US 3524593 A
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N. A. BUCKLEY ET AL STEAMGUN Filed July 11. 1968 Aug. 18, 1970 United States Patent O 3,524,593 STEAM GUN Norman A. Buckley, Wauwatosa, and Peter D. Rasmussen, Milwaukee, Wis., assignors to McGraw-Edison Company, Elgin, lll., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 11, 1968, Ser. No. 743,997 Int. Cl. Bb 1/30 U.S. Cl. 239-583 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A steam gun having coaxially arranged nozzle and handle elements with a stream inlet line connection transversely disposed therebetween for improved operator safety and gun mobility, and resilient cooperating valve structure for controlled steam discharge from the gun.
Steam guns are commonly used in garment finishing operations such as spotting, pressing or the like to condition the garment by spraying steam directly onto the garment. The gun generally is connected to a steam source by a flexible steam line and should be mobile to direct steam against the garment, even over only small areas, as desired. Because heavy work demands, the ease of moving the gun dictates how effortlessly the operator can use the gun and how enthusiastically it is accepted commercially. The gun should also be safe to operate, being adequately insulated against heat and having minimum metallic exposure that might burn the operator. Moreover, the gun must have a durable and dependable steam discharge valve structure to accommodate full or feathered discharges at the operators preference with complete and rapid reclosure.
This invention relates to an improved steam gun which has an insulated handle extending coaxially away from the steam gun nozzle and a steam inlet connection located transversely ofthe handle immediately adjacent the nozzle, all improving gun mobility and operator safety, 'Ihe invention also relates to steam gun valve structure which can be easily opened for steam discharge from the gun but which can reliably and completely be reclosed.
One main object of this invention is ot provide a steam gun which is mobile and safe to handle.
A more detailed object of this invention is to provide a steam gun having coaxially disposed outlet nozzle and handle elements, and a steam inlet line connection provided transversely thereto immediately adjacent the nozzle, and further having conveniently located trigger mechanism for easily and safely operating the gun.
Another object of this invention is to provide a steam gun having valve structure particularly suited for confining and discharging high pressure steam, even repetitively, and also including means for adjusting the valve structure to compensate for wear of any seating components.
These and other objects will be more fully appreciated and understood after reviewing the following specification, the accompanying drawing forming a part thereof, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective View of a steam gun forming the subject invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view as seen generally from line 2-2 of the gun of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional View similar to FIG. 2, except of an alternate embodiment.
In the drawing, steam gunshown includes therein a valve body 12 from which an inlet stem 14 extends, the steam being appropriately threaded as at 15 to provide for connection with a flexible steam line 16. One end of the valve body has a nozzle 18 for discharge of steam, while the other end of the valve body is connected to a 3,524,593 Patented Aug. 18, 1970 hollow insulating handle 20'. The valve body 12, discharge nozzle 18, and handle 20 are all located coaxially of one another, and the inlet stem 14 is located forwardly of the handle and extends normal to the valve body at a location closely adjacent the nozzle. 'Ihe gun is operated by means of a trigger 22 which extends through handle opening 24 and is bent in the direction of the handle to provide for convenient actuation by the users thumb merely by manipulation toward and away from the handle itself.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the gun valve in detail includes the hollow valve body 12 defining a chamber 30 which has opposed openings 18 and 33 at its opposite end and inlet opening 34 therebetween from the inlet stem 14. A valve member 36. is received within the chamber and is adapted to be moved transversely therein in a line between the two openings 18 and 33. The valve member 36 seats over the opening 18 in the closed position of the valve to prevent ow of steam from the chamber 30.
A stem 40 is connected to valve member 36 and extends through the opening 33 into the interior bore 42 of the handle 20. O-ring 44 surrounds the stem 40 within a recess formed in the valve body to` seal the valve body against leakage from the chamber 30- through the opening 33 while yet accommodate axial movement of the stem. Washer 46 over the O-ring 44 holds it in place, and a spring 48 between the washer 46 and an enlarged head 49 on the valve member normally biases the valve member against the Valve body to close the opening 18.
The trigger 22 is connected operatively to the stem 40, this connection being rendered possible by means of a suitable pair of lock nuts 50` threaded onto a threaded end 51 of the stem 40, with a tubular spacer 53 and a washer or stop 54 abutted against the spacer. The trigger has an opening 56 which receives the stem 40, the trigger engaging the stop 54 centrally on the one side and the valve body 12 on the other side. By downward manipulation of the trigger from the position shown in solid (FIG. 2) to the position shown in phantom, the valve member is moved axially within the valve body to uncover opening 18 and allow steam discharge from the chamber 30. v In the particular construction shown, the valve body has a removable nozzle body 60 which is threaded into the open end of the bore defining the chamber 30, and an O-ring 61 trapped between a flange on the nozzle body and the valve body seals them together. The nozzle body i60 further has provided an annular recess which receives an O-ring `64, the peripheral rim defining the recess being swaged over to conne the O-ring therein. The movable valve member 36 has a flat surface 65 which peripherally seats against the O-ring 64. Passageway 66 in the nozzle body vents the underside of the recess to atmosphere to preclude pressure build-up beneath the O-ring which might lift it from the recess. The venting passageway might terminate within nozzle opening 18 (not shown), or under certain conditions be eliminated entirely from the nozzle body.
Preferably, the O-ring 64 is formed of a resilient relatively soft material, such as a iuoro elastomer or ethylene propylene, that is capable of withstanding the high steam temperatures. The movement of the Valve member is normal to the hard seating surface 65, and this cooperating engagement with the resilient sealing O-ring element 64 has proven to be both exceptionally effective in total reclosure of the gun and durable in commercial use.
