US 3258578 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 28, 1966 E. w. FERms 3,258,578
PORTABLE STEAMING DEVICE Filed June 14, 1963 f INVENTOR 27a zz/a'n Myer/'515,
BY 5mm ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,258,578 PORTABLE STEAMING DEVICE Edwin W. Ferris, 46 Lexington Ave., Greenwich, Conn. Filed June 14, 1963, Ser. No. 288,019 6 Claims. (Cl. 219-273) This application is a continuation-impart of my prior copending application, Serial No. 770,328, liled October 29, 1958 andi issuing June 18, 1963 as Patent No. 3,094,606.
This linvention relates to a portable steaming device for rapidly generating steam or other vapor from liquid.
More particularly, the invention relates to a hand portable implement of this type, constructed for such uses as in the steaming of wallpaper in order to loosen the same so that it may be readily removed from the wall surface; the degreasing of metal and other surfaces; and the steaming of materials such as fabrics, for cleaning the same or for removing wrinkles or creases therefrom.
The principal object of Ithe invention is to provide an implement of the character above-set forth, capable of substantially instantly converting w-ater into steam for uses such as above mentioned, and wherein the device is constructed so that the steaming of the work surface may be achieved under ready and complete control of the operator of the implement.
Various forms of portable steaming devices have heretofore been proposed, but sofar Kas known to me, none of these has been practical in construction or ope-ration, or has provided the features and advantages afforded by the device of my invention.
Among such known devices are those shown in the patents to Hudson, 2,137,876; Gallagher, 2,226,426; Leher, 2,481,760; and Lawton, 2,673,918.
Briefly stated, the device of my invention is a hand portable implement and comprises a casing in which a motor driven rfan is housed and which is provided with a carrying handle; a main open-ended tube extending laterally from the casing and communicating at its inner end with the air outlet of the casing; a tubular member insertable in the main tube so as to provide an annular passageway between the member and the mai-n tube, for air discharged from the casing; a spray head mounted in the end wall of the tubular member for injecting a spray of Water or other suitable liquid into the inter-ior of the tubular member; a high temperature electric heating element associated with the tubular member and capable of substantially instantly converting the spray of liquid into vapor; and means, preferably in the form of a triggeroperated valve, associated with a liquid supply pipe, lfor controlling the flow of the liquid to the spray head. Interchangeable adaptors are mounted at the outer end of the main tube for confining the vapor emitted from the tubular member. These interchangeable adaptors enable the vapor emitted from the tubular member to be applied to work areas of greater or lesser area than the area of the outer tend of the tubular member, according to the intended use of the device.
The invention and the advantages thereof will be more clearly apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 isa view, partly in elevation and partly in longitudinal section, and with parts broken away, illustrating one embodiment of the invention, as adapted particularly for use in the vsteaming of wallpaper to be removed from a wall surface;
FIG. 2 is a view taken .along line 2 2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is ta fragmentary view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, as adapted for uses in which it is desirable that the steam or vapor be applied to the work in the form of a jet, as in the case of the degreasing of metal or other surfaces, or as in the case of the steaming of fabrics for cleaning the same or for removing wrinkles, creases, nger marks or the like therefrom; and
FIG. 4 is Ia fragmentary View illustrating another etnbodiment of the invention.
Referring to FIGS. l and 2, it will be seen that the device of the invention is in the form of a hand portable implement comprising a casing 10 from which there depends la carrying handle 11 and having a laterally extending open-ended main tube or barrel 12. The casing may be of `a size of the order of that of the conventional home lia-ir dryer. Tube 12 may be of a length of, say, five to twelve inches, tand a diameter of, say, three to six inches.
The casing is provided at the rearpor-tion thereof with air inlet means in the fo-rm of spaced slots or openings 14, and it houses a small, electric, high speed motor 15, supported therein by brackets 17 and driving a fan 16. The motor may be connected by leads 18 extending through a bushing 19 in the Wall of the housing, to a current-conducting cord terminating in a plug (not shown) for insertion in a conventional electric current outlet.
The inner end of tube 12 is in open communication with the outlet of the casing, `and its outer end is open for discharge of air driven by fan 16.
Supported coaxially within the tube 12, as by means of spaced radially extending bars or prongs 21, is a tubular chamber 22, the end wall 23 of the chamber being disposed adjacent, preferably somewhat inwardly 0f, the inner end of tube 12, and the outer open end of chamber 22 being disposed adjacent, preferably in transverse alignment with, the outer end of tube 12.
Extending through the end wall 23 of the member 22 so as to be disposed adjacent this end wall, is a spray head 25 for injecting a spray of water into the interior of the member 22. The water may be supplied to the spray head through a `feed pipe 27, preferably made of flexible material, and which, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, extends interiorly of the casing 10 and downwardly through the handle member 11, to a suitably located source of water (not shown) under slight pressure.
An important feature of the device of the invention resides in the provision of means for controlling the flow of water to the spray head. As indicated in FIG. 1, this may take the form of a plunger-type valve 28 in the feed pipe 27, the stem or plunger 29 extending through the wall of the handle 11 and being actuable in trigger-like fashion from a finger piece 30 at its outer end, so that the liow of water may be instantly released or closed off.
