US 3877152 A
A new and improved apparatus for sanitizing the contents of an appliance, such as clothing, sheets, towels and other laundry while such laundry is being dried in a laundry drier, or the contents of other appliances, which can be used to modify an appliance to add the sanitizing feature quickly and economically. The apparatus once installed permits optional sanitizing of the laundry being dried without interfering with normal drying operations.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent Gorman Apr. 15, 1975  SANITIZING AND DEODORIZING 2,707,837 5/1955 Robinson et al 34/133 APPARATUS 2,741,856 4/1956 Hall 34/133 3,226,842 l/l966 Morey 34/72 Inventor: Dewitt Gorman, PO BOX 26323, 3,236,073 2/1966 Davison et a]. 34/77 Houston, Tex. 77032  Filed: Oct. 3, 1973 Primary Examiner-Carroll B. Dority, Jr.
Assistant ExaminerLarry I. Schwartz PP 403,237 Attorney, Agent, or FirmPravel & Wilson 52 us. c1. 34/43; 34/4; 34/72;  ABSTRACT 34/133; 21/74 21/102 R A new and improved apparatus for sanitizing the con- 51 Int. Cl. F26b 13/10 tents Of an appliance, Such as Clothing, Sheets, towels 5 Field f Search 34/4 2 43, 72 0 133; and other laundry while such laundry is being dried in 2 54 R, 74 A 102 R a laundry drier, or the contents of other appliances, which can be used to modify an appliance to add the 5 References Cited sanitizing feature quickly and economically. The appa- UNITED STATES PATENTS ratus once installed permits optional sanitizing of the l 756 821 4/1930 Gmen laundry being dried without interfering with normal 2,137,376 11/1938 Altorfcr... 34/133 drymg opflauons 2,406,494 8/l946 Ferris 34/4 12 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 1 5197s snmzurz 1 SANITIZING AND DEODORIZING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Invention The present invention relates to sanitizing the contents. such as laundry and the like. in laundry driers and like appliances.
2. Description of Prior Art Prior art apparatus have been used in an attempt to sanitize laundry. clothing. dishes and the like in appliances. Certain apparatus such as those in L'.S. Pat. Nos. 2.930.721: 3.370.597: and 3.435.537 have added special deodorizing or sanitizing ingredients. either liquid or solid. during the operating cycle of the appliance.
Other apparatus. such as those in US. Pat. Nos. 1.690.024; l.756.82l; 1.948.339. 2.095.502; 2.137.376; 2.293.618; 2.707.837. 2,741,856; 2.752.694; 2.827.276; 3.130.570 have attempted to use ultraviolet light or ozone generating apparatus to sanitize the appliance contents. These prior art apparatus have been used in specially designed and built appliances. different in design and construction from conventional appliances. and were thus not suitable for use with conventional appliances for deodorizing and sanitizing operations. Further. these prior art apparatus were not suitable for adaptation or modification of conventional appliances of users who had bought and installed the conventional appliances without a sanitizing apparatus. An additional undesirable feature of these prior art apparatus due to their structural arrangement and mounting of the ultraviolet light was the hazard of ultraviolet burns to a user unless special shielding was included in the appliance.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly. the present invention provides a new and improved apparatus for mounting with a movable door of an appliance for sanitizing and deodorizing the contents of the appliance with a source irradiating the contents of the appliance with radiant energy to sanitize and deodorize such contents. The source is mounted on a support bracket within a cover plate. with the cover plate adapted for mounting on the movable door of the appliance. so that the appliance is quickly and economically modified to provide dor sanitizing and deodorizing of the contents of the appliance.
The present invention additionally provides a new and improved apparatus for sanitizing and disinfecting laundry in a laundry drier which receives the laundry to be dried through a movable door. having a source for irradiating the laundry in the drier with radiant energy to sanitize and deodorize the laundry. with a mounting means mounting the source with the movable door. The source includes an ultraviolet lamp which provides ultraviolet radiant energy and forms ozone to sanitize and deodorize the laundry. A safety switch is included for de-energizing the source when the door of the appliance is open to prevent radiation injury or burns to the user of the appliance.
