Which Brand of Paper Towel Is The Most Absorbent? By: Sarah Davidson Mr. Baker 6th Period – November 2011
Brands of Paper Towels • Bounty • Brawny • Viva by Kleenex • Colortex
My Hypothesis Based on my research, I think that the Bounty paper towels will be the most absorbent. I learned that the absorbency of paper towels is based upon the plies (some are 1-ply, others are 2-ply and typically, the higher the ply, the higher the absorbency rate), creping, and embossing. Creping is when the fiber-to-fiber bonds in the paper towel are split up. Embossing is when the surface of the paper towel is changed from a flat to shaped surface. That is why there are patterns/designs within the paper towel; the raised areas allow there to be more room for the water to flow through the towel and be absorbed. Companies do these processes differently, and that is why the brands have different absorbencies. The Bounty paper towels are 2-ply, and have a high rate of creping and embossing.
Variables In This Experiment • Control Variable: The liquid being absorbed (water) and the amount of water originally in the measuring cup are the control variables in this experiment. • Independent Variable: The independent variable is the brands of paper towels being used. • Dependent Variable: The dependent variable in this experiment is the amount of liquid each paper towel absorbed.
Materials In this experiment, you will need: • Different brands of paper towels (In this case: Bounty, Brawny, Viva, and Colortex.) • A measuring cup • Water • A trash can • Paper and pencil (to take notes)
My Procedures • Take one paper towel from each of the different paper towel rolls. • Make sure they are the same size—use two half-sheets to equal a whole sheet. • Using the measuring cup, measure out 6 ounces of water. • Place one of the paper towels all the way into the water and let it absorb as much as it can. • Then, take the paper towel out of the water, and throw it away. • Make note of what brand of paper towel it was and how much water is still in the measuring cup (subtract the amount left in the cup from 6 ounces and you will get how much water was absorbed). • Pour out the remaining water, and completely dry out the measuring cup. • Repeat these steps for each brand of paper towel. • Compare notes—see which paper towel absorbed the most amount of liquid.
My Conclusion In conclusion, my hypothesis was correct; the Bounty paper towels are the most absorbent (It was also the most expensive.). Coming close behind was the Brawny towels, by only .03 ounces of difference. I realized that the embossing markings and the thickness of the paper towel were important in determining the absorbency. There were many problems with this experiment, such as the water dripping off of the paper towel back into the measuring cup after I had taken it out. If I were to conduct this experiment again, I would find ways to prevent this—I would try to move more quickly in throwing the paper towels away. Also, I could use more brands of paper towels and more trials to help get more accurate results.
Research Resources (Works Cited) • Don Glass. How Do Paper Towels Absorb Water?. September 27, 2003. Web. October 28, 2011. <http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/how-do-paper-towels-absorb-water> • Darren W. Chow. Why Are Kitchen Paper Towels So Absorbent?. April 11, 2008. Web. October 20, 2011. <http://ezinearticles.com/?Why-Are-Kitchen-Paper-Towels-So-Absorbent?&id=4085740>