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Title:
Lint trap
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An improved lint trap device comprises an attachment device, a base tubular-shaped plastic net, and an end-sealing device. The attachment device further comprises a plastic strap having a plurality of teeth at the proximal strap end and a plastic receptacle having a couple of teeth at the inner, upper surface. The end-sealing device disposed at the proximal end of the base tubular plastic net comprises a pair of end rims and a sealing slider. The pair of end rims has a detent at the center. The sealing slider has a latch at the center for latching onto the detent. The base tubular plastic net of the main body forms a plurality of paired mesh fins which extend along both sides and are disposed on every individual thread around each perforation of the base plastic net. The plurality of paired mesh fins disposes inwardly at a certain angle to form a secondary screen adjacent to the base plastic net. Due to the formation of a secondary screen, most lint and hair discharged from the washer are trapped and suspended at the tip of the paired mesh fins. Thus, the collected lint and hair are easily removed.


Inventors:
Lee, Myong Hoon (Flushing, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/365523
Publication Date:
08/19/2004
Filing Date:
02/13/2003
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
68/18F
International Classes:
D06F39/10; (IPC1-7): D06F29/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kangnam I, G. W. P. S. (P.O. Box 2301, Seoul, 135-242, KR)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A lint trap device formed of tubular-shaped plastic net is attached to discharge hose of a washing machine, the improvement of the lint trap comprises: an attachment device for securing the lint trap onto the discharge hose of a washing machine, a main body of base tubular-shaped plastic net forming a plurality of paired mesh fins for improving the efficiency of filtering performance, and an end-sealing device disposed at the proximal end of said plastic net for easily removing collected lint and hair.

2. A lint trap device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the attachment device further comprises a flexible plastic strap having a plurality of teeth at its proximal end and a plastic receptacle having at least two teeth at its inner, upper surface for engaging with the strap teeth.

3. A lint trap device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the main body of the base tubular-shaped plastic net having a plurality of paired mesh fins forms a secondary screen inwardly adjacent to said base plastic net to trap lint and hair at the inner surface of said base plastic net.

4. A lint trap device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the plurality of paired mesh fins is disposed inwardly at a certain angle from the tangential surface of the base tubular plastic net, said inclined angle range being between 15° to 60°.

5. A lint trap device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the plurality of paired mesh fins has a root, which is stiff enough not to bend or break when abundant water is suddenly discharged.

6. A lint trap device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the plurality of paired mesh fins has a tip, which is flexible and curly to easily trap human hair discharged from washer.

7. A lint trap as claimed in claim 3, wherein the length of the plurality of paired mesh fins is the same as or a little longer than that of an individual perforation of the plastic net.

8. A lint trap as claimed in claim 3, wherein the diameter of the plurality of paired mesh fins is approximately one-fourth that of the base plastic net.

9. A lint trap as claimed in claim 1, wherein said end sealing device further comprises a pair of end rims having a detent at the center and a sealing slider having a latch at the center.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to a lint trap device to trap lint and hair discharged from a washing machine. Particularly, the improved lint trap employs an advanced feature of a plurality of mesh fins to form a secondary screen inwardly adjacent to the base tubular plastic net for increasing the efficiency of filtering performance and easy maintenance.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] One of the well-known problems with clothes washers and other laundry machines is that, as water is discharged, it carries with it lint and hair from the clothes that have been washed. The discharged lint and hair can cause problems with drains, pipes, pumps and septic tanks in a drainage system. If the lint and hair can be trapped by a filtering device before the discharge of water, some of the problems can be eliminated.

[0005] The ideal location for filtering the lint and hair is the discharge hose of the washer. Thus, if a filtering device such as a lint trap were attached to the discharge hose of a washing machine, it could effectively filter the lint and hair as water empties into a sink or basin.

[0006] Even though a number of filtering devices and lint traps have been developed and used for this purpose over the years, conventional filtering devices still have many problems, including maintenance difficulty, draw back or bursting off of the lint trap due to the clogged filters.

[0007] In order to solve such a clogging problem, some filtering systems use a coarse mesh with double or multiple filtering elements. Even though the coarse mesh of the plastic net helps to reduce flowing resistance at the pumping cycle, it will deteriorate the efficiency of filtering performance Furthermore, most conventional filtering devices using a coarse mesh cannot effectively filter human hair. Because human hairs are longer than clothes lint and have a smooth, oily surface, most human hairs easily escape through the coarse plastic net. Thus, it causes a serious problem in the drainage system, especially in barbershops or beauty salons where towels and clothes are washed.

