Title:
Sanitary component, namely a stream regulator or stream former for flowing fluid media, method of producing such a sanitary component, and use of such a sanitary component
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sanitary component, namely a stream regulator or stream former for flowing fluid media, including of property-defining constructional elements which are arranged in a sandwich-like manner in the direction of flow and have at least one wire-mesh screen attachment, a diffuser plate system and a shell body with stream-forming segments extending over the cross-sectional area thereof and provided with openings. The property-defining constructional elements are exchangeable and combinable. A locking means is arranged on the inner circumference of the shell body, and a corresponding counter-locking means is arranged on the outer circumference of the diffuser plate system. The diffuser plate system is provided with an optical coding specifying the flow rate class and the shell body with an optical coding defining the flow type. Moreover, the wire-mesh screen attachment is inserted in a surrounding internal recess of the circular diffuser plate system, wherein, if a flow regulator is provided between the wire-mesh screen attachment and the diffuser plate system, the wire-mesh screen attachment is formed to be translucent or transparent and the flow regulator has another optical coding. If there is no flow regulator, an optical coding of the wire-mesh screen attachment is formed to match with that of the diffuser plate system or is provided in a predefined combination.



Inventors:
Denzler, Oliver (Bottmingen, CH)
Application Number:
12/507636
Publication Date:
01/28/2010
Filing Date:
07/22/2009
Assignee:
NEOPERL, Inc. (Waterbury, CT, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BOECKMANN, JASON J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CROWELL & MORING LLP;INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY GROUP (P.O. BOX 14300, WASHINGTON, DC, 20044-4300, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fluid stream regulator, comprising: a hollow shell body; a diffuser plate system affixed to said hollow shell body; an aperture formed in said diffuser plate system, said aperture being adapted to accommodate insertion of a flow regulator therein; and a mesh screen attachment that is lockingly engageable with said diffuser plate system, so as to enclose said aperture; wherein said mesh screen attachment has an optical coding that is indicative of whether a flow regulator is present in said aperture; said optical coding is such that said mesh screen attachment's being opaque is indicative that a flow regulator is not present in said aperture, and said mesh screen attachment's being is transparent or translucent is indicative that a flow regulator is present in said aperture.

2. A faucet stream regulator system, comprising: a plurality of combinable and exchangeable flow-altering subsystems, including at least a first flow-altering subsystem and a second flow-altering subsystem, each of said flow-altering subsystems comprising a mesh screen attachment and a diffuser plate system; and a shell body configured and adapted to interchangeably receive said diffuser plate system of any one of said plurality of said flow-altering subsystems in a mated configuration; wherein, in each of said flow-altering subsystems, said diffuser plate system is configured and adapted to receive said mesh screen attachment in an interlocked configuration; each of said flow-altering subsystems is configured and adapted to receive a flow regulator intermediate said diffuser plate system and said mesh screen attachment when said diffuser plate system and said mesh screen attachment are in said interlocked configuration; and each of said flow-altering subsystems has a first optical coding indicative of whether a flow regulator is present intermediate said diffuser plate system and said mesh screen attachment, said first flow-altering subsystem lacking a flow regulator and having a mesh screen attachment that is opaque as said first optical coding, and said second flow-altering subsystem having a flow regulator and having a mesh screen attachment that is transparent or translucent as said first optical coding.

3. The fluid stream regulator according to claim 1, wherein said optical codings comprises different color codings.

4. The fluid stream regulator according to claim 3, wherein: said diffuser plate system is color coded; and the color code for the diffuser plate system comprises dark green, burgundy, light green, light blue, yellow, dark blue, dark grey, light grey, grey, orange and neutral.

5. The fluid stream regulator according to claim 3, wherein the color code for the mesh screen attachment comprises the colors blue, ivory, green brown, olive, red, beige, black, pink, lilac and white when a color of the mesh screen attachment differs from a color of the diffuser plate system.

6. The fluid stream regulator according to claim 3, wherein the wire-mesh screen attachment comprises the color codes dark green, burgundy, light green, light blue, yellow, dark blue, dark grey, light grey, grey or orange.

7. The fluid stream regulator according to claim 3, wherein: the shell body is color coded; and the color code for the shell body comprises a first color assigned to a shell body with air supply slots provided therein, and a second color assigned to a shell body without air supply slots.

