Title:
Corrugated Bristle Brush
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A brush including layers of bristles used with a handle. Plates, with bristles connected to a base at one end, are retained by the handle. Certain stackable plates may also be interconnected by a set of hinges. Plates can be of a unitary plastic construction and can be stacked or folded upon one another to form layers of plates with bristles. A corrugated layer is adjacent to a first plate or between two plates. The corrugated layer has a base and corrugated bristles extending from an end of the base, with the corrugated bristles preferably shaped in alternating ridges and grooves. The corrugated layer is stiffer than an adjacent plate of bristles and assists with liquid retention of the brush. Recesses or holes in the ridges of the corrugated bristles can aid with liquid retention in the brush before applying the liquid on a surface. A method of making a brush with layers of bristles can include forming a first plate having a series of bases connected to a plurality of bristles, stacking bases of the first plate in layers, attaching the stacked bases of the first plate to a handle, and forming and attaching a corrugated layer to be adjacent to the first plate.



Inventors:
Kwan, Steven (Shatin, HK)
Huff, Scott L. (Shenzhen, CN)
Application Number:
11/947445
Publication Date:
06/04/2009
Filing Date:
11/29/2007
Assignee:
MERRY CHANCE INDUSTRIES, LTD. (Kwai Chung, HK)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
300/21
International Classes:
A46B3/00; A46D1/00
View Patent Images:
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20080098560Motor manifoldMay, 2008Williams et al.
20070289077Multifunction device for use with a variety of means for home cleaning- worksDecember, 2007Kaczorowski
20030024066Extendible cleaning implementFebruary, 2003Kennedy
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20030145425Multi-function vacuum cleaner accessoryAugust, 2003Fernandez-grandizo Martinez
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20080125680MOTORIZED WATERPROOF FLUID DISPENSERMay, 2008Richmond et al.



Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Steven Kwan (Kwai Chung, N.T., HK)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A brush including layers of bristles attached to a handle, comprising: a first plate having a series of bases connected to a plurality of bristles, the first plate adapted to be stacked in layers, wherein the series of bases is formed from a unitary piece of polymeric material, and a corrugated layer adjacent to the first plate, the corrugated layer having a base and corrugated bristles extending from an end of the base wherein the corrugated bristles are shaped in alternating ridges and grooves, wherein the corrugated layer is stiffer than the first plate.

2. The brush of claim 1 wherein the series of bases are pivotally interconnected by at least one living hinge that is part of the unitary piece of polymeric material.

3. The brush of claim 1 wherein the first plate is formed from silicone.

4. The brush of claim 1 wherein the series of bases of the first plate and the base of the corrugated layer each have a complementary oval opening passing through to assist with aligning said bases and to help secure said bases to the handle.

5. The brush of claim 1 further including recesses in the ridges of the corrugated bristles.

6. The brush of claim 1 further including holes in the ridges of the corrugated bristles.

7. The brush of claim 1 wherein the first plate has a first base with bristles that correspond and align with grooves of the corrugated bristles.

8. The brush of claim 7 wherein the bristles corresponding to the grooves are wider apart than the bristles of an adjacent base of the first plate.

9. The brush of claim 1 wherein the alternating ridges and grooves are parallel.

10. The brush of claim 1 further comprising a second plate having a second series of bases connected to a second plurality of bristles, the second plate adapted to be stacked in layers, wherein the second series of bases is formed from a unitary piece of polymeric material, wherein the corrugated layer is between the first and second plates.

11. The brush of claim 10 wherein the first plate, the second plate, and the corrugated layer are removable to be easily separated from the handle to allow for cleaning or replacement.

12. The brush of claim 10 wherein the first plate, the second plate, and the corrugated layer are permanently bonded together.

13. The brush of claim 10 wherein the bases include an alignment mechanism to maintain correct alignment when stacked in layers.

