Title:
Accessory to clean and recondition the rubber profile of windscreen wiper blades
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Accessory to clean and recondition the rubber profile (12) of windscreen wiper arms (13) comprising a containing body (14) shaped substantially like an upside-down U, open on one side (14a) and housing scraping and/or abrasive means The scraping and/or abrasive means may consist of scraping blades or cylindrical milling wheels made to rotate by rubber rollers.



Inventors:
Faggiotto, Elberino (San Dona Di Piave, IT)
Application Number:
09/851901
Publication Date:
11/01/2001
Filing Date:
05/09/2001
Assignee:
FAGGIOTTO ELBERINO
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/236.09, 30/280, 30/294
International Classes:
B60S1/04; B60S1/38; (IPC1-7): A47L13/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RACHUBA, MAURINA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. Accessory to clean and recondition the rubber profile (12) of windscreen wiper arms (13), characterised in that it comprises a containing body (14) shaped substantially like an upside-down U, open on one side (14a) and housing scraping and/or abrasive means (2, 5, 6).

2. Accessory as in claim 1, characterised in that the scraping and/or abrasive means consist of at least a row of blades (2) suitable to act on at least one side of the rubber profile (12) of the wiper arm (13).

3. Accessory as in claim 2, characterised in that it has two opposite rows of blades (2) suitable to act simultaneously on both sides of the rubber profile (12).

4. Accessory as in claim 2 or 3, characterised in that the blades (2) are arranged substantially orthogonal to the rubber profile (12) to be cleaned.

5. Accessory as in claim 2 or 3, characterised in that the blades (2) are arranged in a herring-bone pattern with the respective ends (2a) of one row of blades (2) converging towards the ends (2a) of the opposite blades (2).

6. Accessory as in any claim hereinbefore, characterised in that it comprises a plurality of blades (5) suitable to exert a scraping action on the outer edge (12a) of the rubber profile (12).

7. Accessory as in claim 1, characterised in that the scraping and/or abrasive means consist of at least a pair of cylindrical milling wheels (6) elastically constrained together to exert a cleaning action on the sides of the rubber profile (12).

8. Accessory as in claim 7, characterised in that the cylindrical milling wheels (6) are driven by contact with rubber rollers (7) made to rotate by the rubber profile (12) passing through said rollers (7).

9. Accessory as in claim 7, characterised in that the cylindrical milling wheels (6) are inclined downwards with respect to the horizontal plane.

10. Accessory as in claim 1, characterised in that it has at least on one side a funnel-shaped mouth (3) which facilitates the insertion of the rubber profile (12) inside the accessory (1).

11. Accessory as in claim 10, characterised in that in correspondence with the mouth (3) it has bow-shaped guide means (9) which act as guides for the rubber profile (12).

12. Accessory as in claim 1, characterised in that it has knurling (15) on the outer surface which facilitates gripping and manipulation.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention concerns an accessory to clean and recondition the rubber profile of windscreen wiper arms as set forth in the main claim.

[0002] To be more exact, the invention concerns an accessory which can be used to remove from the profile of the windscreen wiper arms all impurities, dust or other dirt created while the windscreen wipers are inactive, or to regenerate the rubber profile by reconditioning it.

[0003] Even if the invention is described in its preferential application to windscreen wiper arms, it is not limited to this use, as it can be extended to other similar applications where it is necessary to perform scraping and/or regenerating operations of profiles of mainly rubber material used to remove dirt from a surface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] In the field of automobiles, motor transport and industrial vehicles, the state of the art includes motorised devices to clean the windscreen, called wipers or wiper arms.

[0005] The wiper arms have to work continuously to eliminate the water from the windscreen; in other cases, they have to clean not only water but also mud, sand or other encrustations.

[0006] Moreover, apart from the use to which they are subjected, they are exposed to great differences in temperature which with time compromise their efficiency.

[0007] When the wiper arms are inactive, all the impurities, for example particles of dust, sand, insects, etc., stick between the rubber and the windscreen, deforming the rubber profile which, when in contact with the surface of the windscreen, no longer adheres perfectly.

[0008] When the wipers have to be used again, they no longer clean perfectly precisely because of the dirt attached to the rubber.

[0009] Since the wiper no longer adheres perfectly to the windscreen, it does not remove the water completely, and limits the driver's visibility.

[0010] As soon as possible, users have to replace the wiper arms, which represents a considerable cost when replacements have to be made frequently.

[0011] Moreover, in the case of long journeys, this may be a problem if it is necessary to drive long distances with the wiper arms in a condition of poor efficiency, and is potentially dangerous for the driver due to the poor visibility when there is heavy rain.