8. The fluid stream regulator according to claim 7, wherein: the first color is dark grey; the second color is light grey; and the shell body is dye-penetrated and made of a colored synthetic material.

9. The faucet stream regulator system according to claim 2, wherein: said flow regulator in said second flow-altering subsystem is color coded; and the color code for said flow regulator comprise light green, dark grey, green, lilac, dark blue, pink, orange, black, yellow and white.

10. The faucet stream regulator system of claim 2, wherein: said plurality of interchangeable flow-altering subsystems further comprises a third flow-altering subsystem and a fourth flow-altering subsystem; said mesh screen attachment and said diffuser plate system of said third flow-altering subsystem have a green color; and said mesh screen attachment and said diffuser plate system of said fourth flow-altering subsystem have a dark red color.

11. The faucet stream regulator system of claim 10, wherein: rated pressure of said third flow-altering subsystem is 60 psi; predetermined flow rate of said third flow-altering subsystem at 60 psi is 1.5 gpm; rated pressure of said fourth flow-altering subsystem is 60 psi; and a predetermined flow rate of said fourth flow-altering subsystem at 60 psi is 2.2 gpm.

12. The faucet stream regulator system of claim 2, wherein said colored mesh screen attachment has a color selected from the group consisting of dark green, burgundy, light green, light blue, yellow, dark blue, dark grey, light grey, grey, orange, blue, ivory, green, brown, olive, red, beige, black, pink, lilac and white.

13. The faucet stream regulator system of claim 2, wherein: said plurality of interchangeable flow-altering subsystems comprises a first group of flow-altering subsystems; each of said first group of flow-altering subsystems comprises a mesh screen attachment that is one of transparent and translucent; and each of said first group of flow-altering subsystems comprises a flow regulator having a color selected from the group consisting of light green, dark grey, green, lilac, dark blue, pink, orange, black, yellow and white.

Description:

This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/242,106, filed Oct. 4, 2005 which is a national stage of International Application No. PCT/EP2005/006756, filed Jun. 22, 2005 and claims the priority of German patent document No. 10 2005 022 841.0, filed May 18, 2005, the disclosures of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a sanitary component, namely a stream regulator or a stream former for flowing fluid media, consisting of property-defining constructional elements which are arranged in a sandwich-like manner in the direction of flow, to a method of producing such a sanitary component and to the use of sanitary components, namely stream regulators or stream formers.

2. Discussion of the Background

Stream regulators or stream formers offered by the company Neoperl GmbH under the brand names “Neoperl®” or “Perlator®” have been prior art for many years.

Due to different standards, e.g. the European standard EN 246 or the U.S. standard ASME A112.18.1M, a plurality of different products with different flow rates or with a different flow rate restriction therefore has to be available. Moreover, stream patterns with air added to form a so-called pearling stream are desired on the one hand, but also laminar, transparent flows of fluid media on the other hand, while the emission of noise caused when the stream flows out is to be influenced. The aforementioned requirements once again increase the number of different products, which actually serve one and the same purpose.

The most essential constructional elements of stream regulators or stream formers for flowing fluid media comprise means arranged in a sandwich-like manner in the direction of flow, namely usually a circular wire-mesh screen attachment, a circular diffuser plate system and a substantially cylindrical shell body with stream-forming segments that comprise openings, extend over the cross-sectional area of the shell body and may be constructed to form one integral part with the shell and/or as insertion plates.

The wire-mesh screen attachments or wire-mesh filter screens, which are preconnected to the stream regulators, flow regulators, flow restrictors and/or backflow preventers in the direction of flow, protect the sanitary interchangeable parts against the dirt particles carried along in the water. The wire-mesh screen attachments are usually connected to the further structural components and are inserted, as one functional unit, in an outlet housing which can be attached to the water outlet of a sanitary outflow faucet, e.g. by screwing, or is directly placed into the faucet. Typically, wire-mesh filter screens are made of a nontransparent synthetic material so that interchangeable parts on the outflow side cannot be seen. Thus, the user is unable to see what additional stream-forming or flow rate restricting means are provided inside the stream regulator.

