US 3594849 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 (72] Inventor Chester L.Cosho\- 2908.030 Ill/W59 Schuchman et al.v r l5/322 H13 Center St. CollinSvlllmOkla. 7402i l.982.345 ll/l934 Kirby l5/32l [Ill Appl No 67$,l63 2,292435 8/l942 Crites. 15/321 (22] Filed 06.13.1967 2.843.866 7/l958 Hancock M lS/32l X Patented Jul 27.197] FOREIGN PATENTS 95.877 4/1960 Norway [5/32]  CLEANING APPARATUS Primary Examiner-Peter Feldman 2 Claims. 7 Drawing Figs. Allorney- William S. Dorman  [1.5. CI. .6 15/321. 134/6 [5 [1 Int. Cl A47] 7/00 ABSTRACT; Apparatus f Cleaning a Surface i l di lsol l5/32l- 322 means for concurrently supplying liquid under pressure to a cleaning head for sealing the supplied liquid within a surface  Rem-"c6 cued I area being cleaned, and means for withdrawing the liquid and UNITED STATES PATENTS foreign matter from the surface area under subatmospheric l,82l,7l$ 9/l93l Kuchinsky .4 15/322 pressure 58 Is 2s 0 o O f oo 56 l 36 I j: 2 1 Jo 2:: 31:1:5/ fi I 4 a A h 2--- :r- ---;/Z4
PATENTFDJMHQH 3.594349 sum 1 or 2 VACUUM SOURCE PRESSURIZED LIQUID SOURCE INVENTOR Chester L. Coshow FIG.'3. mjlwcflg ATTOR N HY PATENTEI] JUL27 I9?! 4 sum 2 or 2 594,8459
INVENTOR Chester L. Coshow BY 31 M ATTORNEY FIG.5.
CLEANING APPARATUS This invention relates generally to means for cleaning soiled surfaces and more particularly to a device and method whereby a uniform surface, such as an automobile windshield, headlight, window or the like, may be wetted, scoured and dried in a single sweeping motion.
Briefly the method disclosed herein involves the application of cleaning-liquid, under pressure. to a surface to be cleaned, and the simultaneous withdrawal, under reduced atmospheric pressure, of the cleaning-liquid and foreign matter from said surface. The cleaning-liquid may be selected depending upon the solvent action required and is preferably heated to I40 F. although cleaning-liquid temperatures ranging between approximately 6 l60 F. have been found satisfactory. Similarly, the pressure under which the cleaning fluid is applied against the surface may be varied depending upon the nature of the matter to be removed. a pressure of about l00/in. being, however, preferable.
The instant apparatus comprises means for educting a source of pressurized cleaning-liquid to a surface area to be cleaned, means for hermetically circumscribing said surface area while scouring same, and means for removing the clean ing-liquid from said surface area through the application of a vacuum to said circumscribed surface area notwithstanding the possible continued application ofcleaning-liquid thereto.
Heretofore, it has been known to wet a surface to be cleaned, to scour the surface to effectuate removal of affixed foreign matter or residue and to thereafter wipe said surface using a wiper-blade or the like. The simultaneous application of cleaning-liquid to a surface upon which the air pressure has been rendered subatmospheric, as advanced herein, affords cleaning capabilities of unexpected excellence with a considerable reduction in the time otherwise required for the operation.
In accordance with the foregoing, this invention has for an object the provision ofa novel cleaning apparatus including it cleaning head capable of simultaneously wetting and drying a surface being cleaned.
Another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a cleaning-liquid tank having a pump unit immersed within the liquid thereof to thereby effectively cause agitation ofthe liquid and uniformity ofthe temperature thereof,
A further object of this invention resides in the provision of a method for cleaning glass or other smooth surfaces wherein the wetting and drying operations are accomplished concurrently.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus in accordahce with the foregoing herein the cleaningliquid applied to the surface being cleaned is substantially recovered for subsequent cleaning operations.
Still another object of the instant invention is to provide a simplified cleaning apparatus particularly effective and useful in service stations for cleaning smooth glass surfaces, such as automobile Windshields which have been heavily soiled with the remains ofinsects and the like impacted thereon.
Other general objects of the present invention reside in the provision of a machine of the described character, which is substantially automatic in its operation, which is relatively simple to use, and which is highly economical and effective in operation.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG, 1 is a side elevational cross-sectional view of the clean ing apparatus showing same as a portable unit;
FIG. 2 is a view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
HO. 3 is an elevational view of a modified form of the cleaning head means of the apparatus wherein a pair of selectively operable cleaning heads are provided;
HO. 4 is a perspective view illustrating an actual application of the present invention by a service station attendant;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of'the cleaning head;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational cross-sectional view of the cleaning head shown in H0. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view ofthe cleaning head.
It will be understood that the foregoing general objectives and the following detailed description as well are exemplary and explanatory but are not restrictive of the invention. Referring now in detail to the invention as illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings, FIG. 1 shows the cleaning apparatus designated generally by numeral 1, said apparatus comprising conduit means I, cleaning head means 4, a vacuum source 6, a pressure source 8, and a tank 10 for bolding cleaning-liquid 12.
