Title:
Cyclonic vacuum cleaner system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cyclone system for a vacuum cleaner includes an array of two or more primary cyclone chambers, an array of two or more secondary cyclone chambers situated downstream of the primary cyclone chambers, and a manifold situated downstream of and communicating with the primary cyclone chambers and upstream of and communicating with the secondary cyclone chambers.



Inventors:
Lee, Yiu-ming (Wan Chai, CN)
Application Number:
11/890614
Publication Date:
02/12/2009
Filing Date:
08/07/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L9/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOPKINS, ROBERT A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALIX, YALE & RISTAS, LLP (HARTFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A cyclone system for a vacuum cleaner, comprising: an array of primary cyclone chambers, an array of secondary cyclone chambers situated downstream of the primary cyclone chambers, and a manifold situated downstream of and communicating with the primary cyclone chambers and upstream of and communicating with the secondary cyclone chambers.

2. The cyclone system of claim 1, wherein the manifold communicates with each primary cyclone chamber via an air-extraction exit tube extending into the primary cyclone chamber.

3. The cyclone system of claim 2, wherein each exit tube comprises an inlet through which air from the primary chamber passes en route to the manifold and a particulate screen across the inlet.

4. 4. (canceled)

5. The cyclone system of claim 1, further comprising a respective fine particulate receptacle associated with each secondary cyclone chamber, and wherein each secondary cyclone chamber is frusto-conically tapered inwardly toward the respective fine particulate receptacle.

6. The cyclone system of claim 1, comprising a pair of said primary cyclone chambers and a trio of said secondary cyclone chambers.

7. A cyclone chamber for a vacuum cleaner, comprising: a dirty air inlet port directed tangentially into the chamber, an air-extraction exit tube extending into the chamber and having an inlet through which air is extracted from the chamber, the exit tube extending sufficiently into the chamber such that its inlet is not in the direct flow path of the dirty air inlet port, but not substantially therepast, thereby leaving a major axial portion of the cyclone chamber unobstructed by the exit tube.

8. The cyclone chamber of claim 7, further comprising a particulate screen situated across the inlet of the air-extraction exit tube.

9. A cyclone system for a vacuum cleaner, comprising: a primary cyclone chamber for receiving dirty air and having an exit port, a secondary cyclone chamber situated outside of and downstream of the primary cyclone chamber and having an inlet port receiving airflow from the exit port of the primary chamber.

10. The cyclone system of claim 9, wherein the primary and secondary chambers are each substantially cylindrical with a major longitudinal axis and wherein the axes of the respective chambers are substantially co-linear.

11. The cyclone system of claim 10, wherein the primary chamber comprises: a dirty air inlet port directed tangentially into the chamber, an air-extraction exit tube extending into the chamber and having an inlet through which air is extracted from the chamber, the exit tube extending sufficiently into the chamber such that its inlet is not in the direct flow path of the dirty air inlet port, but not substantially therepast, thereby leaving a major axial portion of the cyclone chamber unobstructed by the exit tube.

12. The cyclone system of claim 11, further comprising a particulate screen situated across the inlet of the air-extraction exit tube.

13. An upright vacuum cleaner comprising the cyclone system of claim 10 and in which the secondary chamber is situated above the primary chamber.

14. The cyclone system of claim 1, wherein the secondary chambers each comprise an air-extraction exit tube extending into the secondary chamber and via which air is drawn from the secondary chamber.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to vacuum cleaners. More particularly, although not exclusively, the invention relates to “bagless” vacuum cleaners having cyclonic filtering chambers.

Cyclonic chamber vacuum cleaners are known. Some such vacuum cleaners employ both a primary cyclonic chamber for removing large particulate material from an air stream, and a secondary cyclonic chamber housed within the primary chamber for separating smaller particulate material from the air stream after passing through the primary chamber.

Some cyclone vacuum cleaners comprise a long exit tube extending into the cyclonic chamber and around which a cyclonic flow is induced.

Such known cyclonic vacuum cleaners have limited particulate-removal efficiency and indeed the location of a secondary chamber within a primary chamber, or the extension of an elongated exit tube into the cyclonic chamber diminishes desirable natural vortex which might otherwise be induced in the chamber.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to overcome or substantially ameliorate at least one of the above disadvantages and/or more generally to provide an improved sequential cyclonic vacuum cleaner.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

There is disclosed herein a cyclone system for a vacuum cleaner, comprising:

    • an array of primary cyclone chambers,
    • an array of secondary cyclone chambers situated downstream of the primary cyclone chambers, and
    • a manifold situated downstream of and communicating with the primary cyclone chambers and upstream of and communicating with the secondary cyclone chambers.

Preferably, the manifold communicates with each primary cyclone chamber via an air-extraction exit tube extending into the primary cyclone chamber.

Preferably, each exit tube comprises an inlet through which air from the primary chamber passes en route to the manifold and a particulate screen across the inlet.

Preferably, each primary cyclone chamber comprises a dirty air inlet port directed tangentially into the chamber and the exit tube extends sufficiently into the chamber such that its inlet is not in the direct flow path of the dirty air inlet port, but not substantially therepast, thereby leaving a major axial portion of the primary cyclone chamber unobstructed by the exit tube.

Preferably, the secondary chambers each comprise an air-extraction exit tube extending into the secondary chamber and via which air is drawn from the secondary chamber.

