US 3031685 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1, 1962 L. G. BAUMANN 3,031,685
BATHTUB BUBBLING DEVICE Filed Aug. 17, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 //vI//vr0/2: .Lu di; G. Ba 20 mm AT TYS.
May '1, 1962 Filed Aug. 17, 1959 G. BAUMANN 3,031,685
BATHTUB BUBBLING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Ludwig G. Baummn ZWFgQJF/W 3,031,685 BATHTUB BUBELING DEVI'CE Ludwig G. Baurnann, Konigstein (Taunus)-Schneidhain,
Germany, assignor to Interpatent A.G., Zurich, Switzerland, a firm Filed Aug. 17, 1959, Ser. No. 834,161 Claims priority, application Germany Dec. 16, 1958 3 Claims. (ill. 4-180) This invention relates to a device for bubbling a gas, especially air, through the water in a bath with the aid of a vacuum cleaner, compressor, or like pump means, the gas or air being discharged into the water in the bath through fine openings in pipes arranged in or alongside box-shaped units which are immersed in the bath.
Known bubbling devices of this kind which are im mersed in the water in order to provide the beneficial and pleasant sensation the rising bubbles produce on the skin have been found to be inconvenient because they consist of one rigid unit which may not fit into baths of different sizes and certainly not into a small-sized tub, such as for instance a hip bath.
It is the object of the invention to provide a bubbling device which will in efiect fit into baths of any shape or size and which can even be placed for instance on the step-like bottom of a hip bath to produce a bubble effect of variable and controllable intensity.
Substantially the object envisaged by the invention is attained by providing a plurality of preferably detachable metal or non-metal units, articulated together in chain-like formation by rigid or flexible hinges in serial succession or relative juxtaposition, and equipped in their interior or along their sides with rigid or flexible pipes with rows or" fine holes facing upwards, said pipes being connectable with a common supply pipe for air, preferably through an air distributing means, which receives the necessary air from a compressor or vacuum cleaner,
This form of construction, on the one hand, permits the length of the assembly to be increased or curtailed without impairment of its functional efficiency by adding or removing one or more units, and on the other hand, it permits a person taking such a bath to adjust the streams of bubbles so that they will impinge upon the parts of his body he particularly desires to expose to their effect. Furthermore, the chain-like articulation of the several units permits the assembly to adapt itself to a bath with a bottom of irregular shape.
Other features of the invention will be understood as the following description of preferred embodiments shown in the accompanying drawings proceeds.
The drawings illustrate the invention in two forms of construction (in FIGS. 1 to 4 and FIGS. to 11 respectively):
FIG. 1 is a bath shown in longitudinal section, the proposed device consisting of individual metal or nonmetal units articulated together in chain-like formation and formed with rigid bubble pipes, the assembly being placed on the bottom of a conventional bath;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the assembly;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal section through the bubbling device, taken on the line IIIIII in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a horizontal section through a bubbling assembly, taken on the line IV-IV in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a bath shown in longitudinal sectional elevation with a modified form of a bubbling device on the bottom of the bath, the assembly consisting of juxtaposed parallel rows of articulated units in chain-like formation with flexible bubbling pipes connected with a common air distributing header pipe;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the assembly shown in FIG. 5;
' atent ice FIG. 7 is an air distributing header pipe shown in longitudinal section;
FIG. 8 is a cross section through the bubbling device, taken on the line VIIIVIII in FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 is a cross section through a box-shaped unit formed with a groove for the reception therein of a flexible bubble pipe;
FIG. 10 is a longitudinal section through a coupling for connecting the distributing header pipe with the supply pipe from a vacuum cleaner, and
FIG. 11 is a longitudinal section through a controllable relief valve between the supply pipe and its junction with the distributing header.
With reference now to FIGS. 1 to 4 it will be seen that the bubbling device comprises a plurality of box'like units 11 articulated together in chain-like formation, said members being placed alongside each other into a bath 10. These box-like units 11 have an open bottom, whereas the top is provided with holes 18 which facilitate gripping the units when lowering them into the bath. Underneath the top of each unit 11 is a continuous pipe 12 with bubble openings 17 which emerge at the top of unit 11. Between adjacent units 11 are pipe couplings 13, one half of each coupling being integrally formed with one of the projecting ends of each pipe 12, in such manner that when the units are coupled together a continuous bubble pipe will be formed extending through all the units 11 in succession and supplied with air through a flexible air hose 14 and a control valve 15 from a compressor, vacuum cleaner, or like source of air. Articulation of the several units 11 is effected by means of flexible or rigid hinges. In the illustrated example the hinges are of push-in type 16, one half of each hinge being aflixed to one of the two adjacent units. These push-in type hinges 16 are coaxially aligned with the couplings 13 in such manner that when the units 11 are level the couplings 13 will form an air-tight joint for instance by engaging in the manner of a bayonet coupling. With especial advantage the units 11 may consist of a non-metallic material, such as a rigid plastic material, each pipe 12, one half of hinges l6 and one half of couplings 13 on each unit 11- forming an integral whole. The units 11 may also take the form of inflatable bags with tubes 12 incorporated therein, and valves or the like for controlling the passage and distribution of air may be provided on one of the coupling halves 13 between the several units 11.