More specifically, and to the end of simultaneously accomplishing the wetting and drying operation as hereinabove set forth, said conduit means is comprised of first and second coriduit members 14 and [6, respectively, said second conduit member being disposed longitudinally within said first conduit member as shown, whereby cleaning-liquid 12 can be.educted through the interior [8 ofsaid second conduit member to said cleaning head while the region 20 between said conduit members is maintained at subatmospheric pressure to thereby provide a passage through which the educted cleaning-liquid will be withdrawn almost at the same time it is deposited through said cleaning head upon the surface being cleaned.
Tank 10, which includes a bottom wall 22, sidewall 24 and a top wall 26, as shown, contains a large supply of cleaning liquid 12, said liquid being of any suitable nature, such as water, ammoniated water, chemical detergent or the like. Pump housing 28 is connected to said top wall 26 and depends therefrom to a position partially submerged within said liquid. Said pressure source 8, which is a conventional electrically driven liquid pumping unit 29, is mounted within said pump housing, the only direct communication between said pump ing unit and cleaning-liquid reservoir 12 being via inlet means 30 which, as shown, sealingly extends from said pump housing into said cleaningliquid.
The depending character of said pump housing 28 and the vibratory action inherent in the liquid pumping unit 29 when running, imparts a slight but effective mechanical agitation of said cleaning-liquid and a consequent uniform mixing thereof. Such mixing is highly advantageous to the end of occasioning uniform heat exchange between electrical immersion heater 32 and the entire cleaning-liquid reservoir. Thermostat element 34 which can be preset to regulate the reservoir temperature preferably maintains the liquid temperature at l40 F. although temperatures within the range of approximately 6 l F. can be utilized depending upon the nature of the cleaning-liquid.
Thus, as aforementioned, end 36 of said second conduit member 16 is connected to outlet means 38 of said liquid pumping unit 29 and is threadedly connected at 40 to said cleaning head 4. Valve means 42, which is manually operable, is connected to said conduit member l6 at a position intermediate said cleaning head 4 and said pumping unit 29 whereby the passage of liquid under pressure from said unit 29 to said cleaning head is occasioned by depression oflever 44. The liquid pressure preferably delivered to the cleaning head by said pumping unit is about 10 p.s.i. although greater or lesser pressures are operative.
With further reference to FIG. 1, vacuum source 6 will be observed to comprise a vacuum pump 46 mounted upon said top wall 26, said vacuum pump having inlet means 48 connected to end 50 of said first conduit member and outlet means 51 having an extension tube 54 extending through said top wall 26 into said tank and terminating above the surface level 56 of said cleaning-liquid reservoir 12. Filter means 58 is communicably connected to the end 60 of said extension tube 54 as shown. the function thereof being to restrict windshield residue, e.g., insects, etc., which had been removed by the cleaning head, against discharge into said liquid reservoir l2 via said conduit means.
Cleaning head 4, as illustrated in FIGS. 5-7 of the drawings, will be seen to comprise a cleaning surface designated generally by numeral 62. said cleaning surface being coactingly comprised of yieldable peripheral flange 64 and abrasive means 66. the later being preferably a bristle brush as shown having a scouring surface 68. said scouring surface being in contact with the surface being cleaned, eg. windshield 70 in FIG. 4, when said cleaning head is urged against said surface by the user. to thereby cause retraction of said yieldable flange 64 while still maintaining a seal between the surface covered by said yieldable flange. That is. upon application of slight pressure by the user. the flange 64, which is preferably formed of soft rubber or other suitable material. will become compressed or give" sufficiently to permit scouring surface 68 to also contact the surface being cleaned whereupon the motion of said scouring surface against windshield 70, coupled with the loosening and cleaning action of the cleaning-liquid released through conduit member [6. will dislodge foreign matter theretofore adhering to said windshield.
The path of cleaning-liquid through conduit member 16, upon valve means 42 being opened, is as aforedescribed to said cleaning head, trunk lines 72. 74 and 76 being branches of the primary conduit line 78 which is threadedly connected to said conduit member 16. As observed in said FIGS. 7. each of said trunk lines is respectively connected to orifices 80. 82 and 84 wherefrom pressurized cleaningliquid emitted through said orifices is applied through said scouring surface 68 upon the surface being cleaned. By dint of the seal created between flange 64 and the smooth surface being cleaned. the
subatmospheric pressure condition existing within region v of said conduit means causes immediate withdrawal through said region 20 of cleaning-liquid deposited upon said smooth surface together with the foreign matter dislodged from said surface, vacuum pump 46 being the instrumentality responsible for the vacuum existing in said region 20',
In order to maintain the spaced relation between coaxially arranged, smaller diametered conduit member 16 and larger diametered conduit member [4 and further to preclude collapse of said conduit member 16 due to the subatmospheric condition within region 20, spacer members 86 are provided as shown disposed between said coaxially arranged conduit members. While it is also within the contemplation of this invention to provide conduit members of substantial wall thickness to prevent collapse under vacuum. the desire to retain considerable flexibility of said conduit means and hence facilitate manipulation thereof, renders the use of relatively thin-walled conduit members suitable. Therefore. in the preferred form, the utilization of intermittently positioned spacer members. as shown, is desirable, where the use of highly flexible conduit means is in order.
