US 3467314 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 16, 1969 N. J. GRUBB 3,467,314
APPARATUS FOR CLEANING OBJECTS Filed Dec. 29, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig. 2
' Norman J Grubb INVENTOR.
p 6, 1969 N. J. GRUBB 3,467,314
APPARATUS FOR CLEANING OBJECTS Filed Dec. 29, 1966 2 SheetsSheet 2 Fig 3 Fig.4 5 46 I I i 42 9/ I i' a0 42 I m 66 9:31 68 l I a L .-J i I a I 1 I .1 H64 70 Fig.5 62
/06' y 92 4a F/g.6 0 94 Norman J. Grubb INVENTOR.
BY MM 3% United States Patent 3,467,314 APPARATUS FOR CLEANING OBJECTS Norman J. Grubb, Cannon Ball Air Jet Cleaner C0., R0. Box 659, Lakeland, Fla. 33802 Filed Dec. 29, 1966, Ser. No. 605,849 Int. Cl. B!) 1/24, 7/30; B67d 5/54 US. Cl. 239138 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention generally appertains to novel and useful improvements in the cleaning of objects, irrespective of their functional or mechanical and structural nature, and more particularly relates to a novel method and apparatus for cleaning objects with the novel utilization and a novel arrangement of a chemical mixture, steam and compressed air.
The utilization of air, steam and a cleaning solution is not novel, in and of itself, but the known methods and devices, which utilize compressed air, steam and a cleaning solution, have not been found effective from an economical, safety and efl iciency standpoint.
Consequently, an important object of the present invention is to provide a novel method and apparatus which operates on the principle of homogenizing a mixture of steam and cleaning solution by means of a continuous blast of compressed air remote from the dispersing nozzle.
Another important object of the present invention is to provide a novel method and means whereby there is a safe, efiicient and effective blending of a cleaning solution, steam and compressed air and wherein such blending accomplishes a most specific result because, firstly, the chemical cleaning solution and steam are mixed in a novel manner so as to utilize the high heat of the steam to thoroughly dissolve the chemical solution and, secondly, this mixture is thoroughly homogenized by compressed air prior to and remote from its emergence or discharge from the nozzle or other discharge means.
Another important object of the present invention is to provide a novel method and apparatus particularly designed for utilization in association with rather difficult cleaning situations or tasks, irrespective of the object or objects and their mechanical or chemical makeup, whereby the blending and homogenizing of air, steam and chemical cleaning compound results in a superior cleaning or cleaning medium, which blending and homogenizing takes place at a point remote from the emission or discharge of the mixture, eliminating any problems of feedback and enjoying the factors of safety for the person or persons involved in the utilization of such method and apparatus.
A further important object of the present invention is to provide a controlled air supply for admixture with and the accomplishment of homogenizing a blend of chemical cleaning compound and steam under a safe procedure in a chamber or the like remote from the emission nozzle or the like dispersing mechanism.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view, with portions of the mechanical apparatus of the present invention shown in elevation, of the overall system;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view, taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1 and showing in detail an expansion chamber which is in structural and functional association with the dispersing nozzle arrangement;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view, taken on line 33 of FIGURE 1, and showing more particularly the external arrangement of the conduit or pipe means for the admixing of the compressed air, cleaning solution and steam;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional view, taken substantially on line 44 of FIGURE 3 and showing the external arrangement or appearance of such pipe or conduit means;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary and detailed vertical sectional view taken substantially on line 55 in FIGURE 4 showing the internal arrangement of the pipe or conduit means whereby the compressed air is rendered highly turbulent prior to its union or admixture with the steam chemical solution;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary detailed vertical sectional view, taken substantially on line 66 of FIG- URE 3 and showing in detail the internal organization or arrangement of the pipe or conduit means at the point of admixture of the compressed air and the combined steam and chemical solution.
