Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3305287 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 21, 1967
Filing dateOct 23, 1965
Priority dateOct 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3305287 A, US 3305287A, US-A-3305287, US3305287 A, US3305287A
InventorsRait Joseph M
Original AssigneeRait Joseph M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Steam cabinet
US 3305287 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 21, 1967 J. M. RAIT STEAM CABINET Filed Oct. 23, 1965 Fig.l

United States Patent 3,305,287 STEAM CABINET Joseph M. Rait, 95 Huxley Drive, Snyder, N.Y. 14226 Filed Get. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 503,099 9 Claims. c1. 312 214) This invention relates to a novel prefabricated steam cabinet and to the method of constructing the same. More particularly it relates to a prefabricated steam cabinet formed of panels of rigid plastic foam joined together in a unique manner to provide a freestanding cabinet of sturdy construction.

The benefits of steam bathing are well known. Thus it is generally recognized that steam bathing aids in relieving tensions and relaxing tired muscles, thereby providing benefits which are psychological as well as physical. As a result, steam rooms are generally available in many social and athletic clubs and organizations in which the large number of members using such a facility make its installation and operation economically feasible. In recent years there has been an everincreasing demand for the installation of steam bathing facilities in private homes so that individuals may obtain the benefits of steam bathing in the privacy of their own homes. The use of such private steam bathing facilities has heretofore been rather limited, due primarily to the cost of purchasing and installing the steam cabinets which are presently available commercially. Thus, an investment of several hundred dollars is usually presently required to purchase an efficient steam bathing unit suitable for installation and use in a private home or ofiice. In addition, such units are expensive and frequently difficult to install, sometimes requiring the installation of special plumbing and drains, the breaking of existing walls, and the like, which further adds to the cost of the unit. As a result, despite the many known benefits to be obtained from steam bathing, the installation and use of private steam bathing facilities in homes and offices is presently considered to be a luxury available to only'a limited number of persons.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an efiicient prefabricated steam cabinet.

Another object of the invention is to provide a relatively inexpensive prefabricated freestanding steam cabinet formed of panels of rigid plastic foam joined together to form a rugged, vapor-tight cabinet.

Another object is to provide a prefabricated, low cost steam cabinet of relatively simple construction and particularly adapted for use in private homes and ofiices.

Another object is to provide a method of joining together panels of rigid plastic foam to provide a vaportight joint therebetween.

A further object is to provide a method of forming a freestanding steam cabinet of sturdy construction by securing together panels of rigid plastic foam.

Various other objects and advantages will appear from the following description of the invention and the novel features will be particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

The invention will be more fully explained hereinafter with reference to the drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the steam cabinet of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along section lines 2-2 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along section lines 3-3 in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of one sidewall and the door of the steam cabinet, illustrating the manner in which the door is hung;

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view of the steam condenser mounted on the cabinet.

The present invention provides a steam cabinet espe- 'ice cially well adapted for use in private homes, offices, and the like, the cabinet being formed of prefabricated panels of rigid plastic foam. According to this invention, the plastic foam panels are joined together in such a manner as to provide a freestanding cabinet of sturdy construction having a completely vaportight seal between the panels. The steam cabinet of this invention is therefor light in weight, efficient in operation, relatively simple to construct and inexpensive to purchase, install and operate, for installation does not require the use of special plumbing or drains, the breaking of walls and the like.

Referring now more particularly to the drawing, numeral 10 indicates the freestanding steam cabinet of the present invention, the cabinet having a pair of vertical, substantially parallel sidewalls 11, a vertical rear wall 12 extending between the sidewalls, a front closure 13 hingedly connected to one of the sidewalls and being substantially coextensive in height with the height of the sidewalls 11, a substantially horizontal top wall 14 extending between the sidewalls and enclosing the top part of the cabinet, a front panel 16 extending between the sidewalls at the bottom thereof and a bottom wall 15 extending between the sidewalls, the rear wall and the front panel to seal the bottom of the cabinet. A compressible gasket 17 is secured to the edges of the foam panels forming the top wall and one sidewall, and at the upper end of the front panel, to provide a vapor-tight seal when the door 13 is closed.

