US 3367154 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 6, 1968 M. o. WYATT ETAL 3,367,154
MATTRESS SANITIZING APPARATUS Filed June 14, 1965 MAQION O. wyAT-y PIE-,H L CARI. A. 3ENN\Nc-s PCT-ro RNEyS United States Patent O ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A mattress sanitizing apparatus having a relatively open frame for supporting a mattress so that all surfaces thereof are exposed, the frame also including tracks for supporting and guiding a spray carriage for reciprocal movement past the mattress, the spray carriage including spray nozzles for spraying the exposed surfaces of the mattress with a sanitizing solution during its reciprocal movement.
The present invention relates to apparatus for sanitizing used matt-resses to qualify them for resale, and more particularly to an improved spray apparatus ideally suited to the sanitizing of used mattresses.
Presently, there is a fairly large market for used mattresses. Before a used mattress may be resold, however, it is required that the mattress be sanitized to rid the mattress of germs, pests and other contaminants. The present method for sanitizing used mattresses is to station the mattress in a pressure chamber and then expose it to steam or other vapors at high temperatures. Although this method is effective in sanitizing the mattress, it often ruins the material forming the mattress both in outward appearance and inner construction, thereby materially shortening the useful life of the mattress. Furthermore, the high temperatures applied to the mattress often cause the plastic elements of the mattress, such as lthe plastic handles used to carry the mattress, to crack or melt. In addition, the conventional method of sanitizing mattresses is very time consuming and relatively expensive.
Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved mattress sanitizing apparatus which overcomes the foregoing problems.
Another object of the present invention is to provide apparatus which sanitizes mattresses without damaging the material thereof.
A further object of the present invention is to provide mattress sanitizing apparatus which is simple and inexpensive to operate and rapid in its sanitizing operation.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a mattress sanitizing apparatus which supports a used mattress and simultaneously sprays opposing surfaces thereof with a solution which rapidly decontaminates the mattress without damaging the material thereof.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide apparatus of the foregoing type which is semiautomatic and which includes a spray unit for traversing opposing sides of the mattress at a controlled lrate to uniformly spray and sanitize the mattress without requiring the mattress to be turned over.
The foregoing as well as other objects and advantages of the present invention may be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description when taken with the drawing which, by Way of example only, illustrates one form of mattress sanitizing apparatus embodying the features of the present invention.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the mattress sanitizing apparatus;
Patented Feb. 6, 1968 FIGURE 2 is an end view of the sanitizing apparatus illustrated in FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuitry associated with the mattress sanitizing apparatus of FIGURE l; and
FIGURE 4 is a chart diagrammatically representing the circuit connections for the reversing switch of FIG- URE 3 with the switch handle in different positions.
Rather than relying upon treatment with steam, the apparatus of the present invention, broadly speaking, provides means for spraying a used mattress with a germicide, pesticide preparation, or other suitable solution to rid the mattress of germs, pests and other contaminants. To this end, the present invention includes a stationary frame for supporting a mattress and a movable spray unit. The spray unit is adapted to travel over and along the stationary frame and to simultaneously and uniformly spray opposing surfaces of the mattress.
In the drawing, the sanitizing apparatus is represented generally by the numeral 10, the stationary frame by the numeral 12 and the movable spray unit by the numeral 14.
More particularly, referring to FIGURES 1 and 2, the stationary frame 12 includes an open, generally rectangular top portion 16 having a plurality of parallel, spaced laterals 18 extending between the right and left sides thereof. The open top portion 16 is supported in a generally horizontal plane above the floor by legs 20-23 extending downward from the corners of the top portion, the legs 20 and 21 being considered the front legs and the legs 22 and 23 the back legs. Horizontal support rails 24 and 26 extend between and laterally support the front land back legs 20, 22 and 21, 23, below the top portion 16 while similar support rails 28 and 30 extend between the front legs 20, 21 and back legs 22, 23 respectively. Thus arranged, the stationary frame 12 provides rm, horizontal support for a used mattress with the bottom of the mattress resting on top of the laterals 18 as indicated in phantom outline in FIGURE l. Due to the open construction of the top portion 16, the bottom of the mattress is almost entirely exposed.
The movable spray unit 14 includes a carriage 32, supporting a movable frame 34 and a piping assembly 36.
The carriage 32 is adapted to travel along the support rails 24 and 26 under the top portion 16 of the stationary frame and includes a pair of wheel means on trolleys 38 and 40', one over each of said support rails, and a horizontal cross member 42 extending between and rigidly connecting the trolleys. Each trolley includes a generally vertical plate 44 having wheels 45 and 46 connected to the front and rear ends thereof. As illustrated, the outer surfaces of the wheels are channelled to receive and ride over and along the tops of the support rails 24 and 26..Also, the wheels 46 are connected to turn with a common shaft 47.