In the second illustrated embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 to 11 the bubbling device (see H6. 6) consists of box-like units 11 formed with slots 31, said units being articulated together in chain-formation in parallel adjacent rows by means of hinges 32 similar to the hinges 16, flexible air pipes 719 with fine air holes 36- being arranged longitudinally along the sides of said rows of units. These preferably plastic flexible air pipes 29 may be inserted, as shown in FIG. 9, into troughs 42 formed in the units 11, said troughs being arranged to align in each row and to retain the pipes 29 by tightly embracing the same in such manner that the upper edge of the pipes will not project from the surface of the relative unit 11. These flexible bubble pipes may themselves form flexible hinges between adjacent units 11. At one end of a bubble mat which is thus formed is a transverse air distributing header which may be contrived to form a multiway valve and which, on the one hand, is connected by a flexible pipe 14 with a vacuum cleaner 38 whereas, on the other hand, it is connected with adjacent rows of units and their associated bubble pipes 29. As shown in FIG. 7 the air distributing header consists of two pipe members 21 and 28, the one inside the other, and the outer pipe member 28 being provided with the air inlet branch for the flexible air hose 14 from the vacuum 3 cleaner 38 as well as with several branches 2%, 23, 24 and 26 for connection with several flexible bubble pipes 29 and 39 respectively. The inner pipe member 21 is rotatable by means of control knobs 22 fitted at each end of said pipe. The pipe is further provided with ports 27 in several planes which also contain branches 19, 20, 23, 2:4, 25 and 26 in such manner that by rotating the pipe 21 the air entering at 19 can be selectably delivered through one or more of branches 20, 23, 24, 25 and 26 into the bubble pipes 29 and 39 respectively. In the position illustrated in FIG. 7 the air can emerge only through branches 20, 24- and 26. Instead of controlling the air flow by rotation of the inner pipe 21, the latter may be arranged to be longitudinally shiftable and thus to open or close the several branches as may be desired. Alternatively, in lieu of the inner pipe 2 1, a plurality of rotary cocks with controls 22 may be arranged selectively to open or close the branches 20, 23 and 26,
Whereas branches 2 and 25 remain permanently open for delivering air to the relative bubble pipes. Branch 20 is connected with an air hose 39 which terminates in a rose 40 (see FIG. with a grip, which may at the same time be fitted with a brush. Moreover, air hose 39 may be equipped with an injector device 41 or the like, so that an air-water mixture will emerge from the rose which can then be used for performing an efiicacious underwater massage. Since it has been found that a conventional vacuum cleaner delivers considerably more air than is required by the bubble device, and the motor therefore tends to run hot, the invention proposes to provide at the junction with the vacuum cleaner in the air supply pipe 14 to the distributor header 28 a coupling sleeve 36 with air vents 37 which can preferably be fully or partly closed (see FIGS. 5 and and through which the excess air that is not required can be allowed to escape and thus relieve the excess load on the motor of the vacuum cleaner. Moreover, according to the invention a relief valve is incorporated in the air hose 14 within easy reach of a person in the bath for the purpose of allowing all or part of the air to escape before it reaches the bubbling device and of thereby throttling back or shutting down the bubbling device in the bath 10; This relief valve may, as shown in FIG. 11,
be contrived in the form of a cylindrical casing 33 with openings 35 which can be partly or fully closed by a rotary slide 34.
It will be readily understood that the scope of the invention permits many other modified forms of construction to be devised, which may be adapted to special circumstances. For instance, a single articulated row of units 11 may be considered as being sufiicient.
1. Apparatus for hydro-therapeutic treatment of selected portions of the users anatomy when seated in a bath of liquid through the use of fluid pressure, comprising a plurality of substantially rigid individual planar elements, separable articulated mechanical hinge means between adjacent elements, continuous passage means between the respective units and including hinged pipe couplings and upwardly directed outlet orifices disposed below the upper surface of said elements, and control valve means connected to said passage means and including selectively adjustable control portions for directing fluid pressure to selected portions of said passage means to treat selected portions of the anatomy.
2. The structure of claim 1, said articulated hinge means and said hinged pipe couplings being aligned and comprising portions defining an axis of rotation between adjacent edges of adjacent elements.
3. Apparatus for hydro-therapeutic treatment of selected portions of the users anatomy when seated in a bath of liquid through the use of fluid pressure, comprising a plurality of substantially rigid individual planar elements, detachable, articulated hinge means between adjacent elements, continuous passage means between the respective units and including upwardly directed outlet orifices disposed below the upper surface of said elements, and control valve means connected to said passage means and including selectively adjustable control portions for directing fluid pressure to selected portions of said passage means to treat selected portions of the.
anatomy, said elements being elongated, said passage means comprising elongated flexible pipes disposed along the longitudinal margins of said elements, said control valve means comprising a header pipe extending transversely of one end of the elongated elements and communicating with each of said flexible pipes, said control valve means and selectively adjustable control portions being disposed in said header pipe.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,699,198 Millmather Jan. 15, 1929 2,319,068 Krone May 11, 1943 2,793,640 Schwartz May 28, 1957 2,848,203 Misiura Aug. 19, 1958 2,921,579 Munroe Ian. 19, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 458,411 Great Britain Dec. 18, 1936 922,849 Germany Jan. 27, 1955