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Publication numberUS3609787 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateJul 18, 1969
Priority dateJul 18, 1969
Publication numberUS 3609787 A, US 3609787A, US-A-3609787, US3609787 A, US3609787A
InventorsGordon C Armstrong, Salvatore P Aurelio
Original AssigneeSonastream Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vibratory cleaning apparatus
US 3609787 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 5, 1971 s. P. AURELIO ETAL 3,609,787

VIBRATORY CLEANING APPARATUS Filed July 18, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 'I III! 'IIIIIIIIIII 54L VATORE F? AUREL/O GORDON C. ARMS TROIVG Oct. 5, 197i 5. P. AURELIO ETAL 3,609,787

VIBRATORY CLEANING APPARATUS Filed July 18, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 8 VIBRATORY ENERGY SOURCE 9Q,\ as a IN VE N TORS SALVATORE P. AUREL/O GORDON C. ARMSTG Get. 5, 1971 s. P. AURELIO ETAL 3509,78?

VIBRATORY CLEANING APPARATUS Filed July 18, 1969 3 Sheets-$heet 5 //V VE/V 70/?5 514L144 TORE P. AURE L /0 C ARMS TRONG United States Patent 0 3,609,787 VIBRATORY CLEANING APPARATUS Salvatore P. Aurelio, Chicago Heights, and Gordon C.

Armstrong, Joliet, 111., assignors to Sonastream Corporation, Peotone, Ill.

Filed July 18, 1969, Ser. N0. 842,877 Int. Cl. 1308b 7/00 U.S. CI. 15-98 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved apparatus designed to apply sonic energy to an object for cleaning purposes includes a source of sonic vibratory energy positioned in vibration-transmitting relation to a flat plate. A work chamber, formed by a pair of generally flat parallely disposed sheets of material arranged one above the other and joined substantially at their edges, is positioned below the flat plate, with a resilient vibration-dampening medium being interposed between the plate and the upper one of the parallely disposed sheets of material. Fluid communication is provided between a source of cleaning solution and the work chamber, and air under pressure is likewise introduced into the work chamber. When cleaning solution is introduced into the work chamber concurrently with air under pressure, and when vibratory energy is applied thereto, foamed cleaning solution is pumped outwardly through a plurality of orifices provided in the bottom sheet of material and the object to which the device is applied is subjected to vertical pulsating action by the vibratory energy and the foamed solution.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to devices for applying sonic energy and more particularly to a sonic energy cleaning apparatus and method adapted for use in cleaning rugs, carpets, upholstery, and other fabric or textile materials.

Description of the prior art Devices for cleaning fabrics such as carpets, upholstery, and the like have heretofore generally employed mechanical scrubbing tools or brushes to apply cleaning solutions to the fabric. In certain rug and carpet cleaning appliances the cleaning solution is scrubbed into the rug or carpet surface by action of the brushes during which operation some of the fluid foams and turns to lather. The scrubbing action tends to rub dirt from only the upper surface portion of those fibers in physical actual contact with the bristles of the brush. Further, cleaning action is dependent wholly upon the detergent action of chemicals within the solution. Dirt at the base of the fibers or pile is relatively untouched.

In order to operate a machine of the foregoing type, a relatively heavy, powerful motor is required, and the brush holding assembly is ordinarily quite large. The machine as a whole has appreciable weight and is generally inconvenient to operate. Since a scrubbing action is depended upon, the pile of the rug or carpet, for example, is brushed in the direction of the mechanical motion of the brush holding assembly and because of the weight of the appliance and the fluid necessary for this operation the fibers are pressed flat against the carpet backing. This results in only a portion of the pile being cleaned, with serious damage to the texture of the pile and the mechanical forcing of dirt and fluid to the base of the fibers and into the backing being a probable result. Despite finishing operations which include vacuum removal of excess fluid and dirt, and a brush or squeegee 3 ,699,787 Patented Oct. 5, 1971 ice cycle to raise the pile from its compressed position, all of the dirt cannot be reached with these conventional appliances and methods thereby leaving dirt at the base of the fibers, many of which are still flattened and matted in the remaining fluid. Because of the rotary of oscillatory mechanical motionof the scrubbing devices, numerous passes over the same relative paths must be made to assure proper coverage of the work area.

