US 3261049 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' July 19, 1966 J. J. MURPHY TOOL HAVING A PNEUMATIC BOOT Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 3, 1965 INVENTOR. Ji/wzs MT fl/AQPA Y T1 -11.
ATTORNEY July 19, 19-66 J. J. MURPHY TOOL HAVING A PNEUMATIC BOOT Filed Dec. 3, 1963 INVENTOR. JIMA-J J Mae/4r w ATTORNEY y 1966 J. J. MURPHY 3,261,049
TOOL HAVING A PNEUMATIC BOOT Filed Dec. 5, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 III,
INVENTOR J4Ms J we /n ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,261,049 TGGL HAVING A PNEUMATIC BOOT James J. Murphy, Scarsdale, N.Y., assignor to Johnson & Johnson, a corporation of New Jersey Filed Dec. 3, 1963, Ser. No. 327,742 4 Claims. (Cl. 147) The present invention relates to tools for presenting surface treating sheets such as dusting or polishing cloths and the like, more particularly to such tools which are adapted to be used in industrial installations where large tools are needed for treating large surfaces such as extensive floor space.
Normally, tools of this type are in the form of heads, shoes, or boots, attached to the end of a handle, such as a mop handle, which is manipulated by the operator. surface treating sheet is wrapped around or otherwise fitted on the boot in such a way that the boot presses the sheet into contact with the surface to be treated as the result of pressure applied through the handle. When large tools are used for the purpose indicated, it is extremely ditficult to apply the required treating pressure over the whole area of the tool, particularly where irregularities are encountered in the surface to be treated.
According to the present invention, a tool is provided wherein the treating pressure is applied evenly over the whole treating area of the tool regardless of the size of the tool and regardless of irregularities which may be encountered in the surface being treated. In the tool of this invention, the surface treating sheet is pressed into contact with the surface to be treated by a multiplicity of at least partially collapsible hollow nodules spaced from one another longitudinally and transversely of the tool. The nodules have relatively thin, flexible and resilient walls which preferably form pneumatic chambers extending substantially through the depth of the resilient working part of the tool. These nodules are between the rest of the tool and the surface being treated, and are adapted to become deflected or partially collapsed in the areas where pressure is increased or irregularities are encountered to conform the treating sheet to the surface being treated. The nodules, when partially collapsed, tend to return to their normal shape due to their resiliency and due to the influence of the air contained in the pneumatic chamber or chambers formed by the nodules, with the result that the tool is adapted to conform easily to uneven surfaces when only relatively light pressure is applied to the tool through the handle.
According to a preferred embodiment of this invention, the nodules are presented at the bottom of a boot formed of a resilient material such as rubber, and the boot is adapted to be snapped onto a relatively rigid shoe which presents a fiat supporting surface for the boot. The boot is adapted to be attached and detached easily from the shoe and preferably also is adapted to hold the surface treating sheet in position on the tool by gripping the sheet between the boot and the shoe in the manner generally described and claimed in my earlier US. Patent 3,056,989. However, if desired, the working portion of the boot may be permanently attached to the shoe or secured thereto in some other manner.
Other and further advantages of this invention will occur to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims taken together with the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a tool according to a preferred embodiment of this invention showing the surface treating sheet in position thereon;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged bottom plan view of an end portion of the tool of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged end elevational view of the tool of FIG. 1 with the handle removed for the sake of clarity;
FIG. 4 is a view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 44 of FIG. 2, also with the handle removed, and showing a surface treating sheet in position on the tool;
FIG. 5 is a view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 55 of FIG. 2 and showing an end portion of the tool of this embodiment;
FIG. 6 is a greatly enlarged view showing two of the nodules of the tool of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a greatly enlarged View similar to FIG. 6 and showing deflection of the nodules when pressure is applied to the tool;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of an end portion of the tool of the preceding figures showing the location of the snagging fingers for the surface treating sheet;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a schematic bottom plan view of an end portion of the tool according to a modified version of the embodiment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 11 is an enlarged partially broken away view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the modification of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a view in perspective of a somewhat different embodiment of a tool according to this invention partially cut. away to show the internal nodules of this embodiment;
FIG. 13 is a view partly in section and partly in elevation taken along the line 1313 of FIG. 12; and
FIG. 14 is a view similar to FIG. 13 but showing a modification to the embodiment of FIGS. 12 and 13.
