US 3148957 A
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Sept. 15, 1964 w. H. BALLARD 8,148,957 HAIR DRIER WITH A DE'SICCANT Filed Aug. 10, 1960 L HF" HIIHHIIIIIIIH JNVENTOR. WALTERMBAUARD BY mam QTTORNEYS United States Patent 3,148,957 HAIR DRIER WITH A DESICCANT Waiter H. Ballard, Cedar Lane, Ossining, N.Y., assignor of one-tenth to H. Edward Mestem, Yonkers, N.Y. Filed Aug. 10, 196i Ser. No. 48,731 3 Claims. (Cl. 34-95) The invention relates to a device for the drying of hair, suitable for use on human beings. The device has an accelerated action over those presently in use and utilizes the hygroscopic effect of desiccants. It is non-injurious to the hair and is designed for repeated employment.
The drying operation of human hair after washing requires some time, especially in the case of long hair and ample hair growth, as for instance with womens hair. Beauty parlors employ the well-known hair driers which have the disadvantage that the person whose hair is to be dried is exposed to heat aggravated by moisture for an average period of 35 minutes and in some instances much longer. Moreover, the hot air strikes the head directly and contributes thereby to the discomfort.
Persons, particularly women, who wash their hair at home, either pin their hair up in unsightly so-called pincurlers and rely on natural drying of the hair or use devices which fulfill essentially the same function as the professional hair driers mentioned above. In the former case, drying may take as long as an entire day, in the latter essentially the same discomforts and immobility over a certain period of time are encountered as with the professional hair drier.
It is the object of the invention to substantially shorten the drying time of wet human hair and to overcome the discomforts described above. For this purpose, I use inert solid drying agents of hygroscopic nature in a container which permits free access of air and moisture. The drying agent itself does not come in direct contact with the hair although no harmful effect would ensue from such direct contact. The drying agents can be regenerated after use and can be re-used again and again. Suitable drying agents are especially silica gel and a material sold by the Linde Division of Union Carbide Corporation, New York, N.Y., under the descriptive name of Molecular Sieves.
Whereas these Molecular Sieves are considerably higher in price than silica gel and also require higher regenerating temperatures, i.e., 475500 F. as against BOO-350 F. for silica gel, they are more efficient in the drying and water-absorptive properties than silica gel. However, I have found a mixture of these desiccants to be especially effective. This is due to the fact that the drying curves of the two agents differ substantially and that, by mixing, a wider drying range is attained which covers the entire drying ranges of both materials at a higher performance rate. A ratio of 3 to 4 parts silica gel to one part molecular sieves has been established as preferable although I do not wish to limit myself to any particular proportion since, as set forth above, either desiccant will work satisfactorily in its own right. When a mixture is used, the regenerating temperature, naturally, is governed by the component having the highest requirements, i.e., it should be 475-500 F. when molecular sieves are present in any proportion.
The size and shape of the drying agent, as is well known, influences the drying effect. I have determined that for the object of my invention silica preferably should have a mesh size of 6-12 microns and not be in bead form, but of irregular granular shape.
The container for the desiccant is a mesh. Wire mesh of copper, stainless, galvanized or other steel, aluminum or other suitable metal can be employed. Also usable are textile meshes within the limitations of the regenerating temperatures of the desiccants which are not removed from the container for regeneration. There are on the market, e.g., special nylon fibers which will withstand 300350 F., and a short-time exposure of cotton to such temperatures is not necessarily harmful thereto. Glass and Teflon meshes also can be used. The wire mesh is in form of an elongated tube, closed at both ends, which is filled with the desiccant. The size of the wire mesh is determined by the desiccant, i.e., it must be large enough to admit air and moisture vapors freely without being so large as to permit the desiccant to escape. The ends can be opened for filling and emptying the tube if and when desired. The tube, filled with the desiccant, is attached to the outside of a carrier. In one embodiment of my invention, the carrier is an essentially head-shaped structure which, however, is not designed to fit or rest upon the head as will be explained below. This structure can again be a wire or textile mesh. However, the mesh can be very coarse since it merely facilitates carrying the desiccant tube and must freely admit air and moisture vapors. A preferred embodiment is a number of steel or copper straps held together by another strap as will be shown below with reference to the drawing.
The filled tube is attached to the outside of the carrier. This may be in a continuous coil or in sections which are attached horizontally or vertically to the carrier. The carrier plus tube or tubes then is suspended form-fittingly in the professional hair drier. By form-fitting I mean that the contours of the carrier and those of the drier coincide, and that the human head is more or less within the carrier without, however, making direct contact.