Incoming air is drawn into the drier for drying operations to assist in sanitizing and deodorizing the laundry.
' An electrostatic grid is further included in the source in order to form additional ozone in the incoming air to assist in sanitizing and deodorizing the laundry.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved sanitizing and deodorizing apparatus.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for mounting with a movable door of an appliance to modify the appliance to provide sanitizing and deodorizing of the contents of the appliance.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved sanitizing apparatus for sanitizing and disinfecting laundry in a laundry drier.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is an elevation view of the apparatus of the present invention:
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 33 of FIG. 2:
FIG. 4 is an isometric view ofa portion ofthe apparatus set forth in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of an electrical control circuit of the apparatus of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings. the letter A designates generally the apparatus of the present invention for mounting with a movable door D (FIGS. 1 and 2) of an appliance P in order to sanitize and deodorize the contents of the appliance P. In the preferred embodiment. the appliance P is a coin-operated laundry drier of the conventional type having a coin-operated switch 10 therewith which permits operation of the appliance P for a predetermined time interval in order to dry the laundry inserted therein.
The door D is pivotally movable with respect to the appliance P about a hinged mounting 12 in order to permit insertion into the appliance P of the laundry being dried in the conventional manner. A handle I4 is mounted with the door D to permit the user ofthe appliance P to open the door D.
The coin-operated switch 10 (FIGS. 1 and 5) is of the conventional type with associated timer permitting operation of the appliance P for a predetermined time interval upon insertion of the proper coin. When the proper coin is inserted in the switch 10, electrical current is permitted to flow to an electrical motor 16 (FIG. 5) between an input terminal 18a and an input terminal 1812 which electrically connects the appliance P to a suitable electrical power supply. In order to preserve clarity in the drawings. the electrical heating system and other portions of the electrical circuits of the appliance P. which are conventional. are not set forth. A conventional contact switch 20 is mounted with the appliance P and is'closed to permit flow of electrical current through the motor 16 when the door D of the appliance P is closed. As is conventional. when the door D is open. the contact switch 20 opens. interrupting the flow of current through the motor 16 and terminating rotation of the moving cage in the appliance P to permit removal of the contents of the appliance P without danger of injury to the user.
The apparatus A includes a source S (FIG. 2) which irradiates the laundry with radiant energy in order to sanitize and deodorize the laundry. and a mounting means M for mounting the source S with the movable door D of the drier P. The mounting means M includes a cover plate C mounted with the door D of the drier.
and a supporting bracket B mounted in the cover plate C for receiving the source S. I
Considering the cover plate C more in detail (FIGS. 1 3). the cover plate C includes a toroidal outer portion 22 (FIG. I and a vertical inner portion 24 extending between diametrically opposed portions of the toroidal outer portion 22 (FIG. I).
The toroidal outer portion 22 of the cover plate C is generally in the form of an annulus. having a substantially flat circular inner plate 26 (FIG. 2) with a centrally formed circular opening 28 formed therein. a cylindrical side wall 30 extending outwardly from the inner wall 26 and tapering along a curved surface 32 into a circular outer wall 34. A cylindrical inner wall 36 (FIG. I) is formed extending between the inner portions of the circular walls 26 and 34 adjacent a circular opening 38 across which the inner portion 24 of the cover plate C extends (FIG. I).
The cover plate C is cast or otherwise suitably formed from a suitable synthetic resin. although it should be understood that other materials may be used. if desired.
The cover plate C of the apparatus A is mounted with a flat mounting plate 40 of the door D. of the conventional type. by means of suitable bolts 42 (FIG. 2). The plate 40 in a conventional appliance has a flat sheet of glass or other suitable transparent material adjacent a circular opening 44 formed therein.