[0008] Some filtering systems adopt relatively fine mesh net or multiple filtering elements to improve filtering performance. However, systems adopting fine mesh experience increased flowing resistance when abundant water is suddenly discharged from the washer. The fine mesh net accumulates a lot of lint in a short period of time so that the plastic net is easily clogged. Therefore, such a system requires frequent maintenance to replace a lint trap or dispose of collected lint. If it is not cleaned on time, the discharging passage of the washing machine may become blocked and cause damage to the washing machine. If the lint trap attachment is not strong, the lint trap will burst out when abundant water is suddenly pumped out at the end of the washing cycle.

[0009] Many conventional filtering systems are designed to use a disposable filtering element, while some are designed to use reusable filtering elements. However, most conventional filtering systems adopting reusable filtering elements have difficulty removing clogged lint from the plastic net.

[0010] Therefore, an improved lint trap, which has high filtering capability for extended use avoids the aforementioned clogging problems and provides for easy maintenance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] To overcome the above-mentioned problems of the conventional filtering system, a new concept of an improved lint trap is hereby introduced.

[0012] An objective of the present invention is to provide an improved lint trap comprising an attachment device, a tubular-shaped plastic net as a main body, and an end-sealing device. The attachment device further comprises a plastic strap having a plurality of teeth at the proximal strap end and a plastic receptacle having teeth at the inner, upper surface for engaging each other. An end-sealing device attached at the proximal end of the tubular plastic net comprises a pair of end rims and a sealing slider.

[0013] Another objective of the present invention is to provide a tubular plastic net of the main body having a plurality of mesh fins being formed on each thread of the plastic net for increasing the efficiency of filtering performance. A pair of mesh fins is disposed on both sides of every individual thread of the plastic net around each perforation or opening.

[0014] Another objective of the present invention is to provide a plurality of paired mesh fins disposed inwardly at a certain angle to form a secondary screen adjacent to the base plastic net. A root of mesh fin is stiff enough not to be bent or broken when abundant water is suddenly discharged from the washing machine. The length of the mesh fins is the same as or a little longer than that of the individual perforations of the base plastic net. The diameter of the mesh fins is approximately one-fourth that of the base plastic net. However, the tips of the mesh fins are relatively flexible and curly to easily catch lint and human hair from the discharged water. Due to the formation of a secondary screen inwardly adjacent to the base tubular plastic net, most lint and hair discharged from the washer are trapped and suspended at the tips of the paired mesh fins.

[0015] Therefore, because they are suspended apart from the base plastic net, the collected lint and hair easily fall from the lint trap. Consequently, the lint trap of the present invention enables the collection and easy removal of more lint and hair.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The following description of the preferred embodiment is given with reference to several views of the drawing, in which:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a washing machine employing a lint trap device to protect the drainage system of a utility sink.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a preferred embodiment of the lint trap device of the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 3 is an enlarged front view of the lint trap configuration.

[0020] FIG. 4 is a top view illustrating an inside configuration of the lint trap formed with a secondary screen by the paired mesh fins.

[0021] FIG. 5 is an enlarged view illustrating a configuration of the paired mesh fins disposed on the individual plastic net.

[0022] FIG. 6 is an enlarged perforation of the improved plastic net and a conventional plastic net for purpose of comparison.

[0023] FIG. 7 is an attachment device for installing the lint trap on the discharging hose of a washing machine.

[0024] FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of the attachment device having a strap and receptacle.

[0025] FIG. 9 is a cross-section view of the attachment device.

[0026] FIG. 10 illustrates an end-sealing device comprising a sealing slider, a pair of end rims and a latching device.

[0027] FIG. 11 is a cross-section view of the end-sealing device.

[0028] FIG. 12 illustrates the opening status of the end-sealing device for removing the collected lint.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0029] In order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives of the present invention, an improved lint trap device 10 is developed. Hereinafter, the detailed description is disclosed accompanying the drawing.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 1, a lint trap device 10 of the present invention is seen as employed with a clothes washer or other laundry washing machine 11. The lint trap device 10 is attached at the proximal end of a discharge hose 12. At the end of a washing cycle, the lint-laden water or effluent contained within the washer 11 is pumped out of the washer through the discharge hose 12. During the pumping cycle, the lint and hair are trapped by the lint trap device 10. The lint-free water discharges into a washbasin 13 through a drain 14 and drainpipe 15, and thereafter into the plumbing system.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 2, the lint trap device 10 of the present invention comprises an attachment device 30, a main body of tubular shaped plastic net 20, and a sealing device 40. The attachment device for securing the lint trap to the discharge hose 12 further comprises a flexible plastic strap 31 and a receptacle 33. The plastic strap 31 is flexible but strong enough to bind the lint trap onto the discharge hose 12. The plastic strap 31 forms a plurality of teeth 32 at the proximal strap end. The receptacle 33 forms at least two teeth at the inner, upper surface for engaging with the strap end teeth.

