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Drain pipe

January 12, 2004
Ancient inventions often exhibited a special elegance of solutions.

The accelerating technical advance is engaging more and more people in invention activities. But we should not forget the inventions made in ancient times. At that times, inventors had much less resources, that is why ancient inventions often exhibited a special elegance of solutions.
Let us consider a simple object a drainpipe. This simple and reliable construction has, nevertheless, one disadvantage the water flowing out of it hits the same spot. A concentrated water jet gradually washes out the ground surface.
In Shirahama (Japan), we saw an ancient drainpipe of a very interesting design. Multiple four-petal cups-bells are suspended from the roof corner, constituting a single chain. Water running off the roof is flowing from one cup into another, thereby reaching the ground.
The advantages of this design declare themselves.
As distinct from the drainpipe, water flowing along such a chain cannot accelerate to fell with a great force onto the ground. Each time it flows from one cup to another, it slows down.
The water flowing from each subsequent cup is segmented into for portions, which also reduces its destructiveness.
Gusts of wind and rain drops cause the chain to behave very dynamically, and to swing, so that water flowing from it does not hit the same spot.
And finally, this is just a very attractive element of the building. One can watch the moving and jingling cups-bells for hours.

Images: Seo Jihye.


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