Title:
Bendable suction brush for vacuum cleaner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A suction brush assembly, which is connected with a body of a vacuum cleaner via an air passage, draws in air and dust from a surface to be cleaned. A bendable suction brush is provided that includes a brush body connected with the air passage, and a plurality of movable frames each with a suction passage to draw in the air and dust. The frames are formed on the brush body in a movable manner so as to rotate via an external force to a predetermined angle with respect to the brush body. At least one front frame overlaps portions of the plurality of movable frames to cover an open end of the brush body.



Inventors:
Lim, Jong-kook (Gwangju-city, KR)
Choi, Keon-soo (Gwangju-city, KR)
Application Number:
10/851070
Publication Date:
04/28/2005
Filing Date:
05/24/2004
Assignee:
SAMSUNG GWANGJU ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L9/02; A47L9/06; (IPC1-7): A47L9/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040016066Static removing hairbrushJanuary, 2004Frazier et al.
20060064833Mouth brushMarch, 2006Jacobs
20100037419ARTIFICIAL TURF CLEANINGFebruary, 2010De Bree
20090288261Mop StructureNovember, 2009Hsieh
20080201889WINDSCREEN WIPER FOR MOTOR VEHICLESAugust, 2008Valde et al.
20090307855Structure of wringable mopDecember, 2009Kao
20080052857ROTARY SCRUB BRUSHMarch, 2008Mcconnell
20040154117Sponge snow brushAugust, 2004Patterson
20040098826Dust collecting filter for vacuum cleaner and vacuum cleaner having the sameMay, 2004Joo et al.
20060005338Cleaning implement comprising a layer of melamine foamJanuary, 2006Ashe et al.
20100095474HOSE FOR A SURFACE TREATING APPLIANCEApril, 2010Stewart



Primary Examiner:
SNIDER, THERESA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLANK ROME LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A bendable suction brush of a suction brush assembly, which is connected with a body of a vacuum cleaner via an air passage, drawing in ambient air and entrained dust from a surface to be cleaned, the bendable suction brush comprising: a brush body connected with the air passage; a plurality of movable frames including a suction passage to draw in the air and dust, and each of the frames being formed on the brush body in a movable manner so as to rotate with respect to the brush body about a rotational axis, the frames being rotated by and external force; and at least one front frame overlapping portions of the plurality of movable frames to cover an open end of the brush body.

2. The bendable suction brush of claim 1, wherein the brush body includes: a base with a rotational axis about which the movable frames are disposed; a base cover connected with the base to guide the rotation of the movable frames; and a connecting pipe rotatably disposed between the base and the base cover.

3. The bendable suction brush of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of movable frames each includes: a brush frame disposed about the rotational axis; an extension brush guide formed at an end of the brush frame; and an extension brush movably disposed to slid along the length of the brush frame.

4. The bendable suction brush of claim 3, wherein the plurality of movable frames are formed in a pair formed on opposite sides of the brush body in a symmetrical manner.

5. The bendable suction brush of claim 3, wherein the suction passage includes: a first duct formed in the brush frame; a second duct formed in the extension guide frame; and a third duct formed in the extension brush.

6. The bendable suction brush of claim 5, wherein the first duct includes: a connecting duct connected with the second and third ducts, and defining the suction passage therebetween; and a circle duct forming an arc around a hinge portion which is secured about the rotational axis, the circle duct being connected to the base.

7. The bendable suction brush of claim 3, wherein the extension brush includes: spaced locking holes formed in the extension brush at predetermined intervals; and a locking protrusion formed on the brush frame to be received in the spaced locking holes.

8. The bendable suction brush of claim 1, wherein the plurality of movable frames are disposed on the brush body with an elastic member biasing the frames to an original configuration against the external force is removed.

9. The bendable suction brush of claim 8, wherein the elastic member is a torsion spring connected to the plurality of movable frames.

10. The bendable suction brush of claim 1, wherein the plurality of movable frames rotate between approximately 40 degree and 50 degree.

