Title:
Composite cleaning device for an automobile
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An elongated pie shaped composite cleaning device for removing snow, frost, scraped ice debris, bird droppings, dirt or water from a automotive exterior surface has 1. a stiff rectangular plastic sheet, folded into half, providing a pair of slightly curbed exterior sides and a pair of substantially straight scraping edges, 2. a rectangular open cell foam, with a uniform thickness and shape substantially identical to said sheet, folded into half, providing a pair of legs between said sides, a squeezed interface between said legs and a pair of exposure cleaning faces, 3. a thin retaining rod surrounded by the folded middle parts of said sheet and said foam, and 4. a fabricated channel shape holder clamping said folded sheet, said folded foam around said retaining rod and having a means of securely attaching to a handle and either a ice scraper or a squeegee.



Inventors:
Kim, Dae S. (Newton, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/166815
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/121, 15/220.1, 15/236.02, 15/244.1
International Classes:
A47L13/12; A47L1/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090158546WINDSHIELD WIPER SYSTEMJune, 2009Hawighorst
20050166343Powered toothbrush with polishing elementsAugust, 2005Gavney Jr.
20040034963Vacuum tool for vacuum cleanerFebruary, 2004Rogers et al.
20060282980Powered mechanical apparatus for removing frost and snow from windshield and other viewing areasDecember, 2006Subramanian
20070266511Infant and child gum and teeth cleaning apparatusNovember, 2007Spagnolo
20080120796Toothbrush with an electric circuitMay, 2008Shih
20030066253Structure of an anti-slip floor unitApril, 2003Lin
20070130724Telescopic vacuum-cleaner wandJune, 2007Schiemann
20050273958Sponge and cloth cleaning deviceDecember, 2005Dillon
20030192141Scrub SpongeOctober, 2003Rademacher et al.
20100059089Device to remove snow from large vehiclesMarch, 2010Opdyke



Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dae S. Kim (Newton, MA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An elongated pie shaped composite cleaning device for a smooth mildly curved or flat surface comprising: a stiff rectangular plastic sheet, folded into half, providing a pair of slightly curbed exterior sides and a pair of substantially straight scraping edges, a rectangular open cell foam, with a uniform thickness and shape substantially identical to said sheet, folded into half, providing a pair of legs between said sides, a squeezed interface between said legs and a pair of exposure cleaning faces, a thin retaining rod surrounded by the folded middle parts of said sheet and said foam, and a fabricated channel shape holder clamping said folded sheet, said folded foam around said retaining rod and having a means of securely attaching to a handle and either a ice scraper or a squeegee.

2. The cleaning device of claim 1 wherein said plastic sheet is an extruded HDPE.

3. The cleaning device of claim 1 wherein said foam is a polyester foam or polyurethane foam.

4. The cleaning device of claim 1 wherein said holder and is shorter than said folded sheet to prevent said holder touching or scratching the surface.

5. The cleaning device of claim 1 wherein said holder is fabricated from a rectangular stainless steel blank.

6. The cleaning device of claim 1 wherein both legs of said holder are bent toward each other to stiffen said device from bending and tighten the clamping.

7. The cleaning device of claim 1 wherein said means of attaching is a substantially rectangular opening formed by the middle part of slit part of the legs and stretched and formed portion of the web of said holder.

8. The cleaning device of claim 7 wherein said squeezed interface holds a concentrated solution and progressive release at lower concentration.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a device for removing snow, frost, dirt and liquid from a smooth surface and more specifically to a combination of mop, scraper, plow and brush for cleaning windshield, windows and other smooth surfaces of an automobile. Further, this invention is directly related to and compliments my previous invention titled CONTOUR MATCHING ICE-SCRAPER (U.S. Pat. No. 5,580,668).

2. Descriptions of the Prior Arts Clean windshield and windows of an automobile are essential for a safe driving in any season. Although standard-equipment, windshield wipers and spray system with cleaning solution, removes rain, dry salt spray and dust off the windshield effectively, one needs to clean windows and other exterior surface routinely and to remove frost, snow, ice and bird-dropping from the windows and windshield occasionally. For these needs, one carries additional tool or tools and supplies.

Prior art carry-on cleaning tools are designed for limited function of seasonal use. For example, a long brush is used for removing snow and scraped ice with an ice-scraper in winter and a mop and squeegee, for washing. Many issued patents cover various designs and combinations of ice-scrapers and snow brushes for winter use and mops and squeegees for summer. However, no single year round cleaning tool for an automobile is found in patents or in market.

Unlike prior art, this invention is intended for developing a single effective carry-on tool which can be used year round. Such a tool should save space, less likely be lost and be more economical. For its wide acceptance, each component of new year round tool must perform better than presently available seasonal tools. Thus, this invention is one of key components and should compliment my other related inventions to become a year round tool.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention is an efficient device for removing snow, frost, scraped ice debris, dirt or liquid from a flat or mildly curved surface. More specifically, this invention provides more efficient cleaning tool for automotive windshield, windows and other smooth surfaces. Also this invention compliments and works with my previous invention titled CONTOUR MATCHING ICE SCRAPER (U.S. Pat. No. 5,580,668) for a year round use.