[0012] The present Applicant is not aware of rapid, autonomous means to clean and regenerate wipers or wiper arms applied on industrial vehicles or other transport means.

[0013] The Applicant has designed and embodied this invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain further advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0014] The invention is set forth and characterised in the main claim, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the main embodiment.

[0015] The purpose of the invention is to provide an accessory which will permit users to clean the rubber profiles of windscreen wipers or wiper arms easily, rapidly and autonomously.

[0016] A further purpose is to maintain the wiper arms in a state of continuous efficiency, thus preserving the rubber surfaces better.

[0017] The invention allows not only to clean but also to regenerate the rubber profile by removing therefrom the particles of rubber and of dirt, so as to re-align the surfaces between the rubber and the glass, thus giving a perfect adherence and consequently allowing to clean the glass or windscreen in a permanently optimum manner.

[0018] The invention therefore allows the user to have the wiper arms permanently in a good condition, prolonging their working life and ensuring a high and constant level of efficiency; thus visibility is improved and consequently the safety of the driver of the vehicle even when there are long journeys involved and heavy, continuous rain.

[0019] The accessory according to the invention substantially consists of a containing body with a section substantially like an overturned U, open on one side and housing scraping and/or abrasive means.

[0020] The containing body can be manipulated by the user and advantageously has at least a gripping zone on its outer surface suitable to make it easy for the user to grip and use.

[0021] The body is suitable to be inserted with its open side onto the rubber profile of the wiper arm which is to be cleaned or regenerated, and then made to slide by the user along the profile, making the scraping and/or abrasive means contained inside cooperate with the part of the rubber profile which is to be cleaned.

[0022] In a first embodiment of the invention, the scraping and/or abrasive means of the accessory are comprised by a series of blades located on at least one row lying on a horizontal plane and suitable to act on at least one side of the rubber profile of the wiper arm.

[0023] According to a variant, the blades are located on two opposite rows so as to act simultaneously on both sides of the rubber profile.

[0024] In one embodiment, the blades are orthogonal to the rubber profile which is to be cleaned while, according to a variant, they are positioned facing each other in a herringbone formation with the ends of the blades in one row converging towards the ends of the blades of the other row.

[0025] According to a variant, inside the body there are also blades arranged vertically which act frontally on the edge of the rubber profile to be cleaned.

[0026] According to another variant, in addition to or as an alternative to the blades, the accessory has rubber wheels which, when they come into contact with the profile of the wiper arm to be cleaned, drive small rollers or cylinders lined with or made of abrasive material; the surface of the rollers is appropriately shaped, and they exert a milling action on the rubber profile, removing the dirt therefrom.

[0027] In another embodiment, the accessory according to the invention comprises, in addition or as an alternative to the blades and/or the rollers of abrasive material, steel milling wheels suitable to exert a milling action on the rubber surface of the wiper arm, in order to regenerate the profile.

[0028] According to another variant, the accessory according to the invention has an appropriately protected spatula which can be used as a tool to remove the ice which has formed on the windscreen during winter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] The attached Figures are given as a non-restrictive example and show some preferential embodiments of the invention as follows:

[0030] FIG. 1 is an overall side view of the accessory to clean and recondition the rubber profile of windscreen wiper arms according to the invention;

[0031] FIG. 2 is a view from above of FIG. 1 showing the user-friendly gripping zone;

[0032] FIG. 3 is a view from below of FIG. 1, that is to say, from its open side where the rubber profile is inserted, showing the dirt-removing elements of the accessory according to the invention;

[0033] FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section of FIG. 1;

[0034] FIG. 5 is a view from A of FIG. 3;

[0035] FIG. 6 is a view from B of FIG. 3;

[0036] FIG. 7 is an overall side view of a variant of the accessory shown in FIG. 1;

[0037] FIG. 8 is a view from below of FIG. 7;

[0038] FIG. 9 is a partly exploded view of a detail of FIG. 8;

[0039] FIG. 10 shows the section from D to D of FIG. 9;

[0040] FIG. 11 shows the view from C of FIG. 9;

[0041] FIG. 12 shows a variant of FIG. 9;

[0042] FIG. 13 shows a variant of FIG. 8;

[0043] FIGS. 14 and 15 show how the accessory according to the invention is used to clean and recondition in the embodiments respectively of FIG. 1 and FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0044] The accessory 1 according to the invention, used to clean and recondition the rubber profile 12 of a windscreen wiper arms 13, is shown in FIGS. 1 and 7 in two different embodiments.

[0045] The accessory comprises a body 14, shaped substantially like an upside-down U with the lower side 14a open and the outer surface equipped with a knurling 15 which makes it easier for the user to grip and manipulate with his hand 16, in the manner shown in FIGS. 14 and 15.

