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Publication numberUS20050015905 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/886,274
Publication dateJan 27, 2005
Filing dateJul 2, 2004
Priority dateJul 3, 2003
Also published asCA2526172A1, WO2005044042A2, WO2005044042A3
Publication number10886274, 886274, US 2005/0015905 A1, US 2005/015905 A1, US 20050015905 A1, US 20050015905A1, US 2005015905 A1, US 2005015905A1, US-A1-20050015905, US-A1-2005015905, US2005/0015905A1, US2005/015905A1, US20050015905 A1, US20050015905A1, US2005015905 A1, US2005015905A1
InventorsChristopher Boyer, Timothy Molek, Paul Specht
Original AssigneeFreudenberg Household Products Lp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Broom, method, and broom display
US 20050015905 A1
Abstract
The broom may include a body, a shaft connected to the body, and a plurality of bristles extending from the body. The body may include a hanging shoulder disposed proximal to the shaft connector and a transverse retaining ridge disposed proximal the hanging shoulder. The retaining ridge limits rotation of the broom when hanging from a support. In another embodiment, the broom may include a body, a shaft, a support and a plurality of bristles extending from the support. The bristles are a plurality of bunched fibers which are connected to the support via fusion-bonding.
Images(19)
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Claims(22)
1. A broom comprising:
a body having a shaft side and a cleaning side;
a shaft connected to the body on the shaft side at a shaft connector;
a plurality of bristles extending from the cleaning side;
the body including a hanging shoulder disposed proximal the shaft connector; and
a transverse retaining ridge disposed proximal the hanging shoulder.
2. A broom according to claim 1, the body further comprising a frame, the transverse retaining ridge is formed by a bend in the frame proximal the hanging shoulder.
3. A broom according to claim 1, further comprising a raised portion extending from the shaft side of the body forming the hanging shoulder, the transverse retaining ridge extending from the raised portion.
4. A broom according to claim 1, the shaft having a central axis, the broom being imbalanced about the central axis in favor of the side of the body opposing the shoulder.
5. A broom display comprising:
a pair of hanging rods;
a broom hanging on the pair of hanging rods, the broom including;
a body having a cleaning side and a shaft side;
a shaft connected to the broom at the shaft side;
a plurality of bristles extending from the cleaning side; and
the body including at least one hanging shoulder disposed proximal the shaft and at least one transverse retaining ridge disposed proximal the hanging shoulder, the at least one hanging shoulder engaging one of the hanging rods and supporting the broom.
6. A broom comprising:
a body having a shaft side and a cleaning side;
a shaft connected to the body at the shaft side; and
a plurality of bristles extending from the cleaning side of the body, the bristles fusion-bonded to the cleaning side.
7. A broom according to claim 6, the cleaning side including a support, the bristles being fusion-bonded to the support.
8. A broom according to claim 6, the bristles extending through a broom angle of at least 35 degrees.
9. A broom according to claim 6, the bristles extending through a broom angle of at least 40 degrees.
10. A broom according to claim 7, at least a portion of the bristles being disposed on a curved portion of the support.
11. A broom according to claim 7, at least a portion of the bristles being disposed on a bent portion of the support.
12. A broom according to claim 6, at least a portion of the bristles being disposed at an angle off perpendicular to a tangent to the cleaning side.
13. A broom according to claim 7, the bristles being bonded to a support that is monolithic with the body.
14. A broom according to claim 6, the body further including a hanging shoulder disposed proximal to the shaft connector.
15. A broom according to claim 14, the hanging shoulder including a transverse retaining ridge.
16. A method for preparing a broom body, comprising in any appropriate order:
providing a body having a cleaning side and a shaft side; and
fusion-bonding a plurality of fibers to the cleaning side of the body.
17. A method according to claim 16, wherein the cleaning side of the body has a splaying surface.
18. A method according to claim 17, including providing the cleaning side of the body with a support, fusion-bonding the fibers to the support, the support being formed to the shape of the splaying surface.
