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Publication numberUS3619822 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 16, 1971
Filing dateNov 18, 1969
Priority dateNov 18, 1969
Publication numberUS 3619822 A, US 3619822A, US-A-3619822, US3619822 A, US3619822A
InventorsThomas Carmichael
Original AssigneeThomas Carmichael
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sanitary closet
US 3619822 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 16, 1971 T. CARMICHAEL SANITARY CLOSET 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 18, 1969 mvzn'ron 2 THOMAS CARMICHAEL BY PM;

ATTORNEYS Nov. 16, 1971 T. CARMICHAEL 3,619,822

SANITARY CLOSET Filed Nov. 18, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR THOMAS CARMICHAEL BY H0, M6-

ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,619,822 SANITARY CLOSET Thomas Carmichael, 2311 Blanton Drive, San Antonio, Tex. 78209 Filed Nov. 18, 1969, Ser. No. 877,647 Int. Cl. A47k 11/02 US. Cl. 4-142 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosure relates to a sanitary closet equipped with a supply of continuous tubular synthetic plastic film which is drawn over the seat and downwardly into a toilet bowl to an automatic sealing and advancing mechanism. The film is advanced after each use to provide a sanitary and replenishable seat cover and a plurality of individually sealed containers of waste.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a sanitary closet and is particularly adapted for use in aircraft, boats, trailers, and other vehicles or portable units. The closet of this invention is of the type having a waste storage compartment which is periodically emptied, as for example, at the end of a trip. With the increasing emphasis on avoidance of pollution of streams and lakes, it is becoming mandatory in many localities to provide a closet for use on boats, camping trailers, and the like, which is so constructed as to prohibit absolutely the discharge of waste material, and particularly human waste material from such vehicles. Although vehicle closets have been developed and are in use, as for example, in aircraft, which are of the flush type, and provide for storage of the waste material that can be removed from the closet, such closets of the prior art have numerous disadvantages. For example, in the closets in common use in modern-day aircraft, no means is provided for separating the waste materials from the flushing water with the result that the flushing Water becomes contaminated only after a single use of the closet. Even though such closets supply means for chemically treating the flush water, it is common for the flush water to become contaminated very quickly despite such treatment with the result that a very unsanitary and odorous condition soon occurs. Water is also heavy and such closets require up to 30 pounds of water per charge. The water also presents another problem in winter flights and todays high altitude flights where the outside temperature may drop to 30 to 50 below zero, as the closet is generally mounted near the outer skin of the aircraft with direct access to the closet from outside the plane.

Such closets are also expensive and the removal of the waste material often requires expensive treating equipment or extraction equipment which may not be available for the average user. Even if a suitable discharge area is found, the discharge and cleaning of such toilets is at best a messy and odorous experience suitable only for those strong of heart.

One solution to this problem is disclosed in US. Pat. 2,671,906 wherein an elongated tubular member surrounds a vehicular closet bowl. The liner is brought upwardly over the rim of the bowl and downwardly through the bottom of the bowl to an advancing means which automatically seals the waste material into individual compartments.

In public conveyances, such as aircraft, trains and vehicular busses, it is quite common-to provide a separate seat liner which may be dispensed for each user. Through the public use and various other misfortunes which can occur from sudden movements of the vehicle, even the use of disposable seat liners becomes at times inadequate 3,619,822 Patented Nov. 16, 1971 ice for proper sanitary conditions. In addition to their inadequacy, the added bulk of the seat liner many times can jam a mechanical or a liquid type of flush closet to the annoyance and discomfort of its users.

The present invention, however, combines the convenience and cleanliness of a film type of sanitary toilet with an automatically replenishable seat liner, thereby providing a fresh sanitary seat after each use.

In the medical profession, there is a real need to be able to analyze the waste of patients for diagnostic purposes. Present-day bottles or jars are at best only a partial solution to the problem due to the problems inherent in placing the specimens in the containers.

The present invention, however, allows the collecting of individually sealed specimens in order. The closet could easily be modified to provide an imprinter to imprint the patients name, hospital code number and any other desirable information.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a sanitary closet wherein absolutely none of the waste ever touches any part of the closet, by providing a plastic bowl liner which may at the same time serve as a disposable seat cover. The plastic member may be sealed after each use of the closet to seal the waste into individual compartments, and therefore avoid the odorous condition normally present with vehicle closets.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a closet for use in vehicles or the like which does not require the use of any flush water or treated chemicals, and which remains non-contaminated even after repeated use of the closet.

Other objects, purposes, and characteristic features of the invention will in part be obvious from the drawings and will in part become obvious as the description of the invention progresses.

In describing the invention, reference shall be made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of the closet of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the closet of FIG. 1 taken along section line 22 shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of the advancing and sealing means which will hereinafter be more fully described;

FIG. 4 is a view of the closet bowl supporting means, wherein the bowl may be removed for the convenient replacement of the tubular liner;

FIG. 5 is a view in perspective of an alternate supply means for supplying the plastic film; and

FIG. 6 is a view in perspective of an alternate form of plastic supply.

Referring to FIG. 1, the closet of the present invention is shown as comprising an oblong container 10 which may be formed of metal or plastic or any other suitable material having a lid 11 which is hinged to container 10 by means of hinge l2. Lid 11 defines a cover for the seat 15 and bowl outlet and also provides for the activation for the film advancing and sealing means. A switch 122 triggers the mechanism by the raising and lowering of lid 11 which ordinarily covers the entire closet. Cord 18 is connected to any suitable source of electrical energy which is utilized in the operation of the sealing and advancing means hereinafter described.

The sectional view of FIG. 2 discloses an annular bowl member, bowl, or bowl portion 21 whose lower rim is secured to several mounting flanges partially illustrated at 22 and 23 to provide support for both the annular bowl member and seat 15.

The annular support means 22 and 23 is more fully illustrated in FIG. 4 wherein bracket 22 is provided with an elongated slot 28 for receiving stud 29. Stud 29 is mounted on the annular bowl 21 and is of an appropriate length to fit tightly within bracket member 22 when the annular bowl member 21 is lowered for use. It should be pointed out that in the alternate form of the invention, the bowl 21 may be mounted directly to the frame without the necessity of brackets 22. In the alternate form, it is no longer necessary to lift bowl portion 21 when replacing the film cartridge as the film is placed directly on brackets 102 and fed through sealing means 104 to form the tubular member.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 2, a plurality of brackets such as those illustrated at 22. in FIG. 4 are provided which support the annular bowl 21 around its lower periphery. For the purposes of clarity, however, only two of the brackets are illustrated. It should be understood that alternate mounting forms could be used, so long as seat 15 and annular bowl 21 can be removed quickly and easily for replacement of cartridge 25.

In one embodiment of the invention, a continuous tubular member or film 16 is withdrawn from the annular storage container 25 which is positioned around annular bowl member 21. The tubular film may be comprised of cellulose, vinyl, acetate, polyethylene, or a variety of other materials which are waterproof and which will readily form a heat seal as illustrated at 26. The tubular film 16 is withdrawn from storage container 25, in which the film comes packaged for use. The film cartridge 25 contains the tubular film folded upon itself in such manner as to provide an extremely long tubular member packaged in a short, convenient and easy to use manner.

It should be understood that cartridge 25 is not necessary to the operation of the invention, as the space illustrated between the annular bowl member 21, the casing and support means 27 form a storage space in which an extended tubular member could be compressed for further use. By use of a cartridge, however, the toilet may be made available for use after the initial tubular film is exhausted by merely lifting upwardly on the seat and annular bowl portion 21 and dropping a new cartridge therein, whereby the tubular film may be threaded through the annular slot 13 over seat 15 and through the closet bowl outlet to the sealing and advancing mechanism. The film is then positioned between the jaws of the sealing mechanism as illustrated at 26 and made ready for further use with a minimum of inconvenience and fuss.

The tubular film 16 is withdrawn from cartridge through slot 13, and over seat 15 to provide a replaceable seat cover and bowl liner which will be replaced with each use. By locating slot 13 under seat 15, the film supply and closet interior are protected from contamination by means of seat 15 and ridge 113. In the prior art devices, a mildew or fungus grows in the cracks and crevices of joints and if either water or wastes were allowed to entrain the storage area, they would contaminate the film, thereby harboring germs and filth and rendering the film unsuitable for use.

The tubular film is engaged within the jaws of the sealing and advancing mechanism as illustrated at 26, and said sheet is advanced downwardly with each actuation of this sealing and advancing mechanism as will be hereinafter more fully described. Thus, by advancing the sheet material 16 over the seat with each operation of the toilet, a new portion of the film is drawn over seat 15 to provide a new and clean seat cover and a fresh bowl liner. The sealing and advancing mechanism is comprised of two identical elements, and 31. Part 31 is more fully described in FIG. 3 wherein a partially sectioned view is provided for the mechanism. It should be understood that element 31 is essentially identical to element 30.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, at position A in the operation of the heating and healing mechanism, the mechanism comes to rest with the tubular film member 16 drawn 4 between two sealing dies 32 and 33 as was illustrated in FIG. 2. In this position, the apparatus is normally at rest with the waste from the previous use sealed by heat seal 26 in compartment 34.

Pan elements 61 and 62 are mounted on traversing arms or bars 35 and 65, and serve to support the film and avoid its rupture during use. They are formed of light gauge metal or plastic and cover the entire outlet area of closet bowl 21. As traversing arms 35 and 65 which have suitable gripping elements are moved downwardly and thereafter retracted, the pan elements are also retracted allowing the accumulated waste to form the individual compartments, illustrated in FIG. 2.

In using the closet, the advancing mechanism is actuated by means of a suitable control, as will be hereinafter described, and traversing arm 35 moves down wardly from the position illustrated at A to the position illustrated in dotted lines at B. In doing so, it draws fresh film from cartridge 25 over seat 15 thereby providing a new and clean seat cover for the following user. Upon reaching position B, arm 35 is retracted to the right as illustrated by the dotted arrows, and begins to move upwardly as illustrated by position C while the corresponding arm 65 is retracted to the left. After moving to its original position as illustrated in FIG. A, the heat sealing die 32 is actuated and a fresh seal is made in the thermoplastic material as illustrated at 26.

It should be noted that the heat sealing die illustrated at FIG. 3 is of the thermal variety wherein electricity is supplied through cord 36 for the heating element {not shown) mounted in sealing die 32. It should be noted. that any sealing mechanism would be satisfactory for use in the present invention, such as a high frequency dielectric sealing means, or a hot wire retractable element. The amount of electrical energy supplied to the heat sealing die is regulated, and is so designed to provide only a seal, and not to provide an excess amount of heat which would result in a rupture of film 16. This amount of electricity is controlled by a suitable thermostat and timer which is activated by the control mechanism, which will be hereinafter more fully described.

Traversing bar 35 is connected by a pivot pin 37 to a moving link chain 38. This link chain revolves around four sprocket wheels, of which two, 39 and 66, are located at the upper end, and two (not shown) are similarly mounted at the lower end of the mechanisms movement. On the opposite end of traverse rod 35, a Teflon or other free friction roller 40 is mounted within race track 40, to provide a torque balancing means for the torque moment generated by chain 38. The configuration of race track 41 follows the configuration of chain 38 so that traversing bar 35 is at all times maintained in a horizontal position. When traversing bar 35 has reached its lowermost position as illustrated at position B, chain 38 begins to draw the pivot point 3-7 in a horizontal direction and the roller 41 likewise follows a horizontal path in raceway 41. Upon reaching its furthermost retracted position, the chain 38 begins to urge traversing bar 35 upwardly by means of pivot pin 37, and the roller 40 follows the race track 41 upwardly as illustrated in position C until it reaches the upper extent of the chain movement. As the traversing bar begins to move back into its original position, the electrical impulses are generated and conducted to thermal heating means (not shown) which begins to heat die 32 for sealing the film, and thereby seal in any odors from the waste products. Motor 67 is then de-energized by means of relays or other suitable electric controls in timer 120.

The controls of the closet may be either manually operated or automatically operated, or both. A manual switch might also be provided wherein the user could advance the tubular film as desired through one or more repetitions of the heating and sealing cycle, and thereby further advance fresh sheet material for the seat cover and closet bowl liner.

As previously described, lid 11 completely covers the upper portion of housing 10, including seat 15 and the bowl aperture. Upon raising and lowering of seat 11, a suitable switch 122 is opened and closed to thereby energize the sealing and advancing means. Switch means 122 (illustrated in FIG. 1) is connected to the timer by means ofi wire 121 to energize the timer when the seat is raised or lowered. It may be a tilt type mercury switch or any other orientation responsive type of switch desired. Upon the energization of the control circuit, the control means is activated from its ready state to an active state and a multistage timing means 120 is energized. During the first stage, motor 67 is started. By means of belt 52, motor 67 then advances chain 38 through its cycle of operation. After the traversing arm has reached the position illustrated at stage C, the second stage of the timing means 120 actuates a second relay or other electronic control means to energize line 36, which in turn, heats the thermal element in thermal die 32.

The first stage of the timing means is of sufiicient duration to allow motor 67 to advance chain 38, and traverse bar 35 around one revolution, or one complete cycle of operation. The second stage of the timing means is of sufiicient duration to heat the sealing die 32 to its sealing temperature but is not of sufficient duration to heat the sealing die 32 to its sealing temperature but is not of suflicient duration to overheat, and thereby rupture film 16.

