a device that is generating concepts

Worthington jet elimination in toilets

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Even if you are not familiar with the term “Worthington jet”, you are most probably familiar with this beautiful effect: Image

Pic 1. Worthington jet

It becomes less beautiful when it happens in the toilet. This is a very prosaic analogy, but the concept development should touch every problem regardless its beauty. There might be various approaches to the problem that are barely taken into account in today’s industry.

Here is couple of possible solutions I thought about. First approach is having middle layer between you and water while second is changing the problematic substrate – water (in TRIZ language “separation upon condition”).

Approach 1 (fit to a public places)

Today standard American toilets in public places have common solution for hygiene – “toilet seat paper cover”. This is good for saving our skin from sharing diseases, but taking into account a Worthington jet (or simply said water splash) the experience of cleanness might be… incomplete.


Pic 2. Standard toilet seat cover (American toilet type)

We can see that paper is drowning in the water (if it is American type) or do not get to the water level at all (if it is European type). Of cause most of people are throwing a paper to “cover” the water level (if you do not, now you know that it is possible), which is reducing the jet effect, but the problem is that the paper becomes wet and sinking (or does it after the first artillery fire).

Sorry for the poor quality of models as I just tried Google SketchUp for the first time. J

So what we can do is for example to extend the paper barrier by enlarging margin of internal part for the paper cover:


Pic 3. Changing cut of the paper cover to extend the margins of internal part

This way the internal part is wide enough to catch walls of toilet and become the middle layer, eliminating the jet effect:


Pic. 4 American and European types with extended covers


Pic. 5 American and European types with extended covers (top view)

Approach 2 (fit to home)

Looks like there is some physics behind it and one of coefficients that are associated with forming of jet is the “Weber number” (see the study of “Jet formation due to a water droplet impinging on a water pool”, Ernesto Grossmann, February 16, 2012).


Feel free to read it, but apparently the jet formation depends on things that we can barely control (e.g. the diameter of failing stuff and its velocity) and things that we can control (e.g. liquid density and surface tension). When we put a paper (or use extended toilet cover as industrial solution) we change a surface tension.

Another thing that we can do is to change the liquid density or surface tension by adding (non-harming!) chemicals into toilet cleaning solutions that does it.

Well, this is maybe a funny concept, but you should remember that “toilet solutions” is not a small industry at all. If you got to this point, I am sure you will remember the Worthington jet next time you get there. Good luck! 🙂


Author: Andrey Gabdulin Product Development

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