US 2945553 A
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C. A. BROCK July 19, 1960 VACUUM CLEANER CONSTRUCTION Original Filed Feb. 14, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TOR. 6/176 nae d ,8 raw? July 19, 1960 c. A. BROC K 2,945,553
VACUUM CLEANER CONSTRUCTION I Original Filed Feb. 14, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 id j INVENTOR. C'Zarewce H Erna BY I .l a flA M u- E v 9 1 f 2,945,553 "VACUUM cLEANnR eonsraocnon (Ilarence A. Brock, Toledo filiioya'ssignor, b'y fiiesii'efiis- Unite States Patent of Michigan Original application Feb. "14, 1958, set- No. 565,336, now
ratent-No.;2;ss5,127, eaten M25 12, 1959. Divided and this'applic'a'tion Aug. 18, 7195s, ser. No. 755,562
3 Claims. ='(Cl.=1-"83-"-24) This invention relates to vacuum cleaners, pertaining particularly to improvements up'on vacuum cleaners of the types disclosed in my Patents 2,221,572, granted November 12, 1940, and 2,228,750, granted January -14,
;1 9 4l, and is a division of my application Serial No. 56 5,336, filed February 14, 1956, now Patent No. 2,886,127, issued May 12, 1959.
The objects of this invention are to improve the separa- Patented July 19, 1960 2 ber'having an inturned lower flange 30. An inner cap elemerit 32 is -secured and at the upper 'end of the cap assembly 14 by any appropriate means, representativel'y by the sa e screws 3 1- 'which secure the hand1e36 T the assembly 14. A generally circular cylindrical iii'nei' ca sister; is secured to the inner cap 32 and ex- 'te'rlds generally coaxiallywith the cap assembly '1 4, the
bafi lin'g arrangement, the sole output opening in the pertion of dust from air in a vacuum cleaner and to-improvc the separation of dust and liquids from air in cleaners utilizing liquid baths.
Anotherobject of this invention is to reduce the yi-bration transmitted from the motor to the vacuum cleaner container and to improve the sealing between plural portions of that container.
Another object of the invention is to increaseftheportabilit'y 'andto reduce the size of vacuum-cleaners.
A feature of this invention is an improved means for directing the flow of air between an input port and an output port of a vacuum cleaner exclusively through a rotatable filtering and separating element.
Another feature of this invention is an improved means for reducing the water'and dust content of the exhaust air 'fror'n a water-bath type "of vacuum cleaner. Another feature of this invention is 'animpr'oved means 'for'establishing an airtight seal between 'two detachable vacuum cleaner container portions.
The manner of accomplishing the iforegoing obj'ec'ts, th pature of the foregoing features, and other objects and features of the invention, may bemore fullyfunderstood from the following detailed description of an embodiment 'of the "invention when read with reference to the'acconrpanyingdrawings in "which:
igu're l is a side elevational "view in partial section of a 'v'acuumcleaner embodying "the principles of'the resent invention; and
Fig. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion ofthe structure represented in Fig. 1.
While certain of the princiles 'of the invention are e ually applicable to both dry and liquid-bath type vacuum cleaners, the "principles have been representatively embodied in a cleaner containing provision for the 'efiec- 'tive depositing of dust in or filtration of dust through a Water bath. x v r The disclosed vacuum comprises aeontainer '10 having three 'inteiioined but detachable portions; a main housing portion '12, a cap assembly 14 and a pan assembly '16."
'1" he main housingpoition 1 2include's a generally-circular cylindrical sheet metal element having a rolled lower edge is extending substantially around the periphery, a gen- -era l-ly horizontal upper 'fia-n'ge 20, a generally cylindrical flange portion 22 depending from the inner edge of the.
upper flange 20, a generally conical hangs portion 24 depending the lower edge of the flange 22 and a generally horizontal irmer flange 26 extending radially inwardly from the-flange portion 24.
