US 3114922 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 24, 1963 E. R. BALLANTYNE FLOOR CLEANSING DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 13, 1961 INVENTOR.
Dec. 24, 1963 E. R. BALLANTYNE 3,114,922
FLOOR CLEANSING DEVICE Filed July 13, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INCREASE I DECREASE Dec. 24, 1963 E. R. BALLANTYNE 3,
FLOOR CLEANSING DEVICE Filed July 13, 1961 .5 Sheets-Sheet 3 TO FLUID VALVE INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,114,922 FLOQR CLEANSWG DEVICE Earnest R. Emlantyne, Columbus, Ohio, assignor to Wayne Chemical Company, a corporation of Uhio Filed Jniy 13, 1961, Ser. No. 123,800 11 Claims. (Cl. -59) This invention relates generally to floor covering cleansing devices and specifically to a new and improved method and means of dispensing the cleansing material on the floor covering to facilitate the brush action in a floor cleansing device.
There are many floor covering cleansing devices available on the market, both the professional type and the home do-it-yourself variety. Basically, the principle of operation of these cleansing devices is to dispense a detergent, liquid on dry, on the floor and to activate the detergent through brush action. More particularly, a typical prior art cleaning device will comprise a tank for storing liquid detergent; the tank having a series of ports, with a hand-operated shutter mechanism, for dispensing the liquid either on a brush, sponge or directly to the floor. The liquid detergent is then converted into suds by the back-and-forth or circular motion of the brushes in contact with the covering.
The prior art devices, although seemingly having a fundamental basis of operation, are not operable their intended manner. In the first instance, the mechanical liquid shutters are not very effective, permitting the tanks to leak. But the most serious drawback to the prior art devices is that they dispense the liquid erratically. A uniform application of liquid is almost impossible-to the least it is reserved for only the most skilled operators. And since the application is in a non-uniform manner, there results in an excess amount of detergent being used that would normally be required for the job. Again, by the application of an excessive amount of detergent, the floor covering will remain wet a longer period of time. This will therefore cause the floor covering to be sticky and more susceptible to dirt and stains than if the covering were not attempted to be cleaned, or may cause shrinkage or bubbling.
My invention is very generally based on the principle of activating the detergentthat is converting it to suds or foam prior to application to the floor covering. In this manner, the floor covering remains dry, at least comparatively speaking, removing the danger of further shrinkage and rapid subsequent soiling. Also, a uniform application of cleanser is applied with my invention with no skill or extra effort. Further, since only the detergent that is used is dispensed, a considerable savings in relatively expensive detergent is made. I have found that it is possible to clean as high as twice as much floor covering, of the carpeting type, with my invention than was previously possible.
Accordingly, it is a general object of my invention to provide a new and improved floor cleansing device.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a new and improved floor cleansing device that permits an even distribution of cleansing material on the floor covering.
Another object of my invention is to provide a new and improved floor covering cleansing device that will dis- "ice 2 pense only that amount of detergent required to complete the cleansing operation.
Another object of my invention is to provide a new and improved floor covering cleansing device that will not excessively wet the floor covering.
Other objects and features of my invention will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an overall illustration in perspective of a preferred embodiment of my invention with the outer housings removed.
FIG. 2 illustrates partly in cutaway schematic the foam generator that forms a part of preferred embodiment.
FIG. 3 illustrates the foam dispensing mechanism of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 illustrates the mechanical operation of the brush activator of an alternative arrangement of that shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is an illustration of the mechanism of FIG. 1 wherein electric power means is substituted for the mechanical action.
FIG. 6 is an over-all illustration in perspective of a preferred embodiment of my invention.
FIG. 7 is an alternative embodiment of the present invention adapting the principles of my invention to a power driven portable cleaning device.
FIG. 8 illustrates the use of a plurality of smaller foam generators in lieu of a single larger foam generator.
FIG. 9 is another preferred embodiment of my inven tion employing a foam generator having a different principle of operation.
FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view of the foam generator illustrated in FIG. 9.
FIGS. 10a and I-Ob show in detail disk 1-24 of FIG. 10.
FIG. 11 is the fluid valve and air bleeder valve of mechanism shown in the foam generator of FIG. 9.
In the following specification the term floor covering is intended to include the natural or synthetic fiber rugs or carpet-s and also the hard floor coverings such as linoleum and tile. The term detergent or cleansing material is intended to include the soaps, chemicals or other detergents. However, although these other cleansing matelIlEllS may be used, I have found that the detergent marketed under the trademark Lustre Foam is especially suitable for obtaining the desired result.