19. A method according to claim 18, the bristles extending through a broom angle of at least 35 degrees.
20. A method according to claim 19, including curving a portion of the support.
21. A method according to claim 20, including bending a portion of the support.
22. A broom according to claim 1, the bristles being fusion-bonded to the cleaning side of the body.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This patent application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/484,868, filed Jul. 3, 2003, and entitled “Broom, Method, and Broom Display,” which is incorporated in its entirety herein by this reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The invention is in the field of cleaning implements, and in particular is directed toward brooms, methods for the manufacture of brooms and toward a hanging broom display.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    One problem in the broom art relates to the commercial display of brooms. In consumer display racks, the brooms are generally hung from a pair of hanging rods, with the bristles extending upwardly and with the shaft extending downwardly between the hanging rods. For many known brooms, it is easy for the brooms to become dislodged, thus causing the broom display to become unsightly. In addition, it is easy for many brooms to twist about the axis defined by the shaft, thus causing the broom to slip between the hanging rods.
  • [0004]
    Another problem relates to attaching the bristles to the broom. It has long been known to prepare a broom by bunching a plurality of natural fibers at the end of a shaft. More recently, synthetic fiber brooms have been introduced. Synthetic fiber brooms are composed of a shaft that is operably connected to a plurality of bristles, the bristles being composed of a synthetic polymer. Generally, the broom is provided with a broom body which has a shaft side and a cleaning side, the shaft being connected to the body at the shaft side and the bristles being connected to the body at the cleaning side.
  • [0005]
    There are numerous ways to connect synthetic fiber bristles to the body of a broom. A common method is to staple individual bunches of bristles in or to the cleaning side of the broom body. Stapling of bristles can be somewhat unsatisfactory because the bristles are prone to falling out. Another method of attaching bristles is through fusion-bonding, sometimes practiced as fusion shot-bonding. In accordance with this technique, synthetic bristles of a thermoplastic material are bunched and “shot” onto a substrate at an elevated temperature to form a plurality of bristles upon cooling. The substrate may be composed of a thermoplastic material and may be heated prior to shooting the bristles onto the substrate. This technique has been found to provide a more satisfactory synthetic fiber broom than a stapled broom, because it is more difficult to disengage the fusion-bonded bristles from the substrate than it is to remove stapled bristles.
  • [0006]
    It has proven difficult to fusion-bond bristles to a substrate at an angle of more than 15 degrees off perpendicular to a tangent to the substrate. Accordingly, the total available broom angle, which is the arc formed by the extremities of the bristles, has been limited to about 30 degrees. In practice, greater broom angles are desired.
  • [0007]
    In one embodiment, the invention is directed toward addressing the display problems inherent in many known broom designs. In another embodiment, the invention is directed toward providing a synthetic fiber broom that has a broom angle greater than that permitted via conventional fusion-bonding techniques.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The invention provides new and improved embodiments of a broom. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the broom includes a body having a shaft side and a cleaning side, the body including a shaft connector disposed on the shaft side, the broom including a shaft connected to the body at the shaft side. The broom includes a plurality of bristles that extend from the cleaning side. In accordance with this embodiment of the invention, the body includes a hanging shoulder disposed proximal the shaft connector and a retaining ridge disposed proximal the hanging shoulder. The broom of this embodiment of the invention is particularly amenable to being hung on a pair of hanging rods for display.
  • [0009]
    In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, a broom comprises a body having a shaft side and a cleaning side, a shaft connected to the body at the shaft side, and a plurality of bristles that extend from the cleaning side. The bristles comprise a plurality of bunched bristles, which may be connected to a support disposed on or near the cleaning side, via fusion-bonding. In accordance with this embodiment of the invention, the broom has a non-planar splaying surface which supports the bristles and which extends the broom angle, i.e., the angle formed by the broom bristles. This configuration allows the bristles to extend through a broom angle of at least 35 degrees.
