US 3238556 A
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March 8, 1966 E. A. MARTIN 3,238,556
PORTABLE SUCTION AND BLOWER UNIT Filed Ma 7, 1963 2 sheets-sheet 1 IN VEN TOR. ELNER H. MART/1v .E'Fij M -y? March 8, 1966 E. A. MARTIN 3,238,556
PORTABLE SUCTION AND BLOWER UNIT Filed ma 7, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet z INVENTOR. L/IER H. NARI-m A TTORNE Y United States Patent 3,238,556 PORTABLE SUCTION AND BLOWER UNIT Elmer A. Martin, 3905 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, Calif. Filed May 7, 1963, Ser. No. 278,619 1 Claim. (Cl. 15-330) The invention relates to a portable suction and blower unit which is particularly designed for such personal uses as removing hair trimmings and/or efi'ecting drying operations about the head and other body parts, while usable for other cleaning operations.
The present features of invention relate to a machine which is adapted to function at an applied terminal nozzle of a flexible hose extending from a mechanism-carrying housing of the machine either to elfect a removal and retention of loose hair trimmings or dandruff or dust or bacteria from body or other surfaces, or to apply an air stream against such surfaces for a blow-off cleaning and/ or drying of the same, and a general object is the provision of a particularly compact and effective self-contained portable unit of the character described for selectively and efficiently carrying out the aforesaid and other re late-d operations.
Another object of the invention is to provide for the removal of suction-collected material at the hose nozzle without permitting a contaminating escape of the collected material into the atmosphere.
A further object is to provide a machine of the character described having its suction and blowing operations provided by a rotary electric motor-blower assembly provided in its mechanism housing for its actuation in the same rotary direction for both operations and its functioning without a flow of the suction-removed and collected material through its mechanism.
The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which, with the foregoing, will be set forth or be apparent in the following description of a typical embodiment thereof, and in the accompanying drawings, in which,
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the suction and blower unit including a hose terminally carrying an applicator nozzle.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged view of the hose-connection wall of the casing of the unit, with certain enclosed elements indicated in dash lines.
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken from the line 3-3 in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken from the line 44 in FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the casing having its top member removed.
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary and broken-away view similar to that of FIGURE 5, with a valve element of the view disposed in an alternative position in the structure.
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken from the line 77 in FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 8 presents the electric Wiring diagram for the unit.
FIGURE 9 is a longitudinal sectional view of the mounted hose nozzle.
FIGURE 10 shows the hose nozzle as mounting a cooperative filter element.
FIGURE 11 is a partly sectional view showing the filter element of FIGURE 10 as shaped during its cooperative application and use with the nozzle.
In general terms, a present suction and blower unit comprises a portable machine providing an electrically operable motor-blower combination for optionally producing a suction intake or a blowing discharge of air through a flexible hose having a terminal nozzle for applicaiton at a working point. As particularly illustrated, the cooperative mechanical elements of the present ma- 3,238,556 Patented Mar. 8, 1966 'ice chine are provided in or on a rectangular casing or housing 13 having a bottom wall 14, left and right side end Walls 15 and 16 respectively, front and rear walls 17 and 18 respectively, and a top wall 19. As shown, the top casing wall 19 comprises a removably mounted closure plate, and all the other bounding walls of the casing 13 are integrally related in a one-piece structure which may be shaped of sheet metal or be molded of a plastic material, or be otherwise provided and constituted. The present metallic casing walls 14 and 15 and 16 and 17 are preferably and respectively lined with relatively rigid plates 14' and 15 and 16' and 17' of a suitable material for insulating said casing walls against the passage therethrough of heat and sound and mechanical vibrations, with said plates preferably being of such relatively light and porous materials as fiberglass.
