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Publication numberUS2994098 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1961
Filing dateJan 23, 1957
Priority dateJan 23, 1957
Publication numberUS 2994098 A, US 2994098A, US-A-2994098, US2994098 A, US2994098A
InventorsHiroshi Fukuba
Original AssigneeHiroshi Fukuba
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum cleaner with flexible rotary-pistons
US 2994098 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1961 HIROSHI FUKUBA 2,994,098

VACUUM CLEANER WITH FLEXIBLE ROTARY-PISTONS Filed Jan. 23, 1957 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FUJ' INVENTOR. /'///?0H/ FUKUBA Aug. 1951 HIROSHI FUKUBA 2,994,098

VACUUM CLEANER WITH FLEXIBLE ROTARY-PISTONS Filed Jan. 23. 1957 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. #09051 FURL/8A ATTORNEY 1961 HlROSHl FUKUBA 2,994,098

VACUUM CLEANER WITH FLEXIBLE ROTARY-PISTONS Filed Jan. 25, 1957 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 IN VEN TOR. HMPOJH/ FuKl/BA The present invention relates to a motorless, handmoved vacuum cleaner which is operated by means of flexible rotary-pistons that rotate by prime mover-wheels revolving on the floor through friction. This invention is characterized in that a few pieces of fabric which act as rotary-pistons, are carried on a shaft equally spaced, and the free end of these fabric pieces are held in close contact with the curvature of a cylinder wall through centrifugal force. Dust is drawn in from the front, and then compressed with air into the dust chamber through the sudden stretching of bent fabrics.

The object of this invention is to provide contacting action of the fabric pieces which are in contact with the inside-wall of the enclosure while rotating.

The attached drawings show one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the vacuum cleaner;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view from below;

FIG. 3 is a plan view with the handle removed;

FIG. 4 is a section taken on the line 44 of FIGS. 2 and 3;

FIG. 5 is a section taken on the line 55 of FIGS. 2 and 3; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of flexible flaps carried on their shaft which is removed from the case.

As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 3, a case 11 and its upper wall 8 are made of a material such as metal. A fluted guide roller 18, made of soft rubber, is carried on front of the case 11. A trailing wheel 9 is carried in a recess on the rear end of a bottom cover 10. The cleaner as a whole, can be moved on the floor by means of the guide roller 18 and the trailing wheel 9 when force is applied to the handle.

Two friction wheels 7, 7 are carried on each side of the case 11 as shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 5. These wheels are driven by contact with the floor and act as a prime mover. Friction rollers 3, 3 fitted on both ends of shaft 2 of the rotary piston, are closely in contact with friction wheels 7, 7, and as the rollers 3, 3 are smaller than the wheels 7, 7 in diameter the shaft 2 acquires a fast rotating speed. The end of shaft 2 is fitted into its bearing slot with sufiicient force to maintain it in vertical position, but to permit rotation of said shaft.

A few pieces of flexible materials such as fabric flaps 1, 1, 1", 1" are attached to this shaft 2 with equal pitch on its profile-circle as shown in FIG. 6. The number of fabric flaps acting as rotary pistons may be four or more.

The free ends of the fabric flaps tend to stretch outward due to centrifugal force when the shaft rotates. In order to make this tendency more effective, the end parts of the flaps may be folded back and sewed together as shown in FIG. 6.

The inside curvature of the case 8 forms a part of a cylinder, and provides a front-wall 4 and a back-wall 5 which are both circularly curved.

The fabric flaps 1 1" are made so long that they cannot fully stretch inside the case as they are restricted by surrounding walls 4 and 8 during their rotating motion, but the end port of each flap follows along front-wall 4, upper-wall 8 and back-wall 5 with its free end bent backward. Therefore, the spaces surrounded by the flaps 1 1", front-wall 4 and upper-wall 8 are kept air tight which results in drawing in the dust when the flap comes to position 1' in FIG. 4. When the flap advances Patented Aug. 1, 1961 lee to inlet 5' of dust chamber 6, the bent partof flap 1'' is stretched out as its end comes free, and dust is released when flap 1" strikes against the upper edge of the backwall 5, and is forced into the dust chamber by the air propelled by the following flap.

A door 8 is hinged to the case 8 which opens while the compression process is going on, as shown in FIG. 4. This door 8' acts as the check valve to prevent air from flowing from the dust collector bag toward the suction chamber either between successive flap positions or when the flaps remain stationary. The free end of the flap which has passed the inlet space 5' is bent back again by the back wall as shown at 1" in FIG. 4.

The flaps act to gather dust at the front of the case by their lapping motion between the positions indicated at 1 to 1. Each flap 1 1" in turn repeats the process described above.

A dust bag 16 made of fabric, connected to an operat ing handle 15 with a tension spring 17, is attached just over dust inlet 12 which is out on the back-wall of the case 8. The operating handle 15 is provided with a bifurcated member 13 pivoted on the case 8 at 14. The dust bag expands when dust is forced into it with air, but the air soon escapes through the fabric and the dust falls into dust chamber 6.

The cleaner is moved forward and backward on floors by handle 15, but the actual dust-drawing operation is done in the forward motion only. To avoid reverse motion of the flaps during the backward motion, bearings for the prime mover-wheels 7, 7 are shaped in the form of elongated slots 22 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, so as to cut the friction contact with the rollers 3, 3 of the rotating shaft 2.

