US 3563676 A
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Feb l6, R, C T ETAL BALLOON INFLATER APPARATUS Filed Oct. 21, 1968 3 2 6 4 l 8 3 2 3 2 f .r lllllzlllll n. G '3 6 P 7 w 2 8 mm M 6 4 2 2 III a 4 H mm I a 1'' [1| 1 4 4 E 7 a M 5 i 1 L E i mm" mm. mm a E 8 n," I m 6 W m. 2 a 5 1 6 4 s A 2 m 2 M a M J w w M 0 w E w w T w R M E Q0 A Gm AT P A0 TO E T SR 5 SR ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 3,563,676 BALLOON INFLATER APPARATUS Richard H. Coovert and Paul A. Seitz, Willard, Ohio, as-
signors to The Pioneer Rubber Company, Willard, Ohio Filed Oct. 21, 1968, Ser. No. 769,023 Int. Cl. F04b 17/00, 35/04 US. Cl. 417-410 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The balloon inflater comprises a frame positioning an electrically powered air compressor therein adapted to discharge a stream of compressed air in a vertically upward direction. A discharge tube is movably connected to the discharge means and a control switch is operatively associated with the discharge means so that movement thereof can actuate the air compressor to provide an upwardly directed blast of compressed air when a balloon is engaged with the upper end of the discharge tube and it is moved for motor actuation purposes.
The present invention, in general relates to balloon inflater apparatus, and particularly to apparatus for use in inflating balloons with compressed air. Heretofore there have been various types of balloon inflaters provided and some of them have utilized compressed gas, such as helium, as a source of the balloon inflation medium, while other apparatus has supplied compressed air for balloon inflation purposes.
In all events, insofar as We are aware, there is currently no portable, safe, dependable and effective balloon inflater apparatus available for use by relatively unskilled help in inflating a number of balloons, when desired.
The general object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved, compact, portable, electrically safe and dependable balloon inflater apparatus which can be produced at a relatively low cost and which will effectively inflate balloons, one by one, as operatively associated with the apparatus of the invention.
Another object of the invention is to provide a balloon inflater apparatus which has a vertically upwardly extending discharge tube with an apertured convex end on the discharge tube so that the open end of the neck of a balloon can be pressed into engagement with the end of the discharge tube to actuate the apparatus and enable the balloon to be rapidly and safely inflated.
Another object of the invention is to provide a substantially conventional air compressor to provide compressed air under one or two pounds of pressure in good volume from the apparatus rapidly and efficiently and to provide a control for the air compressor which can be actuated readily by engaging a balloon with the apparatus for inflation purposes.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will be made more apparent as the application proceeds.
The present invention, in general, as one embodiment thereof, relates to a balloon inflater that comprises a vertically positioned frame which has an electric motor and an air compressor unit positioned in an enclosure received within the frame and wherein power supply means connect to the motor and include a control switch. A discharge tube is resiliently associated with the enclosure for receiving compressed air discharged therefrom and which tube extends upwardly from the frame and has an upper end for receiving or engaging a balloon neck for inflation of such balloon. A control means is operatively associated with such movably positioned discharge tube and extends therefrom to engage the control switch to hold it normally in open form but which control means can be moved or changed in position by movement of the discharge tube to actuate the control switch and energize the air compressor to supply an upwardly directed stream of compressed air for balloon inflation purposes.
Attention now is particularly directed to the accompanying drawing wherein there is shown a vertical section, with portions of the apparatus of the invention being shown in elevation, of a balloon inflater apparatus embodying the principles of the invention.
When referring to corresponding members shown in the drawing and referred to in the specification, corresponding numerals are used to facilitate comparison therebetween.
Reference now is made to the details of the structure shown in the accompanying drawing, and a balloon inflater apparatus of the invention is indicated as a whole by the numeral 10. This balloon inflater comprises a substantially tubular vertically positioned frame 12 that may have any suitable supports or mounting means 14 secured to any suitable bottom plate 16 of the frame. A plurality of apertures are formed in the removable bottom plate or lid 16 to pass air into the frame or enclosure 12. A conventional sheet of hardware cloth 18 is suitably carried by the plate 16 to cover the plurality of apertures therein whereby air can be drawn through the apertures in the hardware cloth 18 and be processed in the balloon inflater as hereinafter described. The hardware cloth 18 may, for example, have substantially /8 inch square openings whereby no foreign matter of any size can be drawn up into the balloon inflater to interfere with the operation thereof. An apertured reenforcing plate may also be suitably associated with the plate 16.