  • [0010]
    In practice a broom may incorporate a combination of the described embodiments. The broom can be made very inexpensively, and the broom will have excellent utility and amenability to being displayed on a pair of hanging rods.
  • [0011]
    Also encompassed by the invention are a broom display and a method for making a broom. Other features of the embodiments of the invention are described hereinbelow, reference being made to the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a broom in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, enlarged with respect to FIG. 1, of the body of the broom shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the body of the broom shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the body of the broom shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front elevational view of a broom display incorporating the broom shown in FIG. 1, the broom being in a hanging position.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the broom display shown in FIG. 5.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the body of the broom shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 8 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the broom body in FIG. 7 taken about line 8-8.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 9 is a bottom plan view of the broom shown in FIG. 2.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a broom body in accordance with the invention.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the body of the broom shown in FIG. 10.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 12 is a top plan view of the body of the broom shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 13 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the broom body in FIG. 12 taken about line 13-13.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 14 is a fragmentary front elevational view of a broom display incorporating the broom body shown in FIG. 11, the broom being in a hanging position.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 15 is a bottom plan view of the broom display shown in FIG. 14.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 16 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a broom body in accordance with the invention.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 17 is a side elevational view of the broom body shown in FIG. 16.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 18 is a side elevational of another embodiment of the broom body shown in FIG. 17.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 19 is a fragmentary front elevational view of a broom display incorporating the broom body shown in FIG. 17, the broom being in a hanging position.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 20 is a bottom plan view of the broom display shown in FIG. 19.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 21 is an exploded view of the shaft, the body, and the support of the broom shown in FIG. 16.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 22 is a side elevation view of another embodiment of the broom body in FIG. 17, showing a support that is monolithic with the broom body.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 23 is a side elevational view, partially cut away at the bristles of the support shown in FIG. 17.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 24 is front view of the broom body shown in FIG. 22 during the process of manufacture.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • [0036]
    With reference to FIG. 1, the illustrated broom 20 includes a broom body 22, bristles 24, which are disposed in a plurality of bunches, and a shaft 26. The broom body 22 having a shaft side 28 and a cleaning side 30. The bristles 24 extending from the cleaning side 30 of the broom body 22. Typically, the bristles 24 include a plurality of fibers and are attached to the broom body 22. In one embodiment, the bristles 24 are stapled to the body 22. The broom body 22 includes an integrally attached shaft connector 32. The shaft 26 is adapted to be connected to the broom body 22 at the shaft connector 32 on the shaft side 28. A hanging cap 34 is disposed at the operator end 36 of the shaft 26. The components of the broom may be made of any suitable materials and by any suitable techniques. For instance, the shaft may be made of steel, the broom body and hanger cap may be made of a suitable thermoplastic, and the bristles may be made of a suitable thermoplastic material. The bristles may be composed of a homopolymer, and may be polypropylene. The plastic parts may be molded via any suitable techniques.
  • [0037]
    As shown in FIG. 2, on the shaft side 28, the broom body 22 includes a hanging shoulder 38. In this embodiment, the hanging shoulder 38 is disposed on only one side of a central axis 40 of the shaft 26, although it is contemplated that two hanging shoulders may be provided, one on either side of the shaft 26. The broom body 22 may be imbalanced with respect to the central axis 40 of the shaft 26 in favor of the side 42 of the body 22 that opposes the hanging shoulder 38. In other embodiments, the broom may be balanced with respect to the central axis 40 of the shaft 26. In the illustrated embodiment, the web 44 serves both to lend structural support to the body 22 and to add weight on side 42.