To clean the dust chamber 6, a bottom plate 10 pivoted at 20 may be opened by pushing a catch 21. Small brushes 19, 19 are fitted at both ends of the front of the casing to sweep dust from corners. Instead of friction wheels 7, 7 in the said embodiment, an electric motor as a prime mover may be used to drive the shaft. Although but one embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail, it is to be expressly understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Various changes can be made in the design, arrangement, and constituents of the parts Without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as the same will now be understood by those skilled in the art.

What I claim is:

l. A vacuum cleaner movable over a floor, comprising a housing forming a generally cylindrical chamber having a horizontal axis, said housing having a curved peripheral wall and having a dust intake opening at the bottom of said chamber registering with said floor and a dust discharge opening at an elevation above said intake opening, a horizontal shaft disposed axially in said chamber, means, including a plurality of wheels, for driving said shaft, said wheels being adapted to support said vacuum cleaner, a plurality of flaps of impervious flexible material mounted on said shaft, said flaps having a flexibility such that they do not engage said peripheral wall when at rest and being adapted to be extended centrifugally due to the rotation of said shaft to engage and form an air seal with said peripheral wall, whereby said flaps act as pistons to draw air and dust from said floor through said intake opening and to discharge said air and dust through said discharge opening, and a projection in said housing positioned in the path of the rotating flaps whereby said flaps during the rotation thereof come into contact with said projection with appreciable force.

2. A vacuum cleaner movable over a floor, comprising a housing forming a generally cylindrical chamber having a horizontal axis, said housing having a curved peripheral wall and having a dust intake opening at the bottom of said chamber registering with said floor and a dust discharge opening at an elevation above said intake opening, a horizontal shaft disposed axially in said chamber, means, including a plurality of wheels, for driving said shaft, said wheels being adapted to support said vacuum cleaner, a plurality of flaps of impervious flexible material mounted on said shaft, said flaps having a flexibility such that they do not engage said peripheral Wall when at rest and being adapted to be extended centrifugally due to the rotation of said shaft to engage and form an air seal with said peripheral Wall, whereby said flaps act as pistons to draw air and dust from said floor through said intake opening and to discharge said air and dust through said discharge opening and a check valve disposed in said discharge opening and adapted to prevent the reverse flow of air through said opening, and a projection in said housing positioned in the path of the rotating flaps whereby said flaps during the rotation thereof come into contact with said projection with a force of such degree to cause the opening of the check valve.

3. A vacuum cleaner as set forth in claim 1 having the wheels disposed to engage and be driven by movement of said cleaner over said floor and means connecting said wheels to drive said shaft.

4. A vacuum cleaner as set forth in claim 3 having a one-way coupling mechanism to interrupt the drive of said shaft when said wheels rotate in a reverse direction as the cleaner is moved to and fro over a floor.

5. A vacuum cleaner as set forth in claim 1 in which said fiaps are provided at their ends with portions adapted to be folded over due to engagement with said walls.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 22,488 Carey Jan. 4, 1859 112,837 Norris Mar. 21, 1871 479,616 Bennett July 26, 1892 541,992 Cloud et al. July 2, 1895 609,145 Harvey Aug. 16, 1898 642,172 Sweitzer Ian. 30, 1900 643,386 Smith Feb. 13, 1900 1,224,349 Yessne May 1, 1917 1,426,954 Brooks Aug. 22, 1922 1,558,006 Fisker Oct. 20, 1925 1,594,685 Osius Aug. 3, 1926 1,915,073 Svensson June 20, 1933 2,348,861 Smellie May 16, 1944 2,537,523 Frost Ian. 9, 1951 2,722,709 Yerkes Nov. 8, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 4,931 Great Britain 1878 449,913 Great Britain July 7, 1836

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3268936 *Nov 17, 1964Aug 30, 1966Hiroshi FukubaManual floor cleaner with pivotally mounted resilient driving wheels
US4445245 *Aug 23, 1982May 1, 1984Lu Ning KSurface sweeper
US4815157 *Oct 28, 1987Mar 28, 1989Kabushiki Kaisha HokyFloor cleaner
US5148569 *Oct 17, 1990Sep 22, 1992Bissell Inc.Debris impeller
US5611109 *Feb 20, 1996Mar 18, 1997Firma FedagCleaning roller for the suction head of a vacuum cleaning device
US5794297 *Mar 29, 1995Aug 18, 1998Hoky Contico, L.L.C.Cleaning members for cleaning areas near walls used in floor cleaner
US7246409 *Sep 26, 2003Jul 24, 2007Oreck Holdings, LlcManually-powered floor sweeper with vacuum port
US8272854Apr 29, 2005Sep 25, 2012Castronovo Charles AVacuum cleaners especially quiet vacuum cleaners, pumps, and engines
WO2005107552A2 *Apr 29, 2005Nov 17, 2005Charles A CastronovoVacuum cleaners especially quiet vacuum cleaners, pumps, and engines
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/342, 15/388, 15/43
International ClassificationA47L5/00, A47L5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47L5/04
European ClassificationA47L5/04