Since, as was mentioned above, the spectrum of variants of the stream regulators or stream formers applies to different flow rate classes, whereby, for example, only 6 I/min at 3 bar are required for operating a faucet of a lavatory basin, while 30 Umin at 3 bar are recommended for filling a tub, and since, as was also mentioned above, there are different technologies for producing the flow rate classes and for the forming of a stream with a laminar, transparent or aerated stream, the user of stream regulators available on the market, especially in a shop selling spare parts, is frequently not in a position to recognize as to which stream regulators have to be mounted in the existing faucet so as to achieve a trouble-free operation thereof in accordance with the necessary comfort and safety requirements.

Moreover, since the number of function-defining constructional elements should be kept as small as possible with respect to a large variety of final products for production-technological and cost-reducing reasons, and last but not least for minimizing the stock keeping, it has already been attempted to provide the necessary product range as a whole by combining few constructional elements or structural components. However, it also has to be ensured during a production process that—by taking into account the quality assurance—in fact only those constructional elements are used which guarantee in their entirety the desired parameters of the stream regulator eventually used by the customer.

With respect to the prior art, another problem occurring with the identification of suited stream regulators is due to the fact that it is impossible, conditional on the usually standardized outlets of sanitary tapware, to take type-relevant or use-specific steps, e.g. by a particular exterior design. This is moreover aggravated by the fact that the stream regulators are frequently placed on the market as so-called OEM products, wherein on both the stream regulator itself and usually also on the metallic outer housing, in the interior of which the stream regulator is located and which is connected to the outflow faucet, only data of the manufacturer of the tapware, but not with respect to the specific properties of the stream regulator can be found. In other words, the danger of confusions in the prior art is relatively great, especially if the products are offered without an outer housing when a spare part is required.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Based on the above it is therefore an object of the invention to provide a further developed sanitary component, namely a stream regulator or a stream former for flowing fluid media, which can clearly be identified by various constructive and technological measures in both the production process and the subsequent use, and wherein it is to be possible to carry out the production of such components in an effective, cost-efficient and simple manner, without jeopardizing the quality requirements with respect to the final product.

Moreover, it is an object of the invention to provide a method of producing such sanitary components, namely stream regulators or stream formers, which is conducive to an automated assembly of stream regulators or stream formers.

Last but not least, the use of sanitary components, namely stream regulators or stream formers, is to be allowed in such a way that the use of unsuited components, e.g. a flow rate class for filling a tub used for the operation of a faucet of a lavatory basin, is almost certainly precluded. The same refers to the use of unsuited components at the OEM customer, which should be avoided.

The solution to the object according to the invention is achieved with a sanitary component according to the features of claim 1, a method of producing such a sanitary component according to the definition of claim 20 and with a specific use of sanitary components according to the teaching of claim 22, with the dependent claims defining at least useful embodiments and advancements.

The sanitary component according to the invention, namely in the form of a stream regulator or stream former for flowing fluid media, consists of or includes property-defining constructional elements arranged in a sandwich-like manner in the direction of flow or located in a stack system.

These constructional elements comprise at least one preferably circular wire-mesh screen attachment or filter screen, a preferably circular or circular cylindrical diffuser plate system and a preferably cylindrical shell body with stream-rectifying or stream-forming segments that comprise openings and extend over the cross-sectional area of the shell body.

For achieving an adaptability to most different user and application requirements the property-defining constructional elements are exchangeable and combinable. To this end, locking means are arranged, for example, on the inner circumference of the shell body and corresponding counter-locking means are arranged, for example, on the outer circumference of the circular diffuser plate system. These means are preferably formed to be integral, i.e. one piece, with the corresponding constructional element.

The preferably circular or circular cylindrical diffuser plate system comprises, at least on its outside, a coding specifying the flow rate classes, and the shell body comprises a coding defining the flow type or the stream pattern respectively. The flow type or stream pattern is preferably laminar with a transparent stream or effervescent, namely enriched with air. The flow type or the stream pattern respectively is symbolized by a specifying optical coding.

According to another embodiment of the stream regulator according to the invention the shell body comprises in its outlet area a pivotable insert or a pivotable flow rectifier with stream-forming means provided on the same.