A conventional air blower and motor unit 22 is suitably secured to or positioned within a vertically extending enclosure 24 as by a plurality of brackets 26 suitably secured to the air blower and motor unit 22 and, normally, removably secured to the enclosure 24 as by screws 28. This air blower and motor unit 22 is of conventional construction and it may comprise a two-stage air compressor or blower means driven by an electric motor 30 provided in such unit, which may be considered an air blower, or more accurately as an air compressor means adapted to provide air therefrom under low pressures, such as from about one to three pounds per square inch. The enclosure 24 has a top plate or cover 32 suitably secured thereto and an air supply or control tube 34 is secured to this top 32 and normally extends vertically upwardly therefrom.
The enclosure 24 can be secured to the frame 12 in any conventional manner, as by a plurality of positioning screws 36 that engage brackets 38 operatively secured to circumferentially spaced portions of the enclosure 24. Naturally the lower end of the air blower and motor unit 22 is open for drawing air thereinto for compression and discharge therefrom through the air supply tube 34. The enclosure 24 has an airtight connection to the blower and motor unit 22.
In order to control energization of the motor 30, a conventional microswitch or control switch 40 having a control finger 42 extending downwardly therefrom is operatively secured to the top 32 of the enclosure as by a suitable bracket 46. The bracket may be secured, for example, by welding to the top plate 32 and the switch 40 can be secured to one leg of the bracket 46 in any conventional manner. A top 44 removably engages the frame means 12 and suitable insulation 47 preferably is positioned around some or all of the control switch 40.
The balloon inflater 10 is provided with any conventional socket 48 for plug-in of a power supply lead 50 thereto, and this socket 48 in turn has a pair of leads 52 and 54 extending therefrom with the lead 52 extending to the control switch 40 and with the lead 54 extending directly to the motor 30. An additional lead 56 extends from the switch 40 to supply power to the motor 30 when the switch 40 is closed. The connection of these leads 52 and 56 to the switch may be by a releasable plug type connector, if desired, and a similar plug type connector may be used for connection to the motor whereby these leads can be readily disconnected if it is desired to disassemble the apparatus of the invention.
The actual air supply or discharge tube 60 of the apparatus normally telescopically extends from the top 44 of the frame 12 and it is guided by a suitable plastic grommet 62 engaging an aperture formed in such top 44. The air discharge tube 60 preferably comprises a metal inner tube 64 that is in relatively snug sliding engagement with the air supply tube 34 and which tube 64 preferably has a plastic sleeve or cover 66 thereon, as by being conventionally adhesively bonded or otherwise secured to the inner tube 64. Such sleeve 66 may be made from any low friction lubricated type of a plastic material, such as a polyolefin resin.
As another important feature of the present invention, a control means is provided in association with the air discharge tube 60 for controlling the setting or closing of the switch 40 and such means may comprise a suitable insulating washer 68 made from phenolic or equivalent material, which is suitably secured to the lower end of the inner metal tube 64, as by threading such lower end of the tube and having top and bottom lock nuts 70 and 72 engaging opposite sides of the metal washer and securing it to the inner tube 64 to protrude radially from the lower end thereof a sufficient distance as to engage the control finger 42 of the switch 40. A suitable coil spring 74 normally is compressed between the top 32 of the enclosure 24 and the lower lock nut 72. Such spring urges the air discharge tube 60 upwardly so that the metal washer 68 bears on the control finger 42 and holds such switch 40 open under normal conditions. However, when one desires to inflate a balloon, all that is required is to engage a balloon with the upper end of the air discharge tube 60 and press it downwardly a short distance, which releases the control finger 42 and energizes the motor 30 for discharge of a stream of compressed air through the air supply tube 34 and the air discharge tube 60 into the open end of the neck of a balloon contacting such air discharge tube. The apparatus will automatically shut off when manual pressure on the air discharge tube is released and it returns to its normal position.
