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Publication numberUS3041757 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 3, 1962
Filing dateJun 19, 1957
Priority dateJun 19, 1957
Publication numberUS 3041757 A, US 3041757A, US-A-3041757, US3041757 A, US3041757A
InventorsFoster Harold S, Swenson Alfred G
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Steam and liquid spray iron
US 3041757 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 3, 1962 A. G. swENsoN ETAL 3,041,757

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STEAM AND LIQUID SPRAY IRON 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed June 19, 1957 July 3, 1952 A. G. swl-:NsoN ErAL 3,041,757

STEAM AND LIQUID SPRAY IRON 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed June 19, 1957 3,041,757 Patented July 3, 1962 assignors to General Electric Company, a corporation of N ew York Filed June 19, 1957, Ser. No. 666,660 24- Clailns. (Cl. 35i- 77) This invention relates to steam irons, and to such an iron provided with a liquid sprayer powered by steam generated within the iron.

An object of this invention is to provide an improved steam iron, including a liquid sprayer operable at will and powered by steam generated within the iron, and supplied with liquid from -a reservoir associated with the iron.

Another object of this invention, in a steam iron having a liquid container under pressure, is to provide an improved control valve system presenting increased safety in operation and improved performance. More speciiically, it is an `object to provide a liquid filling arrangement in which an inlet valve remains closed whenever there is steam pressure within the iron.

A further object of this invention is to provide an iron with improved performance, reliability, ease of operation, and safety; and which iron is capable of operation as a dry iron, an improved steam iron, or as a liquid sprayer with -conveniently located controls readily available for operator selection.

The objects of our invention may be realized in accordance with one aspect thereof by providing a till valve for the liquid reservoir which normally is held closed by steam pressure within the reservoir. When it is desired to till the iron with liquid, the steam -generator is shut olf, for example by a push button, which motion also relieves spring pressure against the till valve. At the same time, a pressure relief valve is forced open, allowing steam to escape slowly. When the steam pressure is thus released, the till valve opens, without risk of injury to the operator.

In accordance with a further aspect of this invention, the liquid reservoir containing steam pressure provides power and liquid for sprayer operation. This is accomplished by use of a steam tube communicating from steam space in the reservoir to a discharge sprayer orifice; and a Water tube supplying Water from the reservoir to the sprayer orifice. The manually operable sprayer valve is located at the discharge oriiice, so that the steam tube and water pipe remain at the steam operating temperature. In accordance with an exemplary form of this invention, steam is generated in a flash steam chamber, separate from the reservoir. A steam pressure balancing tube supplies steam to the upper portion of the reservoir above the water level. However, to restrict'rapd dissipation of heat through the reservoir, a restrictive baffle is provided encircling the pressure balancing tube, and other op erating components associated with the steam generator and liquid sprayer.

The subject matter which we regard as our invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference tothe following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. l is a side elevation, partially in section, of a tlatiron embodying our invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the steam chamber cover assemblyto show detail;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional elevation taken on the line 3 3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged elevation, partially in section, oi

a portion of the device shown by FIG. 3, showing additional details of a pressure control valve;

FlG. 5 is a cross-sectional elevation taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged View, partially in section, of the spray nozzle assembly in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view, partially in section, similar to FIG. 6, showing the components in a different operative position;

FIG. 8 is a partial side elevation, partially in section, illustrating a modied liquid sprayer in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross-sectional View of a spray nozzle in accordance with the embodiment 4of FIG. 8;

FIG. lO is an endelevation of the nozzle assembly shown by FIG. 9;

FIG. l1 is a partial side elevation, partially in section, of a further lmodified form of liquid sprayer in accordance with this invention;

FIG. l2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the spray nozzle assembly of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a partial 'side elevation, partially in section, of `a hir-ther modilied form of a liquid sprayer included in this invention;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the spray nozzle assembly of the FIG. 13 embodiment;

FIG. l5 is a partial side elevation, partially in section, of a further modified form of a liquid sprayer in accordance with this invention; and

FIG. 16 is an enlarged cross-sectonal view of the spray nozzle assembly of the embodiment of FIG. 15.

Referring now to the drawings, in FIG. 1 an iron is illustrated embodying the various features of this invention. Typically, the iron is provided with a soleplate 1 to which is secured a cover 2 and operating handle 3. In accordance with conventional practice, soleplate 1 may be cast from a -rnaterial such as aluminum with an electrical heating elee ment cast in position. This heating element preferably is of the sheathed type in which the electrical resistance element 4 extends through an outer tubular protective sheath 5, with the heating element separated from the outer sheath by an electrical insulating compound resist- Iant to heat, such as a mass 6 of granulated and cornpressed magnesium oxide. EIn the usual manner, the heating element extends in a loop or bight commencing at the rear of the iron `and along one side to the forward or pointed end of the iron, and thence rearwardly along the other side. Thus, a substantially uniform heat distribution is provided, especially when -an aluminum soleplate is employed.

