Title:
Suction apparatus for a vacuum cleaner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A suction apparatus for a vacuum cleaner particularly designed for removing mites and dust from textile materials by suction. The apparatus comprises a cylindrical suction tube, which removably connects with a connecting tube for removable connection to an extension pipe of a vacuum cleaner. Movement guidance rollers installed bilaterally on the circumference of the suction tube provide free movement on a fibrous surface for the removal of mites and dust by suction during the use of a vacuum cleaner.



Inventors:
Son, Hyuk (Dae Gu City, KR)
Oh, Yong Keun (Bu Chon City, KR)
Application Number:
11/450002
Publication Date:
04/26/2007
Filing Date:
06/09/2006
Assignee:
Echo Trading, LLC (Ridgefield, NJ, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L9/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REDDING, DAVID A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HINSHAW & CULBERTSON LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A suction apparatus for a vacuum cleaner, comprising: a hollow cylindrical suction tube; at least one suction aperture formed in the lower part of the suction tube; and at least one roller mounted for rotation on the suction tube and having a plurality of suction apertures on its surface.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a friction member disposed at an outer circumference of the roller.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the friction member comprises a plurality of protrusions spaced about the circumference of at least one end of the roller.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the friction member comprises a plurality of protrusions spaced about the circumference of each of the inner and outer end portions of the roller.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a rotating dust generating bar.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein two rollers are disposed on either side of the center of the suction tube and the rotating dust generating bar is disposed in the suction tube between the rollers.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the rollers are removable from the suction tube.

8. A suction assembly for a vacuum cleaner comprising: a housing having a suction duct for the passage of dust; a pair of rotation members rotatably disposed on either side of the housing; at least one suction aperture in the housing; a plurality of suction apertures in the surface of the rotation members; and connection means for connecting the housing to a vacuum cleaner.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising a friction member disposed at an outer circumference of the roller.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the friction member comprises a plurality of protrusions spaced about the circumference of at least one end of each rotation member.

11. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the friction member comprises a plurality of protrusions spaced about the circumference of each of the inner and outer end portions of each rotation member.

12. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising a rotating dust generating bar.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the rotating dust generating bar is disposed in the housing between the rotation members and protrudes from the housing so as to contact a surface to be cleaned.

14. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the rotating dust generating bar comprises a plurality of protrusions spaced about its circumference.

15. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the rotation members are removable from the housing.

16. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the rotation members are rollers.

17. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising a connecting tube for connecting the suction tube to an extension pipe of a vacuum cleaner, the upper end of the connecting tube having an exterior slope with a fixed ratio so as to be capable of connecting with extension pipes of varying diameters.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of, and claims the benefit of, International Application No. PCT/KR 2005/003501 which was filed on Oct. 20, 2005 and which designates the United States.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a vacuum cleaner and, more particularly, to a rolling suction attachment for a vacuum cleaner with the ability to suck in dirt particles and dust mites by means of the free movement on a fiber surface of a removable movement-guidance roller attached to the outer rim of a suction tube.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Household dust mites live in textile fiber materials and feed on human skin keratin. The excreta of mites contain minute guanine protein particles which are very significant allergy causing agents, which, when inhaled, may induce allergic rhinitis or asthma, and when they come in contact with the skin may cause various allergic skin reactions, such as atopic dermatitis. Mites are found in all kinds of household textile materials including carpets, upholstery and bedding (sheets, blankets, mattress surfaces, etc.) The typical length of a mite is 0.4-1 mm, making them difficult to remove from household fabrics.

Vacuum cleaners are often used in an effort to remove dust mites from household textiles. In general, a vacuum cleaner is an apparatus providing suction of dirt from a surface to be cleaned by means of a suction power occurring due to the vacuum created from a vacuum source inside the vacuum cleaner's body. A common vacuum cleaner includes a vacuum cleaner body having a source of vacuum, an extension pipe comprising either an extension tube or an extension hose, or both, wherein the vacuum cleaner body and extension pipe are connected in such a way as to provide air-venting and wherein at the far end of the extension pipe there is a suction power-enhancing apparatus such as a nozzle installed for the suction of dirt from a surface to be cleaned.