Spacers or washers 46 are inserted onto bolts 42 after such bolts are inserted through the plate 40. The bolts 42 are inserted through suitable apertures or openings (not shown) formed in the inner plate 26 of the cover plate C in order to mount the apparatus A with the door D. Mounting flanges 48 having suitable openings formed therein are then inserted over the bolts 42 in order that a pair of semi-circular panes of glass 50 (FIG. 1) may be mounted in the opening 38, so that the apparatus A does not obstruct the user's vision of the contents of the appliance P during use. Suitable nuts 52 are then mounted with the bolts 42 in order to hold the spacers 46 and flanges 48 in place. and mount the cover plate C with the door D of the appliance P.
Considering now the inner portion 24 of the cover plate C (FIGS. 1 3). vertical side walls 54 are formed extending outwardly from the glass panes 50 to a vertically extending front wall 56 (FIG. 3). Tapering upper and lower surfaces 58 of the front wall 56 connect the front wall 56 with the front wall 34 of the annular outer portion 22 (FIGS. I and 2 Accordingly. it can be seen that the cover plate member C forms a closed chamber with the door D of the apparatus A. Additionally. the features of the cover plate C of the apparatus A set forth above permit the apparatus A to be mounted with a movable door of an appliance to modify such appliance to provide sanitizing'and deodorizing of the contents thereof.
During operation of the drier appliance P. a partial vacuum is formed in the interior thereof in order to draw heated air into the drier appliance P during drying operations. An opening 60 (FIGS. 1 and 2) is formed in the front wall 56 of the cover plate P to permit the partial vacuum in the drier appliance P to draw air into the cover plate C. as indicated by an arrow 62 (FIG. 2 A gasket 64 (FIGS. 2 and 3) is mounted adjacent the opening 60 and seals a passageway between the opening 60 and an inlet chamber I (FIGS. 2 4). The inlet chamber I is mounted with the cover plate C by the gas ket 64 and has an inlet port 66 formed therein adjacent the opening 60 and the cover plate C. A plate or flapper 68 is pivotally movable with pins 70 (FIG. 2) from a position closing the inlet port 66 in the inlet chamber I (FIGS. 2 and 4) to a position (shown in phantom in FIG. 2) permitting passage of air from the exterior of the cover plate C through the opening 60 therein and the inlet port 66 into the inlet chamber I. The flapper 68 moves in response to the partial vacuum in the interior of the drier appliance P to the open position. controlling the position of an arm 72 of an electrical sensor microswitch 74, which controls the closing of the microswitch 74 permitting the flow of electrical current in a control circuit K of the apparatus A (FIG. 5). for safety reasons to be more evident below.
An electrostatic grid E (FIGS. 2, 3 and 5) of the source S is mounted in the inlet chamber I in order to form ozone in the incoming air in the inlet chamber I in order to assist in sanitizing and deodorizing the laundry.
The electrostatic grid E includes a first ground grid or metal screen 76 mounted in a metal channel member 78 of the inlet chamber I (FIG. 3). A second ground grid or screen 80 is mounted in the inlet chamber 1 extending between the junctions ofa front wall 82 and two side walls 84 and 86 of the inlet chamber I. A first electrified screen 88 and a second electrified screen 90. which receive electrical energy from the control circuit K in a manner to be set fourth below. bent into a generally U-shape horizontal cross-section (FIG. 3) are mounted between two insulative sheets 92 and 94 formed from mica. bakelite. or other suitable electrically insulative material capable of withstanding sufficient potential difference between the electrified grids and the ground grids without arcing.
A portion of the side wall 84 and the side wall 86 adjacent an upper surface 96 of the inlet chamber I are removed forming openings 98 and 100 for passage of the incoming air from the inlet ports 66 past the electrostatic grids E from the inlet chamber l into the interior of the cover plate C as indicated by arrows 102 and 104 (FIG. 4). The upper surface 96 of the inlet chamber I is preferably formed from an insulative material. for reasons to be set forth below.
