# Can flat iron be heated by friction?

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1. Nov 16, 2016

### Erish

< Mentor Note -- thread moved to HH from the technical engineering forums, so no HH Template is shown >

Hi! We are looking for alternative ways to heat up flat iron without using electricty or fuel or solar panel. So we came up with friction (as it is also a source of heat). But we don't know if it will work. So if you can help us please gave us some ideas about this. Thank you very much!!!!

Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2016
2. Nov 16, 2016

### gleem

Sure it will work but how are you going to produce the motion to cause the friction to produce the heat?

3. Nov 16, 2016

### Erish

That's our problem! we don't know how to produce so much friction to generate the heat needed. we think that rubbing the iron on the clothes will not be enough to produce the heat. :(

4. Nov 16, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

The other nasty thing about friction is it tends to destroy things...

If you are looking at this as a way to save energy, unless you have a ready and untapped source of friction, you wont; both friction and electricits have exactly the same efficiency in conversion to heat (100%).

5. Nov 16, 2016

### gleem

So you want to iron something and produce the heat by hand necessary to adequately press the cloth. I could not find a coefficient of friction for a fabric on steel but assuming a nominal value of .0.3 , an iron wgt of 5 lbs., a stroke of 1 ft, a temperature increase of 200 deg F, a specific heat of iron of 0.11 BTU/deg F*lb and assuming little heat is lost by the iron in the process you can determine the number strokes you need to accomplish this feat.

6. Nov 16, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

If you had a bunch of horseshoe magnets and could rub them madly around the surface of the steel I think heat would be produced within the steel. The process is known as eddy current heating. It probably qualifies as using no electricity, in the same way as your food-powered human generating friction heating is categorised as a process not burning fuel.

How much heating power could one human produce? For best case data I'd look at bicycle experiments, since peddling harnesses our biggest most efficient muscles.

7. Nov 17, 2016

### CWatters

Info here relates to a steam iron but..

http://www.infomania.co.uk/archives/36

It suggests the 1700W element was on for roughly half the time the iron was in use. So the average was around 850W or 1.1 HP. That's more power than an average human could sustain...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_power

8. Nov 17, 2016

### rbelli1

That is a huge understatement. The most elite bicyclist in the world would have difficulty sustaining this level of output for more than a few minutes (search bicycle toaster and watch the video). It would take half a dozen or more "average adults" to do it.

BoB

9. Nov 17, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

We don't want an idea to be necessarily stymied by ambition. An iron that looked like something belonging to a doll's set would suffice as a proof of concept demonstration, I'm sure.

10. Nov 17, 2016

### CWatters

Ok, perhaps you could store the energy in a flywheel or battery?

11. Nov 17, 2016

### Staff: Mentor

Just returned to amend my post to suggest a flywheel. A storage battery would be excluded by the no electricity restriction.

12. Nov 17, 2016

### Nidum

Heavy iron .

Two boards with weights on top .

Old type trouser press with screw clamps .

Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
13. Nov 18, 2016

### CWatters

Big lens or array of mirrors or would that come under "solar panel"?

14. Nov 18, 2016

### Charles Kottler

Geothermal. Go and set up camp by a lava flow or hot spring .

[sorry, didn't read the title... and on second thoughts a fire might be easier anyway.]

Last edited: Nov 18, 2016