|Publication number||US3761987 A|
|Publication date||Oct 2, 1973|
|Filing date||May 28, 1971|
|Priority date||May 28, 1971|
|Also published as||US3931662, US3961392, US4000536|
|Publication number||US 3761987 A, US 3761987A, US-A-3761987, US3761987 A, US3761987A|
|Inventors||J Nayfa, A Stanley|
|Original Assignee||J Nayfa, A Stanley|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (26), Classifications (35)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Nayfa et a1.
Oct. 2, 1973 1 1 FLOOR SURFACE CLEANKNG AND POLHSIHNG MACIHHNE Primary Examiner-John Petrakes Assistant ExaminerC. Ki Moore  Inventors: James E. Nayfa, 1209 Levee St,
Dallas, Tex. 75207; Andrew D Attorney-Cecil L. Wood and Peter J. Murphy Stanley, 2306 Cedar Way Dr., Dallas, Te'x. 75241  Filed: May 28, 1971  ABSTRACT 21 A 1. No.: 147 866 1 pp A self-propelled machine includes a main housing sup ported on front and rear drive rollers and has an opera- 1 15/50 15/380 tor control handle extending from the rear. Front and Int. rear eiongated working brushes are driven in orbital 1 1 Field of Search l5/50 R, 50 C, movement in horizontal planes, with the front brush 15/320 being positioned ahead of the front roller and the rear brush positioned behind the rear roller. A supply tank 1 References Cited for the working solution includes agitating and aerating UNlTED STATES PATENTS means for creating a foam dispensed from a pressurized 3,445,877 5/1969 Stout 15/98 tank a flow comm gate and applied to the 2 731 59 95 (jopkmm 5 3g0 X floor surface ahead of the front brush. The drive rollers 551,773 12/1895 LeClerc 15/50 R act as Squeegees; and vacuum pickup nozzles adjacent 3,065,477 11/1962 McKechnie.... 15/50 R each of the drive rollers pickup excess material from 3,633,240 1/1972 Cfeflef e181 4 15/32l the floor surface which is collected in a collection tank. 2,198,322 4/1940 Von Schrader 15/50 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 9 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures 89,188 4/1967 France 15/50 R 1 1 t g d? 1 1 1 1 l l 1 l I 1 82 i i /4 B 225; I
I PM 05 5 PAIENTED 21 3.761.987
l/VVE/VTORS James E. Noyfo By Andrew 0. Sta ley ATTORNEYS FLOOR SURFACE CLEANING AND POLISHING MACHINE BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a machine for scrubbing or shampooing rugs or carpeted floor surfaces, for scrubbing hard floor surfaces, or for waxing and polishing hard floor surfaces.
A variety of machines have been devised for cleaning rugs or carpets through the use of detergents generated and applied in the form of a dry foam in the path of shampooing brushes intended to work the foam into the pile to entrap the dirt held therein, with the foam and entrapped dirt then being extracted from the carpet surface through a vacuum pickup system. Some of these devices are provided with roller type brushes which necessarily rotate in one direction. These roller brush type machines have the disadvantage of tending to drag the carpet pile in one direction and, by the same token, tending to clean only one surface of the pile fibers. Other types of machines include rotary disc type brushes which rotate about vertical axes in horizontal planes. While this type of brush attacks the pile from different angles as the machine moves along, the pile in any one specific area is essentially dragged in one direction and the cleaning action is limited in a manner of the roller brush.
An object of this invention is to provide an improved floor surface cleaning machine having the capability to shampoo and remove surface dirt from a carpet surface in one operation, to scrub and remove surface dirt from a hard floor surface in one operation, or to apply wax to and polish a floor surface in one operation.
Another object of this invention is to provide a rug cleaning machine in which the cleaning brushes move in a circular orbital motion around the fibers to insure cleaning of all sides of the rug fibers. Another object of this invention is to provide a vibratory brush motion in addition to the orbital motion.