The incoming air after formation of the ozone therein by the electrostatic grid E passes from the interior of the cover plate C through a filter screen 106 mounted adjacent the opening 44 in the plate 40 of the door D and having side portions 108 and 110 extending outwardly therefrom through the gap between the semicircular glass plates 50 (FIG. 3).
The air within the interior of the cover plate C. after the formation of ozone therein by the electrostatic grid E is drawn inwardly into the interior of the drier appliance D by means of the partial vacuum therein. as indicated by a plurality of arrows 112 (FIG. 2). The filter screen 106 removes undesirable particles from the air entering the drier appliance P and prevents these undesirable particles from entering such appliance.
A pair of ultraviolet lamps V (FIGS. 2 and 3). which receive operating electrical power from the control circuit K in a manner to be set forth below. are mounted adjacent the screen 106 so that the ultraviolet radiant energy therefrom may enter the opening 44 in the door D of the appliance P to irradiate the contents of the appliance P and sanitize and deodorize such contents. The ultraviolet radiant energy from the lamp V of the source S further assists in killing particularly noxious and infectious germs. such as staphylococcus. making the apparatus A particularly suitable for use in hospitals and the like.
The ultraviolet lamps V are mounted in suitable electrical sockets 114 of the conventional type which are mounted along a horizontally extending portion 116 of the support bracket B (FIGS. 2 and 3). The support bracket B is generally L-shaped in cross-section with a portion 118 extending vertically upwardly from the horizontal portion 116 and forming a rear wall for the inlet chamber 1.
A reflecting trough member 120 (FIGS. 2 4) is mounted along a center portion 122 thereof with the upwardly extending portion 118 of the support bracket B. Outwardly extending side portions 124 and 126 of the reflecting member 120 assist in focusing radiant energy from the ultraviolet lamps V through the screen 106 and the opening 44 in the door D of the appliance P.
Considering now the electrical control circuit K (FIG. 5 a pair of inlet conductors 128 and 130 mounted in a cable 132 (FIG. 1) energize the control circuit K with the electrical energy which drives the motor 16 and switches and in the appliance P. A relay contact 134a of a relay coil 134 provides electrical current to an indicator lamp 136 when the relay coil 134 is not energized. The indicator lamp 136 is mounted in the cover panel C adjacent a translucent panel 138 (FIG. 1). The translucent panel 138 has a legend formed thereon by lettering or other suitable indicating techniques to indicate that the appliance P is equipped with the sanitizing apparatus A and that upon insertion of the proper coin. the laundry will be sanitized.
A coin-operated switch 140 is mounted with the cover panel C (FIG. 1) adjacent the translucent panel 138 and receives coins through a slot 142 formed in the cover panel C. The coin-operated switch 140 is electrically connected with the inlet conductor 128 by an electrical conductor 144 (FIG. 5) and closes for a short time interval upon insertion of the proper coin through the slot 142 in order to permit electrical current to flow through the relay coil 134 so long as the coin-operated switch 10 of the drier appliance P is closed.
When the relay coil 134 receives electrical current. the relay contact 134a moves to a position electrically connecting the inlet conductor 128 to a by-pass conductor 146 which by-passes the coin-operated switch 140, providing an alternative electrical path for current to the relay 134. latching the relay contact 134a in a position electrically connecting the inlet conductor 128 to the by-pass conductor 146. The by-pass conductor 146 thus permits electrical current to flow to the relay coil 134 when the switch 140 is closed by insertion of the proper coin in the slot 142, energizing the control circuit K so long as the timer switch 10 remains closed.