Referring now to FIG. 1, there is illustrated generally at =10 a preferred embodiment of my invention. I have found that dispensing cleansing material directly to the floor covering is not an eflicient nor economical manner of cleaning. Over-wetting of the floor covering may cause shrinkage, uneven cleaning, too long a drying time, or bubbling. To overcome these prior art problems, my principle of operation very generally is to activate the cleansing material into a foam or foaming lather and to apply the foam only to the floor covering. In this manner, it is not possible to overwet the floor and there is used only that cleansing material necessary to the cleaning operation.
More specifically, the foam generator shown generally at 20 comprises a detergent storage tank 22 and pump means 24 that is activated by the back-and-forth movement of the floor contacting mechanism shown generally at 39. As the foam or foam-ing lather is generated in the pump, it is expelled at the outlet 28. The foam is then transferred by the transfer means 26 to be dispensed to the floor covering 12 adjacent the point of contact of the brushes to floor covering.
In more detail foam generator 20, whose operation is more fully described with relation to FIG. 2, is supported on an inverted U bracket 16 by either welding, nut bolt, or any other conventional means. The tips of the U bracket have an aperture 56 formed therein to accommodate the axle 31. The axle 31 (now referring also to FIG. 4) has fixedly positioned thereon a pair of wheels 33 and 35 to facilitate movement of the device and to impart a pumping action to the foam generator pump 24. To impart this pumping action, axle 31 has formed therein, in a generally central area, a center of rotation displaced portion 37. Joined to axle portion 37 is pump shaft linkage 38 through a loosely fitting aperture at end 39. As the wheels 33 and 35 are moved either forwards or backwards, the linkage 33 and hence shaft 40 will be compelled to follow in an up-and-down movement. This movement of shaft 40 is imparted to pump 24 to cause a continuous activation of the detergent cleansing material in the generator 20. This activation converts the cleansing material to foam that is permitted to be expelled through outlet 28. The foam is then carried through the transfer means 26 to be dispensed to the floor covering 12 directly adjacent the brushes 49 and 59.
In order to dispense the foam more evenly to the floor covering 12, there may be connected to transfer means 26 a dispenser 76 of FIG. 3. Since foam comprises mostly air, there will be no tendency for it to drop directly, thereby the chamber formed by the dispenser 70 will be filled. The dispenser chamber 71 has a continuous opening 72 at its lower end to permit the foam to contact the floor covering evenly across the area covered by the brushes. As the floor contacting mechanism is moved back and forth, the brushes 50 and 49 will be in contact with the floor covering. Consequently, the only cleansing material that is permitted to reach the floor covering 12 is the foam being worked in by the brushes 49 and 50. To complete the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1, the U bracket support 16 has mounted on its upper end the handle 52 that assists the user in the cleansing operation. The handle 52 also has a gripping portion 46 and within finger grasp of the handle 46 is a spring returned lever 44 to control the air build-up in the foam generator tank 22.
Referring now to FIG. 2 there is shown in more detail the foam generator 20. Again generally the generator 20 comprises a storage tank 22 for containing the cleansing material 11, a pump 24, energized by shaft 40 and foam tank 41 and a foam outlet means 28 having connected thereto a foam transfer means 26. In the operation of foam generator 20 when the rod 40 is pushed in the compression plunger forming a close contact to the inner walls 24a and 24b of the pump compresses the air in chamber -17. This action causes a build up of air in chamber 19 formed by bulkheads 18 and 23. The ball valve 18a in the bulkhead 18 prevents the air escaping back into chamber 17 on the reverse stroke of the compression plunger 15. The air in chamber 19 is forced into tank 22 through outlet '13 causing the liquid 11 to rise in the tube 14 and out orifice 27d at top end of tube. A portion of the air in chamber 19 is also forced through the ports 27b and 27c located on either side of tube 14 a short distance from the top end of '14. The air entering 27b and 27c assists the spraying action and mixture of air and fluid at orifice 27d. The liquid and air expelled from 27d strikes the inner walls of nozzle 27 and is forced through port 27a in a fine spray. This spray is forced through the fine mesh screen 2742 and is converted into a foam. The foam is then forced, when chamber 41 is filled, out into the transfer means 26 connected to the port 28.
To increase the brush action imparted to the floor covering material a pair of circular brushes may be substituted for the linear brushes 49 and 50 of FIG. 1. With reference to FIG. 4, brushes 47 and 51 are mounted on the over-all frame 53 by interconnecting the shafts 61 and 63 thereto through loosely fitting apertures in the frame 53. To impart circular motion to brushes 47 and 51, there is provided on either end of shafts 61 and 63 pulleys 65 and 73. There is adapted tightly to these pulleys 65 and 73 belts 66 and 69 interconnecting pulleys 67 and 77 to axle 31.
