US 3529610 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. J. LEICHNER ETAL 3,529,610
STEAM CLEANING APPARATUS Sept. 22, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 26, 1968 m am EA sm R m m :7 u w m IDL fl RA AU 3M HS M Sept. 22, 1970 H. JILEICHNEIR EI'AL 3,529,610
s'rmu CLEANING APPARATUS 2 ShetS-Sheet 2 Filed July 26, 1968 w m mm a 5 H MWBA m p a m w w M GA HS Q YM ggzflbrhe s United States Patent O 3,529,610 STEAM CLEANING APPARATUS Howard J. Leichner, Champaign, and Samuel R. Shambaugh, Danville, Ill., assignors to Leichner Manufacturing Company, Champaign, 111., a sole proprietorship Filed July 26, 1968, Ser. No. 748,024 Int. Cl. B08b 3/02 US. Cl. 134-404 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An electrically operated assembly including a reservoir, heat exchanger, pump, nozzle and temperature controls which produces a steam jet of the desired quality at the nozzle, that is, at the cleaning area which overlies the sump through which the vaporized cleaning solution is returned to the reservoir.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The steam or vapor cleaning apparatus of the present invention finds use by jewelers in the cleaning of jewelry pieces, watch components and the like, and can be used for cleaning small instruments, or components. The cleaning operation provides excellent pre-plating cleaning for small parts to be plated or otherwise treated chemically.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a self-contained, recirculating steam or vapor cleaning device requiring no exterior connections to fluid supply lines, the output of the device being a vapor jet of the desired quality and with the heat exchanger temperature being thermostatically controlled during the standby interval between intervals of vapor delivery at the nozzle so that actuation of a manual on-oif control causes vapor at the desired quality to issue from the nozzle without a delaying, temperature build-up period.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention with a portion of the top cover broken away.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a schematic wiring diagram of the apparatus.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side view of the heat exchanger subassembly of the apparatus.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the liquid and vapor conduits including the heat exchanger and pump.
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, sectional view of the pump component of the apparatus.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring initially to FIG. 1, the apparatus of the present invention includes a tray shaped base 10 which underlies a housing 11. The tray forms a reservoir for liquid to be vaporized and the housing overlies only a portion of the tray leaving a portion exposed and covered by a screen 12.
The exterior sidewall of the housing mounts toggle switches 13 and 14 and an indicator lamp 16. Within the housing there is mounted an electric motor 17 having a cooling fan 18 at one end of its drive shaft (the fan drawing air in through the louvered vents 19 in the housing). The opposite end of the motor shaft 21 carries an eccentric cam 22 (shown in detail in FIG. 6) which drives the pump component of the apparatus as will be 3,529,610 Patented Sept. 22, 1970 subsequently described. A vapor conduit 23 extends outwardly over the exposed portion of the tray 10 and carries a vapor output nozzle 24 which is directed toward the exposed, screened area of the tray.
Referring now specifically to FIG. 2, the pump suction conduit 31 extends into the reservoir and carries the strainer 31a. The pump assembly itself is identified at 32 and, as may best be seen in FIG. 5, a pump output conduit and fitting 33 are connected to the heat exchanger assembly 34. The output line 36 from the heat exchanger connects, through a fitting to the vapor conduit 23.
As may best be seen in FIG. 6, the pump subassembly includes a housing 36 from which extends a vertically reciprocable piston 37. The piston carries, at its upper end, a ball bearing supported collar 38 which engages the cam or eccentric 22 as it is rotated by the motor shaft 21. The resulting vertical reciprocable movement of the piston 37 moves the diaphragm 40 so as to draw liquid through the spring loaded check valve 39 on the upstroke of the piston and to discharge the liquid, under pressure, through the spring loaded check valve 41. The suction line 31 of the pump is connected to the passage 42 on the pump housing and the discharge line of the pump 33 is connected to the passage 43 in the pump housing.