Intermediately thereof, the casing 13 fixedly mounts a planar and rigid partition member 21 of suitable nonresonant material (as Bakelite) in upright and spaced and fixed parallel relation to the front wall 17, with its side and bottom edges engaged in complementary mounting slots 22 provided in the lining plates of the casing walls 14 and 15 and 16, and said partition divides a major lower portion of the casing space into rectangular front and rear positions 23 and 24. For a reason to be hereinafter brought out, the top edge of the partition 21 is straight and fixedly spaced from the mounted top wall 19 in parallel relation thereto, and this element of the casing assembly is provided with an interior circular opening 26 which freely and coaxially receives therethrough an electric motor 27 of a rotary motor-blower unit arranged for a one-way actuation thereof and having its fan assembly 28 fixedly related to the motor with the armature of the motor 27 and the fan-carrying rotor of the blower mounted on a common shaft in a usual motor-blower assembly 29. As indicated, bolts 30 rigidly fix the cylindrical housing for the blower rotor and fan assembly to the partition at spaced points about the partition opening 26, with the cylindrical housing 31 of the blower assembly disposed in the casing space 24 opposite the rear casing wall 18 in spaced relation thereto for receiving air from the space 24 through an axial intake opening 32 of the blower casing for a pressure discharge of the air from the blower into the space 23.
As particularly shown, the top casing member 19 is provided with a continuous peripheral flange 19 extend ing transversely therefrom for closely receiving the fixedly related casing Walls 15 to 18 inclusive at their mutually coplanar free edges as comprising a close-fitting capping and frictionally retained closure for the underlying casing space. The present exterior casing member 19 is provided therethrough with a circular air-flow opening 33 having its center disposed in the central plane of the partition 21 midway between the casing side walls 15 and 16 and arranged for the connection of a flexible air hose 34 thereat having a nozzle at its free end. Mutually spaced holes 35 are provided in the portion of the rear casing wall 18 generally opposite the blower inlet opening 32 and jointly provide an air-flow opening thereat, and a valve means is operative within the casing space for reversedly determining the flow of the air stream provided therein by the motor-blower unit 29 operating between the casing openings 33 and 35 whereby the hose 34 may optionally have a suction-intake or pressure-discharge flow produced therethrough.
The reversible valve means provided for determining the direction of the air flow in the hose 34 is operative with direct respect to the air opening 33 in the top wall 19. In the present arrangement, a plate element 36 is fixedly mounted in the casing 13 between the wall 19 and the top edge of the partition 21 in fixed spaced parallel relation to said wall at the inner end of an upstanding positioning means comprising an outstanding U-shaped edge flange 37 extending similarly from three edges thereof and providing a centering means for the plate in the upper casing space and having its side portions extending fully across the mutually and closely opposed insulation plates and 16' and 17' thereat, while the unflanged edge 36' of the plate 36 is spaced from the casing wall 18 in parallel relation thereto to provide flange portions 37' extending beyond the plate edge 36. For use with the reversible valve means of the present unitary machine, the plate 36 is provided with mutually spaced transverse circular holes 38 and 39 of like size having the centers of their bores equally spaced from the central plane of the underlying partition 21 at opposite sides thereof above the motor and fan respectively and in a plane parallel to said partition plane, and the plate portion providing the holes 38 and 39 defines a space 40 between it and the casing wall 19.
A separate member 41 having an intermediate rectangular portion 42 sealedly related to the upper side of the plate 36 at the plate holes 38 and 39 provides air passages or ports 43 and 44 through tubular flanges 45 and 46 depending from the member portion 42 in complementary slidable engagement in the holes 38 and 39 of the plate 36 as a positioning means for the member 41 on the plate 36 and for use of its said ports 43 and 44 for alternatively connecting the unidirectional air stream through the blower with the hose connection at the opening 33 through one of said ports while the other port is suitably connected with the openings 35 in the casing side 18. For sealedly relating the member 41 to the plate 36, a planar gasket member 47 of suitably resilient air-sealing material is compressedly interposed between the member and plate with the flanges 45 and 46 of the member engaged through complementary openings through the gasket while centering the member 41 with respect to the plate.