Referring to FIGS. 1-9 of the drawings, there is shown a tool according to a preferred embodiment of the invention which comprises relatively rigid supporting means in the form of a fiat metal shoe 21, and a resilient boot 22 which snaps over the edges of the shoe. The shoe 21 comprises a flat metal plate with upstanding beads 23 formed along its longitudinal and transverse edges. The beads 23 are formed by turning the edges of the plate around a small diameter hollow rod, or rod portions 24, in such a way that the bottom of the shoe remains even and presents a flat supporting surface 25 for the boot. The shoe 21 is attached to a conventional mop handle 26 through a simple universal joint 27 riveted to the center of the shoe in such away as to retain the flatness of the bottom supporting surface 25 of the shoe.
The boot 22 comprises resilient pneumatic working means 28 adapted to depend from the supporting surface of the shoe, and relatively rigid resilient flanges 29 adapted to snap over the beads 23 at the longitudinal and transverse edges of the shoe 21 to hold the boot in position on the shoe. The flanges 29 also are adapted to be flexed to allow the edges of a surface treating sheet 31 to be tucked between the flanges 29 and the beads 23 of the shoe to position the sheet on the tool. The flanges 29 are sufficiently resilient and firm that they may be flexed easily to allow removal and installation of treating sheets 31 and yet hold the sheets firmly in position on the tool.
The resilient working means 28 presented at the bottom of the boot 22 comprises a multiplicity of at least partially collapsible hollow nodules 32 spaced from one another longitudinally and transversely of the supporting surface when the boot is in position on the shoe.
The nodules 32 extend downwardly from the supporting surface 25 of the shoe and are spaced in such a way as to define a multiplicity of grooves 33 between them which are open to the bottom of the tool. The resilient pneumatic means 28 at the bottom of the boot 22 comprises a multiplicity of supporting portions 34 adapted to contact the supporting surface 25 of the shoe between the nodules, and a multiplicity of spaced working portions 35 at the bottoms of the nodules adapted to contact the surface treating sheet 31. The sides of the nodules are formed by a multiplicity of relatively thin, flexible and resilient walls 36 which connect the working portions 35 and the supporting portions 34 of the resilient working means. The walls 36 extend through the thickness of the working means from the supporting portions thereof to the spaced working portions so that the nodules 32, in turn, define pneumatic chambers 37 which extend substantially through the thickness of the depending portion 28 of the boot.
The depending resilient portion 28 of the boot cooperates with the supporting surface 25 of the shoe to trap air between the boot and the shoe, and in particular to trap air in each of the individual chambers 37 formed by the nodules. The nodules 32 normally are closed at the bottom and open at the top to form the individual air chambers 37, as shown in FIG. 6, but when the boot 22 is in position on the shoe 21 and pressure is applied to the boot through the shoe, the supporting surface 25 of the shoe 21 tends to close the tops of the air chambers 37 formed by the nodules.
The nodules 32 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9 are arranged in four rows extending longitudinally of the tool. The tool may be 1 /2 to 2 feet long or any other desired length so that 20 to 30 or more nodules may be included in each row.
Viewed from the bottom of the boot 22, the nodules 32 are somewhat oblong in shape and arranged with their longest dimension extending primarily transversely of the tool. The nodules 32 in each row are inclined slightly to the ends 38 of the boot with the nodules in each row parallel to one another and inclined to the nodules in the next adjacent row to define somewhat tortuous passages between them extending transversely of the boot. Furthermore, the nodules 32 in alternate rows are so arranged that they overlap the grooves 33 formed between the nodules in adjacent rows and thereby assure that pressure will be applied to the surface treating sheet 31 evenly along the length of the tool.