A further object of this invention is to provide a floor surface cleaning machine having a cleaning solution foaming system within the machine and a pressurized foam dispensing system.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a rug cleaning machine having means for scrubbing the pile, removing the dirt from the pile, and lifting the pile to original position in one operation.
Another object of this invention is to provide a rug cleaning machine wherein the machine support and drive rollers function as squeegees to direct the cleaning foam and entrapped dirt toward the vacuum pickup nozzles.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a floor surface cleaning machine having an improved solution dispensing mechanism including means for forming a foam, means for effecting flow of the foam under pressure, and means for controlling the rate of flow of foam to the floor surface.
For accomplishing these objects, a machine according to the invention includes a housing having elongated front and rear support and drive rollers, and power means for driving the drive rollers. One elongated brush means is disposed ahead of the front drive roller to act on the floor surface, and the power drive means for the brush provides a circular orbital motion of the brush in a horizontal plane. The machine housing contains a solution preparation and dispensing system including means for applying the solution to the floor surface at the front of the machine ahead of the brush. The vacuum pickup and collection system within the housing includes an elongated suction nozzle disposed between the front roller and the first mentioned brush to pickup material from the floor surface. In more particularity, the invention includes a second brush disposed toward the rear of the machine housing orbiting in a horizontal plane in the same manner. The solution preparation and dispensing system includes means for creating a dry foam, air pressure means for effecting flow of the foam to the floor surface, and means for controlling the rate of flow of foam.
The novel features and the advantages of the invention, as well as additional objects thereof, will be understood more fully from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
DRAWINGS FIGS. 1 through 4 are general views of a preferred form of machine as viewed, respectively, from a top, left side, front and rear of the machine;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are fragmentary detail views of the machine handle and controls as viewed from the respective planes indicated in FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a view from the bottom of the machine of FIGS. 1 through 4;
FIG. 8 is a view of the top of the machine, with the top cover removed;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken in the vertical plane 9-9 of FIG. 8 looking from the left side of the machine;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the brush drive mechanism illustrated in FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view taken in the plane 1l-ll of FIG. 8 adjacent to the left side wall as viewed from the right side of the machine;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view taken in the vertical plane 12-12 of FIG. 7 particularly illustrating the brush supporting mechanism;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary sectional view taken in the vertical plane I313 of FIG. 8, particularly illustrating the vacuum pickup nozzles and manifold;
FIG. 14 is a fragmentary sectional view of a drive roller and associated support bracket as viewed in the plane 14-14 of FIG. 11; and
FIG. 15 is a sectional view of a support and drive roller as viewed in the plane 15-15 of FIG. 14.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As seen in the drawings, the machine is enclosed in a generally cube shaped housing 10, the machine being self-propelled; and a control handle 11 is attached to the rear wall of the housing by means of which the machine may be manually guided by the operator to the extent necessary, the handle also having various controls mounted thereon for automatic control by the operator.
The machine housing or frame 10 is an integrated structure including a floor plate 13 and rear, left side, front, and right side walls 148, 14L, 14F and 14R, respectively, As viewed in plan in FIG. 1, the handle 11 is attached to the rear wall of the machine which, in normal forward operation, moves from right to left as viewed in this figure. The references to left and right sides of the machine are considered from the vantage point of the operator at the handle 11. A top cover 15, best seen in FIGS. 1 and 9, encloses the top of the housing and is removable for servicing. As will be described, the housing is supported somewhat above the floor surface, and a flexible skirt 16 defines a downward extension of the housing walls terminating close to the floor surface.
The machine is supported and propelled by front and rear drive rollers 22F and 22B rotatably supported in left and right roller brackets 24L and 24R respectively which are floatingly attached to the left and right sidewalls I4L and 14R respectively. As best seen in FIG. 11, the roller bracket 24L is supported for vertical floating movement relative to the wall 14L by means of supporting bolts 25 extending through vertically elongated slots 26 in the roller bracket. The roller brackets 24 then define a form of chassis for the machine; and the housing 10 is supported on the chassis by means of compression springs 27 confined between load bearing ears on the wheel brackets 24 and load bearing pads on load brackets 28L and 28R secured to the sidewalls 14L and 14R respectively. In this manner, the housing 10 is resiliently supported on the chassis defined by the roller brackets 24L and 24R.
