Title:
ROTARY CURLING IRON
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A motorized and heated curling iron having interchangeable heads enables easy and consistent operation with reduced wrist and arm fatigue.



Inventors:
Gniadek, Edward (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/555969
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
11/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RALIS, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Barnes & Thornburg LLP (CH) (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A curling iron formed with a handle supporting a shaft assembly connected in turn to a head, comprising: the head is formed of a sleeve terminating in a cap; a pivoting clamp is mounted to the head and adapted to capture the hair of an individual or of a person whose hair is to be curled; the curling iron is formed and arranged so that the handle is manipulated by the user so that the shaft enables rotation of the head including said clamp; the curling iron is motorized to provide rotational force by a motor; a power supply cord supplies electrical power to the curling iron to provide both motive force and heat; a reversing motor switch controls movement of and the direction of rotation of said motor; a gearbox provides direct mechanical force from said motor, to the head through a mechanical assembly; a commutator drive assembly provides both mechanical and electrical interconnection; brushes and conductors formed in commutator drive assembly enable the transmission of electrical energy for operating a heating element located in the head; said motor is a DC motor; a dual power supply, combining DC from a power converter to said motor and line voltage to a heating element; said shaft assembly incorporates a socket connected to a sleeve receiver through said commutator assembly permitting line electrical power to pass from a power cord to brushes and thence through conductors to a heating element; a sleeve receiver mechanically fastened to said commutator assembly adapted to receive a sleeve of selected size and diameter; a clutch assembly transmitting force from a motor to said drive, said clutch assembly includes a driving member and a driven member having respective friction faces; the mechanical connection and operation of said receiver enables a user to substitute sleeves of different diameter, geometry outer surface pattern, material, in heated, pre-heated, or unheated configuration; a resistance heating element contained within said sleeve and covered at its end by a cap, said element being energized by an AC power supply from household AC circuits which is directly carried through cord through said commutator assembly.

2. A curling iron formed with a handle supporting a shaft assembly connected in turn to a head, comprising: the head is formed of a sleeve terminating in a cap; a pivoting clamp is mounted to the head and adapted to capture the hair of an individual or of a person whose hair is to be curled; the curling iron is formed and arranged so that the handle is manipulated by the user so that the shaft enables rotation of the head including said clamp; the curling iron is motorized to provide rotational force by a motor; a power supply cord supplies electrical power to the curling iron to provide both motive force and heat; a reversing motor switch controls movement of and the direction of rotation of said motor; a gearbox provides direct mechanical force from said motor, to the head through a mechanical assembly; a commutator drive assembly provides both mechanical and electrical interconnection; brushes and conductors formed in commutator drive assembly enable the transmission of electrical energy for operating a heating element located in the head; said motor is a DC motor; a dual power supply, combining DC from a power converter to said motor and line voltage to a heating element.

3. The curling iron of claim 1, further comprising: said shaft assembly incorporates a socket connected to a sleeve receiver through said commutator assembly permitting line electrical power to pass from a power cord to brushes and thence through conductors to a heating element.

4. The curling iron of claim 2, further comprising: a sleeve receiver mechanically fastened to said commutator assembly adapted to receive a sleeve of selected size and diameter.

5. The curling iron of claim 3, further comprising: a clutch assembly transmitting force from a motor to said drive, said clutch assembly includes a driving member and a driven member having respective friction faces;

6. The curling iron of claim 4, further comprising: the mechanical connection and operation of said receiver enables a user to substitute sleeves of different diameter, geometry outer surface pattern, material, in heated, pre-heated, or unheated configuration;

7. The curling iron of claim 2, further comprising: a resistance heating element contained within said sleeve and covered at its end by a cap, said element being energized by an AC power from household AC circuits which is directly carried through cord through said commutator assembly said motor being a DC motor.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

This application claims priority based on U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/732,750, filed Nov. 2, 2005 and having the same title and inventor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention is a motorized and heated curling iron with interchangeable heads selectable in various sizes and configurations to meet particular tasks. Because of greater flexibility for different tasks and motorized rotation, the invention is particularly advantageous for operators such as professionals who are subject to wrist and arm fatigue from repetitive motion. More compact workstations are also enabled because of the use of multiple attachments.

2. Description of Related Art

Electric curling irons are known, typically using resistance heating elements energized by an AC power from household AC circuits.

Both DC and AC motors are known, however small DC motors are more efficient and readily available than an AC motor with similar power, while heating elements draw far more current than can easily be supplied in DC.