As shown, one edge 41' of the mounted member 41 extends no further than the plate edge 36' from the intermediate portion of the flange 37, while an edge 41" coterminous with the edge 41' is spaced from a side of said flange to provide a portion of the plate 36 not covered by the plate 41 and usable in a manner which is hereinafter brought out. Also, the flat portion 42 of the present member 41 is generally rectangular outline having integral triangular corner portions 48 thereof turned perpendicularly upwardly toward the casing top plate 19 for spacing engagement by the inner side of the installed casing top 19 to compressedly engage the gasket 47 between the member and the plate 36 and to provide a desirable air seal between the member 41 and the plate 36 about the flanges 45 and 46 at the tops of the casing spaces 23 and 24.
A partitioning plate 51 depends into the casing space 24 from the edge 36' of the plate 36 in integrally coterminous relation to the installed plate for its extension between the wall 18 and the blower housing 31 to a casing point below the blower inlet 32 and in spaced relation to said wall and housing. Preferably, and as shown, the plate 51 is provided with a U-shaped transverse flange 52 of uniform width extending along its side and bottom edges for the engagement of its free edge with and along the rear wall 18, with the upper ends of the flange sides in tegrally coterminous with the extending ends 37' of the flange 37 of the plate 36 whereby the plate 51 and its flanges 52 provide an open-topped but otherwise closed space 53 with and opposite the portion of the rear casing wall 18 at its holes 35, and the plates 36 and 51 are rigidly related in a unitary assembly. The space 53 preferably contains a body 54 of suitable air-filtering material, as porous fiberglass, whereby air flowing inwardly through said openings may be mechanically filtered by said filtering body. Opposite the blower inlet 32, the depending plate 51 adhesively mounts a disc 55 of a suitable airfiltering material, as porous fiberglass, in centered and contacting relation with the opposed end of the blower housing 31, whereby air flowing into the inlet 32 of the operating blower may be mechanically filtered by the pad 55.
The unitary and removable assembly of and on the plate elements 36 and 41 is arranged for its adjustable mounting on and beneath the top wall element 19 by means of lag screws 56 depending from corner points of the top wall 19 into corresponding corner points of the plate 36 in direct threaded engagement therewith and opposite the upturned corners 48 of the member 41, whereby the top wall 19 and the plate 36 may be adjustably spaced for a close-fitting but sliding engagement of a generally tubular valve member 57 between the opposed and parallel flat faces of the top wall 19 and the member 41, while the sealing gasket 47 is appropriately operative between the plate 36 and the member 41. The present valve member 57 comprises a closed and rigid loop formed of a strip 58 of suitable material of uniform width to provide a tubular body of generally elliptical or kidney cross-section. As shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, the continuous opposite side edges 58' of the valve body strip 58 define mutually parallel loop-end planes of engagement of the valve with and along the mutually opposite and parallel faces of the top wall 19 and the member 41 to constantly encompass a space 59 within it between the parallel planes of the continuous strip edges 58' which define the ends of the valve member 57.
As particularly shown, connected straight end portions 58" of the valve body strip 58 are mutually lapped and connected and are complementarily formed to cooperatively provide an eye 61 extending axially of the tubular valve body which fixedly retains a valve-positioning stem 62 extending therefrom through the top wall 19 in sealedly and frictionally journaled engagement in a hearing opening having its axis at the intersection of the planes of the partition 21 and the plane of the axes of the air ports 43 and 44 provided by the member 41. The stem 62 fixedly mounts a turning handle 64 at its extending end for use in effecting adjusting rotations of the stem and attached valve. The present valve-setting arrangement is essentially such that the valve 57 is movable between limiting positions in which its space 59 alternatively connects the hose connection opening 33 with the air ports 43 or 44 of the member 41 at the plate 36. Preferably, and as shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, the member 41 fixedly mounts an element 65 which provides stop extensions 66 disposed in the path of movement of the valve body 58 for limiting the settings of the valve 57 to effectively centered registrations of the ports 43 and 44 with the opening 33.
