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Publication numberUS3815872 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 11, 1974
Filing dateMay 22, 1972
Priority dateDec 29, 1969
Publication numberUS 3815872 A, US 3815872A, US-A-3815872, US3815872 A, US3815872A
InventorsDunn E
Original AssigneeDunn E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for treating fabric items
US 3815872 A
Apparatus for treating fabric items such as mops, mats, rugs, and the like with a dust control fluid includes a conveyor for moving such items with respect to a plurality of rollers. The first roller senses the presence of the item and initiates a measured spray of dust control fluid. A pervious roller, e.g. a felt roller, absorbs excess fluid from the item and spreads the fluid evenly, while a hard-surfaced roller urges the fluid into the item. For processing rugs, a rotating brush is employed for raising the nap of the rug after treatment.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. I United States Patent 1191 1111 3,815,872 Dunn June 11, 1974 [54] APPARATUS FOR TREATING FABRIC 2,969,923 l/l96l Fremion 239/583 x IT MS 2,991,945 7/1961 Rosenkranz 239/583 X 3,524,593 8/1970 Buckle et al. 239/583 [76] Inventor: Elmer M. Dunn, 1894 Northview y Salem Oreg' 97303 Primary Examiner-Arnold Rosenthal [22] Filed: May 22, 1972 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Klarquist, Sparkman, [2]] pp No 255 896 Campbell, Leigh, Hall & Whinston Related U.S. Application Data 57 ABSTRACT [62] gzg g 1969 Apparatus for treating fabric items such as mops,

7 mats, rugs, and the like with a dust control fluid in- [52] 251/323 137/454 5 239/583 cludes a conveyor for moving such items with respect [51 1 CL Bosb [516k 1 /00 to a plurality of rollers. The first roller senses the pres- [58] Field of H323 137/454 ence of the item and initiates a measured spray of dust 2:39/583 562 control fluid. A pervious roller, e.g. a felt roller, ab-

sorbs excess fluid from the item and spreads the fluid [56] References Cited evenly, while a hard-surfaced roller urges the fluid into the item. For processing rugs, a rotating brush is l 607 3 1 gig? :TATES PATENTS 2 employed for raising the nap of the rug after treat- 6. rescott 51 323 X me L 1,652,524 12/1927 Gauger et al. 137/4545 X n 2,658,716 11/1953 Winfree 137/4545 x 1 Claim, 10 Drawing Figures PA'TE'N'iEDJum 1 1914 3815872 sum 10F 4 FIG. I

PATENTEDJUM 1 mm SHEET 2 OF 4 mm mm m 0? mm 7. mm D m QE PATENTEDJUH 11 I974 3.815872 sum 3 or 4 FIG. 5

APPARATUS FOR TREATING FABRIC ITEMS This is a division of application Ser. No. 888,541, filed Dec. 29, 1969, now US. Pat. No. 3,687,102.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Mops, mats, rugs, and the like are frequently treated with dust control fluid for rendering the particular item more effective in producing adherence of dust and dirt particules. In the case of a mat or rug, the item can be employed at the entrance of a store, shop, or building for removing dust and dirt from customers shoes upon entering the premises. Heretofore, fluid of this type has been applied in commercial laundries'after the item is appropriately cleaned, but the application of such fluid has heretofore been either slow or uncontrolled. Fluid can be applied by hand with a portable spray head directed at the surface of a mat, rug, or the like, but this procedure is time consuming and costly from the labor standpoint, and moreover does not necessarily result in evenly measured coverage of the proper amount of fluid to the item. Some effort has been made in handling the treatment of mops in a more expeditious manner. For example, mops may be soaked in dust control fluid or saturated with a high pressure spray, after which a centrifugal extractor is employed for withdrawing excess fluid. This results in unnecessary waste of fluid and application thereof to portions of the mop normally unused for the purpose intended.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, apparatus for treating items such as mops, mats, rugs, or the like, comprises means for conveying a relatively large number of such items past a given point, and means for releasing a measured quantity of dust control fluid for application to such items individually. Roller means are employed for bearing upon each such item to increase the extent of application or penetration of dust control fluid into each item. The roller means desirably include a pervious roller for absorbing and spreading the dust control fluid. The aforementioned means for releasing a measured quantity of dust control fluid is desirably operated by sensing means disposed ahead of the means for releasing the measured quantity of fluid.