  • [0038]
    With further reference to FIG. 2, bristles 24 extend from cleaning side 30 of the broom body 22. The cleaning side 30 has a non-planar splaying surface. The bristles 24 are splayed by virtue of the shape of the cleaning side 30. The cleaning side 30 has a substantially planar portion 50, a curved portion 52, and a bend 54 separating the two portions 50, 52. In practice, innumerable other configurations are possible. Establishing a broom angle 46, a portion of the bristles 24 extend from the broom body 22 at an angle to a tangent of the surface of cleaning side 30. The bristles may be disposed at a broom angle 46 in the range of 35 to 45 degrees or more. The exact angle will depend on how far apart the bunched bristles spread. In practice, the bristles 24 will themselves spread apart slightly. As illustrated in front and rear elevation illustrations of FIGS. 3 and 4, the spreading of the bristles 24 results in a nonzero transverse broom angle 48.
  • [0039]
    With reference to FIGS. 2, 5 and 6, the hanging shoulder 38 includes a transverse retaining ridge 56. The retaining ridge 56 may be formed by an “L” shaped bend 62 in the frame 63 of the broom body 22. FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a broom hanging by hanging rods 58, 60. The hanging shoulder 38 and retaining ridge 56 are adapted to accommodate the hanging rods 58, 60, such that the hanging rods 58, 60 may be of a variety of dimensions, cross-sections and spacing. For example, the rods may be circular, rectangular or square in cross-section. The hanging rods 58, 60 are rods that are generally used for displays or hanging objects in a store. The broom is hung with the shaft 26 hanging downward and disposed between and straddled by the hanging rods 58, 60 The hanging shoulder 38 rests on hanging rod 58. In the illustrated embodiment, one hanging rod 58 is disposed between the shaft connector 32 and the retaining ridge 56. Hanging rod 60 is disposed on the opposite side of the shaft connector 32 and the broom body 22 rests on the hanging rod 60. It is contemplated that the top of the shaft connector 32 could be flush with the surface of the broom body and the hanging rod 58 would be disposed directly between the retaining ridge 56 and the shaft 26.
  • [0040]
    The retaining ridge 56 prevents the broom body 22, which is being hung from the hanging rods 58, 60, from rotating about shaft axis 40 and then falling between the two hanging rods 58, 60. Additionally, if there is a plurality of brooms on the hanging rods, the prevention of the broom rotation will prevent the displayed brooms from becoming unorganized and unsightly. The hanging shoulder 38 and retaining ridge 56 should be configured with respect to the other portions of the broom body 22 such that the shaft axis 40 is normal to a plane defined by the hanging rods 58, 60. In other words, the shaft 26 will hang substantially straight down between the hanging rods 58, 60.
  • [0041]
    The retaining ridge 56 also helps to retain the broom on the hanging rods 58, 60 if the distance between the rods changes. For example, the distance between the rods 58, 60 may become wider as the rods extend further away from the attachment on the display panel. In that situation, the retaining ridge limits the distance that the broom can move to the right (relative to FIG. 5) because the rod 58 will engage the retaining ridge 56. In addition, the connector 32 or the shaft 26 limits the distance that the broom can move to the left (relative to FIG. 5) because the rod 58 will engage the connector 32 or the shaft 26.
  • [0042]
    Referring to FIG. 5, the distance 61 may be in the range of {fraction (1/16)} to 3 inches, or in the range of to 2 inches, or in the range of {fraction (1/2)} to 1 inch. In one embodiment, the distance 61 may be approximately inch. The distance 65 may be in the range of {fraction (1/16)} to 3 inches or in the range of to 2 inches or in the range of to 1 inches. In one embodiment, the distance 65 may be inch. The distance 67 may be in the range of {fraction (1/16)} to 2 inches or in the range of ⅛ to 1 inch or in the range of to inch. In one embodiment, the distance 67 may be approximately inch. The distance 69 may be in the range of 0 to 1 inch. In one embodiment, the distance 69 may be {fraction (1/16)} inch. The distances may be more or less than the distances noted above.
