Title:
DRYER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dryer is provided that can prevent hair from being excessively dried, the dryer including: a casing having an inlet through which air is drawn from the outside, and an outlet through which air is blown to the outside; a blower, provided in the casing, for drawing air through the inlet and blowing the air toward the outlet; a heater, provided in the casing, for heating air blown toward the outlet; a steam generator, provided outside the casing, for generating steam; a steam-heating means, provided in the casing and connected to the steam generator through a connection pipe, for heating steam supplied through the connection pipe; and a steam duct through which steam heated by the steam-heating means is caused to flow toward the outlet.



Inventors:
Yao, Isoji (Osaka, JP)
Application Number:
14/007112
Publication Date:
01/09/2014
Filing Date:
02/16/2012
Assignee:
NAOMOTO CORPORATION (Osaka-shi, Osaka, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D20/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YUEN, JESSICA JIPING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POSZ LAW GROUP, PLC (12040 SOUTH LAKES DRIVE SUITE 101 RESTON VA 20191)
Claims:
1. A dryer comprising: a casing having an inlet through which air is drawn from the outside, and an outlet through which air is blown to the outside; a blower, provided in the casing, for drawing air through the inlet and blowing the air toward the outlet; a heater, provided in the casing, for heating air blown toward the outlet; a steam generator, provided outside the casing, for generating steam; a steam-heating means, provided in the casing and connected to the steam generator through a connection pipe, for heating steam supplied through the connection pipe; and a steam duct through which steam heated by the steam-heating means is caused to flow toward the outlet.

2. The dryer according to claim 1, further comprising a flow rate adjustment portion, provided in the connection pipe, for adjusting the flow rate of steam flowing through the connection pipe.

3. The dryer according to claim 1, wherein a steam path through which steam flows from the connection pipe toward the steam duct, is formed in the steam-heating means; the steam path having a closed path portion extending along a steam flowing direction and having a dead end.

4. The dryer according to claim 1, wherein the connection pipe has an electrically heated wire wound therearound.

5. The dryer according to claim 2, wherein a steam path through which steam flows from the connection pipe toward the steam duct, is formed in the steam-heating means; the steam path having a closed path portion extending along a steam flowing direction and having a dead end.

6. The dryer according to claim 2, wherein the connection pipe has an electrically heated wire wound therearound.

7. The dryer according to claim 3, wherein the connection pipe has an electrically heated wire wound therearound.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a dryer used for drying the hair on a person's head.

BACKGROUND ART

Dryers used for drying the hair on a person's head typically have a structure in which a blower and a heater are accommodated in a casing having an outlet, and the blower draws air through an inlet formed in the casing, and blows the air toward the outlet. The air blown toward the outlet is heated by the heater to generate hot air at the outlet, and a user applies the hot air to the hair for a certain time period, to dry the hair.

CITATION LIST

Patent Literature

PTL 1: JP6-335407A

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Technical Problem

However, when hair is dried by using the above-described dryer, a problem arises in that the hair near the outlet may be excessively dried and damaged.

Therefore, an objective of the present invention is to provide a dryer that can prevent hair from being excessively dried.

Solution to Problem

The dryer of the present invention has been developed to solve the aforementioned problem. The dryer of the present invention includes: a casing having an inlet through which air is drawn from the outside, and an outlet through which air is blown to the outside; a blower, provided in the casing, for drawing air through the inlet and blowing the air toward the outlet; a heater, provided in the casing, for heating air blown toward the outlet; a steam generator, provided outside the casing, for generating steam; a steam-heating means, provided in the casing and connected to the steam generator through a connection pipe, for heating steam supplied through the connection pipe; and a steam duct through which steam heated by the steam-heating means is caused to flow toward the outlet.

