Title:
ULTRASONIC VIBRATION DEVICE FOR HAIRSTYLING AND HAIR STYLING APPARATUS HAVING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In an ultrasonic vibration device (1) for hairstyling, which has a vibration element (10) for generating ultrasonic vibrations, and a horn (2) for amplifying vibrations generated by and transmitted from the vibration element. The horn (2) has a vibration entrance surface (21) of an oblong rectangular shape to which the vibration element (10) is connected and through which the vibrations generated by the vibration element enters into the horn, and a vibration exit surface (22) through which the vibrations propagated in the horn exits. The horn (2) has a cross sectional shape in a lateral direction of the oblong rectangular shape so that a width in the lateral direction becomes gradually narrower from the vibration entrance surface (21) to the vibration exit surface (22), and the vibration exit surface (22) has at least a convex portion, such as a hemi-cylindrical shape.



Inventors:
Nunomura, Mahito (Yawata-shi, JP)
Application Number:
12/089578
Publication Date:
11/26/2009
Filing Date:
10/12/2006
Assignee:
MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC WORKS, LTD. (Osaka, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D2/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20010037813Attachable hair extensionNovember, 2001Ra
20080041412LIGHTED DISPOSABLE FLOSSER HANDLEFebruary, 2008Jansheski et al.
20040226572Eyebrown hair removing & shaping kitNovember, 2004Baker
20090071492Extension hair productionMarch, 2009Oh
20090166247Personal electronics device with cosmetics compartmentJuly, 2009Gindi
20090211593Reactive Keratin Protein Formulations and Methods of Using for Revitalizing HairAugust, 2009Coppola et al.
20050016561Folding, disposable toothbrushJanuary, 2005Sexson
20090078279Cosmetic CompactMarch, 2009Boye et al.
20050284497Illuminated make-up compactDecember, 2005Chavez et al.
20090235944NAIL FILE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAMESeptember, 2009Cha
20060169299Handle system for disposable flossersAugust, 2006Jansheski et al.



Primary Examiner:
DOAN, ROBYN KIEU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. An ultrasonic vibration device for hairstyling comprising: a vibration element for generating ultrasonic vibrations; a horn for amplifying vibrations generated by and transmitted from the vibration element, wherein the horn has a vibration entrance surface of an oblong rectangular shape to which the vibration element is attached and connected and through which the vibrations generated by the vibration element enters into the horn, and a vibration exit surface opposite to the vibration entrance surface through which the vibrations propagated in the horn exits; and the horn has a rectangular cross sectional shape in a longitudinal direction of the oblong rectangular. shape of the vibration entrance surface so that a vertex of the vibration exit surface is flat, and a cross sectional shape in a lateral direction of the oblong rectangular shape so that a width in the lateral direction becomes gradually narrower from the vibration entrance surface to the vibration exit surface, and the vibration exit surface has at least a convex portion.

2. The ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with claim 1, wherein the vibration exit surface is formed of a hemi-circle shape.

3. The ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with claim I, wherein the vibration exit surface is. formed of a combination of convex and concave surfaces.

4. The ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with claim 1, wherein the vibration exit surface is formed of a roof-shape.

5. The ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with claim 1, wherein the vibration exit surface is formed of a series of roof-shapes.

6. The ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with claim 1, wherein the vibration element is connected to the vibration entrance surface of the horn; and a pair of reaction members is attached to the vibration entrance surface at both end areas in the longitudinal direction.