According to one embodiment, the means for releasing dust control fluid comprises valve means for discharging such fluid on a pervious roller by way of which the fluid is applied to the particular item. In the case of mats or rugs, a rotary brush is employed for raising the nap of the rug or mat after treatment.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for treating fabric items such as mops, mats, rugs, and the like with dust control fluid, wherein such treatment is accomplished quickly and efficiently.

It is another object of the present invention to pro vide an improved apparatus for treating fabric items such as mops, mats, rugs, and the like with an amount of dust control fluid appropriate for a given item and directed toward a selected portion of such item.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for treating fabric items such as mops, mats, rugs, and the like with dust control fluid, wherein the dust control fluid is rapidly and efficiently penetrated into the particular item.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for treating fabric items such as mops, mats, rugs, and the like incorporating novel valve means.

The subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with further advantages and objects thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like elements.

DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top view of a mop unit and a rug unit comprising apparatus according to the present invention, in

each case with the housing top removed;

FIG. 2 is an end viewof the mop and rug units of FIG. 1, looking into the inlet end of the mop unit;

FIG. 3 is a side view, partially in cross section, of a mop unit according to the present invention as viewed at 3-3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side view, partially in cross section, of a rug unit according to the present invention as viewed at 44 in FIG. 1",

FIG. 5 is a detailed cross-sectional side view of mechanism in the mop unit according to the present invention, particularly illustrating operation thereof, said view being taken generally at 5-5 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a detailed cross sectional end view of mechanism employed in the mop unit according to the present invention, taken at 6-6 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a detailed cross-sectional view of mechanism employed in the rug unit according to the present invention, taken at 77 in FIG. 1',

FIG. 8 is a further detailed view of mechanism of the rug unit according to the present invention taken at 88 in FIG. '1;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of valve means according to the present invention, taken at 99 in FIG. 6; and

FIG 10 is a schematic diagram of dust control fluid supply means according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 8, two separate units in accordance with the present invention are illustrated, with these separate units being usable together. A first unit, 10, is a mop unit for applying dust control fluid to fabric mop heads, and unit 12 is a rug unit for applying dust control fluid to rugs, door mats, pads, and the like for removing dust particles from the shoes of people entering a buildmg.

Referring particularly to the mop unit, 10, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, this unit comprises a cabinet 14 movable on casters 16, with the bottom portion enclosing a tank 18 comprising a source of supply of dust control fluid. The unit is suitably provided with a hinged top 98, shown in open position by dashed lines at 98a.

One appropriate fluid for filling tank 18 is a floor cleaner and dust control product sold under the name Malco, manufactured by the Maloney Chemical Company, Green Bay, Wisconsin. The particular compound forms no part of the present invention, and other The mop unit includes a conveyor suitable comprising a belt formed of a material impervious to the dust control fluid employed. One example is synthetic food belting commonly used in the food processing industry. The conveyor belt 20 is continuous, and passes around end rollers 22 and 24 at the inlet end and outlet end of the conveyor, respectively. At the inlet end of the conveyor, a table 26 is hinged to cabinet 14 and carries a feed belt 28 passing around the feed belt end rollers 30 and 32. The feed belt can be manually operated for feeding mop heads into the unit. Alternatively, the table may comprise a flat metal shelf without feed belt 28.

