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How Vacuum Cleaners Work -- B

Apr 14, 2015

This pressure drop behind the fan is just like the pressure drop in the straw when you sip from your drink. The pressure level in the area behind the fan drops below the pressure level outside the vacuum cleaner (the ambient air pressure). This creates suction, a partial vacuum, inside the vacuum cleaner. The ambient air pushes itself into the vacuum cleaner through the intake port because the air pressure inside the vacuum cleaner is lower than the pressure outside.

As long as the fan is running and the passageway through the vacuum cleaner remains open, there is a constant stream of air moving through the intake port and out the exhaust port. But how does a flowing stream of air collect the dirt and debris from your carpet?

The key principle is friction.


Space mission technologies developed by Black and Decker led to the invention of the Dust buster. Learn more about cool NASA innovations in this interactive animation from Discovery Channel.

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