US 3667134 A
An electrical hand dryer apparatus for sterilizing the user's hands, having a closed compartment and including a blower for recirculating a volume of air past a chamber in which the user inserts his hands. The drying apparatus includes germicidal lamps for sterilizing the air and a means for heating the air while it is being recirculated. The apparatus also includes moisture absorbing rods for drying the air.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent Holbrook, N.Y. 1 1 741 Rockson [4 June 6, 1972  STERILIZING HAND DRYER 2,560,808 7/1951 MacCallum ..30 60 x  Inventor: I Thomas Rocks, 1920 Railroad Avenue 3,375,201 3/1968 Wmyall ..252 194- FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 21,193 1914 Great Britain ..34/80 Primary Examiner-Frederick L. Matteson, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Harry B. Ramey Attorney-Allison C. Collard  ABSTRACT An electrical hand dryer apparatus for sterilizing the user's hands, having a closed compartment and including a blower for recirculating a volume of air past a chamber in which the user inserts hishands. The drying apparatus includes germicidal lamps for sterilizing the air and a means for heating the air while it is being recirculated. The apparatus also includes moisture absorbing rods for drying the air.
9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 22 Filed: Sept. 14,1970
2 1 Appl. 316.; 71,985
1521 U.S.Cl. ..34/60,21/D1G.2,21/1o2, 34/202, 128 256, 219 370 51 1111.0 ..F26b 19 00  FieldofSearch ..34/80,81,90,91,100,202, 34 219, 224, 225, 60, 68, 243; 128/256; 21 91, 92, 93, 101, 102; 219/369, 370
 References Cited A UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,814,081 11 1957 Stevenson ..21 91 2,066,847 1/1937 McShea ..34/100x Pmmmm 61912 INVENTOR. THOMAS ROCKSON ATTORNEY STERILIZING HAND DRYER This invention relates to a sterilizedelectric hand drying unit. 1
More specifically, this invention relates to an improved sterilizing hand dryer which utilizes an almost completely enclosed cabinet, having a source of heated recirculated sterilized air in contact with the users hands during the drying cycle.
Conventional drying devices, such as hand dryers, generally consist of an air blower which directs a stream of air through electric heating elements before the air is dispersed from its outlet. The outlet nozzle directs the warm dry air onto the hands of the user for a predetermined drying cycle; When the users hands are placed in the path of the moving air emitted from the nozzle, only one side of the users hands are dried at a time, and the user must rotate his hands in front of the dryer so that they will be completely dried during the running of the apparatus. In institutions, such as hospitals where medical personnel, such as surgeons, are required to scrub their hands prior to an operation, sterilized towels are generally provided for use by the medical personnel for drying their hands.
It has been found that if medical personnel dry their hands in air, rather than utilizing sterilized towels, that under controlled conditions, the amount of bacteria which collects on their hands after they are dry is less than if they utilize sterilized towels.
Accordingly, the present. invention provides a sterilizing hand dryer consisting of a cabinet or housing in which a recycling flow of warm, dry air is directed upon the users hands. The cabinet of the present invention includes a pair of openings near its top portion for receivingthe users hands. The users hands pr g'ect into a large cavity or chamber at the top of the cabinet so that a flow of warm, dry, sterilized constant will move in all directions around the users hands. The sterilizing dryer of the present invention utilizes a tangential blower for providing a broad flow of air in a circular path through the chamber of the dryer. The cabinet of the dryer also includes a means for drying the air, and germicidal lamps for providing continual sterilization of the dry air. The internal surfaces of the cabinet are also polished or reflective so that the light from the sterilizing lamps will be evenly dispersed over the users hands. A heater is also provided for also maintaining a constant temperature of the air. The sterilizing dryer of the present invention is designed for continuous duty operation in order to maintain a constant source of dry, sterilized air recycling throughout the cabinet so as to be readily available when needed.
it is, therefore, an object according to the present invention to provide a sterilizing hand dryer for producing a source of recycled sterilized, warm, dry air within a cabinet having a chamber for receiving the users hands.
it is another object according to the present invention to provide a sterilizing hand dryer in which a source of sterilized warm, dry air is continuously recycled within the housing of the apparatus.
it is still another object according to the present invention to provide a sterilizing hand dryer which is simple in design, easy to manufacture, and reliable in operation.
Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing which discloses the embodiments of this invention. It is to be understood, however, that the drawing is designed for the purpose of illustration only and not a definition of the limits of the invention.
In the drawing, wherein similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views:
FIG. 1 is a front plan view of the apparatus according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along section 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a detailed view of the closure mechanism disposed adjacent to the top portion of the sterilizing cabinet.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown an embodiment of the sterilizing hand dryer having a partially closed container-like cabinet 10 which includes an enlarged hollow chamber 11 disposed within its top portion. Chamber 11 includes a front sloping portion 12 having a pair of apertures 13 which are of sufficient diameter to receive the hands and arms of an average person.
Apertures 13 can be opened and closed by means of a sliding covering or door 33 which rides on a pair of spaced-apart tracks 9 within the body of the housing. The front wall 39 of chamber 11 includes a slot 34 in which a knob 14 connects through the slot to the sliding door. Knob 14 is spring loaded by means of a spring 8 against wall 39, so that a detent 7 which is provided in slot 34 will catch knob 14 so as to retain sliding cover 33 in a closed position. Another detent 6, in slot 34, will catch knob 14 to hold door 33 in an open position.
The floor 40 of chamber 11 includes an upstanding air baf- He 38 mounted a short distance away from wall 39. Between bafile 3B and wall 39 is a louvred air duct 41 having handle 36 which permits the entire floor 40 to be raised about hinge 21 for access to air storage compartment 42 disposed below drying chamber 11. Secured on the bottom of floor 40, and approximately midway between front wall 39 and rear wall 50, is a second air baffle 43 which serves also as a mounting for a plurality of moisture absorbing elements 17, such as ascarite silica gel rods, which are capable of removing moisture from the air in storage compartment 42.
Adjacent to back wall 50 and mounted below floor 40 is an air blower preferably consisting of a tangential blower, having an inlet louvre 35 mounted through floor 40, and an exhaust louvre 52 disposed with air compartment 42. An electrical motor 23 is connected to the shaft of blower 20 for driving the blower in one or more directions. Motor 23 is housed in a compartment 53 which is sealed from access to either air chamber 42 or compartment 11. Motor compartment 53 includes cooling vents 22 mounted through a portion of wall 50 to provide adequate ventilation for the motor during its continuous operation. Back wall 50 also includes an access door 67 for providing entry into compartment 53. Access door 67 includes a handle 66 adjacent to its top opening and is pivoted along its bottom edge by means of hinge 68. Disposed against the outside wall 60 of motor compartment 53, within air chamber 42, are a plurality of germicidal lamps 18 which may preferably consist of two fluorescent germicidal lamps as are well known in the art. Also disposed on wall 60 is a heater 19 which preferably consists of an incandescent lamp. Cabinet 10 of the apparatus is preferably mounted on pedestal 55 which is slightly shorter in width than the width ofthe cabinet to permit the users feet to extend partially under the overhanding portion on the front of air storage compartment 42.
Hand receiving compartment 11 includes a glass or transparent covering 32 for its top wall which permits the user to see his hands after they are inserted in the chamber. An additional germicidal lamp 3] is connected to the top back corner of chamber 1 l and includes a reflective shield 56 blocking the direct rays of lamp 31 from passing through glass 32. The electrical schematic drawing of FIG. 3 shows an AC power plug 51 which is preferably mounted through back wall 50, connected on one side to switch 16, on front wall 39. inlet louvre 35 is preferably insulated from panel 40 and consists of the screen or sensing element for a proximity control switch 70 shown in the electrical circuit of FIG. 3. Therefore, the insertion of the users hands into openings 13 will be sensed by screen 35 to turn on blower motor 23, after switch 16 has been closed. The closing of switch 16 connects electrical power to the parallel combination of motor 23, lamps 18 and 31, and heater element 19.
