The challenge was to create an aid which would enable a young woman who is unable to raise her arms above shoulder height to wash, shampoo and condition her hair independently.
A number of designs were examined by one of our engineers, Richard Warner, and a rubber bulb pump system was adopted as being the simplest and most reliable.
This design is made up of aluminium sections riveted together to form a framework. A stainless steel hinge was incorporated and fixed with stainless steel CSK screws and nylock nuts, as were other areas where CSK rivets were not immediately available.
A shampoo and a conditioner bottle were positioned on a shelf with a hinged flap above designed to stop water ingress, as the bottle lids have to be removed to allow for PVC tubing, one end of which sits at the bottom of each bottle. The other end is connected to a rubber pump bulb.
The upper bulb spout is connected by way of a PVC tube to a dispensing nozzle made from nylon pneumatic tube. This tube is shaped by way of a hot air gun until flexible, followed by quenching in water. All the tubing is held in place by way of cable ties.
The whole system is hung off the top edge of a 2m high glass partition by way of an ‘U’ section and the bottom is stabilised by two plastic suckers.
The nozzles are at a height to suit this client’s head and the bulbs so positioned to be comfortably within her reach.
This system is not suitable for very thick shampoos and conditioners which require extended priming of the bulbs.
Aluminium is good when subjected to corroding conditions, stainless steel (18/8) is better, but very tough to drill with normal HSS drill bits.
The client is now able to wash and condition her own hair without assistance for the first time in her life, (22 years).
Following the completion Richard received a heartwarming thank you message saying what a difference the job had made.