As best seen in FIG. 14, each of the rollers 22 comprises a welded structure of an elongated cylindrical tube 31 having a resilient surface layer, and left and right hub structures 32L and 32R respectively. The hub structures include axial bores for retaining sleeve type bushings 33 by means of which the rollers are rotatably supported on elongated shafts 34 which extend between and are suitably secured to the roller brackets 24L and 24R. For driving the rollers, belt pulleys 35 are secured to the hubs 32L at the left ends of the two drive rollers.
The drive motor and gear box unit 36 for the drive rollers is best seen in FIGS. 8 and 13, this unit being mounted on a bracket 37 supported on the floor plate 13. The horizontal output shaft 38 from the gear box extends toward the left side wall and carries a drive pulley 39 disposed in the plane of the drive roller pulleys 35. A drive belt 40 couples the drive pulley 39 and the roller pulleys 35, this belt also passing over an idler pulley 41 rotatably supported on the roller bracket 24L, so that the two drive rollers are driven simultaneously by the drive motor unit 36.
A solution dispensing system includes a supply tank 45 formed integrally with the housing 10 adjacent to the front and left sidewalls. This tank is a sealed tank extending to the top of the housing and includes a filler opening and cap 46 for supplying materials to the tank. The materials are dispensed from the tank through seven vertical dispenser tubes 47 laterally spaced along the front of the housing adjacent to the front wall, these tubes extending from a trough 48 formed at the upper portion of the tank 45 and downward through openings provided in the floor plate 13. The trough 48 is a horizontal trough formed by the front wall 14F, a horizontal bottom plate having openings communicating with the upper ends of the dispenser tubes 47, and a rear wall formed by a weir gate 49 supported for reciprocating vertical movement in plane parallel to the front wall. The weir gate is supported from a control helix 50 threaded through a threaded bushing in the top of the supply tank, and including a manual knob extending from the top of the housing for control by the operator.
Through this control helix, the weir gate is raised or lowered to regulate the horizontal opening defined between the weir gate and the top ofthe tank which communicates the trough 48 with the remainder of the supply tank 45.
An electric motor-pump unit 53 is mounted within the supply tank 45 on the floor plate 13 for agitating and mixing the solution in the supply tank as desired.
Air for pressurizing the supply tank and for aerating and foaming the solution within the tank is provided from an air compressor-electric motor unit 56 mounted adjacent to the right front corner of the machine housing. The compressor outlet includes a flexible conduit 57 between the compressor and the supply tank, a conduit 58 within the tank including horizontal and vertical branches, and a horizontal T nozzle 59 providing two nozzle outlets 60. In operation, the solution in the tank is agitated by the motor-pump unit 53 and aerated by the compressor unit 56 to produce a foam which is caused to flow from the main tank chamber into the trough 48 as a result of the pressurization of the tank. The solution is then dispensed from the dispenser tubes 47 being discharged adjacent to the front wall 14F.
The working brushes for the machine are elongated front and rear brushes 61F and 618, respectively, having downwardly extending bristles. The brushes are supported on a horizontal brush plate 62, supported just below the floor plate 15, with the brushes extending transversely parallel to and adjacent to the housing front and rear walls. The support end drive for the brushes is best seen in FIGS. 9 and 10 and also in FIG. 7.
The power unit for the brush system is a vertically disposed electric motor 67 supported at the center of the machine housing on the floor plate 13. The motor drive shaft extends downwardly through an opening in the floor plate, and has non-rotatably fixed thereto an eccentric drive plate 63 including a fly wheel portion and an eccentric boss having a central axis laterally displaced from the motor shaft axis. An anti-friction rotation and thrust bearing 64 has its inner race secured to the eccentric boss; and a mounting collar 65 associated with the brush plate 62 is secured to the outer race of this bearing. In this manner, the brush plate 62 is secured to and partially supported by the eccentric drive plate 63.