In order to overcome the disadvantages of prior art mechanical scrubbing arrangements, it has been proposed to utilize sonic energy as an alternative method of cleaning such fabrics. One form of sonic energy source that may be advantageously employed is disclosed in Sawyer U.S. Pat. No 3,310,129, entitled Sonar Wand. The application of this sonic energy source to the surface cleaning art is shown in Sawyer U.S. Pat. No. 3,357,033, entitled Sonic Surface Cleaner.

It has also been proposed that such a sonic energy source be used in a sonic energy cleaning device for fabrics such as carpets and upholstery, as set forth in Sawyer U.S. patent application Ser. No. 642,077, filed May 29, 1967, now Pat. No. 3,497,898, and entitled Fabric Cleaning Device. This device includes the Sawyer sonic energy source, a cleaning tool holder attached to the energy source at a single point, and a tool comprising a perforated bottom accumulator chamber attached to the tool holder, with cleaning fluid being introduced by gravity into the accumulator chamber.

While the last described Sawyer device performs in a generally satisfactory manner, some operational difficulties are encountered. Because the cleaning solution is applied directly to the fabric surface through the accumulator chamber, foaming or lathering of the solution is not achieved to the extent it should be. Further, because of the pumping action which occurs when sonic energy is applied to the accumulator chamber, solution flow is irregular, and backstreaming of dirty solution into the solution reservoir is experienced.

Accordingly, this invention has as its prime object the provision of a sonic energy fabric cleaning device in which the disadvantages of the prior art mechanical and sonic energy cleaning devices are overcome.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved portable fabric cleaning appliance which makes use of sonic energy in the application of a cleaning solution to the fabric.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved portable hand-operated fabric cleaning appliance which is substantially low priced, light in weight, and highly efficient in the employment of sonic energy.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved fabric cleaning appliance which is portable and easy to operate by hand, the design of the appliance being such that it consumes relatively little energy and can be moved about over the fabric surface with particular ease.

A still further object is to provide a sonic energy cleaning appliance in which a source of pressurized air is introduced into a work chamber to which vibratory energy in the sonic range is applied, with the sonic energy serving to modulate the air pressure so as highly to foam cleaning solution supplied to the work chamber, from which the foam is applied to the fabric to be cleaned and thereafter subjected -to further vibratory energy so as to deeply clean the fabric.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing and other objects, advantages, and features may be achieved with apparatus adapted to apply sonic energy to an object comprisnig a source of vibratory energy in the sonic range; a generally flat plate provided in vibration-transmitting relation to the source of vibratory energy; a work chamber defined by a pair of generally parallely disposed sheets arranged one above the other and joined substantially at their edges with a plurality of orifices being formed in the lower one of the sheets, the said work chamber being mounted in vibration-transmitting relation below the flat plate by resilient vibrationdampening means disposed therebetween; a source of gas; and pathway means providing communication between the source of gas and the interior of the work chamber and the source of fluid; whereby vibratory energy and pulsating air may be applied to the object to be treated. Preferably, a source of fluid is also provided along with second pathway means for introducing the fluid from the fluid source to the interior of the work chamber.

In its method aspect, the subject invention involves a unique method for cleaning carpet, upholstery, and other like materials including contacting the material to be treated with a work chamber formed by a pair of generally parallely disposed sheets arranged one above the other and joined at their edges, a plurality of orifices being provided in the bottom one of the sheets, while supplying fluid and gas to the interior of the work chamber and applying vibratory energy in the sonic range to the work chamber, whereby fluid and gas in a foamed condition is pumped from the work chamber into intimate contact with the material to be treated; thereafter contacting the material to be treated with the work chamber while supplying gas to the interior of the work chamber and applying vibratory energy in the sonic range thereto; and removing substantially all of the fluid from the treated material.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of sonic energy cleaning apparatus produced in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partially schematic side elevational view thereof, partially in section;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view, partially in section, illustrating a preferred source of vibratory energy;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view thereof with certain parts removed;