Where there exists a need for cleaning heads of varying con figurations, e.g.. one shaped to the contour of a headlight, i.e., where the abrasive surface and yieldable peripheral flange have a spherical shape, and another shaped for application to normally flat surface. such as a windshield or a storefront. a pair ofseparate conduit means 88 and 90 and a pair of cleaning heads 92 and 94 as aforedescribed. may be provided as il' lustrated in FIG. 3 ol'the accompanying drawings. As shown therein, main pressurized liquid-educting conduit member 96 is sealingly connected to main subatmospheric pressure conduit member 98 via fitting I00. branch lines 102 and 104 of coaxially arranged pressurized liquid (shown in broken line) and vacuum conduit members. each leading to respective cleaning heads 92 and 94. Valve means 106 and 108 enable regulation of the flow of pressurized liquid to said respective cleaning heads in accordance with the demand therefor.
Therefore. a preferred embodiment and improved apparatus for cleaning a surface by simultaneously wetting. abrading and vacuumdrying the surface has been shown and described. The method itself, however. which affords highly advantageous and unexpectedly effective results, essentially comprises the application of cleaning-liquid under pressure, e.g.. l0 p.s.i., to an area to be cleaned. said area itself being maintained at subatrnospheric pressure. The method further comprises the step of securing the area during and/or after the application of the liquid. The evacuated area is permitted to communicate with a region external thereto. said region being the source of the subatmospheric pressure condition within said area. Thus, liquid applied to said area will, by reason of the pressure under which it is applied. contact said area notwithstanding the vacuum condition thereat. Further. the liquid will adhere to the area momentarily during the scouring operation although it will continually be removed therefrom to the region being the source of the subatmospheric pressure. such removal causing the drying of said area. Obviously. therefore. as the area is being dried, so is the debris or foreign matter loosened from said area being removed in the direction of said subatmospheric pressure source, The method may further comprise the utilization of heated cleaning-liquid. e.g., l40 F, although cleaning-liquid temperatures ranging between approximately 6l60" F. have been found suitable depending upon the liquid and ambient temperatureconditrons.
It will be appreciated that the apparatus described herein may be mechanically or otherwise powered although electrically driven pressure and vacuum pump means have been shown. Further, the conduit members may, within the purview of this invention, be arranged in separate rather than in the combined longitudinal arrangement as illustrated, the illustrated arrangement. however, being deemed preferable,
It will be further understood that the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific apparatus, steps and methods described. but departure may be made therefrom within the scope of the accompanying claims without depart ing from the principles of the invention and without sacrificing its chicfadvantagcs.
What I claim is:
l. A cleaning apparatus having coacting wetting and drying means comprising first and second conduit members disposed in concentric relationship wherein said second conduit ex tends longitudinally within said first conduit, a cleaning head, a vacuum source, and a pressurized cleaning-liquid source, said first and second conduit members each having one end thereof connected to said cleaning head, said first conduit having the opposite end thereof connected to said vacuum source. and said second conduit having the opposite end thereof connected with the pressurized liquid source, said vacuum and pressurized liquid sources being concurrently operable whereby pressurized liquid can be applied through said cleaning bead upon a surface to be cleaned, said applied liquid being momentarily thereafter withdrawn from said sur face through said cleaning head under subatmospheric pressure. said cleaning head comprising peripheral means including a yieldable flange extending peripherally therearound for sealing the liquid within the confines of the head during application of the cleaning liquid to the surface being cleaned, scouring means having a scouring surface normally recessed with respect to said yieldable flange and being in contact with the surface being cleaned when said cleaning head is urged against said surface to be cleaned thereby causing retraction of said yieldable flange, said scouring means being provided with a plurality oforifices, said one end of said second conduit being branched into a plurality of trunk lines whereby pressurized liquid emitted through said orifice is applied through said scouring surface upon said surface to be cleaned, heater means immersed in said cleaning-liquid, thermostat means for regulating the temperature of said cleaning-liquid. and valve means connected to said second conduit member. said valve means being manually operable whereby the passage of cleaning-liquid through said cleaning head is regulatable.
2. A cleaning apparatus as set forth in claim 1 and comprising a tank having bottom and top walls. cleaningliquid within said tank. a pump housing connected to and depending from said top wall, said pump housing being partially immersed within said liquid, a pump mounted within said housing, said pump having inlet means in communication with said cleaning-liquid. outlet means connected to said other end of said conduit member. a vacuum pump mounted on said top wall, and said vacuum pump having inlet means connected to said opposite end of said first conduit member and outlet means extending into said tank.