As aforestated, the present invention particularly involves the mixture of a chemical cleaning solution, steam and compressed air in a novel and safe manner, prior to the discharge or emission of such from a hand held nozzle or any type of fluid emitting member or element and one of the most important factors resides in the protection of the mixing of the fluid chemical, steam and compressed air in an enclosed chamber or housing 10, with reference to FIGURE 1, before the combined mixture is discharged from such chamber through a flexible conduit or hose 12 having, as exemplarily disclosed in FIGURE 1, a valve controlled, hand held nozzle 14.
With continued reference to FIGURE 1, steam is carried or transmitted by a pipe or conduit means 16 from any suitable source and the steam line 16 is provided with a valve controlled drain line 18 and is also provided with a hand control valve 20.
The chemical solution, which may be of any nature dependent upon the particular cleaning or cleansing task to be performed, is introduced into the steam line 16 by a piping or conduit 22, having a strainer 24 associated therewith and also having a hand control valve 26 structurally associated therewith. The conduit or piping 22 for the chemical cleansing solution is structurally associated with a blending pump 28 with which the steam line 16 is structurally associated and wherein the two components, namely the chemical cleansing solution, irrespective of its chemical makeup or nature, and the steam under pressure, are admixed or blended together. Such solution is designed to blend within the blending pump 28 and is discharged therefrom by a suitable pipe or conduit means 30 which is structurally provided with a check valve 32 of conventional type and through a union 34 is structurally associated with a valve controlled gauge 36. Such valve controlled gauge 36 encompasses the provision of an offset piping or tubing 38 having a valve means 40.
The housing 10 is of rectangular formation, though this is merely exemplary but, in any event, its side wall 42 is provided with a suitable opening for the reception of a conduit or pipe 44 which constitutes a continuation of the piping 30 subsequent to the union 34. With reference to the housing 42, the same includes a top wall 46 which is adapted by virtue of a suitable aperture or opening therein to receive a conduit tubing or piping means 48 which is provided for the conveyance of air under compression.
Reverting to FIGURE 1, the piping or tubing 48 is provided with suitable gauge and valve control means 50 and with a check valve 52 and a cutoff valve 54 and is in communication with an air supply source of any known nature. Further, the piping 48 is provided with a strainer 56 having a clean-out plug 58 of a removable nature.
Thus far, it can be appreciated that the cleaning or chemical solution will be strained by the strainer 24 in its entrance through the tubing or piping 22 and that the flow thereof can be shut off or controlled by the hand valve 26. Furthermore, the pipe or conduit means 16, which carries the steam from any desired source, can be controlled by the hand valve 20 so that the admixture of both the cleansing or chemical cleaning compound and the steam at the blending pump 28 can be adjusted prior to the emergence thereof from the blending pipe in an admixed nature composition into the blending or conveying tubing or conduit means 30 which is provided with safety means in the form of the gauge 36 and the hand control valve 40 and, obviously, the valve 32 functions to prevent revergence of such compound, chemical and steam, back into the line 30. Further, it can be appreciated that the compressed air entering the chamber through the piping 48 will be remote, as will the heated cleansing composition, from the hose 12 and its distally associated discharge nozzle 14.
As shown in FIGURE 1, the outlet hose or tubing 12, which is preferably of a flexible nature, is connected by a flexible coupling 60 to a rather rigid piping arrangement 62 which descends from the underside or bottom 64 of the housing that constitutes the chamber 10.
With reference to FIGURES l and 4, the outlet conduit or pipe 66 of the apparatus is provided, within the chamber 10, with a conventional union 68 that conveys the admixed air, steam and chemical compound to the flexible hosing 12. However, in the interest of safety, the coupling 68 is structurally associated with a piping 70, which in conventional fashion and by use of conventional piping elbows, pipes and the like, terminates in an expansion chamber 72, as shown in more detail in FIGURE 2. The expansion chamber 72 constitutes a housing 74 which is completely open interiorly but closed by virtue of end walls and a cylindrical side wall, though the configuration of the latter is immaterial, and within which, by virtue of an aperture in one of its end walls, the end emitting portion 76 of the expansion tubing 70 is disposed.
