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Publication numberUS3318122 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1967
Filing dateJul 15, 1966
Priority dateJul 15, 1966
Publication numberUS 3318122 A, US 3318122A, US-A-3318122, US3318122 A, US3318122A
InventorsNorvin L Pellerin, George N Starr
Original AssigneePellerin Corp Milnor
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cleansing apparatus for use in hospitals
US 3318122 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y ,1967 5. N. STARR ETAL 3,318,122

CLEANSING APPARATUS FOR USE IN HOSPITALS Original Filed Aug. 5, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 H W1 k UM A? CLEfl/V MD/Rf) INVENTORS 6601196 U. Sim? Aforvzz Z PeZZerz'n E i a 8 fiW KW ATTORNEYS May 9, 1967 G. N. STARR ETAL CLEANSING APPARATUS FOR USE IN HOSPITALS 3 Sheets-$heet 2 Original Filed Aug. 3, 1964 INVENTORS auge JSZ Siarr Afar 12 L. RZZerz'za v fi M W M ATTORNEYS 9, 1967 G. N. STARR ETAL 3,318,122

CLEANSING APPARATUS FOR USE IN HOSPITALS Original Filed Aug. 5, 1964 s Sheets-Sheet a RELEASE NL/ITCH LI ZQ 6%LENO/D -2 i gj e 1mm? INTEALUCK SWITCH Z$9 Q9 cLgg n/ 5/125 Z6 2 121 PUSHBUTTON E am 9%??? Em/DE P LflTCH/NG' PELH v 2% z? +fi' .mb 7 f 26 1100/? mm; SoLE/v'w 170012 INTERLOCK SWITCH VALVE CAM/v 6/175 .D/ATY 5/125 ammo 30 TIMER JJEUM SIGMQL L/GHT r a A 4/L 7'a/ 360/ K 36 51mm PELAYCO/L SIGN/H. RELAY 00157739 5 h {15/ 45 LATCH/N6 RELAY can. |:|c::\'

DRAIN sw/rcH 33 1 P max/v sow/vow u "\390 VALVE mrcH/rve RELAY TIMER MOTOR INVENTOR-S George N Sfarr N01" vz'zz, L. Pdlerz'za ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofiice 3,318,122 Patented May 9, 1967 3,318,122 CLEANSING APPARATUS FOR USE IN HOSPITALS George N. Starr and Norvin L. Pellerin, New Orleans,

La, assignors to Pellerin Milnor Corporation, New

Orleans, 1.21., a corporation of Louisiana Continuation of application Ser. No. 387,083, Aug. 3, 1964. This application July 15, 1966, Ser. No. sssmz 14 Claims. ((31. 68-410) This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 387,083, filed Aug. 3, 1964.

This invention relates to a combination washer-extractor system for use in hospitals and the like, the objective of which is to ensure that the clothing and other articles cleaned therein are made available for use in as sanitary a condition as possible.

In order to accomplish this purpose the area used for cleaning is divided into two separate rooms, sealed from each other by an intermediate wall. One of these rooms is the so-called dirty room into which all the articles to be washed are brought. This room should be kept at a slightly sub-atmospheric pressure (about 0.1 inch of water below atmospheric pressure).

A combination washer-extractor of a special type is mounted in the intermediate wall. This machine has two doors, one of which opens into the dirty room and the other of which opens into the clean room. It is impossible for both of these doors to be open at once. Dirty clothing is fed into the machine through the door opening into the dirty room and that door is closed. The machine is then actuated from the dirty room side of the machine to carry out a complete washing and extracting cycle. The door to the clean room is then opened, the clothing removed, and the door is closed, after which a new load of dirty clothes may be inserted and the process repeated.

Means are provided for ensuring that any air drawn into the machine during its operation comes from the clean side, and that any air exhausted goes to the dirty side.

A preferred embodiment of my invention will now be described, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view showing a washer extractor mounted in a partition wall separating two rooms;

FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view, showing the clean side of the extractor with the door open.

FIG. 2a is an elevational view showing the clean side of the extractor with the door closed.

FIG. 3 is a partial horizontal section, taken along the line l1i-ll1 of FIG. 2a, showing the door latching mechanism;

FIG. 4 is a circuit diagram showing the interlocking means for controlling the opening of the doors; and

FIG. 5 is a vertical section through the supply injector; and

FIG. 6 is a vertical section through the air control means.

Like reference numerals denote like parts throughout the several views.

