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Publication numberUS20040025273 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/362,060
PCT numberPCT/EP2001/009431
Publication dateFeb 12, 2004
Filing dateAug 16, 2001
Priority dateAug 29, 2000
Also published asCA2420137A1, CN1449256A, DE10042446A1, EP1313384A1, EP1313384B1, WO2002017747A1
Publication number10362060, 362060, PCT/2001/9431, PCT/EP/1/009431, PCT/EP/1/09431, PCT/EP/2001/009431, PCT/EP/2001/09431, PCT/EP1/009431, PCT/EP1/09431, PCT/EP1009431, PCT/EP109431, PCT/EP2001/009431, PCT/EP2001/09431, PCT/EP2001009431, PCT/EP200109431, US 2004/0025273 A1, US 2004/025273 A1, US 20040025273 A1, US 20040025273A1, US 2004025273 A1, US 2004025273A1, US-A1-20040025273, US-A1-2004025273, US2004/0025273A1, US2004/025273A1, US20040025273 A1, US20040025273A1, US2004025273 A1, US2004025273A1
InventorsGeorg Weihrauch
Original AssigneeGeorg Weihrauch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Product with bristles
US 20040025273 A1
Abstract
In brushware comprising a bristle support and bristles connected thereto, at least part of the bristles are combined into bristle groups, wherein the separation between the bristles is smaller than the separation between the geometrical centers of neighboring bristle groups. Such brushware is characterized in that the separation between the geometrical center of at least one bristle group and the geometrical center of at least one neighboring bristle group is substantially equal to or larger than the product between the average number of bristles in the two bristle groups and the average diameter of these bristles. This design and arrangement permits the working ends of the bristles of these bristle groups to be linearly arranged in the brushing direction, irrespective of their mounting surface on the bristle support, to penetrate into narrow gaps and depressions.
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Claims(40)
1. Brushware comprising a bristle support (12) and bristles (2) connected therewith, at least part of which are combined into bristle groups (1) in which the separation between the bristles (2) is smaller than the separation (x) between the geometrical centers of neighboring bristle groups (1), characterized in that the separation (x) between the geometrical center of at least one bristle group (1) from the geometrical center of at least one neighboring bristle group (1) is substantially equal to or larger than the product between the average number (n) of bristles (2) in both bristle groups (1) and the average diameter (d) of these bristles (2).
2. Brushware according to claim 1, characterized in that the bristle groups (1) are round bundles.
3. Brushware according to claim 2, characterized in that the bristle groups (1) are bundles having a circular cross-section.
4. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 3, characterized in that the bristle groups (1) whose separation (x) between their geometrical centers is substantially equal to or larger than the product between the average number (n) of bristles (2) of neighboring bristle groups (2) and the average diameter (d) of these bristles, are disposed on the bristle support in the corners of a triangle.
5. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 3, characterized in that the bristle groups (1), whose separation (x) between their geometrical centers is substantially equal to or larger than the product between the average number (n) of bristles (2) of neighboring bristle groups (2) and the average diameter (d) of these bristles, are disposed on the bristle support in the corners of a polygon, in particular of a rectangle.
6. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 5, characterized in that the bristle groups (11), whose separation (x) between their geometrical centers is substantially equal to or larger than the product between the average number (n) of bristles (2) of neighboring bristle groups (2) and the average diameter (d) of these bristles, are linearly disposed on the bristle support.
7. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 6, characterized in that the number (n) of bristles (2) in the bristle groups (1) differs.
8. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 7, characterized in that the diameter (d) of the bristles (2) in the bristle groups (1) differs.
9. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 8, characterized in that individually standing bristles (2) are disposed on the bristle support, in addition to the bristle groups (1).
10. Brushware according to claim 9, characterized in that the individually standing bristles (2) are combined into at least one bristle field in which the bristles are disposed at a small separation from one another.
11. Brushware according to claim 10, characterized in that the separations between bristles (2) individually standing in a field, lies in the region of the diameter (d) of the bristles (2).
12. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 11, characterized in that the free ends of the bristles (2) of at least one bristle group (1) are disposed in a non-planar envelope surface.
13. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 12, characterized in that the free ends of the bristles (2) of at least one bristle group (1) are disposed in a convex or concave envelope surface.
14. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 13, characterized in that the free ends of the bristles (2) of different bristle groups (1) are disposed in different envelope surfaces.
15. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 14, characterized in that the free ends of the bristles (2) of the bristle groups are disposed in envelope surfaces having different distances from the bristle support.
16. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 14, characterized in that the bristles (2) have arbitrary cross-sectional shape.
17. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 15, characterized in that the bristle groups (1) have arbitrary cross-sectional shape.
18. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 17, characterized in that the bristles (2) of one bristle group (1) are individually connected to the bristle support.
19. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 17, characterized in that the bristles (2) of one bristle group (1) are connected together at their ends and are connected to the bristle support.
20. Brushware according to any one of the claims 1 through 19, characterized in that the bristles (2) are connected to the bristle support using mechanical or thermal methods.
bristle groups, wherein said separation (x) between a geometrical center of at least one bristle group from a geometrical center of at least one neighboring bristle group is substantially equal to or larger than a product between an average number (n) of bristles in both bristle groups and an average diameter (d) of those bristles.
21. Brushware comprising:
a bristle support; and
bristles connected to said bristle support, wherein at least a portion of said bristles are combined into bristle groups in which a separation between bristles is smaller than a separation (x) between geometrical centers of neighboring bristle groups, wherein said separation (x) between a geometrical center of at least one bristle group from a geometrical center of at least one neighboring bristle group is substantially equal to or larger than a product between an average number (n) of bristles in both bristle groups and an average diameter (d) of those bristles.
22. The brushware of claim 21, wherein said bristle groups are round bundles.
23. The brushware of claim 22, wherein said bristle groups are bundles having circular cross-sections.
24. The brushware of claim 21, wherein said bristle groups whose separation (x) between said geometrical centers is substantially equal to or larger than said product between said average number (n) of bristles of said neighboring bristle groups and said average diameter (d) of said bristles, are disposed on said bristle support in corners of a triangle.
25. The brushware of claim 21, wherein said bristle groups, whose separation (x) between said geometrical centers is substantially equal to or larger than said product between said average number (n) of bristles of said neighboring bristle groups and said average diameter (d) of said bristles, are disposed on said bristle support in the corners of a polygon.
26. The brushware of claim 25, wherein said polygon is a rectangle.
27. The brushware of claim 21, wherein said bristle groups, whose separation (x) between said geometrical centers is substantially equal to or larger than said product between said average number (n) of bristles of said neighboring bristle groups and said average diameter (d) of said bristles, are linearly disposed on said bristle support.
28. The brushware of claim 21, wherein a number (n) of said bristles in said bristle groups differs.
29. The brushware of claim 21, wherein a diameter (d) of said bristles in said bristle groups differs.
30. The brushware of claim 21, further comprising individually standing bristles disposed on said bristle support in addition to said bristle groups.
31. The brushware of claim 30, wherein said individually standing bristles are combined into at least one bristle field in which the bristles are disposed at a small separation from one another.
32. The brushware of claim 31, wherein separations between bristles individually standing in said field, lies in the region of said diameter (d) of said bristles.
33. The brushware of claim 21, wherein free ends of bristles in at least one bristle group are disposed in a non-planar envelope surface.
34. The brushware of claim 33, wherein free ends of bristles of at least one bristle group are disposed in a convex or concave envelope surface.
35. The brushware of claim 21, wherein free ends of bristles of different bristle groups are disposed in different envelope surfaces.
36. The brushware of claim 21, wherein free ends of bristles of said bristle groups are disposed in envelope surfaces having different distances from said bristle support.
37. The brushware of claim 21, wherein said bristles have arbitrary cross-sectional shape.
38. The brushware of claim 21, wherein said bristle groups have arbitrary cross-sectional shape.
39. The brushware of claim 21, wherein bristles of one bristle group are individually connected to said bristle support.
40. The brushware of claim 21, wherein bristles of one bristle group are connected together at their ends and are connected to said bristle support.
Description