If desired, however, the feed pipe 27, instead of extending through the interior of the casing 10 and handle 11, may extend from its connection with the spray head downwardly through the tube 12 and thence exteriorly of the casing 10 and handle 11, where it is provided :at a convenient location along its length with a linger actuable plunger-type valve like that indicated by reference numerals 28, 29, 30 in FIG. 1.
In accordance with the invention, provision is made for substantially instantly vaporizing the water sprayed into the tubular chamber 22. To that end, the tubular chamber 22 may be composed of ceramic material such as glass, porcelain or the like, and a high temperature electric heating element 32, such as `a coil or Nichrome or other suitable resistance wire may be wound -around the exterior surface of the chamber. The ends of the wire extend rearwardly to terminals 34 by means of which they may be connected in any conventional manner to a source of electric power.
In the practice of the invention, the heating element 32 may be of a capacity of from 500 to 1000 watt-s so as to induce a temperature of the order of from about 1000 t-o .about 2000 F. along the center of the chamber 22.
Surrounding the heating element 32 is a layer of suitable insulating material 36 encased in a sheath 37.
Desirably, the tubular chamber 22 of ceramic material, and the heating element 32, as well as the covering of insulation 36 may be in the form of a unitary assembly. Thus, for example, there may be employed a unit available commercially under the trademark Vicor, comprising a tubular member of heat resisting glass, around the exterior surface of which a coil of Nichrome wire is wound.
In lieu of a Vicor or similar assembly such :as shown in FIG. 1, the tubular member 22 may be composed of suitable metal, and the heating element may comprise a unit such as a Calrod unit of, say, 100() watt capacity, disposed within the tubular chamber, and comprising a core of porcelain or other suitable insulating material around which there is wound a heating coil, the ends of which are suitably connected by conductors to a source of electric power.
The tubular chamber 22 being disposed axially of the tube 12, there is thus provided an annular passageway 38 extending lengthwise between the tube and the chamber. Thus, air taken into the casing 10 under the influence of the fan 16 will be driven forwardly through the passageway 38, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 1, .and discharged at the forward end of the passageway.
At the same time, when the heating element 32 is connected to a source of electric current, water fed to the spray head 25 by pressing on plunger 29 will be sprayed under light pressure into the interior of the chamber 22 and become substantially immediately Vaporized by the heat imparted by heating element 32. The steam thus generated will ow forwardly toward the outlet end of the chamber for discharge therefrom.
As will be evident, the steam emitted at the outlet end of the chamber 22 would normally diffuse, without control, in the surroundin-g atmosphere. Although such a discharge of the steam from the forward end of the chamber lmay be adequate for use in certain instances, it has been found that -best results are obtained by conlining the emitted steam to a limited area, thereby building up a certain amount of pressure in the emitted steam as well as effectively restricting the action of the steam to a limited area, depending upon the nature of the work to be done in the intended use of the device.
'Ihe confinement of the steam to a restricted area is achieved, according to the invention, by utilizing readily interchangeable adaptors lwhich may be detachably mounted at the forward end of the tube 12.
Thus, in FIG. 1, there is illustrated an adaptor 40 for use particularly in the steaming of wallpaper. As will be seen, this adaptor comprises an open pan-like member having its inner or bottom wall 41 formed with a centrally located circular opening 42 of substantially the same dia-meter as that of tube 12, and from the edges of which there extends rearwardly, a funnel-shaped extension 44 terminating at its outer end in an opening of a diameter substantially the same as that of the inside diameter of the chamber 22. Also extending rearwardly lof the bottom 41 of the pan, preferably at its juncture with the funnel 44, are several circumferentially spaced prongs 45. Thus, the adaptor 40 may be -attached to the tube 12 by inserting the prongs 45 over the exterior of the tube a sufficient distance to bring the opening 46 of the funnel into registry with the outer end of chamber 22. The adaptor may be retained in position as by means of a ring clamp 47 held under tension by a thumb screw 48 threaded through openings adjacent the ends of the clamp.
In use of the device with the adaptor 40, it will be apparent that when the device is held so that the outer peripheral edge yof the adapt-r is `substantially in contact with the work surface, the steam emitted from chamber 22 will be confined to an area which, though larger than that of the outer end of chamber 22, is nevertheless substantially bounded by the wall 43 of the pan. Thus, when the device is held with the outer edge of the pan in contact with the surface of a papered wall, the emitted steam will effectively serve to soften the paste or glue by which the paper is held to the wall surface. At the same time, the air forced through passageway 38 will exert a cooling effect and be discharged at the forward end thereof, exiting through the space between the prongs 45, in the direction indicated by the arrows A and along the rear face of the pan bottom 41.
Although the pan 40 illustrated in FIG. 1 is preferably of rectangular outline, particularly when the device is to be used for work such as the steamining of wallpaper, it should be apparent that it may, if desired, be of circular or other desired outline.