An indicator lamp 148 and a high-voltage coil 150 electrically connect the electrified grids 88 and 90 of the electrostatic grid E to the conductors I46 and 144 in order that such grids may be energized. The indicator lamp 148 is mounted behind a translucent panel 152 (FIGS. 1 and 2) formed in the cover plate C and provides an indication that the electrostatic grid E is receiving electrical energy and operating. forming ozone in the incoming air into the apparatus A. The high-voltage coil 150 is a conventional voltage increasing coil. raising the voltage level of the input provided over the conductors 128 and 146 thereto to a sufficient level to form ozone in the incoming air. The high voltage coil 150 is mounted with the inner surface of the circular rear plate 26(FIG. 2) of the cover plate C and provides the increased voltage levels to the grids 88 and over a conductor 152 which has an insulative coat ing therewith. or other suitable insulation in order to prevent arcing of the increased voltage level from the coil to electrical ground. The conductor I52 passes through the upper wall 96 ofthe inlet chamber 1. As has been set forth. the upper wall 96 is preferably formed from a suitable insulating material. The conductor 152 is electrically connected within the inlet chamber 1 to the grids 88 and 90 in order that such grids receive electrical energy to form ozone in the incoming air in the insulating chamber I in the manner set forth above.
A second relay contact 134!) of the relay 134 is in an open position when the relay coil 134 is not receiving electrical current. When the relay coil 134 receives electrical current in the manner set forth above. the contact 13412 moves to an opposite position. electrically connecting the inlet conductor 130 to an electrical conductor 154. The electrical conductor 154 energizes an indicator lamp 156 through the microswitch 74. The microswitch 74, as set forth above. opens when the drier P ceases operation at the end of the cycle or when the door D is opened. in order to interrupt operation of the ultraviolet lamps V when incoming air is not longer being drawn into the cover plate C through the inlet port 66. providing an additional safety feature against ultraviolet light burns. The indicator lamp 156 is mounted behind a translucent panel 158 formed on the cover plate C so that an indication is provided that the ultraviolet lamps V are receiving energy. A conductor 160 branches into a pair of conductive branches 160a and 160/1 to electrically connect the conductor 154 through the indicator 156 to ballast transformers 162 and 164, respectively. which energize the ultraviolet lamps V over conductors 166 and 168, respectively. The transformers 162 and 164 are mounted at a suitable location within the cover plate C. although such transformers are not set forth in FIG. 2 in order to more clearly set forth the remaining components of the apparatus A.
In the operation of the present invention, the user of the appliance P inserts the contents such as laundry to be dried therein and activates the appliance P by inserting the proper coin in the timer switch 10. At this time, the lamp 136 receives electrical current and indicates to the user that the apparatus A may provide the sanitizing and deodorizing afforded by the ultraviolet light formed by the lamps V and the ozone formed by the electrostatic grids E and additionally formed by the ultraviolet lamps V. At any time during the drying cycle that the user desires, insertion of a proper coin in the slot 142 activates the switch 140, energizing the electrostatic grid E and the ultraviolet lamps V by means of the control circuit K. In this manner. the user may control the length of time that the contents of the appliance P are exposed to the sanitizing and deodorizing effects of the ultraviolet light and ozone in accordance with the particular contents of the appliance. Further. for contents which do not requirej an undue amount of sanitizing and deodorizing. the control circuit K permits end-of-cycle operation so that the apparatus A need not operate for the entire operating cycle of the appliance P. Also. when sanitizing and deodorizing are not required. the apparatus A permits operation of the appliance P without interfering therewith.
As the appliance P is operating. the partial vacuum in the interior thereof draws incoming air through the inlet port 66 in the inlet chamber past the electrostatic grids E in order that ozone is formed therein and the ozonized air then passes from the inlet chamber 1 past the ultraviolet lamps V which forms further ozone therein. and through the screen 106 into the interior of the appliance P in order to provide a germicidal and sanitizing effect on such contents. as has been set forth.
