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Publication numberUS20020189048 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/173,014
Publication dateDec 19, 2002
Filing dateJun 18, 2002
Priority dateJun 18, 2001
Publication number10173014, 173014, US 2002/0189048 A1, US 2002/189048 A1, US 20020189048 A1, US 20020189048A1, US 2002189048 A1, US 2002189048A1, US-A1-20020189048, US-A1-2002189048, US2002/0189048A1, US2002/189048A1, US20020189048 A1, US20020189048A1, US2002189048 A1, US2002189048A1
InventorsKaname Maruyama, Toshiaki Ogawa, Shuichi Taniguchi, Mineyuki Inoue, Takeshi Yamada
Original AssigneeTwinbird Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum cleaner
US 20020189048 A1
Abstract
A downsized vacuum cleaner whose filter is less likely to be clogged. An electric motor 2 and a fan 3 are provided within a cleaner body 1. A dust collecting section 16 is formed annular so as to surround the circumference of the fan 3. A filter 12 for filtering dust is mounted at an inside peripheral face of the dust collecting section 16 and dust separated by the filter 12 is collected in the dust collecting section 16. A flectional portion 35 is formed at an upper end of a suction tube 32, facing the dust collecting section 16 so that an airflow flowing along a peripheral direction of the dust collecting section 16 is generated. This causes comparatively larger-sized dust to be pressed, by a centrifugal force, against an inside wall of an outer peripheral side of the dust collecting section 16 so that only small-sized dust is filtered by the filter 12, preventing the filter 12 from being clogged.
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Claims(7)
What is claimed is:
1. A vacuum cleaner, including a body, an electric motor provided in the body, a fan driven by the electric motor, a filter for filtering dust contained in air sucked by the fan, and a dust collecting section for collecting dust separated by the filter, wherein said dust collecting section is formed annular and is arranged in an outside periphery of said electric motor and fan.
2. A vacuum cleaner according to claim 1, wherein said filter is provided on an inner peripheral side of said dust collecting section.
3. A vacuum cleaner according to claim 1, wherein said filter is provided along an entire inner periphery of said dust collecting section.
4. A vacuum cleaner according to claim 2, wherein said filter is provided along an entire inner periphery of said dust collecting section.
5. A vacuum cleaner according to claim 1, further comprising a means for forming a vortex airflow for allowing an air to flow along a peripheral direction of said dust collecting section.
6. A vacuum cleaner according to claim 2, further comprising a means for forming a vortex airflow for allowing an air to flow along a peripheral direction of said dust collecting section.
7. A vacuum cleaner according to claim 3, further comprising a means for forming a vortex airflow for allowing an air to flow along a peripheral direction of said dust collecting section.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a vacuum cleaner, specifically to a vacuum cleaner in which collected dust is stored in a detachable container.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] A conventional vacuum cleaner of this type is disclosed in, for example, Japanese unexamined patent publication No. 5-253096. This vacuum cleaner is of a handheld type in which a dust collection container (a dust collecting section) and a filter are provided in front of a fan motor (a fan and a motor) so that the dust contained in air sucked by the fan motor is filtered by the filter to be stored in the dust collection container. Further, a comparatively large-sized vacuum cleaner, which collects dust according to the same principle as the above-mentioned, is disclosed in Japanese unexamined patent publication No. 5-154075.

[0005] According to these conventional vacuum cleaners, however, a fan motor and a dust collection container are arranged, horizontally or vertically, in series so that there has been a problem that the whole bodies of these vacuum cleaners inevitably become large-sized. Although comparatively small-sized vacuum cleaners can be obtained by downsizing the dust collection container when the large-sizing of vacuum cleaners should be avoided, yet there are possibilities that an intake capacity of dust is decreased at the cost of its practicability. Further, the former conventional vacuum cleaners have had a problem that their filters are liable to be clogged with dust. In order to prevent the filters from being clogged, a mechanism for clearing away dust attached to the filter might be provided as proposed in the latter conventional vacuum cleaners, yet there is also a problem that the installation of such mechanism inevitably results in an increase in production costs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] To eliminate the abovementioned problems, it is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a vacuum cleaner that can be structured in comparatively a compact size and is less likely to be clogged with dust.

[0007] According to a first aspect of the present invention, a vacuum cleaner of the invention includes: a body; an electric motor provided in the body; a fan driven by the electric motor; a filter for filtering dust contained in air sucked by the fan; and a dust collecting section for collecting dust separated by the filter, wherein the dust collecting section is formed annular, arranged in an outside periphery of the electric motor and fan.

[0008] With the structure thus made, an annular dust collecting section is arranged in a manner that surrounds the outside periphery of the motor and fan so that the dust separated by the filter can be collected in the dust collecting section, while the air from which the dust is cleared away can be sucked by the fan surrounded by the dust collecting section so as to be exhausted outward.

[0009] According to a second aspect of the present invention, the filter of a vacuum cleaner of the first aspect of the invention is provided in an inner periphery of the dust collecting section.

[0010] With the structure according to the second aspect, the dust contained in an airflow generated by the rotation of the fan is separated by the filter provided on the inner peripheral side of the dust collecting section, while the air from which the dust is cleared away is allowed to take a shorter route to the fan through the filter provided in the inner periphery of the dust collecting section.

[0011] According to a third aspect of the present invention is provided a vacuum cleaner set forth in the first or second aspect, in which the filter is formed along an entire inner periphery of the dust collecting section.

[0012] Thus, the dust contained in the airflow generated by the rotation of the fan can be filtered over an entire area of the filter provided along the entire inner periphery of the dust collecting section.

[0013] According to a fourth aspect of the present invention is provided a vacuum cleaner set forth in any one of the preceding aspects, wherein a means for generating a circulating flow is provided for allowing air to flow in the peripheral direction of the aforementioned dust collecting section.

[0014] According to the structure of the fourth aspect, the dust-laden air sucked into the dust collecting section is circulated along the outer periphery of the dust collecting section by the means for generating a circulating flow so that dust particles of a greater size are pressed against an inside wall on the outer peripheral side of the dust collecting section due to a centrifugal force. As a result, part of the dust particles is removed from the airflow, while the remaining ones are removed by the filter provided in the inner periphery of the dust collecting section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference is now made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0016]FIG. 1 is a front cross-sectional view showing one embodiment of a vacuum cleaner of the present invention.

[0017]FIG. 2 is a traverse cross-sectional view showing the vacuum cleaner of FIG. 1.

[0018]FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken on line A-A of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] Hereunder is a description of a preferred embodiment of the present invention with reference to FIG. 1 to FIG. 3. In the drawings, numeral 1 denotes a cleaner body of a portable type vacuum cleaner. Inside the cleaner body 1 is provided an electric motor 2 and a fan 3 attached to a rotating shaft of the electric motor 2, so that these motor 2 and fan 3 construct a blower 4. Further, a cylindrical holder 5 is formed in the substantial center of the cleaner body 1 so as to receive the electric motor 2 therein. A pair of left and right side walls 6, extending vertically and spaced a certain distance away from an inside wall of the holder 5, is formed integrally with a bottom wall 7 of the holder 5 so that a mounting portion 8 for mounting a hereinafter described dust collection container is constructed by the holder 5, the left and right side walls 6 and the bottom wall 7. The electric motor 2 is fixed to a bottom face 1A of the cleaner body 1 with the fan 3 facing a vent hole 5A formed on the upper face of the holder 5. Further, a dust collection container 11 and a filter 12 are fitted respectively in a recess 10 formed between the holder 5 and the side walls 6. The dust collection container 11 comprises an inside annular wall 13, an outside annular wall 14, which are each formed cylindrical, and the bottom wall 15 integrally linking these inside and outside annular walls 13, 14 together so as to be fitted into the recess 10, thereby forming an annular dust collecting section 16 surrounded by these inside and outside annular walls 13, 14 and the bottom wall 15. The filter 12 is attached to an opening 18 formed on a peripheral wall of a filter case 17 which is shaped like an upside-down cup so that the filter 12 may be provided almost entirely along the inside annular wall 13 of the dust collection container 11.

[0020] The filter case 17 is detachably attached with a slight clearance S being kept between the inside annular wall 13 and the filter case 17 by means of a step portion 13A formed at a periphery of a lower end of the inside annular wall 13. A bottomed cylindrical step portion 20 of a small diameter, which covers the vent hole 5A formed on the upper face of the holder 5, is formed on the upper face of the inside annular wall 13. A communication hole 21 is defined through the peripheral face of the step portion 20. A positioning portion 24, which is to be fitted into an annular rib 23 formed on an upper face of the step portion 20, is formed on the upper face of the filter case 17. Further, a positioning recess 27 which is to be fitted into the positioning portion 24 is formed in a cover 26 rotatably connected with the cleaner body 1 by a hinge 25. A grip 26A is formed integrally with the cover 26 so that the filter case 17 and the dust collection container 11 can be removed from the cleaner body 1 when the cover 26 is opened by holding the grip 26A, while the filter case 17 and the dust collection container 11 are fixed as they are clamped by the positioning recess 27 formed in the cover 26 and the bottom wall 7 when the cover 26 is closed. At this moment, the positioning portion 24 of the filter case 17 is fitted into the annular rib 23 of the dust collection container 11, and then the positioning portion 24 is fitted into the positioning recess 27 of the cover 26 so that the filter case 17 and the dust collection container 11 are properly positioned, respectively.

[0021] Inside the cleaner body 1 is provided a battery room 31 for housing batteries 30, while a protrusion 33 including a suction tube 32 thereinside is formed integrally with the distal end side of the cleaner body 1. To a lower end of the suction tube 32 is removably attached a suction portion 34 with a suction opening 34 a. A flectional portion 35 which is bent laterally is formed at an upper end of the suction tube 32, said flectional portion 35 being open to a space between the inside annular wall 13 and the outside annular wall 14 of the dust collection container 11, i.e., within the dust collecting section 16. The flectional portion 35 formed at the upper end of the suction tube 32 provides a means for generating a circulating flow so as to give rise to an airflow F flowing along a peripheral direction of the dust collecting section 16. As the suction tube 32 is allowed to be open within the dust collecting section 16 in the abovementioned manner, a first intake passage 40 is formed from the suction opening 34 a to the dust collection container 11 via the suction tube 32. An outlet passage 41 is formed so as to communicate with the intake passage 40, said outlet passage 41 extending from the filter 12 attached to the dust collection container 11 to the inside of the holder 5 via the communication hole 21 and the vent hole 5A. Air that is sucked from the suction opening 34 a through these intake passage 40 and outlet passage 41 is exhausted to an outside from an outlet (not shown) formed in the cleaner body 1. In the meantime, numeral 45 denotes a switch formed in the grip 26A, numeral 46 an operation button for locking or unlocking the cover 26 and numeral 47 a gasket interposed between the cleaner body 1 and the cover 26. Further, numeral 48 denotes a hook that is formed integrally with the operation button 46 and is engaged with a locker claw 48A formed in the cleaner body 1.

[0022] Next is a description of the action of the vacuum cleaner according to the present embodiment. First, the operation button 46 is operated to open the cover 26 and then the dust collection container 11 is set in the mounting portion 8 formed in the cleaner body 1. Thereafter, the filter case 17 is attached in a manner that covers the inside annular wall 13 of the dust collection container 11. At this moment, the lower end of the filter case 17 is engaged with the step portion 13A formed in a periphery of the lower end of the inside annular wall 13 so that the filter 12 attached to the filter case 17 is allowed to be mounted to the dust collection container 11 with a slight clearance S being kept between the inside annular wall 13 and itself. When the cover 26 is closed after the dust collection container 11 and the filter case 17 are set in the mounting portion 8 thus way, the hook 48 integral with the operation button 46 is latched by the locker claw 48A formed at the cleaner body 1 so that the cover 26 is locked. At the same time, the dust collection container 11 and the filter case 17 that were set in the mounting portion 8 are clamped between the cover 26 and the mounting portion 8, while the positioning portion 24 of the filter case 17 is fitted into the annular rib 23 of the dust collection container 11 and then further fitted into the positioning recess 27 of the cover 26 so that the dust collection container 11 and the filter case 17 are stably held in position relative to the cleaner body 1. Thereafter, the blower 4 is driven by operating the switch 45, with the grip 26A being gripped.

[0023] The dust-laden air is sucked from the suction opening 34 a by driving the blower 4 so that it flows into the outlet passage 41 via the intake passage 40, so as to be exhausted from an outlet (not shown) formed at the cleaner body 1. At this moment, as the flectional portion 35 is formed at the upper end of the suction tube 32, facing the dust collecting section 16 of the dust collection container 11, the air inside the dust collecting section 16 is guided by the flectional portion 35 to turn into a vortex airflow along the inside and outside annular walls 13, 14 of the dust collection container 11. Due to the vortex airflow, dust particles contained in the vortex airflow are pressed against the inside wall of the outside annular wall 14 of the dust collection container 11 by a centrifugal force so that comparatively heavy dust particles remain in the vicinity of the inside peripheral face of the outside annular wall 14 of the dust collection container 11 to thereby be separated from the vortex airflow. On the other hand, comparatively light dust particles such as loose dirt and smaller dust particles are sucked to be drawn toward the outlet passage 41 together with the vortex airflow to thereby be captured by the filter 12.

[0024] After vacuum cleaning, the cover 26 is opened by releasing the engagement of the hook 48 with the locker claw 48A through the operation of the operation button 46. Thereafter, the filter case 17 and the dust collection container 11 are taken off. Then, the dust collected in the dust collecting section 16 is thrown away into a trashcan while the dust captured by the filter 12 is removed. Thus, the filter case 17 is detachable from the dust collection container 11, so that the maintenance of the filter 12 can be simplified.

[0025] According to the present embodiment, as the dust collecting section 16 is formed annular, and is arranged in a manner that surrounds the outside periphery of the electric motor 2 and fan 3, the dust separated by the filter 12 is collected in the dust collecting section 16 while the air from which the dust is cleared away is sucked by the fan 3 surrounded by the dust collecting section 16 to thereby be exhausted outward. Thus, the annular formation of the dust collecting section 16 enables the effective collection and large stowage of dust. Further, the installation of the filter 12 at the inner peripheral side of the dust collecting section 16 permits dust sucked by the rotation of the fan 3 to be filtered by the filter 12 provided at the inner peripheral side of the dust collecting section 16, while the air from which the dust is cleared away is allowed to take a short course to flow to the fan 3 through the filter 12, so that a compact arrangement of the dust collecting section 16 becomes possible around the electric motor 2 and the fan 3 to enable the cleaner body 1 to be down-sized. Further, as the filter 12 is formed along the entire inner periphery of the dust collecting section 16, the dust contained in the airflow F formed by the rotation of the fan 3 is filtered over the whole area of the filter 12 formed along the entire inner periphery of the dust collecting section 16, thus ensuring the collection of the dust.

[0026] Furthermore, as the flectional portion 35 is formed at the upper end of the suction tube 32 facing the dust collecting section 16 of the dust collection container 11, the airflow F flowing along the peripheral direction of the dust collecting section 16 is generated, whereby the dust-laden air sucked inside the dust collecting section 16 rotates along the outer periphery of the dust collecting section 16 so that the dust particles of greater size are pressed against the inside wall of the outer peripheral side of the dust collecting section 16 due to a centrifugal force and thus part of the dust particles are removed from the airflow F to be separated, while the dust particles of smaller size are sucked and thus only such smaller dust particles are filtered by the filter 12 provided at the inner periphery of the dust collecting section 16, thereby preventing the filter 12 from being clogged. Thus, as the airflow F flowing along the peripheral direction of the dust collecting section 16 is generated merely by forming the flectional portion 35 at the upper end of the suction tube 32 and thus the filter 12 can be prevented from being clogged, any complicated mechanism is not necessary for clearing off the dust attached to the filter 12, eliminating the possibility of the increase in production costs.

[0027] The present invention should not be limited to the foregoing embodiment but various modifications are possible within the scope of the present invention. For example, a shape of the flectional portion 35 serving as a vortex airflow generation member or a basic structure of a vacuum cleaner such as a mounting structure of the filter 12 may be suitably selected according to needs. Further, although the portable type vacuum cleaner is described in the foregoing embodiment, the present invention is also applicable to other types of vacuum cleaners.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/344
International ClassificationA47L9/10, A47L9/00, A47L9/16, A47L5/24
Cooperative ClassificationA47L9/165, A47L5/24, A47L9/1666
European ClassificationA47L5/24, A47L9/16D, A47L9/16E2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 18, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: TWINBIRD CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MARUYAMA, KANAME;OGAWA, TOSHIAKI;TANIGUCHI, SHUICHI;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:013016/0194
Effective date: 20020530