With the circular embodiment of the diffuser plate system and the shell body, the inside of the shell body has the shape of a calotte shell, and the pivotable flow rectifier likewise has a calotte shell shape complementary thereto. Due to the pivotable rectifier the outflow stream may be tilted or turned under a certain angle starting from the longitudinal axis of the stream regulator. The movement of the rectifier in correspondence with the desired pivoting movement can be realized without any auxiliary device, i.e. by slightly pressing a finger onto the lower side of the plate.

The kind of realization of a stream regulator with and without a pivotable stream as result of a movable flow rectifier may be symbolized by another optical coding. According to a modified embodiment of a stream regulator according to the invention a coating having a defined minimum thickness or minimum strength from an elastomeric material, e.g. silicone, is provided on the outer surface of the flow rectifier, which may also be formed integrally with the shell body. This coating thereby follows the contour or the structure of the rectifier in the direction of flow. Especially limy sediments sticking to the elastomeric coating during the service life and the action time of the stream regulator may be removed by moving the coating in terms of slightly rubbing it.

The kind of coating on the outside of the flow rectifier moreover allows another haptic, i.e. touchable coding in accordance with the problem definition of the invention.

Finally, stream regulators are known which are not accommodated by a metallic outer shell, but which are directly screwed into the, e.g. tubular end of an outflow faucet. Such hidden stream regulators comprise a shell body with a male thread and a sealing ring usually positioned in a surrounding groove. This sealing ring may have an optical, i.e. colored coding being in contrast with the color code of the shell body. This coding then symbolizes, for example, the kind of male thread, the thread pitch or the like.

In one embodiment the wire-mesh screen attachment is inserted in a surrounding inner recess of the circular diffuser plate system, preferably by means of a locking connection or snap-in connection, wherein, if a flow regulator is disposed between the wire-mesh screen attachment and the diffuser plate system, the wire-mesh screen attachment is designed to be translucent or transparent and the flow regulator has another optical coding.

If there is no flow regulator, an optical coding of the wire-mesh screen attachment matching with that of the diffuser plate system or in a predefined combination is provided.

According to a particularly preferred embodiment of the teaching of the invention the optical codings are adapted to be different color codings.

The color shades or color differences of the respective codings comprise color temperatures detectable by means of opto-electronic image detection and evaluation. Also, it is within the meaning of the invention that the color shades may easily be perceived by the human eye.

The color codes for the wire-mesh screen attachment comprise 21 colors, namely dark green, burgundy, light green, light blue, yellow, dark blue, dark grey, light grey, grey, orange, blue, ivory, green, brown, olive, red, beige, black, pink, lilac and white.

The color codes for the flow regulator comprise ten colors, namely preferably light green, dark grey, green, lilac, dark blue, pink, orange, black, yellow and white.

The color codes for the diffuser plate system comprise at least 11 colors, namely dark green, burgundy, light green, light blue, yellow, dark blue, dark grey, light grey, grey, orange and neutral. The color tone neutral is a color that results from the, preferably, synthetic material as used and the material properties thereof, without any addition of colors. With the preferably used material POM this color tone is opaque to milky white.

The diffuser plate system is typically inserted in the shell body, but may also be, for example, a constructional element with an annular outer contour that differs from the color of the shell body. A neutral color of the diffuser plate system then symbolizes a model without noise reduction and a colored variant one with noise reduction.

The color code for the shell body comprises at least two colors, with a first color being assigned to a shell body with air supply slots provided therein and with a second color being assigned to a shell body without air supply slots.

Preferably, the first color is dark grey while the second color is preferably light grey, whereby the shell body is made of a colored synthetic material in a dye-penetrated manner.

A complementary color code for the shell body or the base of the shell body, namely with a colored marking clearly deviating from the aforementioned two colors, relates to an embodiment wherein the flow rectifier is configured to be a pivotable interchangeable part of the shell body. The color white, for example, symbolizes a pivotable embodiment, while the colors dark grey or light grey respectively symbolize a rigid embodiment.

The flow regulator used in the respective sanitary component comprises a control gap the flow cross-section of which can be altered by means of a ring elastically deformable under the pressure of the flowing fluid medium.

The transparency of the wire-mesh screen attachment is selected such that, on the one hand, the position of the deformable ring is and remains identifiable while, on the other hand, the entire flow regulator including its coding can be seen.