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view showing the fluid and gas inlets into the work chamber;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 77 of FIG. 5;

'FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 88 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of a preferred work chamber;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 10-10 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a bottom fragmentary view of another embodiment of the work chamber;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 12-12 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of another embodiment of the work chamber;

FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken line 14-14 in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of yet another embodiment of the work chamber;

FIG. 16 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the work chamber in operation; and

FIG. 17 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view of a modified work applicator assembly in accordance with the present nivention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS substantially along A preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises apparatus 20 for supplying sonic energy to an object. As best shown in FIG. 2, apparatus 20 comprises a work applicator assembly 22, a source of vibratory energy in the sonic range 24, a source of fluid 26, and a source of air or other gas 28. The foregoing principal elements are mounted in operative relationship as hereinafter described in detail in order to provide a unique sonic energy applicator which may be usefully employed to clean carpets, upholstery, and other related fabric materials or to apply sonic energy to such materials in any desired manner.

Many of the elements of the apparatus 20 are mounted on an L-angle 30 in which is provided an annular opening 32. At the respective sides of angle 30 end plates 34 are attached in order to give greater structural strength. Angle 30 has a pair of ears 36 provided thereon, and a rod 38 is fixed between each of the ears 36 (only one of which is shown in FIG. 2). A handle 40 is secured to the rod 38 by means of a suitable fitting 42 and a U-shaped wheel support assembly 44 is secured at each of its ends to ears 36. A bracket 48 is secured between a collar 46 provided on handle 40 and the center section of U-shaped bracket 44. A pair of wheels 50 are rotatably mounted on the sides of bracket 44 as best shown in FIG. 1. As a result, the bracket 44, handle 40, and plate 30 are respectively positioned in fixed respective positions such that when the handle 40 is pivoted downwardly in the direction indicated by the arrow A in .FIG. 1, the entire unit pivots about wheels 50 so as to cause the frame plate 30 to pivot upwardly so that apparatus 20 may be rolled to another position.

Secured to the horizontal top leg of angle 30 by suitable means is a reservoir bottom 56 formed of glass fiber, plastic, or other suitable fluid-retaining material. A onepiece molded reservoir top 58 is provided so as to enclose the area immediately above bottom 56. Top 58 is preferably formed of the same material as bottom 56 and has a slightly outset outwardly lower flange 60 adapted to nest snugly over a downwardly curled lip 62 provided at the periphery of bottom 56. Preferably, the curled lip 62 and the corresponding portion of top 58 are joined with suitable adhesive material, such as epoxy adhesive, so as to provide a fluid-tight reservoir 64. An upstanding neck 66 is provided at the top of member 58, and a suitable threaded closure 68 is removably attached to the neck 66 so as to permit fluid to be admitted into the interior of reservoir 64.

Depending flange 60 provides a protective enclosure for other elements of apparatus 20 positioned below the reservoir 64, but it should be noted that flange 60 is maintained out of physical contact with any of the other elements.

Gas source 28 conveniently comprises a blower 69 secured in opening 32 provided in angle 30. A blower manifold 70 is secured forwardly of the blower 69 and is adapted to provide direction to the gas generated by the blower 69 in a manner specifically described hereinafter. Alternatively, gas source 28 could comprise a tank of compressed air or other gas. By reason of ease of operation and flexibility of control, it is preferred that blower 69 be employed.

A tube 72 communicates with the interior of manifold 70, and tube 72 passes upwardly through respective openings in the top leg of angle 30, reservoir bottom 56, and through the interior of reservoir 64 to its termination adjacent the neck flange 66. In this manner, as blower 69 operates, air is bled into the interior of reservoir 64 so as to establish a positive pressure differential between the interior of the reservoir and the atmospheric condition. A suitable check valve 76 may be provided in closure cap 68 in order that pressure within the reservoir 64 does not exceed a predetermined safety level.

