Title:
Cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus for vacuum cleaner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus for a vacuum cleaner may include a cyclone unit disposed at a cleaner body so that a longitudinal center axis thereof is parallel to a first sidewall of the cleaner body, the cyclone unit having a contaminant-discharging opening formed at an upper portion of a side surface thereof; and a contaminant receptacle disposed at a side of the cyclone unit to be attached to or detached from the cleaner body, the contaminant receptacle having a top wall at which a contaminant-entering opening is formed corresponding to the contaminant-discharging opening of the cyclone unit.



Inventors:
Yoo, Dong-hun (Gwangju-city, KR)
Application Number:
12/150395
Publication Date:
06/11/2009
Filing Date:
04/28/2008
Assignee:
Samsung Gwangju Electronics Co., Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCDONALD, SHANTESE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul D. Greeley (Stamford, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus for disposal in a cleaner body having a first sidewall that becomes a bottom surface when the cleaner body is stood up in a longitudinal direction thereof and a second sidewall that becomes the bottom surface when the cleaner body is laid down in the longitudinal direction thereof, the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus comprising: a cyclone unit disposed at the cleaner body so that a longitudinal center axis of the cyclone unit is parallel to the first sidewall of the cleaner body, the cyclone unit having a contaminant-discharging opening formed at an upper portion of a side surface thereof, and a contaminant receptacle disposed at the side surface of the cyclone unit, the contaminant receptacle being configured to be attached to or detached from the cleaner body, the contaminant receptacle having a top wall at which a contaminant-entering opening is formed corresponding to the contaminant-discharging opening of the cyclone unit.

2. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 1, wherein the cyclone unit comprises: a cyclone body formed in a hollow cylindrical shape, the cyclone body having a center axis parallel to the first sidewall of the cleaner body; an air-discharging pipe formed at a bottom surface of the cyclone body; and an air-entering pipe disposed at the side surface of the cyclone body nearby the second sidewall of the cleaner body.

3. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 2, wherein the cyclone unit further comprises: a contaminant-discharging pipe extending from the side surface of the cyclone body at the contaminant-discharging opening, the contaminant-discharging pipe comprising a rectangular pipe.

4. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 3, wherein the contaminant receptacle further comprises an outer projection projecting from around the contaminant-entering opening of the contaminant receptacle.

5. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 4, wherein the cyclone unit further comprises: a supporting wall formed around the contaminant-discharging pipe, the supporting wall corresponding to the top wall of the contaminant receptacle; and a sealing projection formed at the supporting wall to wrap the outer projection of the contaminant receptacle.

6. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 5, further comprising a gasket disposed between the sealing projection and the outer projection.

7. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 4, wherein the contaminant receptacle further comprises: an inner projection formed at an inner surface of the top wall of the contaminant receptacle to project inside the contaminant receptacle from around the contaminant-entering opening.

8. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 2, further comprising: a discharging duct connecting the air-discharging pipe of the cyclone unit and a vacuum generator, the discharging duct being disposed at the second sidewall of the cleaner body.

9. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contaminant receptacle comprises: a contaminant receptacle body having the top wall at which the contaminant-entering opening is formed; a handle disposed at a side surface of the contaminant receptacle body; a bottom cover disposed at a bottom end of the contaminant receptacle body so that it is able to be opened and closed; and a bottom cover opening unit selectively opening and closing the bottom cover.

10. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 9, wherein the bottom cover is disposed at the side surface of the contaminant receptacle body by a hinge.

11. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 10, wherein the bottom cover opening unit comprises: a fixing hook disposed at a side of the bottom cover, the fixing hook formed to be caught on a fixing projection disposed at the contaminant receptacle body; and a release lever causing the fixing hook to be released from the fixing projection.

12. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 11, wherein the release lever is formed to move along the handle.

13. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of claim 12, further comprising an elastic member disposed on a top end of the release lever to bias the release lever upward.

14. A vacuum cleaner comprising: a cleaner body having a first sidewall that becomes a bottom surface when the cleaner body is stood up in a longitudinal direction thereof and a second sidewall that becomes the bottom surface when the cleaner body is laid down in the longitudinal direction thereof; and a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus disposed in the cleaner body, the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus having a cyclone unit and a contaminant receptacle, wherein the cyclone unit is disposed at the cleaner body so that a longitudinal center axis of the cyclone unit is parallel to the first sidewall of the cleaner body and wherein the contaminant receptacle is disposed at a side of the cyclone unit to be attached to or detached from the cleaner body.

15. The vacuum cleaner of claim 14, wherein the cyclone unit has a contaminant-discharging opening formed at an upper portion of a side surface thereof.

16. The vacuum cleaner of claim 15, wherein the contaminant receptacle has a top wall at which a contaminant-entering opening is formed corresponding to the contaminant-discharging opening of the cyclone unit.

17. The vacuum cleaner of claim 16, wherein the cyclone unit comprises: a cyclone body formed in a hollow cylindrical shape, the cyclone body having a center axis parallel to the first sidewall of the cleaner body; an air-discharging pipe formed at a bottom surface of the cyclone body; and an air-entering pipe disposed at a side surface of the cyclone body nearby the second sidewall of the cleaner body.

18. The vacuum cleaner of claim 17, wherein the cyclone unit further comprises: a contaminant-discharging pipe extending from the side surface of the cyclone body at the contaminant-discharging opening, the contaminant-discharging pipe formed in a rectangular pipe.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(a) from Korean Patent Application No. 2007-125738 filed Dec. 5, 2007 in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present disclosure relates to a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus for a vacuum cleaner. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus usable with an upright or canister type vacuum cleaner.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, vacuum cleaners are classified as either an upright type or a canister type. Each of the upright type vacuum cleaner and the canister type vacuum cleaner has both advantages and disadvantages. So, users can select and use one of the two type vacuum cleaners as their needs.

However, some users may need both type vacuum cleaners. In this case, the users should buy both the canister type vacuum cleaner and the upright type vacuum cleaner, thereby feeling financial burden.

For solving this problem, combined vacuum cleaners that can be used both as the canister type and the upright type have been developed. The conventional combined vacuum cleaners use a dust bag as a contaminant collecting apparatus. Therefore, it has been required to develop combined vacuum cleaners to use a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus, which has good contaminant separating efficiency and easy usability, as the contaminant collecting apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure has been developed in order to overcome the above drawbacks and other problems associated with the conventional arrangement. An aspect of the present disclosure is to provide a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus capable of being used in either a canister or upright type vacuum cleaner.

The above aspect and/or other features of the present disclosure can substantially be achieved by providing a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus for a vacuum cleaner that is disposed in a cleaner body having a first sidewall that becomes a bottom surface when the cleaner body is stood up in a longitudinal direction thereof and a second sidewall that becomes a bottom surface when the cleaner body is laid down in the longitudinal direction thereof. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus may include a cyclone unit disposed at the cleaner body so that a longitudinal center axis thereof is parallel to the first sidewall of the cleaner body, the cyclone unit having a contaminant-discharging opening formed at an upper portion of a side surface thereof; and a contaminant receptacle disposed at a side of the cyclone unit to be attached to or detached from the cleaner body, the contaminant receptacle having a top wall at which a contaminant-entering opening is formed corresponding to the contaminant-discharging opening of the cyclone unit.

The cyclone unit may include a cyclone body formed in a hollow cylindrical shape, the cyclone body having a center axis parallel to the first sidewall of the cleaner body; an air-discharging pipe formed at a bottom surface of the cyclone body; and an air-entering pipe disposed at a side surface of the cyclone body nearby the second sidewall of the cleaner body.

The cyclone unit may include a contaminant-discharging pipe extending from the side surface of the cyclone body at the contaminant-discharging opening, the contaminant-discharging pipe formed in a rectangular pipe.

The contaminant receptacle may include an outer projection projecting from around the contaminant-entering opening of the contaminant receptacle.

The cyclone unit may include a supporting wall formed around the contaminant-discharging pipe, the supporting wall corresponding to the top wall of the contaminant receptacle; and a sealing projection formed at the supporting wall to wrap the outer projection of the contaminant receptacle.

The cyclone unit may include a gasket disposed between the sealing projection and the outer projection.

The contaminant receptacle may include an inner projection formed at an inner surface of the top wall of the contaminant receptacle to project inside the contaminant receptacle from around the contaminant-entering opening.

The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus may include a discharging duct disposed at the second sidewall of the cleaner body, the discharging duct connecting the air-discharging pipe of the cyclone unit and a vacuum generator.

