take a little longer to accelerate.   

       Also, there needs to be a little more to this idea. How is it automatically achieved? The imbalance in washing machines can be many kilos. Why is it that the engineers have, so far, just chosen to beef up the bearings and put a great lump of concrete in the bottom?
bs0u0155, Nov 11 2014
  

       ^ This idea has the concrete moveable, so I'd guess holes in walls was the possible issue.
FlyingToaster, Nov 11 2014
  

       (Seems to remember seeing on tv a self-balancing wheel, just a wheel with a circular tube attached near the rim, with many large ball-bearings in it, it supposedly balanced itself out...but then you'd get clinky, clinky, clinky, bang, bang then silence...)   

       see link of truck tyre version
not_morrison_rm, Nov 11 2014
  

       Dynamic balancing I'd not uncommon in washing machines. A posh machine might even have a water filled damping tube or ring to save on shipping weight.
WcW, Nov 11 2014
  

       My washing machine senses when there is an imbalance in the load and gives a series of well-timed 'kicks' to the rotation to better distribute the clothes, or will slow down or speed up suddenly to rebalance the clothes. It does all this in preparation for its final 1400rpm spin, which I think is impressively fast - more than 20 revolutions of a full load of clothes per second.
hippo, Nov 11 2014
  

       //20 revolutions ....per second.   

       So you're suggesting packing the drum with elderly dodgy, South American military types who wore dark glasses the whole time...
not_morrison_rm, Nov 11 2014
  

       Call the app that runs it Cachunk.
pashute, Nov 11 2014
  

       The simplest way to do this would be to mount the drum on a 2-axis slide, and simply adjust the drum center to correct for the weight.
MechE, Nov 11 2014
  

       be easier to move the motor.
FlyingToaster, Nov 11 2014
  

       How do those beads balance the tire/tyre? Is seems to me that if it is out of balance, the side that is heaviest will get pulled farther from the center of rotation, so all the beads will get flung out to that point, making it worse. Maybe when driving on the road, if there is an unbalance, it will slam the tire into the road, bumping the beads away from the overweight sector of the tire? If the mechanism is something like that, then it might be somewhat complicated to apply to a washing machine.   

       [MechE] One problem with a movable axis is that the heaviest part of the load moves in a smaller radius so it doesn't get as much centripugal force applied to remove the water. If this method was used, you might want to have the ability to warn the user that it wasn't getting maximum water removal if it is too far out of balance.
scad mientist, Nov 11 2014
  

       You're probably not looking at more than an inch or so of movement to get the load back into balance (unless the person did a really horrible job of loading the machine). Given the lower load resulting on the bearings, the same drive design should be able to run a little faster, offsetting the difference.
MechE, Nov 11 2014
  

       I think I would go for a pair of identical weighted arms, geared to the shaft, independently movable. When everything is balanced, the arms run directly opposite each other. When out of balance, they are moved to a position perpendicular to the axis of the COG offset, then are closed toward each other, away from the offset.
lurch, Nov 13 2014
  

       //(unless the person did a really horrible job of loading the machine)//   

       Shirley the 30 mins of automatic agitation will offset any unbalanced loading? Unless people are nailing their clothes to one side of the drum...
bs0u0155, Nov 13 2014
  

       In my experience certain items, mostly larger and heavier items, tend to stay more or less where they are put in relation to each other. As a result, loading multiple pairs of jeans to one side of the machine is the single most common cause of load imbalance.   

       (note that this is for top loading machines only, switching everyone to high efficiency front loaders is another possible solution)
MechE, Nov 13 2014
  
      
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