7. A hairstyling apparatus comprising: an ultrasonic vibration device having a vibration element for generating ultrasonic vibrations and a horn for amplifying vibrations generated by and transmitted from the vibration element; a main body into which the ultrasonic vibration device is provided so that the ultrasonic vibration device is fixed on the main body at portions where nodes of vibration locate; a lever which is rotatably hinged with the main body at an end thereof; a compression plate fixed on the lever so as to face a vibration exit surface of the horn of the ultrasonic vibration device; and a driving circuit built in the main body for driving the ultrasonic vibration device, wherein the horn has a vibration entrance surface of an oblong rectangular shape to which the vibration element is attached and connected and through which the vibrations generated by the vibration element enters into the horn, and a vibration exit surface opposite to the vibration entrance surface through which the vibrations propagated in the horn exits; and the horn has a rectangular cross sectional shape in a longitudinal direction of the oblong rectangular shape of the vibration entrance surface so that a vertex of the vibration exit surface is flat, and a cross sectional shape in a lateral direction of the oblong rectangular shape so that a width in the lateral direction becomes gradually narrower from the vibration entrance surface to the vibration exit surface, and the vibration exit surface has at least a convex portion.

8. The hairstyling apparatus in accordance with claim 7, wherein the vibration exit surface is formed of a hemi-circle shape.

9. The hairstyling apparatus in accordance with claim 7, wherein the vibration exit surface is formed of a combination of convex and concave surfaces.

10. The hairstyling apparatus in accordance with claim 7, wherein the vibration exit surface is formed of a roof-shape.

11. The hairstyling apparatus in accordance with claim 7, wherein the vibration exit surface is formed of a series of roof-shapes.

12. The hairstyling apparatus in accordance with claim 7, wherein the vibration element is connected to the vibration entrance surface of the horn; and a pair of reaction members is attached to the vibration entrance surface at both end areas in the longitudinal direction.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an ultrasonic vibration device having a vibration element which generates ultrasonic vibrations and a horn which transmits the vibrations of the vibration elements, and especially relates to an ultrasonic vibration device used for hairstyling of straight sets of hairs.

BACKGROUND ART

In late years, a hairstyling device of non-thermal, which performs hairstyling by giving ultrasonic vibration to hairs, is proposed. FIG. 4 shows a conventional horn 102 suitable for hairstyling of straight sets of hairs, which is disclosed, for example, in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 7-2231. The horn 102 has a vibration exit surface 122 which is oblong rectangular. If a vibration element is coupled to the horn 102 so that the vibration element entirely contacts with a vibration entrance surface 121 of the horn 102, the vibration element will he upsized and electric power consumption by the vibration element will be increased. Thus, a relatively small vibration element 101 is coupled to the horn 102 at a center area of the vibration entrance surface 121 of the horn 102, and a pair of reaction members 103 is attached to the vibration entrance surface 121 at both end areas thereof in a longitudinal direction. Thereby, parasitic vibrations, which are the vibrations in a direction perpendicular to a direction from the vibration entrance surface 121 to the vibration exit surface 122 of the horn 102, is restricted, and amplitude distribution on the vibration exit surface 122 along overall length thereof in the longitudinal direction becomes equal.

In the use of hairstyling, the ultrasonic vibrations are applied to hairs from the vibration exit surface 122 while the hairs are nipped and compressed between the oblong rectangular vibration exit surface 122 and a compression plate (not shown) and the horn 102 is moved along the longitudinal direction of the hairs. In case that the overall length of the vibration exit surface 122 in the longitudinal direction thereof is 50 mm, the ultrasonic vibrations are applied to approximately four thousands hairs.

On the other hand, since the vibration exit surface 122 of the above mentioned conventional horn 102 is formed flat, energy density with respect to output energy is lower. Thus, it is difficult sufficiently to perform the hair set (straight hair set) to the above mentioned number of hairs by the ultrasonic vibrations. Furthermore, edges of the flat vibration exit surface 122 may damage the hairs.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

The present invention is conceived to solve the above mentioned problem and a purpose of the present invention is to provide an ultrasonic vibration device used for hairstyling, in which the energy density with respect to hairs is higher, and thereby enabling to perform the hair set effectively, and to provide a hairstyling apparatus comprising the ultrasonic vibration device.

