Nothing can leave a mark on the 3D-printed toilet as it is exceptionally slippery.

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Is Cleaning Toilets Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Cleaning toilets is a chore that no one enjoys. The thought of scrubbing and disinfecting in order to keep the bowl free of waste can be daunting and time-consuming. However, thanks to a new material developed by researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, this tiresome task may soon be a thing of the past.

The team at Huazhong University have created a 3D-printed toilet that is so slippery, almost nothing can stick to it. Unlike other slippery toilet surfaces, such as Teflon-coated bowls, that lose their slipperiness over time, this new material remains highly slippery even after heavy use. This breakthrough not only has the potential to reduce the amount of water needed for flushing but also makes cleaning toilets a breeze.

The researchers achieved this by 3D printing a model of the toilet using a mixture of plastic and hydrophobic sand grains. They then lubricated the surface with a special silicon oil, which not only coated the exterior but also penetrated below the surface due to the toilet’s unique material structure. The result is a toilet bowl that is resistant to all sorts of waste, including mud, milk, yogurt, honey, starch-filled gel, and even synthetic feces.

In order to test the durability of their invention, the team rubbed the surface of the toilet with sandpaper over 1000 times. Surprisingly, the toilet remained just as slippery, with the lubricating oil still present below the rubbed-away surface. This suggests that this innovative material could withstand heavy usage without losing its effectiveness.

The potential benefits of this slippery toilet material are significant, especially in high-traffic settings such as trains and public bathrooms. By reducing the need for frequent flushing, less water would be wasted during transportation to processing facilities, resulting in cost savings. However, before this technology can be widely implemented, the researchers acknowledge that the process needs to be adapted for full-size toilets and made more affordable.

Although the concept of a self-cleaning toilet may seem like a far-fetched idea, the researchers at Huazhong University have demonstrated that it is possible. However, incorporating the laser manufacturing technique used in their study into current toilet production processes may pose some challenges. William Wong, an expert from Aalto University in Finland, suggests that a start-up company with flexibility in redesigning their supply chains may be better suited to tackle this task.

In conclusion, the days of painstakingly cleaning toilets may soon be over thanks to this groundbreaking invention. While there are some obstacles to overcome before it becomes a reality, the potential benefits are too significant to ignore. Imagine a world where you never have to clean a toilet again – it may be closer than you think!

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