Title:
TIRE BROOM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A brush for a mechanized sweeper of a paved surface includes a first portion of a tire. The first portion of the tire has a sidewall and tread generally perpendicular to the sidewall. An edge between the sidewall and the tread. The edge forms a circle around the outermost portion of the sidewall. The tread further has a plurality of first slits extending from the edge across the tread such that flaps are formed in the tread. When the portion of the tire is rotated, the portion of the tire is configured to brush the paved surface.



Inventors:
Schwarze, Mark (Huntsville, AL, US)
Application Number:
11/539344
Publication Date:
07/09/2009
Filing Date:
10/06/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
300/21
International Classes:
E01H1/02; A46D3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUSH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW (Birmingham, AL, US)
Claims:
Having set forth the nature of the present invention, what is claimed is:

1. A brush for a mechanized sweeper of a paved surface, comprising: a. a first portion of a tire having a sidewall and tread generally perpendicular to said sidewall; and b. an edge between said sidewall and said tread, said edge forming a circle around the outermost portion of said sidewall; c. said tread further having a plurality of first slits extending from said edge across said tread such that flaps are formed in said tread, when said portion of the tire is rotated, said portion of the tire is configured to brush the paved surface.

2. The brush of claim 1, further comprising an upper mounting plate and a lower mounting plate, said mounting plates configured press upon a lower surface of said sidewall of said portion of the tire and said upper plate configures to press upon an upper surface of said sidewall of said first portion of the tire.

3. The brush of claim 2, wherein said upper mounting plate and said lower mounting plate are circular in shape.

4. The brush of claim 1, wherein said upper mounting plate, said lower mounting plate and said first portion of the tire are further configured with a plurality of holes concentrically located on said upper mounting plate, said lower mounting plate and said first portion of the tire, said plurality of holes located at the same distance from the center of each of said upper mounting plate, said lower mounting plate and said first portion of the tire.

5. The brush of claim 4, further comprising connectors to connect said upper mounting plate, said lower mounting plate and said first portion of the tire together.

6. The brush of claim 5, wherein said plurality of said first slits are perpendicular to said sidewall.

7. The brush of claim 1, wherein said plurality of said first slits are perpendicular to said sidewall.

8. The brush of claim 7, wherein each of said plurality of said first slits are parallel to each other of said plurality of said first slits.

9. The brush of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of second slits extending along said edge and perpendicular to said plurality of said first slits such that the portion of said tread between said plurality of said first slits are removed from said first portion of the tire.

10. The brush of claim 1, further comprising a second portion of tire having a smaller radius configured to nest within said first portion of the tire.

11. The brush of claim 10, wherein said second portion of tire is configured similar to said first portion of the tire.

12. A method of making a brush for a pavement sweeper, comprising the steps of: a. cutting a slit into the tread of a tire; b. offsetting the tire a predetermined angular amount; c. cutting additional slits into the tread of said tire at each said predetermined angular offset; and d. removing a sidewall from said tire such that said slits form a plurality of flaps attached to the other sidewall of said tire.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein said step of cutting additional slits comprises cutting additional slits parallel to said step of cutting said slit.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising the step of cutting transverse slits along an edge of said sidewall and said other sidewall, said transverse slits are alternatively oriented such that a first of adjacent transverse slits is on the edge of said sidewall and a second of adjacent transverse slits is on the edge of said other sidewall.

15. The method of claim 12, further comprising the step of mounting said sidewall of said tire to a brush arm.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising the step of mounting another portion of a tire having a radius less than said sidewall within said flaps.

17. A brush for a mechanical sweeper of a paved surface, comprising: a. a first portion of tire having a first sidewall and first tread generally perpendicular to said first sidewall; and b. a second portion of tire having a radius less than said first portion of tire and having a second sidewall and second tread generally perpendicular to said second sidewall, said second portion of tire being mounted within said first portion of tire; c. said first tread and said second tread further having a plurality of slits extending across said first tread and said second tread such that flaps are formed in said first tread and said second tread, when said first portion of the tire is rotated, said first portion of tire and said second portion of tire is configured to brush the paved surface.

