US 2878360 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 17, 1959 w. K. TAVENDER ET AL 2,
PORTABLE STEAM GUNS AND STEAM-SUPERHEATING APPARATUS THEREFOR Filed Aug. 15, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 5 I L J Ti L- a DRY STEAM 1 @DAMP 1b F. ,7- T 1 1 1 14 11$ 1 776- 5 INVENTOR.
WALTER K. TAV ENDER T 170. T f
L E EJNARD r). MC CORMACK,JR.
March 17, 1959 Filed Aug. 15, 1957 w. K. TAVENDER ET AL PORTABLE STEAM GUNS AND STEAM-SUPERHEATING APPARATUS THEREFOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 WALTER LE NARD J. BY
INVENTOR. K. TAVE NDER ATTORN EY MGCORMACKJR.
United States Patent PORTABLE STEAM GUNS AND STEAM-SUPER- HEATING APPARATUS THEREFOR Walter K. Tavender and Leonard J. McCormack, Jr., Winchester, Va.
Application August 15, 1957, Serial No. 678,295
6 Claims. (Cl. 219-39) This invention relates to improvements in portable steam guns and steam-superheating apparatus therefor.
Steam guns and like steaming apparatus are employed largely by retail dry goods stores to freshen garments and to remove wrinkles and fold marks and it will be understood that in such devices Where steam is generated in a conventional boiler or electrical steam generator and then passed through steam-conducting pipes or hoses and discharged, steam will flow when the discharge valve is opened and with it will be discharged at considerable amount of condensation until the hose becomes hot, and even after the hose becomes hot, the temperature of the steam in the said conduit will be continuously reduced and cooled by the surrounding air as it passes through such steam-conducting pipe or hose.
One of the objects of our invention is to utilize in such a steam gun or steaming apparatus means for superheating steam during the passage thereof through the steam gun conduit and for discharging such steam in superheated condition so as (1) to avoid condensation of the steam being employed, and (2) to more readily and deeply penetrate the goods and thereby to greatly increase the speed and thoroughness of the operations of freshening garments and removing Wrinkles and fold marks therefrom.
The steam gun or steaming apparatus of applicants may be used also for other purposes as, for example, the cleaning of various types of equipment such as used in restaurants and butcher shops for the preparation of food and in garages for the cleaning of automobile seats and other parts, and in all such cases the discharge by the steam gun of steam in superheated condition avoids steam condensation, cleans quicker and enables a more thorough and speedier job to be done.
Another object of our invention is to produce a steam gun or steaming apparatus that Will, by the use of an electric heating element disposed axially Within a steamcarrying conduit in association with its steam discharge outlet or nozzle, superheat and discharge from such outlet or nozzle in a superheated and thoroughly hot condition steam supplied thereto from a suitable steam supply source such as a steam generator, thus providing a compact, practical means for superheating steam during passage or movement thereof through a steam gun or steamdischarging apparatus and avoiding condensation upon impingement of the steam with the fabric or other work surface and also by providing a supply of hot steam of ample quantity for the purpose intended greatly increasing the speed and effectiveness of the cleaning operation and also providing for the operation steam that is thoroughly dry and free from condensation and which when applied to fabrics or dry goods will penetrate and clean the fibres of the goods and enable such goods or garments to resume normal shape without sagging in any Way;
Another object of our invention is in a portable steam gun or steaming apparatus to provide a coil composed of a. steam conducting conduit having steam-superheating Patented Mar. 17, .1959
means so mounted within the same as to enable steam passed therethrough to be thoroughly superheated and thus to completely avoid all cooling and condensation such as occurs when steam is passed directly through a conventional hose or pipe and is discharged from a conventional nozzle.
Another object of our invention is to provide a steam gun that embodies an electrical heating element so arranged in the steam gun conduit close to the discharging nozzle that the steam being supplied will be thoroughly superheated and discharged from a hot nozzle.
Another object of our invention is in a steam gun to utilize a standard electric heating element of the tubular type comprising a centrally-disposed current-carrying wire suitably supported by insulating material within a tube preferably of suitable metal of small diameter. Such tubular heating element is mounted axially within a steamconducting conduit so as to provide an annular channel therebetween and to apply within such annular channel means that will cause steam passed through the same to follow an elongated path surrounding such axiallymounted element.