  • [0043]
    The shaft connector 32 has a cylindrical socket 64, shown in FIG. 7, adapted to receive a broom shaft (as shown in FIG. 1). In this embodiment, the inner wall 66 of the shaft connector 32 includes a smooth portion 68, a threaded portion 70, and radially extending crush ribs 72, as best seen in the cross-sectional view in FIG. 8. The threaded portion 70 is adapted to engage and secure an end of a broom shaft to the broom body 22. The crush ribs 72, which extend from the smooth portion 70, are adapted to be crushed by an inserted shaft and, thereby, create a snug fit between the inner wall 66 of the shaft connector 32 and an inserted broom shaft. Other methods of securing a broom shaft in the shaft connector 32 are contemplated, such as having a conical socket and a securing adhesive, a bolt going through the side of the connector and the shaft, a screw, or friction between the shaft and inner wall of the connector.
  • [0044]
    The bristles 24 may be disposed in a plurality of bunches. The bristles 24 may be disposed in a pattern that allows for nearly complete overlap between bunches of bristles 24 along the major dimension 74 of the cleaning side 30, as shown in FIG. 9. Referring briefly to FIG. 22, the pattern shown in part 484 can be used to establish this overlap. In one embodiment, the broom is provided with ninety-two such bunches of bristles, but more or fewer bunches may be provided.
  • [0045]
    The bristles may be attached to the broom body by stapling. The broom body is drilled with a plurality of holes. The bristles are grouped into bunches and a wire is wrapped around the bunch. Each bunch and the wire are inserted into a hole. After the bristles have been attached to the broom body 22, they may be trimmed to define a sweeping edge 76, as shown in FIG. 2. The sweeping edge 76 may be linear and normal to the shaft axis 40, or may be otherwise configured. In other embodiments, the bristles may be fusion bonded as noted herein or attached in any other manner.
  • [0046]
    Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11. This embodiment is similar to the embodiment in FIG. 2. In this embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 11, the hanging shoulder 138 is formed by a raised portion 180, which extends from the shaft side 128 of the frame 163 of the broom body 122. The retaining ridge 156 is a protrusion that extends from the raised portion 180. In this embodiment, the shaft connector 132 includes a socket 164 which is tapered and has a larger diameter near the shaft side 128 than near the cleaning side 130 of the broom body 122, as best seen in the FIGS. 12 and 13. In other embodiments, the shaft connector 132 may be similar to connector 32 including the threads and crush ribs as shown in FIG. 8.
  • [0047]
    When this embodiment is hung on hanging rods 158, 160, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, the hanging shoulder 138 rests on one hanging rod 158, and the other hanging rod 160 supports a portion of the raised portion 180 of the broom body 122 on the opposite side of the shaft connector 132. As with the previous embodiment, the hanging rods 158, 160 straddle the shaft, particularly the shaft connector 132 of the broom body 122.
  • [0048]
    The retaining ridge 156 prevents the broom body from rotating about the shaft axis 140, thereby preventing the broom from falling between the hanging rods 158, 160. The raised portion 180, hanging shoulder 138 and retaining ridge 156 should be configured with respect to the other portions of the broom body 122 such that the shaft axis 140 is normal to the plane defined by the hanging rods 158, 160. In other words, the shaft 126 will hang substantially straight down between the hanging rods 158, 160. The retaining ridge also helps to retain the broom on the hang rods if the distance between the rods changes as noted herein.
  • [0049]
    Referring to FIG. 14, the distance 161 may be in the range of {fraction (1/16)} to 3 inches, or in the range of to 2 inches, or in the range of to 1 inch. In one embodiment, the distance 161 may be approximately inch. The distance 165 may be in the range of {fraction (1/16)} to 3 inches or in the range of to 2 inches or in the range of to 1 inches. In one embodiment, the distance 165 may be inch. The distance 167 may be in the range of {fraction (1/16)} to 2 inches or in the range of ⅛ to 1 inch or in the range of to inch. In one embodiment, the distance 167 may be approximately inch. The distance 169 may be in the range of 0 to 1 inch. In one embodiment, the distance 169 may be {fraction (1/16)} inch. The distances may be more or less than the distances noted above.