'tion 3'8 being through an aperture near the lower edge andatone side thereof. Airflowing through the aperture 40 then normallyspasses downwardly between the inner canister 38 and the edge of the flange 30 and then passes outwardly through the annular slot extending peripherally of the cleaner and defined by the spaced-apart flanges 2'0 and 3?).
Themo'lded or cast .pan assembly 16 includes a socket 42 adapted to accept the coupling portion of a flexible hose (not shown), the remote end of that hose being connected or connectable to any of a number of known types of nozzle attachments. The inflow of air is directed downwardly by athroat portion '44. In the preferred use i of the device, the lower portion bf the .pan assembly 16 7 contains an appropriate quantity of water 47, a representatiye level of which is indicated, in which the dust, dirt and other particles may be dissolved, floated or suspended.
Except -for a discontinuity at the socket 4-2, a shoulder 46 extends peripherally of the pan assembly 1 6, being engageable with the lip 18 of the main housing portion 12. The lower edge of the main housing portion 12 is provided with alipped cutout 48 conformed to the con- 7 "figuration of the socket 42, the lipped portion 48 being continuous with the lip 18 so that a substantially continuousgexternalengagement-' secured around the periphcry of the cleaner b tween the main housing portion 12 and the pan assembly 16 when these two portions are in assembled relationship. It will be noted that it is not necessarypin the disclosed arrangement, for this joint to be airtight. Any appropriate clasping or -latching means are provided for detachably securing the pan assembly '16 to the main housing portion 12.
The upper end of the pan assembly 16 is partially enclosed by wall portion 50 terminating in an annular flange 52, the upper surface of which is planar, or slanting inward and downward to tend to cause any water lying i he 'cap assembly 14 .is an inverted bowl-shaped'm m such as those disclosed in my J The assembly of 'the iixed elements of the thereon when the pan is open to flow into the pan.
A motor assembly 54 is supported within the main housing portion 1-2 in a manner to be described andthe motor therein is adapted todrive both a lowerseparator 56 and an upper multi-stage fan 58 so as to draw air through the socket 42 and throat 44, over or through the water 47 and through the "separator 56, the exhaust :air traveling from the fan assembly 58 over the previously noted course to the atmosphere.
As may best be seen in Fig. 2 of the drawings, the "motor assembly '54 comprises a motor housing 60 within which a motor 62 is secured by means such as in achine screws 63. The upper shaft extension 66 of the motor 62, rotatably supported by hearing assern bly 68, is secured to the movable elements of "the .riiulti stage fan assembly 58 which may be of any appropriate ftype, abovesreferenced patents.
w 58 is supported upon the upper flange 70 of the motor housing 60 and is secured thereto by means such as screws 72.
a The moto r.housing 60 is resiliently supported for limited vertical movement relative to the main housing portion 12 by means including motor support ring 76, preferably formed of a resilient material such as rubber.
An annular lip 78 at the upper edge of the main, general ly frusto-conical sleeve portion of the support ring 76 is clamped to horizontal flange 26 of the main housing 12 by means of an outer clamping ring 80, the horizontal flange portion 82 of which is secured to the flange 26 by means of a plurality of annularly disposed screws 85 passing through apertures in the flange portion 82 and in the lip 78 and threadedly engaging apertures in the flange 26.
Support ring 76 is further provided with an inwardly extending annular lip 84 engaging and supporting the lower annular surface of the motor housing 60. A plurality of machine screws, such as screw 86, serve to clamp the annular lip 84 between the motor housing 60 and an inner clamping ring 88. To insure a secure engage ment between the lip 84 and the motor housing 60, an annular cavity 90 is formed in the underslnface of the housing 60, that cavity being defined in part by a depending lip 92 at the outer edge of the motor housing 60. The inwardly extending annular lip 84 is appropriately formed with an enlarged inner portion to occupy the cavity 90. This construction obviates any possibility of the lip 84 slipping radially outwardly between the inner clamping ring 38 and the housing 60.
