REALISING THE REAL PROBLEM
When starting work on the creation of the RazorPit technology, we started as most ideas do. With irritation! Razor blades went dull after just a few shaves. We decided to go more into detail with this.
Morten, as an engineer, took a methodical approach to finding a solution. He suggested that we start by buying the same type of razor blade for the three of us. Then we would use it to shave for the next 21 days to see the results. After 21 days of shaving, with some skin irritation from dull blades I might add, we had three test subjects (our razor blades).
Morten took these three test subjects and moulded them into a material. Then he cut the razor blades in half because he wanted a microscopic view of the razor blade’s edge. And after only 30 days of working with the idea, we found the real problem!
There was a coating on the razor blade’s edge. Something was sticking to the edge of the blade and causing it to become thicker and thereby dull.
HOW TO SOLVE THE REAL PROBLEM
That of course was a major victory and the feeling of discovery was a big thing for us. But it also led to the next frustration. Were we able to clean the edge and make it sharp again? We tried brainstorming. We listed all the materials we could think of that had some sort of cleaning power.
You would not believe how many things, materials and liquids, that have some kind of cleaning power. After spending many nights and days producing this list we needed to go through it. From over 150 different cleaning aids, we went through the list to find the best bets. This resulted in a list of ten different cleaning aids. Our aim from there was to test every single cleaning aid to see which would perform the best. To put it mildly this idea failed miserably. None of the cleaning aids worked, and in fact some of them made the problem worse. Back to the drawing board, and to brainstorming.
The solution finally came, but neither from the drawing board, nor the brainstorming. It came from a band-aid! Yes, a band-aid! We all know that when you remove a band-aid some of the plaster glue is left behind. Normally you just remove it using your finger and the friction of the skin. There came our answer. If you are able to remove the plaster from your skin by using friction, are you also able to remove the coating from a razor blade using friction?
SOLVING THE PROBLEM
Now we were close. We had a problem, we had a plausible solution. We just needed to find the right material to clean razor blades. Knowing that the friction levels were the key, we started out by testing a mild sandpaper, and to say the least that was the wrong way to go. From there we moved on to rubber.
This had the softness that we needed for the blades to come into contact with the friction material. But it turned out we could not find a rubber material with a high enough friction level. We then moved to thermo-plastic elastomer, which is a sort of silicon with a very high level of friction and a high level of softness.
We took five plates of this material and started testing. The feeling was incredible when all of the five test people called up 30 days later and were using the same razor blade. We knew that we had a solution. In the first test our test subjects shaved 45, 34, 67, 123, and 157 times using a single razor blade.