As best seen in FIGS. 7 and 13, the brush plate is generally co-extensive with the floor plate of the machine housing; and the brush plate is further laterally supported by means of a pair of front tension springs 66F and a pair of rear tension springs 668. The front springs 66F are anchored between the housing floor plate and the brush plate to urge the brush plate toward the front of the machine, while the rear springs 66B are connected between the floor plate and the brush plate to urge the brush plate toward the rear of the machine. The springs 66 then form a lateral suspension system for the brush plate to facilitate orbital drive of the brush plate and brushes 61 by the eccentric drive mechanism, and to produce vibratory oscillations as will be described. As best seen in FIG. 9, the front brush 61F is spaced sufficiently from the housing front wall to permit the dispensing of the solution from the dispensing tubes 47 ahead of the front brush.
Vibratory oscillations are produced about the central axis of the eccentric boss of the drive plate 63 in the following manner. Referring to FIGS. 7 and 9 the boss axis is shown at its rearwardmost position or throw relative to the motor shaft axis and accordingly the boss central axis is placed a maximum distance rearward relative to the drive shaft axis. In this position of the eccentric drive plate, the forward springs 66F are tensioned more than the rearward tension springs 66B and therefore the forward springs are the dominant springs. Assuming clockwise rotation of the drive plate 63, as viewed in FIG. 7, it will be seen that as the drive plate approached this FIG. 7 position the right side forward spring is at maximum extension while the left side forward spring was still approaching maximum extension, and the balance of spring forces therefore produces a clockwise moment of the brush plate 62 relative to the eccentric central axis. Similarly, as the drive plate moves past the FIG. 7 position in a clockwise direction, the left side forward spring approaches maximum tension while the tension of the right side forward spring is relieved to produce a net balance of spring forces producing a counter clockwise moment of the brush plate.
By the same token as the drive plate approaches a position 180 from the FIG. 7 position, the left side rear spring will be dominant to produce a clockwise moment; and as the drive plate moves past the 180 position the right side rear spring will become dominant to again produce a counter clockwise moment. It will be seen then that for each revolution of the motor drive shaft, a net moment acting on the brush plate will shift four times to produce the above mentioned vibratory oscillations of the plate relative to the central axis of the drive plate eccentric boss. Further, it will be seen that it is the eccentric drive and the spring suspension acting together which produce the vibratory oscillations.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that similar reversing of moments acting on the brush plate would occur if either the forward or the rearward springs were eliminated and the plate were supported by only two springs.
The vacuum pickup system for the machine includes a collection tank 70 which is formed integrally with the housing floor plate and rear wall, extending laterally across the machine. An electric motor-vacuum pump unit 71 is mounted on the collection tank at the right rear corner of the housing and includes an inlet pipe 72 which extends vertically through the tank. The inlet tube includes inlet openings at the upper end of the tube to withdraw air only from the upper portion of the collection tank 70. The vacuum pump discharge conduit 73 extends downwardly from the unit discharging through the floor plate 13 to the area beneath the floor plate enclosed by skirt 19. A filter unit 74 is provided within the outlet conduit including a filter element removable from a rear housing wall.
The machine is provided with elongated front and rear vacuum nozzles 75F and 753 which extend laterally across the machine; the front nozzle 75F being disposed forwardly of the front drive roller 22F, and the rear vacuum nozzle 758 being disposed rearwardly of the rear drive roller 228. The vacuum nozzles are connected at their ends to respective left and right manifolds 76L and 76R, each of these manifolds including an upright discharge pipe 77 which extends through the housing floor into the collection tank 70. In operation, the vacuum created within the collection tank 70 causes withdrawal of the foam or dirt from the floor surface through the nozzles and the manifolds 76, which material is drawn into the lower portion of the tank. Since the discharge pipes 77 extend only a short distance above the housing floor surface, the discharge materials settle in the lower portion of the tank, and the relatively cleaner air is withdrawn from the tank through vacuum pump inlet tube openings adjacent to the top of the tank. A drain faucet 78 is provided for draining the collection tank.