The heat exchanger subassembly is shown in detail in FIG. 4 and includes an exterior, rectangular shaped housing 46 which is packed with thermal insulation 47 and encloses an elongated, rectangular, aluminum block 48. Extending through the block are electrical heaters (tubular type) identified at 49 and 51. Liquid circulates through a central passage 50 through the block 48 and the ends of the passage are connected, respectively, to the liquid conduit 33 and the output conduit 36 (FIG. 5). A high limit control thermostat 52 is mounted on the heat exchanger and is preferably set at a temperature of approximately 550 F. A control thermostat, preferably set to open at a temperature of approximately 325 F. is mounted on the heat exchanger block as indicated at 53 in FIG. 4.
Referring to the schematic wiring diagram of FIG. 3, the electrical components already identified are schematically illustrated and in addition the relay coil 61, with its normally open switch 62, are shown, these being physically mounted in the area indicated at 63 in FIG. 2. The required circuit wiring connects the components as shown in FIG. 3 and the circuit is energized by joining the plug 64 to a conventional volt source.
In operation, the switch 13 is manually moved to standby position, closing the middle pole of the switch against the contact 13a (FIG. 3). As may best be seen in FIG. 3, this energizes the relaycoil 61 through the thermostats 52 and 53 and further energizes the indicator light 16. Energization of relay coil 61 closes relay switch '62 and energizes the heater 51. The heater 49 and the pump motor 17 remain de-energized. After an initial warm up period of approximately 3 minutes, steam at approximately 60 pounds per square inch is produced at the nozzle by actuating the switch 14 to steam position closing the three switch components of the switch 14. As will be evident from FIG. 3, this starts the pump and energizes th auxiliary heater 49. The switch 14 may be closed to its steam position for a few seconds or continuously depending upon the requirement for usage and the vapor ejected from the nozzle, depending upon the setting of the thermostat 53, will have the desired quality for cleaning small articles which may be held by tweezers or othewise adjacent the nozzle 24. Cleaning solution can of course be added to the liquid in the reservoir and will be carried by the vapor from the nozzle to provide the required cleaning function for jewelry or other small parts being cleaned.
To descale or flush clean the apparatus the reservoir is filled with water and the desired portion of a descaling solution added. A length of hose may be connected to the nozzle 24 and dropped to the screened surface 12 to prevent splashing. The switch 13 may then be moved to descale position, closing contact 13b (FIG. 3), and under these conditions the pump motor alone will run and the heaters 51 and 49 will be de-energized, the pump motor serving to move liquid through the vapor conduit and from the nozzle. The apparatus is powered electrically and has no exterior fluid connections. The heat exchanger is not subject to the danger of explosion, the heat exchanger being opened to atmospheric pressure. The control thermostat 33 cycles the standby heater 51 while the high limit control thermostat 52 functions to de-cnergize the circuit if an over heating condition should occur.
While the invention has been disclosed and described in some detail in the drawings and foregoing description, they are to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, as other modifications may readily suggest themselves to persons skilled in this art and within the broad scope of the invention, reference being made to the appended claim.
1. An apparatus producing a vapor jet for cleaning small articles including a base tray forming a reservoir for liquid to be vaporized, a housing overlying a portion of the base tray, a vapor output nozzle mounted to extend into overlying relation to the exposed area of said base tray and directed toward said exposed area, a heat exchanger including electrical heaters and an electrically driven pump mounted within the housing, means providing liquid conduits from said base tray reservoir to the pump intake, from the pump outlet to said heat exchanger and from said heat exchanger to said vapor output nozzle whereby liquid is drawn from said reservoir, vaporized and ejected at said nozzle with the condensed vapor returning to said reservoir, and electrical circuit means to selectively provide a standby heat input and a vaporizing input to the heat exchanger, said electrical circuit means including means for energizing said pump without heat input to said heat exchanger to provide flush cleaning for said liquid conduits and nozzle.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,190,165 2/1940 Shurts 134l07 XR 3,049,302 8/1962 Simmons l34-107 XR 3,061,898 11/1962 Maliszewski 134l08 XR 3,072,128 1/1963 James 134-l07 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 608,027 9/1960 Italy.
50,900 9/ 1941 Netherlands.
ROBERT L. BLEUTGE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.