Another object of our invention is in a steam gun to provide a steam conduit having mounted axially within the same a standard electrical heating element of tubular type hereinabove referred to and to provide between said tubular heating element and the inside surface of the conduit a helical wire arranged to contact the tubular heating element at one side thereof and the inner surface of the conduit at the opposite side thereof, and thus to provide a helical path or channel between the heating element and the conduit that will cause steam passed through said channel between the conduit and the tubular heating element to traverse a helical path over said heating element and thus to be thoroughly superheated during its passage.
Another object of our invention is in a steam gun to utilize a steam-superheating unit in the form of a coil composed of a tubular steam conduit and enclosed electric tubular heating element mounted to produce a helical steam-superheating channel and to house this coil unit Within a suitable enclosure for ready handling by the user.
Another object of our invention is to form our conducting conduit having the tubular heating element mounted therein into a superheating coiled unit having projecting ends and to utilize opposite projecting ends of the chargecarrying wire of said tubular heating element for the necessary electrical connections to produce a heating current within the superheating coiled unit, said heating element and steam-carrying conduit being securely mounted together as an integrated and relatively small portable device that will enable steam to flow through the helical steam channel the full length of said helical channel and tubes to supply superheated steam and will provide means to cause a current of electricity to how through said charge-carrying wire for the application of heat to steam in said coiled superheating unit.
Another object of our invention is to utilize a portable steam gun that will clean and remove Wrinkles from drygoods and like fabrics so effectively as in many cases to avoid the necessity for the pressing of such goods and fabrics.
With these and other objects in view, the invention comprises the combination of members and arrangement of parts so combined as to co-act and cooperate with each other in the performance of the functions and the accomplishment of the results herein contemplated, and comprises in one of its adaptations the species or preferred form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a side elevation of our steam gun showing one side of its enclosing casing with projecting spout, part of the liquid supply conduit, electrical wiring, and the electrical operating mechanism;
Fig. 2 is a side elevation of the opposite side of said enclosing casing with projecting spout and showing the liquid supply conduit partly broken away as well as the electrical wiring and electric operating mechanism;
Fig. 3 is a longitudinal section of the casing showing the internally-mounted steam-superheating conduit coil, the projecting spout connected thereto, the body of the electric valve-controlling switch and other electrical connections and operating mechanism;
Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary illustrative view showing the steam-superheating conduit with the tubular electric heating element mounted axially therein and the spirally wound wire arranged between the outer conduit and the heating element to provide a spiral channel for superheating steam during passage thereof from the supply inlet to the discharge spout;
Fig. 5 is a section on the line 55 of Fig. 4 looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 6 is a wiring diagram showing electrical connections of the superheating conduit coil with switch mechanism for controlling discharge of superheated steam through the nozzle; also connections with a thermostat for controlling the heat of the superheated steam and connections to a solenoid valve mechanism for controlling the steam supply; and
Fig. 7 is a vertical section of the spout and the connected superheating conduit showing the connection at the spout of the heating element and of the helical coil of wire used for increasing the length of the path of steam through said conduit.
Referring now to these drawings, the apparatus in issue herein essentially comprises a portable steam gun 10 (see Fig. 3) that provides a steam-conducting conduit 11 suitably connected at its outlet end with a discharge nozzle 13 and which at its inlet end is suitably connected with a supply conduit 12 (see Fig. 2) which in turn is connected with a suitable source of steam, such as a steam generator (not shown). Steam is thus after passage through the steam conducting conduit 11 discharged in a suitable stream through said nozzle 13 for use in treating textiles, drygoods and/or other uses.
In accordance with our invention, our steam gun 10 is provided in the steam-conducting conduit 11 with steam superheating means and is short in length and light in Weight to permit portability and ready and easy handling. Our apparatus notwithstanding such short length and light weight will produce a completely and thoroughly superheated steam in the steam gun 10 and will enable such superheated steam to be discharged in such hot condition as to avoid condensation and by its heat also to enable more ready and deep penetration of drygoods. With this end in view, we provide means for superheating the steam as it passes from its connection with the supply conduit or source 12 through the conducting conduit 11 and to the connection with the discharge nozzle 13. For this purpose we utilize a steam-superheating conduit 11 composed of a pair of axially interpositioned tubes comprising an outer or outside stearn-conducting conduit 11 of relatively large size which is used as an enclosing conduit or tube and a smaller enclosed inner element or tube 11* mounted axially within said outer conduit or tube 11 and having embodied therein an electric heating element which preferably fills the entire space within the inner tube 11* and comprises as shown in Figs. 4 and 5 a centrally-disposed charge-carrying wire 11 surrounded by insulating material 11 Heating elements have heretofore been mounted in tubes and are known as tubular heating elements. These tubular heating elements have heretofore been used in pressing irons and for other purposes, and in the instant invention we utilize a tubular heating element of standard diameter and mount the same axially within the outer steam-conducting conduit 11 of the gun 10 in such position as to provide a steam-passing channel 14 between the outer surface of the heating element tube 11 and the inner surface of the larger steam-conducting conduit 11. In steam-superheating devices of our invention heretofore produced, our standard heating element tube has been outside diameter and the outer steam-carrying enclosing conduit has been inside diameter, and when the heating element 11 is axially mounted as above indicated this leaves a channel of sufiicient width to permit passage of steam in suitable volume therethrough.