The dryer is structured so that steam generated by the steam generator is discharged from the outlet through the steam duct together with hot air generated by the blower and the heater. Therefore, the hair can be dried while being moisturized, thereby preventing the hair from being excessively dried. Thus, damage to the hair can be prevented, and, furthermore, the generation of static electricity in the hair can be reduced. Also, in the dryer, the steam-heating means for heating steam supplied through the connection pipe is provided in the casing. Therefore, even when steam that has passed through the connection pipe contains water droplets, the droplets can be evaporated by the steam-heating means, thereby preventing droplets from being discharged through the outlet.

Further, the steam dryer may further include a flow rate adjustment portion, provided in the connection pipe, for adjusting the flow rate of steam flowing through the connection pipe. “Provided in the connection pipe” can mean not only provided in the mid-portion of the connection pipe, but also provided at the end portion of the connection pipe, for example, in a portion between the steam generator and the connection pipe.

Further, in the dryer, a steam path through which steam flows from the connection pipe toward the steam duct, is formed in the steam-heating means, and the steam path has a closed path portion extending along a steam flowing direction and having a dead end. In this structure, when water droplets are contained in steam passing through the connection pipe, the droplets enter the closed path portion, and can be stored in the steam-heating means for an increased time period. Therefore, the water droplets can be reliably evaporated.

Further, in the dryer, the connection pipe may have an electrically heated wire wound around a connection pipe body. In this structure, steam generated by the steam generator can be supplied to the steam-heating means while being heated in the connection pipe. Therefore, a portion of the steam can be prevented from becoming water droplets due to the steam being cooled in the connection pipe.

ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECTS OF INVENTION

According to the present invention, hair can be prevented from being excessively dried.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a sectional side view of a dryer according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional side view of a steam-heating means according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a plan sectional view of the steam-heating means according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a front view of a steam generator according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, an embodiment of a dryer according to the present invention is described with reference to the drawings.

A dryer 1 according to the present embodiment includes a casing 2, and a blower 3 and a first heater 4 disposed in the casing 2, as shown in FIG. 1. Further, in the casing 2, a steam-heating means 6 and a steam duct 7 are provided, and the steam-heating means 6 is connected through a connection pipe 8 to a steam generator 9 disposed outside the casing 2.

As shown in FIG. 1, the casing 2 has an inlet 21, through which air is drawn in, and an outlet 22, through which air drawn through the inlet 21 is blown to the outside, formed therein. An outlet cover 221 is mounted to the outlet 22, and an inlet filter 211 for preventing dust from entering the casing 2 is mounted to the inlet 21. Further, the casing 2 may have a hood 23 for adjusting the diffusion of air blown through the outlet 22 mounted therein.

As shown in FIG. 1, the casing 2 has the blower 3 and the first heater 4 mounted therein, and a grip portion 24 held by a user has a blower switch 25 for controlling and changing the flow rate of air from the blower 3, and a heater switch 26 for switching the first heater 4 on or off. Further, in the casing 2, a steaming switch 27 for generating steam is provided in the grip portion 24, and a steam electromagnetic valve 11 described below is opened or closed by switching the steaming switch 27 on or off. The blower 3 is driven by a motor 31, to draw air through the inlet 21 into the casing 2 and blow the air toward the outlet 22. The blower switch 25 is set to “High,” “Low,” or “Off,” to adjust the flow rate of the air. The first heater 4 is disposed between the blower 3 and the outlet 22, and heats air blown by the blower 3, and the amount of heat is increased according to the flow rate of air from the blower 3.

The steam-heating means 6 heats steam flowing therethrough, and is disposed in the casing 2 and connected to the steam duct 7 extending toward the outlet 22, as shown in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, the steam-heating means 6 has second heaters 61a and 61b, and a steam path 62 is formed between the second heaters 61a and 61b. The steam path 62 has an entrance 621 through which steam supplied through the connection pipe 8 is introduced, and an exit 622 through which steam is supplied to the steam duct 7, as shown in FIG. 3. Further, the steam path 62 has a plurality of diverging portions 623, and closed path portions 624 having dead ends are formed so as to extend from the diverging portions 623 along steam flowing direction D. The steam-heating means 6 in the dryer 1 continues to operate when a steam generating portion 91 described below is turned on since a power supply for the dryer 1 is connected to the steam generating portion 91. The material for the steam-heating means 6 is not limited to any specific material. For example, a material such as aluminium or a copper alloy, having excellent heat-conductivity, heat resistance, and corrosion resistance, may be used.