As shown in FIGURES 8 to 10, the hose 34 terminally mounts a tubular nozzle 67 carrying an air-straining member and/ or a filtering member for cleanin gthe induced air stream which is to pass through the mechanism of the unit during a suction of the unit, whereby the mechanism of the valve means and the motor-blower assembly in the casing 13 may not be subject to a deleterious deposit thereon or therein of the strained-out air-borne particles. As particularly indicated in FIGURES 9 and 11, the bore of the tubular nozzle 67 retainedly mounts a conical strainer member 70 of wire mesh or the like having its apical end directed inwardly of the outer nozzle end edge 71. Alternatively, or additionally, a filtering member 69 of flexible woven or felt air-pervious material and having a closed conical end portion 69' extending from a cylindrically tubular nozzle-receiving base portion 69", initally caps the nozzle (FIGURE 10), and is arranged to have its portion 69' turned inwardly over the outer nozzle end edge 71 to provide an inwardly-directed conical trap (FIGURE 11) for the air-borne particles being removed by suction.
In the use of the present machine, it has usually been found desirable to have the inturned part 69' of a nozzlemounted filter 69 of the disclosed disposable type formed for its backing by the internal face of the relatively rigid conical strainer-member 70, as is indicated in FIGURE 11, and so flexible that it may be readily drawn into, and held in, operative position by and during the existence of a working suction in the hose. Also, for facilitating the entry of air into the nozzle 67, the nozzle end edge 71 is provided therealong with laterally spaced radial crossslots or notches 72 for facilitating the entry of a particleconveying air stream into the nozzle from a work surface to which the nozzle is applied for its primary air-cleaning function, with this feature being particularly valuable whether or not a filter member 69 is provided on the nozzle. In the event that a utilized present filter member 69 is to be removed from the mounting nozzle 67 for replacement or for a blower use of the present machine, it is merely necesary to provide a blower airstream through and from the hose 34 to remove the disposable member and its collected material from the nozzle without manual contact therewith and preferably into a more-or-less closed waste-receiving receptacle for preventing an unsanitary charging of the surrounding air with the discharged colleted material.
Since the present motor-blower unit 29 is arranged for its solely one-way rotary activation while in use, the energizing circuit for the motor 27 solely comprises wires 73 and 74 of an extension cord leading from a twoprong connecting plug 75 to the motor 27 through an opening in the front casing wall 17, with a suitable on-andofif switch 76 interposed in the wire 74. As particularly indicated in FIGURE 3, the mechanism of the switch 76 is provided in a housing having a portion 77 disposed within the front casing space 23 below the plate 36 and having a smaller tubular portion 78 terminally exposing a swingable switch-actuating arm 79 beyond its outer end for use in effecting manual on-and-off settings of the switch. As shown, the portion 78 of the switch housing extends closely through coaxially aligned openings provided in the plate 36 and the top wall 19 laterally of the port-providing member 41 fixedly engaged between said plate and wall. In the present arrangement, the stem portion 78 of the switch housing is externally threaded from its free end and is arranged to mount a nut 80 for clampedly fixing the switch assembly to and between the casing top 19 and the plate 36 after the lag screws 56 have been cooperatively installed between said casing members.
It will now be noted that a suction pick-up of particles through the hose nozzle 67 is pnovidable by the present machine when the valve member 57 is set in the respective full-line and dash-line positions shown for it in FIG- URES 2 and 3 and 5, in which the space 59 of the valve member 57 connects the opening 33 with the port 44, whereby an activating of the motor 27 of the motor-blower unit 29 by closing the switch 76 is then arranged to produce a suction inflow of an air stream into the hose nozzle 67 through the air-cleaning means provided by the strainer 70 and the filter 69 (if used) and thence through the hose 34 and the opening 33 into the space 59 of the valve member 57. The appropriately cleaned air stream thus provided flows from the valve space 59 through the port 44 and the casing space 24 about the blower housing 31 and through the filter pad 55 to the blower fan 28 and the space 23 about the motor 27 for its flow from the latter space through the port 44 into the portion of the space 40 about the valve member 57 and thence through the filter body 54 for its delivery from the casing through the openings 35 in the rear casing wall 18.