As shown in detail in FIGURE 4 and diagrammatically in FIGURE 1, the tubing or conduit 44, subsequent to the gauge means 36, enters the chamber 10 through the side wall 42 and terminates in an integrally associated end portion 78 and, in the same fashion, the conduit or piping 48 which enters the chamber 10 through the top wall 46 terminates in an integrally associated end portion 80. The terminal end portions 78 and 80 structurally congregate in a coupling 82 within the chamber 10 and such is shown in more detail in FIGURE 6.
As shown in FIGURE 6, the distal end of the terminating portion 80 is threaded within a collar 84 of a coupling that is provided with another collar 86 arranged normal to the collar 84. The coupling 82 is in the form of a sleeve 88 which is provided with the receptive collars for the end portions 78 and 80 and which is also provided with an interiorly threaded socket end for the reception of the pipe or conduit 66. The body member or sleeve 88 is formed internally with a convergent nozzle 90 that is arranged normal to the adjacent end of the tubing or 4 conduit portion 78 and is arranged axially with the air incoming tube or conduit and with the emission or exit pipe or tube 66. Thus, as shown in FIGURE 6, the restrictive and convergent nozzle portion is in axial alignment with the incoming air from the compressed air pipe 48 and is arranged at right angles and close to the tubing or pipe section 78 whereby the body portion 88 serves as a mixing chamber, wherein the incoming and blended chemical cleansing compound and steam and air are mixed together. Because of the arrangement of the convergent nozzle 90 in its placement normal to the incoming end of the pipe section 78, the nozzle 90 serves to cause a suction and therefore hasten or quicken the admission of the steam and chemical compound and add to the forcefulness thereof through the discharging line 12.
It must be borne in mind that this action takes Place or occurs prior to the flexible discharge line or hose 12 and the hand nozzle 14 or its equivalent.
As thus far described, the first phase of the operation is to blend a cleaning or chemical compound with steam by utilization of the steam conveyance pipe or tubing 16 and the chemical conveying or carrying pipe or tubing 22, the components being blended in the blending pump 28 and being then transmitted through the conduit means 44 into the chamber 10 and, more particularly, into the mixing conduit 82, as illustrated in FIGURES 4 and 6. However, an important factor of the present invention involves the provision of means and a method of blending and homogenizing air from the section 80 of the air piping or tubing 48 with the previously admixed steam and cleaning compound so as to provide a superior cleaning medium which is emitted by the nozzle 14. The blending or mixing of the cleaning compound with steam whereby the steam insures both sanitation and complete dissolving of the compound as well as retaining the cleaning power of the compound involves the homogenization by a jet of compressed air of such mixture remote from and prior to its emergence from the nozzle 14. In this respect, the compressed air must be rendered highly turbulent by use of a restrictor means 91, which is shown in detail in FIGURE 5, and which is disposed or positioned just ahead of or upstream of the union with the steam, chemical solution in the mixing chamber 82, as shown in FIGURE 4.
The means 91 may be termed a restrictor means because it restricts the flow, that is the free flow of the air under pressure, so as to insure that the air fed in will adequately mix with the steam, chemical solution being fed into the mixing chamber 88 without any problem of feedback. In other words, a controlled air supply is obtained but, at the same time, the compressed air is utilized to insure an adequate mixture or homogenization of all materials within the mixing chamber 82, that is quite remote from the discharge nozzle 14.
As shown in FIGURE 5, the conduit section 80 for the compressed air is formed with an internal restriction means which includes, within the internal diameter 92 of such section, a blocking member 94, which is suitably fixed in a most secure fashion within the bore of the tubing section. This may be accomplished by means of couplings or by means of well-known soldering arrangements. The latter are conventional in tubing or conduits and involve merely the positioning of a member within a pipe or conduit and then the remote welding or soldering of such member therein.