  • [0050]
    The cleaning side 130 of this embodiment, best illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 13, is of a slightly different shape than the previous embodiment, shown in FIG. 2. Unlike the previous embodiment, the cleaning side 130 of the broom body 122 of this embodiment does not include a planar portion and a curved portion separated by a bend. In this embodiment, the cleaning side 130 is shaped like a continuous reverse curve. The bristles 124 may be stapled to the cleaning side 130 of the broom body 122. In other embodiments, the bristles 124 may be fusion bonded as noted herein or attached in any other manner.
  • [0051]
    A further embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17. As best illustrated in FIG. 17, the bristles 224 extend from the cleaning side 230 of the broom body 222. The central axis 240 of the shaft 226 may be disposed at an oblique angle 282 with respect to a tangent to the body 222 at the shaft connector 232. The body 222 may be imbalanced with respect to the central axis 240 of the shaft 226 in favor of the side 242 of the body 222 that opposes the hanging shoulder 238, although the broom may be balanced with respect to the shaft 226. In the illustrated embodiment, the web 244 serves both to lend structural support to the body 222 and to add weight on side 242.
  • [0052]
    As is shown in FIG. 17, the bristles 224 are disposed from a support 284. The support 284, in accordance with this embodiment of the invention, is a non-planar splaying surface, by which is contemplated a surface that serves to extend the broom angle 246 relative to the broom angle that would result from supporting the bristles on a planar surface. In practice, the bunches of bristles 224 will themselves spread apart slightly, thus resulting in a nonzero transverse broom angle, as similarly illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 of a previous embodiment. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 17, the support 284 has a generally planar portion 250 and a curved portion 252, and the bristles 224 are splayed by virtue of the curved portion 252. The bristles 224 may be disposed at a broom angle 246 in the range of 35 to 45 degrees or more. It should be noted that the exact angle will depend on how far apart the bunched bristles spread. The curved portion 252 allows the bristles 224 to splay in the direction of the cleaning side 230 to achieve a gradual change in the angle 246 of the broom bristles 224 relative to the axis 240 of the shaft 226. Innumerable other configurations of the support are possible. For instance, as shown in FIG. 18, the support may have a first planar portion 350, a second planar portion 352, and a bend 354 separating the two portions 350, 352.
  • [0053]
    Returning to the embodiment in FIG. 17, the bristles may be disposed in a plurality of bunches. The bristles 224 may be disposed in a pattern that allows for nearly complete overlap between bunches of bristles 224 in a direction normal to the major dimension of the cleaning side 230, substantially similar as shown in FIG. 9 and explained previously. Referring to FIG. 22, the pattern on support 484 illustrates a pattern that substantially provides this overlap. In the one embodiment, the broom is provided with ninety-two such bunches of bristles, but more or fewer bunches may be provided.
  • [0054]
    With reference to FIGS. 17 and 19 the hanging shoulder 238 in the illustrated embodiment may include a transverse retaining ridge 256 and a transverse riser 286. As shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, the transverse retaining ridge 256 and riser 286 are sized to accommodate hanging rods of a variety of diameters and spacings. When the shoulder 238 engages a hanging rod 258, the riser 286 and retaining ridge 256 engage the hanging rod 258. The riser 286 and retaining ridge 256 impede twisting of the broom 220 about the shaft axis 240. Thus, when the broom is hanging on a pair of hanging rods 258, 260, the hanging shoulder 238 engages one of the hanging rods 258 and prevents the broom from twisting and, thereby, falling from the hanging rods 158, 160 or becoming unsightly. In addition, the other hanging rod 260 engages the body 222 on the other side of the connector 232. In any event, the shaft connector, retaining ridge, and hanging shoulder should be configured with respect to the other portions of the broom body such that the shaft axis 240 is normal to the plane defined by the hanging rods 258, 260, i.e., the shaft 226 will hang substantially straight down between the hanging rods 258, 260.