It is desirable in order to procure effective superheating of the steam being passed through the channel 14 between said steam-conducting conduit or tube 11 and steam-heating tubular elements 11 to cause such steam to follow a long or extended path and with this end in view, a helical coil of wire 15 is employed for mounting the smaller tubular heating element within the larger conduit. Said wire 15 closely engages the outer surface of the smaller tube 11' and also closely contacts the inner or internal surface of the larger conduit or tube 11. The interpositioning between the outer and inner tubes 11 and 11 of such helical coil of wire produces a channel 14 of helical contour between such tubes. This wire 14 is preferably of fairly large helical pitch comprising about A" and provides an elongated helical channel 14 through which steam will flow normally under suitable pressure from the source of supply and within which channel the flowing steam will be thoroughly superheated.
In the preferred form of our invention illustrated, the I,
steam-conducting and superheating conduit 11 is, as shown in Pig. 3, formed into a coil and said coil is suitably mounted within an enclosing casing 15 through which at one side the discharge nozzle 13 extends and which at the other side is provided with a handle 15'.
The superheating conduit 11 and its axially-positioned tubular heating element 11 are independently connected (see Fig. 7) by fittings 16, ilti and 16*, 16 with the bore 13 of the nozzle block 13 Said fittings cause said heating element 11 to extend completely through said bore and above the upper end thereof where one end of the wire 11 of said heating element projects above the fittings and forms an electric terminal for one end of the coiled conduit 11 and heating element 11 The channel forming helical wire 15 extends to the steam-outlet portion of the said bore 13 nozzle 13. superheating of steam may thus be continued in said helical channel 14 as it passes points close to the outlet.
A readily-portable steam gun or steam apparatus 10 is thus produced that is not only capable of ready and easy handling but which will enable thorough superheating in a relatively short steam-conducting and superheating con duit, which is preferably coiled, and said superheated steam may be discharged without condensation.
In our preferred embodiment, we utilize a thermostat 20 to maintain the steam within the coiled conduit 11 at a predetermined temperature. As shown, said thermostat is mounted within the casing 15 on the upper coiled portion 11 of the coiled conduit 11. Maintenance and discharge of superheated steam at such predetermined temperature is accomplished by electrically connecting the thermostat 21) in a circuit with the coiled superheating unit 13. As illustrated, wire 18* connects one terminal of said thermostat 29 directly to the projecting wire 11 of the tubular heating element 11 and the other terminal of the thermostat is connected in the circuit by wire 20 to a suitable source of current supply, and by wire 17 to solenoid valve 23 to wire l7 into switch 21, as shown in Fig. 6.
Discharge of such superheated steam from the coiled conduit 11 is thus controlled by the said finger-operated switch 21 which is conveniently mounted on the handle 15 of the gun 10. The switch 21 is a conventional switch having a fixed body portion 21 and a movable finger actuated member 21 for manually making electrical conof the block 13 close to the discharge nection and is spring pressed for automatically breaking electrical connection. The coiled superheating unit 11 is thus embodied in an electric circuit controlled by thermostat 20 and is connected in said circuit by the chargecarrying wire 11 which projects from the opposite ends of the coiled unit and forms terminals therefor.
