US 2666498 A
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Jan. 19, 1954 w. L. PETERSEN 2,666,498
SUCTION CLEANER Filed March 25, 1952 2 sheets-sheet 1 IN VEN TOR.
- %WQUQXWU1@ Patented Jan. 19, 1954 UNITED STATES :Araz
SUCTION CLEANER William L. Petersen, -Muskegon, Mich, assignor to Clarke Sanding Machine Company, Muskeg-on, -Mioh., a corporation of Michigan Application-March 25, 1952, Serial No. 278,357
2 Olaims. (Cl.'1-8337) This invention relates to suction cleaning equipment and has specific reference to suction lcleaner of unique construction whereby it is ideally suited for use in picking up water, foam and suds incident to floor scrubbing or rugcleaning operations.
The general aim of the invention is to provide :a water pick-up suction cleaner which is more efficient, more quiet, simpler, cheaper, and in general more desirable thancleaners of this type heretofore providedfbut the accomplishment of this aim necessarily involves the simultaneous solution of 7 various problems, :and the accomplishment of anuniber of objects which are, "in
some cases, of such a nature as'toconflict with each other.
It is, therefore, the primary object 'of'the invention to provide a water pickeup =isuction cleaner wherein the conflicting mechanical requirements of a mechanism of 'thislkindtare reconciled, and a number cisubsidiary 'ob'jects'are simultaneously accomplished. More specifically,
it is an object of the present inventiontorprovide art.
A further .object'is to provide :a mechanism which is more simple and less expensive'than devices heretofore'employed "for the purpose, and wherein the'conventional array ofx'srnall tubes,
pipes, air ducts and :bafile structures are comdrawing water, :foam, :or mol'sturedaden air into a the motor itself.
Last, but by no means least, it is a specific object of the present invention to provide an improved yet simplified automatic shut-off mechanism, whereby the suotion of the machine will be automatically rendered inoperative whenever the machine container becomes filled with liquid, foam or suds. "Another related object-is to pro- 'vide an automatic fio'at' oontrolled shut-01f which is not only responsive to the levelor liquid within the container,'but is capableof actuation by foam or suds having a density far less than water yet wherein all structures of the machine are sturdy in their physicalaspects, and'stable and dependable in function, so that the shut-ofi mechanism of the machine is not subject to accidental "closing, ye, will uniailinglyclose when the'requisit'e liquid or foam level has been reached. Other objects will appear in connection with the following description of preferred embodiment the invention.
The foregoing objects are accomplished in the present invention by use of a suction mechanism including an upright cylindrical container'disposing on avertical axis with a cover and a main motor mounted in 'aninverted position onthe -cover, with'thedrive shaft of the motor extending downwardlyinto the container of the tank 01 the machine and-carrying a centrifugal suetion fan enclosed within a housing at the upper end of the tank. A relatively large open "cage extends downwardly from the an housing and I .is provided with slides in which an extremely large closed metalcanister or shut-oil float 'is mounted. The float has a diameter of about one-third of the height of the tank, and is centrally disposed immediately below the suction tan, with a large .fiat closure plate adapted to directly engage the fan housing and close the air inlet thereto whenever the level of liquid or foam in the tank rises to a predetermined point. With this arrangement, it has been found feasible to entirely eliminate all of the bafiles, small pipes,'tubes, ducts, and similar structures which have been so characteristic of prior art machines, and at the same time to accomplish an unusual efficiency of suction, since the air enters the suction fan directly from the container through an annular air inlet passage extending through the entire periphery of the flat closure plate on the top of the shut-off float.
The air discharge passages from the suction fan are "similarly designed to permit unrestricte flow of air,yet discharge air into the atmosphere relatively silently and without creatingiany unnecessary turbulence or direct air blasts into the vicinity of the machine. This, in the present invention, is accomplished by discharging the air from the suction fan into an annular chamber the fan housing from which it is perr itted to now into the atmosphere through air scharge outlet of a diameter almost equal to the outer diameter of the tank, so that a relatively large amount of air may be moved through the discharge outlet without developing air velocities high enough to cause perceptible noise or turbulence.
A. preferred form of the invention is illustrated in the drawings of this specification, wherein:
Figure 1 is a side elevational view of a preferred form of the machine with the left half of the view shown in section to illustrate its internal construction; and
Figure 2 is a fragmental sectional view similar to Figure 1, showing the shut-off float in a closed position.