Dual air sealing means are provided for insuring that air from the atmosphere can enter the cavity in the pan assembly 50 only through the socket 42. As one of those means, the motor support ring 76 is provided with a radially outwardly extending lip portion 94, the outer edge of which is beaded as a reinforcement and the undersurface of which is adapted to engage, over a horizontal annulus of substantial 'width, the upper surface of the flange 52 of the pan assembly 50. As the other such means, a motor gasket 96, preferably formed of a resilient material such as sponge rubber, is disposed in the annular cavity defined by the inner face of the lower portion of the motor support ring 76, by the undersurface of the inner clamping ring 88, and by the outer surface of a motor gasket flange 98 which depends downwardly from but is preferably integral with the inner clamping ring 88. The motor gasket 96 is preferably cemented to portions 88 and 98 and the undersurface of that gasket is adapted to engage, over a horizontal annulus of substantial width, the upper surface of the flange 52 on the pan assembly 50.
The configuration of the support ring flange 94 and the thickness of the motor gasket 96 are selected so that when the pan assembly 50 is mechanically latched to the main housing assembly 12, gasket 96 is slightly compressed and flange 94 is deflected somewhat from its normal, free position so that both elements continuously exert a force to maintain themselves in contact with the upper surface of the pan flange 52. The sealing effect is' emphasized when the machine is in operation in two ways. First, the pressure differential between the inside and the outside of the pan 50 tends to force the support ring lip 94 more tightly into engagement with the upper surface of the flange 52. Additionally, the flexible support for the motor housing assembly 54 permits a limited amount of vertical motion of the assembly 54 relative to the canister and hence, relative to the pan assembly 50, with the motor housing assembly 54 moving vertically downwardly toward the pan assembly 50 when the machine is in operation due to the propelling effects of the multi-stage fan assembly 58. In practice, the amplitude of this motion may be in the order of one-eighth of an inch. This downward motion of the assembly 54 further increases the engaging forces between the sealing elements 94 and 96 and the flange 52, tending further to deflect the former and tending further to com- 1 moistureand dust-laden air from flowing upwardly from the cavity in the pan 50 through the annular gap around press the latter. It will be noted that the described type of mounting for the motor assembly 54 not only permits an enhancing of the sealing to the pan assembly 50, but also the resilient nature of the support results in there being substantially no transmission of the motor vibration to the pan assembly orto the main housing.
It will be appreciated that ring 76 provides an excellent seal to the pan assembly 50 so that the provision of gasket 96 is not imperative for proper sealing. However, as will be seen, gasket 96 serves another important function so that its use is desirable.
The lower motor shaft extension 100 is rotatably supported by a bearing assembly 102 secured within a bearing ring 104. A plurality of relatively thin, radially extending ribs 106 are formed integrally with the motor housing and the bearing ring 104 so as to support the latter coaxially with the housing 60, yet permitting air to flow upwardly within the housing 60. Separator. 56, which may be of the type disclosed in my Patent 2,228,- 750, is secured to and rotates with the shaft 100. Separator 56 effectively serves to permit the passage of air from the cavity of the pan assembly 50 upwardly through the housing 60, under the pressure differentials created by the fan assembly 58, but to prevent the movement of dust or moisture therethrough. Separator 56 terminates in a generally horizontal annular flange 110.
' A rotational clearance is established between the peripheral edge of the flange 110 and the housing 60 or parts integral therewith, in this case, the wall of the flange 98.
As in my previous arrangements, in order to prevent the flange 110, in bypass of the separator 56, a spider assembly 112 is provided to establish a down draft of 35 clean air through that annular gap to oppose and prevent the upward passage of dust or moisture-laden air therethrough. In its disclosed form, spider assembly 112 includes a cup-shaped hub portion 114 secured to the shaft and rotatable therewith, the hub portion 114 partially enclosing the bearing assembly 104 and hence serving as a bearing cover. This configuration provides the'requisite protection for the bearing assembly 104 without the need for a separated bearing cover, thereby permitting a reduction in the overall height of the assembly.