14. The brush of claim 13 having a complementary oval opening passing through each base of the first plate, the second plate, and the corrugated layer to assist with aligning these components and to help secure them to the handle.

15. The brush of claim 1 wherein the corrugated layer is made of plastic that is more rigid than the polymeric material of the first plate.

16. The brush of claim 1 wherein the ridges and grooves form a zigzag pattern in cross section.

17. The brush of claim 1 wherein the corrugated bristles are cut from a fraction of a length of the corrugated layer.

18. The brush of claim 1 wherein the corrugated bristles are separated extending from the base to distal ends of the corrugated bristles.

19. A brush including layers of bristles attached to a handle, comprising: a first plate having a series of bases connected to a plurality of bristles, the first plate adapted to be stacked in layers, a second plate having at least one base connected to a second plurality of bristles, and a corrugated layer between the first and second plates, the corrugated layer having a base and corrugated bristles extending from an end of the base wherein the corrugated bristles are shaped in alternating ridges and grooves, wherein the ridges and grooves form a zigzag pattern in cross section, wherein the first plate has a first base with bristles that correspond and align with grooves of the corrugated bristles.

20. The brush of claim 19 wherein the corrugated layer is a stiffer plastic than the polymeric material of the first plate.

21. The brush of claim 19 wherein the corrugated bristles are cut from at least a fraction of a length of the corrugated layer.

22. A method of making a brush having layers of bristles, comprising: forming a first plate from a unitary piece of polymeric material having a series of bases connected to a plurality of bristles, stacking bases of the first plate in layers, attaching the stacked bases of the first plate to a handle, forming a corrugated layer having a base and corrugated bristles extending from an end of the base wherein the corrugated bristles are shaped in alternating ridges and grooves, and attaching the corrugated layer adjacent to the first plate securing the corrugated layer to the handle.

23. The method of claim 22 including additional steps of forming a second plate from a unitary piece of polymeric material having a series of bases connected to a plurality of bristles, stacking bases of the second plate in layers, and attaching the stacked bases of the second plate to the corrugated layer so the corrugated layer is between the first and second plates.

24. The method of claim 23 including the step of permanently bonding the first plate, the second plate, and the corrugated layer together.

25. The method of claim 22 including the additional step of cutting at least a portion of the corrugated layer to form corrugated bristles.

Description:

BACKGROUND

This disclosure relates to a brush with flexible bristles, and specifically to a brush with one or more corrugated layers associated with the bristles.

Brushes used for applying liquids or sauces are typically manufactured as a complete one-piece assembled unit with a handle permanently connected to the bristles. Basting brushes have been made of silicone or similar materials due to heat resistance, odor resistance durability, and cleanability. A particular brush made by Merry Chance Industries, Ltd., which is also presenting this disclosure, is particularly beneficial for these characteristics.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,059,006, which is incorporated by reference, discloses a brush including removable plates with tines that can be inserted into a complementary handle. The plates, made up of tines connected to a manifold at one end, are retained by the handle. Removable flat plates can be of a unitary construction and can be rolled, stacked or folded upon one another to form layers of tines. The plates are designed to be easily separated from a brush handle after use to allow for cleaning or replacement. The plates may also be interconnected by a set of hinges. The tines may include a plurality of flutes or ribs that increase the surface area of the tines and aid in increasing liquid retention when the brush is being used. After use, the individual plates can be removed from the handle and easily cleaned.

Williams-Sonoma sells a basting brush covered by U.S. Pat. No. 7,059,006, (i.e. Tovolo U.S. Pat. No. 7,137,961) having the plates as shown in FIGS. 3-6 of the '006 patent with two unitary retaining members pivotally attached that secure the plates. A sleeve encases the handle and is adapted to push the retaining members together to secure the bases to the handle. The sleeve may be slid rearwardly along the handle away from the bristles to allow the retaining members to open, allowing the release of the bases. The sleeve when slid toward the bristles may engage the first and second retaining members to secure them together and to hold the inserted bases having apertures.