11. The bendable suction brush of claim 2, wherein the connecting pipe includes: a sphere joint; and a guide ring disposed on an outer circumference of the sphere joint and seated in a guide groove formed in the brush body.

12. The bendable suction brush of claim 1, wherein the front frame includes: a front frame body with a secondary passage; and a front frame cover disposed on an upper side of the front frame.

13. A bendable suction brush of a suction brush assembly, which is connected with a body of a vacuum cleaner in fluid communication via an air passage, drawing in air and dust from a surface to be cleaned, the bendable suction brush comprising: a brush body connected with the air passage; a plurality of longitudinally extendable moving frames each having a suction passage drawing in the air and dust, the longitudinally extendable moving frames being provided in a pair at opposite sides of the brush body and rotated by an external force with respect to the brush body about a rotational axis; and at least one front frame overlapping portions of the plurality of movable frames to cover an open end of the brush body.

14. The bendable suction brush of claim 13, wherein the plurality of longitudinally extendable moving frames are disposed on the brush body with an elastic member that biases the frames to an original configuration against the external force.

15. The bendable suction brush of claim 13, wherein the elastic member is a torsion spring connected to the plurality of longitudinally extendable moving frames.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to copending Korean Patent Application No. 2003-73787 filed Oct. 22, 2003, in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is related to copending application entitled “Suction Brush Assembly Having Rotation Roller For Sweeping Dust” (Korean Application No. 2002-11240, filed Mar. 4, 2002).

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a vacuum cleaner, and more particularly, to a brush of a vacuum cleaner which is bendable to enable easy cleaning of small areas, such as crevices and corners defined between walls.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 each illustrate a conventional bendable suction brush. More specifically, FIG. 1 is a plan view showing the structure of the conventional bendable suction brush, and FIG. 2 shows the positions of left and right sides of the conventional bendable suction brush in the process of cleaning a corner.

The bendable suction brush largely includes a center body 1 connected with a suction pipe (not shown) of the vacuum cleaner, left and right bodies 2 and 2′ formed on both sides of the center body 1 with each being rotatable about the center body 1, and springs 3 and 3′ that bias the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ so that the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ are aligned with one another, as seen in FIG. 2.

The center body 1 has a suction opening 11 through which air and dust is drawn, a T-shaped guide groove (not shown) formed in the sides of the body 1 to guide the rotation of the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ and also to securely support the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ with respect to the center body 1, and a spring guide hole (not shown) to facilitate rotation of the one end of the springs 3 and 3′ connected to the left and right bodies 2 and 2′, respectively.

Each of the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ has a protruding guide formed on one side to connect to the guide groove 12, a spring connecting groove 24 and 24′ formed at an upper end, respectively, to which the springs 3 and 3′ are engaged, and suction grooves 21 and 21′ formed on a lower center of bodies 2 and 2′, respectively, to guide dust toward the suction opening 11 of the center body 1. Sealing layers 23 and 23′ are formed at the lower ends of the protruding guide 22 and 22′, respectively, to prevent loss of suction force at the linking portion with the center body 1.

First, second and third protrusions 14, 14′, 14″ are formed on the lower surface of the center body 1, with the second and third protrusions 14′ and 14″ having certain sides parallel to the suction groove 21 and 21′ (see FIG. 1), and the first protrusion 14 being spaced from the second and third protrusions 14′ and 14″. Additionally, protruding segments 15 and 15′ are formed on each of the first and second protrusions 14 and 14′, respectively, that contact the sealing layer 23′ of the right body 2′ and the sealing layer 23 of the left body 2 with the first and the third protrusions 14 and 14″. As a result, each of the sealing layers 23 and 23′ has different radius of rotation.

A sealing layer guide 23″ is formed on the upper surface of the sealing layers 23 and 23′, and sealing layer guide grooves 17 and 17′ engage the sealing layer guide 23″ and are formed in the lower surface of the center body 1 at different radii, thereby facilitating rotation of the sealing layers 23 and 23′.