As shown in FIG. 1, the steam generator 9 is connected to the steam-heating means 6 described above through the connection pipe 8, and the steam electromagnetic valve 11 and a flow rate adjustment portion 10 for adjusting the flow rate of steam supplied into the connection pipe 8 are disposed at a portion connecting the steam generator 9 and the connection pipe 8. The flow rate adjustment portion 10 has a needle valve 101 that has a conical valve body and enables fine adjustment of an aperture, and the aperture of the needle valve 101 can be adjusted by using a flow rate adjuster 102. The connection pipe 8 is a heating hose that has an electrically heated wire wound around the connection pipe body, and that operates when the power supply of the steam generating portion 91 described below is turned on. Steam supplied from the steam generator 9 is heated in the connection pipe 8.

As shown in FIG. 4, the steam generator 9 includes the steam generating portion 91, and a water tank 93 connected through a supply tube 92 to the steam generating portion 91. A cartridge water tank 94 is detachably attached to the water tank 93, and water is supplied from the cartridge water tank 94. The supply tube 92 is provided with an electromagnetic pump 921, a water softener 922 filled with ion exchange resin, and a check valve 923. Water in the water tank 93 is pumped by the electromagnetic pump 921, and supplied to the steam generating portion 91.

The steam generating portion 91 can store water supplied from the water tank 93, and is provided with a water level detector 911 for detecting the water level in the steam generating portion, and a pressure detector 912 for detecting the pressure in the steam generating portion, as shown in FIG. 4. The steam generating portion 91 further includes a third heater 913 for heating and evaporating water in the steam generating portion. The third heater 913 operates when the water level detector 911 determines that the water level in the steam generating portion 91 has reached a predetermined value. The third heater 913 stops when the pressure detector 912 determines that the pressure in the steam generating portion 91 has exceeded a predetermined value. If the pressure becomes abnormal due to some problem, a safety valve 914 disposed on the upper portion of the steam generating portion 91 is opened, to discharge steam inside the steam generating portion 91. The steam generating portion 91 further includes a drain pipe 916 having an electric drain valve 915, and a thermostat 917 for detecting the temperature in the steam generating portion. After use of the steam generating portion 91, in the case where power is temporarily turned off and then power is turned on again, when the thermostat 917 determines that the temperature in the steam generating portion 91 has become sufficiently low, the electric drain valve 915 is opened to drain water from the steam generating portion 91 through the drain pipe 916.

Next, the usage and operation of the dryer 1 having the above structure will be described.

When the dryer 1 is used, the cartridge water tank 94 containing water is mounted, in advance, to the water tank 93 of the steam generator 9, to supply water to the water tank 93, and the aperture of the needle valve 101 is adjusted by using the flow rate adjuster 102 to set the flow rate of steam to be supplied from the steam generator 9 to the connection pipe 8. Next, the steam generating portion 91 is turned on, and the steam generator 91, the steam-heating means 6, and the connection pipe 8 are operated. In this state, in the casing 2, the blower switch 25 is set to “High” or “Low,” the heater switch 26 is set to “On,” and the steaming switch 27 is simultaneously set to “On” (FIG. 1). The flow rate of steam to be supplied from the steam generator 9 to the connection pipe 8 can be adjusted as appropriate by using the flow rate adjuster 102.