[0001] The invention concerns brushware comprising a bristle support and bristles connected therewith, at least part of which are combined into bristle groups, wherein the separation between the bristles is smaller than the separation between the geometrical centers of neighboring bristle groups.

[0002] Brushware in accordance with the invention includes brushes of any type such as tooth, body, cleaning brushes, applicator brushes, paint brushes and technical brushes e.g. polishing and grinding brushes. The bristles of this brushware are usually combined into groups in the form of bundles or bristle fields. Brushware is known (EP 0 813 374=U.S. Pat. No. 5,974,619) having bristle stock formed of individually standing bristles which are disposed on the bristle support at small separations from each other.

[0003] The free ends of the bristles of the above-mentioned brushware are usually disposed in a flat envelope surface which produces good surface action on the surface to be treated or processed, if this surface is also planar. If the surfaces are uniformly curved, a plurality of bristles are effective at the same time. If the surface to be treated or processed has an interrupted curvature or comprises narrow depressions and gaps, only individual bristles can penetrate therein in response to application of sufficiently strong pressure. The increased pressure causes damage to neighboring surfaces.

[0004] Attempts have been made to solve this problem by disposing the free ends of the bristles of one bristle group in a non-planar envelope surface, with the free ends of bristles in different groups being optionally disposed in different envelope surfaces (EP 0 346 846=U.S. Pat. No. 4,979,782, EP 0 716 821). In this case, the shorter bristles are supported on the surface to be treated or processed, while the longer bristles can penetrate into depressions, gaps or the like. This bristle stock “topography” has demonstrated beneficial effects, in particular with tooth brushes for reaching the tooth surfaces of highly varying curvatures in the buccal, lingual and labial region of the oral cavity as well as those of the interdental spaces and the rugged chewing surfaces of the molars.

[0005] Tooth brushes having such a topography generally permit satisfactory dental hygiene. However, the interdental spaces of the molars are, in particular, insufficiently cleaned. This is also the case for pronounced, rugged chewing surfaces of the molars and the so-called fissures on other tooth surfaces. Taking this into consideration, a plurality of individually standing longer bristles would have to be provided and the length of projection past the residual bristle stock would have to be correspondingly large. These projecting bristle ends, without lateral support, wear more quickly due to friction and also quickly lose their original orientation due to the higher bending stress, causing them to bend or even break. The more rapid wear results, in particular, in irregular wear of the bristle tips which should be evenly rounded to prevent damage to the tooth surface and injury of the gingiva.

[0006] It is the underlying purpose of the invention to propose a design for brushes of all kinds, wherein the bristles are equally effective on both the surface to be treated or processed as well as in depressions or gaps.

[0007] This object is achieved in accordance with the invention in that the separation of the geometrical center of at least one bristle group from the geometrical center of at least one neighboring bristle group is substantially equal to or greater than the product between the average number of bristles in the two bristle groups and the average diameter of these bristles.

[0008] With brushware having a plurality of bristles conventionally arranged in a bundle, the bristles accumulate in the insertion region of gaps or depressions and only individual outer bristles of the bundle are capable of deep penetration, since the number and density of the bristles in the bundle is large compared to the separation between the bundles. The. bristles cannot deflect sufficiently when sweeping over depressions or gaps but rather support each other in the predetermined bundle shape. The invention proposes a relationship between the bristle number in the bristle groups, the bristle diameter and the separations between the bristle groups which is such that, when sweeping over gaps or depressions, the bristles can be oriented linearly behind another in the brushing direction in consequence of their length and flexibility. Most or all of the bristles of bristle groups, disposed one behind the other, can follow the course of the gap or depression and are uniformly introduced therein through the lateral delimitation of the depression. This occurs, in particular, independent of the shape and cross-section of the mounting surface of the bristle group. Moreover, the bristles of the neighboring groups fulfil their brushing function on the surfaces neighboring the gap or depression. Brushware in accordance with the invention is distinguished from conventional brushes in that the relationship proposed in accordance with the invention generally results in a smaller number of bristles in a group and a larger separation between the groups.