It has been found that with the device according to the invention in the hair drier hot air is not required but merely lukewarm air. Furthermore, the drying time is decreased from 35 minutes or more, as stated above, to 12-15 minutes, depending upon the extent of waterabsorbency and quantity of the hair to be dried. Moreover, the air stream is diverted and does not directly impinge on the human head. The discomforts mentioned initially thereby are averted.
In another embodiment of my invention, the carrier is of smaller size and actually is designed to fit the users head. This is a device for home-use and carries on its top a box containing a small battery-operated electric fan which sends an air stream downward. The time for drying the hair, in this instance, ranges from 20 to 30 minutes since not even lukewarm air is supplied, but merely air at room temperature. The batteries may be within the fan box which also contains the motor or else may be disposed on top of that box for easy removal before regeneration.
This embodiment not only reduces the drying time over other known home-drying devices but also assures mobility since no electric outlets are required as is the case with most home driers.
As to the operating principle, it is believed that in both the above embodiments the desiccant dries the air surrounding the hair rather than drying the hair directly.
In the case of both these embodiments, the tube can be permanently attached to the carrier by any convenient means, e.g., riveting, stapling or welding. The entire unit is then regenerated which in the case of the home appliance can be accomplished in the oven of the cooking stove.
In order to maintain the eifectiveness of the hygroscopic desiccants in the drying devices, these are stored in moisture-proof containers when not in use, e.g., in plastic bags.
The invention now will be further illustrated with reference to the accompanying drawings which show preferred embodiments. However, it should be understood that these are given merely by way of explanation, not of limitation, and that numerous changes may be made in the details without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
In the drawings,
FIG. 1 is an elevation of the embodiment of a hair drier for installation in a professional drier;
FIG. 2 is a cut through the tube carrying the desiccant;
FIG. 3 is an elevation, with the front removed, of a hair drier for use in the home, featuring a fan as air-supply.
Referring now to these drawings, in FIG. 1 a device is illustrated wherein stainless steel bands 11 are joined by another stainless steel band 12. A stainless steel wire mesh tube 13 is coiled around the form shaped by bands 11 and 12. As stated above, the mesh of the tube 13 should be large enough to admit air and moisture vapors freely and small enough to contain the desiccant. The bands 11 and 12 can be made from other materials, e.g., copper, nylon or other textiles, e.g., buckram. Tube 13, likewise, may consist, e.g., of copper, nylon or other mesh, such as fiberglass or Teflon. The outline of a professional hair drier, in which the unit is inserted, is shown as 14.
Warm drying air is discharged from the professional hood 14- and is blown downwardly past the desiccant tube 13 and carrier 11 onto the hair to be dried.
FIG. 2 is a cut through 13 showing the mesh of said tube and the desiccant 21.
The mesh shown in FIG. 2 may be of stainless steel, copper, nylon, Teflon, fiberglass or any other material which will withstand the regenerating temperatures.
FIG. 3 is an elevational view, with the front cut away of a hair drier for home use, where 61 represents an openmesh carrier, e.g., buckram; fastened thereto are horizontally attached mesh tubes 62 containing the desiccant 63. A fan box 64 is disposed on top of carrier 61 and is strengthened by metal bands 65. On top of fan box 64 which houses the fan motor (not shown) is a battery case 66. The fan blade 67 is fastened to the shaft 68 which is connected to the motor. A shield 69 protects the wearers head from direct contact with the fan blade.
The carrier for this embodiment also can consist of steel, copper or other bands as shown in FIG. 1 instead of being in the form of a cap as shown.
Air is drawn inside the device by the rotating fan blade 67, contacting to a large extent the desiccant 63 in mesh tubes 62 prior to entry, and thus is predried. Air loaded with moisture simultaneously contacts the desiccant tubes giving up moisture. Since the circulation within the device is limited, air constantly is present which is sufficiently dry to accept moisture from the hair thus drying it.
I claim as my invention:
1. A hair-drying device for use on human hair which comprises an open mesh carrier; means to provide an air space between said carrier and said hair; an elongated open mesh tube arranged spirally about said carrier from top to bottom at a given distance and leaving considerable air space between the individual sections of the tube; and a desiccant disposed in said tube.
2. The hair-drying device as defined in claim 1, wherein means for producing an air current within said carrier are provided.
3. The hair-drying device as defined in claim 1, wherein means are provided to suspend said carrier plus open mesh tube plus desiccant in a professional hair drier.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,127,121 Kelley Aug. 16, 1938 2,420,358 Culligan et al May 13, 1947 2,453,179 Austin Nov. 9, 1948 2,503,113 Hribar Apr. 4, 1950 2,646,053 Harris July 21, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 946,388 Germany Aug. 9, 1956