US 3739492 A
A portable dryer for clothes or the like having an inflatable bag made from a material which is impervious to air and moisture, in which are placed the clothes or other articles to be dried, and a motor-driven fan within the bag for inflating the bag and blowing a current of air downwardly over the clothes to dry the same rapidly, thus maintaining the bag in the fully inflated state, out of contact with the articles being dried, without any supporting framework.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Brooks PORTABLE CLOTHES DRYER [75 Inventor: Elgin C. Brooks, Toledo, Ohio  Assignee: Helb, Inc., Toledo, Ohio  Filed: May 26, 1971 ] Appl. N0.: 147,074
11] '3,739,492 June 19, 1973 Primary ExaminerCarroll B. Dority, Jr. Attorney-George H. Souther  ABSTRACT A portable dryer for clothes or the like having an inflatable bag made from a material which is impervious to air and moisture, in which are placed the clothes or other articles to be dried, and a motor-driven fan within  US. Cl. 34/163, 34/151, 34/218 1 the bag for inflating the bag and blowing a current of  Int. CL. F26b 9/00 air downwardly over the clothes to dry the same rap-  Field of Search 34/151, 163, 218 idly, thus maintaining the bag in the fully inflated state, out of contact with the articles being dried, without any  References Cited supporting framework.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 2,850,810 9/1958 Lyons et al. 34/218 2,705,377 4/1955 Konstandt 34/163 PAIENIEDJUN 1 9 ms swim or 3 INVENTOR.
m, c. BROOKS greatly in recent years due chiefly to the development of so-called drip-dry fabrics and the fact that people everywhere are doing more traveling than ever before. My device, with which such fabrics may be quickly and conveniently dried, will enable the traveler, by doing his own laundering, to avoid the inconveniences and frustrations frequently encountered in utilizing outside laundry facilities when on the move away from home. Because it requires no rigid or heavyframe members, my device, when not in use, requires so little space that it may be easily stowed in a small corner of an ordinary traveling bag.
It is an object of this invention to provide a portable clothes dryer which is light-weight and compact.
A further object is to provide a portable clothes dryer so designed that any liquid escaping therefrom can be made to drain harmlessly, for example, into a bathtub rather than on a floor or carpet.
A further object of this invention is to provide a portable clothes dryer, the basic elements of which may be readily and inexpensively assembled.
A further object of this invention is to provide a portable clothes dryer requiring a minimum number of parts, which will dry clothes rapidly and which itself requires no further drying upon completion of the clothes-drying operation.
A further object of this invention is to provide a portable clothes dryer having anon-rigid drying chamber, the wall of which is maintained in a fully expanded clothes-drying position out of contact with said clothes, a
without the use of rigid frame members.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent as the description proceeds.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the device showing how it may be positioned with respect to a bath tub or other desired drainage point;
FIG. 2 illustrates the closure member for the bottom end of the drying chamber;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation in section of the motor housing assembly;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the motor housing shown at right angles to the position of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a topplan view looking down on the motor housing assembly but with the top cover and suspension means removed;
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view looking up at the motor assembly but with the bottom cover and garmentholding bar removed;
FIG. 7 is an side elevation in section of the suspension means. i
Referring to the drawings, wherein I have shown one form in which my invention may be carried out, reference numeral 10 indicatesgenerally my device which, as shown, consists of a housing 12 containing a motor assembly 14, and an inflatable bag 16 within which garments or other objects to be dried are placed.
Housing 12 is preferably molded in one piece. from any of the various plastic materials which are readily available and suitable for this application, as, for example, high impact polystyrene. Housing 12 is provided with an upper closure member 17 and a bottornclosure member 19, each of which is perforated; to allow aflow of air therethrough. Housing 12 has a reduced upper portion 20 for receiving motor 14, and an enlarged lower portion 22 in which is located a fan 24 mounted on motor shaft 26.
Motor assembly 14 may be conveniently and economically mounted within housing 12 by means of a U- shaped bracket 30, eachupturned end 32 of which is positioned between a pair of vertical ribs 34 formed on the inner surface of portion 22 of said housing and tightly engaging said ends to prevent relative rotational movement between said housing and said bracket. As shown in FIG. 6, said pairs of ribs 34 diametrically oppose each other.
