US 3848804 A
Device for cleaning a surface wherein water is directed from nozzles which are in continuous motion substantially transverse to the general direction of advance along said surface.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Umted States Patent 11 1 [111 3, Prestwich Nov. 19, 1974 SURFACE CLEANING 1,184,274 5/1916 Thompson 239/287 x 3,086,713 4/1963 Moldenhauer 239/130 X  Inventor: f' 3,652,014 3/1972 Neville 239/287 Ma1denhead, England  Assignee: Warwick Pump and Engineering Company Limited, Dorch st r o Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Thames, Oxfordshire, Engl nd Assistant ExaminerMichael Mar Filed: Nov. 1972 Attorney, Agent, or Fzrm--Learman & McCulloch  Appl. No.: 308,464
52 us. c1 239/160, 239/287, 134/34  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl B05b 9/02  Field of Search 239/146, 160, 159, 286, De i for leaning a surface wherein water is di- 239/287; 134/180, 181, 34; 15/82-87, 340 rected from nozzles which are in continuous motion substantially transverse to the general direction of ad-  References Cited vance along said surface.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 900,015 9/1908 Hill 239/160 X 14 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures I I I I I I I I I I PATENTE NOV 1 9 I974 SHEET 20F 3 PATENTEL 1 3, 848 804 SHEET 30F 3 FIGA.
SURFACE CLEANING The present invention relates to a method for cleaning a surface and in particular to a device for implementing the method, in which water jets are used.
Examples of contaminated surfaces particularly suitable for application of the present invention are airport runways upon which rubber from the tires of aircraft landing wheels accumulates, and also concrete surfaces impregnated with oil. Known methods for cleaning these surfaces are time consuming, wasteful in cleaning materials and frequently do not clean the surface satisfactorily. The present invention attempts to overcome the above disadvantages.
In accordance with the present invention a method of cleaning a surface comprises: directing water from a nt zleg to said surface, said nozzle being in continuous movement in a direction substantially transveiEto a general direction of advance along said surface.
Furthermore, a device for cleaning a surface comprises: at least one nozzle for directing water onto the surface; means for imparting motion to the said or one of said nozzles, the said or one of said nozzles being continuously movable substantially transverse to a path of advance of the device; means for directing water through the said or one of said nozzles during a normal cleaning operation when the said or one of said nozzles is in said continuous movement substantially transverse to said path of advance of the device.
Preferably the said or one of said nozzles move along an arcuate path when performing said continuous movement substantially transverse to said path of advance of the device.
The said or one of said nozzles may be continuously movable around a circular path.
The device may further comprise a plurality of movable arms spaced relative to each other, one end of each of said movable arms being attached to a hub and another end of each of said movable arms being attached to at least one of said nozzles and preferably said movable arms lie in a common plane and are equi' angularly spaced.
Furthermore the device may comprise collecting means in the form of a trough which is Oshaped in sectional side elevation, a water deflecting flap being fixed .along a lower edge of the trough.
A present preferred embodiment of a device for implementing the method of the present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of the device;
FIG.,2 is a diagrammatic side view of the device;
FIG. 3 is a side view in section, of a part of the device showing a trough and flap for collecting the water;
FIG. 4 illustrates areas of a surface which have been cleaned by the device.
The floor cleaning device or vehicle comprises a chassis 1 which is propelled by an engine 2. The engine 2 also provides power for four rotating arms 3 via a gear box 5. The rotating arms 3 are spaced radially at equal intervals to each other and lie in the same horizontal plane.
Mounted at or near an end of each rotating arm 3 are two nozzles 6 from which a jet or curtain of water is emitted. The other end of each rotating arm 3 is fixed to a drive shaft 7 which is connected to the gear box 5. The height of the nozzles 6 above a surface 8 over which the vehicle may be moving can be adjusted by interposing an extension member between the nozzles 6 and the rotating arms 3 or by controlling the position of drive shaft 7 or by any other suitable means. Preferably the nozzles 6 are 2 4 inches above the surface.
An arcuate shaped collection trough 9 is fixed to chassis 1 in a position adjacent an arcuate portion of the path of travel of nozzles 6. The collection trough 9 is closed at one end, and at an opposite end of the trough an outlet pipe 10 leads to a contaminant well 11.
The collector trough 9 is C-shaped in vertical section (FIG. 3), a rubber or plastics director flap 12 being fixed along a lower edge of the collector trough 9.
The contaminant well 11 has a vacuum pump 13 attached thereto.
A filter unit 14, pump 15, water reservoir tank 16, piston pumps 17, and heating chambers 18 are units through which the water circulates before eventually being returned to nozzles 6.
A generator 19, which is driven by the engine 2, provides electrical power for two burners 20 which are used to heat the water in the heating chambers 18.
In use the floor cleaning vehicle operates in the following manner.
A sheet of water, preferably hot water, is emitted from each nozzle 6 under pressure which is as high as possible without causing damage to the surface and which is at least 50 psi. However the water is emitted only whilst the nozzles 6 travel in an arcuate path adjacent the collection trough 9. Any suitable valve means is disposedon the axis of rotation of the rotating arms 3 so that hot water is passed to the nozzles 6 when they move into a position adjacent the collection trough 9. When the nozzles 6 move beyond an end of the collection trough 9, the hot water supply is redirected to other nozzles which have moved into a position adjacent the collection trough 9.