The spring 3 can include two torsion springs engaged to spring connecting grooves 24 and 24′ of the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ with one ends, and fixed to the center body 1 with the other ends. Accordingly, springs 3 and 3′ provide recovery force to the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ which were turned by contact with external objects, such as furniture or wall.

The conventional suction brush mainly consists of the center body 1 and its left and right bodies 2 and 2′ which rotate about the center body 1 to enable cleaning of crevices or corners between walls. However, this conventional suction brush is often difficult to use with a conventional suction pipe and is difficult to use in large cleaning areas because the left and right bodies 2 and 2′ are non-extendable. Additionally, because the springs 3 and 3′ are located near the suction port 11, the spring movement is deteriorated by the drawn-in dust as the suction brush is used.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been developed in order to solve the above drawbacks and other problems associated with the conventional vacuum cleaners. Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved bendable suction brush for a vacuum cleaner, which facilitates cleaning of crevices and corners and is extendable and recoverable in length according to the selection by the user allowing cleaning of a variety of areas including large cleaning areas.

The foregoing object is basically attained by a bendable suction brush of a suction brush assembly, which is connected with a body of a vacuum cleaner via an air passage that draws in air and dust from a surface to be cleaned. The bendable suction brush includes a brush body connected with the air passage, a plurality of movable frames having a suction passage to draw in air and dust, and is formed on the brush body in a movable manner so as to rotate to a predetermined angle with respect to each other; and at least one front frame exposed among the plurality of movable frames which are moved to a rotated position by an external force with the front frame overlappingly disposed among the plurality of movable frames to cover an open end.

The brush body has a base with a rotational axis about which the movable frames are disposed, a base cover connected with the base to guide the rotation of the movable frames, and a connecting pipe rotatably disposed between the base and the base cover.

The plurality of movable frames each include a brush frame disposed about the rotational axis, an extension brush guide formed at an end of the brush frame, and an extension brush movably disposed to slid along the length of the brush frame. The plurality of movable frames are formed in pairs oppositely located on the left and right sides of the brush body in a symmetrical manner.

The suction passage has a first duct formed in the brush frame; a second duct formed in the extension guide frame, and a third duct formed in the extension brush. The first duct has a connecting duct connected with the second and third ducts and forming a suction passage, and a circle duct forming an arc around a hinge portion which is secured about the rotational axis with the circle duct being connected to the base.

The extension brush includes spaced locking holes formed in the extension brush at predetermined intervals, and a locking protrusion formed on the brush frame to be sealed in the spaced locking holes.

The plurality of movable frames are disposed on the brush body together with an elastic member, and when rotated by an external force, returning to an original configuration as the external force is removed. The elastic member is a torsion spring connected to the plurality of movable frames.

The plurality of movable frames are rotated between approximately 40 and 50 degrees.

The connecting pipe has a sphere joint, and a guide ring disposed on the outer circumference of the sphere joint and seated in a guide groove formed in the brush body. Accordingly, the connecting pipe is rotatable.

The front frame has a front frame body with a secondary passage and a front frame cover disposed on the upper side of the front frame.

The bendable suction brush of a suction brush assembly, which is connected with a body of a vacuum cleaner in fluid communication via a predetermined air passage, draws in ambient air and dust from a surface to be cleaned. The bendable suction brush includes a brush body connected with the air passage, a plurality of lengthwise extendable moving frames with a suction passage drawing in air and dust, the frames are provided in pairs opposite to each other at left and right sides of the brush body to be turned to predetermined angles with respect to the brush body, and at least one front frame overlappingly disposed among the plurality of moving frames which are rotated by the external force.

