US 3723999 A
There is disclosed a portable unit for the reception of human waste having interrelated self-synchronizing equilateral polygon cage means for the sequential sealing and disposition in the unit of increments of plastic tube material containing waste.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Miller 51 Apr. 3, 1973  PORTABLE WASTE DISPOSAL UNIT  Inventor: Marvin Miller, Teaneck,N.J.  Assignee: Mileahead Industries Incorporated, Greenwich, Conn.
221 Filed: Oct. 22, 1971 21 Appl.No.: 191,595
52 u.s.c| ..4/l42,4/11l 51 lnt.Cl. ..A47kl1/02  Field of Search ..4/141, 142,111, 143, 138, 4/121, 115, 131, 116
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,671,906 3/1954 Potts ..4/142 UX 2,794,989 6/1957 Pellerito et a1. ..4/111 3,401,409 9/1968 Ekrut ..4/142 3,452,368 7/1969 Couperm. ..4/142 3,619,822 11/1971 Carmichael.... ..4/142 3,648,302 3/1972 Winters ..4/142 3,665,522 5/1972 Backlund et al ..4/142 Primary Examiner-Henry K. Artis Attorney-Dean S. Edmonds et a1.
 ABSTRACT There is disclosed a portable unit for the reception of human waste having interrelated self-synchronizing equilateral polygon cage means for the sequential sealing and disposition in the unit of increments of plastic tube material containing waste.
8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPRS 1975 SHEET 1 OF 4 INVENTOR. MARVIN MILLER /Zt M z KWW, Mfl [9% 0% ATTORNEYS SHEET 3 UF 4 FIG.
ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAPR 3 I975 SHEET '4 [IF 4 FIG.
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MAEK IYB J gI ELER ATTORNEYS PORTABLE WASTE DISPOSAL UNIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Portable dry flush waste disposal units are known which utilize a closed cabinet and'means for sequentially encapsulating waste for deposit in the base of the unit. Such disposal units are shown for example in US. Pat. Nos. 3,401,409; 3,452,368; 3,473,779 and 2,671,906. However, the units disclosed in these patents frequently lack simplicity of operation or fail to maintain adequate sealing or provide ease of handling waste deposited therein.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the purpose of the present invention to avoid the difficulties experienced with prior devices of this type. More particularly, the disposal unit according to the present invention provides a closed outer casing supported upon a rigid internal frame. Tubular plastic material is stored in folds in a groove immediately adjacent to the seat and can be freely withdrawn downwardly to flush the unit when desired. During such movement of the plastic tube, it is restrained slightly by passing between the edge of the groove and the edge of the seat.
A unique tube sealing and withdrawing mechanism is provided in the form of two counter-rotating selfsynchronizing equilateral polygon cages, each having opposing pairs of sealing elements between which the tube must pass. One of the cages rotates about a fixed axis while the other, spring-urged toward the first, is permitted freedom to rotate while moving horizontally. At all times at least one pair of sealing elements is maintained in contact with the tube as it passes through and is pulled downwardly by the cages. Furthermore, at the beginning and end of each 90 of rotation, two pairs of sealing elements are in contact with the tube for double protection.
According to the invention increments of tube with waste encapsulated therein pass into the base of the unit for storage within a plastic liner. The liner is removable upon separation of the outer casing by lifting the upper portion and frame clear of the lower section of casing which is devoid of sharp edges which might tear the liner.
These and other aspects of the invention will be seen upon examination of the following detailed specification and accompanying drawing of a particular embodiment of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a three-quarter perspective view of the disposal unit of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the unit of FIG. 1 with parts broken away;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section taken generally through the center of the waste disposal unit;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken in the direction of arrows 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view of portions of FIG. 4 showing additional parts;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5 with the parts thereof shown in a sequential position;
FIG. 7 is a partial top view of handle actuating portions of the disposal unit; and
FIG. 8 is a section taken in the direction of arrows 88 of FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing and initially to FIG. 1 thereof, a waste disposal unit 10 constructed according to the present invention has been illustrated. Unit 10 is a portable dry flush sanitary disposal unit for the receipt of waste, having lower and upper casings 11 and 12 of a suitable plastic material, a plastic seat 13 and cover 14. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 4, the upper casing 12 has an outer peripheral flange 12a which is closely fitted over and rests upon an inner peripheral flange 11a of the lower casing 11. Releasable clasps 16 secure the casings together.
Within the casings 11 and 12 is a frame 17 having vertical side walls 18 of sheet steel having outer peripheral flanges 18a. Side walls 18 have cutouts 18b therein to lighten the structure (see FIGS. 3 and 4). Side walls 18 are connected further and run by horizontal cross members 19. The frame 17 is secured to the casing 12 by suitable mechanical fastening means interconnecting casing I2 with flanges 18a. The casing 12 includes a top portion 21 having an annular groove 22 therein for the reception of folded layers of plastic tube 23. The cover 14 is secured to the casing 12 at 24 as is the seat 13 at 26. The top portion 21 of the casing 12 and the seat 13 therefore structurally rest upon the upper end of the frame 17 and the casings 11 and 12 are therefore not-required to provide structural support.