However, in a vacuum cleaner such as the one described above, the suction apparatus has a disadvantage, namely the possibility of an obstruction of the nozzle in the process of removing dirt particles, mites, etc. from a fabric surface such as upholstery or bedding, which makes vacuum cleaning impossible. For example, when cleaning bedding such as a sheet or blanket, the fabric of the sheet or blanket may itself be sucked into the nozzle, blocking the suction and making it difficult if not impossible to pass the nozzle over the fabric surface. If a vacuum cleaner cannot be used to remove dust mites from a fabric material, attempts may be made to eliminate the mites by drying the fabric by exposing it to the sun or to remove the mites by beating the fabric. Unfortunately, drying in the sun is ineffective because most of the mites survive as they move into shaded areas, and attempts to remove the mites by beating the fabric often fail as the mites simply adhere themselves closely to the fibers of the material.

Accordingly, there is a need for a vacuum cleaner attachment that will effectively remove dust particles and mites from textiles and fabrics.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In order to solve the above-described problem, the present invention proposes a vacuum cleaner, preferably with suction power of 300W to 400 W, with a rolling suction attachment. The suction attachment includes a suction tube for the suction of dust and mites, connecting tubes for connecting the suction tube to the extension pipe of the vacuum cleaner, and a removable movement-guidance roller attached to the outer rim of the suction tube, which roller can move freely over a fibrous surface.

In order to achieve the above, a suction apparatus according to the present invention includes a cylindrically-shaped suction tube with one or more suction slits in its lower part. The suction tube attaches to a first connecting tube, and a second connecting tube removably connects to the first connecting tube and a vacuum cleaner's extension pipe. A pair of movement guidance rollers with suction slits formed on their entire surfaces is installed bilaterally on the suction tube's circumference. The movement guidance rollers are free to rotate on the suction tube, which permits free movement of the suction tube on a fibrous surface and thus the ability to remove dust and mites by suction without the suction tube becoming obstructed.

In another aspect of the invention, each roller includes at least one friction member which provides traction and assists the roller in moving freely on the surface.

In another aspect, the suction apparatus includes a rotating dust generating bar located in the suction tube between the two rollers.

In another aspect of the invention, the second connecting tube has an exterior slope with a fixed ratio and thus is compatible with the vacuum cleaner's extension pipe regardless of its diameter.

A vacuum cleaner suction apparatus according to the present invention can move freely on a fibrous surface and thus is capable of sucking in mites and dirt particles when pressed to the fibrous surface, which results in an effective removal of mites from the fibrous surface. Therefore, allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis or atopic dermatitis caused mainly by dust mites can be prevented. Moreover, dirt particles can be effectively removed from the fibrous surface and therefore air pollution due to dust presence can be prevented, which increases the comfort of living.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a side view of a conventional vacuum cleaner.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the suction attachment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the suction attachment of the invention as connected to a vacuum cleaner.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the invention including a dust generating bar.

FIG. 5 is a detailed perspective view of the dust generating bar.

FIG. 6 is a detailed perspective view of the movement guidance roller.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the invention is described in detail below with reference to the attached drawings.

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional vacuum cleaner which includes a vacuum cleaner body 10 having a vacuum source (not shown) inside the vacuum cleaner body 10. An extension pipe 12 comprises either an extension tube 14 or an extension hose 16, or both as shown. Vacuum cleaner body 10 and extension pipe 12 are connected in such a way as to provide air-venting. At the far end of extension pipe 12 there is a suction power enhancing apparatus such as a nozzle 18 installed for the suction of dirt from a surface to be cleaned. In its simplest form, nozzle 18 has a slit or other suction aperture in its bottom surface which comes into contact with the surface to be cleaned.

When nozzle 18 is passed over a fabric surface, and in particular loose fabric such as bedding (sheets, blankets, etc.), the fabric material tends to be sucked into the suction opening of nozzle 18. This not only blocks the suction, reducing or eliminating the ability to pick up dust and mites, but also makes it difficult to pass nozzle 18 over the fabric surface.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the suction attachment according to the present invention, while FIG. 3 is a side view of an application of a vacuum cleaner with the suction attachment installed.

The suction apparatus according to the present invention includes, as shown in FIG. 2, a suction tube 100, a pair of movement guidance rollers 102 a,b, a first connecting tube 104 and a second connecting tube 106. Suction tube 100 has a generally cylindrical shape, with empty space provided inside, and one or more suction slits 108 are provided in its lower part. Suction tube 100 comprises a pair of cylindrically- shapes bodies 110a,b which open bilaterally from the center of suction tube 100 and have a bilateral aperture 112. A cover 114 is installed at the center of bodies 110, covering the bilateral aperture 112. Cover 114 is attached to the center of body 110 by means of a pair of screws 116 which are inserted into threaded posts 118.

On body 110 and cover 114 there are raised circumferential rings 124 matching the inside diameter of the movement guidance rollers 102. Rings 124 are located bilaterally and support rollers 102 for rotation.

