US 3500666 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 17, 1970 L. CALCATERRA CLOTH CLEANING. DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fild Oct. 9, 1967 LUIG'I CALCATERRA,
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March 17, 1970 United States Patent Office 3,500,666 Patented Mar. 17, 1970 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The method for removing spots or stains of water-soluble substances from a cloth article laid out on a punctured support, by directing against the spotted or stained article a jet of pressurized air having finely particulated cold water evenly dispersed thereinto at low concentration. A device comprising a punctured support and a hand manipulated nozzle assembly supplied with pressurized air and with cold water for forming and ejecting said jet.
Background This invention is generally concerned with cloth and fabric cleaning and, more particularly, with cleaning and scouring off spots and stains such as made of water-soluble substances from clothes, fabrics, apparels, linen and the like. Still more particularly, this invention is concerned with a new and improved method and device particularly but not exclusively designed for removing from clothware in general spots and stains resistant to conventional washing and dry cleaning processes.
It is known that conventional immersion washing and, in particular, dry cleaning method performed with the use of organic solvents, such as trior perchloroethylene, white spirit or other, whilst being capable of a substantially throughout cleaning off the most of dirt and staining substances from the cloth-ware, cannot satisfyingly remove a number of spots or stains such as when formed from substances not soluble into organic solvents. It is further known that the most of water-soluble substances are not or are hardly soluted by organic solvents, and vice-versa.
Therefore, it has been become common practice, when a really throughout cleaning of cloth is desired, to pass the dry or otherwise conventionally cleaned ware to visual inspection for detecting remaining spots therein, if any, and then to take steps, such as wetting with water or with another solvent and rubbing or brushing the spotted portion of the cloth. It is evident that such steps are time and labour consuming and the rather rough treatment can seriously prejudice and even damage the fabric and the cloth article. Such spot cleaning off, in addition, often leads to discoloration and halation of the cloth.
It has been heretofore proposed the method of spot cleaning, in the occurrences referred to above, by causing a jet of steam to impinge upon the cloth when spotted or stained in particular by water-soluble substances, so that such substances can be soluted by the condensed Water and carried off by the stream of steam. Such method has not however been satisfyingly proved, mainly because of the high temperature of steam. As a matter of fact, it is known that a number of fabrics, such as those made of thermoplastic synthetic fibers and yarns, even if compounded with cotton or wool fibers, cannot resist to or are damaged by heating up to boiling water temperature. In addition, a number of staining substances, such as blood, for example, undergoes to a chemical modification when heated and becomes no more water soluble.
The principal object of this invention is to provide a new and improved method and device cleaning off visualized and localized spots and stains, either of Water-soluble or of not water-soluble substances, as hereinabove defined, which are not subject to the above and other objections.
5 2 Claims Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved method and device whereby said visualized spots and stains can be readily and safely removed without subjecting the cloth or fabric to severe abuse even if the ware consists of the most light and soft cloth.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a new method and device which can be carried into effect and respectively operated by nearly unskilled persons, as unduly extensive or over-processing of stained cloth does not prejudice the treated ware.
Summary According to the invention, it has been surprisingly found that a stream of cold liquid, solvent of the staining substance, when finely divided into extremely small-sized particles, evenly dispersed at very low concentration into a gaseous vehicle consisting of a high speed pressurized air jet, is unexpectedly capable of readily and safely remove the above discussed spots and stains from a cloth or a fabric laid out and resting on an apertured or punctured support which can be nearly effortlessly passed through by said jet.
In accomplishing the above objects of the invention, there is provided an apparatus comprising a stationary support having a punctured surface and a pressurized air fed nozzle assembly comprising operator-controlled first valve means for cutting on and off the air supply and second valve means for cutting on and off, and for controlledly metering feeding of cold liquid to a nozzle device, and a nozzle device adapted for throughoutly nebulizing the liquid and subdividing the same at very high dispersion into a concentrated air jet, the invention comprising further directing said jet upon the visualized spot 01 stain in a cloth laid out on said punctured surface.
These and other objects and characteristic features of this invention will become apparent as this description proceeds.
The invention will be best understood with reference tc the accompanying drawings, forming an essential component of this disclosure.
