US 3420227 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 7, 1969 P. H. VOORLAS 3,420,227
WATERAIR MASSAGING DEVICE Filed Aug. 26, 1965 (L 4 4 o o o J m o o o o o o o o o o o o 0 K |9 L o o o o o o o o o o o o o i 4 z: 2 :1 z z 2' 2 4 z: z z 2 23b 0: D O O O O O INVENTOR BY HIS ATTORNEYS //flaw 7% m United States Patent 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An air injection mat for producing a massaging effect on the occupant of a bathtub is formed from two, undulating layers of flexible material which are sealed together around their peripheral edges and along longitudinally extending seal areas where the bases of the undulations of the oppositely disposed layers contact each other. The longitudinally extending seal areas provide spacedapart air passages through which air may be injected upwardly into the water of a bathtub through perforations in the upper layer. A reinforcing ring disposed between the two layers of material inside the peripherally sealed edges thereof serves to hold the mat in a rectangular shape and to maintain the mat on the floor of a bathtub filled with water.
This application relates to a turbulence producing device and particularly relates to a water-air massaging device for use in bath tubs and the like.
It is well known that a hot bath is very relaxing and may, in fact, have therapeutic value. It is also well known that a whirlpool bath, or bath taken in turbulent Water, adds to this therapeutic affect.
Of the devices presently available for producing turbulent water within a bath tub, many require a rather large capital expenditure as well as extensive modification to a bath tub prior to proper mounting of the unit with the tub.
Other items present the danger of electrical shock when using the unit, while still others have moving parts in the bath tub which obviously present a safety hazard.
It is to elimination of these and other disadvantages to which the present invention is directed, along with the inclusion therein of other novel and desirable features.
An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved water-air massaging device of simple and inexpensive construction and operation.
Another object of this invention is to eliminate the danger of receiving an electrical shock while using the device, or incurring other physical harm from a unit with moving parts in the water.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will be -more fully understood from the following description made in connection with accompanyin drawing wherein like reference characters refer to the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a conventional bath tub with the water-air massaging device assembled therein.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the mat of this invention.
FIG. 3 is a section of the mat of this invention, the section taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a section of the mat taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
One form of the invention is shown in the drawings and is described herein.
FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional bath tub, indicated in general by the numeral 10. A water-air massage unit is mounted in tub and comprises generally a mat indicated by numeral 11, a flexible hose indicated by numeral 12 and an electrically driven blower indicated by numeral 13.
The blower 13 is preferably electrically operated and capable of 20,000 rpm. It typically draws 1.6 amps and uses 250 watts. The blower operates on standard house current, volts, and is compact and lightweight so that it is easily moved from room to room or taken on trips. Included in the blower is an adapter 14 to accept hose 12. The blower is incased in light gauge metal and is insulated from the floor with rubber or other nonconductive footing material. The blower 13 is located, when in operation, outside of the bath tub, generally a distance from the tub such that the user must get out of tub to shut it off, thereby providing an additional safety factor. The blower has a handle 15 and an electrical plug 16, preferably a grounded plug, adapted for use in a standard household electrical outlet.
Hose 12 is typically a flexible hose constructed from pure, nonconductive vinyl. Hose 12 includes a fitting or connector 17 at one end thereof co-operable with blower inlet adapter 14. Hose 12 also includes, at the other end thereof, a connector 18 to secure the hose to mat 11 at mat hose adapter 19. The hose 12 connectors 17 and 1 8 are typically nonconductive, resilient members such as rubber and fit snugly into adapters 14 and 19.
Mat 11 is constructed from heavy gauge pure vinyl and comprises two interconnected undulating layers 20 and 22. The upper layer is generally indicated by numeral 20 and has a plurality of spaced orifices 21 therein. Upper layer 20 is superimposed on bottom layer 22 and continuously adhered thereto along the peripheral edges 23 thereof and along longitudinal seal areas 2312 where base portions 25 of aligned undulations 26 and 27 are in contact. Longitudinal seal areas 23a define longitudinal passages 2317 which aid in the distribution and direction of air flow to the orifices 21 resulting in uniform air jet flow from all orifices. The upper surface of the mat 11 may be embossed to provide a nonslip surface. The vinyl material from which the mat is constructed is typically impervious to water, oil, salt and detergents. The upper layer is sealed to the lower layer forming a pocket containing air which is forced through the orifices 21 by blower 13. Certain of the orifices 21 may be closed to effect a varying degree of turbulence or to preselect the area within the tub in which more turbulence is desired. Rate of air flow from blower 13 may also be preselected to vary the turbulence.
A forming ring 24, constructed from a rigid, nonbuoyant material, is disposed adjacent the inside periphery of the mat 11 along the seal area 23 whereby the mat is maintained in substantially rectangular shape when air is forced within the envelope formed by upper and lower mats 20 and 22 respectively and maintained on the floor of the tub.
In operation, mat 11 is placed on the floor of tub 10. Hose 12 is then connected to mat 11 using hose connector 18 connected to mat adapter 19. Hose connection 17 is then inserted into blower adapter 14. The blower is attached to a convenient source of electrical power. The tub is then filled with water to a desired level and at a desired temperature. Prior to entering the tub the user actuates the blower whereby air is forced under pressure through hose 12 and into the envelope formed between the upper and lower layers, 20 and 22, of mat 11. The air under pressure is also forced through longitudinal paths 2311 located between longitudinal seal areas 23a. The air then flows through orifices 21 at a greatly increased velocity because of the reduced diameter of the orifice as compared to the diameter of hose 12. Air flow is generally upwardly from mat 11 into the water in the tub thereby creating a high degree of turbulence, vortices and eddy currents. This turbulence, which may also be described as a whirlpool affect, bombards the user with hpt water creating a massaging effect on the user resulting in therapeutic value.
From the foregoing it will be appreciated that the water-air massage device may assume different forms and. may be made of different materials. It will be understood that these and other various changes may be made in the form, detail, arrangement and proportions of the various parts without departing from the scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
. 1. A water-air massaging device for use in bathtubs having water therein, said device comprising:
a mat having a lower layer adapted to be placed on the tub floor and an upper layer superimposed on I the lower layer and sealed thereto along the peripheral edge thereof, said upper and lower layers comprising sheets of flexible material of undulating crosssection, said sheets being arranged face-to-face with 9 their undulations so aligned that the base portions 1 thereof are in sealing contact along longitudinal seal areas which define longitudinal passages therebetween, said mat further including a distribution passage in communication with said longitudinal passages;
an adapter member affixed to said upper rnat layer and communicating with said transversely extending passage;
a plurality of spaced orifices in said upper mat layer communicating with said longitudinal passages whereby air under pressure introduced into said longitudinal passages through said adapter member and said distribution passage will be injected through said orifices at high velocity, thereby creating turbulence in the water in the tub in which the mat is installed; a flexible, air-impervious hose attached to said adapter member; an electrically driven blower disposed at a location remote from said mat connected to said flexible hose; and a substantially rigid, non-buoyant, reinforcing ring of solid cross-section sandwiched between said upper and lower layers of said mat immediately inside of said peripheral "sealed edges thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,240,208 3/1966 Everston 12866 3,367,325 2/1968 OKeefe 128-66 3,373,740 3/1968 Riepl 12866 727,425 5/ 1903 Von Orth 4-180 2,848,203 8/1958 Misiura. 2,921,579 1/1960 Munroe 128--66 3,299,885 1/1967 Wessel 12866 FOREIGN PATENTS 51,956 l/1912 Austria. 672,118 10/1963 Canada.
LAWRENCE W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.