• How Vacuum Cleaners Work

    How Vacuum Cleaners Work

    Even though it may appear to be a very complicated
    machine, the conventional vacuum cleaner is actually
    made up of six essential components:  intake port,
    exhaust port, electric motor, fan, porous bag, and
    a housing that stores all of the other components.

    When you plug the vacuum cleaner into the outlet and
    turn it on, the following happens:
    1.  First of all, the electric current will
    operate the motor, which is attached to the fan,
    which resembles an airplane propeller.
    2.  As the blades begin to turn, they will
    force the air upwards, towards the exhaust port.
    3.  When the air particles are driven forwards,
    the density of the particles will increase in front
    of the fan and therefore decrease behind it.

    The pressure drop that occurs behind the fan is
    similar to the pressure drop when you take a drink
    through a straw.  The pressure level in the area
    that is behind the fan will drop below the pressure
    level that is outside of the vacuum cleaner.

    This will create a suction inside of the vacuum
    cleaner.  The ambient air will push itself into the
    vacuum cleaner through the intake port because the
    air pressure that is inside of the vacuum cleaner
    is much lower than the pressure on the outside.

    Picking the dirt up
    The stream of air that the vacuum generates is just
    like a stream of water.  The air particles that move
    will rub against any loose dust or debris and if
    it is light enough, the friction will carry the
    material around the inside of the vacuum cleaner.

    As the dirt continues on to the exhaust port, it
    will pass through the cleaner bag.  They tiny holes
    in the vacuum cleaner bag are large enough to let
    the air pass through, although too small for the
    dust particles to fit through.  Therefore, when
    the air current gets into the bag, the dirt and
    debris will be collected there.

    You can stick the bag anywhere along the path
    between the intake tube and the exhaust port, just
    as long as the air current passes through.

    The power of a vacuum cleaner's suction will depend
    on several factors.  The suction can be stronger
    or weaker depending on:
    1.  Fan power - In order to generate a
    strong suction, the motor needs to turn at a good
    2.  Air passageway - When a lot of debris
    builds up in the bag, the air will face a greater
    level of resistance on the way out.  Each particle
    of air will move slowly due to the increase in
    drag.  This is the reason why a vacuum cleaner
    works much better once you've replaced the bag
    than when you have been using it for a while.
    3.  Size of the intake port - With the
    speed of the vacuum fan being constant, the amount
    of air that passes through the vacuum cleaner per
    second is also constant.


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