An end cap 126 is provided at each end of bodies 110a, b. End cap 126 has a pair of hooks 128, each of which is inserted into one of a pair of corresponding apertures 130 in the outer end of body 110, thus removably securing end cap 126 to body 110. A threaded opening 132 is provided in the center of each end cap 126.

A joint 120 is formed in two mating portions, one portion in body 110 and one portion in cover 114. Joint 120 connects to the lower end of first connecting tube 104. A protruding ring 122 on the circumference of the lower end of first connecting tube 104 interlocks with a shoulder inside joint 120, securing first connecting tube 104 to body 110 while permitting rotation of suction tube 100 with respect to first connecting tube 104. If desired, a stop (not shown) may be provided to restrict rotation to approximately 180 degrees.

First connecting tube 104 is formed at a fixed angle, and its upper end is narrowed and adapted to interlock and be removably connectable with the lower end of second connecting tube 106. The upper end of second connecting tube 106 has an exterior slope with a fixed ratio and thus is compatible with the vacuum cleaner extension pipe 14 regardless of its diameter.

Rollers 102 are installed over bodies 110 and held in place by retainers 134. Each retainer 134 has a protruding screw 136 which is connected through insertion opening 138 in the end of roller 102 and into threaded opening 132 in end cap 126. Retainer 134 fits within recess 140 formed in the outer end of each roller 102. Retainers 134 are tightened sufficiently to retain rollers 102 but do not restrict the free rotation of rollers 102. Retainers 134 are designed to be installed and removed by hand (without tools). This attachment system permits rollers 102 to be easily removed for cleaning. Movement guidance rollers 102 have numerous short suction apertures 142 formed longitudinally on their entire surface.

A suction apparatus 200 built in the above-described way, when attached to the orifice of extension pipe 12 of a vacuum cleaner 10 as shown in FIG. 3, permits mites and dirt particles adhering to bedding or a pad 202 to be removed with the suction power of the vacuum cleaner. Suction tube 100 is pressed onto and rolled over bedding or pad 202, and mites and dirt particles are sucked in through the suction apertures 142 in rollers 102 and then into suction slit 108 in suction tube 100. As the movement guidance rollers 102 can freely rotate around the circumference of suction tube 100, they can move freely on the surface of the bedding or pad 202, and as there are suction apertures 142 on the entire surface of the movement guidance rollers 102, the suction slit 108 of suction tube 100 is not obstructed in any position.

FIG. 4 shows an alternate embodiment of the invention. The suction apparatus is generally constructed as described above, with suction tube 300, a pair of rollers 302 each-with suction slit 308 and end cap 326, a first connecting tube 304 and second connecting tube 306. In addition, a rotating dust generating bar 310 is provided in the central portion of suction tube 300 between rollers 302. As shown in more detail in FIG. 5, a dust bar opening 312 is provided in cover 314. Pins 316 are located inside opening 312, one at each end (one pin 316 is visible in FIG. 5). Dust generating bar 310 has a hole 318 at each end. Bar 310 is inserted into opening 312 so that holes 318 fit over pins 316, holding bar 310 in place while permitting it to rotate. Pins 316 are located so that the outer surface of bar 310 extends slightly outside opening 312. The surface of bar 310 has a number of angled protrusions 320. As the suction attachment is moved over the textile surface to be cleaned, protrusions 320 adhere and connect without slipping on the surface and assist in loosening and bringing out dust.

FIG. 6 is a detailed view of roller 102. The surface of roller 102 is provided with numerous suction apertures 142, which may be of various shapes and dimensions. For example, some apertures 142 may be essentially round or square, while others may be rectangular and elongated slits. Apertures 142 are designed to have sufficient surface area to maximize suction and collection of dirt, but are small enough so that fabric is not sucked into them.

At the outer and inner ends of roller 102 there are friction members formed of a series of protrusions 322 and 324, respectively, formed about the circumference of roller 102. Protrusions 322, 324 provide traction and assist in the free rotation of rollers 102 as they are passed across the surface to be cleaned, and also help bring out dust as they pull the textile surface during rotation.

The primary components of the suction apparatus, including suction tube 100 and rollers 102, are preferably molded of suitable plastic, but may be made of any suitable material, such as metal. Plastic is lightweight, durable and inexpensive, and plastic parts rotate about one another with minimal friction. Suction tube 100 and rollers 102 may be of any suitable size, but preferably suction tube 100 is about 2 inches in inside diameter and rollers 102 are about 2½ inches in diameter.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the invention should not be limited, but various changes and modifications will be apparent and can be made within the scope of the present invention.