In one embodiment of the invention the elastic ring may also be provided with an optically identifiable coding, especially with a color coding, which is in contrast with the control gap or the surroundings thereof.

With respect to its shape, the wire-mesh screen attachment has a convex or conical shape on the inflow side.

The wire-mesh screen attachment preferably comprises polygonal screen openings and has an annular collar interlocking with the internal recess of the circular diffuser plate system. Moreover, a simple, easily comprehensible reference to the preferred individual purpose of use may be provided over the basic tint of the mesh-wire screen attachment, e.g. “water economy”, “maximum flow” or “normal consumption”.

As was explained, a choice of the diffuser plate system and the shell body and, if required, of flow regulators may be made by taking into account the user-specific requirements, wherein these constructional elements can be mounted easily with the exemplary locking means or snap-in connections. Although only a small number of individual constructional elements is recognizable in the assembled state it is possible, due to the proposed kind of optical coding, to find out visually, i.e. without any aid, solely by an easy to see conformity with a pattern or a colored representation, as to whether the product on hand satisfies the expected requirements and, respectively, is suited for the intended case of use.

With respect to the method of producing a sanitary component, namely a stream regulator or a stream former for flowing fluid media, again, the property-defining constructional elements arranged in a sandwich-like manner in the direction of flow are assumed, which comprise at least one, for example, circular wire-mesh screen attachment, one, for example, circular diffuser plate system and a, for example, cylindrical shell body with stream-forming, stream-rectifying segments that comprise openings and extend over the cross-sectional area of the shell body.

For achieving an adaptability to most different user and application requirements the property-defining constructional elements are exchangeable and combinable. To this end, specific locking means or locking connections are preferably used, which are integrally formed on or placed in the corresponding constructional elements.

The, for example, circular diffuser plate system comprises, at least on its outside, an optical coding specifying the flow rate class, and the shell body comprises an optical coding defining the flow type, namely laminar or aerated.

The wire-mesh screen attachment may be placed into the diffuser plate system, preferably by means of the aforementioned locking connection, wherein, if a flow regulator is provided between the wire-mesh screen attachment and the diffuser plate system, the wire-mesh screen attachment is formed to be translucent or transparent.

The flow regulator likewise comprises a specifying optical coding. If there is no flow regulator, the optical coding of the wire-mesh screen attachment matches with that of the diffuser plate system or is provided in a predefined combination, especially a combination of colors.

On the basis of customer-specific requirements about the desired flow rate class and the respective stream pattern and/or flow rate, the coding of those property-defining constructional elements corresponding to said customer-specific requirements or largely approximating the same is, with respect to the method, inferred from a code table.

Based on this information the procurement of the constructional elements from a store and the assembly of the parts is then facilitated and can also be carried out in an automated and controlled manner. Especially opto-electronic picture recording and digital image processing methods are suited for the control purposes.

The use or the application respectively of the sanitary components according to the invention, in particular as defined in patent claim 1, is accomplished by means of a code table authorized by the producer, indicating the optical coding of the constructional elements identifiable without disassembling them, which corresponds to or largely approximates the respective case of use with respect to the stream pattern, flow rate restriction and/or flow rate class.

It be mentioned at this point that not only the manufacturing process can be optimized and the quality assurance can be improved by realizing the teaching according to the invention, but the final user is able to easily identify the respective replacement model, last but not least with the consequence of a simplified order placement and an easier purchase.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Below, the invention will be explained in more detail by means of an embodiment and with reference to the figures and tables. In the drawings:

FIG. 1A shows a sanitary component in the form of a stream former, comprising a shell body for producing an aerated stream;

FIG. 1B shows a partial section of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 2A shows a top view of a sanitary component in the form of a stream regulator comprising a transparent wire-mesh screen attachment and a recognizable regulating unit;

FIG. 2B shows a partial section of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3 shows a partial section of a sanitary component comprising a two-piece diffuser plate system;

FIG. 4 shows a sectional view through an embodiment of a stream regulator comprising a pivotable flow rectifier inside the shell body;

FIG. 5 shows a perspective top view of a stream regulator comprising a male thread for the hidden assembly inside an outflow faucet;