Directly adjacent and immediately over conveyor 20 are located a sensing means comprising a sensing roller 34, and roller means comprising a pervious roller 36 and a hard-surfaced roller 38. The rollers, which are about three to four inches in diameter, are disposed in the order mentioned between the inlet end and the outlet end of the conveyor. Sensing roller 34, suitably formed of metal, is journaled on a pivoted frame 35,

and frame is in turn pivoted on shaft 37 disposed crossways of the frame so that roller 34 may move upwardly and downwardly with respect to conveyor 20 near the conveyor inlet end, i.e near roller 22. As the frame 35 moves upwardly and downwardly, an actuating arm 39 is also operated upwardly and downwardly, this actuating arm turning shaft 40. Frame 35 suitably carries a rod 31 passing through a longitudinal slot 33 in actuating arm 39 for this purpose. Actuating arm 39 controls a plurality of valve means 42 mounted in manifold 44 which extends transversely of conveyor 20, with the plurality of such valve means being disposed along the manifold 44 and operated in unison by actuating arm 39.

Each valve means 42 is provided with a stem 46 threaded at the top to receive a nut 48 bearing upon the plate 50 resting ,on side bars 51 carried by shaft 40. Each of the valve means is also provided with a nozzle 52 protruding below manifold 44 and capable of protruding a stream divergent transversely of conveyor 20. Nozzles of this type are frequently employed in irrigation and pesticide spraying, and form no specific part of the present invention. Each valve means is secured through upper and lower aligned apertures in fluid supplying manifold 44, with a port 54 being located in the side of each valve means communicating with the interior of the manifold. The valve means and the associated nozzles are suitably arranged approximately two inches apart. A deflector shield 56 is positioned at the lower forward end of the manifold 44 in order to confine the spary 58 emanating from nozzles 52.

Between valve means 42 and the outlet end of the conveyor are positioned the aforementioned roller means comprising pervious roller 36 and hard-surfaced roller 38. Pervious roller 36 is suitably a felt roller having a nap on the order of one-half inch in thickness. Rollers of this type are frequently employed for applying and spreading paint. Pervious roller 36 is fixed to the frame of the unit above conveyor 20. Hardsurfaced roller 38 is suitably a hollow steel roller having a smooth cylindrical surface, and is journaled upon a pivot arm 58 so that it may move upwardly and downwardly with respect to conveyor 20.

The conveyor 20 is driven by a motor 60 which, through a V-belt system, turns conveyor drive pulley 62. The conveyor-belt speed is typically approximately three hundred feet per minute. Motor 60 similarly continuously operates pump 64.

Referring to FIG. 10, schematically illustrating the fluidconnections for the mop unit, dust control fluid in tank 18 is withdrawn therefrom through valve 66 by pump 64 which delivers such fluid to filter 68. From fllter 68, the fluid alternatively passes through bypass valve 70 back to tank 18 via bypass connection 71, or through control valve 72 to manifold 44. The pump 64 runs continuously, and when valve means 42 provide an outlet for fluid delivered to manifold 44, fluid will be rapidly delivered in that direction. However, when valve means 42 are closed, and therefore no outlet from manifold 44 exists, fluid is returned to tank 18 via bypass connection 71. Valve 72 is employed for adjusting the flow procured from nozzles 52 when valve means 42 are opened.

Valves 74 and 66 are operated in the alternative. Valve 74 may be opened and an outside source of dust control fluid provided at connection 76, while pump 64 is operated for filling tank 18 through bypass valve 70 and connection 71. Connection 71 is suitably formed of flexible tubing or the like and may be withdrawn from tank 18 for emptying tank 18 with valve 66 open and valve 74 closed.

Referring to FIG. 9, illustrating a valve means 42 in greater detail, valve stem 46 passes through stuffing nut 78 and is provided at its remote end with a valve head 80 to which-washer 82 is secured. Spring 84 normally holds washer 82 against valve seat 86, with the opposite end of spring 84 bearing against tubular member 87 which bears against seal 88 to provide a packing gland around stem 46. Valve seat 86 is provided inthe lower end of body 90 above nozzle 52, the latter forming exit means. Nut 78 compresses seal 92 against the top of manifold 44, with nut 78 being threadably received through a top aperture in manifold 44 which is aligned with the bottom aperture through which nozzle 52 extends. A seal 94 is provided between the bottom of body 90 and the lower wall of manifold 44 so that when nut 78 is tightened, both seals 92 and 94 are compressed. The lower extremity of nut 78 is slidably received within body 90 of the valve means.