In some instances where a considerably larger area is desired to be cleaned, it may be necessary to electrically drive the pump for the foam generator in order to generate a sufficient amount of foam. Also, since the greatest physical exertion in the use of the preferred embodiment would be in the brush contact, it may also be desirable to electrically drive the brushes. With reference to FIG. 5 there is shown electric motor 91 energized by electrical source 94. Connected to motor shaft 91a. is a pulley 95 having a belt 92 tightly coupling pulley 93. The size of pulleys 95 and 93, of course, may be chosen to the appropriate gear ratio. Pulley 93 being fixedly connected to axle 3 1 drives both the pump shaft 38 and the two brushes 51 and 47 through the pulley and belt action described in relation with FIG. 4 above.
Referring to FIG. 6 there is illustrated the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 with all of the moving parts and mechanical operation removed from view by the streamlined housing and 82. Also shown in this embodiment is the handle 46 that also serves the purpose of an electrical switch by the up and down movement and as a rheostat to control the speed of the electrical drive. Also for convenience there is attached to handle 52 retaining means 96 and 96a for coiling of the electrical wire 94.
To simplify the direct contact of the foam to the floorespecially in a larger cleansing operationit may be advantageous to employ a plurality of small foam generators such as shown in FIG. 8. The advantage of the arrangement of FIG. 8 is that a large pump with an extended stroke would not be necessary. Further, a more even distribution of foam to the fioor is possible with the plurality of pumps so that an elaborate dispenser or even that shown in FIG. 3, would not be necessary. The displaced axis 37a and 37b of the axle 31 will preferably be diametrically opposed. However, with a plurality of generators, the Wheel crank ratio can be decreased considerably.
With reference to FIG. 7 there is shown another embodiment that adapts the principles of my invention to another type of cleaning operation. In some instances the material to be cleaned, such as upholstery, drapes, and car seats would not be reached by a floor type of cleaning device. Accordingly, there is shown in FIG. 7 a portable type of cleaner that could be utilized for all types of cleaning operations. In more detail, the principle of operation is similar to that of FIG. 1, except that the foam generator and/ or the brushes are power driven. Further, the entire mechanism is housed into a portable device. That is, housing 102 covers the entire mechanism and is secured thereto by fastener 103. To facilitate the hand operation, handle 101 is attached thereto.
The air valve and release mechanism 44 of FIG. 1 is also shown in more detail in FIG. 2. In operation of the cleansing device, if it is desired to stop the foaming action of generator 20, it will be necessary to release the built up air pressure. To accomplish this, lever 44 is pushed from the normally up position to a down position. More specifically, the rubber stopper 30 rests on an opening in the wall 31 of the fluid chamber. Compression spring 32 is positioned between wall 31 and retaining disk 33 and is fixedly attached to both. The rubber stopper is fixedly attached to the retaining disk by means of a short shaft. The rubber stopper 30 is smaller in diameter than the ID. of the spring. When the lever 44 is in the up position the tension on the linking wire 34 from .5 Valve to lever overcomes spring tension and closes air opening 35. This allows pressure to build up in tank 22. When lever is in down position spring pulls stopper away from opening allowing built-up pressure to be released and stops action of foam generator. Filling cap 36 to fluid tank is shown in FIG. 2. Handle and foam generator assembly are at an angle of approximately 45 with floor surface thus permitting location of cap relative to valve to be such that fluid cannot interior with valve action.
Referring now to FIG. 9 there is shown the combination of a cleansing foam generator together with a floor covering applicator similar to the combination of FIG. 1. However, in FIG. '9 the foam generator 130 has a different principle of operation than that shown in FIG. 2. The details of this operation may now be described in conjunction with FIG. 9 that shows the over-all combination and FIG. 10 that is a cross sectional view thereof. The driver wheel axle 131 travels in an elongated slot 160 in the housing 182. When the over-all mechanism is pulled backwards, the wheels 133 and 135, and hence the axle 131, will move to the forward end of the slot 160. In this position the wheels 133 and 135 will be free in their movement. When the over-all mechanism is pushed forward, the wheels 133 and 135, and hence the axle 131, will move to the rearward end of the slot 160. In this position driven wheels 133 and 135 will engage driven wheels 161 and 162 on the fan shaft 134. The driven wheels 161 and 162 in turn rotate the flywheels 163 and 164 building up a speed of rotation. The speed of the flywheels 163 and 164 is governed by the relative size of the drive and driven wheels and the circumference and mass of the fly wheels.
Within the cylinder 134) there is housed a left and right three-stage impeller fan arrangement. This fan arrangement is of the type that draws air in the ports 138 and 138a positioned in the end plates of the cylinder 130. The air thusly sucked in is permitted to be exhausted through a centrally located major orifice.
Generally speaking, in operation of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, a fine mesh screen is placed over the orifice. A fine spray of detergent is permitted to strike the screen as the air is being exhausted. More specifically and now referring to FIG. 10, there is shown a pump and spray mechanism that is operated by the crank 137 on the axle 13-1. As the crank 137 rotates the linkage 138 actuates the reciprocatory pump 119. The liquid is forced by air pressure through the small openings 121 and 121a in inner plate 124 and is channeled through radial grooves in 124 and is then expelled through opening 122 in plate 125 as a fine spray.