Motor assembly 14 is secured to bracket 30 by rivets 36 which pass through insulating member 38, and apertures 40 formed in bracket 30. Motor assembly 14 is bolted to insulating member 38 by bolts 42.
Motor assembly 14 and bracket 30 are held against vertical movement relative to housing 12 by rod 46 extending across the top of and spaced from housing por tion 20. The .end portions of rod 46 are bent downwardly and inwardly to provide vertical portions 48 and horizontal portions 50 respectively as shown in FIG. 3. Each leg 32 of the bracket 30 is provided with an aperture '52 which is in registry with a similar aperture 54 formed in the wall of housing portion 20 when the parts are in the position shown in FIG. 3. By positioning a horizontal end portion 50 in each pair of apertures 52 and 54, the assembly is firmly held in placewithin the housing against vertical movement. Hook 56, affixed to rod 46 is provided for suspending the assembly from a shower curtain rod or other support. A convenient manner of securing hook 56 to rod 46 is shown in FIG. 7. A length of sleeve 58 of triangular section is passed around said rod and the upset end 60 of said rod.
As pointed out above, ribs 34 prevent relative angular motion between housing 20 and bracket 30. It will thus be seen that l have provided a simplified but completely satisfactory assembly construction utilizing a minimum of parts and labor.
Shaft 26 of motor 14 extends through aligned apertures 60 and 62 provided in insulating member 38 and bracket 30 respectively, and carries at its lower end fan 24 which may slidably engage said shaft and may be frictionally held thereon. Said apertures 60 and 62 are of larger diameter than the diameter of shaft 26 to provide mechanical and electrical separation of said shaft 1 from said insulating member and bracket.
While the type and size of motor and fan, within limits, are not critical, I have obtained excellent results using a [/250 horsepower shaded-pole motor with a 5- bladed fan approximately 4 inches in diameter.
Lead wires 66 connect motor 14 with a source of electrical energy (not shown).
The receptacle, or bag, within which the garments to be dried are placed may be readily formed from a flat sheet of proper dimension of polyethelene, polystyrene or other suitable flexible material substantially impervious to air and moisture by rolling said sheet into a cylindrical shape and permanently joining the ends thereof by stitching or heat-sealing- Closures are provided at each end of the cylinder so formed. The closure at the upper end is in the form of a circular sheet 68 of slightly smaller diameter than bag 16. If the diameter of said bag is24 inches, the diameter of closure 68 should be approximately 22 inches. Closure 68 may be affixed to bag 16 by stitching and, because of its smaller diameter, will draw the topedge of bag 16 inwardly slightly so that, with said top edge it forms a sort of domeshaped closure when the bag is inflated. The purpose of this will be pointed out below.
An elongated vertical opening 70 is provided in the upper section of bag 16 through which garments 72 may be placed in, or removed from said bag. Said opening may be closed by slide fastener or zipper 74. Bar 76 is provided for receiving the coat hangers 78 on which said garments are hung. Said bar is rotatably suspended from lower section 22 of housing 12.
Closure 68 is provided with aperture 82 to receive reduced upper portion 20 of housing 12 which is inserted therein in an upwardly direction from the interior of bag 16. Aperture 82 should be slightly smaller than the outside diameter of housing portion 20 so that an air-tight and moisture-tight stretch-fit between said closure and said housing portion results. The lower surface of said closure should rest upon the upper surface of portion 22 of said housing.
It will be noted that aperture 82 is not centrally located in respect of closure 68, but rather, is closer to that side of bag 16 on which zipper 74 is located. This compensates for the weight of the zipper and causes bag 16 to assume a substantially vertical position when suspended by hook 56 and inflated. Such vertical position is necessary to assure drainage of any excess moisture from bag 16.