In the event that during the operation of the appliance P it is necessary to remove some of the contents. the user opens the door D by means of the handle 14 and in so doing permits the safety switch 20 to open. With the safety switch 20 open. the conductor 130 and the conductor 154 do not receive electrical current. preventing receipt of operating voltage by the ultraviolet lamps V and preventing the use of the apparatus from being exposed to the harmful effects of exposure to the ultraviolet radiant energy formed in the ultraviolet lamps V so that interruption of the operating cycle interrupts the flow of electrical current to the ultraviolet lamps V for safety purposes. It is to be noted. however. that the opening of the coil 20 does not interrupt the flow of current through the by-pass conductor 146 to the relay coil 134, so that opening of the door D does not require reinsertion of a second coin in order to reactivate the apparatus A through the control circuit K.
lt should be understood that the simultaneous use of the ultraviolet lamps V is not mandatory. and that an electrical switch could be mounted at the junction of the conductors I60 and 160a and 16017 so that alternate operation of one of the two ultraviolet lamps V may take place. if desired.
It should be further understood that although the appliance P is set forth in the preferred embodiment as a laundry drier. the sanitizing and deodorizing features of the apparatus A of the present invention may be used with other types of domestic and industrial washing and drying appliances. if desired.
The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof. and various changes in the size. shape. and materials as well as in the details of the illustrated construction may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for mounting with a movable door of an appliance to modify the appliance to provide sanitizing and deodorizing of the contents of the appliance. comprising:
a. ultraviolet source means for irradiating the contents of the appliance with radiant energy to sanitize and deodorize such contents; and
b. a cover plate forming a chamber for receiving the ultraviolet light source means therein; and
c. a supporting bracket mounted in said cover plate for mounting said ultraviolet source means in said Cover plate; and
said cover plate having an inlet therein and a filter screen at an outlet adjacent said ultraviolet source means for passage of air into the appliance so that ozone may be formed in the air which passes into the appliance to sanitize and deodorize the contents of the appliance.
2. The structure of claim 1. wherein the appliance is a laundry dryer for drying laundry and air is drawn and further including:
electrostatic means mounted in said cover plate for forming ozone in the incoming air to assist in deodorizing and sanitizing the laundry.
3. The structure of claim 1. wherein the appliance is a laundry drier for drying laundry. and wherein:
said source means comprises means for irradiating the laundry in the drier with radiant energy to sanitize and deodorize the laundry.
4. A sanitizing apparatus for sanitizing and disinfecting laundry in a laundry drier which receives the laundry to be dried through a movable door formed therewith and wherein air is drawn into the drier for drying the laundry. comprising:
a. source means for irradiating the laundry in the drier with radiant energy to sanitize and deodorize the laundry;
b. means for mounting said source means with the movable door of the drier. said means for mounting comprising:
l. a cover plate mounted with the door of the drier. said cover plate having an opening formed therein for passage of air into the drier;
2. a supporting bracket mounted in said cover plate for receiving said source means;
c. inlet chamber means mounted with said cover plate and having an inlet port formed therein for passage of air into the drier;
(1. said source means comprising means for irradiating the incoming air to form zone therein:
e. outlet means formed in said cover plate adjacent the opening in the door of the drier for permitting entry of the ozone containing air into the drier;
f. sensor means mounted in said inlet port in said inlet chamber means for sensing stoppage of incoming air flow therethrough: and
g. means responsive to said sensor means for deenergizing said source means.
5. The structure of claim 4. further including:
safety switch means for de-energizing said source means when the movable door of the drier is open.
6. The structure of claim 4. wherein said source means comprises:
lamp means for forming ultraviolet light radiant energy.
7. The structure of claim 4. wherein incoming air is drawn into the drier for drying the laundry and wherein said source means further includes:
electrostatic means for forming ozone in the incoming air to assist in sanitizing and deodorizing the laundry.
8. The structure of claim 7. further including:
safety switch means for de-energizing said electrostatic means when the movable door of the drier is open.
9. The structure of claim 4. further including:
screen means mounted insaid outlet means for preventing undesirable particles from entering the drier.
10. The structure of claim 4 wherein air is drawn into the drier for drying the laundry and said cover plate has an opening formed therein for passage of the air into the drier further including:
source means on insertion of a coin therein. 12. The structure of claim 4. further including: electrical circuit means for controlling the operation