Also, the OXO Good Grips® large silicone basting brush has multiple layers of silicone bristles. Tapered outer bristles are part of an angled brush head. Circles within wide flat center bristles hold liquid for transport.

In addition to liquid retention, a more robust set of bristles may be desirable in certain circumstances. The strength, firmness, hardness, stiffness, rigidity and sturdiness of the bristles are characteristics to consider for the bristles of various brushes.

Prior art brushes do not provide for a brush having removable or folding integral plates of bristles with corrugated bristles for enhancing the layers of bristles.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure provides a brush that comprises bristles having desired characteristics, such as heat and odor resistance, with a corrugated layer associated with the bristles to contribute to the function, strength, firmness, hardness, stiffness, or rigidity of the layers of bristles.

In this regard, it is desired to have a brush with layers of bristles attached to a handle with at least one plate having a series of bases connected to a plurality of bristles. The first plate is adapted to be stacked in layers. A corrugated layer is adjacent to the first plate, and it has a base and corrugated bristles extending from an end of the base wherein the corrugated bristles are shaped in alternating ridges and grooves. The corrugated layer may be stiffer than the first plate. A method of making such a brush is also disclosed.

These and other aspects of this disclosure are illustrated in the accompanying drawings and are more fully described in the following specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The above mentioned and other features of this disclosure and the manner of obtaining them will become more apparent, and the disclosure itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which are given as non-limiting examples only, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a brush having a sleeve securing layers of bristles to a handle;

FIG. 2 shows an expanded view of a brush with components disassembled;

FIG. 3 is a view of an end of a brush with a corrugated layer between two other layers;

FIG. 4 shows a corrugated layer with alternating parallel ridges and grooves; and

FIG. 5 shows a expanded view of a brush with components disassembled of another brush including a corrugated layer.

The exemplification set out herein illustrates embodiments of the disclosure that is not to be construed as limiting the scope of the disclosure in any manner. Additional features of the present disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the disclosure as presently perceived.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While the present disclosure may be susceptible to embodiment in different forms, the drawings show, and herein described in detail, embodiments with the understanding that the present description are to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the disclosure and are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure to the details of construction and the arrangements of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings.

In the figures, like reference numerals indicate the same elements throughout. As shown in FIG. 1, a brush 10 includes a handle 12 and a plurality of bristles 16 that extend from the brush 10. The bristles 16 are preferably elongated flexible members adapted to allow for a liquid to be transferred from a container to an object, such as grilled food. The brush 10 has one or more plate 18 with a series of bases 20 connected to a plurality of bristles 16 that are adjacent to a corrugated layer 22. The term “plate” is broadly used in a varying meaning than U.S. Pat. No. 7,059,006. The brush 10 may be used as a basting brush, but it is not so limited by this disclosure.

The brush 10 includes layers of bristles 16 attached to a handle 12. A first plate 18 has a series of bases 20 connected to a plurality of bristles 16. The first plate 18 is adapted to be stacked in layers, wherein the series of bases 20 can be formed from a unitary piece of polymeric material. The first plate 18 preferably has a series of bases 20 that are pivotally interconnected by a living hinge 92 that is part of the unitary piece of polymeric material, such as silicone. A second plate 118 may also have a base 120 or a second series of bases 120 connected to a second plurality of bristles 16, wherein the second plate 118 can be adapted to be stacked in layers. The second plate 118 may have one base 120 or a series of bases 120 preferably formed from a unitary piece of polymeric material, as interchangeable with the description of the first plate 18 and bases 20. (The 100 series of numerals is a convenience for disclosure and not meant to limit these elements). A corrugated layer 22 can be adjacent to a first plate 18 or secured between the first and second plates 18 and 118.