This iron includes means for generating vapor under pressure. While typically -an iron such as this may be used to convert water into steam, obviously other liquids may be employed. While other means are available for generating or supplying steam to the iron, we prefer to employ a ilash steam generator capable of substanti-ally instantaneous conversion of Water or other liquid drop by drop into steam. For this purpose, soleplate 1 is provided with a steam generating cavity 7. Liquid discharged through orice 8 of a steam control valve body 9 is converted into steam on contact with the walls of cavity 7. The steam so generated is confined and directed over the heated upper surface of the soleplate by means of a cover plate assembly 10 secured to the soleplate by a plurality of fastening devices 11.

Steam dome 13 is secured Referring to both riesige? to the cover plate in any suitable fashion to provide a vapor-tight seal. In the present instance, and as shown particularly in FIG. 5, the steam dome member includes an. annular portion 14 adapted to tbe received in a circular recess in the cover plate. The outwardly extending ange 15 of the dome may be apertured to receive projecting lugs of the cover plate, which upon assembly are flared over to fasten the dome securely in position.

The steam dome functions additionally to support various components of the iron, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, `and 5. As previously noted, the steam control valve includes a body 9 welded or otherwise secured in liquidtight fashion in the top wall of the steam dome. Preferably, an inlet screen 9a is provided for valve body 9 to exclude scale ywhich might block orifice 8. Additionally, the steam dome carries a pressure balancing tube 16 as shown most clearly in FIG. 5. This tube transmits the pressure from the flash steam generator to the upper portion of a liquid reservoir presently to be described. As shown, the upper end of the pressure balancing tube is provided with a deflector plate 17 forming a part of a clip 18 mounted on the upper end of the pressure balancing tube. Furthermore, steam dome 13 supports the upwardly extending tube 19 for a pressure regulator Valve presently to be described, and as shown in FIG. 3. Finally, upwardly extending studs, such as 20 and 21, extend upwardly from the steam dome for securing other components of the iron in asemblcd relation. It is to be understood, of course, that all of these connections to the steam dome are liquid tight, accomplished by brazing, metal spinning, or other equally well known techniques.

As shown clearly in FIG. l, this iron is provided with steam ports 22 opening through the soleplate to the material to be ironed. This is, of course, conventional practice in steam iron constructions. In accordance with this invention, cover plate 12 is provided with ribs 12a to channel steam flow `from the steam generator. By use of such ribs, the steam, before exhaust through steam ports 22, is directed through a pressure regulating valve shown most clearly in FIGS. 3 and 4. In particular, this valve includes a 'valve seat member 23 secured within cover plate 12. Steam generated within cavity 7 is directed upwardly for downward tiow through regulator valve seat 23. From the exhaust side, steam is permitted to flow freely through the steam discharge ports 22. In order to maintain the desired steam pressure within the iron, a spring loaded pressure regulating valve is cooperatively associated with valve seat 23. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, this valve comprises a valve stem 24 slidably carrying bushing and its associated flexible sealing disk 26. A relatively loose fit is provided .around this bushing with respect to the valve stem 24, to provide an yannular passage for steam flow for a purpose to be described. Valve bushing 25 is biased upwardly into engagement with valve seat 23 by a compression spring 25a. On the lowermost end of Valve stem 24 is secured a disk 24a and associated flexible vsealing disk 2417. This sealing disk is biased upwardly against the lower surface of bushing 25 to seal off the annular passage between bushing 25 and the valve stem. This bias, as shown in FIG. 3, is provided by a compression spring 30. For cooperation with spring 30, the upper end of valve stern 24 carries a cap 27 held in position by a snap washer 28. Compression spring bears at its lower end against the crimped end of tube 19` and at its upper end against cap 27. .By this means, valve disk 24a is biased upwardly into engagement with bushing 25. Tube 19 and cap 27 enclose the valve stem to prevent water from splashing downwardly into the steam passageway. However, cap 27 is free to move telescopically with respect to tube 19. Therefore, in operation, steam pressure builds up within the iron until the force exerted on the upper surface of the Valve member equals the upward force exerted by springs 25a and 30. Thus, this valve regulates normal operating steam pressure within the iron, `and any excess of steam over operating requirements may escape, for example, through the soleplate.