In the operation of the apparatus of the invention, after switch 16 is closed, tangential blower 20 continuously recycles a large volume of air from its outlet 52 as shown by the direction of arrow past heater element 19, germicidal lamps l8 and moisture absorbing rods 17 for movement through louvres 41 as shown by arrow 35. The flow of air arms of the user before entering into blower inlet on floorof chamber 11. The internal walls of chamber 11 preferably include a reflective or polished-surface so that the light from germicidal lamp 31 will enable the user to see his hands through transparent surface 32. Lamp 31 also provides additional sterilizing to the air before it enters blower inlet 35.
The apparatus of the invention is designed continuous duty operation so that a supply of warm, dry, sterilized air is circulated continuously through chamber 11 and air storage compartment 42. Moisture absorbing elements 17 which may consist of ascarite rods will absorb the moisture given off by the et hands of the user as they are being dried. Heater element 19 maintains a continuous temperature within the apparatus. Due to the continuous recirculation of the air within the compartments of the apparatus, heater element 19 continuous need only consist of a comparatively low-wattage unit such as a 75 watt bulb, since heat losses to the outside air have been significantly reduced. In addition, the heat produced by germicial lamps l8 and 31 also adds to the heat within the chamber, so that the total energy supplied by heater element 19 and lamps 31 and 18 cause the moving air within the apparatus to reach a stable and acceptable warm temperature after a short duration of operation. Since the hand drying apparatus of the invention is designed for continuous operation, the user need only pull knob 14 outward from detent 7 and slide the knob downward through slot 34 so that sliding covering 33 will open apertures 14 enabling the user to insert his hands and arms within chamber 11.
While only a few embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be understood that many changes and modifications may be made thereunto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A sterilizing, air drying apparatus, comprising;
a hand receiving compartment having at least one aperture provided therein for receiving a body limb,
an air storage compartment coupled to and disposed adjacent said hand receiving compartment,
air blower means for recirculating air between said hand receiving compartment and said air storage compartment,
a first sterilizing lamp disposed within said air storage compartment,
a second sterilizing lamp disposed within said hand receiving compartment, and
heater means disposed in the path of said recirculating air for heating the air.
2. The sterilizing air drying apparatus as recited in claim 1,
wherein said air blower means comprises;
a tangential blower having its input coupled to said hand receiving compartment and its exhaust coupled to said air storage compartment, and
an electric motor coupled to said tangential blower for providing rotation thereto. i
3. The sterilizing air drying apparatus as recited in claim 2,
wherein said air blower means additionally comprises a motor storage compartment including external ventilation means, said storage compartment being isolated from said hand receiving compartment and said air compartment.
4. The sterilizing air drying apparatus as recited in claim 3 additionally comprising air dryer means disposed in said air path for removing moisture from the air.
5. The sterilizing air drying apparatus as recited in claim 4, wherein said air dryer means comprises at least one ascarite rod secured within said air storage compartment.
6. The sterilizing air drying apparatus as recited in claim 4, wherein said air dryer means comprises at least one silica gel rod secured within said air storage compartment.
7. The sterilizing, hand drying apparatus as recited in claim 4 further comprising a slidable cover disposed within said hand receiving compartment behind said aperture, and having a slidable control knob affixed to said cover and extending outwardly through said hand receiving compartment for changing the position of said cover with respect to said aperture and thereby opening and closing said aperture.
8. The sterilizing air drying apparatus as recited in claim 7, wherein said hand receiving compartment additionally comprises a transparent wall for providing visual access to said hand receiving compartment.
9. The sterilizing air drying apparatus as recited in claim 8 additionally comprising proximity control means disposed within said hand receiving compartment and electrically coupled to the input of said air blower means.