[0032] Referring to FIGS. 3 through 5, a tubular plastic net 20 is employed as the base net of the main body for filtering lint and hair. At each thread of every perforation, the base plastic net 20 forms a plurality of paired mesh fins 21 for increasing the efficiency of filtering performance. At least one paired mesh fin 21, which is extended to both sides, is disposed on every individual thread 22 in a perforation of the base plastic net 20.

[0033] The root of paired mesh fins is stiff enough not to be bent or broken when abundant water is suddenly discharged from the washer. The length of the paired mesh fins is the same as or a little longer than that of the individual perforation of the base plastic net. The diameter of the paired mesh fins is approximately one-fourth that of the base plastic net 23. However, the tips of the paired mesh fins are relatively flexible and curly to easily catch lint and hair from discharged water.

[0034] The paired mesh fins 21 are disposed inwardly at a certain angle to form a secondary screen adjacent to the base plastic net 23. The range of inclining angle of the paired mesh fins 21 is between 15° to 60° against an imaginary tangential line of the base tubular plastic net 20. Due to the secondary screen formed inwardly adjacent to the base tubular plastic net 20, most lint and hair contained in the discharged water are trapped and suspended at the tips of the paired mesh fins 21. Since the collected lint and hair are suspended apart from the base plastic net 23, the collected lint and hair easily fall off during the cleaning process.

[0035] Because human hairs are relatively longer than clothes lint and have a smooth, oily surface, most human hairs easily escape through the conventional plastic net. Since most conventional filtering devices and lint traps do not effectively trap human hair, it causes a serious problem in the drainage system, especially washers or laundry machines used in barbershops or beauty salons for washing towels or clothes.

[0036] The secondary screen formed by the paired mesh fins of the present invention is excellent for trapping human hair. Thus, the improved lint trap device of the present invention enables effective trapping not only of clothes lint, but also of human hair.

[0037] As shown in FIG. 6, an enlarged view of a perforation of the base plastic net of the improved lint trap is presented for comparing with that of a conventional plastic net. A solid line represents the mesh of the improved base tubular plastic net and a dotted line represents the mesh of a conventional base tubular plastic net. Because of the formation of a secondary screen by the paired mesh fins, the improved lint trap enables the employment of a coarse mesh having relatively fewer meshes in the plastic net than does a conventional plastic net. If the number of meshes in the base plastic net could decrease by 10%, the perforation of the base plastic net would be increased by approximately 21%. The wider perforation of the base plastic net provides less flowing resistance when abundant water is suddenly discharged from the washer at the end of the washing cycle.

[0038] Referring to FIGS. 7 to 9, an attachment device 30 is employed for securing the lint trap device 10 onto a discharge hose 12 of the washing machine 11. The attachment device 30 further comprises a plastic strap 31 having a plurality of teeth 32 at the proximal strap end and a plastic receptacle 33 having at least two teeth 34 on its inner, upper surface for engaging with the strap teeth 32. The attachment device 30 is easily fastened onto the discharge hose 12 by pulling the strap end 35 while holding the receptacle 33. When the lint trap device is replaced or cleaned, the attachment device is easily unfastened by pushing the strap end 35 backwards while squeezing both sides of the receptacle 33 to make a clearance between both sets of engaged teeth.

[0039] As shown in FIGS. 10 to 12, an end-sealing device 40 is employed for easily disposing the collected lint and hair from the lint trap. The end-sealing device 40 attached at the proximal end of the plastic net comprises a pair of end rims 41 and a sealing slider 42. The pair of end rims 41 has detents 44 at the center. The sealing slider 42 is equipped with a latch 43 at the center for locking the latch 43 into the detents 44. The pair of end rims 41 is slidingly inserted into the sealing slider 42 until the latch 43 is snapped into the detents 44. When the collected lint and hair are removed from the lint trap, the latch 43 is pulled downward to unlock the sealing slider 42 from the detents 44. Then, the sealing slider 42 is pushed to either side to slide out from the pair of end rims 41. To remove the collected lint and hair, both ends of the pair of end rims 41 are squeezed to open it widely, as shown in FIG. 12. After cleaning the lint trap, the sealing slider 42 is slidingly inserted back into the pair of end rims 41 by reversing direction until the latch 43 snaps into the detents 44.

[0040] While the present invention has been described in detail with its preferred embodiments, it should be understood that further modifications are possible. The present application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses or adaptations of the invention, following the general principles thereof, and includes such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains within the limits of the appended claims.