FIG. 6 shows an example of a chosen coding of the wire-mesh screen attachment and the diffuser plate system with flow rates typical for the respective color combination at corresponding pressure values;

FIG. 7 shows a summary of the color codes for the flow regulator with a transparent wire-mesh screen attachment for performing the function of a regulated flow;

FIG. 8 shows a representation of the color codes of the shell or the shell body respectively, for the function of obtaining an aerated or laminar stream;

FIGS. 9 and 10 show an example of the colors of the wire-mesh screen attachments conditional on the sales area Europe or U.S.A., respectively, with respect to specific preferred purposes of use of the sanitary components;

FIG. 11 shows a color coding of a diffuser ring recognizable from outside as part of the diffuser plate system with respect to the noise behavior of the sanitary component;

FIG. 12 shows a representation of the haptic code with respect to the function lime resistance;

FIG. 13 shows the color code of the shell body or the shell base with respect to the desired direction of the stream when using the sanitary component; and

FIG. 14 shows a portion of an embodiment of a stream regulator comprising a pivotable flow rectifier inside the shell body and having a coating thereon.

According to FIGS. 2A and 2B the sanitary component comprises a flow-regulated stream regulator (FIG. 2B) including property-defining constructional elements arranged in a sandwich-like manner in the direction of flow. FIGS. 1A and 1B depict a sanitary component with a stream regulator merely forming or rectifying the stream.

The most essential constructional elements of the sanitary components according to the invention are the shell body 1 on the lower side or section of which flow-rectifying, stream-forming means 2 (flow rectifier) comprising openings are provided.

Over specific sections of the outer circumference the shell body 1 is provided with slot-shaped openings 3 which serve the supply of ambient air, namely, if an aerated pearling stream pattern is to be obtained.

A circular diffuser plate system 4 is disposed in the incoming direction above the shell body 1. This diffuser plate system 4 comprises a plurality of special stream-dividing openings with different cross-sections or varying longitudinal sections so that the upcoming fluid is accelerated and passed to the flow rectifier 2 which follows in the direction of the flow.

The diffuser plate system 4 is in contact with the inside of the shell body 1, e.g. by means of a locking connection 5, and is fixed correspondingly.

Thus, for achieving an adaptability to different user and application requirements, the property-defining constructional elements, namely the diffuser plate system 4 and the shell body 1, are exchangeable and combinable with the stream-forming means 2. To this end, locking means are arranged, preferably integrated, on the inner circumference of the shell body 1, while corresponding counter-locking means are arranged, preferably integrated, on the outer circumference of the circular diffuser plate system 4.

The coding of the circular diffuser plate system 4 is provided at least on the outside. Also, the coding on the shell body 1 is provided at least on the outside, wherein both the circular diffuser plate system 4 and the shell body 1 are preferably made of a dye-penetrated synthetic material, with the color of the synthetic material corresponding to the desired optical coding.

Preferably, a wire-mesh screen attachment 6 is inserted in the diffuser plate system 4 by means of a locking connection 5.1 or an integral connection. For this purpose, the circular diffuser plate system 4 comprises, according to an embodiment, an internal recess and the wire-mesh screen attachment 6 a partial or complete collar complementary thereto.

If a flow regulator 7 (see FIGS. 2A and 2B) is inserted between the wire-mesh screen attachment 6 and the diffuser plate system 4, the wire-mesh screen attachment 6 is, according to this embodiment, transparent (see FIG. 2A), and the flow regulator 7 comprises another optical coding being in contrast with the diffuser plate system 4 thereof.

If there is no flow regulator 7 (FIGS. 1A and 1B), the optical coding of the wire-mesh screen attachment 6 is formed to match with that of the diffuser plate system 4 or is provided in a predefined combination, especially in a combination of colors according to FIG. 6.

Looking at FIGS. 6 to 8 and the embodiment of the sanitary components of FIGS. 1B, 2B and 3, both the operative range and the product specification or the parameters thereof respectively can be easily derived.

The product according to FIGS. 1A and 1B accordingly is a stream regulator comprising a shell body 1 and slot-shaped openings 3, which—according to FIG. 8—is dark grey. A dark grey shell body 1 means that it produces an air-permeated stream.