The contaminant receptacle may include a contaminant receptacle body having the top wall at which the contaminant-entering opening is formed; a handle disposed at a side surface of the contaminant receptacle body; a bottom cover disposed at a bottom end of the contaminant receptacle body so that it is able to be opened and closed; and a bottom cover opening unit selectively opening and closing the bottom cover.

The bottom cover may be disposed at a side surface of the contaminant receptacle body by a hinge.

The bottom cover opening unit may include; a fixing hook disposed at a side of the bottom cover, the fixing hook formed to be caught on a fixing projection disposed at the contaminant receptacle body; and a release lever causing the fixing hook to be released from the fixing projection.

The release lever may be formed to move along the handle.

The bottom cover opening unit may include an elastic member disposed on a top end of the release lever to bias the release lever upward.

Other objects, advantages and salient features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, discloses preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a vacuum cleaner having a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus when the vacuum cleaner is used as an upright type vacuum cleaner;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the vacuum cleaner having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of FIG. 1 when the vacuum cleaner is used as a canister type vacuum cleaner;

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view illustrating the vacuum cleaner having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of FIG. 1 taken along a line III-III in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view illustrating the vacuum cleaner having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of FIG. 3 when a contaminant receptacle is separated;

FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view illustrating the vacuum cleaner having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of FIG. 2 taken along a line IV-IV in FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a partial sectional view illustrating the vacuum cleaner having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of FIG. 5 when a contaminant receptacle is separated;

FIG. 7 is a bottom perspective view illustrating a cyclone unit of the vacuum cleaner having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a top perspective view illustrating a contaminant receptacle of the vacuum cleaner having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 9 is a perspective view illustrating the contaminant receptacle of FIG. 8 when a bottom cover thereof is opened.

Throughout the drawings, like reference numerals will be understood to refer to like parts, components and structures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, certain exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

The matters defined in the description, such as a detailed construction and elements thereof, are provided to assist in a comprehensive understanding of the invention. Thus, it is apparent that the present disclosure may be carried out without those defined matters. Also, well-known functions or constructions are omitted to provide a clear and concise description of exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a vacuum cleaner 1 having a cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure includes a suction nozzle 10, an extension pipe assembly 20, and a cleaner body 30.

The suction nozzle 10 moves along a surface to be cleaned and draws in contaminants. A contaminant suction port (not illustrated), in through which air and contaminants are drawn, is formed at a bottom surface of the suction nozzle 10. A body-mounting portion 11 onto which the cleaner body 30 is mounted is formed at a top surface of the suction nozzle 10. Also, a pair of wheels 12 to allow the suction nozzle 10 to smoothly move on the surface to be cleaned is disposed at opposite sides of the suction nozzle 10. When the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as an upright type, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the cleaner body 30 is coupled to the body-mounting portion 11 of the suction nozzle 10.

The extension pipe assembly 20 connects the suction nozzle 10 with the cleaner body 30, and includes an extension pipe 21 and a flexible hose 22. A grip 23 is formed at a connecting portion between the extension pipe 21 and the flexible hose 22. Therefore, a user grabs the grip 23 to move the suction nozzle 10. When the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as the upright type as illustrated in FIG. 1, the extension pipe assembly 20 is fixed to a rear surface of the cleaner body 30, that is, a second sidewall 32.

The cleaner body 30 supports a vacuum generator (not illustrated) to generate a suction force to draw in contaminants and the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 to separate and collect drawn-in contaminants. The cleaner body 30 has a first sidewall 31 that becomes a bottom surface when the cleaner body 30 is stood up in a longitudinal direction thereof as illustrated in FIG. 1 and the second sidewall 32 that becomes a bottom surface when the cleaner body 30 is laid down in the longitudinal direction thereof as illustrated in FIG. 2. The first sidewall 31 becomes the bottom surface that contacts the body-mounting portion 11 of the suction nozzle 10 when the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as the upright type as illustrated in FIG. 1. The second sidewall 32 is formed perpendicularly with respect to the first sidewall 31, and the extension pipe assembly 20 is fixed to the second sidewall 32. The second sidewall 32 becomes the bottom surface when the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as a canister type as illustrated in FIG. 2. The cleaner body 30 is partitioned into a first portion 33 in which the vacuum generator is disposed and a second portion 34 in which the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 is disposed by a partition wall 35. The vacuum generator is disposed between the partition wall 35 and the first sidewall 31. The cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 is disposed above the partition wall 35. The second portion 34 in which the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 is disposed has an opened front surface.

The vacuum generator is in fluid communication with the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 via a discharging duct 36 (see FIG. 3) disposed at an inner surface of the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 includes a cyclone unit 50 to separate contaminants from the drawn-in air and a contaminant receptacle 70 to collect separated contaminants.

The cyclone unit 50 is disposed so that a longitudinal center axis CL is parallel to the first sidewall 31 of the cleaner body 30. Therefore, when the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as the upright type as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, the longitudinal center axis CL of the cyclone unit 50 becomes substantially horizontal with respect to the surface to be cleaned 3. The cyclone unit 50 includes a cyclone body 51 to form a space in which the drawn-in air and contaminants whirl, an air-entering pipe 52 to allow the contaminants and air to enter an inner side of the cyclone body 51, and an air-discharging pipe 53 through which air having contaminants removed is discharged.

The cyclone body 51 is formed substantially in a hollow cylindrical shape, and the longitudinal center axis CL thereof is parallel to the first sidewall 31 of the cleaner body 30. A contaminant-discharging opening 57 through which the separated contaminants are discharged is formed at an upper portion of a side surface of the cyclone body 51, that is, at a position farthest away from the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30. In this exemplary embodiment, the contaminant-discharging opening 57 is formed substantially in a rectangular shape. The contaminant-discharging opening 57 may have a size so that the contaminants separated in the cyclone body 51 can be smoothly discharged through the contaminant-discharging opening 57 by a centrifugal force, and the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 can be prevented from flowing backward into the cyclone body 51 through the contaminant-discharging opening 57. A top cover 55 may be detachably disposed at the top end of the cyclone body 51. A guide pipe 55a may be formed to extend from an inner surface of the top cover 55 toward the air-discharging pipe 53. A contaminant-discharging pipe 58 may be formed to extend outside from the side surface of the cyclone body 51 in the contaminant-discharging opening 57. The contaminant-discharging pipe 58 may have a shape corresponding to the shape of the contaminant-discharging opening 57 and a larger section area than that of the contaminant-discharging opening 57. In this exemplary embodiment, the contaminant-discharging pipe 58 is formed in a rectangular pipe having a rectangular section larger than that of the contaminant-discharging opening 57.

The air-discharging pipe 53 is formed substantially at a center of a bottom surface of the cyclone body 51, and the bottom surface thereof is disposed on the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30. The air-discharging pipe 53 is formed substantially in a hollow cylindrical shape with opposite opened ends, and is in fluid communication with the discharging duct 36 disposed at the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30. Therefore, air discharged from the air-discharging pipe 53 moves to the vacuum generator via the discharging duct 36. Also, as illustrated in FIG. 3, a filter portion 54 having a plurality of slits 54a may be disposed at a top end of the air-discharging pipe 53. The filter portion 54 disposed at the top end of the air-discharging pipe 53 can filter contaminants moving with discharging air.

The air-entering pipe 52 is disposed at a lower portion of the side surface of the cyclone body 51, that is, a position near the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30. Air entering the air-entering pipe 52 whirls inside the cyclone body 51 around the longitudinal center axis CL of the cyclone body 51. The air-entering pipe 52 is in fluid communication with the extension pipe assembly 20.

A supporting wall 60 to support the cyclone body 51, as illustrated in FIG. 3, may be disposed below the cyclone body 51. A leading end 58a of the contaminant-discharging pipe 58 is formed to project from the supporting wall 60 as illustrated in FIG. 7. A sealing projection 61 may be disposed around the leading end 58a of the contaminant-discharging pipe 58 on a bottom surface of the supporting wall 60. A connecting groove 62 in which a connecting protrusion 76 formed at a top wall 72 of the contaminant receptacle 70 is inserted may be formed at an outer circumference of the supporting wall 60.

The contaminant receptacle 70 is disposed at a side of the cyclone unit 50, that is, below the cyclone unit 50 as illustrated in FIG. 3, and is formed to be detachable with respect to the cleaner body 30. Therefore, the contaminant receptacle 70 can be mounted or separated parallel with respect to the first sidewall 31 of the cleaner body 30 and perpendicular with respect to the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30. When the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as the upright type, the contaminant receptacle 70, as illustrated in FIG. 4, is substantially horizontally mounted to and separated from the cleaner body 30.

The contaminant receptacle 70 may be formed in a substantially rectangular tank shape with a closed top end as illustrated in FIG. 8. The contaminant receptacle 70 comprises the contaminant receptacle body 71 having the top wall 72. A contaminant-entering opening 73 corresponding to the contaminant-discharging opening 57 of the cyclone unit 50 is formed at the top wall 72 of the contaminant receptacle body 71. An outer projection 74 is formed to project outside the contaminants receptacle body 71 around the contaminant-entering opening 73 of the top wall 72 of the contaminant receptacle body 71. The outer projection 74 is inserted in a space between the sealing projection 61 and the contaminant-discharging pipe 58 formed at the supporting wall 60 of the cyclone unit 50. Therefore, when the contaminant receptacle 70 is connected with the cyclone unit 50, a connecting portion between the leading end 58a of the contaminant-discharging pipe 58 of the cyclone unit 50 and the contaminant entering opening 73 of the contaminant receptacle 70 is sealed by the sealing projection 61. When a sealing member (not illustrated), such as a gasket, may be disposed inside the sealing projection 61, that is, a space between the sealing projection 61 and the outer projection 74, sealing efficiency is increased. Also, an inner projection 75 may be formed to project toward a bottom of the contaminant receptacle body 71 at an inner surface of the top wall 72 of the contaminant receptacle body 71. The inner projection 75 prevents contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 from flowing backward through the contaminant-entering opening 73. Also, the connecting protrusion 76 is formed at an outer circumference of the top wall 72 of the contaminant receptacle body 71, and is inserted in the connecting groove 62 of the cyclone unit 50. Therefore, when connecting the contaminant receptacle 70 with the cyclone unit 50, the user is required to push and insert the contaminant receptacle 70 into the cyclone unit 50. For this a lifting unit 90 (see FIG. 3) may be disposed below the contaminant receptacle 70 to cause the contaminant receptacle 70 to move up and down. The lifting unit 90 may be configured so that a cam and a lever cause the contaminant receptacle 70 to move up and down. Conventional lifting units can be used as the lifting unit. Therefore, a detailed description of the lifting unit 90 will be omitted.

Furthermore, the contaminant receptacle 70 includes a handle 77 disposed at a side surface of the contaminant receptacle body 71, a bottom cover 78 that is disposed at a bottom end of the contaminant receptacle body 71 and can be opened and closed, and a bottom cover opening unit 80 (see FIGS. 3-6) to selectively open or close the bottom cover 78.

The bottom cover 78 is connected with a sidewall of the contaminant receptacle body 71 by hinges 79. In this exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, the bottom cover 78 is connected with the bottom end of the contaminant receptacle body 71 by two hinges 79.

Referring to FIG. 3, the bottom cover opening unit 80 includes a fixing hook 82, a fixing protrusion 83, a release lever 81, and an elastic member 85. The fixing hook 82 is disposed at a side of the bottom cover 78, that is, a side of the bottom cover 78 opposite to the side thereof in which the hinges 79 are disposed. The fixing protrusion 83 is disposed at the bottom end of the contaminant receptacle body 71 so that it can be connected with the fixing hook 82 when the bottom cover 78 is closed. The release lever 81 is formed to release a leading end of the fixing hook 82 from the fixing protrusion 83. The elastic member 85 biases elastically the release lever 81 upward.

The release lever 81 may be disposed inside the handle 77 so that it can move along the handle 77. That is, the handle 77 may be formed to support and guide the movement of the release lever 81 therethrough. A release button 84 is formed at an end of the release lever 81. The elastic member 85 is disposed underneath the release button 84. That is, the elastic member 85 is disposed between the release button 84 and the handle 77 as illustrated in FIG. 3. A bottom end 81a of the release lever 81 is formed to push the fixing hook 82 as illustrated in FIG. 3. Therefore, when the release button 84 is pushed, the release lever 81 is moved downward along the handle 77. When the release lever 81 is moved downward, the bottom end 81a of the release lever 81 presses the fixing hook 82, so the fixing hook 82 is released from the fixing protrusion 83. When the fixing hook 82 is released from the fixing protrusion 83, the bottom cover 78 rotates downward on the hinges 79 by its own weight so that the bottom of the contaminant receptacle 70 is opened (see FIG. 9). On the other hand, when the user takes away the force to press the release button 84, the release button 84 is moved upward by the elastic member 85. At this time, when the user closes the bottom cover 78, the fixing hook 82 is caught on the fixing protrusion 83 of the contaminant receptacle body 71 so that the bottom cover 78 is fixed to the contaminant receptacle body 71 (see FIG. 8).