A liquid `supply for iron operation preferably is carried within the iron itself. As shown in FIG. l, a liquid reservoir 31 appropriately formed of corrosion-resistant metal with sealed joints is housed within the iron in the space under cover 2 and overlying the soleplate and cover plate assembly. The lower wall of reservoir 31 is provided with an enlarged aperture adapted to receive the upper portion of steam dome 13, with a sealing gasket 32 being provided at the junction for a fluid-tight connection. Thus, balance tube 16 and the housing for the pressure regulator project upwardly to the upper portion of liquid reservoir 31.

During the operation of the iron as a steam iron, steam generated within cavity 7 rises upwardly through pressure balancing tube 16 to supply steam pressure to the upper portion of the reservoir. If the liquid reservoir is operating at a lower temperature than the steam temperature, it is obvious that some of the steam may be condensed, tending, of course, to decrease steam pressure, Therefore, it is preferred to restrict circulation of liquid and steam within the reservoir, especially in the area occupied by the pressure balance tube and the spray mechanism presently to be described. A baille 33 serves this very useful and essential function of restricting steam and liquid circulation in the reservoir, thus conserving steam pressure insofar as possible. It is, of course, essential that this baiiie be apertured to a limited degree to permit liquid to ow into the area encompassed by the baie, and to allow the ste-'am pressure to equalize throughout the upper portion of `the reservoir. Furthermore, bale 33 may serve the `additional function of providing structural support for Various components of the iron.

For maximum utility in various ironing operations, the

v iron should be operable as a dry iron, as a steam iron, or,

if desired, as a liquid sprayer. Therefore, means are provided for controlling whether or not steam is generated within the iron. As illustrated by FIG. l, this means comprises a valve stem assembly cooperable with valve body 9. A valve stem 34, having a clean-out pin 35 for orifice S on the lower end thereof, cooperates with valve body 9 to control liquid flow through orice 8 from reservoir to flash steam generator, Valve stern 34 is guided in its movement by a bearing bracket 36, having lanoed projections 37 engageable in apertures in bale 33. Thus, movement of valve stem 34 is guided with respect to valve body 9. Valve stem 34 extends upwardly through the top wall of the reservoir and terminates in a push button 38. Button 38 is provided with a latching shoulder 39 engageable with an interior projection 40 on the handle. A compression spring 41 encircling valve stem 34 tends to force valve stem 34 to its upper position as shown in FIG, l, in which position liquid may flow from the reservoir through orice 8 into the iiash steam generator. If it is desired to operate the iron as a dry iron, push button 38 is depressed to engage latch 39 under portion 40' of the handle, whereby orifice 8 is sealed oif so that no steam is generated.

For filling reservoir 31 with liquid, a iill opening 42 and funnel 43 are provided at the front of the iron, `arranged so that liquid may be easily introduced when the iron is upended on its heel rest. This liquid inlet communicates with the reservoir through a riser 44 extending upwardly into hollow front handle support 45, Liquid entering the reservoir, however, must flow through a valve comprising a valve seat 46 and valve disk 47. Normally, this liquid iill valve is biased to a closed position, 'as shown in FIG. 1, by compression spring 41 of the steam control valve. It may be noted that valve disk 47 of the liquid ll valve is slidably mounted on valve stem 34. A small compression spring 48 encircling the valve stern above valve disk 47 tends to move this valve to an open position. However, valve disk 47 is positioned inside reservoir 31, so that steam pressure existing within the reservoir tends to force valve disk 47 tightly against its valve seat, thus sealing the liquid reservoir. If push button 33 is depressed while steam pressure exists within the reservoir, valve stem 34 moves downwardly -to close off orifice 8. However, Valve disk 47 will remain closed until such time as the steam pressure within the reservoir decreases to a completely safe degree, whereupon spring 4S forces valve disk 47 open, allowing the reservoir to be filled.

To insure that steam pressure in the reservoir will be dissipated when it is desired to add liquid to the reservoir, a further means is provided for pressure release, As illustrated by FIG. l, an operating arm 49 is secured to valve stem 34. Arm 49 extends laterally to a position overlying the upper end `of cap 27 of the pressure regulating Valve. Therefore, whenever steam control valve stem 34 is forced downwardly by push button 38, valve stem 24 of the pressure regulator is forced downwardly to release sealing disk 24h from bushing 25. T'hus, the restricted passage provided between the loosely fitting bushing and valve stern 24 allows a gradual release of steam pressure through the aperture in the soleplate. Such a gradual pressure release is desirable to avoid the violent boiling action and surging of liquid in the reservoir if pressure were reduced suddenly. The open passageway thus provided through the pressure regulating valve serves further to allow air within the reservoir to vent through the soleplate during a liquid filling operation.