The lower end of bag 16 is closed by a member 84, preferably of the same material as closure 68 and shaped as shown in FIG. 2. Member 84 is of a wide, roughly semicircular shape at one end 86, and narrows almost to a point at the other end 88. Member 84 is stitched or otherwise affixed to bag 16 in a slanted position with pointed end 88 lower than end 86. Aperture 92 which is located at the apex of pointed end 88 of member 84 permits the escape of any excess moisture in bag 16 as well as serves as a vent for air forced through bag 16 by fan 24. By making closure 84 of substantially the shape shown in FIG. 2, it will, when affixed to bag 16 cause the bottom end of said bag to extend beyond the vertical plane of bag 16 to assure that any moisture which may escape through aperture 92 will be delivered to bathtub 94 or other desired preselected point.
In FIG. 1, the device is shown in operating position. Support is provided by shower curtain rod 96 which is engaged by hook 56. The lower end of bag 16 projects well over bath tub 94 so that should any water escape from said bag, it will do no damage to floor or rug. With fan 24 in operation, sufficient air pressure is built up in bag 16 to cause it to inflate fully. When inflated, none of its wall surface touches garments 72 being dried and thus the drying efficiency of the air circulated by fan 24 is not adversely affected. The magnitude of air pressure so built up is, of course, a function of the area of aperture 92 for any given fan capacity. For best results, aperture 92 should restrict the flow of air from bag 16 sufficiently so that, with fan 24 operating normally bag 16 will remain in the fully inflated condition. In that condition it will be found that closure member 68 will cooperate with the air pressure within the bag to hold said bag in the fully horizontally extended position out of contact with the contained garments, without the use of metallic or other rigid supporting members. The advantage of this feature will be realized when it is considered that my device is intended to be used primarily by travelers, and accordingly lightness and compactness are extremely desirable qualities. The dome-shaped effect obtained by making closure 68 of slightly lesser diameter than bag 16 contributes substantially to the bagsupporting and extending capacity of said closure. If, for a particular application, it should be desirable to provide closure 68 with additional strength, this can be done very readily by using a somewhat heavier ply material in the manufacture of said closure, while retaining the flexibility and fold-ability of same. The material so used can be the same as that of bag 16 except for thickness.
It will be found that the drying operation is completed in a much shorter time than is required for airdrying, and that any moisture which may drip to the bottom of bag 16 is evaporated and carried from said bag to the atmosphere before the garments undergoing drying have reached the dry state.
Having described the invention, what I claim as new is: I
1. In a dryer for clothing or the like, a housing, a bracket having a pair of legs engaging the inner surface of said housing to prevent relative angular movement therebetween, a motor-blower assembly affixed to said bracket, means for supporting said housing in operating position, said means having portions extending through aligned apertures in said housing and said bracket legs to prevent relative lineal movement therebetween, and an inflatable drying chamber affixed to said housing.
2. A portable drying device comprising a housing open at both ends having a reduced upper portion and an enlarged lower portion, a bracket having a pair of upwardly extending legs, a motor-blower assembly mounted on said bracket, means affixed to the inner surface of said upper portion of said housing and engaging said bracket legs to prevent relative angular movement therebetween, a supporting member having portions extending through aligned apertures in said housing and said upwardly extending bracket legs to support said housing in the operating position and to prevent relative linear movement between said bracket and said housing, and a flexible inflatable drying chamber surrounding and tightly engaging the outer surface of the upper reduced portion of said housing to receive the flow of air from said motor-blower, said chamber having a restricted aperture at its lower most portion constituting the sole path of egress of air and moisture from said chamber.
3. A portable drying device comprising a housing open at both ends having a reduced upper portion and an enlarged lower portion, a U-shaped bracket having a pair of upturned legs, a motor-blower assembly affixed to said bracket, means affixed to the inner surface of said upper portion of said housing and engaging the upturned legs of said bracket to prevent relative angular movement therebetween, a bail for supporting said drying device having horizontal extremities adapted to extend through aligned apertures formed in said upturned bracket legs and said housing to prevent relative linear movement therebetween, and a flexible inflatable drying chamber supported by the upper outer surface of said lower enlarged portion and engaging the outer surface of said housing upper reduced portion in moisture and air tight relation therewith to receive the flow of air from said motor-blower.
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