A plurality of blades 116 extend radially from the portion 114, the tips of the blades 116 being interjoined by a ring structure 118 which includes a peripheral notch -the atmosphere. In that event, the additional baffling arrangement disclosed in the drawings may be employed 120 in which the inner peripheral edge of the separator 56 is seated. The outer tips of the blades 116 and the outer edge 122 of the ring 118 extend into spaced proximity to the vertical wall surface 124 of the motor housing 60. Hence, while the major portion of the air passing through the separator 56 is directed upwardly through 55' the motor housing 60 and past the motor 62, an ancillary air flow is established by the blades 116, clean air flowing downwardly between the peripheral edge 122 of the ring 118 and the surface 124 and through the space between the flange on the separator 56 and the flange 98, returning to the cavity within the pan assembly 50.
If the water level in the pan 50 is too high or if a fanmctor combination is provided which is capable of developing extraordinarily high pressure differentials, the arrangement as thus far described may not be totally adequate to prevent the exhausting of some dust-laden air to to insure that dust or moisture-laden air does not bypass the separator 56.
In the preferred arrangement, the inner clamping ring a 88 is provided with a radially inwardly extending annularflange 128 spaced from the spider assembly 112 and disposed intermediate the tips of the blades 116 and the'flange 110 of the separator 56. As a result, a battling I the reduction of drippage arfan'geiiiefit isconstituted whereby thedewitflow of air is over the serpentine path denoted :by arrows in Fig. 2. of the drawings.
'While it is not entirely clear why the interposition "of the baffling flange 1128 produces "such a substantial imtp'rovement -in the sealing of the structureagainst the movement of dust or moisture-laden air in bypass of the separator '56, it is believed that the result accrues, at least in part, from the fact that this arrangement serves to keep the tips of the blades 116 and the periphery of the ring 1 18 effectively dry since, by virtue of the provided circuitous path, the moisture-laden air within the pan assembly 50 cannot so readily come in contact with those rotating elements. It is theorized that any moisture at the periphery of the spider tends to be beaten into water vapor by the action of the blades 116. Since the density of that water vapor is less than the density of the air, the pressure differential between the fluid at the tips of the blades 116 and the fluid in 'the pan assembly 50 is reduced and may, in aggravated circumstances, be reversed so that an upflow of dust or moisture-laden air is permitted. Otherwise stated, the lighter water vapor adjacent the tips of the blades of the spider assembly 112 does not exert as great a centrifugal sealing force as does air.
It has been found in practice that the described arrangement is effective to prevent passage of water and dirt around the separator 56 even though the pan assembly 50 be filled with water well above its normal level and even though the capacity of the motor 62 and the fan assembly 58 be substantially increased.
A further advantage of the disclosed construction is in when the pan assembly 50 is removed. Since water does not tend to collect upon the separator 56 due to its rapid rotational motion in use and since any water collecting on the undersurface of the pan assembly 50 will drip back into the pan, the total possible drippage of water to the floor when the pan assembly is removed is minimal since the total area, other than those noted, upon which water droplets can collect is very small. To a large part, this advantageous result is achieved by the use of motor gasket 96 which blocks water droplets or moisture-laden air from contacting the undersurface of ring 76 or the undersurface of clamping ring 88. Gasket 96 also serves to keep the upper surface of flange 52 dry, preventing the accumulation of water on that surface which has been an objectionable characteristic of certain of the prior constructions. If desired, that portion of gasket 96 which, when the pan assembly 50 is secured to the unit, is exposed to the cavity of the pan assembly 50 may be formed as a narrow depending lip terminating in a line edge, as is represented in somewhat exaggerated form in Fig. 2 of the drawings. Alternatively, if the undersurface of resilient gasket 96 is made substantially planar, a depending lip will tend to form when the unit is assembled since the under edge of the gasket 96 is unsupported and since the remainder of that gasket is, to a degree, compressed. If a depending lip be formed in either fashion, any water droplets tending to collect on the exposed portion of gasket 96 will tend immediately to run down and off of the gasket so that substantially all of the dripping will be completed before the pan assembly 50 isremoved.