  • [0055]
    The bristles 224 may be disposed on a support 284 which is not monolithic with the other portion of the broom body 222. For instance, as shown in FIG. 21, the support 284 may be connectable to the broom body 222 via barbed or tabbed connectors 288, which engage kerfs 290 in the broom body 222. The support 284 may be partially adhesively secured to the cleaning side 230 of the broom body 222.
  • [0056]
    Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 22, the support 484 may be monolithic with respect to the rest of the body 422, for instance, by connection of the support 484 to the remainder of the body 422 via a living hinge 492. In either case, the support may be provided with a transverse living hinge to enable a portion of the support to curve in the illustrated manner.
  • [0057]
    The bristles may be fused to the support in a single “shot.” In accordance with this technique, the bristles are bunched and placed into “pick tubes.” The ends of the pick tubes are heated to soften the ends of the bristles, the support is heated, and the bristles are “shot” onto the support, whereby, upon cooling of the bristles and support, the bristles are fusion-bonded to the support. Suitable equipment for fusion bonding is available from Fusion Inc. of Ridgewood, N.J.
  • [0058]
    With reference to FIG. 23, some of the bunches of bristles at either end are bonded at an angle 275 of up to 15 degrees off perpendicular to a tangent to the support 284. The fusion of the bristles 224 onto the support 284 may be accomplished when the support 284 is planar and then the support 284 is formed to the shape of the cleaning side 230 of the broom body 222, as in FIG. 17.
  • [0059]
    After the bristles 224 have been bonded to the support 284, the bristles may be trimmed to define a sweeping edge 276, as shown in FIG. 17. The sweeping edge 276 may be linear and normal to the shaft axis 240, or may be otherwise configured. The bristles 224 may be trimmed before or after the support 284 is secured to the other portions of the broom body 222.
  • [0060]
    As in FIGS. 22 and 24, when the support 484 is attached to the broom body 422 via a living hinge 492, the broom body 422 may be placed onto an appropriate anvil 496, shown generally in FIG. 24, to thereby enable the bristles 424 to be bonded to the support 484. After fusing the bristles 424 to the support 484, the support 484 can be secured with respect to the body 422.
  • [0061]
    Referring to FIG. 17, the bristles may have a length 294 in the range of 2 to 12 inches, or in the range of 3 to 10 inches, or in the range of 3 to 8 inches, or in the range of 4 to 5 inches. The length may be more or less than the length noted above.
  • [0062]
    The shaft connector 232 of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 17 is best shown in FIG. 21. The shaft connector 232 is in the form of a socket and the shaft 226 is provided with a threaded plug 298. In practice, the threaded and plugged portion may be reversed, or generally, the shaft connector and shaft may be otherwise configured as may be appropriate. For instance, the shaft may be connected to the shaft connector portion with a rivet, bolt, screw or adhesive. More generally, the configuration of the broom may be otherwise as herein described.
  • [0063]
    The method for making the broom may be performed using any appropriate steps. If the broom includes a support, generally, the bristles are attached to the support, the support is attached to or secured with respect to the broom body, and the shaft is attached. If the broom does not include a support, generally, the bristles are attached to the broom body and then the shaft is attached to the broom body.
  • [0064]
    All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.
  • [0065]
    The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.
  • [0066]
    Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.
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Referenced by
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US8161592Oct 18, 2006Apr 24, 2012Carl Freudenberg KgCleaning implement
US8485611Apr 13, 2012Jul 16, 2013Carl Freudenberg KgCleaning implement
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/159.1, 300/21, 15/171
International ClassificationA46B9/02, A46B3/06, A46B7/04, A46B9/04, A46B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA46B7/04, A46B3/06, A46B9/02, A46B9/026, A46B2200/302
European ClassificationA46B3/06, A46B9/02, A46B9/02D, A46B7/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 5, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: FREUDENBERG HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS LP, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BOYER, CHRISTOPHER T.;MOLEK, TIMOTHY J.;SPECHT, PAUL B.;REEL/FRAME:015866/0666;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040805 TO 20040811