In the machine illustrated, the working parts of the mechanism are mounted upon and within an upright tank or container iii which is preferably of sheet metal. construction and, as shown, is in the form of a cylinder disposed on a vertical axis. Conveniently, the upper edge of the tank may terminate in a rolled or beaded rim ii, and the lower edge may be rolled into an interlocking seam 52 whereby the vertical walls or" the tank are joined with a horizontal sheet metal tank bottom is. In the commercial embodiment of the invention it has been. found desirable to mount the machine on a relatively heavy and rigid undercarriage having a plurality of casters i l, and to this end there have been provided four identical sup orting brackets I5 which are provided with flanges l6 bolted to each other by machine screws ll so that the four brackets form the under arria e or supporting fra e for the tank ill. The casters M may then be mounted rectlv onto the individual brackets l5 by passing their screw threaded shanks l8 through apertures provided therefor, and securing them by nuts id. The nuts I9 also hold the tank i!) on the undercarriage. To accomplish this. sheet metal clips 2! are secured on the shanks 18 by the nuts l9, and these clips are provided with flanges 22 which partiall surround engage the beaded ed e 52 of the lower rim of the tank. Thus the tank may rest directly on the upper surfaces of the our brackets l 5, and be firmly secured thereto without the need of any drilling, welding, cutting or other machine operations. It should also be noted that the sheet metal of the tank itself need not have any fastening holes nor other special. structures, and that the metal of which it is formed can be painted, plated, galvanized. or otherwise finished over the entire surface, inside and out.
As sho n, the undercarriage brackets 55 of the machine are each provided with an ornamental hollow cap 23 to cover the fastening clips 2! and nuts 59. These caps or covers are secured to the brackets i5 by screws 2d extending upwardly therethrough. The undercarriage of the machine is completed by a marginal rubber bumper 25 which is preferably formed as an endless member having a groove on the underside thereof, so that it may be stretched around the assembled brackets 55, and will be held in engagement thereon by projections 26 formed on the brackets. Thus the bumper 25 provides a marginal cushion around the bottom of the tank and the outer edge of the undercarriage. The machine is also preferably provided with one or more handles 2.? a? @Gilifitte 4 moving the machine about the floor or emptying the tank. 7
The tank it includes inlet fitting 3i a threaded coupling nut and locking ring 33 by which the machine may be coupled to the tubular fitting SL3 of a suction hose 35. It is contemplated that the machine may be used with any desire type of Water pickup tool attached to the remote end of this hose. The inlet fitting SI secured to the vertical wall of the tank re in the upper portion thereof, and, as shown is provided with an inside member 36 into which a plurality of fastening screws 3? are threaded. The inside member includes a deflector .38 arranged to deflect the flow of incoming air or water in a downward and generally circumferential direction on the inner surface of the tank.
A drain valve 33 is also Provided. This valve is preferably located at or near the bottom of the tank to facilitate emptying the liquid therefrom.
The operating mechanism of the machine is mounted on the tank cover as. The cover ll; is preferably provided with an edge flange ii surrounding the top rim ii of the tank it, and the cover is sealed thereon by a gasket 32. One or more quick acting trunk latches are mounted on the side walls of the tank to hold the cover firmly in position. The cover it has a top surface d i with a large aperture at its center, and the motor 45 and its fan housing are mounted within this aperture. As shown, the motor 45 and the fan housing have a common supporting frame 46 provided with an outstanding flange ll bolted to a heavy rubber mounting ring The rubber ring 48 is in turn secured to the inner edge of the top portion 4c. of the machine cover by a plurality of mounting screws 59. The frame 46 is of generally cylindrical form, surrounding the lower end of the motor 35 and secured thereto or integral therewith.
The motor is surrounded by a housing comprising a ring member 52, a shell and a cap 53. The ring 5! is secured to cover top portion of the cover it by a plurality of machine screws 59, each of which is provided with a rubber spacer 6D to permit unrestricted air flow in the annular space 54 between the cover and the ring. The ring 5! also serves as a mounting for the shell 52, which is secured to the inwardly extending flange 55 of the ring 5i by any convenient means, as by the screws 55 illustrated. A flexible rubber sheet 51 has its outer marginal edge secured between the flange 55 and the lower flange of the motor shell 52. This rubber sheet extends inwardly to the upper rim. of the frame t5, when it is secured by screws 58 and a clamping ring 59. Thus, the rubber sheet 5? functions as a gasket and sound deadening member between the ring 5! and the shell 52, and. also serves as a partition between an exhaust air compartment E2 and a compartment 53 surrounding the motor.