Also secured to the angle 30 is the source of vibratory energy in the sonic range 24, with a spacer 25 being interposed therebetween. This source, which is shown schematically in FIG. 2, may take any convenient form. For

example, it may take the form of a pneumatic vibrator and thus may use gas or air under pressure generated by gas source 28 in order to actuate a vibrator. Similarly, an electrically or magnetically operable vibrator may be provided and used as source 24. Substantially any form of vibratory energy source may be used so long as it provides vibratory energy in the sonic range.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate a preferred sonic energy source 80 of the type described in the foregoing issued Sawyer patents, reference to which may be made for a greater understanding of the structure and function of the sonic energy source. For convenience, the structure and operation of source 80 will be briefly described herein.

Source 80 comprises a hollow shell 82, within which is mounted a motor 84. The shell 82 is advantageously formed by respective lower and upper sections 81, 83. One end 85 of motor 84 has a resilient mounting 88. At the other end 86 of the motor, a motor shaft 90 is provided with an eccentric opening in a disc 98 mounted in a bearing 92 which comprises the upper end of a pedestal 94, the pedestal in turn beingsecured at a single location to a block 96 integrally formed as a part of the lower half 81 of shell 82. Block 96 is radially aligned with the axis about which the motor mass operates and is approximately in line transversely with the center of mass of the motor. Bolts 102 fasten a base 104 of the bracket 94 to the block 96.

Accordingly, when the motor 84 is set in operation and the motor shaft 90 rotates, the eccentric disc 98 is simultaneously caused to rotate in bearing 92. This operation generates a conical movement of the motor about its longitudinal axis with the base of the cone being at the eccentrically mounted end and the apex of the cone being at the resilient mounting 88. The motor thus gyrates about an axis substantially coincident with a line passing through the axis of rotation of disc 98 and the axis of the opposite end 86 of the motor. The sinusoidal force thus generated by the gyrating mass of the motor is passed through the pedestal 94 to the block 96 and in that way to the shell 82, which in addition to serving as a protective enclosure, also may serve to transmit vibratory energy to the block 96.

As noted above, however, substantially any suitable source of vibratory energy in the sonic range may be employed in accordance with the present invention. The terms sonic and vibratory energy are used herein broadly and are intended to encompass all forms of energy, irrespective of how it is produced, which are capable of causing the work applicator assembly 22, particularly the work chamber, to undergo a bellows-type of pulsating movement as described hereinafter in detail. The energy source is in all events provided in energytransmitting relation to the block 96 formed of metal or other sound-conducting material. Block 96 is in turn provided in energy-transmitting relation to the work applicator assembly 22 as best shown in FIG. 2.

The work applicator assembly 22 comprises a generally planar plate 110 of metal or other vibration-transmitting material. A vibration-dampening member which takes the form of a pad 112, formed of polyurethane foam or other vibration-dampening material, is secured to the lower surface of plate 110 by means of epoxy adhesive or by other means. A work shoe assembly 118 is positioned beneath pad 112 and is likewise bonded or otherwise secured in place. Thus, pad 112 forms the only energy-transmitting connection between work shoe assembly 118 and plate 110.

As best shown in FIG. 5, work shoe assembly 118 comprises a generally planar upper sheet 120 formed of semiflexible material (e.g., sheet metal, glass fiber, or the like) and a generally planar lower sheet 122 of similar material.

As best shown in FIG. 2, the edges 12 3 of lower plate 122 are curved upwardly about its periphery and are joined to the edges of plate 120 by suitable means (e.g., brazing, soldering, or epoxy cement) in order to form a work chamber 126. The edges of the lower plate 122 are curved so as to permit the work shoe assembly to smoothly slide over the object to which sonic energy is to be applied.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate one form that may be taken by the assembly 22. Upper sheet is positioned immediately beneath the pad 112, and lower sheet 122 has an irregular or corrugated lower surface in which are provided a plurality of orifices 124 for a purpose that will hereinafter appear.

The exact configuration of the work shoe assembly may be modified as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, which illustrate a modified work shoe assembly 118' comprising a flat upper sheet 120' and a lower sheet 122 in which are provided a plurality of countersunk orifices 124. The lower surface of sheet 122' is otherwise flat. FIGS. 13 and 14 show a lower sheet 122, the operative central portion of which is corrugated. The corrugated sheet 122 is preferably employed in accordance with the present invention.