18. The brush of claim 17, wherein said plurality of said slits are perpendicular to said sidewall.

19. The brush of claim 17, wherein said plurality of said slits are perpendicular to said sidewall.

20. The brush of claim 17, wherein each of said plurality of said slits are parallel to each other of said plurality of said slits.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to mechanized sweepers. Particularly, sweepers used for sweeping paved areas, roads, paved motor vehicle parking lots, parking areas, parking structures and debris covered surfaces. More particularly, the invention relates to the brushes on the mechanized sweepers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various types of sweepers are used in sweeping paved surfaces. For example, truck mounted sweepers sweep highway and roadway surfaces. In general, pavement sweepers include a standard truck or specially designed chassis upon which the sweeper unit is mounted. Three basic categories of sweeper units are: re-circulating air sweeper, mechanical sweeper, and vacuum air sweepers. Generally, re-circulating air sweeper units include a motor driven fan, sweeping hood, a curved brush, and a debris separation hopper. The curb brush brings the debris into the path of the sweeping hood. The fan re-circulates airflow from the hopper through the sweeping hood and back into the hopper where dust, particles, and other debris are removed from the airflow by known separation techniques.

Generally, mechanical sweeper units include a motor driven main pick-up brush, a curb brush, a conveyor/elevator and a containment hopper. The curb brush sweeps the debris into the path of a main pick-up brush which deposits the dust and debris onto the conveyor/elevator. The conveyor/elevator dumps the debris into the hopper.

Vacuum air sweeper units include a motor driven fan, suction head, transfer brush, curb brush, and a debris separation hopper. The curb brush and transfer brush push debris into the path of the suction head. The fan creates airflow from the hopper to create vacuum suction at the suction head so that dust, dirt and debris are pulled into the separation hopper.

Each general type of vehicle sweeper includes curb brushes located on one or both sides of the sweeping unit. These brushes sweep debris outside of the axel width of the sweeper into the path of the particular method which removes the debris from the surface. This allows an operator to drive close to a curb to remove debris near the curb without hitting the curb. Because the curb brushes also extend outside of the axel width of the vehicle, fewer passes may be completed to clear same sized areas. Moreover, by extending brushes outside of the vehicle additional hard to reach places, such as around light posts, may be more accessible. In most cases, these brushes rotate against the vehicle travel direction and are propelled by a motor drive. The brushes include some form of replaceable bristle or broom material such as a variety of plastic types, different grades of steel, or any combination of the two. The brushes are designed to wear as they are used and are one of the most common replaceable wear items on sweeper units.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An aspect of the invention provides a brush for a mechanized sweeper of a paved surface. The brush includes a first portion of a tire. The first portion of the tire has a sidewall and tread generally perpendicular to the sidewall. An edge between the sidewall and the tread. The edge forms a circle around the outermost portion of the sidewall. The tread further has a plurality of first slits extending from the edge across the tread such that flaps are formed in the tread. When the portion of the tire is rotated, the portion of the tire is configured to brush the paved surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a re-circulating air sweeper;

FIG. 2 is a view of a curb brush assembly of the sweeper of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view of the tire brush of the curb brush assembly of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an expanded view of the curb brush assembly of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a view of another embodiment of the tire brush of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a view of the tire brush of FIG. 5 mounted on the curb brush assembly; and