A liquid sprayer assembly in accordance with this invention is positioned in an upper portion of the iron. As illustrated, this spray head assembly 50 is arranged within the front handle support to spray liquid through an opening 51 in `the front plate, Preferably, the sprayer is directed in a generally downwardly direction, so that the fabric being ironed can be dampened without lifting the iron. To accommodate spray head assembly 50, a steam tube 52 is sealed to and extends upwardly from the reservoir riser. This tube is thus in direct communication with the steam space in the reservoir. The lower portion of the spray head assembly is sealed in any appropriate manner at shoulder 53 to the steam tube 52. Also associated with the spray head assembly is a liquid tube 54, com municating at its lower end with the lower portion or liquid space in the reservoir, and at its upper end with the spray nozzle assembly. Preferably, the lower portion of liquid tube 54 is provided with an inlet screen 55 to prevent any sediment or particles from entering the yliquid tube which might impair its operation. In an iron of this type, high velocity steam passing through the pressure balancing tube tends to carry flakes of any calcium deposit which may accumulate within the steam generating charnber. Such insoluble flakes, if not screened out, might impair operation both of the liquid sprayer and of the steam control valve. Defiector plate 17 on the upper end of the balance tube functions to avoid the possibility of flakes or particles being carried to the spray nozzle by the steam flow For convenience of assembly, the entire reservoir, and including the riser, may be clamped into position against the steam dome by the studsZfl and 2i. As shown by FIG. l, a nut 57 engaged on the upper end of each stud serves this purpose.

Referring now particularly to FIGS. 6 and 7, an enlarged detail is shown in two operative positions of the liquid spray head itself. This spray head assembly comprises an outer steam tube 58, which, as previously indicated, is sealed to the upwardly extending steam pipe 52 from the reservoir. The outer end `of steam tube S is closed by an end cap 59. Extending through the steam tube is the liquid pipe 54, which pipe also is closed at its outer end by the end cap 59 or other suitable means. Slidably positioned over the outer end of steam tube 58 is a valve cap 61 adapted to be moved from its closed or sealed position against a flexible gasket 62 as shown in FIG. 6 to an open position as shown in FIG. 7. It may be noted specifically that the outer end of liquid tube54 is spaced slightly from the interior wall of steam tube 58, as shown at 63. This has been found to be desirable for a satisfactory low pressure spray nozzle. However, this particular feature does not form a part of the claimed invention, but is disclosed and claimed in the copending application of Harold. S. Foster, application Serial Number 666,659, filed lune 19, 1957 and assigned to the General Electric Company, assignee of the present application. Near the outer end of steam tube 58 is a discharge orifice 64, allowing steam flow through this orifice when valve cap 61 is open to the FIG. 7 position. Aligned with orifice 64 in the steam tube is a diametrical passageway 65 through the liquid tube. Thus, when high velocity steam flows outwardly through orifice 64, a substantial quantity of the steam flows across the liquid tube through the aligned ports 65. By the aspiration effect, liquid is drawn upwardly through water tube 54, and upon engagement of the liquid with the high velocity steam, the liquid is atomized and sprayed outwardly in a finely divided spray.

Preferably, valve cap 61 is arranged to be push-button operated from a convenient point externally of the iron. For this purpose, end cap 61 is connected at 66 to a yoke member 67. Yoke member 67 has a lower portion or arm 68 guided on the lower portion of steam tube 58. 'I'his yoke is operatively connected to a lever 69 (FIG. l) pivotally mounted on an upstanding bracket 70. The opposite end of arm 69 is connected to a shank 71 provided on spray control button 72. -A spring 73 normally biases button 72 upwardly, and hence the spray control cap 61 to its closed position. Therefore, if at any time the operator desires a liquid spray, the desired result can be accomplished merely by depressing button 72, Whereupon spray orifice 64 is exposed. Outward travel of spray cap 61 may be limited in any appropriate manner. By way of example, and as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, a snap ring 74 encircles steam tube 58. When yoke 67 has traveled to the limit of its outward movement, arm 68 comes into engagement with snap ring 74, thus t limit further travel.

It is pointed out in particular that the valve for the liquid sprayer should be located at the spray orifice itself, rather than at some point within a lower portion of the iron. With the construction as thus presented, the steam in the upper portion of the reservoir is present constantly at the steam discharge orice and at the outer end of the liquid tube, and thus the entire spray head remains essentially at the steam temperature. Therefore, when the sprayer is operated, the spray can start immediately without objectionable preliminary dribble which is otherwise caused by condensed steam fiowing into a relatively cool tube.