[0046] The accessory 1 has an anatomic shape which can be adapted to every type of requirement and application; the structure is made of various materials, for example rubber, plastic, PVC, polyethylene, carbon fiber, light alloy, etc., and can vary in size according to the use and the model of wiper arm 13 on which the accessory according to the invention is to be used.

[0047] The size of the accessory 1 is preferentially at least 150 mm in length, 30 mm in height and 20 mm in width.

[0048] These measurements should not be taken as restrictive, since it is obvious that they can vary according to the model of wiper arm 13 on which the accessory 1 is to be used.

[0049] The accessory 1 to clean and recondition the rubber profile 12 of windscreen wiper arms 13 is normally held by the thumb on one side and the other fingers on the opposite side (see FIGS. 14 and 15), so that it can first be inserted and then tightened onto the profile 12 to be cleaned and regenerated.

[0050] The accessory 1, shown in its first embodiment in FIGS. 1-6, comprises inside the body 14 a first plurality of blades 2 which, when the accessory 1 is in use, lie on a substantially horizontal plane.

[0051] The definition of horizontal plane, like the following definition of vertical plane, should be taken according to the use of the accessory 1 as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, since it is obvious that the accessory 1 can be used also by holding the wiper arm 13 vertically or inclined as desired.

[0052] In the case shown here, the blades 2 are arranged facing each other on two opposite rows (FIG. 3) with the respective ends 2a converging towards each other.

[0053] The converging ends 2a define a direction of preferential insertion of the profile 12 of the wiper arms 13, and more exactly from the side indicated by the letter A in FIG. 3.

[0054] In correspondence with the insertion side, the accessory 1 comprises a funnel-shaped mouth 3 which facilitates the insertion of the accessory 1 onto the profile 12.

[0055] In a similar way, on the opposite side the accessory 1 has a flared profile 4 which facilitates the removal of the profile 12 after the scraping operation has been completed.

[0056] The blades 2 are advantageously made of slightly elastic material, so that, when the body 14 is applied onto the profile 12, by inserting the body 14 through the mouth 3, and then made to slide along the profile 12 in the correct direction of advance, the ends 2a of the blades 2 are forced to act through friction on both sides of the profile 12, removing impurities and other dirt present thereon.

[0057] According to a variant of the invention which is not shown here, the blades 2 are arranged substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal development of the body 14, and therefore the profile 12 may be inserted and advanced indifferently in one direction or the other.

[0058] The accessory 1 also comprises a second plurality of blades 5, also slightly elastic and lying on a substantially vertical plane when the accessory 1 is in use, which exert a scraping action on the outer edge 12a of the profile 12 of the wiper arm 13.

[0059] Both the blades 2 and the blades 5 can be made of metal or other suitable material, and are welded to the inner walls of the body 14 of the accessory 1.

[0060] According to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7-13, the body 14 contains rollers or cylindrical milling wheels 6 arranged in pairs, made of or lined with abrasive material.

[0061] The cylindrical milling wheels 6 are driven by a pair of rubber rollers 7, which are made to rotate through friction by the longitudinal movement of the rubber profile 12 of the wiper arm 13 when it is made to slide through the rollers 7.

[0062] To be more exact, in this case there are two pairs of cylindrical milling wheels 6 arranged upstream and downstream of the rubber rollers 7 and constrained together and to the rollers 7 by means of small flanges 10.

[0063] The milling wheels 6 are maintained under pressure by means of springs 8, and are suitable to recondition the rubber profile 12 of the wiper arm 13, removing the dirt which has stuck there during periods of both activity and inactivity of the windscreen wipers.

[0064] To increase the efficiency of their action on the profile 12, the milling wheels 6 are inclined downwards with respect to the horizontal plane, thus defining a transit channel of a shape mating with the pointed shape of the profile 12 of the wiper arm 13.

[0065] The longitudinal part section in FIG. 9 shows the milling wheels 6 which are elastically forced into contact with the rubber profile 12 of the wiper arm 13 introduced through the mouth 3.

[0066] FIG. 10 shows a front section from D to D of FIG. 12 wherein the profile 12 is also shown during the milling action, while FIG. 11 shows a view from C of FIG. 9.

[0067] In FIG. 12, according to a variant, in correspondence with one side of the accessory 1 there is a pair of bow elements 9, attached in opposite positions on the sides of the body of the accessory 1, which act as guides for the rubber profile 12.

[0068] FIG. 13 shows a further variant which provides three groups 11 of milling wheels 6 and rollers 7 arranged in sequence to obtain a more efficient action of reconditioning and regenerating the profile 12 for each pass of the accessory 1.