When plate 50 is upraised by up-pivoting movement of actuating arm 39, stem 46 is raised, and washer 82 is moved away from valve seat 86 allowing fluid from within manifold 44 to be expelled under pressure from nozzle 52. Nut 48 is adjusted in each case so that the valve means is fully closed, allowing no exit of fluid, when plate 50is in its lower position, while permitting a wide lateral spray of fluid from nozzle 52 when plate 50 is upraised.-

Overall operation of the mop unit will be considered with particular reference to FIG. 5. A mop head 96, which may initially be washed and dried by conventional means, is then oriented on feed belt 28 with its strands exposed. When the mop head 96 is urged onto conveyor 20, conveyor 20 draws it under roller 34. Roller 34 is upraised by the mop head, and in turn upraises actuating arm 29 causing plural valve means 42 to provide expulsion of the fluid, as indicated by spray 58 towards mop head 96. As the mop head moves under pervious roller 36, the latter absorbs fluid and spreads the fluid more evenly over the strands of the mop head. Then the mop head passes under hard-surfaced roller 38, which, by its weight, urges the dust control fluid into the mop head tending to compress the mop head against conveyor 20. Conveyor 20 tends to flex downwardly with roller 38 as a mop head passes under roller 38.

It will be observed that dust control fluid is applied to the mop head in a metered amount across and throughout the surface of the mop head. Just the amount desired is applied by adjustment of valve 72. No subsequent extraction is necessary. The spray 58 from the valve means tends to be a rather fine mist, and excess delivery of dust control fluid is avoided. Then, this fluid is spread by pervious roller 36, and is urged into the mop head by roller 38, for insuring more than a mere surface treatment of the mop head. The fluid is forced well into the mop head in accordance with the present invention.

The conveyor belt moves rapidly as hereinbefore indicated, and, if mop heads are fed into the machine one right after the other by an operator, several thousand mop heads per hour can easily be treated with one unit. Waste of dust control fluid is avoided, with just the proper amount of fluid being applied to each mop head. At the outlet end of the conveyor, baskets are successively positioned for receiving the discharged items, or, alternatively, the mops may be rolled, folded, or packaged.

The rug" unit, 12, is illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 7, and 8. In certain respects, the rug unit is similar to the mop unit, and corresponding elements are designated by primed reference numerals. Such elements are not in every case identical, but a similar function is in each case accomplished thereby. The rug unit will be particularly described with reference to the differences involved.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 7, and 8, the rug unit is provided with an input feed belt 26 having a lateral dimension broad enough for accommodating a rug or mat of the type commonly used at the entrance of buildings, stores, etc. for the purpose of removing dust and dirt particles from the shoes of people passing thereover. The rug or mat is placed with its long dimension crossways of the machine, i.e. with a long edge facing sensing rollers 34. Once the rug is laid out evenly on the feed belt, the rug and feed belt are urged forwardly (in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 1 on belt 26) into the unit whereby the whole rug is fed into the unitat the same time. Without this feed belt, the introduction of a rug into the apparatus would be somewhat awkward. Usually the back of the rug adheres enough to the feed belt, which is conveniently made of canvas or the like, so that forward pressure of the hands in the direction of the arrow is sufficient for moving the feed belt forward and introducing the rug into the apparatus under sensing rollers 34 and on top of conveyor 20', at the inlet end of the conveyor.

At the outlet end of conveyor 20', there is provided a folding table 100 onto which the rug is moved by conveyor 20 after treatment of the rug. The folding table is formed of smooth sheet metal, and the treated rug slides easily onto table 100 under the impetus of conveyor 20'. After the rug is on the folding table, it can be conveniently folded by an operator, and packaged, or placed in an appropriate receptable.