Temperature control means is also provided. adjacent the top forward portion of the handle for convenient operator adjustment. In this instance, a temperature control knob 75 is mounted on the end of an arm 76, which in turn is pivotally carried by the bracket 70. More specifically, arm 76 is connected to a hub 77 and sprocket 78. Sprocket 78, in turn, drives a fiexible element, for example in the form of a bead chain 79, downwardly through the front handle support into the body of the iron. Thus, rotation of knob 75 provides linear motion to the bead chain, which motion is capable of adjusting a temperature responsive switch mechanism of any suitable type. Since such thermostatically controlled switches are well known in the art, the details have not been illustrated herein. A suitable temperature scale may be provided at 80 cooperatively associated with knob 75. Internally of the handle, a friction spring 81 may be added to retain the temperature adjustment mechanism in position and obviate accidental displacement.

Referring now to FIGS. 8, 9, and l0, an alternate embodiment of the spray nozzle assembly and the operating mechanism therefor has been illustrated. To the eX- tent that components are common with the previously `described embodiment, the same reference numerals have been applied. This embodiment of FIGS. 8 through 10 diiers primarily in the arrangement for controlling the liquid sprayer. As in the previously described embodiment, control is accomplished by opening or closing the steam spray aperture 64. In this embodiment, a spring sleeve 82 encircles steam tube 58, with a portion of this spring sleeve shaped to conform to and biased into close contact With that portion of the steam tube in which is located lthe spray orifice 64. This arrangement is clearly illustrated in particular by FIG. l0, illustrating the manner in which this formed portion of the spring sleeve closely contacts the area of the steam tube wherein is located the steam oriiice. This spring sleeve is slidable on the exterior surface of the steam tube, and it is provided 'with outwardly extending `ears 33 and 84. As shown by FIG. 8, these ears are engaged by the operating lever SS pivoted on a pin 8o to the upstanding bracket 70. A torsion spring 87 encircles pivot pin 86, and is arranged with one end thereof in engagement with a portion of the tix-ed bracket 70. The opposite end of this torsion spring is engaged by a hook portion S8 of Iactuating lever '71. A second lower hook portion 8g on actuating lever 71 is adapted to engage the lower portion of operating lever With this arrangement, push button 72 is biased upwardly by spring 87, and at the same time the spring sleeve 82 is biased downwardly to a closed position with respect to oriiice When- -ever it is desired to apply spray to the fabric being ironed, push button 72 is depressed, thereby lifting spring sleeve 32, to expose the spray orice 64. Otherwise, this embodiment functions in substantially the same manner as the previously described arrangement.

While in the previously described embodiments, the spray `control cap or member was applied externally of the steam tube, it is also feasible to apply this control member internally of the steam tube, with a portion thereof intermediate the aperture in the liquid tube and the aperture in the steam tube. Such an arrangement is shown as an alternate embodiment in FIGS. ll and l2. In this instance, a steam tube @il of the spray nozzle assembly is connected in any suitable manner to the upwardly extending steam conduit 52 from the reservoir. The outer end of this steam tube Sil is open to receive an internal `cap 91. As clearly shown by FIG. l2, this cap 91 extends inwardly within the steam tube a suflicient distance whereby it is adapted to close olf the passageway between aperture 65 of the liquid tube and the adjacent spray port 64 in the steam tube. Thus, with the components in the position shown by FIG. l2, no spray issues from orifice 64. However, cap 91 is slidable with respect to the steam tube, and is connected to an operating yoke 92. This yoke, in turn,'is connected to the operating lever 35 pivoted as previously described to the frame. rTherefore, whenever push button 72 is depressed, the internal cap 9'1 is lifted, thus opening the spray port 64 4and the liquid port 65. Thereupon spray issues in the manner as previously described.

A further variation of a spray nozzle assembly and operating mechanism is illustrated by FIGS. 13 and 14, in which spray from the orifice in a steam tube 92 is controlled by a pin 93 which extends diametrically through the steam tube and the aligned apertures in liquid tube 54. Thus, when pin 93 is in the position shown by FIG. 14, it is-impossible for spray to issue from vthe oriiice in the steam tube; however, when a pin 93 is withdrawn from the orifice in the steam tube and also from the adjacent orifice in the liquid tube, both liquid and steam may issue for spray in the manner previously described. As clearly illustrated by FIG. 14, pin 93 may have a sliding tit with steam tube 92, with an appropriate sealing gland 94 provided toy prevent any undesirable leakage. The outer end of the control pin 93 may include a hook portion for engagement with an operating lever 95 carried on a pivot pin 86 as previously described. A somewhat similar torsion spring 96 is again provided to bias operat ing lever in a counter-clockwise direction, thus to force pin 93 into its sealed position as shown by FIG. 14. Push button '72 and its operating shank '71 are connected also as previously described for rotating lever 95 in a clockwise direction, thus to withdraw pin 93 to the dotted line position shown in FIG. 14, thus to allow spray to issue.