Turning now to FIG. 1, it will be seen that a cleaning area has been divided into a clean room Ill and a dirty room 11 by a partition 12. The dirty room is kept at a slightly sub-atmospheric pressure by an exhaust fan 13. The dirty room 11 is entered through an entrance 14 provided with double doors, one of which is always closed, so as to prevent the pressure within the room from rising to atmospheric pressure. In the partition 12 is mounted a washer extractor 15. It will be appreciated that several of these washer extractors may be mounted side by side,

and the unlabelled blocks in both the dirty room and the clean room represent other laundry equipment, such as hampers, ironers, etc., which may be installed as needed.

The washer-extractor itself comprises a conventional clothes-holding drum 16 rotatably mounted in a housing 17 and equipped with a system of electrical controls for automatically causing it to be successively operated at a number of different speeds as the clothing is being washed and the wash water subsequently extracted therefrom. For instance, the drum may be first rotated at about 35 r.p.rn.., reversing 4 times a minute to tumble the clothing therein. This may continue for five minutes or so, with water being admitted during the first part of the tumbling period. Then the drum may be driven at about 61 rpm. for about 40 seconds, while permitting the water to drain out. Finally, the drum may be rotated at about 1000 rpm. for 30 seconds to extract water from the clothing. Other specific speeds and time cycles may be used-this particular cycle is .merely cited as representative, and the timing means required to cause the machine to operate on such a cycle is not illustrated because it, too, is conventional.

The important point is that air is inevitably introduced into conventional machines with the dirty clothing when that clothing is inserted in the machine. Moreover, as water is subsequently introduced into the machine, air is expelled therefrom. On the other hand, when water is drained from the machine, air is drawn in to replace it. Centrifugal force and the compression and decompression of the clothing also result in the transfer of air into and out of the machine. In order to keep the clothing as uncontaminated as possible it is necessary:

(1) To insure that any air drawn into the machine comes from the clean room and any air expelled by the machine goes to the dirty room.

(2) To insure that the door to the clean room, is never open at the same time as the door to the dirty room. Means serving this purpose is essential to the invention and a preferred embodiment thereof is illustrated in FIGS. 25.

FIG. 3 is a partial horizontal section taken through the clean side door 18, which carries sealing means 19 for contacting the housing 17 of the machine. The door also carries an air cylinder 21 which actuates a plunger 22 which serves as a latch. This plunger, when in closed position extends through an aperture 23 in striker 24 to close the door interlock switch 25. The cylinder 21 is controls an unlatch solenoid, not shown in FIG. 3,'

but seen in FIG. 4.

The door 18a on the dirty side carries identical controls 21a-2 7a, but no release push button.

Turning now to FIG. 4, which is a circuit diagram of the control system:

The primary of a transformer 36 is connected across a supply line, preferably carrying 220 volt current, which it steps down to 24 volts in the secondary coil. This voltage is fed to the conductive surface of a timer drum 31 through the brush 32. The drum is driven by the timing motor 33 which is fed from the 220-volt supply. The drum is covered by a plastic sheet and holes are cut therein to.

permit the conductive surface to be contacted by one or another of a plurality of conductive fingers from time to time as the drum turns. These fingers control the operating cycle of the machine, including the speed at which the clothes holding drum is driven, etc., but since such arrangements are commonplace all of the fingers are not illustrated. FIG. 4 shows instead only those essential to operator.

functions novel in applicantsmachine. As shown in this figure the signal cancel switch 34 carries two ganged blades 35 and 36, the first of which is permanently connected to the coil 38a of a signal relay and the second of which is permanently connected to latching relay coil 39d. Blade 35 swings between contact 49 connected to finger 41 and contact 42 connected to finger 43. Blade 36 swings between contact 44 connected to finger 43. Blade 36 swings between contact 44 connected to finger 43 and contact 45 connected to finger 41. These two blades are ganged.

It should also be noted that the drain solenoid valve 46 is controlled by the drain switch 47, the blade of which swings betweenthe live contact 48 and the contact 4? connected to the finger 49a which is live whenever that finger contacts the conductive surface of the drum 3i.

Attention is drawn to the latching relay. This has three sets of contacts-39a (normally closed), in series between the dirty side door latch solenoid valve 26a and the clean side door interlock switch 25; 39b, in series between the clean side door latch solenoid valve 26 and the dirty side door interlock switch 25a, and 390, in series with the drain solenoid valve. This latching relay is moved in one direction by the latching relay coil 39d, in series with contact 36, and in the other by the unlatch solenoid 3%, controlled by the release push button 2% on the clean side of the machine. When coil 3% is energized, contacts 3% and 390 are closed and contacts 3%.

are open. Under these circumstances, the drain valve is closed and the clean side door may be opened (provided the dirty side door interlock switch is closed). After removal of the clean clothes, actuation of the unlatch solenoid 39:2, through pressure on the release push button 28, on the clean side, causes contacts 39a to close, while 3% and 390 open. This makes it possible to open the door on the dirty side (provided the clean side door interlock switch is closed) and impossible to open the one on the clean side, but does not necessarily open the drain valve, since that may be kept closed if the drain switch is shut, with its blade engaging contact 48.