Unlike prior art automotive carry-on cleaning tools which are seasonal, this invention is for year round use and removing snow, frost, scraped ice debris, bird droppings, dirty water or dried salt spray. Unlike a brush, it can hold sufficient amount of water for washing and mopping.

This invention comprises of a rectangular stiff plastic sheet, similarly shaped open-cell foam with uniform thickness, a thin plastic retaining rod and a fabricated sheet metal holder. The plastic sheet and the foam are folded exactly in half around the rod and the holder clamps along the folded middle securely. The resulting composite cleaning device has an elongated pie shape with the rod at the apex and a pair of rectangular exterior plastic sides, which are about 45 to 60 degree apart and slightly flaring out as the pair protects the folded foam sheet between them. This angle is important for both proper scraping and mopping and is determined by the thickness of the foam, the stiffness of the plastic sheet and the length of the legs. Only a series of trail and error field test can provide necessary design information.

The flared sides of the plastic sheet function as a scraper for bird dropping or frost and a plow blade for snow. Also it provides a pair of rectangular graphic display area for product identification and adverting. The folded foam with pair of exposed faces between the plastic sheet functions as a mop for washing or as a brush for dusting snow or scraped ice debris. The squeezed middle interface between two legs of the folded foam can retain an injected concentrated solution and slowly release at a lower concentration with each successive dipping in water.

Unlike a brush, where bristles bend backward and trap some wet snow between them and drag them on the surface, the plastic plowing blade lift the snow and push forward. On a mildly convex automotive exterior surface, the higher surface at the middle tends to apply more pressure on the exposed face of the foam. This lifts middle of the edge more and it becomes more concave. One can learn to control the scraping edge of this device by controlling the angle of attack and the normal pressure applied to this device. This ranges from scraping frost or bird dropping with significant contact to just washing or mopping without any contact of the edge to the surface. To remove dirty wash water from this device, the legs of the plastic sheet are pinched toward each other starting from one end and push to the opposite end. Unlike a brush, the foam carries enough water for washing or mopping.

A rectangular stainless steel sheet is fabricated into a channel shaped holder. The ends of both legs are bent toward each other to stiffen it against bending and, at the same time, they can clamp the folded parts more securely around the retaining rod at the apex. The middle part is modified to connect this composite cleaner to the other members, such as a handle and ice-scraper blade. The holder is slightly shorter than the width of the folded plastic sheet to expose short bare folded sheet and foam on both ends, which prevent accidental contact of the holder to the surface and scratching.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be understood better by reading the following description and accompanying drawings wherein: FIG. 1 is a perspective view of this invention, a composite cleaning device. FIG. 2 is a larger cross-sectional view of the device of FIG. 1 at the middle. FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing this invention as a part of a year round cleaning device.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THIS INVENTION

In FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 for more detail, a stiff rectangular HDPE (high density polyethylene) sheet 1 and an open cell foam with a uniform thickness 2 are folded in half, around a round retaining rod 3, and a channel shaped stainless steel holder 4 clamps the folded middle 10 and 20 securely. The resulting composite cleaning device has a long pie shape with the rod 3 at apex and provides a pair of mildly curved rectangular sides 11 and 12 and a pair of scraping edges 13 and 14. The folded foam 2 forms a pair of legs 21 and 22 and provides a pair of exposed wiping faces 23 and 24 and a squeezed interface 25.

The metal holder 3 and the rod 4 are shorter than the folded plastic sheet 1 to provide a pair of exposed ends 15 and 16, which prevent the holder 4 from touching or scratching the surface. The middle part 41 of the web of the holder 4 is slit, stretched and formed to provide an opening 42 for mounting tightly on the rectangular pinched end of metal tube coupler 5, which connects a handle 6 to either an ice-scraper or a squeegee 7 as shown in FIG. 3. The extreme ends of both legs 43 and 44 are bent toward each other to stiffen the holder 4 from bending and to prevent the folded sheet from sliding.

From a series field test, rectangular 4″×8″×0.035″ HDPE sheet and also 4″×8″×0.5″Polyester foam is selected for optimal performance. The holder is fabricated from a rectangular 1.125″×7.5″×0.030″ 304 stainless steel blank.

Although a bigger unit with a wider sheet and foam should clean more each stroke, a heavy holder is required. The additional weight and expense hardly justify over a simple repeated motion. Also this device could be mounted parallel on a handle but this perpendicular mount allows better control of the angle of attack which is essential for a good performance.

It is understood that the above description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of this invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.





 
Previous Patent: Complex motion toothbrush

Next Patent: Toothbrush