In any event, the member 94 is formed with a divergent bore or axial passage 96 which is adapted to mate with a divergent bore or passage of a companion or complemental member 100 in axial alignment with the divergent bore 96, such passage being designated by the numeral 102. The members 94 and 100 are in complemental structural organization through external shoulder and lip structural arrangements '104. As indicated by the arrow 106 of FIG- URE 5, the air inflow passes through the internal diameter or bore 92 of the conduit or pipe section 80 and into the progressively diverging reduced passage 96, subsequent to which it enters the somewhat enlarged diverging bore 102 of such member and returns to the same internal diameter of the pipe 92 so as to create a turbulent jetting action. This restrictor means 91 insures that air fed in under at a pressure of 60 to 150 pounds p.s.i. will adequately mix with steam being fed into the mixing chamber at pressures varying from 80 to 160 p.s.i. with no problem of any feedback into the air chamber. Because of the controlled air supply, adequate mixture or homogenization of all materials is obtained in the mixing chamber 82.
Illustrative and exemplary of the restrictive arrangement 91, shown in detail in FIGURE 5, it has been found that given an internal diameter of the pipe or tubing 92, at the downstream and upstream ends of the restrictive means 91, of inch, a preferable situation for creating a turbulence is to have the bore or passage 96 vary from an upstream opening of to a downstream opening of and the issuing passage 102 vary from an upstream opening of to a downstream opening of However, such is merely exemplary because the dimensions may vary but the concept is that the air, under compression, from any suitable source, will enter the mixing chamber 82 and Will be in a turbulent, radiating and fluctuating nature and will draw in the combined steam and chemical compound and within the member 88 will be admixed so that there is a homogenization of air, steam and chemical, remote from and prior to the emission thereof from the nozzle 14 or any other discharge means.
Thus, the steam is fed in from a steam generating system through a line which picks up the liquid chemical thereby obtaining a mixture of steam and chemical immediately in the blending pump 28. Upon the admixed composition leaving the blending pump through the conduit 20, the same is fed in its admixed mixture into the chamber and in the mixing element 88 the same is mixed with an independent air supply at high pressure, the pressure of the air supply being forced, irrespective of its initial initiative pressure rise, by the restriction means 91, into a turbulent nature and mixing with the steam and chemical in forcing in a homogenized manner the entire mixture through the hose 12 and being emitted through the nozzle 14. As far as the nozzle 14 is concerned, any type of emission means, such as fixed nozzles, guns or the like may be employed, the main improvement being the mixing of the chemical component, steam and air in a chamber before it enters the discharging or dispensing means '14. The result obtained is a steady flow of materials which accomplishes the desired cleaning process.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown anddescribed, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. Apparatus for steam cleaning objects comprising conduit means for the admission of steam under pressure, conduit means in structural association with said conduit means for the admission of steam under pressure for the admission thereinto of a chemical solution, means for admixing said steam and said chemical solution, conduit means for the admission of compressed air downstream of the means for admixing the steam and chemical solution, and means for admixing the air with the admixed steam and chemical solution, said conduit means for the admission of compressed air including means for creating a turbulence in the air upstream of the means for admixing the air with the admixed steam and chemical solution, said means for creating a turbulence comprising a blocking member within the air conduit means restricting the effective flow area of said air conduit means, and a reduced diameter airflow permitting bore through said blocking means, said bore progressively increasing in cross-sectional area in the direction of flow of the air with the bore being of a reduced diameter relative to said conduit means at both extremities of said bore and means for the discharge of the consequent fluid mixture.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said bore is defined coaxially through the blocking member.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said bore includes first and second coaxially aligned divergent portions, the discharge end of the first bore portion being of a slightly reduced diameter relative to the intake end of the second divergent portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,185,888 6/1916 Durham et a1 239-311 1,540,744 6/1925 Badaracco 239-307 X 1,797,584 3/1931 ONeill 239-307 X 1,835,283 12/1931 Crickmer 239-8 2,044,557 6/1936 Alvord 239-9 X 2,056,240 10/ 1936 Wheeler 239-8 2,295,661 9/ 1942 Hunter 239-311 2,340,832 2/1944 Damme et al 239-311 X 2,355,882 -8/1944 Malsbary et al 239-307 X 2,571,575 10/1951 Holmes 239-9 EVERETT W. KIRBY, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.