[0009] The bristle groups designed in accordance with the invention are preferably formed as bundles having a circular cross-section. The bristles of a bristle group can also have a different e.g. triangular, polygonal or strip-like cross-section, wherein the circular cross-sectional envelope constitutes the diameter for the inventive relation between diameter, number of bristles in the bristle groups and their separation.

[0010] Preferably, those bristle groups having a substantially equal or larger separation between their geometrical centers than the product between the average number of bristles of neighboring bristle groups and the average diameter of these bristles, are disposed on the bristle support in the corners of a triangle or polygon, in particular of a rectangle, having optionally different side lengths, with the shortest side length exhibiting the inventive relationship for the separation between bristle groups.

[0011] Alternatively, the bristle groups whose separations between their geometrical centers is substantially equal to or larger than the product between the average number of bristles of neighboring bristle groups and the average diameter of these bristles, are linearly disposed on the bristle support.

[0012] In this design, the linearly disposed bristle groups can form a complete bristle stock in several parallel lines or such linear arrangements may only be provided in regions of the bristle support. If the brush has a preferred working direction, this linear arrangement may be optionally provided in the working direction only. A preferred working direction obtains e.g. in red/white tooth care, wherein the bristle head is moved transverse to its longitudinal direction, from the gums towards the teeth. The same is true for application brushes of all kinds and with bristles for cleaning profiled surfaces or surfaces which are interrupted by regular gaps, depressions or the like, such as e.g. brushes for cleaning gaps between tile surfaces.

[0013] The number of bristles in the bristle groups can be the same or differ. The diameters of the bristles in the bristle groups can also be the same or differ. The separation between neighboring bristle groups must be adjusted accordingly.

[0014] The inventive design of the groups and their arrangement can also be combined with conventional arrangements in one individual brushware, e.g. a tooth brush. One combination comprising individually standing bristles (EP 0 813 347=U.S. Pat. No. 5,974,619) is particularly effective. The individually standing bristles can be combined into at least one bristle field with the bristles being disposed at small separations from one another. These separations can be on the order of the bristle diameter.

[0015] A further optimization can be achieved when the free ends of the bristles of at least one bristle group are disposed in a non-planar envelope surface. This envelope surface can be convex or concave, wherein conical or partially spherical envelope surfaces are particularly advantageous.

[0016] The free ends of the bristles of different bristle groups can also disposed in different envelope surfaces, optionally, at different heights with respect to the surface of the bristle support.

[0017] Basically, the bristles can have any cross-sectional shape or bristles having a round cross-section can be mixed in one bristle group with bristles having other cross-sectional shapes. If the bristles are not round, the separation between the bristle groups depends on the diameter of the envelope circle of the bristle cross-section.

[0018] The bristles of a bristle group can be individually connected to the bristle support or their ends can be connected and commonly joined to the bristle support. The bristle groups can be connected to the bristle support through all above-mentioned mechanical or thermal methods. The use of cassette-like holding means with a hole pattern corresponding to the complete bristle stock is recommended, wherein the bristles and bristle groups are exactly pre-positioned according to number and arrangement before being connected to the bristle support using the cassette (EP 0 293 665=U.S. Pat. No. 4,954,305).

[0019] The invention is described below with reference to the embodiments shown in the drawing.