It will be evident that with a given rate of flow of air through passageway 38 (depending upon the capacity of fan 16) the temperature of the steam emitted from chamber 22 may be regulated by the volume or rate of ow of the water injected by spray head 25, or by varying the wattage of heating element 32, or both. At .the same time, the cooling effect of the air driven through passageway 38 is sufficient throughout operation (including those momentary periods when no water is being injected into chamber 22, and when, accordingly, the heating element itself is at a higher temperature) to maintain the outer surface of tube 12 at a temperature suiiiciently low to enable it to be held in the hand.
In FIG. 3, there is illustrated an adaptor 50 which may replace adaptor 40, for uses such as the degreasing of metal or other surfaces, or for steaming fabrics along defined areas thereof, for removing wrinkles or creases therefrom.
Accordingly, adaptor 50 is constructed so as to conne the steam discharge to an area substantially less than that of the outer end of discharge end of chamber 22. As shown in FIG. 3, the adaptor 50 constitutes, in effect, a nozzle for discharge of the steam from the chamber 22, and comprises a cone-shaped member formed at its apex with an outlet opening 51 and whose base is of a diameter substantially equal to that of the chamber 22. Around its base, the adaptor 50 may be provided with several spaced prongs 52. These prongs extend radially outward a distance corresponding substantially to that of the radial dimension between the chamber 22 and the outer surface of tube 12, and are there bent rearwardly as indicated at 53.
Adaptor 50 may thus be attached to the tube 12 by inserting the portions 53 of the prongs over the exterior surface of the tube, and held in place thereon by means of a ring clamp 54 similar to the ring clamp 47 described in connection with adaptor 40.
With this form of adaptor, as will be noted, the steam emitted from chamber 22 will be discharged more or less in the form of a jet through the opening 51, and the cooling air forced by the fan 16 through annular passageway 38 will be discharged through the spaces between the radially extending portions of the prongs 52.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the water is fed to spray head 25 through pipe 27 connected to a separate or relatively remote supply or source of water. This arrangement is particularly desirable for use of the device in those instances wherein it is desired that the generation and discharge of the steam be continued over relatively long periods of time, as for example, in removing wallpaper from large areas of wall surface.
In those instances where the work to be performed may require only relatively short periods of steam application, as in the case of removal of wrinkles or creases from relatively limited areas of fabrics, the device of the invention may be constructed so as to include a selfcontained supply of water. FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of this character. As there shown, a suitable container 60 may be mounted or attached directly to the upper surface of the tube 12. The container may be of a size to hold, say, a pint of water, which would bey suicient, in normal operation, to provide for generation of steam during a period of fteen to thirty minutes. The water may be fed from container 60 to the spray head 2S under the control of a trigger-actuated valve 63 fitted to a feed pipe 64 connected to or adjacent the bottom of container 60.
What is claimed is:
1. A steaming device comprising a portable, hand-held implement consisting essentially of:
(a) a casing having a carrying handle and housing a motor driven fan, said casing having air inlet means on one side of said fan and an air outlet at the opposite side of said fan;
(b) a tube extending from said casing and having its inner end in communication with said air outlet of the casing and its outer end spaced laterally from said air outlet of the casing;
(c) a tubular member supported coaxially within said first-named tube to provide an annular air passageway extending 4lengthwise between said member and said first-named tube and having an outlet at the outer end of said first-named tube, said tubular member having its inner end closed and its outer end open, said ends being disposed, respectively, adjacent the inner and outer ends of said first-named tube;
(d) a spray head mounted to extend into said tubular member interiorly of said closed inner end of said tubular member for injecting a spray of liquid into said member;
(e) means connected to said spray head for controllably feeding liquid to said spray head; and
(f) a high temperature electric heating element associated with said tubular member and disposed within said tubular member so as to extend in the direction of the longitudinal axis of said tubular member for substantially instantly converting said spray of liquid into Vapor, said annular air passageway being arranged to enable the air passing therethrough to exert a cooling effect upon the outer surface of said first-named tube whereby to maintain said surface at a temperature enabling said device to be held in the hand during its operation.
2. A device as defined in claim 1, having means detachably mounted at the outlet end of said first-named tube for confining the vapor emitted at the outer end of said tubular member to a limited area.
3. A device as defined in clairn 2, wherein said coniining means is of an area substantially greater than that of the outer end of said tubular member.
4. A device as defined in claim 2, wherein said confining means is of an area substantially less than that of the outer end of said tubular member.
5. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said liquid is fed to said spray head -under light pressure from a relatively remote supply.
6. A device as dened in claim 1, wherein said liquid is fed to said spray head under hydrostatic pressure from a supply thereof in a container mounted on said device.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,277,151 3/ 1942 Schoomaker 219--362 X 2,512,892 6/ 1950 Forsberg 219--362 2,709,214 5/1955 Engdah-l et al. 219-38.03 3,069,092 12/ 1962 Norvell 239-133 3,110,797 11/ 1963 Vanne et al. 219-273 FOREIGN PATENTS 744,636 1/ 1944 Germany. 338,489 3/ 1936 Italy.
OTHER REFERENCES Gerburtig: German printed application No. G4766,
f published Mar. s, 1956.
RICHARD M. WOOD, Primary Examiner.
C. L. ALBRITTON, Assistant Examiner.