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Research Question: How much pressure is needed to remove mold from a painted wall surface through a rolling and wiping action?

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Mold growth on painted wall surfaces is a common problem, with potentially serious health consequences if left untreated. Removing mold from painted walls can be a challenging task, requiring a combination of physical force and chemical treatments to ensure complete removal.

While various methods have been proposed to remove mold from painted surfaces, there is still a lack of understanding about the amount of pressure required to effectively remove mold without damaging the painted surface underneath. This knowledge is especially important for the development of the roller component of WipeOut.

Therefore, there is a need for a research study to investigate the amount of pressure required to remove mold from painted walls through a rolling and wiping action.The results of this study can inform the development of more effective mold removal strategies and help to prevent further mold growth and associated health risks.

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Design Process

Proposed Method: Attaching a pressure sensor in between a detachable paint roller and reading the sensor to determine amount of pressure being applied up until the mold is successful removed 

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To compare the effectiveness of rolling and wiping actions for removing mold from painted wall surfaces, we used washable tissues attached to a paint roller (for rolling action) and a flat metal rod (for wiping action) with a pressure sensor attached under the tissue.

First, a chemical solution was applied to the mold to loosen and kill the spores. Next, the roller and metal rod were both used to wipe the mold from the painted surface with equal pressure. The pressure sensor recorded the amount of pressure being applied during the removing process of the mold.

Rolling & Wiping Action

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A pressure sensor, such as the Force-Sensitive Resistor (FSR), is a device that can detect and measure the amount of force applied to it. The FSR is made up of a thin, flexible film that changes its resistance when pressure is applied to it. By measuring the change in resistance, the amount of pressure applied can be determined.

In the experiment, I have set up the pressure sensor (based on the code shown) to detect the force applied and resistance every time a pressure is detected on the metal rod/ roller. These data are then collected for the rolling and wiping action until the mold is fully removed and then used to calculate the average pressure that is used for each action.

Pressure Sensor Set Up

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The final results of the experiment can be seen in the screenshot on the left. As can be deducted from the table, the wiping action requires more pressure to be applied in order to remove the mold. Hence, for the WipeOut product, as we would like the product to be able to require the least amount of effort from the user, the team have decided to opt for the “rolling action” to incorporate to the product.

One potential improvement for this experiment is that the main force being measured is the normal force that is being applied onto the rod/ roller. However, it would have been beneficial to also know what is the sheer force that is being applied to the rod/ roller as it would have allowed for a more accurate depiction of which method would have more effectively removed the mold. Hence, this could be a potential further area of study to look at.

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