Substantially any configuration of the lower sheet 122 of work shoe assembly 118 may be employed so long as both the upper and lower sheets are susceptible to flexure, so long as a plurality of orifices are provided throughout sheet 122, and so long as a work chamber 126 is defined by the space between plates 120, 122.

Means are provided for introducing air or other gas under pressure from the gas source 28 and fluid from the fluid source 26 into the interior of chamber 126. As best shown in FIG. 4, a pair of flexible ducts 130 lead from corresponding fittings 132 (only one of which is shown in FIG. 4) on the blower manifold 70 downwardly to a fitting 134 projecting above plate 110. As best shown in FIG. 5, fitting 134 has a narrow, constricted inner passageway at the point in which the fitting 134 passes through plate 110. The lower portion of fitting 134 is joined to sheet 120 by soldering, brazing, or the like to upper plate 120, and fitting 134 is acoustically insulated from plate 110 by means of a rubber insulating grommet 140. A fitting 150, having a downwardly projecting narrowed tip 152, is secured in an opening in fitting 134, and a flexible tubing 156 is disposed between fitting and a fitting 158 which projects downwardly from reservoir bottom 56. A valve is disposed between fitting 150 and tubing 156 so that the flow of fluid through tubing 156 and fitting 150 and into the interior of chamber 126 may be controlled. Similarly, suitable controls are provided for the blower 28 in order to control the emission of air to the manifold 70.

The presence of the lower projecting tip of fitting 152 in the contriction in fitting 134 results in a Venturi effect such that when gas is introduced through fitting 134, a relative reduction of pressure within the tubing 156 is achieved so as to draw fluid through the tubing 156 and from reservoir 64 to the chamber 126. In addition, as previously noted, air is bled through tubing 72 into reservoir 64 so as to further maintain a positive pressure directing the fluid into the interior of work chamber 126.

While the fluid and gas supply network has been described with reference to a single inlet, as best shown in FIG. 4, two inlet networks are employed, with the inlets 134 being positioned midway between the leading and trailing edges of work assembly 122 and on opposite sides of the sonic energy source 24.

When the source of vibratory energy is actuated through the use of appropriate control means, vibratory energy is applied via the block 96 to plate 110. Plate 110 in turn applies vibratory energy in the sound wave through the dampening pad 112 to the work shoe assembly 118 which undergoes similar vibration. Because the lower sheet of material 122 is positioned against the object to which energy is to be applied, the most pronounced vibration is achieved with the upper sheet of material 120, but the two sheets generally move between the dotted line con- 7 figurations shown in FIG. 15 in the direction of arrow C so as to achieve a pumping or a bellows effect.

Thus, as gas under pressure is introduced through the ducts 130 and as vibratory energy is applied, the actual pressure within the work chamber 126 relative to ambient conditions varies and is modulated by the vibratory energy. A pumping of gas into and out of the chamber occurs through the orifices provided in plates 122, which pumping directly affects the surface to be treated. When valve 158 is opened so as to permit cleaning fliud to be drawn (via the Venturi effect) and forced (via the positive pressure created in reservoir 64) into the work chamber 126, the cleaning fluid is foamed by the air and the pulsating bellows effect within the chamber forces the foamed cleaning fluid outwardly through the orifices in sheet 122 and downwardly into the fibers of the material to be treated. Because of the continued vertical pulsing cleaning effect, dirt or soil located throughout all of the carpet fiber, for example, is loosened and swept away by the foamed cleaning fluid.

Instead of employing pad 112 as the vibration-dampening means, a plurality of snubbers 190 (see FIG. 17), preferably positioned at the respective corners of plate 110 and assembly 118 and secured thereto by means of bolts 192, may be employed. The snubbers 190 (formed of rubber or other similar resilient material) perform the same dampening function as pad 112 and thus can be provided in place thereof. Alternatively, a combination of pad 112 and corner mounted snubbers 190 can be used as shown in FIG. 17. Of course other dampening means could be employed.

Where snubbers 190 are employed, by varying the resilience of the material from which they are fabricated, the amount of energy applied to the surface to be cleaned can be varied. An alternative method of accomplishing the described adjustment function involves mounting weights 194 at appropriate positions (such as at the corners) on the plate 110, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 17.