The sidewalls, rear wall, door, top wall and front panel are each formed of panels of rigid plastic foam. The panels may be either square or rectangular in shape and may vary widely in dimension depending primarily upon the desired size of the cabinet, and are preferably all of the same size and shape in order to facilitate construction of the cabinet. Generally it is preferred that the foam panels have a thickness between about one and two inches, for panels of such a thickness have a desirable combination of lightness in weight, good structural strength, low thermal conductivity, high strength to weigh-t ratio and low cost, which makes them particularly well suited for use in the present invention.

The panels are joined together by means of a layer of self-adhering, moisture resistant two-faced pressure sensitive tape 19 extending along the joints between abutting panels, and a plurality of dowels 20 extending into adjacent panels. As shown in FIGURE 3, the dowels are preferably blunt at one end and pointed at the other end. The dowels should be long enough to extend a substantial distance into adjacent panels. Generally the dowels are from about 3 to about 6" in length. In this construction, the tape provides a completely vapor-tight seal between the panels, while the dowels hold the panels securely in position. Thus, in forming the sidewalls and rear wall of the cabinet, a number of rigid foam panels, each of the same size and shape, such as, for example panels about 24 x 42" x 1 /2", are fabricated, and a number of holes formed, as by drilling, punching, and the like, along the top edge of one of the panels; the holes being slightly smaller in diameter than the diameter of the dowels and formed to a depth of about half the length of the dowels. Generally, the holes are spaced about 10 to 12 inches apart with about three holes being formed in each three-foot span 'of foam. The blunt end of a dowel is then forced into each hole formed in the foam panel and the two-faced moisture-resistant pressure sensitive tape applied along the top edge of the panel between the dowels and between the end of the panel and the dowels. A second foam panel is then aligned with this first panel and pressed down on the dowels, so that the dowels are forced into the second panel, until the bottom edge of the second panel contacts and compresses the tape, thereby securely joining the panels and forming a vaportight seal between the panels. Additional panels may then be secured to this second panel according to the procedure described above until a wall of the desired height is obtained.

A similar procedure is followed in order to join the panels forming the side and rear walls. Thus, a series of holes slightly smaller in diameter than that of the dowels are drilled through the foam of the sidewalls at the back end of the panels over the entire length of the panels; the two-faced moisture resistant, pressure sensitive tape applied between the holes at the end of the panels; and the edge of the foam panels forming the rear Wall pressed against the tape. The dowels are then inserted through the holes in the panels forming the sidewall and are forced into the edge of the rear wall panels, the dowels extending a substantial distance into the rear wall panels as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3 at The top wall 14 is installed in a similar manner, with holes being drilled along the perimeter of the top wall panel, tape applied between the holes, the panel placed on the sidewalls and rear wall and held securely in position by inserting the dowels through the top wall panel into the edges of the panels forming the side and rear walls. The front panel 15 is installed in the same manner as the rear wall. The compressible gasket 18, such as, for example a strip of flexible plastic foam, is adhesively secured along the edges of the panels forming the top wall and one sidewall, and along the upper part of the front panel.

While the sidewalls, rear wall and front closure of the steam cabinet have been described and illustrated hereinabove as being formed of a plurality of panels of rigid foam joined together, it is to be understood that these walls may also each be formed of a single large sheet of the rigid plastic foam. The steam cabinet would then be formed by joining these large foam sheets together in the manner described above for joining the side and rear walls. However, at the present time, sheets of rigid plastic foam suitable for use in constructing the steam cabinet, are not available in sizes large enough to permit forming the walls of a single large sheet. Therefore, it is necessary to fabricate the Walls from a plurality of smaller panels joined together to form walls of the desired size.

The front closure or door 13 is hingedly secured to one of the sidewalls by means of moisture resistant tape 21, as shown in FIGURES l and 4. Thus, a strip of the moisture resistant tape 21 is applied to the exposed edge 22 of the panels forming a sidewall and to the back end 23 of the panels forming the door, on the inner surface of the door. A second strip of the tape is applied along the back edge 24 of the door panels and to the front end 25 of the sidewall panels, on the outer surface thereof. Both strips of tape extend substantially the entire height of the door. In this manner the door is hingedly connected to the sidewalls without the use of conventional hinges and screws, which are not suited for use on rigid foam, and is securely fastened to the cabinet so that it may be opened and closed repeatedly without structural failure. The door is provided with an opening over which a translucent material 27 is adhesively sealed thereby permitting light to diffuse into the cabinet when the door is closed. A handle or knob is positioned on the inner surface of the door and is secured to a similar handle or knob on the outer surface of the door in order to facilitate opening and closing of the door. The door may be held in a closed position by any conventional latching or locking means (not shown).