Turning now to the breathing feature of the apparatus, it will be seen from FIG. 6 that a small box 50 is mounted on a portion of the washer housing which projects into the dirty room. This box communicates with the interior of the housing through the opening 51, with the dirty room through the opening 52, and with the clean room through the opening 53 and duct 54. Openings 52 and 53 are closed by pressure responsive flapper valves 52a and 53a respectively, the arrangement being such that valve 52a is opened and 53a is closed when the pressure within the housing is greater than the outside. Conversely, 52a is closed and 53a open when the pressure within the housing falls below the ambient pressure. It will, of course, be appreciated that the small pressure differential between the clean and dirty rooms is insufficient to actuate the valves, which have a certain resilient bia toward their closed positions.

Soap, bleach, or other additives are supplied to the machine through the supply injector 56 (FIG. which is on the dirty side of the machine, and closed by door 57. This door is sealed by gasket 58 and latched by latch 59. However, it will be noted that, due to the angle at which it is hung, it is gravity biassed to a closed position and its own weight is sufiicient to produce a sealing engagement of the gasket. Stop 60 is so positioned as to make it impossible to leave the door 57 in an open position.

Even the doors to the rotating drum through which the clothing is passed are of special construction to ensure cleanliness. As seen in FIG. 2, these doors are made in two parts, an upper part 61 which swings outwardly about a vertical axis when the door is open, and a lower part 62 which swings downward and outward about a horizontal axis when the door is opened, thus forming a support across which the clothing is dragged or pushed by the When the door is closed the surface of this support which contacts the clothes during loading and unloading is on the inside of the rotating drum and gets washed along with the clothes. Consequently, every time clothing is introduced into or withdrawn from the machine its principal contact is with a freshly washed surface, whereas in ordinary machines the clothing slides over a shelf attached to the outer housing and no method for automatically cleaning this shelf is provided.

One representative cycle of operation will now be described showing how the various elements which have thus far been individually described cooperate to produce a new and useful result.

Let it be assumed that clean clothes have just been removed from the clean side of the machine at the end of one cycle. The clean side operator then closes and locks the door on his side, thus closing the clean side door interlock switch 25. Next, he presses the release push button 28, thereby energizing the unlatch solenoid 392, and closing the latching relay contacts 39a, but opening 3% and 390. From this point on, there is nothing the clean side operator can do to open the door on his side until after the machine has completed a cycle, at the end of which the latching relay coil 39d will be energized through contacts 36, 45, to close contacts 3912. Even after that, moreover, the clean side door can be opened only if the door interlock switch 25a on the dirty side is closed. The dirty side operator may, however, by pressing the open door push button 27a, complete a circuit through the contacts 39a and door interlock switch 25 which energizes the dirty side door latch solenoid valve 26a, thus withdrawing the plunger 22a, so that the dirty side door may be opened. After swinging open the outer door in the housing, the operator will then open both parts of the inner door in the drum, swinging the lower part 61 down to form a shelf, over which he pushes the dirty clothes into the drum. During this time, the slightly sub-atmospheric pressure in the dirty room prevents any substantial fiow of air from the dirty room into the drum, which is at substantially atmospheric pressure. The two parts of the inner door are then swung shut, and the outer door closed and latched thus closing the dirty side door interlock switch 25a. The necessary soap, etc., is then introduced through the supply injector 56, which automatically swings closed and seals even if not latched.

The timing motor 33 is then started, and drives the drum 31 which automatically controls the machine through any desired cycle, regulating the speed of the drum and admitting and discharging water as required. While the washing and extracting process is being carried out, the machine breathes air in and out, due to the centrifugal action, compression and decompression of the clothes, admission and draining of water, etc. This air passes, in the present machine, through the opening 51 connecting the housing to the box 5t). When air is drawn in, it comes from the clean side, through the opening 53, with the opening to the dirty side kept closed by the flapper valve 52a. Conversely, when air is exhausted the opening to the clean side is kept closed by the flapper valve 53a and air is exhausted only to the dirty side through the opening 52. The circuits used to control the cycle are not described here, since they are conventional, except for the drain controls, which are described because the drain represents a possible channel through which dirty air could be drawn into the machine.