The bristles 16 of the brush 10 are part of one or more plates 18, 118 that can be stacked or folded together to form layers of bristles 16. The bristles 16 can be molded with the base 20 to form the plates 18. The plates 18 are preferably fabricated from a silicone polymer material that has desirable heat resistance and anti-adhesion properties. In addition to silicone polymers, other polymers may be used to fabricate the plates 18 or 118, such as thermoplastic rubbers. The plates 18 include one or more base 20 with the bristles 16 extending therefrom, and the second plate 118, for example, may have just one base 120 with bristles 16. The bristles 16 and the bases 20 of plate 18 are preferably of a unitary construction allowing the plate 18 to be fabricated from a single type of material by compression molding, injection molding or other molding methods known to those skilled in the art. The preferred compression molding allows the single molded unit to have bristles 16 extending from an end of a plate 18 in an integral piece. The bases 20 may be interconnected by pivoting devices 92, such as living hinges, which allow the bases 20 to be folded on each other to form layers of bristles 16. Living hinges 92 may be on a side adjacent to the end with bristles 16 or the living hinge 92 may be at a distal end of the base 20, or both.

A corrugated layer 22 can be placed adjacent to a first plate 18 with a set of bristles 16 or preferably between the first and second plates 18 and 118. This preferred three-part design can be adapted to the desired function, strength, firmness, hardness, stiffness, and rigidity for the total layers of bristles 16 for a brush 10.

The corrugated layer 22 has a base 220 and corrugated bristles 216 extending from an end of the base 220. The corrugated bristles 216 are shaped in alternating ridges 30 and grooves 32, which are preferably parallel. The ridges 30 preferably extend onto the base 220 to provide added strength. In a cross-section, the ridges 30 and grooves 32 may form a zigzag pattern. Ideally, recesses 34 or holes 36 are molded or made into each ridge 30 or groove 32 to further aid with liquid retention. The recesses 34 may only depress into a portion of the layer 22, and holes 36 may pass through the layer 22. The design of the recesses 34 or holes 36 may affect the stiffness. As such, recesses 34 or holes 36 in the orientation that the corrugated bristles 216 may bend may make corrugated bristles easier to bend; whereas, recesses 34 or holes 36 transverse to bending orientation may not affect stiffness to the same extent.

The corrugated layer 22 can be a continuous piece to form one corrugated bristle 216 extending from an end of the base 220, but corrugated layer 22 can also be preferably cut a fraction or the entire length of the corrugated layer 22 to form the corrugated bristles 216 extending from an end of the base 220. A continuous piece forming one corrugated bristle 216 would be the stiffest, and corrugated bristles 216 cut from a portion of the corrugated layer 22 would be stiffer than corrugated bristles 216 cut the entire length of the corrugated layer 22 from an end of the base 220 to distal ends of the corrugated bristles 216.

The corrugated layer 22 is preferably a stiffer plastic than the polymeric material of the first plate 18. A stiffer corrugated layer 22 can make the complete set of layers of bristles 16 stronger. A stiffer set of bristles 16 may be desirable in certain circumstances. The strength, firmness, hardness, stiffness, rigidity and sturdiness of the set of bristles 16 can be adjusted by varying the characteristics of the corrugated layer 22. The corrugated layer 22 can be formed from silicone polymers or other polymers including thermoplastic rubbers.

A set of multi-layer bristles 16 preferably has one set of bristles 16a that correspond and align with the grooves 32 of the corrugated layer 22. The bristles 16a complementing the grooves 32 are on a base 20 immediately adjacent to the corrugated layer 22. The adjacent base 20 may have indentations 60 to complement ridges 30 of the corrugated layer 22 that preferably extend onto the base 20. The set of bristles 16a corresponding to the grooves 32 may be wider apart than the series of bristles 16 that preferably form the outer layer of bristles 16 on an outer base 20 when the brush 10 is assembled.

Outer layers of bristles 16 may be tapered when the brush 10 is assembled, particularly for a basting brush to glide over food being basted.