Inasmuch as rugs have varying widths, and it is desired only to provide dust control fluid on the top surface of the rug, the sensing means, comprising rollers 34', are in the form of individual wheels formed of metal or plastic which separatelyoperate aligned valve means 42'. These valve means correspond substantially to the valve means illustrated in FIG. 9, with each such valve means being disposed through aligned apertures in manifold 44'. Manifold 44' is provided with dust control fluid by means of a fluid system substantially identical to that illustrated in FIG. 10.

Each sensing roller 24' is connected to a rocker arm means 102 by means of a push rod means 104, with the rocker arm means being pivoted upon shaft 106. Each push rod means 104 is in the form of a clevis for supporting a sensing roller 34' The rocker arm means to which the push rod means is joined is in each case utilized to raise the stem of a valve means 42, by means of apertured cross rod means 103 secured to the rocker arm means, when the rocker arm means pivots upwardly.

The sensing rollers 34' and the associated valve means 42' are spaced across the rug unit, e.g. at one foot intervals, and a pervious roller 36 is associated with and aligned with each sensing roller 34', while all the pervious rollers 36 are rotatable individually on the same shaft. The pervious rollers 36 are closely ad jacent and form a nearly continuous line of such rollers transversely across and above conveyor 20, with each one suitably comprising a felt roller having approximately a one-half inch nap as hereinbefore described in connection with rollers 36.

In the rug unit, the nozzles 52' of valve means 42 direct a spray 58 upon pervious rollers 36', rather than directly upon a rug passing over conveyor 20'. This construction is found most suitable for the rug application wherein a relatively small amount of dust control fluid is to be most evenly distributed across the rug without unnecessary application of too much fluid to the rug. The application of too much fluid is not only wasteful, but can have deleterious effects with regard to the environment in which the rug is placed. Also, of course, a most even distribution of the dust control fluid is desired from the standpoint of rendering the entire rug surface effective for adhering to dust particles.

It is found that the maximum control of area coverage is procured with the roller spray arrangement illustrated, while avoiding the excessive deposition of fluid which might unnecessarily wet the back of the rug.

Each time a rug is conveyed upon conveyor 20', appropriate rollers 34' are raised as fall within the long dimension of the rug. Such of those valve means 42' as are associated with actuated rollers 34 are turned on for spraying the pervious rollers 36 with which the rug comes in contact. These rollers 36 are placed closely adjacent rollers 34' and apply the dust control fluid evenly over the surface or nap of the rug only for so long as the rug passes under ones of the rollers 34'.

Between nozzles 52' and pervious rollers 36' is positioned a trough 112 having a bottom opening immediately over the respective pervious rollers 36'. This trough 112 avoids spray forward and rearward of pervious rollers 36' which might tend to deposit fluid upon conveyor 20. The unit including trough 112 and pervious rollers 36 may be pivoted crossways of the apparatus if desired, by means not shown, in order to position or direct rollers 36' behind sensing rollers 34' at a desired distance. Trough 112 is appropriately provided with dividers 114 corresponding to the ends of pervious rollers 36 whereby the spray from a given nozzle 52' is confined to a particular roller 36.

Beyond rollers 36', a hollow steel cylindrical roller 38' is provided which is vertically movable in the frame, and which bears down upon the top surface of the rug for urging the fluid into the rug. This urging is not found to be quite as necessary in the case of a rug as in the case of a mop, so in some instances roller 38 may not be employed. At normal temperatures, the small amount of liquid usually employed for the rug sometimes does not require the additional pressure. As will be observed, pervious rollers 36' bear upon the rug to a certain extent, and penetration of the rug as obtained with rollers 36 has been found often to be adequate. Roller 38 is particularly useful when the apparatus is operated at low temperatures, e.g. in cold surroundings, and the fluid may become beady and may not as easily be urged downwardly into the rug or mat somewhat.