Drawings FIG. 1 is a somewhat simplified perspective view of an apparatus adapted for carrying out the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the essential components of said apparatus, embodying the device 01 the invention, and illustrates the mode of operating the same;
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatical illustration, in an enlarged scale, of the formation of the low concentration high speed jet of liquid particles into a concentrated stream of pressurized air;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view, in an enlarged scale, of the nozzle portion of a nozzle assembly designed to provide a jet such as the one illustrated in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the nozzle portion of FIG. 4, and wherein the components thereof are illustrated partly in sectional view and partly in side elevation;
FIG. 6 illustrates in sectional view and partly in side elevational view a nozzle assembly comprising the nozzle portion of FIGS. 4 and 5 and operator-controlled valve means for controlling the pressurized air and cold liquid supply thereto; I
FIG. 7 is partly a side elevation and partly a sectional view, taken in the plane indicated at 7-7 in FIG. 6, 01 the same nozzle assembly; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of same assembly, taken in the plane indicated at 8-8 in same FIG. 6.
Description of preferred embodiment Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is show 1n FIG. 1 an apparatus comprising a work board genrally indicated at and'havinggenerally the configuraion of a conventional ironing-table or board. Such work card is supported by a base 11 and a structure 12, diarammatically indicated and of quite conventional contruction. The upper horizontal surface of said board 10 as a smooth closed portion 13, an opaline portion 14 nd a punctured portion 15. The said opaline portion, made of frosted glass, for example, is advantageously ut not necessarily provided and has a conventionally upported and fed small electric lamp located therebelow, or facilitating detection of spots and strains in the cloth a be cleaned. The punctured portion can be made of a tainless steel or of a plastic sheet or plate, for example, .aving a plurality of evenly and closedly spaced holes rranged therethrough, or of a wire screen, or the like.
The apparatus is provided with at least one nozzle ssembly generally indicated at 16, adapted to be handripped and manipulated by the operator, and provided ith a nozzle 17 (which will be detailedly discussed be- )w) adapted to eject a jet 18 which, upon proper manual lanipulation of the cloth, such as indicated at 19 in FIG. laid out on the said punctured portion 15, thenozzle ssembly 16, being directed to cause the jet to impinge n the spotted or stained portion of the textile article to e cleaned.
The said nozzle assembly is connected, by means of .ose ducts 21, to a source of pressurized air and to a ipply of cold liquid, generally but not necessarily water. he apparatus can be suitably connected to such source 3 available, or provided with a suitable compressor, such 5 indicated at 22. Preferably, cooling and filter means .1611 as indicated at 23 are provided to ensure the supply f dehydrated cool and purified pressurized air, and with pressurized air tank, such as 24, with pressure regulatig means and the like. Such pressurized air supplying, ltering and cooling means will not be detailedly desribed, as appertaining to current art. The cold liquid upply can comprise at least one bottle 20, for examle. The said nozzle assembly 16 may be supported by n extensible cord 26 to a brace 27 secured above the orking board.
The apparatus can be provided with more than one ozzle assembly, when desired.'For example, a .second nd also a third nozzleassembly could be provided, and onnected to an individual supply of water and of one or lore liquid solvents, or other liquid cleaning medium, 1ch as a soapy solution, for acting on water resistant aim or spots, if any. A nozzle assembly 28, connected the pressurized air supply only, can be further proided for facilitating fast drying of the cleaned portions f the cloth. The or any nozzle assembly is provided with andle means for controlling and adjusting the jet, such 5 a trigger lever 25 (FIG. 2) whose relationship with 1e valve means included in said assembly will be also iscussed below.
The features of the jet 18, which has been unexpectedfound as effective for complete, fast and safe removal E spots and stains such as of water-soluble substances, )r example are diagrammatically indicated in FIG. 13. he nozzle portion, the construction of which will be ascribed below, has an inner nozzle 30 from which an rtremely small tubular fillet 31 of cold liquid is issued, 16. an outer annular nozzle 32, co-axial to nozzle 30, om which a high speed conically converging jet 33 of ressurized air is emitted. The liquid fillet is issued by re suction exerted by the outer air jet and its flow can adjusted upon action on the lever 25. At a short stance from the nozzles, such as one inch about,' a :am-shaped air stream 34 is formed, wherein extremely nall sized liquid particles, such as diagrammatically dicated by dots in the part 34 of the FIG. 3, are evenly stributed and carried with the gaseous jet.