The handle 11 is an elongated member including a T grip 81 at the outer end and a T base 82 in the form of a sleeve at the opposite end. The handle is coupled to the housing 10 by means of a transverse support pipe 83 non-rotatably mounted between left and right support brackets 84L and 84R secured to the housing rear wall. Since the machine is self-propelled, the handle is used for minimal machine guidance by the operator, and also to support the control panel for automatic control of the machine. For this purpose, the handle should be free to swivel on the support pipe 83 so that the T grip 81 may be held at a convenient height by the operator. For supporting the handle at a minimum height, the handle is provided with a latch pin 85 for engagement in a suitable angularly elongated recess in the support pipe 83. The pin mechanism is best illustrated in FIG. 9 which shows the latch pin 85 urged by a compression spring 86 into a pipe recess. A lever 87 at the grip end of the handle is coupled to the latch pin 85 through a cable or link for the purpose of releasing the latch pin when desired. A
This handle latching feature is also desirable for the purpose of transporting the machine over floor surfaces from one area of use to another. For this purpose the machine housing is provided with left and right transport wheels 90L and 90R rotatably supported on suitable wheel brackets 91L and 91R mounting on the housing rear wall. These transport wheels are mounted on the housing to be normally supported above the floor surface, and are engaged with the floor when the machine is tilted backward by means of the handle 11 wherein the machine is entirely supported on the transport wheels and conveniently moved by the operator to a different area for use.
As indicated above, all of the powered elements for the machine are driven by electric motors, and electric energy is supplied through a conventional power cord 92 connected to a suitable control box and panel 93 mounted on the handle 1 1 adjacent to the T grip 81. As best seen in FIG. 6, the control panel includes a main line switch 94, a reversible motor switch 95 for controlling the direction of drive of the roller drive motor 36, and an associated rheostat 96 for controlling the speed of the drive motor. Other controls are an on-off switch 97 for the brush drive motor 67, an on-off switch 98 for the supply tank compressor and agitator pump motors, and an on-off switch 99 for the vacuum pump unit 71.
The operation of the above described machine for several of its functions will now be briefly described.
For scrubbing or shampooing a rug or a carpet, the supply tank 45 is first charged with the appropriate treatment materials such as a suitable proportion of water and liquid detergent. Prior to the cleaning operation, the agitator pump and compressor are turned on to appropriately mix the solution and create the desired foam, while simultaneously pressuring the supply tank to the desired pressure. During this operation, the weir gate may be moved to its upper closed position by the control helix 50 to prevent flow of the solution foam into the trough 48.
After positioning the machine to begin the cleaning operation, the weir gate is opened to effect the desired flow of detergent from the dispensing tubes, the brush drive motor is energized, and the roller drive motor is energized to propel the machine in a forward direction. The vacuum system is also energized. The machine moves forward at an appropriate rate of speed so that the cleaning solution, which is applied uniformly across the machine path from the several dispensing tubes 47, is worked into the rug pile by the orbiting forward brush 61F to effectively clean all surfaces of the pile fibers and to work the cleaning foam to the base of the pile.
As the forward drive roller 22F moves toward the scrubbed area, the squeegee action effected by the weight of the machine urges the foam forward toward the front vacuum pickup nozzle 75F. The rear vacuum pickup nozzle 75B picks up any materials from the surface which remain; and the orbiting rear brush 61B effects a circular swirling action of the pile fibers to lift the pile to its original as-new position. The air circulated by the vacuum system is returned to the underside of the housing through the discharge tube 73, after being filtered, to effect a continuous circulation of air to assist in the drying of the surface enclosed within the machine skirt 16.
For a hard floor surface scrubbing r wax stripping operation, the machine functions in a similar manner. For this operation the forward operating brush 61F would be a different type of brush for performing a desired scrubbing or stripping operation; and a rear brush 613 would not be required.
