US 3139101 A
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June 1964 F. A. WYCZALEK ETAL 3,139,101
SONIC SURFACE CLEANER Filed July 25, 1962 FLU/D 0000000 0 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW O O O 0 000000000000000 w 00 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOQOOOO- United States Patent 3,139,101 SQNIC SURFACE CLEANER Floyd A. Wyczaleir, Birmingham, and William L. Drayer,
Warren, Mich, assignors to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich a corporation of Delaware Filed July 23, 1962, Ser. No. 211,599 3 Claims. (Cl. 134-186) This invention concerns a surface cleaner and more particularly apparatus that utilizes vibratory energy for loosening and removing dirt, grease, or any other foreign matter from a surface.
It is common knowledge that sonic vibrations created in a body of liquid are suitable for promoting the cleaning of articles without requiring any cleansing agents such as soap and detergent for emulsifying oils and holding dirt in suspension. Examples of such devices can be found in the prior art having a transducer or other sonic generator coupled to a liquid-containing tank for creating ultrasonic or sonic waves in the liquid medium during which time the article to be cleaned is suspended or dipped into the liquid so that the vibratory energy can act directly to remove any foreign matter imbedded in or adhering to the article.
In practice, it has been found that devices of the abovedescribed type are frequently limited in use to small articles such as clothing, dishes, and the like which may be readily movable and accommodated by the tank. Thus, the inside of an oven, a floor, a wall, and any other article or surface which would be impossible or impractical to be immersed within a vibrating bath due to its size or shape have heretofore been denied a cleaning treatment in which vibratory energy is employed.
Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a cleaning device that can be manually manipulated and utilizes vibratory energy for cleaning a surface.
Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus that incorporates a means for creating cavitations in a liquid medium proximate a surface for removal for foreign matter adhering thereto.
The above and other objects are accomplished with a device having a plurality of elongated projections surrounded by a rim that engages a surface to be cleaned and spaces the end portions of the projections therefrom. The rim coacts with the surface to form a liquid confining chamber to which vibratory energy is transmitted by a fluid or electrically driven mechanical vibrator. The vibrator is coupled to the device to provide a rotating force vector in a direction transverse to the longitudinal axis of the projections at a frequency equal to the resonant frequency of the latter so as to cause a standing wave gyratory movement of the individual projections and create cavitating bubbles in theliquid for cleaning the surface.
A more complete understanding of the subject invention can be derived from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a view partly in schematic and taken on a vertical section of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken on lines 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken on lines 3-3 of FIGURE 1;
3,139,101 Patented June 30, 1964 FIGURE 4 is an embodiment similar to that of FIG- URE 1 with a modified air bearing type vibrator; and
FIGURE 5 is an embodiment of the subject invention incorporated with an electric motor driven vibrator.
Referring now to FIGURES 1 through 3, a preferred embodiment of a surface cleaner constructed in accordance with the invention is shown comprising in general, a cylindrically shaped body portion 10 that houses an air driven vibrator l2 and includes a handle 13 for manual movement of the cleaner. The body portion 16 is connected by a conduit 14 which includes a metering valve 16, to a source of liquid 18 while the vibrator is connected to a source of compressed air 28 by a conduit 22. An annular rim 24 extends downwardly from the body portion 10 and terminates with a surface engaging portion 26 adapted to contact a surface 28 which is to be cleaned. The rim 24 together with the surface 28 forms a liquid chamber 25, and additionally envelopes a plurality of elongated members or projections 30 which can be formed integral with the body portion 10, or be made separately and press fitted into the appropriate bores drilled within the body.
In the preferred form of the invention, both the body portion 10 and projections 30 are made from steel, however, it should be understood that any other material can be used that permits the operation of the subject invention as will hereinafter be described. Also, all of the projections are formed as elongated circular rods or bars having equal lengths and equal diameters and dimensioned so.
as to enable them to resonate together at a. predetermined frequency of the vibrator 12.