The plurality of lengthwise extendable moving frames are disposed on the brush body together with an elastic member, and when rotated by the external force, return to an original configuration as the external force is removed. The elastic member can be a torsion spring connected to the plurality of lengthwise extendable moving frames.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above aspects and features of the present invention will be more apparent by describing certain embodiments of the present invention with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a plan view illustrating the structure of a conventional bendable suction brush;

FIG. 2 is a plan view illustrating left and right bodies of a conventional bendable suction brush in rotated positions for the cleaning of crevices;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a bendable suction brush for a vacuum cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of an extension brush of the suction brush illustrated in FIG. 3, showing the extension brush in a non-extended position;

FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of the extension brush illustrated in FIG. 4, showing the extension brush in an extended position;

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of the suction brush illustrated in FIG. 3, showing the brush assembled with a cover omitted;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the suction brush illustrated in FIG. 6, showing the brush in a bent position;

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of the suction brush illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view of the suction brush illustrated in FIG. 7 according to an embodiment of the present invention, showing the brush in a bent position; and

FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of the suction brush illustrated in FIG. 3, showing the suction brush assembled in a bent position, and operating in contact with a wall of a cleaning area.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the following description, the same drawing reference numerals are used for the same elements even in different drawings. The matters defined in the description, such as a detailed construction and elements are only provided to assist in a comprehensive understanding of the invention. Thus, it is apparent that the present invention can be carried out without those defined matters. Also, well-known functions or constructions are not described in detail.

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a suction brush 100 of a vacuum cleaner according to an embodiment of the present invention. The suction brush 100 includes a base 110, a movable frame 200 and a base cover 300. The base 110 and the base cover 300 engage one another to form a brush body. In the present embodiment, the movable frame 200 is formed as two substantially identical parts in symmetrical relation, however, only one part of the movable frame 200 at one side of frame 100 is described.

The base 10 is connected to the movable frame 200, and a sealing member 111 is attached to the lower side to define a space A (FIG. 3) therebetween. The space A allows air to flow from the movable frame 200 to an extension pipe (not shown). A guide duct 112a, which is connected with the suction passage of the movable frame 200, is formed in the front of the base 110. The guide duct 112a is connected with the space A through the suction hole 112b.

The space A is connected in fluid communication with the body of the vacuum cleaner through a connecting pipe 114 which is connected with the base 110. The connecting pipe 114 is provided with a sphere joint 114a with a guide ring 114b adapted to sit in a guide groove 10a formed in the base 110 and the base cover 300.

A rotary axis 115, which is engaged with the movable frame 200, protrudes from the base 110. An elastic member 116 is engaged with the rotary axis 115 together with the movable frame 200. The elastic member 116 operates to bias the movable frame toward the straight or normal position.

The movable frame 200 includes a brush frame 201 rotatably engaged with the base 110, an extension brush guide 202 formed on an end of the brush frame 201, and an extension brush 203 which is slidably movable in the direction of the length of the brush frame 201. The brush frame cover 201 and an extension base cover 203′ are engaged to the upper portion of the movable frame 200. A suction passage is integrally formed in the movable frame 200 (FIG. 3), and includes a first duct 210 formed in the brush frame 201, a second duct 202a formed in the extension brush guide 202, and a third duct 203a formed in the extension brush 203.

The brush frame 201 includes a frame hinge 115a engaged with the rotary axis 115, and the extension brush guide 202 with an end adapted to slidingly engage the extension brush 203. The brush frame 201 also includes the first duct 210 which is integrally formed therein, and is connected with the second and third ducts 202a and 203a. The first duct 210 may have a circle duct 201b which is formed around a connecting duct 201a connected with the second and third ducts 202a and 203a, and around the frame hinge 115a. The circle duct 201b forms a substantial circular pattern when the movable frame 200 is in a non-rotated or normal position.

The extension brush guide 202 guides the sliding movement of the extension brush 203, and may be integrally formed with the connecting duct 201a. The extension brush guide 202 may have a size corresponding to the extension brush 203 so that the extension brush 203 does not extend beyond guide 202 when sealed in the connecting duct 201a. The extension brush guide 202 prevents possible suction loss due to extension of brush 203 in the longitudinal direction, and the second duct 202a formed in the body of guide 202 maintains a predetermined suction force at the first and third ducts 210 and 203a.