Opposing ends of the cross member 42 extend through and beyond vertical plates 44 of the trolleys 38 and 40 to provide bottom support and connection for the movable frame 34 to the carriage 32. The cross member 42 therefore performs a dual function as an integral part of both the carriage 32 and the movable frame 34.
In addition to the cross member 42, the movable frame 34 includes a horizontal top member 48 and right and left vertical members 50 and 52 connected to the ends of the top member and extending downward to the opposing ends of the cross member. The movable frame 34 thus takes the form of an open rectangle extending in a vertical plane and encircling the top portion 16 of the stationary frame 12. Also, since the movable frame is connected to and supported by the carriage 32, it is movable therewith along the support rails 24 and 26 with the top portion 16 of the stationary frame 12 passing through the movable frame.
The top and side members 48, 50 and 52 of the movable frame 34 are of a generally U-shaped cross section and with the cross member 42 provide support for the piping assembly 36. The piping assembly is adapted to pass the solution for sanitizing the mattress and includes generally horizontal top and bottom pipes 54 and 56 connected to and supported by the top member 48 and cross member 42 respectively, and vertical right and left side pipes 58 and 60 connected to and communicating with opposite ends of the top and bottom pipes and supported by the right and left side members 50 and 52 of the movable frame 34. A uid pressure gauge 61 is connected to the top pipe to monitor the uid pressure f in the piping assembly 36. In addition, a plurality of vertical pipes 62 of equal length extend downward from the top pipe 54 at spaced intervals, while a similar plurality of vertical pipes 64 extend upwardly from the bottom pipe S6. Also, vertical pipes 66 and 68 extend downwardly from opposite end portions of the top pipe and terminate adjacent the top of the mattress supported by the stationary frame.
Each vertical pipe carries a spray nozzle 70 directed toward the mattress supported by the stationary frame. In particular, the nozzles connected to the vertical pipes 62 spray the top surface of the mattress while the nozzles connected to the vertical pipes 64 simultaneously spray the bottom surface of the mattress. The nozzles. connected to the vertical pipes 66 and 68 spray the upper edge of the right and left sides of the mattress. In addition, nozzles 72 and 74 are connected to the vertical right and left side pipes`58 and 60 to simultaneously spray the right and left sides of the mattress, all while the movable frame 34 is traveling with the carriage 32 along the support rails 24 and 26 over the mattress supported by the stationary frame 12.
The solution for spraying the mattress is supplied to the piping assembly 36 from a supply system 76 including a stationary storage tank 78 and a pump unit 80. The solution is pumped from the tank 78 by the pump unit 80 to the piping assembly 36 through a pipe 82, a shut-olf valve 84 and a flexible hose 86 connected to the top of the pipe 60. The hose 86 is supported above the stationary frame 12 by a coil spring 88 connected to a cross beam in the building or other enclosure housing the mattress sanitizing apparatus 10. The coil spring 88 maintains the hose 86 away from the top of the rnattress yet expands and contracts to allow for movement of the hose with the spray unit 14 back and forth along the stationary frame 12.
To drive the spray unit 14 back and forth along the stationary frame 12, the apparatus preferably includes a reversible motor 90 carried by the cross member 42 and having a speed reduction unit 92 connected to the drive shaft of the motor. The rotational output of the speed reduction unit 92 is transferred to the carriage 32 by a pulley system 94 comprising a drive pulley 96 on the speed reduction unit, a driven pulley 97 connected to the shaft 47, and a belt 98 passing around the drive and driven pulleys. Since the shaft 47 connects to the wheels 46 of the trolleys 38 and 40, there is a positive driven connection between the trolleys and the motor 90 which drives the carriage 32 and spray unit 14 along the support rails 24 and 26 in a direction determined by the direction of the rotational output of the motor.
In this regard, the motor 90 is preferably a conventional split-phase induction motor including two stator windings (see FIGURE 3), a main winding 100 and an auxiliary or starting winding 102 located ninety electrical degrees from the main winding. The starting winding 102 has fewer turns of smaller wire than the main winding 100 to give a higher resistance-to-reactance ratio. Therefore, the currents flowing in the windings are out of time phase when a common voltage is applied to the winding. This produces an elliptical field which in turn causes a torque to be developed on the rotor 104 of the motor suicient to start the motor. When the motor is up to speed, the starting winding 102 is disconnected by the opening of a centrifugal switch 103 in series with the starting winding and the motor then operates as a single-phase induction motor with the rotor 104 continuing to turn in the direction in which it was started.
To reverse the direction of rotation of the rotor, the voltage supplied to the motor is disconnected and the connections to the starting winding 102 reversed relative to the main winding 100. The voltage is then reapplied to the motor to produce a starting torque on the rotor 104 in an opposite direction. When the rotor is up to speed, the switch 103 again opens and the motor operates as a single phase induction motor with the rotor continuing to turn in the opposite direction.
To produce the necessary reversal of the starting and main windings 102 and 100, a circuit reversing switch 106 is connected to the motor 90 and to a power source 108. The power source 108 may be a conventional 60 cycle, 110 volt A.C. source and also supplies power for the pump unit through a switch 110.