The bottom wall 16 is formed of a sheet of tough plastic film such as for example, polyethylene film, polypropylene film, and the like, which is sealed in vaportight relation to the bottom edges of the foam panels forming the side and rear walls and the front panel 15, by means of an adhesive, tape, and the like.

A relatively thin, absorbent mat 28 is positioned on the bottom wall, this mat absorbing moisture which is condensed within the cabinet when it is in use. After use, the mat is merely removed from the cabinet, the absorbed water wrung out, and the mat replaced in the cabinet. Thus, since the steam condensed within the cabinet is absorbed by the mat, no other drain means need be provided in the cabinet. This mat, which may be formed of cellulosic sponge or other water absorbent materials, also serves as a non-skid means for the steam bather. If desired the mat may be impregnated with an anti-fungicide. A steam generating means 29, such as a conventional steam vaporizer, is provided within the cabinet, and is adapted to be connected to an electric circuit when desired. Seating means, such as a bench, may also be provided within the cabinet.

A steam condensor 30 is preferably provided in order to remove excess steam vapors from the cabinet while it is in use. As shown in FIGURE 5, the condenser comprises a tube 31 extending through the foam panel, the tube being held in place by flanges 32 on one end thereof which are in contact with the inner wall of the foam panel. The other end of the tube communicates with a container 33 having a removable bottom and containing a small amount of water therein to initiate condensation, so that moisture condensing therein may be removed periodically. A valve such as a slide valve 34 regulates the opening from the interior of the cabinet to the container, to control the flow of steam into the condensor.

Generally it is preferred to form the steam cabinet of the present invention of panels of Styrofoam, which is expanded, cellular polystyrene, for this material not only has a low rate of heat transfer but is also essentially water impermeable. Thus, despite the fact that a water vapor pressure difference exists between the interior and exterior surfaces of the cabinet when it is in operation, a negligible amount of water is absorbed by the panels, and the closed cell structure of the foam prevents the entrance of water into the foam by capillarity.

In addition, the Styrofoam dots not sustain mold growth,

has no odor when wet or dry and has a high strength to weight ratio which is maintained upon exposure to temperatures up to 160l70 F. The use of Styrofoam, having these characteristics, in the construction of the steam cabinet of this invention provides a cabinet which is light in weight, simple to construct, inexpensive to purchase and operate, and highly efiicient in operation. Thus a temperature of between -l50 F. was attained Within about 5-6 minutes in a cabinet having an inside dimension of about 32" x 32" x 72 constructed in the manner described and illustrated, using a conventional steam vaporizer as the steam generating means. Generally it is preferred to use the high density form of Styrofoam, that is densities of about 2.5 to 5.0 lb./cu. ft., for such higher density material has superior strength properties. Other plastic foam materials which have a high strength to weight ratio, a low thermal conductivity and a low rate of water absortion may of course be used in forming the cabinet of the present invention.

It will be understood that various changes in the details, materials, steps and arrangement of parts, which have herein been described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art within the principle and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A steam cabinet comprising a vertical, free standing cabinet defined by (a) a pair of substantially parallel side walls (b) a rear wall extending between said side walls,

(c) a top wall,

((1) a bottom wall,

(e) a front closure, and

(f) a front panel said sidewalls, rear wall, top wall and front closure being formed of a plurality of panels of rigid plastic foam joined together by means of a layer of selfa-dhering, two-faced, moisture resistant pressure sensitive tape extending along the points between abutting panels to provide a vapor tight seal between said panels, and a plurality of dowels extending into adjacent panels to hold the panels securely in position,

a compressible gasket secured to the edges of the panels forming said sidewalls and top wall and to the upper end of said front panel adjacent said front closure,

a first strip of moisture resistant tape extending between the outer edge of the panels forming one of said sidewalls adjacent said front closure and the back end of the panels forming said front closure on the inner surface thereof,

a second strip of moisture-resistant tape extending between the back edge of the panels forming the front closure and the front end of the panels forming said sidewall on the outer surface thereof, said first and second strips extending substantially the entire length of said closure to hingedly secure the front closure to said sidewall, and

steam generating means positioned within said cabinet.