As shown most clearly in FIGS. 4-7, the side walls 36 of the nodules 32 are inclined at an angle a of less than 90 to the supporting surface 25 of the shoe so that the walls tend to bend quickly as soon as pressure is applied to the boot through the shoe. This facilitates quick adjustment of the boot 22 and the surface treating sheet 31 to the shape of the surface being treated. When pressure is applied vertically downwardly to the boot 22 through the shoe 21 the tops of the side walls 36 will flex inwardly in each nodule and the bottoms of the walls will flex outwardly to allow the nodules 32 to collapse partially in mushroom fashion, as shown in FIG. 7. Normally, force is applied to the shoe 21 at an angle with the vertical by the handle 26 of the tool. However, the bottom of the boot 22 normally is covered with a surface treating sheet which possesses a very low coetficient of friction with respect to the surface being treated so that the horizontal component of the angular force exerted on the shoe is converted almost entirely into movement of the boot 22 and sheet with respect to the surface. In this case, the vertical component of the angular force remains to apply vertical pressure to the boot and cause the nodules 32 to collapse partially as explained above in connection with FIG. 7. It is possible in some applications wherein greater pressure is applied to the boot 22 from an angular force applied to the boot through the shoe 21 by the handle 26, that the partially collapsed nodules 32 will be deflected slightly to one side or the other so that their walls do not remain symmetrically arranged about the vertical center line of the nodules as shown in FIG. 7. When the tool of this invention is used for dusting floors it is adapted to be wielded from side to side as the operator walks along the floor so that a wide swath of floor area may be dusted in one pass by the operator. For instance, a wide corridor may be dusted in one pass in this manner. During this type of operation, relatively light pressure is applied to the tool so that the nodules remain substantially as shown in FIG. 7 during dusting.
FIGS. 8 and 9 show means in the form of a set of three snagging fingers 30 at one end of the tool depending from the bottom of the resilient flanges 29 inside the bead 23 for holding or snagging the end edges of the surface treating sheet to hold the sheet in position on the tool. The number and location of the fingers 30 are the same at both ends of the tool although only one end is shown for purposes of illustration. The fingers 30, as shown, are in the form of short frusto-cones integral with the flanges 29. When the surface treating sheet is lapped over only the front and back flanges 29 of the boot, as shown in FIG. 1, the fingers 30 located at each end of the boot roughly along the longitudinal center line of the tool would not be used. However, if the surface treating sheet is wider and therefore is tucked under all four flange sections 29, all of the snagging fingers would be used to help hold the sheet in position, as shown in FIG. 9.
The nodules 32 tend to conform to irregularities in the surface to be treated because of their resiliency and because of the air trapped in each nodule by the supporting surface 25 of the shoe. In other words, the air inside each nodule 32 will exert pressure upon the inside surface of the nodule which will tend to return the nodule to its natural shape. Some of the air in the nodules subjected to the greatest pressure may tend to spill over the tops of these nodules across the adjacent supporting portions 34 of the depending pneumatic means 28 of the boot into adjacent nodules which are not subjected to as much pressure. This may be a desirable result since it will tend to increase pressure in the adjacent nodules and cause them to press down into low areas in the surface being treated.
FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate a modification to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9 wherein passages 41 are included between adjacent nodules 32 to encourage the equalization of air pressure between nodules for the reasons described above. As shown most clearly in FIG. 10, the passages 41 are arranged to connect the nodules 32 in groups of six to form a number of adjacent resilient portions of equalized pressure. The groups, themselves, are unconnected with one another to assure that the air is substantially retained in each group despite the amount of pressure exerted, thereby assuring that the nodules will not collapse completely at any one point. The nodule groups may contain more or less than six nodules 32 and groups of different numbers of nodules may be particularly suitable for certain uses.