When a blowing air stream is to be provided through and from the hose 34, the valve 57 is set to connect the port 43 from the pressure cavity 23 of the casing with the hose-connection opening 33, and an activating of the motor 27 is then operative to provide a blower stream of atmospheric air which enters the casing at the rear casing openings 35 and approximately traverses the casing spaces for its discharge from the open hose nozzle 67 at a working point therefor. By particular reference 6 to FIGURES 3 and 6 of the drawings, it will be noted that the blower stream entering the casing at the openings 35 travels through the adjacent filter body 54 into the portion of the space 40 about the positioned valve member 57 and thence through the port 44 and the casing space 24 and the filter disc 55 on the plate 51 to supply the blower 28 with air which is discharged under pressure to the casing space 23. From the space 23, the air stream thus provided flows through the port 43 into the valve space 59 and thence into the hose-connection opening 33 for its pressure delivery through the hose and from the terminal hose nozzle 67.
Referring further to the provision of air-filtering devices at the intake ends of the alternatively producible suction and blower streams through the casing and hose, it will be generally understood that the surfaces and mechanisms exposed to the working air streams are protected from the deleterious accumulation thereon or therein of particles of materials which might otherwise be carried in the air streams. Accordingly, it will be understood that the provision for the filtering of particle-carrying air at the nozzle end of the hose 34 is designed to primarily prevent a deleterious entry into the machine parts of materials which may have been picked up by the operating suction stream flowing through the hose and casing spaces; when, for instance, the present machine is used for removing dust or dandruff or hair clippings from a persons head and neck, such materials are collectible in and by the removable and disposable filter 69 at the intake end of the nozzle, and the suction stream is thereby kept clean. On the other hand, it is noted that the filter body 54 and filter disc 55 are directly operative with respect to a blower air stream entering the casing space through the inlet port jointly provided by the openings 35 in the casing wall 18, whereby any dust or other particles in the air about the machine are kept out of the blower stream through the machine.
From the foregoing description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, the advantages of the present portable suction and blower unit will be readily understood by those skilled in the art to which the invention appeltains. While I have shown and described a structure and arrangement which I now consider to be a preferred embodiment of my invention, I desire to have it understood that the disclosures are primarily illustrative, and that such changes and developments may be made, when desired, as fall within the scope of the following claim.
In combination with a means for alternatively providing confined suction or blower airstreams in a hose connected thereto for respectively receiving and conveying the provided airstreams from and to a relatively rigid tubular nozzle at the free hose end for application at a working point therefor, and an air-cleaning means operative in the bore of the hose nozzle for mechanically cleaning the airstream while it flows through the nozzle duct and into the hose from the applied working end thereof and comprising a disposable element of flexible air-filtering material mounted on the nozzle and having a tubular base portion closely and frictionally receiving the outer nozzle end portion and a closed end portion of conical outline extending outwardly from said base portion and said end portion arranged for its reverse disposition within the nozzle bore by reason of and during the suction flow of air into the nozzle wherein the inner end of said closed portion is substantially coterminous with the inner end of the base portion, the nozzle-mounted said filtering element being adapted for its dismounting from the nozzle by reason of a subsequent blowing discharge of air from the nozzle.
(References on following page) References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Edstrorn 15330 8 2,668,315 2/1954 Crosby 15344 3,009,188 11/1961 Martin 15-41 X FOREIGN PATENTS 414,466 8/1934 Great Britain.
ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner.
WALTER A. SCHEEL, Examiner.