As shown in U.S. Pat. No. 7,059,006, each base or alternating bases may have complementary raised portions 102 and apertures 104. Each base 20, 120 or 220 may include a first section with raised portions 102 and complementary apertures 104 on an adjacent section to maintain the alignment of a first base with a second base 20. Additionally, an opening 106 passing through each base 20, 120 and 220 may be used with to assist with aligning these components and to help secure the bases 20, 120 and 220 to the handle 12.

Preferably, the brush 10 has an alignment mechanism 100 that passes through the base (20, 120, and 220) of each of the first plate 18, the second plate 118 (if any), and the corrugated layer 22 to assist with aligning these components when stacked and possibly to help secure them to the handle 12 of the brush 10. The alignment mechanism 100 may include an opening 106, such as in an oval shape, used with a complementary dowel, post or peg 108 associated with the handle 12. A preferred oval opening 106 passes through the base (20, 120, and 220) of each of the first plate 18, the second plate 118, and the corrugated layer 22 to assist with aligning these components with an oval post, peg or similar feature 108 directly or indirectly attached to the handle 12. The complementary oval opening 106 passing through the base (20, 120, and 220) of each of the first plate 18, the second plate 118, and the corrugated layer prevents rotation of the bases as a round aperture might allow. The post, peg or similar feature 108 associated with the handle 12 would pass through the opening 106 to secure the bases (20, 120, and 220) to the handle 12 when assembled.

The plates 18 of bristles 16 can be detachable and removable as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 7,059,006. The first plate 18, the second plate 118, and the corrugated layer 22 can be removable to be easily separated from the handle 12 of the brush 10 after use to allow for cleaning or replacement. Similarly, a sleeve 156 can encase the handle 12 and be adapted to push the retaining members 138 and 140 (opposite from 138 as shown) together to secure the bases 20, 220 (optionally 120) to the handle 12. The sleeve 156 may be slid rearwardly along the handle 12 away from the bristles 16 to allow hinged retaining members 138 and 140 to open allowing the release of the bases 20 and 220. The sleeve 156 when slid toward the bristles 16 may engage the first and second retaining members 138 and 140 to secure them together and to hold the inserted bases 20 and 220 having openings 106.

Optionally, the layers of bristles 16 can be non-detachable. The bases 20 can be permanently bonded together by adhesive or ultra-sonic welding of plastic components. Similarly, the first plate 18, the second plate 118, and the corrugated layer 22 can be permanently bonded together.

A method of making a brush 10 with layers of bristles 16 may comprise the steps of forming a first plate 18 from a unitary piece of polymeric material having a series of bases 20 connected to a plurality of bristles 16, stacking bases 20 of the first plate 18 in layers, attaching the stacked bases 20 of the first plate 18 to a handle 12, forming a corrugated layer 22 having a base 220 and corrugated bristles 216 extending from an end of the base 220 wherein the corrugated bristles 216 are shaped in alternating ridges 30 and grooves 32, and attaching the corrugated layer 22 adjacent to the first plate 18 to secure the corrugated layer 22 to the handle 12. The method may include possible additional steps of forming a second plate 118 from a unitary piece of polymeric material having at least one base 120 connected to a plurality of bristles 16 and attaching the base or bases 120 of the second plate 118 to the corrugated layer 22 so the corrugated layer 22 is between the first and second plates 18 and 118. The method may include cutting at least a fraction of the corrugated layer 22 to form corrugated bristles 216 either from the base 220 or part way up the length of the corrugated layer 22.

These methods may include the step of permanently bonding the first plate 18, the second plate 118 (if any), and the corrugated layer 22 together or leaving the bristles 16 and 216 to be detachable.

While this disclosure has been described as having an exemplary embodiment, this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations using its general principles. It is envisioned that those skilled in the art may devise various modifications and equivalents without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure as recited in the following claims. Further, this application is intended to cover such variations from the present disclosure as come within the known or customary practice within the art to which it pertains.