2. The cabinet as defined in claim 1 in which said sidewalls, rear wall, top wall and front closure are formed of panels of expanded, cellular polystyrene and said bottom wall is formed of a sheet of a tough flexible plastic, said sheet being sealed in vapor-tight relation to said sidewalls, rear wall and front panel.

3. The cabinet as defined in claim 1 in which a removable water-absorbent mat is positioned on said bottom wall to absorb moisture condensed within said cabinet, and serves as a non-skid means on said bottom wall.

4. The cabinet as defined in claim 1 which a steam condensor is mounted on said cabinet, said condenser comprising a tube extending through the wall of said cabinet to the interior thereof a valve positioned at the end of the tube within said cabinet, and

a container connected to the end of the tube interior of said wall.

5. A method of joining together panels of a rigid plastic foam which comprises,

forming a series of holes along one edge of a first panel of said foam,

inserting a dowel into each of said holes, said dowels being slightly greater in diameter than the diameter of said holes and being of a length sufficient to ex tend a substantial distance above the edge of said panel,

applying a layer of two faced pressure sensitive tape along said edge between the dowels and between the dowels and the ends of said panel, and

pressing the bottom edge of a second panel of said foam down on the dowels so that the dowels penetrate a substantial distance into said second panel, until the bottom edge of said panel contacts and compresses the tape, whereby the tape forms a vapor tight seal between the foam panels and the dowels hold the panels securely in position.

6. A method of forming a vapor-tight, freestanding steam cabinet which comprises,

providing a plurality of panels of rigid plastic foam,

forming a pair of sidewalls and a rear wall of said panels by securing the panels together in vapor tight relationship, said panels being secured together by means of a layer of two-faced moisture-resistant pressure sensitive tape extending along the joints between abuttinig panels and a plurality of dowels extending into adjacent panels,

securing said rear wall between and normal to said sidewalls by means of a layer of two faced moistureresistant pressure sensitive tape extending along the joints between said sidewalls and said rear wall and a plurality of dowels extending through said sidewalls into the edges of said rear wall.

securing a top wall of said rigid plastic foam between said sidewalls and said rear wall by means of a layer of two faced moisture-resistant pressure sensitive tape extending along the joints between said top wall and the top edges of said side and rear walls and a plurality of dowels extending through said top wall into the edges of said side and rear walls,

securing a front plate of said rigid foam between said sidewalls at the bottom end thereof by means of a layers of two-faced, moisture-resistant pressure sensitive tape extending along the joints between said front plate and said sidewalls, and dowels extending through said sidewalls into said front plate,

securing a compressible gasket along the edges of the panels forming said top wall and one of said sidewalls and at the upper end of said front panel,

forming a front closure by securing together panels of said rigid plastic foam by means of a layer of two faced pressure sensitive tape extending along the joint between abutting panels and a plurality of dowels extending into adjacent panels,

hingedly securing said closure to a sidewall by means of moisture resistant tape, and

securing a bottom wall in vapor-tight relation between said sidewalls, said rear wall and said front panel.

7. The method as defined in claim 6 in which said front closure is hinged-1y secured by applying a first strip of moisture-resistant tape to the outer edge of the sidewall and to the back end of said closure on the inner surface thereof, and

applying a second strip of moisture-resistant tape to the back edge of the front closure and to the front end of said sidewall on the outer surface thereof,

said first and second strips extending substantially the entire length of said front closure.

8. The method as defined in claim 6 in which the panels forming the side and rear walls are secured together by forming a series of holes along one edge of a first panel of said foam,

inserting a dowel into each of said holes, said dowels being slightly greater in diameter than the diameter of said holes and being of a length suflicient to extend a substantial distance above the edge of said panel,

applying a layer of two faced pressure sensitive tape along said edge between the dowels and between the dowels and the ends of said panel, and,

pressing the bottom edge of a second panel of said foam down on the dowels so that the dowels penetrate a substantial distance into said second panel, until the bottom edge of said panel contacts and compresses the tape, whereby the tape forms a vaportight seal between the foam panels and the dowels hold panels securely in position.