Preferably, the cyclone system further comprises a respective fine particulate receptacle associated-with each secondary cyclone chamber, and wherein each secondary cyclone chamber is frusto-conically tapered inwardly toward the respective fine particulate receptacle.

Preferably, the cyclone system further comprises a pair of said primary cyclone chambers and a trio of said secondary cyclone chambers.

There is further disclosed herein a cyclone chamber for a vacuum cleaner, comprising:

    • a dirty air inlet port directed tangentially into the chamber,
    • an air-extraction exit tube extending into the cyclone chamber and having an inlet through which air is extracted from the chamber, the exit tube extending sufficiently into the chamber such that its inlet is not in the direct flow path of the dirty air inlet port, but not substantially therepast, thereby leaving a major axial portion of the cyclone chamber unobstructed by the exit tube.

Preferably, the cyclone chamber further comprises a particulate screen situated across the inlet of the air-extraction exit tube.

There is further disclosed herein a cyclone system for a vacuum cleaner, comprising:

    • a primary cyclone chamber for receiving dirty air and having an exit port,
    • a secondary cyclone chamber situated outside of and downstream of the primary cyclone chamber and having an inlet port receiving airflow from the exit port of the primary chamber.

Preferably, the primary and secondary chambers are each substantially cylindrical with a major longitudinal axis and wherein the axes of the respective chambers are substantially co-linear.

There is further disclosed herein an upright vacuum cleaner comprising the above disclosed cyclone system and in which the secondary chamber is situated above the primary chamber.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred forms of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic plan illustration of a multi-chamber cyclone system,

FIG. 2 is a schematic elevation of a dual cyclone chamber system, and

FIG. 3 is a schematic elevation of an upright vacuum cleaner incorporating a dual cyclone chamber system.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In FIG. 1 of the accompanying drawings there is depicted schematically a cyclone system 9 for a vacuum cleaner. The system 9 includes a pair of primary cyclone chambers 11a and 11b and a common manifold 13 connecting the primary chambers to a trio of secondary cyclone chambers 14a, 14b and 14c.

Each primary cyclone chamber 11 is substantially cylindrical in form and comprises an inlet port 12 at the top end which extends tangentially therefrom. Each inlet port 12 would be connected via appropriate manifolding and suction ducting to a vacuum cleaning head or suction hose for example. The tangential transition of the dirty air inlet port 12 to the cylindrical chamber induces a cyclonic flow within the chamber. The chamber 11 includes at its bottom a large particulate receptacle area 17.

Whilst FIG. 2 depicts a second system 10 incorporating only single primary cyclone chamber 11 and single secondary cyclone chamber 14, the details shown in the figure can apply equally to the embodiment of FIG. 1. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the manifold 13 is replaced by a single connecting tube 21 between the cyclones.

The manifold 13 (or connecting tube 21) receives airflow from the/each primary chamber 11 via a short exit tube 19 which extends down into the respective primary chamber 11 only a short distance. This distance is sufficient to clear the vertical space requirement of the inlet port 12 so that particulate material entering the primary chamber 11 via inlet port 12 is not drawn in directly by the exit tube. However, the exit tube 19 does not extend significantly further into the primary chamber 11 where it would otherwise adversely affect the natural vortex of airflow within the chamber. A particulate screen 16 is fitted over the exit tube 19 as an additional barrier to the direct ingress of large particulate material to the exit tube.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the manifold 13 feeds into three individual secondary cyclone chambers 14a, 14b and 14c. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, of course there is only a single secondary cyclone 14. The-or each secondary cyclone chamber (as the case ma be) 14 also includes an exit tube 20 of similar design to exit tube(s) 19, but typically without a particulate screen. The air flow from 13 or 21 feeds tangentially into the/each secondary cyclone chamber 14 in much the same way as does the dirty airflow into inlet port 12 of the primary chamber(s).

The or each secondary cyclone chamber 14 at some point tapers conically toward a fine particulate receptacle 18 situated therebelow. Each exit tube 15 would be connected via appropriate manifolding and ducting to a motor-driven suction pump.

FIG. 3 depicts an upright vacuum cleaner 30 in which the dual chamber system of FIG. 2 is incorporated. The upright vacuum cleaner 30 typically includes a handle 25, a cleaning head 23 and a suction pump 22 connected via ducting 24 to the exit tube 20 of the secondary cyclone 14. Air from the suction pump 22 is exhausted as shown by the large arrow. In the example of FIG. 3, the primary and secondary cyclones 11 and 14 are mounted substantially coaxially. Moreover, the respective longitudinal axes of the cylindrical cyclone chambers are co-linear as indicated by common axis A in the figure. The smaller secondary cyclone is positioned above the larger primary cyclone. As seen in the figure, a single connecting tube 21 extends upwardly from exit tube 19 to the inlet port 15 of the secondary cyclone chamber 14.

In use, the motor-driven suction pump 22 would be activated to induce suction at the exit tube 15 of the or each secondary cyclone chamber 14. As clean air is extracted from the secondary chamber(s) 14, suction is induced in the manifold 13 (or connecting tube 21) and fine particle-laden air is drawn thereinto from the primary chamber(s) 11. Similarly, as fine particle-laden air is extracted from the primary chamber(s) 11, suction is induced at the inlet port(s) 12.

It should be appreciated that modifications and alterations obvious to those skilled in the art are not to be considered as beyond the scope of the present invention. For example, particulate screens could be added to the exit tube(s) 20 to stop very fine particulate material, and any number of primary and secondary cyclone chambers can be attached to a single manifold.





 
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