The upper end of the shell 52 has an air inlet aperture covered by the cap and the cap is notched at it to provide inlets through which air may be drawn from the atmosphere and down through the top of the shell to the open end frame 57! of the motor. The lower end of the motor frame is open at 63 and a cooling fan to is mounted on the armature shaft ii. Thus, air for cooling the motor is drawn directly from the atmosphere into the motor housing and passes downward between field laminations i2 and the armature '53, after which it is discharged through the central apertures 58 and cooling fan 69.
The lower end of the frame 46 is closed by the accesses 'flat plate 14, so that the air'dischargedfrom the motor cooling fan 89 passes upwardly through ing a lower bottom plate 82 in which an air inlet aperture 83 is provided. The housing 8! also includes an intermediate wall or partition positioned between the rotors T! and T8 and having an upper plate .84 and lower plate 85, with radial fins 86 between the plates.
From the foregoing it will be seen that the rotors TI and 73 comprise a two stage suction fan. The fan serves to exhaust air from the interior of the tank II] by drawing it in through the aperture 83, from which it passes outwardly in a radial direction through the rotor W. The air is then caused to flow inwardly between the upper and lower walls 8t and 55 of the partition, and to pass through the aperture 81 to center of the rotor 18.
The air leaving the second state rotor '18 flows through the passages 88 to the compartment 62.
It is then discharged from the machine through the thin, narrow, annular discharge passage 54,
provided between the top 44 of the cover and the .lower edge of the ring member l.
The flange ll of the frame it on which the "motor 45 is mounted also serves as the mounting for a central cage structure generally designated as 89. The cage consists of a plurality of individual wires or rods '9! each having their upper ends bolted to the flange i! by threaded nuts 92.
The lower extremities of each of the rods 9| are joined by a circular ring or rim S3, and the individual rods 8| may be oifset inwardly at 94 to provide a plurality of parallel vertical slide portions 95 joined at their lower'ends by aring 98.
This cage comprises a slide mounting and guide for the float of a shutoff valve mechanism.
The float controlled shutoff valve employs a relatively large, centrally disposed float 97, preferably in the form of ahollow canister having vertical side walls 98 in sliding engagement with the vertical portions 85;:nf .the cage aegand an outwardly extending flange 95 at'the top of the canister arranged to engage and rest on the offset portions $8 of the rods, so that the downward motion of the float is limited. Thus the float will normally be held in spaced relationship below the fan housing 85 as illustrated in Figure 1. The canister is'closed at the top by a large, flat closure plate its and, as shown, is also closed at the bottom by the plate I82 to which a circular rubber sheet I8! is attached.
A rubber ring or sealing gasket R33 is secured to the top closure plate Ills and cemented thereto, so that when the float is lifted to the position of Figure 2, the gasket 53 will come into flat surface engagement with the lower plate 82 of the fan housing 81, and the closure plate H34 will close the air inlet to the fan.
In the operation of the machine, the fan within the housing 8| will exhaust air from the inside of the tank, and air flowing inwardly through the suction hose 3.5 will bring about the suction required for the vacuum cleaning operation.
"6 .offfloat '91 and the bottom face plate .82 of the fan housing 8|, so that air will enter the inlet aperture 83 of the fan housing from all sides thereof and will thus reach the center of the first stage centrifugal fan rotor Ti. As hereinbefore mentioned, the air discharged from this rotor will flow radially inwardly between the partition plates 84 and 85 to the aperture 8'! leading to the second stage rotor '58, and will then be forced radially outwardly and will flow upwardly through ports 88 in the motor casting into the annular exhaust air chamber 62 between the top plate 44 of the cover and the rubber diaphragm 51. From this chamber the air will be dislodged radially in all directions through the narrow annular air discharge opening 54 between the lower rim of the ring 55 and the top of the cover, so that a large quantity of air may be discharged silently and without setting up direct air blasts or turbulence in the atmosphere surrounding the machine. This is of considerable advantage in several respects, since the absence of direct air blasts about the machine not only reduces noise and overcomes the annoyances caused by direct air blasts, but also largely eliminates the tendency of prior machines to blow loose dust into the air.
It is also to be noted that the apparatus of the present invention does not depend upon the air used-for suction purposes to cool the motor. Motor cooling air is drawn inwardly through the notches 56 in the top cap et, and is thence drawn downwardly through openings 68 and ill, and through the motor t5 and ports $8 by the motor cooling fan 89. The air discharged from the motor cooling fan flows into the compartment t3 between the motor housing and the shell 52, and is discharged through the screened vents '55 (Figure 1).