A bore 32 formed in the roof of the body portion 10 houses the vibrator 12 and includes an enlarged diameter annular air passage 34 located intermediate the ends of the bore. A ring member 323 is press fitted into the bore 32 and closed at the upper and lower ends by an apertured disk 38 and a solid disk 49, respectively, so as to form a working chamber 42 in which a cylindrical rotor or roller 44 is located. As best seen in FIGURE 2, the ring member 36 includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced passages 45 that communicate with the annular passage 34 and open into the chamber 42 for directing a stream of high velocity air in a tangential direction against the peripheral surface of the roller 44. The pressurized air emanates from the source 20 and is directed to the vibrator via the conduit 22 and passage 48 that connects with the annular passage 34. In addition, a liquid supply port 50 is provided in the rim 24 to direct liquid from the source 18 to the liquid chamber 25.
In operation, the pressurized air exiting from the several passages 46 drives the roller 44 around the working chamber 42 so as to apply a centrifugal force against the ring member 36. The centrifugal force is applied at different points 'as the roller orbits around the chamber and, in efiect, creates a rotating force vector that extends in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of each of the projections 30. Because of this, and the fact that the vibrator operates at the resonant frequency of the projections, the latter experience a gyratory type standing wave motion with the end portions of the projections simultaneously bending in the same direction and serving to agitate the liquid being supplied to the chamber 25 under the control of the metering valve 16. The liquid substantialy fills the chamber 25 with the result that as the projections are driven in a resonant mode, the
liquid is vehemently agitated so as to create cavitating bubbles at the tip of each projection. Each of the cavitating bubbles contains a vacuum of such magnitude that when the bubble collapses upon a central nucleus, an enormous force is developed which acts on the surface 28 and accounts for the dissemination and dislodging of any foreign particles adhering to the surface.
As is well known, cavitation is produced when vibratory energy is supplied to a liquid medium, and a liquid particle is moved away from an adjacent liquid particle so as to cause a vacuolar surface to exist between the two adjacent particles. This eifect can be produced by motion of particles in opposite directions or by motion of particles in the same direction, so long as one particle has a greater velocity than the other.
As shown in the preferred embodiment of FIGURE 1, the surface to be cleaned is flat, however, the configuration of the surface can be arcuate or any other shape, and in those instances the shape of the end portion of the projections can be made to conform to the shape of the surface to maintain an equal distance from the projection tips to the surface. Additionally, it should be noted that for most efficient results the vibrator is operated at the resonant frequency of the projections, however, it can be operated at any other frequency so long as sufiicient vibratory energy is transmitted into the liquid medium by the projections for creating cavitation.
FIGURE 4 shows another form of the cleaner of FIG- URES 1-3 employing a vibrator 12 that operates on the principle of an unbalanced air bearing. This type of vibrator is shown in a copending application identified as Serial No. 183,218, now Patent No. 3,108,749, Sulo Makela and William L. Drayer, assigned to the assignee of this invention, and reference is made thereto for a complete understanding of the operation of this vibrator. However, for present purposes it will suffice to say that this vibrator includes a roller type mass 44' that is suspended by a shaft 45 rigidly secured at one point to the vibrator housing 47'. The mass 44' is eccentrically disposed within a confining chamber 42' and is driven thereabout in an orbital path by pressurized fluid which flows through a passage 48' and impinges against the periphery of the mass in a manner as set forth in the above-described device. 1
When the vibrator 12' is energized the centrifugal force created by the orbiting mass is transmitted through the housing 47 to the body portion 10' of the surface cleaner. Thus, as in the case of the cleaner disclosed in FIGURE 1, when the frequency of the vibrator approaches the resonant frequency of the projections 30' each of the latter members is driven in the form of a standing gyratory wave with the projection tips located at the antinode. As is well known, during standing wave vibration, the points of minimum and maximum movement are termed nodes and antinodes, respectively, and as the projection tips I move with maximum deflection, cavitation develops in the liquid to dislodge any dirt, grease or other substance from the surface 28'. Of course, as in the case of the cleaner shown in FIGURE 1, when the vibrator is operating, liquid is supplied to the chamber 25' through the port 50 and a handle 13' is provided for manually moving the cleaner device along the surface 28'.
