The iron is a common household appliance. With it, users iron various types of fabric. There are dozens of types and models of such devices in the world. Everyone chooses for himself the appropriate type of device. The article will provide a detailed description of the principle of operation of the iron, its design and main types. In addition, you can read the basic tips for caring for this type of household appliances.
The electric iron is a common household appliance used to iron clothes. The process itself is built on the basis of a combination of heat and pressure on the object being processed. The principle of operation of an electrical household appliance is that when current passes through a coil, it heats up and transfers heat to the base plate of the appliance through the conduction of the elements attached inside.
In the old days, steam models were used, but now modern devices have simple and effective heating elements. This avoids possible problems during operation. Steamappliances have some maintenance problems due to clogging.
The devices have ventilation holes through which water passes. As steam is generated internally, the minerals, s alts and other trace elements contained in the liquid slowly build up in the vents and block the passage of water. Thus, the efficiency of this type of home appliance is reduced. Because of this, they need to be cleaned regularly to ensure proper operation and avoid possible breakdowns. If you live in an area that uses hard water containing high concentrations of trace elements, clogging is a serious problem.
This shortcoming is eliminated in modern models, as they use only heating elements and there are no ventilation holes in them. There is not much difference between these two types. The first has one regulator to control the temperature, and the second has a special generator that evaporates liquid in a special compartment. It is worth paying attention to the brand of iron Rowenta. The manufacturer produces models of both types of devices. In addition, it is one of the oldest companies producing good quality home appliances.
Most modern models of these types of household appliances have a standard set of elements.
Each part in the iron is unique in terms of its functions. Engineers have developed the design of the device in such a way as to exclude unnecessary modules, which significantly reduces the dimensions of the unit. As a result, such a device is easy to operate.
The device of the iron begins with its base. The sole is a thick, triangular-shaped iron plate that forms the base on which the electrical appliance is built. The bottom surface and edges are chrome-plated or coated with a ceramic solution to prevent corrosion.
The base plate should hold the pressure plate and cover in place. If you disassemble the upper part, you can see two or sometimes three studs. They help hold the lid and pressure plate in position. Thanks to this, the case becomes stronger, and all elements inside remain protected from strong pressure. The ceramic soleplate is also in high demand. The ceramic element is more reliable according to buyers and many experts.
2. Pressure plate
The next element in the iron device is the plate. It is attached to the base. Such an element is usually called the top plate, as it matches the shape of the sole. In most cases, it completely repeats the contour of the main element on which all modules are mounted. The pressure plate has several holes through which the studs pass to form the base plate.
The nuts on them are tightened in such a way that both of these elements are pressed against each other. In some models of household appliances, the plate is heavy and made of cast iron. However, you can find modern versions in which a steel sheet with a thickness of not more than 1 cm is installed. Almost all models haverectangular recesses directly in the sheet where the thermostat is installed.
3. Heating element
An iron device is not complete without direct incandescent parts. This mechanism is located between the sole and the plate. He is heavily entrapped between them. The heating element consists of chrome wire wrapped around a sheet of mica. The two ends of the conductor are connected to the contact strips.
They, in turn, are connected to the terminals of the iron. There are two reasons why mica is chosen as the heating material. It is a very good insulating material. Apart from this, mica can also withstand very high temperatures. The entire assembly of heating element, chrome wire and contact strips provides a mechanically strong and reliable construction covered with asbestos sheet. It separates and insulates the top plate from the upward heat transfer. The main plastic and silicon modules are located there.
Another important element in the device of the iron is the protective base attached to the base of the sole. The overlay is made from a thin sheet of iron. It is located on top of the base plate and covers all internal parts where the heating element is located.
Handle and connector attached to cover only. This assembly scheme can be found in most models. The steel coating of the iron ensures good thermal conductivity. This will lower the overall temperature and keep fragile parts from melting.
This item is predominantly made of plastic. Howeverwooden handles can also be added. It is attached to the cover with screws.
Studs can also be used for this purpose. There are compact models. In them, the fastening is carried out using a hinge so that a travel iron with a folding handle can be assembled into a small bag. Thanks to this, such models can be taken with you on vacation or a business trip.
