APPLIED SCIENCE & ENGINEERING LABORATORIES
duPont Hospital for Children and the University of Delaware
Vol. 2, No. 2 -- Winter/Spring 1997
by Jane Fee
In the last Issue of Design Team Update, the eggbreaker design team was looking at a concept that the group was calling the "ice cream scooper". This scooper would "scoop" up an egg; a blade would slide across the top of the scooper; and slice off the top of the egg, leaving the yolk intact. As mentioned in the last article, various blades were tested. It was found that the thinnest blade made the cleanest cuts of the eggshell. The design team is now working on the part that holds the egg in place on the "cradle".
The "cradle" -or holder for the egg- must accept a range of egg sizes and present the optimum portion of the egg's tip for cutting. The design team first tried a vacuum formed egg holder. This cradle is cone-shaped with slits to allow the opening to expand and accommodate an egg passing through it.
Once the egg passes its widest portion through the cone, compressive forces push the egg forward to the opening where the end or tip of the egg will be cut off. One problem with this idea was the slits in the cone were putting to much force on the egg and causing hair line cracks to appear before the tip of the egg was cut.
The design team moved on to another type of cradle. This type is an air inflatable ring that can be adjusted to fit the size of the egg. Again, compressive forces would push the egg forward to the opening to where the end or tip of the egg would be cut off. The material used in this ring is semi- rigid and the seal around the egg needs to be tighter. The design team now must find material for a more supple inflatable ring that would also have a better range of motion for the different sizes of eggs.
For more information, check out the Egg Breaker Design Team Home Page.