As a further feature of the invention, preferably an apertured convex upper end 76 may comprise a portion of Ms inch square opening hardware cloth that is secured, as by being bonded by an epoxy type resin cement, to the inside of the inner tube 64 to protrude upwardly therefrom. Usually the inner tube 64 is a one-half inch metal pipe. Thus, the open diameter of a balloon neck 2 manually positioned against the end member 76 may cover all of such end member, be telescoped thereover, or cover only a portion thereof. In either event, a suflicient stream of the compressed air will be forced from the discharge tube 60 so as to inflate any balloon engaged therewith rapidly and efficiently.
It is preferred in most instances to have the balloon neck not completely cover all of the area of the end member 76 whereby a fairly good volume of air is drawn into and forced from the balloon inflater apparatus at all times when it is in use so that such air movement passing into and through the apparatus will aid in cooling the electric motor 30.
In some instances, it may be desirable to have the air supply or discharge tube 60 merely positioned for rotary action in the apparatus of the invention and to provide one or more notches in the periphery portion of the contact means, disc, member or washer 68 whereby when such tube is moved through an are, it can cause the switch 40 to be closed and the motor energized. Then the motor can be shut off by a reverse or continued rotary action on the air discharge tube to bring a portion of the washer into engagement with the control arm to open the switch 40 and deenergize the motor. In such modification, the discharge tube 60 would be positioned for only arcuate or rotary movement.
Preferably the top 44 for the frame 12 may comprise a substantially conventional member resembling a can lid and having a downwardly extending flange 43 thereon that just frictionally engages an adjacent portion of the frame 12 whereby such top can be readily disengaged from the remainder of the frame .12 at any time for inspection or repair purposes.
The entire enclosure or frame 12 may have an insulating cover suitably secured thereto. Then the connector means engaging the leads 52 and 56 to the switch 40 can be exposed and these leads can be detached, if desired, and the remaining portion of the apparatus can be inspected or further disassembled, as desired.
From the foregoing, it is believed that a novel and improved balloon inflater apparatus has been provided. This apparatus is extremely safe to use and it has effective insulation means provided therein whereby it can be operated intermittently over relatively long periods of time without overheating or being subject to any possible damage. Thus, it is thought that the objects of the invention have been achieved.
While one complete embodiment of the invention has been disclosed herein, it will be appreciated that modification of this particular embodiment of the invention may be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
11. A balloon inflater comprising:
a frame having an upper end, a housing positioned within said frame and having a top cover, an electric motor and compressor unit mounted within said housing, a discharge tube receiving compressed air from said compressor unit and extending upwardly through said upper end of said frame for engaging a balloon for inflation thereof, and a control plate carried by said discharge tube, said plate normally being in operative engagement with said switch means to hold said switch in one position, said plate being provided with means operatively coacting with said switch for closure thereof upon proper arcuate movement of said discharge tube, thereby activating said motor and compressor unit and inflating a balloon.
2. A balloon infiater comprising:
a frame having an upper end, a housing positioned within said frame and having a top cover, an electric motor and compressor unit mounted within said housing for blowing air upwardly in said housing, a discharge tube extending through said frame upper end and operatively receiving compressed air from said compressor unit, said discharge tube being adapted to engage a balloon for inflation thereof, control switch means responsive to the position of said discharge tube for controlling the operation of said motor, an air supply tube extending upwardly from said cover and receiving compressed air from said compressor unit, said discharge tube being telescopically received on said air supply tube, means resiliently urging said discharge tube upwardly at all times, and a control means carried by said discharge tube and extending therefrom to engage and control said switch means by the vertical position of said discharge tube whereby when a balloon neck is placed on said discharge tube and it is forced downwardly said switch is closed and said motor is ener- 5 6 gized and air is forced into the balloon to inflate 2,960,122 11/1960 Fuller 141317 the Same- 2,968,707 1/1961 Martin 103-25 3. A balloon mflater 21s 1n claim 2 where sa1d eontrol 3,023,791 3/1962 Strain 141 352 means 1s made from an lnsulatlng materlal and said control means is of disc shape for control of said switch 5 3,309,474 3/1967 Hemnch 103 25 means regardless of the relative arcuate position of said 3,368,742 2/1963 La Flame et 230-47 discharge tube on said air supply tube.
WILLIAM L. FREEH, Prlmary Examlner 0 US. 01. X.R.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 2,081,158 5/1937 Tamminga et a1. 141-361 2,652,965 9/1953 McGihon 14l353