As a further variation of the spray nozzle and control mechanism, in FIGS. l5 and 16 an arrangement is shown wherein a pivoted lever is adapted to block off or open the liquid spray orifice. In this instance, pivoted valve lever 97 is mounted on a pivot pin 98 carried by a bracket $9 secured in any appropriate manner to steam tube 58. This pivoted lever 97 can move from an open position, as shown in dotted lines, to `a closedposition, as shown in full lines. A sealing pad is provided for sealing the spray po-rt when the lever is in its closed position. Such a pivoted lever can be operated by any appropriate linkage, for example by an angular push rod 101. Push rod 1411 includes an end portion pivotally connected at 192 to the valve lever 97. A push rod guide 1% secured, for example, to handle 3 may be added in order to guide the linear motion of push rod 101. A leaf spring 104, having one of its ends secured to the xed bracket 70, biases the push rod upwardly, and thus biases the valve member 97 to its closed position with respect to the spray port. Again, the operator may select spray operation by depressing push vbutton 72 connected to push rod 101. This, of course, causes the valve lever 97 to be pivoted away from the spray port, thus allowing steam and atomized liquid to issue for spray onto the fabric as previously described.

While this invention has been described by reference to particular embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that numerous modiiications may be made by those skilled in the art without actually departing from the invention. It is, therefore, the aim of the appended claims to cover all such equivalent variations as come within the true spirit and scope of the foregoing disclosure.

What We claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a liquid spray iron, -a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure into said revervoir, a spray nozzle on said iron having a steam tube in communication with the steam space of said reservoir and terminating in a spray aperture, a liquid tube in communication with the liquid space in said reservoir, said liquid tube being positioned internally of said steam tube with an outlet discharging liquid into said spray aperture, an end cap slidably positioned over the end of saidstearn tube adapted to close off and open said aperture in the steam tube to the atmosphere depending upon the position of saidcap, and manually operable means :for moving said cap.

2. In a liquid spray iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a spray nozzle on said iron having a steam tube terminating in a spray discharge laperture and in communication with the steam space of said reservoir, a water tube in communication with the liquid space in said reservoir, said water tube being positioned internally of said steam tube and including a port for discharge of liquid into said spray aperture, and valve means for selectively opening `and closing said discharge aperture in said steam tube.

3. In a liquid spray iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a spray nozzle on said iron having a steam tube in communication with the steam space of said reservoir and terminating in a spray aperture, a water conduit in communication with the liquid space in said reservoir, said Water conduit being positioned internally of said steam tube and including an outlet to discharge liquid into said spray aperture, and a sleeve slidable with respect to said steam tube to open and close said aperture, thereby to control liquid spray by control of steam flow through said aperture.

4. The combination of claim 2 wherein an inlet screen is included on the inlet for said liquid tube. 5. In a steam iron, a flash steam generator, a liquid reservoir including a metering valve controlling ow of liquid into said steam generator, a pressure balance tube communicating from said steam generator to said reservoir above the water level therein ,steam utilization means including a steam passage in communication with said steam generator, a pressure regulating valve in said steam passage for maintaining a predetermined steam pressure within said steam generator, a fill passageway into said reservoir, a liquid till valve in said fill passageway for said reservoir biased to a closed position by steam pressure within said reservoir, spring means normally biasing said till valve to `a closed position, and manually operable means movable independently of said fill valve for relieving the spring force against said ll valve and for manually opening said pressure regulating valve.

6. In a steam iron, `a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a fill passageway including a liquid lill valve for said reservoir, means exposed to steam pressure within said reservoir to bias said lill valve to a closed position, resilient means biasing said valve to a closed position, and manually operable means movable independently of said fill valve for relieving the pressure of said resilient means.

7. In a steam iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a liquid ll valve for said reservoir including means to bias said fill valve to a closed position by steam pressure within said reservoir, a spring biasing said valve to a closed position, a till valve opening spring exerting less force on said fill valve than said first mentioned spring, and manually operable means movable with respect to said ll valve for relieving the pressure of said first mentioned spring against said ll Valve.