The invention provides a unique combination of electrical and mechanical features.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A motorized and heated curling iron uses electrical power to provide motive force and heat energy for curling of hair. Interchangeable heads are selectable in various sizes and configurations to meet particular tasks. Motorized rotation enables easy and consistent operation with reduced wrist and arm fatigue.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the motorized curling iron, viewed from the front.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the motorized curling iron of FIG. 1, viewed from the front, including the motor and clutch.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the clutch and drive assembly of the motorized curling iron.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the commutator drive assembly of the motorized curling iron in a view from the rear.

FIG. 5 is perspective view of the preferred head of the motorized curling iron in a view from the rear.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative head of the motorized curling iron in a view from the rear.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another alternative head of the motorized curling iron in a view from the rear.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Curling Iron 10 is formed with a handle 12 supporting shaft assembly 14 connected in turn to head 16. Head 16 comprises in part sleeve 18 terminating in cap 20. Clamp 22 captures the hair of an individual or of a person whose hair is being curled by a beautician or cosmetologist, referred to herein as the user.

Curling iron 10 is arranged so that handle 12 is manipulated by the user so that shaft 14 enables rotation of head 16 including clamp 22.

Power supply cord 24 supplies electrical power from power supply 25 to curling iron 10 to provide both motive force and heat. Reversing motor switch 26 controls movement of and the direction of rotation of motor 28. Gearbox 30 provides direct mechanical force from motor, ultimately to head 16, through the mechanical assembly described below.

Commutator drive assembly 32 provides both mechanical interconnection and through brushes 34 and conductors 36 which enable the transmission of electrical energy for operating heating element 38.

Resistance heating element 38 may preferably be a fiber or mesh conductive cylinder contained within sleeve 18 and covered at its end by cap 20. Element 38 is energized by AC power from household AC circuits which is directly carried through cord 24 through commutator assembly 32.

Motor 28 is preferably a DC motor because small DC motors are more efficient and readily available than an AC motor providing similar mechanical power. Thus cord 24 is preferably fitted with dual power supply, 25, combining DC from a power converter to motor 28 and line voltage to heating element 38. Appropriate insulation, grounding and ground fault circuit interruption can be adapted. An additional advantage of a DC motor is the ease of configuration and economy in reversing switch 26.

Shaft assembly 14 incorporates a socket 50 connected to a sleeve receiver 52 comprising a portion of commutator assembly 32. Electrical power passes from power cord 24 to brushes 34 through conductor array 56. This can be wired to correspond to typical AC electrical “hot” and “common” protocols. Commutator assembly is electrically connected through conductors 36 to energize heating element 38.

Conductors 56 are formed as a plurality of conductive bands corresponding in number to the number of conductors 36 and brushes 34. In this manner, rotation is permitted while electrical power is transmitted to element 38. In the preferred embodiment four brushes 34 and conductors 36, 56 enable adequate power transmission for heating a rotating element.

Sleeve receiver 52 mechanically interlocks commutator assembly 32 to handle 12. The socket 50 is formed to receive a projecting shaft 57, preferably of a “D” shaped section and is thereby adapted to receive alternate sleeves of selected size, diameter and configuration, described more fully below. Other shaft—socket configurations could be adapted, such as a hex configuration, but the “D” has an advantage in providing only a single orientation.

Clutch assembly 40 transmits force from motor 30 to commutator assembly 32. As commutator assembly rotates, so does socket 50 for force transmission to shaft 57 and thence head 16. Clutch assembly 40 includes a driving member 62 and a driven member 64 having respective friction faces 66, 68. In a preferred embodiment faces 66, 68 are formed in a manner analogous to gear teeth. Driving member 62 is offset in gearbox 30, thereby permitting rotation of driven member 64 in turn attached to commutator assembly 32. Driven member 64 and assembly 32, therefore are substantially on the central axis of curling iron 10. Should the lever 22 and sleeve 18 combination encounter rotational resistance, such as by a hair snag, clutch assembly 40 will release under load by distortion of the assembly. Other clutch face arrangements could be adapted, such as a spring loaded crown gear.

The mechanical connection and operation of receiver 52 enables a user to substitute sleeves of different diameter, outer surface pattern, material, or the like, permitting the curling iron to be used for different curling techniques. Thus sleeve 16 is typical, but sleeve 80 of larger diameter, or sleeve 82 of shorter length may be substituted. Elimination of conductors 36 in shaft 57, and substituting a nonconductive shaft could permit use of an unheated roller, or a pre-heated, non-electrical roller. With switch 26 open, and no rotation, even a flat, non-rotating hair treatment member could be used.

Additionally a rheostat assembly 84 permits control of power transmitted to element 38 and a strain relief 86 protects cord 24.

While the present invention has been disclosed and described with reference to a single embodiment thereof, it will be apparent, as noted above that variations and modifications may be made therein. It is also noted that the present invention is independent of the electromechanical interactions, and is not limited to the particular rotary curling iron shown. It is, thus, intended in the following claims to cover each variation and modification that falls within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.