Thus, when the blower switch 25 is set to “High” or “Low,” and the heater switch 26 in the casing 2 is turned on, the blower 3 is driven by the motor 31, air is drawn through the inlet 21 into the casing 2, and the air is blown toward the outlet 22 by the blower 3. The air blown toward the outlet 22 is heated by the first heater 4 to obtain hot air, and the hot air is blown through the outlet 22.

Further, turning on the steaming switch 27 opens the steam electromagnetic valve 11, and supplies steam through the connection pipe 8, the inside of which is heated to 120° C. to 150° C., from the steam generator 9 to the steam-heating means 6. The steam that has reached the steam-heating means 6 enters the steam path 62 through the entrance 621, and flows toward the exit 622 while being heated by the second heaters 61a and 61b, which have been heated to 150° C. to 180° C. A portion of the steam generated in the steam generator 9 is condensed before reaching the steam-heating means 6, and steam supplied through the connection pipe 8 may contain water droplets W. The water droplets W contained in the steam reach the diverging portions 623 of the steam path 62, and thereafter flow into the closed path portions 624, and are heated and evaporated in the closed path portions 624 (FIG. 3). As described above, even when steam supplied through the connection pipe 8 contains water droplets, the droplets are evaporated into steam while flowing through the steam path 62. Therefore, only steam is blown through the exit 622 of the steam-heating means 6. The steam flows through the steam duct 7 and is blown through the outlet 22 together with hot air.

Thus, hot air and steam blown through the outlet 22 are applied to the hair, and the hair is dried while being appropriately moisturized. When the hair is sufficiently dried, the blower switch 25 and the heater switch 26 are each turned off, to stop operating the blower 3 and the first heater 4 (FIG. 1). Further, the steaming switch 27 is turned off to close the steam electromagnetic valve 11 and stop the ejection of steam.

During use with the heater switch 26 turned on as described above, hot air is blown through the outlet 22. When the heater switch 26 is turned off and the blower switch 25 is set to “High” or “Low,” air blown toward the outlet 22 by the blower 3 is not heated, and cool air is blown through the outlet 22.

As described above, the dryer 1 of the present embodiment allows steam generated by the steam generator 9 to be blown through the outlet 22 together with hot air generated by the blower 3 and the first heater 4. Thus, excessive drying and damage of the hair can be prevented. Further, the generation of static electricity in the hair can be reduced. Further yet, in the dryer 1, even when steam supplied through the connection pipe 8 contains water droplets, the droplets can be reliably evaporated by the steam-heating means 6, and droplets can be prevented from falling onto the hair.

While the embodiment of the present invention has been described above, the present invention is not limited thereto, and various modifications can be made without departing from the gist of the invention. For example, in the embodiment described above, in the steam-heating means 6, the steam path 62 having closed path portions 624 is formed. However, the present invention is not limited thereto as long as water droplets contained in steam can be evaporated by the steam-heating means 6, and the steam path 62 may not have the closed path portions 624 formed therein.

Further, in the embodiment described above, the connection pipe 8 is a heating hose having an electrically heated wire wound around the connection pipe body. However, when steam generated by the steam generator 9 can be supplied to the steam-heating means 6, a member having no electrically heated wire, such as a TEFLON (registered trademark) hose, a member formed by silicone, or a member that can be freely bent and has excellent heat resistance, steam resistance, and pressure resistance, can be used as the connection pipe 8.

Further yet, in the dryer 1 of the embodiment described above, the first heater 4 can be turned on or off by using the heater switch 26 so that cool air can be generated. However, for example, the first heater 4 may be operated in conjunction with the blower 3 to generate only hot air.

DESCRIPTION OF THE REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 1 dryer
  • 2 casing
  • 21 inlet
  • 22 outlet
  • 3 blower
  • 4 heater
  • 6 steam-heating means
  • 62 steam path
  • 624 closed path portion
  • 7 steam duct
  • 8 connection pipe
  • 9 steam generator
  • 10 flow rate adjustment portion