The extension brush 203 may be extended in the longitudinal direction as the user desires. Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the extension brush 203 is extendable and recoverable by the cooperation of locking protrusion 202h formed on the extension brush guide 202 and corresponding locking holes 203h formed in the extension brush 203 at predetermined intervals. The locking protrusion 202h is integrally formed with the extension brush guide 202, and is elastically deformable. The locking holes 203h are formed in the extension brush 203 at predetermined intervals, and as the locking protrusion 202h is seated in one of the locking holes 203h, the movement of the extension brush 203 in the longitudinal direction is restricted.

Additionally, the bendable suction brush 100 for vacuum cleaner is made of a flexible material, such as plastic by injection molding. Accordingly, when an external force, such as pushing by the user, is exerted, the locking protrusion 202h is elastically deformed and moved out of the locking hole 203h, allowing extension of brush 203 in the longitudinal direction.

FIGS. 3, 6 and 7 illustrate the bendable suction brush 100 from which the brush frame cover 201′ and the extension base cover 203′ are omitted. A front frame 220 is attached to the upper side of the circle duct 201b to prevent suction loss at the circle duct 201b during the rotation of the movable frame 200.

The front frame 220 includes a front frame body 221 having a secondary passage 220, and a front frame cover 222 formed on the upper side of the front frame body 221. The front frame body 221 has the same circumference and width as those of the circle duct 201b so as to include the circle duct 201b from above. The front frame body 221 is engaged with the rotary axis 115 by the front frame hinge 115c.

The base cover 300 is engaged with the base 110, and restricts the rotational angle of the movable frame 200, and also supports the connecting pipe 114 together with the base 110. The movable frame 200 is also rotated within an angle ranging between approximately 40 degrees to 50 degrees, and as shown in FIG. 10. The base cover 300 has a substantially angular shape. As the rotational movement of the movable frame 200 is restricted by the contact with an inclined surface S, the rotational angle of the movable frame 200 can be adjusted by controlling the angle between the left and right inclined surfaces S.

Operation

The bendable suction brush 100 according to this embodiment is extendable in a cleaning area by pulling the extension brush 203. In other words, when the user pulls the extension brush 203 in the longitudinal direction, the locking protrusion 202h of the extension brush guide 202 is moved out of the corresponding locking hole 203h of the extension brush 203 and moved into a neighboring locking hole 203h. By extending the extension brush 203 in the longitudinal direction by the above process, the user can clean a large area within a relatively short time.

In order to clean a small area, such as crevice or a corner defined between the adjoining walls W, the user simply needs to proceed toward the walls W without having to turn the brush. As seen in FIGS. 9 and 10, the bendable suction brush 100 is bent at the movable frames 200 by contact with the walls W. Because the front frame 220 is attached to the upper surface of the movable frames 200 to prevent loss at the suction passage, the air drawn in through the second and third ducts 202a and 203a flows to the base 110 through the circle duct 201b and the secondary passage 220a. The front frame 220 covers the circle duct 201b from above and is spaced apart from the cleaning surface by a predetermined distance. Accordingly, when the front frame 220 is exposed, the substantially vertical opening defined between the front frame 220 and the cleaning surface acts as a suction port at the front side of the suction brush 100, drawing in air and dust from the crevice. Even when the movable frame 200 is bent by a predetermined angle by the front frame 220, the suction passage of the circle duct 201b can maintain its original configuration, thereby substantially eliminating suction loss, which would otherwise occur at the bends of the suction passage.

With the bendable vacuum cleaner described above, the cleaning operation is carried out more efficiently even in small areas such as crevices, since the movable frame is bent according to the shape of the crevice.

Additionally, because the user can extend and reduce the length of the brush, the suction area becomes wider, thereby reducing cleaning time when cleaning a wide area.

The foregoing embodiment and advantages are merely exemplary and are not to be construed as limiting the present invention. The present teaching can be readily applied to other types of apparatuses. Also, the description of the embodiments of the present invention is intended to be illustrative, and not to limit the scope of the claims, and many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art.