For accomplishing the above-mentioned purpose, an ultrasonic vibration device used for hairstyling in accordance with an aspect of the present invention comprises a vibration element for generating ultrasonic vibrations, and a horn for amplifying vibrations generated by and transmitted from the vibration element.

The horn has a vibration entrance surface of an oblong rectangular shape to which the vibration element is attached and connected and through which the vibrations generated by the vibration element enters into the horn, and a vibration exit surface opposite to the vibration entrance surface through which the vibrations propagated in the horn exits.

The horn has a rectangular cross sectional shape in a longitudinal direction of the oblong rectangular shape of the vibration entrance surface so that a vertex of the vibration exit surface is flat, and a cross sectional shape in a lateral direction of the oblong rectangular shape so that a width in the lateral direction becomes gradually narrower from the vibration entrance surface to the vibration exit surface, and the vibration exit surface has at least a convex portion.

On the other hand, a hairstyling apparatus in accordance with an aspect of the present invention comprises: an ultrasonic vibration device having a vibration element for generating ultrasonic vibrations and a horn for amplifying vibrations generated by and transmitted from the vibration element; a main body into which the ultrasonic vibration device is provided so that the ultrasonic vibration device is fixed on the main body at portions where nodes of vibration locate; a lever which is rotatably hinged with the main body at an end thereof; a compression plate fixed on the lever so as to face a vibration exit surface of the horn. of the ultrasonic vibration device; and a driving circuit built in the main body for driving the ultrasonic vibration device.

The horn has a vibration entrance surface of an oblong rectangular shape to which the vibration element is attached and connected and through which the vibrations generated by the vibration element enters into the horn, and a vibration exit surface opposite to the vibration entrance surface through which the vibrations propagated in the horn exits.

The horn has a rectangular cross sectional shape in a longitudinal direction of the oblong rectangular shape of the vibration entrance surface so that a vertex of the vibration exit surface is flat, and a cross sectional shape in a lateral direction of the oblong rectangular shape so that a width in the lateral direction becomes gradually narrower from the vibration entrance surface to the vibration exit surface, and the vibration exit surface has at least a convex portion.

In the above mentioned ultrasonic vibration device or the hairstyling apparatus, it is preferable that the vibration exit surface should be formed of one selected from a hemi-circle shape, a combination of convex and concave surfaces, a roof-shape and a series of roof-shapes.

Furthermore, it is preferable that the vibration element should be connected to the vibration entrance surface of the horn; and a pair of reaction members be attached to the vibration entrance surface at both end areas in the longitudinal direction.

According to such a configuration, since the cross sectional shape of the vibration exit surface of the horn in the lateral direction is formed to have at least one convex portion such as a hemi-circle shape, a combination of convex and concave surfaces, a roof-shape and a series of roof-shapes, it is possible to maintain a contacting area of the vibration exit face with a bundle of hairs smaller, and thereby energy density of the vibration applied to the hairs with respect to output energy of the vibration element can be increased. Thus, hair set for hairs can be performed effectively.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a front view showing a constitution of a ultrasonic vibration device for hairstyling in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1B is a side view showing a sectional shape of the ultrasonic vibration device;

FIGS. 2A to 2E are partial side views respectively showing a sectional shape of a horn of an ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with other embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view showing an example of hairstyling operation with using a hairstyling apparatus having the ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with one of the embodiments of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a constitution of a conventional ultrasonic vibration device which can be used for hairstyling.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

A preferred embodiment of an ultrasonic vibration device for hairstyling and a hairstyling apparatus having the ultrasonic vibration device in accordance with the present invention is described with reference to drawings. FIG. 1A shows a front view of an ultrasonic vibration device 1 of the embodiment. FIG. 1B shows a side view of the ultrasonic vibration device 1.

The ultrasonic vibration device 1 comprises a horn 2, a vibration element 10 and a pair of reaction members 3. The vibration element 10 has a substantially cylindrical shape, which is formed of a lamination of piezoelectric material layers or magnetostrictive material layers with conductive metal layers. As for the conductive metal layers, nickel or beryllium copper is preferable.