FIG. 7 is another embodiment of the curb brush assembly of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning now to the drawing figures, FIG. 1 is a diagram of a re-circulating air sweeper 10. The sweeper 10 includes a cab 12, a sweeper fan 14, an auxiliary motor 16 that drives a fan 14, a sweeping hood 18, a curb brush 20 and a hopper 22. The sweeper 10 is generally a specialized vehicle supported on four tires 26 and mounted on a standard utility truck chassis 11. As the sweeper 10 moves down a road, debris and trash under the hood 18 passed through a conduit 28 to the hopper 22 for collection. The brushes 20 in front of the hood 18 rotate and push debris into the path of the hood 18. The fan 14 blows air through one side of the hood 18 via a pressure hose or conduit (not shown), air is then returned to the hopper 22 through the conduit 28. In this embodiment, the fan high pressure hose or conduit to the hood 18 is located on the passengers side and the return hose or conduit 28 is located on the driver's side of the vehicle 10. Having the return 28 on the driver's side allows for a driver to better align the portion of the hood 18 under the return 28 with trash and debris that is moving under the driver and along the curbs. However, reversing the position of the fan 14 high pressure hose and the return conduit 28 such that the fan 14 high pressure hose is on the driver's side and the return 28 is on the passenger's side may also effectively remove debris and trash from the surface.

The fan 14 is powered by the motor 16. An intake 30 of the fan 14 pulls air from the hopper 22, pushes the air through the high pressure hose and into a hood entry and passes the air through the hood 18 back through the return 28 into the hopper 22. Within the hopper 22, a filter filters the air prior to passing the air through the intake. In this manner, the air that enters the fan 14 is filtered from small debris which may have been picked up through the air if the intake was vented to atmosphere. The motor 16 is configured to power the re-circulating air sweeper system, but is not responsible for propulsion of the sweeper 10. However, fluid reservoirs meant to supply both the motor 16 and the engine of the sweeper 10 may be shared between these two components.

Turning now to FIG. 2, FIG. 2 is a view of the curb brush assembly 20 of the sweeper of FIG. 1. The curb brush assembly 20 includes a mounting bracket 32, an arm 34, a motor 36 and a tire brush 38. The mounting bracket 32 is configured to attach the tire brush 38 to the sweeper 10. The mounting bracket 32 is attached to the arm 34. The arm 34 supports the motor 36 and the tire brush 38.

The mounting bracket 32 is configured to attach the tire brush 38 to the sweeper. The tire brush 38 is further supported by the arm 34, which positions the tire brush 38 away from the sweeper. The purpose of the tire brush 38 is to push debris into the path of the hood. By extending the tire brush 38 out on the arm 34, the effective lateral range of the sweeper for picking up debris is increased. The arm 34 and the angle of the arm 34 relative to the sweeper controls the distance from the sweeper the tire brush 38 extends.

The angle of the arm 34 relative to the sweeper is controlled by the mounting bracket 32. In addition to the lateral distance from the sweeper, the angle also controls the forward distance from the hood of the sweeper. The forward distance from the hood of the sweeper may be important based upon the size and weight of the debris swept under the hood. As the debris is caught by the tire brush 38, the tire brush rotates the debris toward the sweeper hood.

As well as sweeping the debris toward the hood, the tire brush 38 also dislodges any debris that might otherwise be attached to the paved area. For example, dried drinks may provide a sticky surface upon which a cup may rest. The tire brush 38 may free the cup from the surface so that the cup may be picked up by the hood. In addition, the brush 38 may free debris from places such as grates and drains which would not be properly sucked up because the air in the hood would flow through the grate and drain instead of the hood and hopper. Thus, as well as pushing debris toward the hood, the tire brush 38 also frees debris for the hood to properly clear the debris from the paved surface.

The motor 36 rotates the tire brush 38 around the central axis of the motor 36. The motor 36 provides the torque required for rotating the tire brush 38. The speed of rotation is controlled so that the tire brush 38 does not propel debris outward past the reach of the hood. However, the speed needs to be high enough so that there is adequate relative motion between the forward motion of the sweeper and the rotation of the tire brush 38.