FIGURE shows a further modification of the cleaner of FIGURE 1 with the annular rim 52, in this instance, serving as a support for an electric motor 54 and having a handle 56 secured to the upper portion of the rim. The electric motor 54 includes two spring members 58 that flexibly connect the projection body 60 to the electric motor. A circular confining chamber 62 is formed in the top of the projection body 60 for accommodating a roller type mass 64 which is connected to armature of the electric motor 54 by a shaft 66. A flexible connection (not shown) joins the shaft 66 to the motor armature to permit to orbit within the confining chamber and create a rotating centrifugal force against the walls of the chamber as in the abovedescribed devices.
The cleaning device shown in FIGURE 5 operates in a manner similar to that of FIGURES 1 and 4; the vibrator operating at a frequency equal to the resonant fre quency of the projections with the result that as the latter are driven in a resonant mode, the liquid supplied to the chamber 67 via passage 68 is vehemently agitated to create cavitating bubbles in the liquid. As aforementioned with regard to the other embodiments of this invention, with the collapsing of the bubbles in an area proximate the surface to be cleaned, a pressure wave is generated in the liquid of a magnitude capable of dislodging any foreign sub-stances located on the surface 70.
Finally, it should be noted that the diameter of the roller in each embodiment of the invention is more than one-half the diameter of the confining chamber with the result that a frequency step-up is produced. That is, a number of force impulses greater than one occurs for each complete revolution of the roller about its axis. This feature is taught by a patent to Svenson 2,194,410 and reference is made thereto for a more complete understanding of the frequency step-up obtained by the vibrators utilized with this invention.
Various changes and modifications can be made in the several embodiments disclosed without departing from the spirit of the invention. It should be understood that such changes and modifications are contemplated by the inventors and they do not intend to be limited except by the scope of the appended claims.
In the claims:
1. A sonic apparatus for cleaning the surface of an article comprising a body portion having a plurality of elastic projections extending therefrom, said body portion including a surface engaging rim surrounding said projections and adapted to coact with the surface to form a liquid chamber, said rim extending beyond the end portions of said projections so that said end portions are spaced a predetermined equal distance from the surface when said rim is in contact therewith, a source of liquid, means for feeding the liquid from the source to said liquid chamber, a cylindrical confining chamber formed in said body, said confining chamber being so located that the diameter thereof is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said projections, a mass located in said confining chamber, said mass adapted to be driven in an orbital path so as to generate a rotating force vector substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of each of said projections, and means for driving said mass in said orbital path so as to gyrate the projections in a resonant mode to produce liquid cavitation in an area proximate the surface of the article.
2. A sonic apparatus for cleaning the surface of an article comprising a body portion having a plurality of elongated elastic circular projections extending therefrom, said body portion including a surface engaging rim surrounding said projections and adapted to coact with the surface to form a liquid chamber, said rim extending a distance beyond the end portions of said projections whereby said end portions are located a predetermined equal distance from the surface when said rim is in contact therewith, a circular confining chamber formed in the body and having a roller type mass disposed therein, said confining chamber being so located that the diameter thereof is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said projections, a source of pressurized fluid, a plurality of passages circumferentially disposed about the confining chamber and adapted to direct a stream of pres surized fluid emanating from said source tangentially against said mass so as to drive said mass in an orbital path around the confining chamber, a source of liquid, a liquid passage formed in said body and adapted to receive liquid from the liquid source and feed the liquid to the liquid chamber, said mass adapted upon being driven by the pressurized fluid to create a rotating force References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,627,263 Baily May 3, 1927 6 Stevens May 21, Svenson Mar. 19, Reid July 4, Pendleton Oct. 17, Hancock July 22, Lutnman et a1. Nov. 4, McAuley et a1 Apr. 21, Watson July 28, Bodine Nov. 15, Lcmelson Apr. 18, Nuissl Dec. 18,
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No 3,, 139, 101
June 3O, 1964 Floyd A, Wyczalek et ale Column 1, line 40, for "forf", second occurrence read of column 3, line 72, after "to" insert the line 75 after "permit" insert the mass -c Signed and sealed this 10th..day of November 1964 (SEAL) Attest:
ERNEST W, SWIDER EDWARD J. BRENNER Aitcsting Officer Commissioner of Patents