9. A prefabricated steam cabinet comprising a vertical, freestanding cabinet defined by a pair of vertical substantially parallel sidewalls,

a rear wall normal to and extending between said sidewalls,

a top wall,

a front panel,

a bottom wall secured in vapor-tight relation between said sidewalls, rear wall and front panel,

a front closure, and

said sidewalls, rear wall, top wall, front closure and front panel each being formed of a single sheet of rigid plastic foam,

said rear wall being secured between said sidewalls by means of a layer of two-faced, moisture-resistant pressure sensitive tape extending along the units rear wall and a plurality of dowels extending through said sidewalls into the edges of said rear wall,

said top wall being secured over said sidewalls and said rear wall by means of a layer of two faced, moisture-resistant pressure sensitive tape extending along the points between said top wall and the top edges of said side and rear walls and a plurality of dowels extending through said top wall into the edges of said side and rear walls,

said front plate being secured between said sidewalls first strip of moisture-resistant tape extending be- 20 tween the outer edge of one of said sidewalls and the 'back end of said front closure on the inner surface thereof, and

a second strip of moisture-resistant tape extending between the back edge of said front closure and the front end of said sidewall on the outer surface thereof,

said first and second strips extending substantially the entire length of said closure to hingedly secure said front closure to said sidewall.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1930 Li llard 52585 10/1940 Hall 220--9 3/1947 Richard 312-214 2/1956 Eckel 16-150 X 7/1956 Golden 4010 11/1960 Rill 62264 4/1965 Slayman 264-45 FOREIGN PATENTS 9/ 1958 Australia.

CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.

CHANC-ELLOR E. HARRIS, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1777926 *Jan 29, 1929Oct 7, 1930Sackoncrete CompanyMasonry construction
US2217222 *Sep 18, 1936Oct 8, 1940Toledo Scale CoInsulated cabinet
US2416845 *Feb 25, 1942Mar 4, 1947Sceger Sunbeam CorpRefrigerator cabinet
US2734234 *Sep 12, 1952Feb 14, 1956 eckel
US2755576 *Dec 19, 1950Jul 24, 1956Clair W GoldenAdvertising display pad
US2958210 *Nov 14, 1957Nov 1, 1960Gen Motors CorpRefrigerating apparatus
US3177271 *Sep 13, 1962Apr 6, 1965Gen ElectricMethod of manufacturing a refrigerator cabinet
AU217138B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3883027 *Oct 11, 1973May 13, 1975Walter SchneiderContainer in particular for use as bathroom cabinet
US3906295 *Feb 5, 1974Sep 16, 1975Tessmer Wallace DavidService pedestal for electrical control means including a meter
US6027187 *Jul 22, 1997Feb 22, 2000Victoria Lynn SiepmannHumidifier for use in humidors
US6036292 *Jun 23, 1998Mar 14, 2000Maytag CorporationRefrigerator cabinet incorporating a plastic kickface
US6834920Feb 15, 2002Dec 28, 2004Bel-Art Products, Inc.Modular laboratory cabinet
US7318630Dec 27, 2004Jan 15, 2008Bel-Art Products, Inc.Modular laboratory cabinet
US8733855 *May 5, 2011May 27, 2014Siemens Industry, Inc.Arc resistant switchgear modular compartment for instrumentation and circuit breakers
US20050104484 *Dec 27, 2004May 19, 2005David LandsbergerModular laboratory cabinet
US20120013227 *May 5, 2011Jan 19, 2012Siemens Industry, Inc.Arc resistant switchgear modular compartment for instrumentation and circuit breakers
US20150040308 *Aug 6, 2013Feb 12, 2015Sang Won LeeSauna Device Having Split Panels
EP0382176A2 *Feb 7, 1990Aug 16, 1990Mbp Modern-Bad-Persch GmbhSteam bath module
EP0382176A3 *Feb 7, 1990Nov 22, 1990Mbp Modern-Bad-Persch GmbhSteam bath module
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/400, 16/225, 220/592.25, 52/306, 312/296, 312/31, 312/236, 4/524
International ClassificationA61H33/06
Cooperative ClassificationA61H33/06
European ClassificationA61H33/06