For a floor waxing operation, a relatively quick drying foam wax solution may be dispensed to the floor surface with the same foaming and dispensing system, the forward brush 61F may be particularly adapted for distributing the wax foam uniformly over the floor surface. The vacuum system may be operated as an air circulating system wherein the air is directed to the area enclosed by the machine walls 14 and skirt l6 and recirculated through the vacuum pickup nozzles 75F and 758 to assist in the drying of the wax. The rear brush 618 then may be a polishing brush for applying a final polish to the floor surface.
What has been described is an improved floor treatment machine which is particularly adapted for the shampooing of rugs or carpeted floor surfaces including the application of the shampoo and the pickup of the dirt in one continuous operation.
An important feature of the invention is the brush drive system which provides for the circular orbital movement of one or more brushes to effectively clean the pile fibers from all directions and to prevent the dragging or laying down of the pile in one direction only. This orbital motion is similarly effective on hard floor surfaces, attacking embedded dirt in the surface from all directions.
Another feature of the machine is the solution preparation and dispensing system which produces an effective foam capable of being flowed to the floor surface at a controlled rate under air pressure.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A machine for treating floor surfaces comprising a housing having front and rear ends in relation to normal movement over a floor surface in one direction; front and rear traction means for supporting and driving said housing along the floor surface;
solution supply means in said housing including means for dispensing solution to the floor surface at the front thereof uniformly across the path ofthe machine;
brush means extending transversely across said housing between said dispensing means and said front traction means and supported in a plane parallel to the floor surface;
brush drive means including a brush support plate supported beneath said housing in a plane parallel to the floor surface; a drive motor mounted in said housing driving a single eccentric cam means having a central axis; rotary bearing means coupling said eccentric cam means and said brush plate to produce an orbital movement of said brush plate;
and at least two spring means laterally coupling said brush plate to said housing, and so arranged that they exert opposite moments about said central axis in response to orbital movement of the brush plate to produce vibratory oscillations of said brush plate relative to said central axis.
2. A machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein said housing includes a floor generally parallel to the floor surface; a continuous dependent skirt on said housing defining, with said housing floor and with said floor surface, a bottom enclosure for said traction means, said dispensing means, and said brush means;
means for circulating air through said enclosure comprising a pump unit, air supply conduit means communicating said pump unit with said enclosure, air outlet conduit means communicating with said en closure.
3. A machine as set forth in claim I wherein said solution supply means includes a sealed supply tank in said housing for containing a liquid solution, a source of compressed air communicating with said tank for pressurizing said tank and for producing a foam of the solution thereon, means in said supply tank for agitating and mixing the solution therein, and adjustable gate means for regulating the flow of solution foam from said supply tank to said dispensing means.
4. A machine as set forth in claim 3 wherein said agitating and mixing means includes an agitating pump in said supply tank.
5. A machine as set forth in claim 3 wherein said foam producing means includes air nozzle means communicating with said compressed air source.
6. A machine as set forth in claim 3 elongated transverse trough means in the upper portion of said supply tank; a plurality of vertical conduits defining said dispensing means for directing foam from said trough means to the floor surface at the front of said housing; and said adjustable gate means comprising an adjustable weir gate for controlling the flow of solution foam from the main supply tank chamber into said trough.
9. A machine as set forth in claim 1 said eccentric cam means being coupled to said plate adjacent to the center thereof; and said spring means comprising four springs coupled to said plate at four points symmetrical to the eccentric drive coupling, and acting in different directions relative thereto.
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|U.S. Classification||15/50.1, 15/380, 15/320|
|International Classification||A47L11/30, A47L13/34, A47L13/12, A47L11/34, A47L13/06, A47L11/205|
|Cooperative Classification||A47L11/34, A47L11/4038, A47L13/12, A47L11/4083, A47L11/205, A47L11/408, A47L11/307, A47L13/34, A47L11/4044, A47L13/06, A47L11/4072, A47L11/4069, A47L11/4066|
|European Classification||A47L11/40N, A47L11/40K, A47L11/40J2, A47L11/40J4, A47L11/40F6, A47L11/40N2, A47L11/40F2, A47L13/06, A47L11/30D, A47L11/205, A47L13/34, A47L13/12, A47L11/34|