In the illustrated apparatus 10, the reversing switch 106 is connected by a mounting plate 112 to the left side `of the stationary frame 12 against the vertical leg 20. Power is supplied to the reversing switch 106 through cables 113 connected to a terminal box 11S and receiving power from the source 108 through a cable 117. Output cables 119 from the reversing switch 106 terminate in a connecting box 132 and are there connected to cables 128 and 130 leading in turn to cables 122 and 124v wrapped around a spring biased reel (not shown) within a housing 126. The cables 128 and 130 extend along and over the support rail 24 to a connecting box 134 kxed to the movable frame 36 adjacent the cross member 42 and are there connected to cabling 136 leading to the motor 90. As the movable frame 36 travels back and forth along the support rails 24 and 26, the cables 122 and 124 are fed out and retracted by the reel to prevent the cables from fouling with the movable or stationary frames during operation of the apparatus 10.
Preferably, the reversing switch 106 is of a so-called drum type and includes a handle 114 which is manually controllable to a normal off position and to right and left positions. FIGURE 4 is a schematic representation of the circuit connections provided by the reversing switch 108 with the handle 114 in the otf, right, and left positions.
As illustrated, the reversing switch includes, three pairs of terminals 116, 116'; 118, 118'; and 120, 120. The terminals 118, 118 are connected to opposite ends of the starting winding 102, the terminals 116 and 120' are connected to the ends of the main winding 110 and the terminals 116 and 120 to the power source 108.
When the reversing switch is in the off position there is an open circuit between the power source 108 and the motor and the motor is stopped.
When the handle 114 is moved to the left position a circuit is completed between the terminals 116 and 118 and between the terminals 118 and 120', This produces a rotation of the rotor 104 in a first direction in the manner previously described.
A shifting of the handle 114 from ott to the right position completes a circuit between the terminals 116 and 118 and between the terminals 118 and 120 and produces a reversal of the starting winding 102 relative to the main winding and rotation of the rotor 104 in an opposite direction.
Accordingly, by manually controlling the position of the handle 114 of the reversing switch 106, an operator is able to control the direction of drive provided by the motor 90 and hence, the direction of travel of the carriage 32 and spray unit 14 along the support rails 24 and 26 of the stationary frame 12. Therefore, in operating the mattress sanitizing apparatus 10, the operator simply places the mattress on top of the laterals 18 of the stationary frame 12 with the movable frame 34 and spray unit 14 at one end of the stationary frame. He then closes the switch 110 to the pump unit 80 which pumps the disinfecting and sanitizing solution from the supply tank 78 to the spray unit 14. Next, the operator moves the handle 114 of the reversing switch 1116 to the appropriate position to produce a movement of the spray unit 14 over the stationary frame 12. As the spray unit travels over the stationary frame, the spray unit simultaneously sprays opposing surfaces of the mattress at a uniform rate. After a complete travel of the spray unit over the mattress, the outer material of the mattress is soaked with the disinfecting and sanitizing solution and upon drying, will be free of contaminants, pests, germs and the like and ready for resale.
If desired, the travel of the spray unit over the mattress can be repeated any number of times. In practice, however, one or two complete travels of the spray unit over the mattress have been found to be sullicient to produce complete decontamination of the mattress without damaging either the inner or outer material or mattress.
In the foregoing, a particular form of mattress sanitizing apparatus has been described in some detail. Changes and modifications, of course, may be made in the illustrated form Without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Also, the sanitizing apparatus may be useful in spraying items other than mattresses. Therefore, it is intended that the present invention be limited in scope only by the terms of the following claims.
1. Spray apparatus for sanitizing an item such as a mattress or the like, said apparatus comprising:
a stationary frame including a plurality of support elements spaced apart to define a relatively open structure for supporting the item with most of its surface area exposed, said frame further including a pair of support rails on opposite sides of and spaced below said open structure;
a carriage having a pair of Wheel means resting upon said support rails, repectively;
a movable frame mounted upon said carriage and encircling said open structure;
fluid carrying piping mounted to said movable frame and including a plurality of spray means spaced around said movable frame for directing a spray solution upon all the exposed surfaces of the item on said open structure;
reversible drive means on said carriage coupled to at least one of said wheel means and operable to drive said carriage and said movable frame along said support rails; and
means on said stationary frame coupled to said reversible drive means and operative to reverse the direction of drive provided by said drive means.
2. Spray apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said open structure is open upwardly whereby items to be sprayed can be placed upon said open structure from the top.
3. Spray apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said support elements are substantially horizontally oriented.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,194,071 3/1940 Hine.
2,827,064 3/1958 Heinicke 134-172 3,107,676 10/1963 Thorson et al 134-123 X FOREIGN PATENTS 913,326 571946 France.
70,811 8/ 1946 Norway.
CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner. J. P. MCINTOSH, Assistant Examiner.