It results from the combination of a dark blue diffuser plate system 4 with a dark blue wire-mesh screen attachment 6 that the respective stream regulator is suited for a flow rate class B (see FIG. 6).

The sanitary component according to FIGS. 2A and 2B relates to a flow-regulated stream regulator, namely because the wire-mesh screen attachment 6 thereof is transparent. The flow regulator 7, which can be seen through the transparent wire-mesh screen attachment 6, has a yellow color so that a flow rate of a maximum of 8.3 I/min is obtained in accordance with its intended use and in correspondence with an upcoming, also variable pressure.

Moreover recognizable is the elastically deformable ring 10 which is located in a control gap 11. In an unloaded case this ring 10 must not be deformed and has to adopt a desired position with respect to the flow cross-section to be modified. The corresponding position of the deformable ring 10 is easy to find out due to the use of the transparent wire-mesh screen attachment 6.

With reference to FIG. 2B, and by taking into account FIG. 8, the shell body 1 shown therein likewise has a dark grey color, which means that the stream produced therethrough is also air-permeated.

If the shell body 1 had a light grey color, this would mean that a laminar stream is produced in accordance with the intended use of this respective stream regulator.

The sanitary component according to FIG. 3 with a multi-part diffuser plate system comprises a screen 12 with a flow orifice 13. This flow orifice, the dimension of which that specifies the flow rate class cannot easily be identified by the user, may be symbolized by the color of the ring member 14 and/or the color of the wire-mesh screen attachment 6. The ring member 14 may be a component part of the diffuser plate system.

The embodiment of the stream regulator shown in FIG. 4 is substantially an analogous basic construction as shown in FIGS. 1A and 2A or 2B and 2B, respectively.

The interior of the shell body 1 contains the diffuser plate system with an upper part 4.1 for the purpose of accelerating the stream and a lower part 4.2 for dividing the accelerated stream and slowing it down. The flow rectifier 2 is positioned as a pivotable part 8 underneath the diffuser plate system. In order to obtain the exemplary pivoting movement shown in FIG. 4, the shell body 1 has the shape of a calotte shell in the lower portion on the inner circumference thereof The outer circumference of the pivotable part 8 has a corresponding calotte shell shape 9 complementary thereto. Due to the possibility of pivoting part 8, the stream flowing out may be moved from one side to the other about a certain angle, resulting in essential advantages in view of the usage of a so equipped water outflow faucet.

The color coding of the pivotable part 8 as base of the shell body 1 may be designed to deviate from the color of the shell body 1 as to allow, in this respect, a clear association in terms of the invention, e.g. the color according to FIG. 13.

An additional haptic coding of the outer surface of the flow rectifier or shell base respectively, based on the material of the coating 17 thereon as shown in FIG. 14, allows to define the resistance of the sanitary components against lime sediments in accordance with FIG. 12. Moreover, the choice of colors for the nontransparent wire-mesh screen attachments allows the user of the sanitary component to clearly infer information about the preferred use, e.g. the economy of water. According to FIGS. 9 and 10 the color “green” stands, for example, for an economy of water by a reduced flow rate.

It be mentioned at this point that all aforementioned optical codings are predefined regardless of the respective diameters or dimensions of the sanitary components, but the optical codings rather relate to function- and comfort-determining properties of the stream regulator only.

FIG. 5 shows a sanitary component the shell body 1 of which comprises a male thread 15, so that it may directly be screwed into a complementary female thread of an outflow faucet. In this case, too, the codings as explained may be applied with respect to the flow rate classes and/or flow regulation. In addition, it is possible to define the kind and/or pitch of the male thread 15 with the color code of a required sealing ring 16.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 1 shell body
  • 2 stream-forming means in the cross-section of the shell body 1
  • 3 slot-shaped air supply openings in the shell body 1
  • 4 diffuser plate system determining the flow rate class
  • 5 locking connection between shell body 1 and diffuser plate system 4
  • 6 wire-mesh screen attachment
  • 7 flow regulator
  • 8 pivotable flow rectifier
  • 9 calotte shell
  • 10 elastic ring
  • 11 control gap
  • 12 screen
  • 13 flow orifice
  • 14 ring member
  • 15 male thread
  • 16 seal