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Domestic Bathtubs - Lab Report Example

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Domestic Bathtubs

According to Wright, (1980), today, 62% of bathtubs, 28% of lavatories and 92% of whirlpool baths are made of plastic. According to Mazzurco (1986), the American National Standards Institute has set standards that manufacturers should observe when designing bath tubs. They may use enameled cast steel or iron besides plastic. Consumers are however taking into account the aesthetic features, safety, durability and environmental aspects when choosing bathtub materials. Customers and manufactures are now taking advantage of enameled or plastic bathtubs to design one-unit bathtubs. Safety, being an important factor to consider, is ensured in modern bathtubs by the use of prefabricated slip-resistant surfaces. The bath tabs should be leak free, the potential problem being solved by the provision of a moisture barrier between the subfloor and the bathtub, or ensuring that the base and the wall are integral parts of the bathtub. Bathtub Materials It is very important to choose the best materials for making bath tubs, just as it is important to consider its functions (Mazzurco 1986, pp.57). A wide range of materials that can be used to make bath tubs are readily available. However, they all have their own cons and pros of use. Other factors to consider in material selection are their cleanliness as well as longevity. These materials are in most cases available for spas, basic bath tubs and whirlpools. Examples of materials that are used to manufacture bath tubs are acrylic, cast iron, porcelain/ ceramic tiles, concrete, copper, cultured marble, fiberglass, granite, and porcelain on steel. Acrylic bath tubs normally chip and crack. Therefore, this material is reinforced by fiberglass to make it resistant. However, it is cost effective and light in weight thus allowing easier mass production. Bath tubs made of cast iron are very costly and heavy in weight. Manufacturing bath tubs with cast iron involves creating a mold according to the desired design, and then melting iron and pouring it into the mold. Though they are expensive, they have two big advantages: many chemicals will not destroy the surface, and they firmly withstand abuse because it is nearly impossible to dent or scratch a bath tub made of cast iron. In its construction of porcelain or ceramic tile bath tubs, a wood form is produced and then covered in concrete. A gentle slope is essential as it ensures the right drainage. A water proof adhesive is used to glue the tiles to the concrete while cracks are sealed with grout. Unfortunately, they are often prone to small cracks that can cause leaks as a result of shifting of the whole house or form. Concrete is not a common material in the manufacture of bath tubs because of its high cost of labor. Concrete is either created in the factory or molded on site and then the finished product is delivered and placed in position. The biggest advantage of constructing bath tubs using tiles is that different textures and colors can be applied on the concrete. Furthermore, the material can conceive almost any color and shape. For a bath tub, copper is very costly to use. Another material that is normally used to manufacture bath tubs is cultured marble. Cultured marble is created by mixing polyester resin with limestone together and then coating it with gel. It is less expensive than cast iron but more ...Show more

Summary

Domestic Bathtubs Introduction Bathing serves social, religious, and pleasure functions besides ensuring personal hygiene. Bath places have been valued for ages by people of all genders, races, or religious backgrounds. Today, they are part of the fittings industry and plumbing fixtures that approximately totaled to $ 5.7 in 1994 in Unite States (Wright 1980, pp 23)…
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