The liquid spray outlet 122 is directly opposite the screen 127 covering the air exhaust. Accordingly, the air being exhausted is mixed with the liquid spray and the mixture is forced through the screen 127. As the mixture hits the screen 127, it is converted to 'foam. The foam is transmitted by transfer tube 126- to the floor covering directly in front of the applicator brushes. The foam is scrubbed into the floor covering by the brush action in the fore-and-aft movement of the overall mechanism.
FIGURE 11 is the fluid valve and air bleeder valve of mechanism shown in FIG. 9. The rubber stopper 106 is held by a compression spring 104 (operating between bracket 107 and top of stopper) against fluid outlet 116 located at bottom of tank. When lever located on upper par-t of handle in FIG. 1 is in down position outlet 116 is closed and fluid flow to fluid conducting tube 112 in shut off. When lever is in up position stopper 106 is pulled up by means of linkage wire 103, allowing fluid to flow into tube 112 and thence to pump FIG. 10. Shaft 109 passing through center of stopper 106 has afiixed by means of a crosspiece at its lower end a tube 110 which fits closely against walls of rigid extension tube 114 from tank. 113 is a small air port in 114. When stopper is in closed position air enters at 11.3 and passes through tube into fluid line @112 thence to pump FIG. 10 preventing vacuum lock in line. When stopper is open tube 110 is in raised position closing bleeder port 113 thus preventing liquid from flowing out at this point.
Although !I have shown only certain and specific embodiments of my invention, it is to be expressly understood that modifications and departures may be made thereto without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A cleansing device of the kind described comprising, a housing having (an enlarged workpiece contacting means and an elongated handle attached thereto; a liquid detergent storage tank mounted on said housing, air generating pump means positioned adjacent to and in communication with said liquid storage tank, an activator associated with the movement of said housing for activating said pump means and to communicate air into said detergent storage tank, liquid detergent impeding means, a nozzle, said air forcing said liquid deterbent to said nozzle, means also introducing said air into said nozzle and to force a mixture of said air and said detergent through said impedance means for converting said detergent to foam, an applicator mounted within said enlarged workpiece contacting means, and transfer means connected to said foam generator and said applicator for transferring said foam to said workpiece adjacent said applicator.
2. A cleansing device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said air generating pump means has an air chamber and an air exhaust, a liquid transfer means extending from said liquid storage means into said air chamber, said activator forcing air into said air chamber and thusly forcing liquid through said transfer means to be expelled through said exhaust, an impedance means in the path of said expelled liquid, said air forcing said liquid through said impedance means to convert said mixture of air and detergent to foam, and means for connecting said foam transfer means to said foam being expelled through said impedance means.
3. A cleansing device as set forth in claim 2 wherein said impedance means is a wire mesh screen.
4. A cleansing device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said foam generator air chamber includes an excess area for air storage and means for expelling the stored air.
5. A cleansing device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said applicator is one or more brushes.
6. A cleansing device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said applicator includes a brush fixedly positioned in the forwardmost position of said housing.
7. A cleansing device of the kind described comprising, a housing having an enlarged workpiece contacting means and an elongated handle, a pair of wheels and an axle connecting said wheels to said housing for movement thereof, a liquid detergent storage tank mounted on said housing, air generating pump means positioned adjacent to and in communication with said storage tank, an area of displaced center of rotation on said axle, and linkage means connecting said displaced area to said pump means, said air forcibly expelling said liquid detergent and means for mixing said air and said detergent to convent said mixture to foam; an applicator positioned in said housing, and means for transferring said foam to the workpiece adjacent said applicator.
8. A cleansing device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said transfer means includes an enlarged portion having a transverse outlet means for evenly distributing said foam to said workpiece.
9. A cleansing device of the kind described comprising a workpiece contacting means, a handle attached thereto, a liquid detergent storage tank mounted adjacent said handle, a housing having air intake means and an air outlet means, air generating pump means in communication with said liquid storage tank and said housing, an activator associated with the movement of said contacting means for activating said pump means, means interposed between said pump means and said housing for converting said liquid detergent to a liquid spray, said pump means forcing said spray into said housing, mixing means positioned over said air outlet means for mixing said liquid spray with said air from said air intake means thereby converting said mixture to foam, and transfer means connected to said housing at said air outlet means for transferring said foam to said workpiece.
10. A cleansing device as set forth in claim 9 wherein said housing further comprises end plates having said air intake means therein and said air outlet means is centrally located in said housing; and wherein said mixing means comprises a spnay flow restricting screen means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Peterson Jan. 10, 1893 Erbs Feb. 21, 1956