Annular element 68 is received over and is bonded to the valve body at its end opposite the nozzle and has provided therein a rearwardly extended threaded section which cooperates with a threaded section 70 along the hollow inside of the handle 20. The handle contines a gasket 72 against the element 68 which serves to cushion the two components 20 and 68, since preferably they are formed of a plastic or otherwise effective insulating material. The handle can be readily removed to provide access to the lock nuts 50, which can be adjusted axially of the stem to shift stop 54 and provide valve adjustment for the type valve action desired or further to compensate for wear of any of the sealing components.
FIG. 3 shows an alternate steam gun valve structure that differs from the embodiment of FIG. 2 only in certain areas, so that all like components are similarly numbered. In this embodiment, the nozzle assembly 60a has a conically contracting valve surface or seat 80 which terminates at its narrow end in the nozzle opening 18. The included angle of the cone is of the order of 40. The enlarged head 49a on the valve member 36a has provided thereon a recess into which an O-ring sealing element 84 is conned. Preferably, the O-ring sealing element in this case is of a less resilient firmer material than the element 64 in the FIG. 2 embodiment, element 84 being, for example, of a Teflon construction. The seating of the relatively resilient but firm element 84 against the conical surface 80, particularly under the bias of the spring 48 and the steam pressure within the chamber 30, seals the steam gun closed and further provide for easy uniform opening the gun for subsequent steam discharge.
It will be noted that in both embodiments, the coaxial relationship of the discharge nozzle and gun handle, the transversely connected steam inlet line closely adjacent the nozzle, and easily accessible trigger off real mobility to the gun while yet giving greatly improved operator safety and convenience. Moreover, the seating action of the valve structure reliably controls steam discharge; and the particular combination of resilient O-ring element and cooperating hard seating surface ensures long dependable service.
What is claimed is:
1. A steam gun, comprising an elongated valve body having a central hollow and opposed openings from the hollow; inlet means open transversely to the valve body hollow between the opposed openings and means sur rounding the inlet means for providing a connection to a steam line; a valve member disposed in the valve body hollow, and movable against the valve body to close one of the openings and away from the one opening to accommodate steam discharge therefrom, and having a stem extending through the other opening and projecting beyond said valve body; a spring normally biasing the valve member to close the one opening; said valve member and said valve body, in the area of the one opening, having cooperating sealing means including a resilient annular element and a hard annular element; means sealing the other opening relative to the valve body and stem; a hollow handle of insulating material removably secured to the valve body over the other opening and covering the stem and extending in a direction parallel to the stem away from the inlet means; adjustable stop means on the stern within the hollow handle, trigger actuating means engaging the stop means within the hollow handle and extending outwardly through an opening in the handle and beyond for external manipulation operable for steam discharge from the gun, and the stop means being adjustable upon removal of the hollow handle to accommodate valve adjustment.
2 A steam gun according to claim 1, wherein said resilient annular element is received in a recess defined in part by a peripheral rim, the resilient annular element being mechanically conined in said recess by the rim upon the rim being deected over part of the resilient annular element.
3. A steam gun according to claim 2, wherein the resilient annular element is of an ethylene propylene material.
4 A steam gun according to claim 1, wherein the trigger actuating means includes an element having an opening therein which receives the stem, the element :being confined loosely between the stop means and valve body when the one opening is closed and being otherwise cammed between these components to discharge steam from the one opening.
5. A steam gun, comprising a valve body having a central hollow and opposed openings from the hollow; inlet means open to the valve body hollow between the opposed openings and means surrounding the inlet means for providing a connection to a steam line; a valve member disposed in the valve body hollow and movable against the valve body to close one of the openings and away from the one opening to allow steam discharge therefrom, and having a stem extending through the other opening and projecting beyond said valve body; means sealing the other opening relative to the valve body and stem; a hollow handle of insulating material secured to the valve body and covering the stem, stopY means on the stem outside of the valve body and within the handle, and trigger actuating means engaging the stop means within the handle and extending through an opening in the handle and beyond for external manipulation operable for steam discharge from the gun; and said valve member and valve body, in the area of the one opening, having cooperating sealing means including a resilient O-ring element and a hard annular element, the hard annular element being flat, the sealing means being adapted to engage and separate from one another upon movement at right angles to the hard annular element, and the O- ring being received in a recess dened in part by a peripheral rim and retained mechanically in the recess by said rim upon the rim being deflected over part of the O-ring whereupon another annular part of the O-ring projects beyond the rim toward the hard annular element.
6. A steam gun according to claim 5 wherein the O- ring is relatively soft and is formed of ethylene propylene.
7. A steam gun according to claim 5 wherein the stop means includes means which can =be readily adjusted axially of the stem, and wherein the tubular handle is adapted to be readily removed from the valve body for exposing said stop means operable thereby to permit gun control adjustment.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,910,909 5/ 1933 Werder 251-240 2,026,191 12/ 1935 Rowland 239-525 2,677,525 5/1954 Pavey et al. 239-583 X 2,713,989 7/1955 Bryant.
2,942,791 6/1960 Bush et al. 239-530 X 2,981,284 4/ 1961 Putnam. 2,991,945 7/1961 Rosenkranz 239-583 X 3,433,420 3/1969 Strout 239-581 X 2,704,650 3/1955 Rand 251-333 X 3,228,419 1/1966 Smith et al. 251-333 X FOREIGN PATENTS 703,759 2/ 1954 Great Britain.
M. HENSON WOOD IR., Primary Examiner J. I. LOVE, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 239-530