The liquid content of jet 18 is very small. For example, e outer nozzle opening comprises an annular opening tving its outer diameter Of 1.5 and its inner diameter of 1.3 millimeters, and it is supplied with filtered cool air pressurized up from 6 to 12 kg./sq. cm. pressure. The water supply is choked to limit the delivery within 40 cc./ minute or less when a particularly smooth action is desired. The volumetric proportional amount of the liquid particles in the jet 18 is so small that the presence thereof cannot be detected by visual inspection.
The mechanism -by which a so small amount of cold liquid can ensure a surprisingly efficient cleaning has not been completely understood. It is evident that the high speed of the gaseous vehicle has the most important action as it ensures deep penetration of the liquid within the fibers of the cloth and then prompt exhaustion of the same liquid from said fibers, together with the soluted dirt particles or simply carried along therewith. 0n the other part, such extremely small amount of liquid ensures that no appreciable rubbing or mechanical action on the cloth is exerted, and explains how the operation can be quite safely performed on light and soft fabrics without damage or prejudice thereof. It has been experimentally proved that spots of water-soluble substances, such as ink and blood, can be removed from extremely light and delicate veil, without appreciable damage of the lightest texture thereof by applying the method and making use of the device of this invention.
The nozzle portion of the device will be now described with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, wherein the very openings of the nozzles and the parts adjacent thereto have been exaggerately dimensioned in the drawing for facilitating the understanding of the construction and arrangement thereof.
The inner nozzle 30 is formed by the frusto-conical fore portion (the lower. portion, in the drawings) of a tubular member 35 having a threaded rear portion 36 adapted for engagement with a threaded seat 37 (FIG. 5) of the nozzle assembly body 50, and a frusto-conical part 38 adapted for tight fit into a corresponding seat 39 of said body. The inner passage 40 of said member is co-axial and communicates with a duct 41 in said body, within which the outlet of a liquid supply duct 42 in said body is in communication. A needle 44 having a conically tapered fore end portion 45 is co-axially located within duct 41 and nozzle 30 to define the cross-sectional area of said nozzle 30, upon axial adjustment of said needle. The taper of said portion 45 preferably forms an angle of 8 about with the axis of the needle, and the inner and outer taper of the frustoconical nozzle 30 has a corresponding convergency.
The outer nozzle 32 is formed in the annular spaced defined between a circular opening bored in the top of a dome shaped member 51 and the outer tapering surface of said nozzle 30. The hollow 49 of the dome member 51 communicates with an air supply duct 48 in the body 50, by means of a plurality of passages 47 provided through a flange-shaped extension 46 of the said tubular member The above described components are assembled and made fast by an annular nut 53 having an inner thread 55 engaging with an outer thread 54 provided about a neck portion of said body 50, and an in-turned skirt portion 52 adapted for axial abutment on the said dome member 51, which is axially urged against said extension 46 of tubular member 35. The nozzle is activated by supplying pressurized air into the duct 48 and axially adjusting the needle 44 to provide the required passage for the liquid delivered through ducts 42 and 41. Such activation is performed by operatingsuitable valve and needle displacing means.
A preferred construction of said valve and needle adjusting means is shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, together with other features of the nozzle assembly 16. The body 50 of said assembly has pipe fitting members 60 and 61 secured thereto and provided with parts 62 and 63, respectively, adapted for connection with hose ducts connected with pressurized air and respectively with cold liquid supply directly communicates with ducts 42 and 41, whereby the liquid is constantly delivered in the hollow 40 of member 35 and the outflow thereof is controlled upon axial adjustment of needle 44.