The drain switch 47 merely makes it possible for the operator to move the blade thereof between a permanently live contact 48, in which position the drain is kept shut, and a contact 49 connected to a finger 49a which rides on the timer drum, and is intermittently supplied, accordmg to the requirements of the cycle. However, the latching relay coil 39d is in series with switch blade 36. The plastic shield on the timer drum is perforated so that both fingers 41 and 43 simultaneously contact the conductive surface of the drum at the conclusion of a cycle so that both contacts 44 and 45 are then live. The blade 36 is always in contact with one or the other of contacts 44,

45 and the latching relay coil 3% is therefore energized at the end of the cycle, to close latching relay 39c, and energize the drain closing solenoid 46 regardless of the position of drain switch 47.

The blade 35 of switch 34 forms part of an operator signalling circuit which includes a signal light 38 which is turned on and off by relay coil 38a. If, in the course of a cycle, it is desired to have the operator perform a manual function, a hole is cut in the plastic drum cover through which in due course the finger 41 contacts the conductive surface, completing a circuit through contact 40, blade 35 and solenoid 33a to turn on the light 38. The operator then performs his function, and throws the switch blade against contact 42. The cycle proceeds until finger 43 encounters a hole in the plastic cover and a circuit is completed through 43, 42, 35 and 3811, again signalling the operator. When both fingers 41 and 43 simultaneously encounter the conductive surface of the drum, the washing cycle has been completed, and the latching relay coil is energized, closing contacts 390 to close the drain valve and 39b, in series with door latch solenoid valve 26.

Assuming that the dirty side door is properly closed, the corresponding door interlock switch 25a is also closed, so that pressure on the clean side door opening button 27 will now complete a circuit through 25a and 39b energizing the clean side door opening solenoid 26, so that the clean side door may be opened.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the machine is operated by controls which completely ensure that at no time during the cycle can air be drawn into the machine from the dirty side or exhausted from the machine to the clean side. On the contrary applicants combination of pressure differential, door and drain controls and pressure responsive air control valves ensures that at all times any significant transfer of air is from the clean side toward the dirty side, thus avoiding any possible recontamination of clothing which has just been washed.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination, first and second enclosures, a partition sealing off one of said enclosures from the other, a laundry machine mounted in said partition, said machine comprising a housing provided with two separate doors, one afiording access to said machine from each side of said partition, interlocking mechanism which prevents both doors from being open at the same time, said housing being also provided with passageways opening into said enclosures on opposite sides of said partition, and said machine comprising pressure responsive valve means for opening and closing said passageways, said valve means opening the passageway into said first enclosure only when the pressure in said machine is below the pressure in said first enclosure, while opening the passageway into said second enclosure only when the the machine is greater than that in said second enclosure.

2. The combination claimed in claim 1 comprising means for maintaining said second enclosure at a subatmospheric pressure.

3. The combination claimed in claim 1 in which said machine comprises an inner drum, and a stationary outer housing within which said drum is rotatably mounted, said interlocked doors being mounted on said housing and said drum being provided with at least one door which registers with one of said housing doors when said drum is in a predetermined position, at least a portion of said drum door being mounted to swing outwardly about an axis Which is horizontal when said drum is in said predetermined position, to form a shelf over which clothing may he slid.

4. The combination claimed in claim 1 in which said machine comprises on each door a latch biassed to a closed position, solenoid controlled means for opening said latch and a switch held in its closed position by said latch only when said latch is itself in closed position, the switch on each door being connected in series with the pressure within solenoid on the other door, so that each door can be opened only when the other is closed.

5. The combination claimed in claim 4 comprising a valve for draining water from said machine, and means for closing the drain valve before either door may be opened.

6. The combination claimed in claim 5 comprising an opening for inserting material into said housing when said doors are closed, a cover for said opening hinged to one side thereof and gravity-biassed to a closed position, and means preventing said cover from being swung to a vertical position.

7. The combination claimed in claim 1 according to which said pressure responsive valves are lightly biassed toward a closed position so as to remain closed whenever the machine is idle and therefore generating no changes of pressure within the housing.

8. The combination claimed in claim 1 according to which said laundry machine is a washer-extractor comprising an inner drum, a stationary housing in which said drum is rotatably mounted, means for driving said drum, means for controlling the rotation of said drum through a washing-extracting cycle, and means preventing the opening of either door while said drum is rotating in said cycle.