6. Signal light
The control lamp is placed on the cover of the electric iron. One end of it is connected to a power source, and the other is connected to a heating element. This device provides a shunt resistance that contributes to the voltage drop. Such a mechanism is designed to provide a voltage drop of 2-5 volts. As a result, when the sole is suddenly heated, a protective mechanism is activated that keeps the temperature within the set range.
This module is the most important element. It uses a bimetal strip to control a switch that is connected in series with a resistive heating block. This allows you to control the expansion during high heat. Such a detail can be found in every iron. The thermostat allows you to keep warm and does not allow the main elements inside to overheat.
Bimetallic strip is a simple element that converts temperature change into mechanical displacement. It consists of two different metals bonded together. They should have different expansion ratio. This is necessary to regulate the emergingpressure. If such a strip is heated, it begins to bend in the direction of the alloy having a lower coefficient of expansion. When cooled, it straightens and returns to its normal position.
The bimetallic strip is attached to the contact spring through small pins. The point of contact between the strip and the wires remains closed. When the temperature rises significantly, the incoming expansion causes the strip to bend. As a result, the point of contact is automatically opened.
Thus, the power supply to the heating element is temporarily stopped until the temperature drops to normal. A special device, called a cam, is placed next to the contact spring, which automatically determines the amount of bending of the bimetallic strip required to separate the contact. Thanks to the thermostat, you can manually set the ironing modes on the iron. It also protects the device from fire.
The thermostat helps keep the temperature within certain limits. But frequent short circuits and open circuits damage the contact points. To avoid this, a capacitor of a certain range is connected through two main points of contact.
The condenser makes it possible to automatically set the temperature and regulate the energy supply without user intervention. With this mechanism, the incoming current and temperature are within the same set limit.
Given that the chain remains open for some time,the temperature of the iron drops, the strip returns to its original shape, and the current again flows strongly. This cycle repeats until you unplug the appliance from the power supply. That is why the unit itself turns on and off the heating element. The iron manufacturer Rowenta was one of the first in the world to introduce this technology. He still adds many innovative solutions to his equipment today.
Types of devices and rating
In total, there are several main types of irons that are most often used:
- Classic. Such models do not have complex designs and belong to the budget option. They are based on a simple heating element, a cast iron soleplate and a chrome plated plate.
- With sprinkler and thermostat. The next generation of models that have a special dispenser for spraying water, as well as a manual temperature control switch.
- With steam generator. Are in great demand. The technology is different from the classic models. Basically, the smoothing of the fabric is not due to the pressure of the hot sole, but the flow of hot steam.
- Road. The most compact of the models described above. Mostly have little power and can be folded when needed.
If we talk about the ranking of the best irons with a steam generator, then, according to many users, the best models are:
- Philips GC 7703/20 Fast Care. Leader in the number of positive ratings. It has a 2.5 liter water tank. In addition, there is a built-in filter for cleaningtap water.
- Tefal GV6732. Compact yet powerful model. Heats up in just 2 minutes. Powerful steam allows you to smooth even rough fabrics. The average flow rate is 250 ml of liquid per minute. Has a portable tank station.
- Bosch TDS 38311. High-quality German equipment that will last more than one year with proper care. The output power is about 3100 watts. Evaporates about 400 ml of liquid in one minute. Has a vertical ironing function.
The models included in the rating of the best steam generator irons have the best ratings from users. When choosing a suitable type with the possibility of vertical ironing, you can focus on these manufacturers. It is also worth paying attention to the Vitek brand of irons. It is included in the budget segment, but many models have a lot of positive reviews.
Using any model is quite simple. All that is required is to correctly set the modes for ironing. In most modern devices, the switching sensor is located on the top side. There are models where the regulator is located directly on the handle.
You should just plug the iron in and wait a few minutes. As soon as the soleplate reaches the set temperature, a signal will sound or the lamp on the body will turn off. After that, you can start ironing.
Do not leave water in the steam generator or tank after all the steps have been taken. Often it contains trace elements, minerals and s alts, which candamage the device or its accessories. It is better to pre-filter the water for the iron. This will help avoid blockages and breakages.
Caring for the appliance
Even the best irons for the home will not last long if we are not properly cared for. You should always remember this.
Service is as follows:
- Use only filtered water or special liquids.
- Cleaning the tank with proprietary solutions.
- Cleaning burnt soles with special markers or pencils.
For more details on the rules of care, you can find in the instructions. It is worth noting that each model has its own specific procedure, depending on the specifics of the equipment.