The duct comprised in member 60 communicates with a first chamber 64 within body 50, having a stepped portion forming a valve seat for a valve member 65 which, when spaced from said seat, allows passage of pressurized air into a second chamber 66 in which said duct 48 has its inlet (FIG. 7). It will be noted that in the actual structure of the device, shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, said duct 48 is located laterally to the needle 44 adjacent to a major side face of body 50, whilst in FIGS. 4 and 5 said duct 48 is apparently located in the major sectional plane of same body. Said latter showing of FIGS. 4 and 5 has been intended for illustrating all ducts in one figure, the actual position of said ducts being immaterial for the purposes of the invention.
The said valve means 65 is urged by a spring 67 towards the valve seat formed between chambers 64 and 66 and it is integrally formed with a tubular extension 68 on which a forked part 69 of trigger lever 25 axially abuts. Said lever is pivotally connected to the body 50 by a pivot pin 70 (FIGS. 6 and 8) whereby, when said lever is depressed towards said body 50, the passage between chambers 64 and 66 will be open to allow the pressurized air to flow through outer nozzle 32, via the duct 48, passages 47 and dome 49.
The needle 44 is slidably arranged through the forkshaped portion 69 of the trigger lever and within the tubular extension 68 of the valve member and has an enlarged end portion 71 which abuts against a stepped inner part of said extension, when the lever 25 is further depressed, whilst a second spring 72 urges the needle towards its nozzle 30 closing position, by fitting its tapered fore part 45 within the frusto-conical inner passage of said nozzle (compare FIGS. 4 and 5).
The above described parts and components are so arranged that, when the lever 25 is not depressed, the valve 65 cuts 011 the pressurized air supply to nozzle 32 and the tapered part 45 of needle 44 fully closes the nozzle 30. Acting upon the lever 25, the valve 65 is operated first, so that the air is ejected through the nozzle 32, without delivery of liquid, because the spring 72 still urges the needle in the nozzle 30. Further depressing of lever 25 causes the retreat of the needle and, therefore, the operator can adjust the delivery of liquid through the inner nozzle 30. Such adjustment can be very precise and careful because of the acute taper of part 45 of the needle.
It is therefore evident that the above described device can provide a jet as above discussed and wherein the ratio between the gaseous vehicle and the particulated liquid can be carefully adjusted from zero to the desired low concentration amount.
Although there is herein shown and described only a single embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that such is not intended to be in any way limiting but that various changes and modifications may be made therein within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What I claim is:
1. A device for removing stains and spots from an article comprising an elongated and fiat spray-gun body 50 having a lengthwise first passage 64, 66, 41, a stepped portion forming an annular valve seat, and a lateral opening; a control lever 25 pivotally mounted at 70 in said opening, a subassembly 53, 46 comprising an inner conical nozzle, 21 valve seat and an outer annular nozzle, said inner conical nozzle being located at one end of said first passage; a second passage 42 in said body having a nipple 61, 63 for connection to a source of solvent liquid merging with said first passage adjacent said inner conical nozzle; a third passage 48 bypassing said opening for fluidly connecting said stepped portion 64, 66 to said outer annular nozzle, a nipple 60, 62 for connecting a source of pressurized air to said stepped portion; a first movable component located in the longitudinal axis of said first passage comprising a tubular member 58 having an enlarged portion forming a plug valve, a spring 67 for seating said plug valve on said annular seat in said stepped portion 64, 66 and an end on said tubular member abutting on said lever for opening said valve to supply pressurized air to said outer nozzle; a second movable component coaxial to said first component comprising a stem 44 having a conically tapered end 45 forming a needle valve in said inner conical nozzle and an opposite enlarged end 71 in said first tubular member for opening said needle after having opened said plug valve; and a second spring 72 within said tubular member 58 to bias said needle valve relative to said plug valve.
2. A device according to claim 1, wherein said outer annular nozzle is defined between the outer frusto-conical surface of said inner nozzle and the edge of a circular opening in a dome-shaped member having a hollow in communication with the source of pressurized air.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,788,810 1/1931 Titlemore 239--4l5 2,266,365 12/1941 Harrison et al. 239415 X 2,264,564 12/1941 Connor 239415 X 2,619,821 12/1952 Fink 68- 240 X 3,235,186 2/1966 Boyce 239-415 WILLIAM I. PRICE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 68240; 2394l5