The combination claimed in claim 8 comprising a valve for draining water from said machine, and means for closing said drain valve whenever said drum is stationary.

10. The combination claimed in claim 1 according to which said interlocking mechanism comprises a latch for each door, electrically actuated power means for operating each latch, manually operable means electrically connected to each power means for actuation thereof, and switch means electrically connected between each manually operated means and the power means which it actuates, the switch means electrically connected to the power means for each latch being positioned to be closed by closure of the other latch and opened when the other latch is opened.

11. In combination with first and second enclosures, a partition separating one of said enclosures from the other, a laundry machine mounted in said partition and comprising a housing provided with two separate doors, one affording access to said machine from each side of said partition, and interlocking mechanism which prevents both doors from being open at the same time, the improved means for preventing the air in said second enclosure from being contaminated by air reaching it from said first enclosure which comprises a first passageway in said housing connecting the interior thereof with a source of air other than said first enclosure, a second passageway connecting the interior of said housing with an air space separated from said all source and other than said second enclosure, and pressure responsive valve means connected to open and close said passageways, said valve means being connected to open said first passageway only when the air pressure inside said housing is less than that of said air source, and to open said second passageway only when the air pressure inside said housing is greater than that in said air space.

12. The combination claimed in claim 11 in which said air source is said second enclosure and said air space is said first enclosure.

13. In combination with first and second enclosures, a partition separating one of said enclosures from the other, a laundry machine mounted in said partition and comprising a housing provided with two separate doors, one affording access to said machine from each side of said partition, and interlocking mechanism which prevents both doors from being open at the. same time, the improved means for preventing the air in said second enclosure from being contaminated by air reaching it from said first enclosure which comprises a first passageway in said housing connecting the interior thereof with said second enclosure and a second passageway connecting the interior of said housing with an air space other than said second enclosure, and pressure responsive valve means connected to open and close said passageways, said valve means \being connected to open said first passage Way only when the air pressure inside said housing is less than that in said second enclosure, and to open said second passageway only when the air pressure inside said housing is greater than that in said air space.

14. In combination with first and second enclosures, a partition separating one of said enclosures from the other, a laundry machine mounted in said partition and comprising a housing provided with two separate doors, one atfording access to said machine from each side of said partition, and interlocking mechanism which prevents both doors from being open at the same time, the improved means for preventing the air in said second enclosure from being contaminated by air reaching it from said first enclosure which comprises a first passageway in said housing connecting the interior thereof with .a source of air which is less contaminated than that in said first enclosure and a second passageway connecting the in- References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,296,264 9/1942 Breckenridge 68l7 2,934,927 5/1960 Gerla-ch 68-210 X 3,100,978 8/1963 Howlett 68140 3,264,848 8/1966 Fuhring 68210 FOREIGN PATENTS 2/1962 Great Britain. 6/1963 Great Britain.

WILLIAM I. PRICE, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3529450 *Oct 7, 1968Sep 22, 1970Pellerin Norvin LCleaning machine
US3577752 *Nov 12, 1968May 4, 1971Braun Inc G ALaundry apparatus
US3597943 *Jun 17, 1969Aug 10, 1971Braun Inc G ASterilized laundry system
US4561471 *May 24, 1984Dec 31, 1985Diaz Frank VWashing machine rinse-water diverter valve
US6082149 *Oct 6, 1998Jul 4, 2000Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.Chemical washing system including a chemical dispensing system and suitable for use within a semiconductor fabrication clean room
US6113854 *Aug 1, 1995Sep 5, 2000Milum; CraigMethod and apparatus for treatment of infectious medical waste
US6128931 *Jan 6, 1999Oct 10, 2000Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.System and method for laundering clean room garments within a semiconductor fabrication clean room facility
US6346218Aug 8, 2000Feb 12, 2002Craig MilumPliable container for treatment of infectious medical waste
US8042285 *Aug 21, 2008Oct 25, 2011Miele & Cie. KgLaundry dryer with a holding device
US9091017 *Jan 15, 2013Jul 28, 2015Co2Nexus, Inc.Barrier densified fluid cleaning system
US20040129031 *Jul 3, 2003Jul 8, 2004Wilhelm BringewattInstallation and washing machine for the wet treatment of laundry
US20130180057 *Jan 15, 2013Jul 18, 2013Co2Nexus, Inc.Barrier Densified Fluid Cleaning System
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/210, 68/208, 68/17.00R, 68/12.18, 68/12.26
International ClassificationD06F23/02
Cooperative ClassificationD06F23/02, A61L2202/26
European ClassificationD06F23/02