In the preferred embodiment of our invention we provide means for delivering dryer steam than will be discharged under control of the thermostat 20, and for this purpose we provide another switch 22 which is adapted, upon movement of the movable member 22' thereof to Dry Steam position, to short circuit the thermostat 20 and thus to provide hotter steam. One of the terminals of this switch 22 is electrically connected (Figs. 3 and 4) by wire 22 to the heating-element wire 11 of the coiled conduit 11 above the connection at 18* of the thermostat wire 18, and the other terminal of said switch 22 is connected by wire 22 through the operating switch 21 to the source of current supply. This switch 22 therefore when moved to closed position which is marked Dry Steam will short circuit the thermostat 20 and thus enables a boosting of the heat in the coiled superheating tubes 11 above the standard temperature which is provided by the thermostat 20. Dry or higher-temperature steam will only be discharged when switch 22 is closed and switch 21 is also closed. Consequently very hot and dryer steam at the discharge spout is provided. The opposite non-operative position of said knob 22' of the switch 22 is preferably marked Damp Steam, and when damper thermostat-controlled steam is required, knob 22' is moved to that position.
The operators switch 21 is spring-biased to lteep said switch open. When said operating switch is moved by the operator to closed position and the selecting switch 22 is in off or Damp position, the thermostat 20 again takes over and the superheated steam is held at the given or standard heat.
The supply of steam from the source through the rubber hose 12 to the superheating conduit 11 is controlled by a solenoid valve 23 which is connected in the circuit through the switch 21. Electrical connections are made to connect the solenoid valve 23 in the circuit and, as shown, these connections are so arranged so that when the switch 21 is operated and closed, the solenoid valve will be operated to admit steam through the rubber hose or conduit 12 to the coiled superheating conduit 11 from which it passes to the block which block is heated through conduction of heat from the heating element as shown in Fig. 7 and is discharged through the nozzle 13, which is also heated by conduction of heat from the ele ment 11 and block 10.
The electrical operating switch 21 is mounted in a convenient position on the handle of the gun outside of the casing and the gun is relatively light and capable of ready and easy operation.
Having described our invention, we claim:
1. A steam gun comprising a combined steam-conducting conduit and enclosed electric tubular heating element,
said conduit being arranged in the form of a coil, and said coil being enclosed within an enclosing housing to enable ready handling by the user, means for supplying steam to one end of said steam conducting conduit, an electric circuit for supplying current to said heating element, said element being connected at opposite ends in said circuit, the parts being arranged to cause steam during the passage thereof from the steam supply means through said steam conducting conduit to be superheated, a discharge nozzle at the end of said steam-conducting conduit opposite to said supply means for discharging superheated steam therefrom, and manually-operable means for controlling the discharge of said superheated steam through said nozzle.
2. A steam gun as claimed in claim 1 in which the combined steam-conducting conduit and enclosed electric tubular heating element are arranged in the form of a coil and said heating elements project beyond the ends of the steam-conducting conduit at opposite ends of the coil thereof and at said opposite ends of the coil function as terminals for connection to a source of current supply to heat said elements.
3. A steam gun as claimed in claim I in which the combined steam-conducting conduit and enclosed electric tubular heating element are arranged in the form of a coil, a manually-operated valve is mounted to control discharge of steam from said coiled members, said manually-operated valve is electrically connected with a supply-controlling valve and means is provided for immediately cutting off the supply of steam to the coiled members upon release by the operator of the steam discharge valve.
4. A steam gun as claimed in claim 1 in which the means for controlling the discharge of steam includes a solenoid valve.
5. A steam gun as claimed in claim 1 in which a thermostat is mounted within the enclosing housing and connected in the circuit with said heating element and utilized in the circuit to control the heat of the electrical heating element.
6. A steam gun as claimed in claim 1 in which a thermostat is mounted within the enclosing housing and connected in the circuit with said heating element and utilized to control the heat of the electrical heating element, and another switch is also provided with electrical connections to the thermostat, heating element of the coiled members, and to the operating switch and source of current supply for short-circuiting the thermostat to boost the heat in the coiled members above the temperature which is provided by the thermostat and consequently to enable discharge of very hot steam.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,439,340 St. Clair Dec. 12, 1922 1,460,025 McLean June 26, 1923 1,549,016 McLean Aug. 11, 1925 2,467,393 Leher Apr. 19, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent Non z ava taeo March 17, 1959 Walter KO Tavender et al.
It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
T I Column line 8, for "11 read W 11 1111623 for "14" read 15 line 73 for "l5" read. l5
Signed and sealed this 28th day of July 1959 Attest:
KARL AXLINE ROBERT C. WATSON Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No, 219878 360 March 17, 1959 Walter KO Tavender et al,
It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Golumn 4, line 8 for ll read my 11 line'23, for "l4" read 15 line 73 for "l5" reed we 15 Signed and sealed this 28th day of July 1959.,
KARL AXLLINE ROBERT c. WATSON Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents