US 3663985 A
A compact floor scrubbing machine is provided. The floor scrubbing machine is relatively small, with a short length rendering the machine more easily manipulated or maneuverable than floor scrubbing machines heretofore known. A cleaning solution supply tank is mounted on a rear portion of the machine and motors are located forwardly thereof for driving the brushes of the machine and an exhaust blower. A removable recovery tank is located adjacent the two motors and partly thereabove, between the supply tank and the motors, so that maximum compactness is achieved for the machine. The recovery tank is easily separable from the rest of the machine and yet automatically seals with air passages for the exhaust blower and for a rear squeegee when placed on the machine.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Great Britain ..l5/353 Burgoon 451 May 23, 1972 FLOOR SCRUBBING MACHINE Pfimwv Examiner-Waller 5hee| Assistant Examiner-C. K. Moore  Inventor: Jack L. Bun-goon, Toledo, Ohio Atmmey Auen Gutchess IL  Assignee: The Scott & Fewer Company, Lakewood,
Ohio  ABSTRACT  Filed: July 15, 1970 A compact floor scrubbing machine is provided. The floor scrubbing machine is relatively small, with a short length  Appl 54991 I rendering the machine more easily manipulated or maneuverable than floor scrubbing machines heretofore known. A 52 us. c1 ..15/353, 15/320, 15/377, cleaning Solution pp y tank is mounted on a rear portion of 5 40 the machine and motors are located forwardly thereof for 511 int. Cl. ..A47l 11/202 driving the brushes 0f the machine and an exhaust blowef- A  Field of Search ..15/320, 321, 327, 353 removable recovery tank is located adjacent the two motors and partly thereabove, between the supply tank and the mo-  References Cited tors, so that maximum compactness is achieved for the machine. The recovery tank is easily separable from the rest of UNITED STATES PATENTS the machine and yet automatically seals with air passages for 3,550,181 l2/ 1970 Dolan et a1. ..l5/320 exhaust blower and for a rear squeegee when placed on 3,034,273 5/l962 Wallace the machine- 3,290,716 12/1966 Cain aims 2,149,453 3/1939 Longshore etal. ..15/320 Patented May 23, 1972 3,663,985
3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. JAQL L. Burzeoo Patented May 2:3;1972 I 3 Sheets-Sheet 13 INVENTOR. OAck L Bum-pom Patented May23, 1972 3,663,985
3 Sheets-Sheet :5
- INVENTOR. \JACM L. Bmzaom FLOOR SCRUBBING MACHINE This invention relates to a floor scrubbing machine and particularly to a floor scrubbing machine with a separable recovery tank.
Various floor scrubbing machines of the type having rotatable scrub brushes and a water pick-up squeegee are known in the art. Such machines have tended to be expensive, cumbersome, heavy, and hard to manipulate. The present invention provides a compact, smaller, and lightweight floor scrubbing machine which is also less expensive and is easier to manipulate or operate. The new floor scrubbing machine has a water supply tank mounted adjacent the handle and a water recovery tank supported near the handle and located partly above motors which are used to drive the rotatable scrub brushes and an exhaust blower. Part of the recovery tank is also between the motors and the supply tank. The recovery tank has an opening communicating with an air inlet for the exhaust blower and another opening communicating with an air passage for a rear-mounted squeegee. The tank further has seals associated with the openings which automatically seal when the recovery tank is positioned on the machine. The recovery tank also can be removed simply by raising a hinged lid, without any fasteners or clamps for the tank being required. Further, any baffles desired to direct air in the tank can be carried by the lid.
The floor scrubbing machine also has a unique mounting arrangement for the squeegee which can be readily manipulated by the operator's foot between a retracted position and a floor-engaging position. This arrangement also enables the pressure of the squeegee on the floor to be readily adjusted.
It is, therefore, a principal object of the invention to provide an improved floor scrubbing machine which is shorter and more compact than those heretofore known.
Another object of the invention is to provide a floor scrubbing machine with an improved separable water recovery tank.
A further object of the invention is to provide a floor scrubbing machine which is more easily manipulated and operated than those heretofore known.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide a floor scrubbing machine with an improved squeegee mounting arrangement.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a somewhat schematic view in perspective of a floor scrubbing machine embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view in elevation of the floor scrubbing machine of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, exploded view in perspective of a water recovery tank and associated components of the floor scrubbing machine;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, rear view in perspective of asqueegee mounting arrangement for the floor scrubbing machine, with parts broken away; and
FIG. 5 is a somewhat schematic side view in elevation of a rear portion of the machine, showing the squeegee in the retracted position.
Many floor scrubbing machines are known in the art in which cleaning solution is supplied through one or more rotatable brushes located at the front of the machine. The brushes scrub the floor with the cleaning solution and, as the machine moves forwardly, the cleaning solution remaining on the floor behind the brushes is picked up by a squeegee, with the aid of a vacuum, at the rear of the machine. These machines heretofore known have usually been of large, boxy construction and usually supported on four wheels. The machines were hard to manipulate, costly, and difficult to move from one location to another because of their size and weight.
Referring to the drawings, a compact floor scrubbing machine according to the invention is indicated at 10. This machine is shorter and lighter than those heretofore known and is relatively easy to manipulate on two rear wheels and a caster. The machine includes a supporting frame generally indicated at 12 (FIG. 2) including a rear supporting member 14 and a forward supporting member 16. The rear member 14 has an upper wall 18 forming a supporting platform and side walls 20 which receive an axle 22 for wheels 24 at a lower portion thereof. The front supporting member 16 has an upper wall 26 forming a supporting platfonn and has a flexible splash skirt 28 depending therefrom around the sides and front of the platform 26. A front caster 29 also is pivotally supported from the upper wall 26.
A handle post30 (FIG. 4)- extends through the upper wall I 18 of the rear supporting member 14 and is received on the axle 22. At the upper end of the handle post 30 is a panel 32 carrying a switch 34 (FIG. 1) for a brush motor and a switch 36 or an exhaust blower motor. Two handles 38 extend outwardly from the panel 32 with a valve control lever 40 mounted under one of the handles 38.
As shown in FIG. 1, a link 42 extends downwardly from the handle 40 and connects with a lever 44 of a supply valve'46. The supply valve 46 is mounted below the wall 18 of the rear supporting member 14 and has a pipe extending thereabove into communication with a supply tank 48 which is supported on the member 14 and is also partly supported by the handle post 30. The supply tank 48 in this instance has a capacity of 3% gallons of cleaning solution. As shown schematically in FIG. 1, a supply tube 50 extends from the valve 46 downwardly below the platform 26 and to branch tubes 52 and 54 terminating above rotatable scrub brushes 56 and 58. The cleaning solution supplied to the brushes 56 and 58 is readily controlled by the operator through the handle 40, the link 42, and the control lever 44 which opens and closes the valve 46.
The brushes 56 and 58 are driven through an electric motor 60 (FIGS. 2 and 3) which is mounted on a gear reduction box 62. The gear reduction box 62 in turn is supported on the platform 26 and has drive shafts (not shown) extending therebelow which are suitably connected to the brushes 56 and 58 in a conventional manner. The specific drive forthe brushes 56 and 58 does not constitute part of the instant invention.
The cleaning solution supplied from the supply tank 48' is applied to the surface by the brushes 56 and 58 and remains behind the brushes as the machine 10 moves forwardly. Substantially all of the cleaning solution is then picked up from the surface by a rear squeegee 64. The construction of the squeegee, per se, is known in the art. It includes a long mounting member 66 (FIG. 4) from which a forward flexible blade 68 and a rear squeegee blade 70 depend. The member 66 and the blades 68 and 70 form a partially enclosed chamber but with the ends of the squeegee open between the blades 68 and 70 to enable air to be drawn longitudinally therethrough into a central manifold portion 71. From the manifold 71, the air is exhausted through a spout or nipple 72 which, in turn, is connected to a flexible hose 74 and to an additional nipple 76 (FIG. 3) mounted on the forward supporting member 16. The nipple 76 communicates with a passage 78 formed by a sheet metal member in cooperation with the supporting member 16, the passage 78 connecting the nipple 76 with an opening 80 in the platform 26 of the supporting member 16.
The air and cleaning solution are drawn into-a recovery tank indicated at 82 and to an exhaust blower 84 driven by a motor 86 which is located to one side of the brush motor 60. The cleaning solution is retained in the recovery tank 82 and the air is expelled downwardly from the blower 84 and dissipates from the machine. The blower 84, of a known design, is supported on a front supporting member 88 with a gasket 90 therebetween, the member 88 having an upper wall 92 with an opening 94 through which the blower motor 86 extends. The blower 84 further has a central upper inlet opening 96 which receives the air from the recovery tank 82.
Referring particularly to FIG. 3, the recovery tank 82 has a lower bottom wall 98 and an upper bottom wall 100 which are connected by a slanted wall 102. The tank further has side walls 104 and 106 between which extends a handle rod 108 which facilitates carrying and emptying of the tank 82. The bottom wall 98 has an opening 110 therein upwardly from which extends an inlet air tube 112 terminating in an upper slanted end 1 14 near the upper edges of the side walls 104 and 106 of the tank. The opening 110 is in alignment with the opening 80 in the platform 26 when the tank 82 is mounted on the machine. A gasket 116 is located around the openings 80 and 110 and provides an air-tight connection therebetween.
The upper bottom wall 100 is located above the motors and has a lower outlet opening 118 therein, upwardly from which extends an air outlet tube 120 terminating near the upper edges of the side walls 104 and 106 and generally at the level of the upper end of the air inlet tube 112. With the tank on the machine, the outlet opening 118 is aligned with the blower inlet opening 96, with a gasket or sealing ring 122 therebetween to provide an air-tight connection. The sealing rings 116 and 122 are compressed somewhat under the weight of the tank 82 when placed thereon to provide more effective seals.
A front cover or hood 124 extends around the forward portions of the side of the machine and the front thereof to enclose the motors 60 and 86 and the blower 84, along with a front portion of the recovery tank 82. A lid 126 is connected to the upper front edge of the cover 124 by a piano-type hinge 128. The lid 126 includes a top 130 which prevents the possibility of splashing of the recovery solution in the tank 82 and has a gasket (not shown) sealing with the edges of the tank to provide an air-tight chamber in the tank. The lid also has side flanges 132 which extend over the side walls 104 and 106 of the tank to aid in retaining the tank 82 in position on the machine, in cooperation with the cover 124. A rear baffle 134 is affixed to the lid top 130 and extends downwardly in front of the upper slanted end 114 of the air inlet tube 112. A cylindrical baffle 136 also extends downwardly from the lid top 130 around the upper end of the air outlet tube 120 and terminates short of a planar annular baffle 138 affixed to the tube 120 toward the upper end thereof. The baffles 134, 136, and 138 provide a circuitous path for the air and suspended recovery solution as the air travels from the slanted end 114 of the tube 112 to the upper end of the outlet tube 120, as shown by the arrows in FIG. 2. This path assures that substantially all of the recovery solution suspended in the air will drop out and be collected in the recovery tank 82, along with the fact that the air velocity decreases substantially as it moves through the tank 82 from the tube 112 to the tube 120.
The lid 126 is held downwardly by a pair of resilient hooks 140 pivotally connected to the side walls 20 of the rear supporting member 12 and are releasably attached to rear edge portions ofthe lid top 130.
From the above, it will be seen that the configuration of the tank 82 and its position primarily between the supply tank 48 and the motors 60 and 86 provides an extremely compact design for the machine 10. Further, with the recovery tank 82 being readily removable from the machine when the lid 126 is raised, the contents of the tank 82 can be readily disposed of. Also, when the tank is replaced, there are no fittings which have to be connected and dis-connected.
The squeegee 64 is mounted on the machine in a manner such that it can be easily moved between an operating or ground-engaging position and an upper or retracted position by the operator's toe. Further, the amount of pressure applied by the squeegee blade 70 on the floor can be readily adjusted with the mounting arrangement. This includes a pair of lever arms 142 (FIGS. 4 and 5) affixed to a central portion of the squeegee mounting member 66 and having intermediate openings 144 receiving the axle 22. At the opposite ends of the arms are openings 146 receiving ends of curved rods 148, the opposite ends of which are connected to springs 150. The upper ends of the springs 150 are attached to threaded rods 152 extending through tab 154 projecting rearwardly from the upper wall 18 of the rear supporting member 14. The rods 152 are threadedly engaged by nuts 156 above the tabs 154.