As best seen initially in FIG. 4, tubular plastic material 23 can be withdrawn from groove 22 by an advancing means to be described.
Passing downwardly into the disposal unit 10, the tube 23 will pass between the inner annular edge 21a and a depending lip 13a of the seat 13. The spacing between the members 21a and 13a is such that tube 23 will be restricted somewhat from being freely withdrawn from the groove 22.
Immediately beneath the seat opening, tube 23 forms a closed receptacle 23a for waste, the lower end of the tube being sealed by passing between a roller 27 which is maintained in close contact against a mating L- shaped member 28, except for the interposition of the tube 23. Rollers 27 define the corners of a rectangular cage 29 having sheet metal ends 30 rigidly secured to the rollers. L-shapedmembers 28 (four in number) similarly form a part of a second cage 31 whose ends are sheet metal plates 32. The relationship between cages 29 and 31 provides for the sequential mating of rollers 27 in contact with L-shaped members 28 to provide a sealing pressure against the tube 23 as it passes between the respective cages 29 and 31.
Referring to FIGS. 5-8, it will be seen that plates 30 are supported upon a rectangular shaft 33 extending therebetween. Shaft 33 passes through plates 30 and is rotatably supported within each side wall 18 passing through openings 18b (see FIGS. 7 and 8). Shaft 33 is welded on one side externally of the adjacent wall 18 to an actuating plate 34 having in its periphery four rectangular slots 34a spaced at intervals. Shaft 33 receives in telescoping relation a second, round shaft 36 attached to handle 37. Shaft 36 has a reduced diameter portion 360 (FIG. 3) whose inner end forms with the enlarged portion of shaft 36 a shoulder 36b. A stop pin 39 connected internally to rectangular shaft 33 therefore permits relative rotation between portion 36a and member 33 but prevents the withdrawal of shaft 36 in an outward direction beyond the outward travel of shoulder 36b.
Shaft 36 furthermore defines a slot 360 which is keyed to a pawl bearing plate 40 by key 40a. A pawl 42 is pivotally attached by pin 41 to the plate 40. The pawls actuating end 42a is received within each of the slots 34a of plate 34. The pawl 42 furthermore has a tab 42b extending through plate 40 which passes through slot 18c in the side wall 18. The bottom portion of slot 180 is shaped as a cam surface whose function will be described. The actuating end 42a of the pawl is urged toward plate 34 by means of a spring 44 attached to plate 40.
As a consequence of the interconnections just described, when shaft 36 is rotated, pawl bearing plate 40 will be rotated and the actuating end 420 in a slot 34a will effect rotation of actuating plate 34 in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 8. FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate the result of the foregoing actuation of plate 34 through an initial phase of 45. It will be seen that as plate 34 rotates it carries with it cage 29 and an upper roller 27 engaging against an upper L-shaped member 28 of cage 31, thereby effecting a counter-rotation of cage 31 which causes pulling downward of the tube 23 trapped therebetween. Cage 31 is supported for rotation about a central shaft 47 which passes through side walls 18 at opposite ends thereof. Side walls 18 define a horizontal slot 18d therein permitting for lateral travel of shaft 47 and, thus, cage 31. Shaft 47 is held at its ends within collars 48, which are connected to springs 49 fastened by screws 50 to side walls 18. Thus, shaft 47 is urged constantly toward cage 29 but is resiliently free to move within slot 18d, during the relative rotation between the cages and as required by the geometric relationship between rollers 27 and L-shaped members 28.
Referring to FIG. 6, cage 29 has completed approximately 45 of downward rotation. As cage 31 continues to rotate in a clockwise direction beyond the position of FIG. 6, springs 49 cause the final 45 of rotation to take place without further actuation by the shaft 36. It will be observed, furthermore, that immediately prior to actuation of cage 29, there is contact between two opposing rollers 27 and members 28 to effect a double seal. During actuation of the cages 29 and 31, sealing is maintained by one of the rollers 27 against a member 28 which is assisted by the spring pressure of springs 49. As the final 90 movement of the cage takes place, double sealing again takes effect.
During the final 45 rotation of cages 29 and 31 which, as mentioned, is effected by springs 49, tab 42b will contact and ride outwardly upon the cam surface of 180 to lift the pawl end 42b from engagement in a slot 34a. The final position of tab 42b is shown in dotted FIG. 8. This allows the handle 37 and shaft 36 to be then rotated in a reverse direction for a subsequent engagement of the pawl and actuating plate and subsequent 90 rotation of cages 29 and 31.