[0020]FIG. 1 shows a section of a bristle field of a conventional tooth brush having round bristles on a scale of approximately 10:1;

[0021]FIG. 2 shows a section corresponding to FIG. 1 of the bristle field of a conventional tooth brush, which comes closest to the invention, on a scale of approximately 10:1;

[0022]FIGS. 3 through 6 show one plan view (a) each onto a bristle group in the initial position and one plan view (b) each onto two neighboring bristle groups in the arrangement in accordance with the invention and during use;

[0023]FIG. 7 shows a plan view onto the chewing surface of neighboring teeth having an interdental space when cleaning with a conventional tooth brush;

[0024]FIG. 8 shows a side view of the representation in accordance with FIG. 7;

[0025]FIG. 9 shows a plan view onto the chewing surface of neighboring teeth when using a tooth brush with the inventive arrangement of the bristle groups;

[0026]FIG. 10 shows a side view of the representation of FIG. 9;

[0027]FIG. 11 shows a side view of neighboring teeth having interdental spaces when cleaning with a tooth brush of conventional design using the red/white method;

[0028]FIG. 12 shows a representation according to FIG. 11 when cleaning with a tooth brush with the inventive arrangement of the bristle groups;

[0029]FIG. 13 shows, in a highly enlarged scale, a sectional view of a fissure when using a conventional tooth brush;

[0030]FIG. 14 shows a representation in accordance with FIG. 13 when using a tooth brush with the inventive arrangement of the bristle groups and bristles;

[0031]FIG. 15 shows a perspective view of an individual bristle group in accordance with the invention during application corresponding to FIG. 14.

[0032] The drawing shows only bristle groups in the form of bundles with circular cross-section and bristles with equally circular cross-section for reasons of clarity. In the following description, the bundle diameter is always characterized with “D”, the bristle diameter with “d”, the separation between the bundles with “x”, and the number of bristles with “n”. The bundles and bristles must not be round but can also have a different cross-sectional shape, wherein the envelope circle of the bundle cross-section has the diameter D and the bristle cross-section has an envelope circle of diameter d.

[0033] The section of a bristle field of a conventional tooth brush shown in FIG. 1 consists of bristle groups in the form of round bundles 1 which consist of a plurality of bristles 2. The bundles 1 have the diameter D and the bristles 2 the diameter d. The bundles 1 are mounted at a separation x from one another on a partially represented bristle support 12. Conventional tooth brushes usually have equal separations x between all bundles in the mounting plane on the bristle support. FIG. 1 also shows a mechanical mounting method wherein the bristles 2 of a bundle 1 are looped and mounted in a hole of the bristle support 12 by means of an anchorage. This method is called “punching” in brush technology. In the known tooth brush according to FIG. 1, each bundle 1 contains approximately 42 bristles with a diameter d=0.20 mm. The bundle diameter is D=1.6 mm and the separation between the bundles 1 is x=2.6 mm. The filling degree of the bundles (bristle cross-sectional surface relative to the bundle surface) is approximately 65% which gives a bristle density of 791 bristles per cm2.

[0034]FIG. 2 shows that conventional arrangement for a tooth brush which has the smallest bundle diameter and the smallest number of bristles per bundle. Each bundle 1 of this arrangement comprises n=16 bristles 2 with a diameter d=0.20 mm. The bundle diameter is D=1.0 mm and the separation between the bundles is x=1.6 mm. The bristle density is 796 bristles per cm2.

[0035] If a bristle arrangement in accordance with FIG. 1 or 2 is moved in a direction parallel to the mounting plane, the circular cross-section of the bundles 1 is deformed in that the outer bristles disposed perpendicular to the direction of motion are displaced towards the rear and the cross-section of the bundle widens from those bristles advancing in the direction of movement towards those bristles trailing with respect to the direction of movement. This will be described in more detail below with reference to FIGS. 7, 8 and 11.

[0036]FIGS. 3 through 6 show the inventive bristle or bundle arrangement. FIG. 3a) shows a bundle 1 with a number n=3 of bristles 2 having a diameter d. The bundle diameter D is shown with broken lines. The mounting surface of the bundle 1 on the bristle support is also indicated. FIG. 3b) shows this mounting surface as cross-hatched. The separation between neighboring bundles is at least x=n·d but can also be larger. If such a bristle or bundle arrangement is moved in one direction, the bristles can be aligned in a linear fashion, one behind the other, and in the brushing direction due to their length and flexibility, in particular, in response to resistance from the side (shown in FIG. 3b)).