8. In a steam iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure -to said reservoir, a liquid till valve for said reservoir including means to bias said valve to a closed position responsive to steam pressure within said reservoir, resilient means biasing said valve to a closed position, manually operable means movable with respect to said fill valve for relieving the valve closing pressure of said resilient means, and pressure relief means for said reservoir operated to an open position by said manually operable means.

9. In a steam iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure -to said reservoir, a steam discharge passage from said steam generation means, a pressure regulator in said discharge passage for maintaining substantially uniform normal operating pressure, a liquid ll valve for said reservoir including means to bias said valve to a closed position by steam pressure within said reservoir, resilient means biasing said valve to a closed position, and manually operable means for relieving said resilient fill Valve biasing means and for operating said pressure regulator to an open position while said fill valve remains in a closed position.

10. In a steam iron, a flash steam generator, a liquid' reservoir including a metering valve controlling flow of liquid into said steam generator, a pressure balance tube communicating from said steam generator to said reservoir above Ithe water level therein, a steam discharge passage from said generator, a pressure regulator in said steam discharge passage maintaining la predetermined steam pressure within .the iron, a fill passageway through which liquid may be introduced into said reservoir, a liquid fill valve in said fill passageway, means biasing said ll valve to a closed position by steam pressure within said reservoir, spring means normally biasing said fill valve to a closed position, and manually operable means for closing said metering valve, opening said pressure regulating valve, and relieving spring force against said fill valve in a single operation independently of said iill valve.

. l1, In a steam and spray iron, a Hash steam generator, a liquid reservoir positioned to supply liquid to said generator and having means providing liquid and steam communication with said generator, a steam control Valve regulating liquid flow from said reservoir to said generator including push button operating means therefor, a steam discharge passage from said generator to the ironing surface, a pressure regulator valve in said steam discharge passage to maintain a substantially uniform pressure during steam generation, -a fill passageway and ll valve therein `through which liquid may be introduced into said reservoir and provided with spring means tending to close said valve, said push button operating means functioning to relieve pressure of said ll valve spring when said steam control valve is moved to a closed position, thereby to permit said fill valve to open, a liquid sprayer including a steam tube and water tube in communication with said reservoir, valve means on said sprayer outlet, and a second push button means for operating said sprayer valve.

12. In a steam and spray iron, a steam generator, a liquid reservoir positioned to supply liquid to said generator and having means providing liquid and steam communication with said generator, steam control means regulating steam generation from liquid supplied from said reservoir to said generator including manually operable means therefor, a steam discharge passage from said generator to the |ironing surface, a pressure regulator in said steam discharge passage to maintain a substantially uniform operating pressure during steam generation, a till passageway and ll valve therein through which liquid may be introduced into said reservoir and provided with y resilient means tending to close said valve, said manually operable means functioning to relieve the force of said resilient means when said steam control means is moved to terminate steam generation, thereby to permit said fill valve to open, a liquid sprayer including a steam tube and a water tube in communication with said reservoir, valve means on said sprayer outlet, and second manually operable means for operating said sprayer valve means.

13. In a steam iron, a ash steam generator, a liquid reservoir in liquid flow relation to said generator and Y within said reservoir tending to `close said valve, means to relieve pressure within said iron rendered operative when said steam control valve is moved to an off position, thereby to permit said ll valve to open, a liquid sprayer directed toward a surface being ironed and including a steam tube and water tube in communication with said reservoir, valve means on said sprayer outlet, and manually operable means for said sprayer valve.

14. In a steam iron including a steam generator and a liquid reservoir under pressure, a steam discharge passage from said generator, and a pressure regulator and vent valve in said passage, said pressure regulator and vent valve comprising a valve seat, a valve stem, a valve bushing encircling said stem and having a relatively loose fit with and slidable on said stem, a pressure regulator valve disk carried by said lbushing and cooperable with said valve seat, resilient means biasing said valve disk to a closed position `with respect to said valve seat, a second valve disk carried by said valve stem and engageable with said bushing, and resilient means biasing said second valve disk into sealing engagement with said bushing, thereby to seal off the space between said loosely tting bushing and said Valve stem.

15 In a steam iron, a liquid sprayer comprising `a liquid reservoir, means to provide steam under pressure into said reservoir, a steam ytube communicating with the steam space in said reservoir and having a discharge orice remote from said reservoir, a liquid tube communieating with the liquid in said reservoir and discharging by aspiration into said steam discharge orice, and valve means associated with said steam tube discharge orifice, whereby said steam and -water tubes are exposed constantly to normal steam operating temperature, thereby to permit instantaneous sprayer operation without initial condensation in said steam tube.