Turning now to FIG. 3, FIG. 3 is a view of the tire brush 38 of the curb brush assembly of FIG. 2. The tire brush 38 is made of a used tire. The tire brush 38 is shaped by removing a sidewall of the used tire and cutting slits from the side of the tire where the sidewall was removed to an inside sidewall 46. That is, the slits run from one open tire edge 40 to a closed tire edge 42 across the tread region 44 of the used tire. The inside sidewall 46 has a circular opening defined by the inside lip 48 of the tire. The used tire is configured to attach to a curb brush assembly through the circular opening. The inside lip 48 and the sidewall 46 provide structural support for the tread, which form brush thistles 50 between adjacent slits in the tread. The tire may be cut by a sharpened edge, a form of laser energy, chemical, high pressure fluid, or other means able to perforate and separate a portion of tire from another portion of the tire.

The brush thistles 50 are formed so that as the tire brush 38 rotates, the thistles are allowed to move individually. Thus, as the thistles spin, adjacent thistles may both brush similar areas but separately impact the debris. This increases the effectiveness of the brush 38.

The use of old tires is advantageous for multiple reasons. Old tires are difficult to dispose, so finding an additional use for the tires is environmentally friendly. Moreover, using tires may also allow tires that are worn while serving as tires on the sweeper to be reused as tire brushes later. This may minimize costs associated with replacing a part that must be replaced regularly. More over, the tires are stiff enough to effectively sweep the surface, but are also flexible enough to contour to surfaces without stressing the brush thistles out of the preferred shape.

Turning now to FIG. 4, FIG. 4 is an expanded view of the curb brush assembly 20 of FIG. 2. The curb brush assembly 20 includes a top plate 52 and a lower plate 54 which together attach the tire brush 38 to the arm 34. The top plate 52 and the bottom plate 54 are connected by connectors extended through holes 56. The two plates 52 and 54 are pressed against each other. The holes 56 on the upper and lower plate 52 and 54 are aligned and connectors, such as bolts, cotter pins, etc. may be used to keep the tire brush 38 attached to the arm 34.

Turning now to FIG. 5, FIG. 5 is a view of another embodiment of the tire brush of FIG. 3. A tire brush 60 is made from an old tire. The tire is cut such that a single tire may produce a pair of tire brushes 60. The tire is cut from one edge 62 between the tread 66 and a removed sidewall to the other edge 64 between the tread 66 and an upper sidewall 67. However, instead of simply forming slits in the tread 66, a second cut along the edges 62 and 64 separates the opposing sidewalls from each other. Flaps 68 are formed on each sidewall alternating between the removed sidewall and the upper sidewall 67. The pattern in FIG. 5 allows for two tire brushes 60 from each tire. Other patterns, such as ones where the slits are not perpendicular to the edges 62 and 64, or patterns where the slits are not parallel to each other, may also be used to vary the wear on the tire brush 60.

Turning now to FIG. 6, FIG. 6 is a view of the tire brush 60 of FIG. 5 mounted on the curb brush assembly 20. Each of the different patterns for tire brushes 60 may be mounted to the curb brush assembly similar to the embodiment shown in FIG. 2. The operation of the differing patterns on the tire brushes 60 are similar to the operation described above with reference to FIG. 2.

Turning now to FIG. 7, FIG. 7 is another embodiment of the curb brush assembly 20 of FIG. 2. The assembly 20 includes an outer tire brush 60 which is the same as the tire brush of FIG. 5. The curb brush assembly 20 further includes an inner tire brush 70 concentrically mounted inside the outer tire brush 60. The inner tire brush 70 may be made from a smaller tire, or may be made from a tire the same size as the outer tire. If the tire is the same size, then the sidewall 67 of the inner tire brush 60 is cut radially in two places. The piece of the sidewall 67 and any flaps attached to that portion of the sidewall 67 may be discarded. The remaining portion of the sidewall 67 may be coiled together and attached such that the radius of the inner tire brush 70 is smaller.

As will be apparent to one skilled in the art, various modifications can be made within the scope of the aforesaid description. Such modifications being within the ability of one skilled in the art form a part of the present invention and are embraced by the claims below.