Hereinafter, operation of the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 for a vacuum cleaner having the structure as described above according to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure will be explained with reference to the accompanying figures.

First, the case will be explained when the vacuum cleaner 1 having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure is used as the upright type as illustrated in FIG. 1.

When the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as the upright type, the first sidewall 31 of the cleaner body 30 is fixed to the body-mounting portion 11 of the suction nozzle 10, so the cleaner body 30 moves integrally with the suction nozzle 10. At this time, the extension pipe 21 and the flexible hose 22 of the extension pipe assembly 20 is fixed to an outer surface of the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30.

In this state, when the vacuum generator (not illustrated) operates to generate a suction force, contaminants and air are drawn in the suction nozzle 10, and then moved to the cleaner body 30 through the extension pipe assembly 20.

The contaminants and air, which arrive at the cleaner body 30, enter inside the cyclone body 51 of the cyclone unit 50 through the air-entering pipe 52 (arrow A). The contaminants and air, as arrow B illustrated in FIG. 3, whirl around the longitudinal center axis CL of the cyclone unit 50 substantially horizontal with respect to the surface to be cleaned 3. While whirling, the contaminants are separated from the air and are discharged into the contaminant receptacle 70 through the contaminant-discharging opening 57 formed at the cyclone body 51 (arrow C). At this time, the contaminant-discharging opening 57 is located at the lower portion of the cyclone unit 50 so that the contaminants separated in the cyclone unit 50 are smoothly discharged. On the other hand, clean air having the contaminants removed is discharged toward the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30 through the air-discharging pipe 53 (arrow D). The clean air discharged toward the second sidewall 32 moves to the vacuum generator through the discharging duct 36 disposed at the second sidewall 32 (arrow E).

When emptying the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70, the user moves the contaminant receptacle 70 downward to be separated from the cyclone unit 50. After that, the user grabs the handle 77 of the contaminant receptacle 70, and then takes out the contaminant receptacle 70 in a direction parallel to the surface to be cleaned as arrow H1 illustrated in FIG. 4. After that, when the user presses the release button 84 disposed on the handle 77, the release lever 81 moves downward to cause the fixing hook 82 to be released from the fixing protrusion 83. When the fixing hook 82 is released from the fixing protrusion 83, the bottom cover 78 is opened on the hinges 79 as illustrated in FIG. 9 so that the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 drop to be discharged. Then, when the user pushes upward and closes the bottom cover 78, the fixing hook 82 is caught on the fixing protrusion 83 so that the bottom cover 78 is fixed to the contaminant receptacle body 71.

After that, the user inserts the contaminant receptacle 70 in the direction parallel to the surface to be cleaned 3 as arrow H2 illustrated in FIG. 4 so that the contaminant receptacle 70 is positioned below the cyclone unit 50. Then, the user operates the lifting unit 90 so that the contaminant receptacle 70 is moved upward and connected with the cyclone unit 50. At this time, the outer projection 74 and the connecting protrusion 76 formed at the top wall 72 of the contaminant receptacle 70 are inserted into the sealing projection 61 and the connecting groove 62 formed at the supporting wall 60 of the cyclone unit 50, respectively.

When the vacuum cleaner 1 having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure is used as the upright type, the contaminants separated in the cyclone unit 50 are smoothly discharged through the contaminant-discharging opening 57, and the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 does not flow backward to the cyclone unit 50.

Next, the case will be explained when the vacuum cleaner 1 having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 is used as the canister type as illustrated in FIG. 2.

When the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as the canister type, the cleaner body 30 is separated from the suction nozzle 10, and is positioned on the surface to be cleaned 3. At this time, the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30 becomes the bottom surface. Therefore, the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 is rotated by approximate 90 degrees compared as the vacuum cleaner 1 is used as the upright type. The suction nozzle 10 is connected with the cleaner body 30 via the extension pipe assembly 20. At this time, the user grabs the grip 23 of the extension pipe assembly 20 and moves the suction nozzle 10 to clean.

When the vacuum generator is operated to generate a suction force, contaminants and air drawn-in the suction nozzle 10 move to the cleaner body 30 via the extension pipe assembly 20.

The contaminants and air, having arrived at the cleaner body 30, enter inside the cyclone body 51 of the cyclone unit 50 via the air-entering pipe 52 (arrow A′). The contaminants and air entering the cyclone body 51, as arrow B′ illustrated in FIG. 5, whirl around the longitudinal center axis CL of the cyclone unit 50 substantially vertical with respect to the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30, that is, with respect to the surface to be cleaned 3. While whirling, the contaminants are separated from the air and are discharged to the contaminant receptacle 70 through the contaminant-discharging opening 57 formed at the upper portion of the cyclone body 51 (arrow C′). At this time, the separated contaminants are whirled along the cyclone body 51 and moved upward by centrifugal force, thereby being smoothly discharged to the contaminant receptacle 70 through the contaminant-discharging opening 57. On the other hand, clean air having the contaminants removed is discharged toward the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30 through the air-discharging pipe 53 (arrow D′). The clean air discharged toward the second sidewall 32 moves to the vacuum generator through the discharging duct 36 disposed at the second sidewall 32 (arrow E′).

When emptying the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70, the user moves the contaminant receptacle 70 in a direction opposite to the cyclone unit 50 to be separated from the cyclone unit 50. After that, the user grabs the handle 77 of the contaminant receptacle 70, and then, takes out the contaminant receptacle 70 in a direction vertical to the surface to be cleaned 3 as arrow V1 illustrated in FIG. 6. At this time, since the contaminant entering opening 73 is formed at a position farthest away from the bottom of the contaminant receptacle 70, that is, the highest position from the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30 as illustrated in FIG. 5, the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 does not leak almost through the contaminant entering opening 73 during separation of the contaminant receptacle 70.

Thereafter the user holds the contaminant receptacle 70 so that the bottom cover 78 of the contaminant receptacle 70 faces downward, the user presses the release button 84 disposed on the handle 77. A user actuates the release lever 81 and thereby causes the fixing hook 82 to be released from the fixing protrusion 83 so that the bottom cover 78 is opened downward on the hinges 79. When the bottom cover 78 is opened, the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 drop to be discharged by their own weight. Then, when the user closes the bottom cover 78, the fixing hook 82 is caught on the fixing protrusion 83 so that the bottom cover 78 is fixed to the contaminant receptacle body 71.

After that, the user mounts the contaminant receptacle 70 to the cleaner body 30 in the direction vertical with respect to the second sidewall 32 of the cleaner body 30 as arrow V2 illustrated in FIG. 6. Then, the user operates the lifting unit 90 so that the contaminant receptacle 70 is moved toward the cyclone unit 50, thereby completing mounting of the contaminant receptacle 70. At this time, the outer projection 74 and the connecting protrusion 76 formed at the top wall 72 of the contaminant receptacle 70 are inserted into the sealing projection 61 and the connecting groove 62 formed at the supporting wall 60 of the cyclone unit 50, respectively.

When the vacuum cleaner 1 having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40 is used as the canister type, the contaminants separated in the cyclone unit 50 are smoothly discharged through the contaminant-discharging opening 57, and the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 does not flow backward to the cyclone unit 50.

Therefore, in the vacuum cleaner 1 having the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus 40, even when the user changes the vacuum cleaner 1 used as the upright type into the canister type or changes the vacuum cleaner 1 used as the canister type into the upright type, the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 does not flow backward to the cyclone unit 50. Also, when the user separates the contaminant receptacle 70 from the cleaner body 30, the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle 70 does not leak.

With the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus for the vacuum cleaner 1, when the position of the cleaner body is changed so that the vacuum cleaner is turned from the upright type to the canister type or the contrary, the contaminants collected in the contaminant receptacle do not flow backward to the cyclone unit of the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus.

Furthermore, when the user separates the contaminant receptacle from the cleaner body, the contaminants does not leak from the contaminant receptacle.

Therefore, the cyclone contaminant collecting apparatus for a vacuum cleaner 1 can be used in vacuum cleaners that can be used both as the canister type and the upright type

While several embodiments of the present disclosure have been described, additional variations and modifications of the embodiments may occur to those skilled in the art once they learn of the basic inventive concepts. Therefore, it is intended that the appended claims shall be construed to include both the above embodiments and all such variations and modifications that fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.