A further preferred aspect of the present invention embodies the utilization of means for distributing the flow of fluid throughout the work shoe assembly 118. There would ordinarily be a tendency for such fluid to be forced out through orifices located immediately under the fittings 134, and, in order to prevent this, the orifices positioned in the area adjacent the inlet fittings 134 may be plugged or otherwise closed as is shown in FIGS. and 16 in order to prevent fluid in an unfoamed state from escaping from the interior at that point and in order to encourage widespread distribution of the fluid throughout the interior of the work chamber 126. Furthermore, the same objective can also be achieved by the provision of bafl le means, such as the baflle 170 shown in FIG. 5, which is adapted to deflect the liquid cleaning fluid inwardly toward the center of chamber 126 (i.e., in the direction of arrow B shown in FIG. 5) and away from the edge of the Work chamber 126. Yet another approach for achieving an even distribution of the cleaning fluid is the provision of a further constriction 172 in fitting 134 shown in broken lines in FIGS. 5 and 8 which functions in the same manner as baflie 170 to direct the cleaning fluid inwardly.

While the work shoe assemblies shown in the drawings are all substantially rectangular and utilize a pair of air and fluid inlet networks positioned on opposite sides of the source of sonic energy. work shoe assemblies of other shapes with one or more fluid and gas inlet arrangements positioned in a different manner may be employed in accordance with the present invention.

In operating the apparatus of the present invention, the operator positions the device on the material to be treated which, for exemplary purposes, will be a floor carpet. The apparatus is pushed over the surface to be cleaned. The handle 40 of the device is provided with separate controls 198, 199, 200 which selectively govern the operation of the vibratory energy source 24, the gas source 28, and the fluid source 26 (via the valve 160). Typically,

an initial pass is made over the carpet with the energy source operating, and with both gas and fluid being supplied to the interior of chambre 126. As the device 20 is moved over the surface to be cleaned, foamed cleaning agent is forced in a substantially uniform manner through the orifices in sheet 122 onto the carpet where it is subjected to the bellows-type pumping action of the vibratory work shoe assembly. In addition, the carpet undergoes constant vibration which loosens dirt which is picked up and swept away by the pulsating foamed cleaning agent.

After the above-described inital pass is made over the carpet surface to be cleaned, a second pass is advantageously made over the surface to be cleaned with the air source and vibratory energy source operative, but with valve being closed so that pulsating air under pressure and vibrational energy are applied to continue to clean with the previous fluid but with no new fluid being applied.

The final step in cleaning through the use of the method aspects of the present invention involves passage over the surface to be cleaned with vacuum means designed to suck the used cleaning fluid and dirt away from the carpeting. Such vacuum means may conveniently be provided in the form of a nozzle, such as the nozzle shown in broken lines in FIG. 2, which immediately follows the trailing edge of work shoe assembly 118. This vacuum means is independently controllable so as to operate only during the final pass over the surface to be cleaned.

Another preferred aspect of the device and method of the present invention involves the provision of another vacuum nozzle similar to nozzle 180 positioned in advance of the leading edge of the assembly 118. Because the vibratory energy applied to the carpet in accordance with this invention results in a substantial loosening of dirt from the carpeting fibers and the carpeting before fluid is even applied thereto, the surface may be vacuumed in advance of the application thereof of fluid during the first pass, or, alternatively, the machine may be passed over the carpet so as to dry vacuum the dirt.

The present invention thus provides a unique sonic energy apparatus for cleaning carpeting, upholstery, and other similar fabrics and a unique method for thoroughly cleaning such materials in a minimum amount of time and with a minimum amount of effort.

What is claimed is:

1. Sonic energy apparatus comprising:

a source of vibratory energy in the sonic range;

a generally fiat plate provided in vibration-transmitting relation to the source of vibratory energy;

a work chamber defined by a pair of generally parallely disposed sheets arranged one above the other and joined substantially at their edges, a plurality of orifices being formed in the lower one of the two sheets,

the said work chamber being mounted in vibrationtransmitting relation to the plate, with resilient, vibration-dampening means being interposed therebetween;

a source of gas; and

first pathway means between the source of gas and the interior of the work chamber,

whereby vibratory energy and pulsating air may be applied by the apparatus.

2. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 1, and further comprising:

a source of fluid; and

second pathway means between the source of fluid and the interior of the work chamber.

3. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 2, wherein the source of fluid comprises a tank and further comprising third pathway means providing communication between the source of gas and the interior of the tank, whereby the fluid in the tank is maintained under positive pressure.

4. A device, as claimed in claim 2, wherein fluid distribution means are provided in association with the work chamber in order to distribute fluid throughout the work chamber.

5. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 4, wherein the fluid distribution means comprises a bafile member positioned adjacent at least one point at which fluid is introduced into the interior of the work chamber.

6. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 4, wherein the fluid distribution means comprises closure means plugging the orifices provided in the lower one of the two sheets adjacent the point at which fluid is introduced into the work chamber.

7. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 2, wherein the second pathway means comprises at least one outlet fitting on the source of fluid, at least one tubing. and at least one fluid inlet fitting provided in communication with the interior of the work chamber.

8. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 7, wherein:

the source of gas comprises a blower and wherein the first pathway means includes a manifold provided in association with the blower, at least one gas inlet fitting fixed to the upper one of the sheets and projecting upwardly through an opening in the plate, acoustical insulating means being interposed between the plate and the gas inlet fitting, and at least one duct interposed between the manifold and the gas inlet fitting, with the interior of the gas inlet fitting being constricted at the point at which it passes through the plate and the vibration-dampening means, the fluid inlet fitting being secured in an opening provided in the constricted portion of the gas inlet fitting and projecting inwardly and downward- 10 ly inside the gas inlet fitting toward the work chamber, whereby a relative reduction in pressure in the second pathway means occurs when gas passes through the first pathway means.

9. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 2, and further c0mprising control means for selectively actuating the source of vibratory energy in the sonic range and for selectively controlling the passage of gas and fluid into the work chamber.

10. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 1, wherein the vibration-dampening means comprises a foam pad bonded along its upper edge to the plate and along its lower surface to the upper one of the two sheets.

11. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 1, wherein the source of gas comprises a blower.

12. Apparatus, as claimed in claim 1, wherein the source of vibratory energy in the sonic range comprises an electric motor one end of which is mounted eccen trically and in vibration-transmitting relataion to the plate at substantially a single point located centrally thereof.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS EDWARD L. ROBERTS, Primary Examiner US. 01. X.R. 15-92, 320

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3739417 *Jun 4, 1971Jun 19, 1973Boehler VIndustrial carpet and floor conditioner
US3803666 *Jan 8, 1973Apr 16, 1974Beehler Vernon DIndustrial carpet and floor conditioner
US4069541 *Apr 23, 1976Jan 24, 1978U.S. Floor Systems, Inc.Cleaning method and apparatus
US4356590 *Nov 21, 1980Nov 2, 1982Aaron GoldsmithCarpet cleaning system
US4385413 *Jun 24, 1980May 31, 1983Aaron GoldsmithCarpet cleaning system
US4407041 *Jul 31, 1980Oct 4, 1983Aaron GoldsmithCleaning system having improved cleaning solution recovery
US4408366 *Jul 31, 1980Oct 11, 1983Aaron GoldsmithCleaning system having improved agitation
US5016313 *May 16, 1989May 21, 1991Tokyo Copal Chemical Co., Ltd.Surface finishing device
US5369838 *Nov 16, 1992Dec 6, 1994Advance Machine CompanyAutomatic floor scrubber
US5607178 *Mar 15, 1995Mar 4, 1997Advance Machine CompanyRear wheel isolation suspension for floor scrubbers
US5678271 *Aug 18, 1995Oct 21, 1997Baron; Stephen LeeSelf-propelled surface conditioning apparatus and method
US9247855Jul 9, 2014Feb 2, 2016Bissell Homecare, Inc.Surface cleaning apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/98, 15/320, 15/92
International ClassificationA47L11/12, A47L11/34
Cooperative ClassificationA47L11/4038, A47L11/12, A47L11/34
European ClassificationA47L11/40F2, A47L11/34, A47L11/12