While it will be apparent that the embodiments of the invention herein disclosed are well calculated to fulfill the objects of the invention, it will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a vacuum cleaner, a water pan adapted to contain water for trapping dust in the air entering said pan, said pan having an air entrance and having a central aperture in the upper surface thereof, a housing disposed above said pan, a motor supported in said housing, a rotatable cup-shaped separator element disposed adjacent the cenampagin a 'fiange portion,
blade having a plurality of eal aperture in said 'I pan and rotatably driven by said a -ta n disposed'wnhm' said for drawing air into said pan throu'gh the air entrance therein and out of said pan through :said separ'ator "eleniei'it, a wall in closely spaced proximity to ta peripheral surface of'sa'id element, means comprising fan means rotatable with said element for forcing a portion of the air processed by said element to flow in a generally downward direction through the space between said peripheral surface and said wall to thereby oppose and reduce the flow of unprocessed air through said space in a generally upward direction, said fan means including a tip portions spaced from said flange portion of said separator element, and means for preventing water and water-laden air from passing through said space in a generally upwarddirection and into engagement with said fan means and for tending to keep said fan means dry comprising baflle means interposed said tip portions of said fan means and said flange portion of said element.
2. In a vacuum cleaner, a water pan adapted to contain water for trapping dust in the air entering said pan, said pan having an air entrance and having a central aperture in the upper surface thereof, a housing disposed above said pan, a motor supported in said housing, a rotatable cup-shaped separator element disposed adjacent the central aperture in said pan and rotatably driven by said motor and having a horizontal flange, a fan disposed within said housing for drawing air into said pan through the air entrance therein and out of said pan through said separator element, a wall in spaced proximity to a peripheral surface of said element, means comprising fan means rotatable with said element for forcing a portion of the air processed by said element to flow in a generally downward direction through the space between said peripheral surface and said wall to thereby oppose and reduce the flow of unprocessed air through said space in a generally upward direction, said fan means including a plurality of blades rotatable about a vertical axis and overlying and closely spaced from said flange of said separator element, and means for tending to prevent water and waterladen air from passing through said space in a generally upward direction and into engagement with the tips of the blades of said fan means and for forcing any water and water-laden air moving upwardly from said pan to said fan means through said space to follow a circuitous path for tending to keep the tips of the blades of fan means dry comprising horizontally disposed baflle means interposed the tips of the blades of said fan means and said flange of said element.
3. In a vacuum cleaner, a water pan adapted to contain water for trapping dust in the air entering said pan, said pan having an air entrance and having a central aperture in the upper surface thereof, a housing disposed above said pan, a motor supported in said housing, a
rotatable cup-shaped separator element disposed adjacent the central aperture in said pan and rotatably driven by said motor, said separator element having a horizontally disposed peripheral flange, a fan disposed within said housing for drawing air into said pan through the air entrance therein and out of said pan through said separator element, vertically disposed wall means in spaced proximity to a peripheral surface of said element, means comprising fan means rotatable with said element for forcing a portion of the air processed by said element to flow in a generally downward direction through the spacebetween said peripheral surface and said wall to thereby oppose and reduce the flow of unprocessed air through said space in a generally upward direction, said fan means having a generally horizontally disposed peripheral portion lying in spaced parallelism with said flange, vertically disposed wall means in spaced proximity to the edge of said peripheral portion of said fan means, and means for preventing water and water-laden air from 7 8 passing through said space in a generally upward direc- References Cited in the file of this patent tion and into engagement with said fan member com- L prising baffle means lying in a generally horizontal plane UNITED STATES PATENTS .and secured to said wall means, said baifie means having 2,114,780 7 Juelson Apr. 19, 1938 portions disposed between said flange on said element and 5 2,228,750 Brock Jan. 14, 1941 said peripheral portion of said fan means. 2,314,986 Johnson Mar. 30, 1943