[0037]FIGS. 4a) and FIG. 5a) show a bundle 1 with n=4 and n=5 bristles 2. The separation between neighboring bristles is herein also x≧n·d.

[0038]FIG. 6a) shows two neighboring bundles having different numbers of bristles. The larger bundle 10 (on the left) has n=6 bristles 2, the right smaller bundle 11 has n=3 bristles 2. In this case, the separation x (FIG. 6b) is calculated from the average number of bristles (the sum is 9, the average 4.5) and the bristle diameter d. In this fashion, linear alignment of the bristles 2 in the brushing direction is also possible for bundles having differing numbers of bristles. To prevent excessive separation between the bundles, the bristle number per bundle should preferentially be limited for a given predetermined bristle diameter.

[0039] If a linear arrangement of the bristles in accordance with the invention were intended for the conventional tooth brush of FIG. 1, the separation x of the bundles would have to be approximately 8.4 mm instead of 2.6 mm.

[0040]FIG. 7 shows a plan view onto the chewing surface of teeth, e.g. of the molars. Neighboring teeth are designated with 4 and the interdental space between them with 5. The effect of a conventional tooth brush is also shown, by way of example, in the form of three bundles 1 disposed one behind the other and comprising seven bristles 2 each. The separation x between the bundles 1 is smaller than the product of the average number of the bristles 2 of neighboring bundles 1 and the bristle diameter. If such a bristle arrangement is moved over the chewing surface of the teeth 4 in the direction of the arrow 6, the bristles of the advancing bundle 1 will penetrate into the interdental space 5 but the bristles of the subsequent bundles will accumulate on the narrow portion leading to the interdental space 5 (see FIG. 7). The side view of FIG. 8 shows that the bristles increasingly bend going towards the trailing bristles and opposite the brushing direction 6.

[0041] In the inventive arrangement, wherein the separation x is equal to or larger than the product between the average number of bristles 2 of neighboring bundles and the diameter of the bristles, the bristles will not accumulate at the insertion region of the interdental space 5 during brushing in direction 6. Rather, the bristles of all bundles are linearly aligned such that the interdental space 5 is completely accessed by the bristles in one single brushing movement in one direction.

[0042] The same is true for the red/white method shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. In a conventional tooth brush having a bristle arrangement in accordance with FIG. 11, only individual bristles of the advancing bundle penetrate into the interdental space 5 between the teeth 4, as indicated by brushing direction 6. If the tooth brush is not precisely guided but slightly inclined, as indicated by brushing direction 7, still fewer bristles penetrate into the interdental space 5. In any event, the edge of the gingiva 8 is not reached.

[0043] In the inventive arrangement of the bundles 1 in accordance with FIG. 12, the bristles in the bundles are aligned one behind the other, independent of the brushing direction 6 or 7 and can thereby penetrate into the interdental space 5 up to the gingiva edge 8.

[0044]FIGS. 13 and 14 show a highly enlarged section of a tooth 4 having a fissure 9. Such fissures are usually funnel-shaped and have varying longitudinal extensions. In a tooth brush with conventional bristle arrangement, the bristles 2 of the bundles 1 engaging into the fissure 9 from above, already accumulate in the narrowing introductory region of the fissure 9 while, in the inventive arrangement in accordance with FIG. 14, at least part of the bristles 2 penetrate to the bottom of the fissure 9, due to their possible linear arrangement.

[0045] This is clearly shown in the perspective representation of FIG. 15, which again shows a section of a tooth 4 having an idealized linear fissure 9. The bristles 2 of the bundle 1 are linearly aligned and, as illustrated, part of the bristles 2 penetrate to the bottom of the fissure 9.

Classifications
U.S. Classification15/159.1, 15/167.1, 15/191.1
International ClassificationA61C17/00, A46B9/04, A46B9/02
Cooperative ClassificationA46B2200/1066, A46B9/04
European ClassificationA46B9/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 1, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: CORONET-WERKE GMBH, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WEIHRAUCH, GEORG;REEL/FRAME:014585/0033
Effective date: 20030602