Referring again to FIG. 4, it can be seen that a plastic liner 52 is secured within the lower casing 11 by clips 53. When cage 29 rotates relative to cage 31 beginning with the position shown in FIG. 5, a section of tube 23 containing waste will be drawn downwardly (see FIG. 6) until the next roller 27 in rotation again contacts the tube 23 (FIG. 5), after of rotation of the respective cages. In this position waste is sealed in the tube 23 between upper and lower rollers 27 and L-shaped members 28. A second 90 rotation of cages 29 and 31 will cause the further progress of encapsulated waste to be deposited in the liner 52. When the entire length of tube 23 has passed into this liner, the clasps 16 are opened to release the upper casing 12 from the lower casing 11, whereupon the upper casing and frame 17 can be removed to expose the liner 52 which is sealed in a suitable manner prior to removal. It will be noted that when the frame 17 and casing 12 are removed, there are no sharp edges to tear or snag the liner 52 as it is removed.
From the foregoing it can be seen that cage 29 drives cage 31 through an initial 45 of rotation, cage 31 driving cage 29 from 45-90 of rotation. This driving of the cages is accomplished without complicated gearing. At the same time, at all times during the driving of cages 29 and 31 there is at least one pair of sealing elements in contact with the tube 23 and at the end of each 90 of rotation two pairs of sealing elements provide double protection. Should the rotation of cages 29 and 31 get out of synchronization, plates 32 are so shaped in relation to the position of rollers 27 and members 28 that the rollers will automatically be brought back into paired positioning with members 28.
It will be understood that the foregoing description has related to a particular embodiment of the invention and is therefore representative. In order to appreciate the scope of the invention, reference should be made to the appended claims.
It is claimed:
1. In a waste disposal unit of the type including a closed portable closet for the reception of waste sealed and contained in a continuous tube of plastic sheet material, said unit having a seat and an annular receptacle area for holding a quantity of said plastic material beneath an opening in said seat means for successively withdrawing increments of said plastic material downwardly into said unit and means for sealing waste in said increments and depositing same in said unit for storage and subsequent removal, the improvement comprising, a first equilateral polygon cage rotatable about a fixed horizontal axis, a second equilateral polygon cage rotatable about a horizontal axis movable in a horizontal direction toward and away from said first cage, a first set of spaced, horizontal sealing elements on said first cage, a second set of horizontal mating sealing elements on said second cage contacting said first set of elements lengthwise in sequence, the contact between said elements being sufficient to grip said plastic material and seal a flattened widthwise strip of said material when passed therebetween, means for counter-rotating said cages to draw said plastic material downwardly into said unit, and means for maintaining contact during counter-rotation at all times between at least one pair or mating rollers and grooved members.
2. The waste disposal unit according to claim 1 wherein said unit includes a rigid frame, an outer casing enclosing said frame means for supporting said first cage in said frame for rotation about a fixed axis, means for supporting said second cage for rotation in said frame about a second horizontally movable axis, and spring means urging said second cage into contact with said first cage.
3. The disposal unit of claim 2 in which said first cage comprises two generally square end plates connected at each corner by one of said sealing elements, the sealing elements of said first cage consisting of rollers and the sealing elements of the second cage consisting of L- shaped members whose open sides receive said rollers. Said second cage comprises two generally square end plates notched intermediate each side thereof to receive said L-shaped members which join said end plates, the relation between the square shaped ends of the second cage and the rollers of the first cage causing automatic centering of said rollers in said L-shaped members to maintain said cage automatically in synchronization.
4. The disposal unit according to claim 3 wherein one pair of sealing elements is in contact at all times during rotation of said cages and two pairs of sealing elements are in contact-when said fixed and movable axes are at their closest and at rest position.
5. The disposal unit according to claim 4 wherein said first cage rotates upon a shaft, an actuating plate attached to said shaft defining in its periphery actuating notches, a second shaft telescopically received within said cage shaft and freely rotatable with respect thereto, a pawl bearing plate connected to said second shaft, a pawl pivotally mounted to said pawl bearing shaft, spring means urging the end of said pawl toward the periphery of said actuating plate and said notches, a pawl tab and cam means for causing said tab to lift said pawl clear of each notch upon rotation of said pawl bearing plate in one direction and handle means for rotating said second shaft and pawl bearing plate to drive said actuating plate and cage.
6. The disposal unit of claim 5 wherein said second cage drives said first cage through 45 of rotation and said second cage drives said first cage during 45-90 of rotation and said pawl tab lifts the pawl from an actuating notch during approximately 45-90 of rotation.
7. The disposal unit of claim 2 wherein said frame is enclosed within an upper and lower outer casing, means for securing said upper casing to said frame, said groove containing plastic tube material is in said upper casing, the inner edge portion of said seat opening and the inner edge of said groove being closely spaced to restrict flow of tube material.
8. The disposal unit of claim 6 wherein a plastic liner is provided within said lower casing to receive increments of plastic tube encapsulating waste therein and said lower casing is free of sharp edges to tear or snag said liner.