Referring to FIGS. 12-14, there is shown a tool according to a somewhat different embodiment of the invention wherein the shoe 21 and the handle 26 attached thereto are the same as those of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-11, but the boot 22 is modified. The resilient flanges 29 which snap over the beads 23 on the shoe 21 for holding the boot 22 on the shoe and securing the surface treating sheet 31 in position thereon, also are the same as the flanges 29 of the embodiment of the preceding figures. In the form shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 the pressure applying resilient pneumatic portion of the boot depending from the shoe comprises a multiplicity of nodules 42 which are spaced longitudinally and transversely of one another in the boot to define grooves 43 between them but are inverted with respect to the shoe 21 as compared with the nodules of the preceding figures. Thus, in this embodiment of the invention, one single pneumatic chamber 44 is formed by the interconnected grooves 43 defined between the resilient walls 45 of the nodules and the spaced working portions 46 at the bottom of the boot are formed between the nodules, not by the tips of the nodules as in the embodiment of FIGS. l-ll. In the embodi- .ment of FIGS. 12 and 13, the pneumatic chamber is closed by a top cover portion 47 of the boot, itself, which fits above the nodules 42 directly under the shoe 21. Thus, the boot of FIGS. 12 and 13 contains an internal pneumatic chamber 44 which is closed whether or not the boot is positioned on the shoe. FIG. 14 illustrates a modification of the form shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 wherein the pneumatic chamber 44 of the boot is open when the boot is removed from the shoe 21 and closed when the boot is positioned on the shoe. In FIG. 14 an inwardly extending peripheral ridge 48 is shown in the boot directly underneath the resilient flanges 29 thereof for fitting tightly under the edge portions of the supporting surface 25 presented by the shoe and forming therewith a closure for the top of the pneumatic chamber 44.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 1214, the inclined resilient walls 45 of the nodules 42 facilitate flexing and partial collapse of the nodules for quick adjustment to irregularities in the surface being treated, and the nodules tend to return to their normal shape due to their resiliency and due to the air pressure in the pneumatic chamber 44, as described in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-11. Similarly, as described hereinbefore, the air pressure inside the chamber tends to redistribute pressures in the boot so as to prevent pressure concentrations and urge the surface treating sheet into irregularities in the surface being treated.
The boot may be formed of any suitable resilient and durable material which may be shaped in the desired form and which will retain its resiliency and strength over long periods of use. Natural and synthetic rubbers have been found to be quite satisfactory for this purpose.
Having now described the invention in specific detail and exemplified the manner in which it may be carried into practice, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that innumerable variations, applications, modifications, and extensions of the basic principles involved may be made without departing from its spirit or scope.
The invention claimed is: I
1. A tool adapted to present a surface treating sheet comprising a handle and a boot attached to an end of said handle by a universal joint, said boot comprising: relatively rigid supporting means presenting a supporting surface; resilient pneumatic means cooperating with said supporting surface to trap air between said pneumatic means and said surface; said pneumatic means comprising a multiplicity of spaced working portions adapted to contact the surface treating sheet, a multiplicity of supporting portion adapted to contact said supporting surface, and a multiplicity of flexible and resilient walls connecting said working portions and said supporting portions; said walls, said working portions and said supporting portions being integral and defining a multiplicity of at least partially collapsible hollow nodules, said spaced working portions presented at the bottom of the nodules and said supporting portions located between the nodules, said nodules being normally closed at the bottom and adapted to be closed at the top to form individual air chambers when said supporting surface is pressed into contact with said supporting portions, and said nodules spaced from one another longitudinally and transversely of said pneumatic means, said nodules when partially collapsed tending to return to their normal shape due to their resiliency and the influence of the air trapped between the pneumatic means and the supporting surface; whereby said tool is adapted to conform easily to uneven surfaces when only relatively light pressure is applied to the tool.
2. A tool according to claim 1 wherein said nodules are connected by air passages in said supporting portions when closed at the top by said supporting surface.
3. A tool according to claim 1 wherein said nodules are connected in groups by air passages in said supporting portions when closed at the top by said supporting surface and said groups are unconnected with one another.
4. A tool according to claim 1 wherein the nodules are oblong in shape when viewed from the bottom of the tool and said nodules are arranged with their long dimension extending primarily transversely of the tool.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 763,100 6/1904 Howell 15-209 793,657 7/1905 Hardy 15 -209 904,800 11/1908 Nelson 15188 X 1,555,472 9/1925 Lutz. 1,653,059 12/ 1927 Nelson 36-29 2,090,881 8/1937 Wilson 3629 2,148,483 2/1939 Love et al. 2,575,764 11/1951 Morner 5348 X 2,627,676 2/ 1953 Hack 36-29 2,821,244 1/1958 Beck 5348 X 3,056,989 11/1962 Murphy 15231 FOREIGN PATENTS 347,215 4/ 1931 Great Britain. 524,135 7/ 1940 Great Britain.
DANIEL BLUM, Primary Examiner.