The springs are under tension and urge the forward portions of the lever arms 42 upwardly when the squeegee 64 is in the operating position, as shown in FIG. 4. The rear of the arms 142 are thereby urged downwardly, pivoting about the axle 22. The degree of tension on the springs 150, as controlled by the wing nuts 156, thereby can determine the extent of pressure of the squeegee blade on the surface.
When the squeegee 64 is raised to the retracted position, which can be accomplished easily by the operator's toe, the springs 150 are still under tension and the end openings 146 are actually moved downwardly to the point where the tension of the springs 150 acts on a line below the axle 22 (FIG. 5). This is made possible by the curved rods 148 which clear the axle 22 when the squeegee is raised so that lines extending between the end openings 146 and the tabs 154 pass slightly below the axle 22. Consequently, the spring tension in this instance tends to move the lever arm 142 further in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 5, and maintains the squeegee 64 in the upper position.
A latch 158 can be employed to engage one of the lever arms 142 when the squeegee is in the upper position to further assure maintenance of the squeegee in that position, if desired. The operator can then easily move the squeegee to the operating position by downward pressure on the squeegee with the springs 150 then aiding to move the squeegee downwardly as the lines between the openings 146 and the tabs 154 pass once again above the axle 22.
Various modifications of the above described embodiment of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art and it is to be understood that such modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention, if they are within the spirit and the tenor of the accompanying claims.
1. A floor scrubbing machine comprising supporting means, rotatable brush means at a forward portion of said supporting means, a first motor mounted on a forward portion of said supporting means, means connecting said rotatable brush means and said first motor for driving said brush means, a second motor located at the forward portion of said supporting means, an exhaust blower driven by said second motor, said blower having means forming an air inlet, a squeegee, means connecting said squeegee to a portion of said supporting means, means fonning an air passage connected to said squeegee and terminating at a surface of said supporting means, a removable tank supported by said supporting means, said second motor and said exhaust blower being located outside said tank, said tank having a first opening in a lower portion thereof communicating with said blower air inlet and having a second opening communicating with said air passage means when supported on said supporting means.
2. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 1 characterized by said second motor being beside said first motor, said exhaust blower being above said second motor, and said blower air inlet means being above said blower.
3. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 1 characterized by both of said openings of said tank being formed in bottom walls thereof, and an air tube communicating with each of said openings and extending upwardly therefrom.
4. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 3 characterized further by sealing rings located adjacent said tank openings at outer surfaces of said tank.
5. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 3 characterized by means forming a baffle between upper ends of said air tubes.
6. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 5 characterized by a lid on said tank and said baffle depends from said lid.
7. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 3 characterized by means forming a vertically extending cylindrical baffle around an upper end of one of said tubes and spaced therefrom.
8. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 7 characterized by a lid on said tank and said baffle depends from said lid.
9. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 1 characterized further by said squeegee having pivot arms pivotally connected to said supporting means through a rear axle of wheels for said machine and having portions extending beyond the pivots, and an over-center spring connecting at least one of said arm portions and said supporting means to urge said squeegee beyond an upper, retracted position when in that position or a lower, floor-engaging position when in that position.
10. A floor scrubbing machine according to claim 9 characterized further by a latch engageable with one of said pivot arms to aid in holding the squeegee in the retracted position.
11. A removable tank for a floor scrubbing machine including a lower bottom wall having an air tube extending upwardly therefrom, said tube communicating with a first opening in said bottom wall, first sealing means associated with said opening, said tank having an upper bottom wall spaced to one side of and above said lower bottom wall, said upper bottom wall having a second air tube extending upwardly therefrom,
said second air tube communicating with a second opening formed in said upper bottom wall, and second sealing means associated with said second opening.
12. A tank according to claim 11 wherein said first sealing means comprises a first sealing ring located around said first opening adjacent the lower surface of said lower bottom wall.
13. A tank according to claim 11 wherein said second sealing means comprises a second sealing ring located around said second opening adjacent the lower surface of said upper bottom wall.
14. A removable tank according to claim 11 characterized by both of said air tubes terminating at about the same level.
15. A removable tank according to claim 11 characterized further by a handle rod extending across said tank between two opposite walls thereof and below the upper edges of said tank, said handle rod also being in a vertical plane located between said two air tubes.