16. In a steam and liquid spray iron, a liquid reservoir, a steam generator positioned to receive liquid from said reservoir including heating means for conversion of liquid to steam, manually operable means to control said generator selectively for steam and dry ironing, means to spray liquid including a water conduit in communication with said reservoir to supply liquid for said spray means and a steam passage to provide steam to atomize the liquid, and second manually operable means to control said liquid spray means.

17. A steam and spray iron comprising an electrically heated soleplate having a steam generating cavity therein, a liquid reservoir positioned above said soleplate includ ing a metering passageway to supply liquid to said cavity, a liquid spray nozzle, means within the reservoir and in liquid communication therewith and in steam flow communication with said steam generating cavity for spraying liquid through said nozzle, a handle including a front handle support for the iron and a push button including means extending through said front handle support for actuating said liquid spraying means.

18. In a steam and liquid spray iron, a liquid reservoir,

'a steam generator positioned to receive liquid ow from said reservoir, means supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir including a pressure balancing tube in communication with said reservoir and generator, a steam tube in communication with said steam generator and having a discharge spray orice, a liquid tube extending from said reservoir to a discharge point in spray relation to said steam spray orifice, and baille means within said reservoir encompassing said balancing tube to restrict steam circulation within said reservoir and thereby to provide a direct restricted volume for steam ow from said generator to said steam tube.

19. In a steam and liquid spray iron, a liquid reservoir, a steam generator positioned to, receive liquid from said reservoir, a steam conduit for supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a steam tube in communication with said steam generator and having a discharge spray oriice, and a liquid supply tube discharging into said spray orifice, said steam conduit providing substantially direct steam viiow lfrom said generator to said steam tube, thereby to limit condensation of steam.

20. In a steam iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, manually operable means controlling said steam generating means, a liquid ll valve for said reservoir including means to bias said Valve to a closed position responsive to steam pressure within said reservoir, and means interconnected with said manually operable means to relieve steam pressure within said reservoir when said manually operable means -is moved to terminate steam generation.

21. In a steam and liquid spray iron, a flash steam generator, a liquid reservoir positioned to supply liquid to said generator, a steam conduit for conducting steam under pressure from said generator to said reservoir, a steam passage in communication with said steam generator and having a discharge spray orice, a liquid supply tube conducting liquid from said reservoir to said spray orifice, and baffle means encompassing said steam conduit and said steam passage, whereby said baille means limits steam condensation within said reservoir and maintains operating temperatures within the space enclosed by said baiile means.

22. In a liquid spray iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a spray nozzle on said iron having a spray tube terminating in a spray discharge aperture, means supplying steam and water to said spray tube from said reservoir, valve means located in the immediate vicinity of said spray discharge aperture for controlling discharge from said spray nozzle to prevent dripping from the nozzle `when the valve is operated, and means for operating said valve.

23. In a steam iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a liquid till passageway for said reservoir, valve means to close said fill passageway, said valve means being responsive to steam within said reservoir above atmospheric pressure to maintain said fill passageway closed, and manually operable means to open said valve means in the absence of steam pressure in the reservoir.

24. In a steam iron, a liquid reservoir, means generating `and supplying steam under pressure to said reservoir, a liquid till passageway for said reservoir, valve means to close said till passageway, said valve means being responsive to steam within said reservoir above atmospheric pressure to maintain said ll passageway closed, manually operable means to open said valve means in the absence of steam pressure in the reservoir, and means to release gradually steam pressure within said reservoir upon operation of said manually operable means in a direction to open said iill passageway.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,165,541 Foster July l1, 1939 2,387,757 Hoecker Oct. 30, 1945 2,499,185 Finlayson Feb. 28, 1950 2,520,360 Clark Aug. 29, 1950 2,662,316 Johnson Dec. 15, 1953 2,729,904 Maykemper Jan. 10, 1956 2,755,574 Herman July 24, 1956 2,762,143 Hoecker Sept. 11, 1956 2,802,288 Hoecker Aug. 13, 1957 2,805,497 Gomersall Sept. 10, 1957 2,810,218 Hoecker Oct. 22, 1957 2,892,272 Finlayson et al. June 30,V 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 345,560 Germany Dec. 13, 1921

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US3128568 *May 19, 1961Apr 14, 1964Proctor Mfg CorpSteam iron with water spray
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US3201880 *Sep 20, 1962Aug 24, 1965Gen ElectricAutomatic spray, steam, and dry iron
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Classifications
U.S. Classification38/77.5, 38/77.81
International ClassificationD06F75/22, D06F75/18, D06F75/08
Cooperative ClassificationD06F75/18, D06F75/22
European ClassificationD06F75/18, D06F75/22