It should be understood that the control apparatus 51 and its associated timers may be constructed with any conventional state of the art timing means, or may be actuated by switches 124 and 125 placed at appropriate intervals in race track 41 to be energized and de-energized by the passage of roller 40. It will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art that many alternate forms of construction could be employed in the sealing and advancing means 30 and 31 and in the electrical timing means as illustrated at 120.

In the specific embodiment of the invention disclosed herein, an electromagnetic heating and sealing means has been disclosed, and an electromechanical programmer has been disclosed. It should be understood that any suitable mechanical sealing and advancing means may be employed, and that an electronic programmer may be used as well.

Another alternate form of this invention would utilize a mechanical seal, preferably of the crimp variety whereby the film material would be sealed into watertight compartments by means of a mechanical band type of sealer which clamps or crimps a band of metal around the film. In this embodiment, it would not be necessary to provide a thermoplastic film and any waterproof film would be sufiicient.

When it is desired to service a closet of, this invention, as at the end of a trip, it is only necessary that the toilet be flushed once with no waste deposited so as to pass through an empty length of film which can be cut in two after the service drawer is opened. Then the waste can be withdrawn from the interior of cabinet 10 and disposed of in any convenient manner. In an alternative form of the invention, an outlet (not shown) may be installed in the bottom of waste cabinet 10. Such an alternative form of the invention would be especially advantageous when the toilet is mounted in commercial carriers, such as airplanes, trains and vehicular busses, when it is desired that the closet be emptied from the exterior ofi the vehicle, thus avoiding any possibility of a rupture, and subsequent contamination to the interior of the vehicle.

In an alternate form of this invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, a non-tubular cartridge of film is provided in roll form. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the roll of film 101 is mounted on the exterior of bowl 21 by means of brackets 102 and 103 (not shown), the film is advanced upwardly around the bowl 21 as illustrated to the sealing means .104, whereby the film is joined by means of sealed seam into a tubular member. Edge portion 131 is brought around one side of the bowl and the opposite edge portion 132 is brought around the other side and the two are brought together at sealing means 104. The closest bowl then serves the function that a tulip form normally serves in a standard tube-forming operation. Edges 13 1 and 132 are joined in sealing means 104 to form a seam 105 which extends along one side of the tubular film. Seam 105 may be accomplished by pressure, adhesive or heat, or by any combination thereof to provide a waterproof seam. The film 116 in its tubular form is then drawn downwardly into bowl 21.

Having described an improved closet for vehicles as one specific embodiment of my invention, I desire it to be understood that the form shown may be modified to meet the requirements of practice without limiting the scope of my invention which is defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A sanitary vehicle closet comprising (a) a housing,

(b) a closet bowl mounted within said housing and defining an outlet in its lower portion of said band and a seat member mounted above said bowl,

(c) a continuous tubular film encircling said bowl within said housing and extending upwardly over said seat member and downwardly through the bowl and through the outlet in said bowl,

(d) sealing means mounted adjacent the outlet of the bowl for sealing the film into individual waste compartments,

(e) transversing means comprising a pair of transversing bars with gripping elements to grip said tubular film therebetween, and

(f) advancing means to move said transversing means downwardly while said bowl and said seat remain stationary advancing said tubular film over the seat member and through the outlet defined by the closet lbowl,

whereby the film may be advanced through the bowl and over the seat after each use to provide a fresh seat cover and a sealed waste container.

2. A sanitary vehicle closet as claimed in claim 1 wherein said sealing means comprise heating elements mounted in said gripping means to seal a tubular film into individual waste compartments.

3. A sanitary vehicle closet as claimed in claim 1 wherein a pair of pan elements are mounted on said traversing bars to close the outlet defined in said closet bowl and thereby provide support for the film.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 146,119 12/1873 Young 4--144 X 479,897 8/1892 Murphy 4111 525,346 9/1894 Kendrick 41=11 2,671,906 3/1954 Potts 4111 2,794,989 6/1957 Pellerito et al. 4111 3,401,409 9/1968 Ekrut 4l42 3,452,368 7/1969 Couper 4l42 3,473,779 10/ 1969 Gustafson et al. 4l42 X 3,495,278 2/1970 Peters 4144 X FOREIGN PATENTS 226,479 10/1909 Germany 4242 677,733 7/1939 Germany 4242 1,225,831 9/1966 Germany 4l42 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner D. B. MASSENBERG, Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification4/484
International ClassificationA47K11/02, A47K11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47K11/026
European ClassificationA47K11/02C