The horn 2 has a vibration entrance surface 21 having an oblong rectangular shape. The vibration element 10 is attached to and coupled with the vibration entrance surface 21 of the horn 2 at the center area thereof. The reaction members 3 are respectively attached to the vibration entrance surface 21 at both end areas thereof in a longitudinal direction.

The horn 2 further has a vibration exit surface 22 opposite to the vibration entrance surface 21. As can be seen from FIG. 1B, the horn 2 has a side sectional shape that a width of the horn 2 becomes gradually narrower in a lateral direction from the vibration entrance surface 21 side to the vibration exit surface 22 so as to increase amplitude of vibrations while propagating the vibration in the horn 2.

In this embodiment, the vibration exit surface 22 is formed like hemi-cylindrical surface. That is, vertex of the vibration exit surface 22 in the longitudinal direction is flat, and the sectional shape of the vibration exit surface 22 in the lateral direction is hemi-circular. For example, when an overall length of the vibration exit surface 22 in the longitudinal direction is selected in a range from 50 mm to 70 mm and an output power of the vibration element 10 is set to be 20 W, the width of the vibration exit surface 22 at the root of convex shape, that is, a diameter of the hemi-cylindrical shape should be in a range of 2 mm to 4 mm.

FIGS. 2A to 2E respectively show side views in vicinities of the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 in the lateral direction in accordance with other embodiments. FIG. 2A shows an embodiment where the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 is formed as a combination of two convex surfaces 22a and a concave surface 22b disposed between the convex surfaces. FIG. 2B shows another embodiment where the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 is formed as a combination of three convex surfaces 22a and two concave surfaces 22b disposed between the convex. surfaces. FIG. 2C shows still another embodiment where the cross sectional shape of the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 has a roof-shape 22c. FIG. 2D shows still another embodiment where the cross sectional shape of the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 has a series of two roof-shapes 22c. FIG. 2E shows still another embodiment where the cross sectional shape of the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 has a series of three roof-shapes 22c.

In summary, the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 is formed to have at least one convex portion in the lateral direction. The cross sectional shape of the vibration exit surface 22 is not limited to the above mentioned embodiments. The numbers of the combination of the convex and concave surfaces and the number of series of the roof-shapes are not limited to the above exemplifications.

By forming the convex portion or convex portions on the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2, it is possible to increase the energy density on the vibration exit surface 22 with respect to output energy of the vibration element 10. Thus, even when a lot of hairs are compressed to the vibration exit surface 22 with a predetermined pressure, the ultrasonic vibration. energy can be applied to the hairs, sufficiently.

FIG. 3 shows an example of hairstyling operation with using a hairstyling apparatus 50 having the ultrasonic vibration device 1. The hairstyling apparatus 50 comprises a main body 5 into which the ultrasonic vibration device 1 is provided, a lever 6 which is rotatably hinged with the main body 5 at an end, a compression plate 7 fixed on the lever 6 so as to face the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 of the ultrasonic vibration device 1, and a driving circuit 8 built in the main body 5 for driving the ultrasonic vibration device 1. The ultrasonic vibration device 1 is fixed on the main body 5 at portions where nodes of vibration locate.

The hairstyling apparatus 5 is moved along lengthwise direction of a bundle of hairs 60 (or a direction for extending the hairs) while the bundle of hairs 60 is nipped between the vibration exit surface 22 of the horn 2 and the compression plate 7 with applying the ultrasonic vibrations generated by the vibration element 10 to the hairs. Thereby, it is possible to perform, for example, hairstyling of straight sets of hairs.

This application is based on Japanese patent application 2005-312027 filed in Japan, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by references.

Although the present invention has been fully described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that various changes and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, unless otherwise such changes and modifications depart from the scope of the present invention, they should be construed as being included therein.