After the water hits the floor 8 it is directed together with any contaminant removed from the floor 8, by the deflector flap 12 into the collection trough 9. The deflector flap 12 is angularly held against or close to the floor 8 by the collection trough 9 which is C-shaped in section so that water entering the trough is caused to form a vortex therein, thus reducing a possibility of the water rebounding out of the trough 9.
The water is also travelling in a direction corresponding to a chord of the arcuate collection trough 9 and thus, after being guided into the trough 9 by the deflector flap 12, the water with entrained contaminant moves in a spiral path towards one end of the collection trough 9. Vacuum pump 13 assists the removal of contaminated water from the collection trough 9 by forming a partial vacuum within the contaminant well 11 and outlet pipe 10. Contaminated water is thus continuously removed from the collection trough 9 through the outlet pipe 10 and into the contaminated well 11, where large pieces of dirt or contaminant fall to the bottom of the well 11 and air is removed through the vacuum pump 13.
The water, still contaminated with fine particles of dirt, is withdrawn from the contaminant well 11, and passed through a suitable water filter unit 14 where further contaminants are removed from the water. A water pump 15 is positioned between the filter unit 14 and the water reservoir tank 16, the water pump 15 effectively withdrawing the water from the contaminant well 1 1 and causing the water to flow into the water reservoir tank 16.
Two piston pumps 17 remove the water from the reservoir tank 16 passing it into the heating chambers 18 where burners 20 heat the water to a required temperature before it is passed once more to the nozzles 6. An additional water tank of 220 gallon capacity is towed on a chassis by the vehicle.
Since the engine 2 is geared to the driving wheels of the vehicle and the drive shaft 7, the speed of rotation of the rotating arms 3 is determined by forward movement of the vehicle. At a forward speed of mph each rotating arm 3 rotates 11 times per second, the forward motion being 2 feet per revolution. Thus, with each sweep of one rotating arm the associated nozzles 6 are arranged to spray water onto a 6 inch width of floor, (a) as illustrated in FIG. 4.
The length of each rotating arm 3 is typically about 2ft 3 inches and the length of a chord (b) for each arcuate sweep is about 3ft 7 inches. Since the width of the vehicle(s) is 4ft 8 inches, a substantial area of floor (d) would remian dirty if the vehicle were cleaning close to a wall or other obstruction. To overcome this, the mechanism which is used to feed water to appropriate nozzles 6 at the moment when the nozzles 6 are adjacent the collection trough 9, is adjustable so that water may be passed to the nozzles 6 at an earlier moment when the nozzles are positioned at a lateral extremity to the vehicle.
To facilitate cleaning or removal of large pieces of contaminant which may choke the collection trough 9 and outlet pipe 10, an upper roof portion 4 is removable. The roof portion 4 may be hinged to the main body of the collection trough 9, or simply clipped in position.
It is possible, and within the scope of the present invention, for an angularly oscillating arm to be used instead of a rotary arm, the water supply to the nozzles being shut-off when the oscillating arm commences a return stroke. This alternative would be particularly advantageous when used on a small manually guided floor cleaning machine of similar size to a lawn-mower.
1. A device for cleaning a surface which comprises: at least one nozzle carried by said device for directing water downwardly onto the surface; means for imparting motion to the said or one of said nozzles relative to the device to continuously move the said or one of said nozzles substantially transverse to a general direction of advance of the device; means for directing water through the said or one of said nozzles during a normal cleaning operation when the said or one of said nozzles is in said continuous movement substantially transverse to the general direction of advance of the device.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the said or one of said nozzles move along an arcuate path when performing said continuous movement substantially transverse to said path of advance of the device.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein the said or one of said nozzles is continuously movable around a circular path.
4. The device of claim 3 further comprising a plurality of movable arms spaced relative to each other, one end of each of said movable arms being attached to a hub and another end of each of said movable arms being attached to at least one of said nozzles.
5. The device of claim 4 wherein said movable arms lie in a common plane and are equi-angularly spaced.
6. The device of claim 1 further comprising means for collecting said water and contaminant mixed in the water.
7. The device of claim 6 wherein the collecting means comprises a trough which is C-shaped in sectional side elevation, and a flap fixed along a lower edge of the trough.
8. The device of claim 7 wherein said trough is arcuate in plan view and is disposed adjacent a path of the said or one of said nozzles when performing said continuous movement so that water is deflected from said flap into the trough and moves in a spiral path towards a first end of the trough.
9. The device of claim 8 wherein the trough is closed at a second end, an outlet pipe being disposed at said first end of the trough.
10. The device of claim 9 further comprising separating means for separating said contaminant from said water, said outlet pipe communicating with said separating means.
11. The device of claim 10 further comprising means for recirculating said water to the said or one of said nozzles.
12. The device of claim 10 wherein the separating means comprises a well member in which said contaminant collects and a water filter.
13. The device of claim 12 further comprising a vacuum pump for assisting the removal of contaminated water from the trough by forming a partial vacuum within said well member and said outlet pipe.
14. The device of claim 1 further comprising a water heater for heating said water before the water passes to the nozzles.