The specific form of float and shut-off mechanism used in the present device has considerable advantage over forms utilized heretofore-in that it accomplishes far more dependable operation than other known shut-oii devices yet does so by the-use of'a comparatively simplified structure.
"It appears that one of the important practical features of the present structure arises from the complete absence of any pipes, ducts, tubes or The air entering the tank I8 will pass upwardly similar structures in the air passages, and it is believed that the elimination of such parts per 'mits a considerable greater degree of GffJiQIOCY and a consequent increase in suction over other machines, and thatthe eiimination of such tubes and pipes brings about a further advantage in providing more dependable and trouble-free operation, particularly as to the float and shutoff operation. With the present arrangement the float may be about one-third of the entire diameter of the machine container (or even larger if desired) and may be about one-third or more of the height thereof, without imposing any limitations on the functioning of the machine, and it has been found that a float of such large dimensions is more stable and dependable in operation than any devices heretofore employed in the art, and that it is less subject to sticking, jamming or to influence by unexpected splashes, surges or eddying movements of the water and foam within the tank.
It has also been found that the central disposition of the float on the axis of the fan and on the central axis of the container gives it additional stability of operation and avoids false responses as a result of splashing, turbulence or surging of the water within the container. It is also believed that the relatively large annular air inlet between the top of the float closure plate and the fan housing permits the largest possible air inflow without substantial resistance to air movement, and thus accomplishes a further increase in efficiency.
In short, the invention provides for elimina tion of many unnecessary pipes, ports and similar structures, and accomplishes a simplification of mechanical structure together with an increased dependability and versatility of operation. 7
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by United States Letters Patent is:
1. In a suction cleaner having a vertically disposed cylindrical container, a removable cover and suction assembly comprising a main cover plate of annular conformation; an electric motor having a frame centrally disposed with re spect to said cover plate, with a peripheral flange at the lower end of said motor resiliently mounted on the cover plate by a circular rubber ring secured between the flange of the motor frame and the inner edge of the cover plate; an annular cover ring concentric with and fixedly secured in spaced relation above said cover plate and defining an exhaust air chamber with an annular outlet between said cover plate and ring, with a yieldable resilient diaphragm extending between inner marginal edge of cover ring and the aforesaid motor frame; a hollow shell secured to the cover ring and enclosing the aforementioned electric motor and with a motor cooling fan positioned within said motor frame and. adapted to circulate air through said motor and shell; said motor including an armature shaft extending downwardly and projecting from said motor frame, with a rotatable suction fan carried on the projecting end of said armature shaft and disposed below the motor frame and substantially below said cover plate; a circular suction fan housing surrounding said suction and detaehably secured to the lower end of the motor frame, with exhaust ports leading from said suction fan to the exhaust chamber between the cover plate and cover ring thence through the annular air outlet therebetween, and w. h a central air inlet on the bottom of the suction ian housing and a shut-off float comprising a relatively large hollow meta lic container havins, a closure plate substantially the diameter of the suction fan at its upper end adapted to engage the bottom of said suction fan housing and close the air inlet to said fan.
2. In a suction cleaner having a vertically disposed cylindrical container, a removable cover and suction assembly comprising a main cover plate of annular conformation; an electric niotor having a frame centrally disposed with respect to said cover plate, with a peripheral flange at the lower end of said motor resiliently mounted on the cover plate by a circular rubber ring secured between the flange of the motor frame and the inner edge of the cover plate; an annular cover ring concentric with and fixedly secured in spaced relation above said cover plate and defining an exhaust air chamber with annular outlet between said cover plate and ring, with a yieldable resilient diaphragm extending between inner marginal edge of said. cover ring and the aforesaid motor frame; said motor including an armature shaft extending downwardly and projecting from said motor frame, with a rotatable suction fan carried on the pro- ,iecting end of said armature shaft and disposed below the motor frame and substantially below said cover plate; a circular suction fan housing surrounding said suction fan and dot-reliably secured to the lower end of the motor fran e, with exhaust ports leading from said suction fan to the exhaust air chamber between the cover plate and cover ring and thence through the annular air outlet therebetween, and with a central air inlet on the bottom of the suction fan and a shut-oil float compri ing a relative y large hollow metallic container having a closu plate substantially the diameter of the suction at its upper end adapted to engage the bottom or said suction fan housing and close the air to said fan.
F/ILllrIAB/l L. PETERSEN.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,528,375 Lilly Oct. El, 2,534,898 Bevington l3, 2,587,565 Yonkers 26, 1952 v i I FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 477,736 Germany June 15, 1923