Between roller 38 and the outlet end of the conveyor there is located a rotating brush disposed transversely across the rug unit and journaled between frame members of the machine. Brush 108 is rotated by motor 60 via the same belt which drives the conveyor, but the pulley 110 driving the brush is slightly smaller than the pulley 62' driving the conveyor, so that the brush rotates at a slightly faster speed. The brush also rotates in a direction counter to the movement of conveyor thereunder. The bristles of brush 108 are disposed adjacent the conveyor, so as to contact the nap of a rug passing thereunder. The brush functions to raise the nap to a normal position, which may have become compressed by the roller means which the rug has theretofore passed under. Without this brush, the rug is not as immediately usable, and may have to dry to a certain extent before the nap is raised. In addition, vacuum cleaner means might have to be utilized for raising the nap. These expedients are avoided by the presence of brush 108.

A portion of the rug or mat is illustrated at 116 in FIG, 7, wherein sensing roller 34 is raised for providing a spray 58 onto pervious roller 36 which then coats rug or mat 116. The rug is provided with a measured amount of fluid, i.e. so much per foot, which is evenly applied. The rug then passes under roller 38' and rotary brush 108, as hereinbefore described, before reaching folding table 100. The conveyor 20 is appropriately moved by motor 60 at a speed of eighty feet per minute. Nearly 1,000 rugs or mats an hour can be treated by the apparatus.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the mop unit and rug unit embodiments according to the present invention are suitably disposed in side by side relation, with the outlet end of the rug unit adjacent the inlet end of the mop unit, and vice versa. In this manner, it is convenient for two operators to operate both units, with the person adjacent the feed table 26 of the mop unit feeding mops into unit 10, while also folding rugs received through the rug unit. The other person is positioned at the opposite side, and performs the reverse functions. Of course, such an arrangement is not required, but seems to afford maximum efficiency and utilization of the machines by a minimum number of people.

While I have shown and described several embodiments of my invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from my invention in its broader aspects. I therefore intend the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.

I claim: 7

1. Valve means comprising:

a hollow body provided with nozzle means having an exit orifice at a first end of said body and a valve seat inside said body around said exit orifice facing the opposite end of said body,

a valve stem extending longitudinally into said body from the said opposite end thereof and carrying a valve head inside said body adapted to provide engaging relation with said valve seat to close off said exit orifice, said opposite end of said body being provided with a stuffing nut through which said valve stem passes in sealing relation,

a spring means within said body in compression between said stuffing nut and said valve head for urging said valve head toward said seat,

wherein said stuffing nut has external threads, said body being tubular having side opening means with a manifold therearound having a first aperture into which said stuffing nut is threadably received, and a second aperture into which said nozzle means is received,

and sealing means adjacent both said apertures and engaged in sealing relation by the threadable engagement of said stuffing nut with the first aperture.

I UNITED STATES PATENE OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 1 51 Datedi June 11, 1974 Inventor(s) Elmer M. Dunn It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 3, lirie "5, "suitable" should be -suitably-. Column 3, line "46, "truding" should be -ducing Column 4, line :66, "29" should be -3 9-.

Signed and sealed this 5th day of November 1974.

(SEAL) Attest McCOY M. GIBSON JR. c. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents DRM PC4050 I uscoMM-oc 60376-P69 Q U S. GOVUINMENY PRINTING OFFICE I9! 0-36-134

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US2658716 *May 31, 1950Nov 10, 1953Robert N WinfreeManual and automatic valve
US2969923 *Feb 20, 1958Jan 31, 1961Fremion MauriceWater-mixing arrangement for shower baths
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4677774 *Nov 18, 1985Jul 7, 1987Ercole MacchiValve assembly structure for steam flatirons
US6158258 *Dec 21, 1998Dec 12, 2000Bowman; David AlanRinsing system
U.S. Classification251/323, 239/583, 137/454.5
International ClassificationD06B3/30, D06B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06B3/30
European ClassificationD06B3/30