Title:
CLEANING BLADE STRIP ELEMENT FOR MAKING MOTOR VEHICLE WASHING SYSTEM ROTARY BRUSH ASSEMBLIES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved cleaning blade strip element for making rotary brush assemblies for motor vehicle washing systems comprises a plate-like body (2) forming the cleaning element main body, and thereon velvet fabric materials (3), or felt or other materials adapted to provide a washing, drying and polishing action are applied.



Inventors:
Favaqgrossa, Francesco (Roncadello di Casalmaggiore, IT)
Application Number:
12/737545
Publication Date:
06/16/2011
Filing Date:
07/24/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A46B9/02
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
WO2008032344A12008-03-20
DE19701708A11998-07-23
Other References:
DE 19701708 machine translation
DE 19811942 machine translation
DE 19701708 Machine Translation
DE 19701708 Abstract
Primary Examiner:
BERRY, STEPHANIE R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Baker Donelson (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. An improved lamellar strip cleaning element, for making rotary washing brushes for motor vehicle washing systems, characterized in that said cleaning element comprises a plate body forming a base body of said cleaning element, thereon are applied velvet fabric or felt materials, or other washing, drying and polishing materials.

2. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said plate body is made of a closed cell foamed plastic material.

3. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said plate body is made of a foamed polyethylene material, EVA or other flexible closed cell foamed material.

4. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said plate element is made of a non foamed plastic material or any other flexible materials.

5. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said velvet fabric materials comprise velvets or synthetic fabrics on a face thereon is spread an adhesive and being of a velvet nature on the other face thereof.

6. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said velvet fabric materials comprise fabric materials which have been mechanically carded to provide them with a velvet aspect.

7. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said velvet bodies are made of a polyamide, polyester material or a derivate thereof.

8. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said velvet or felt or other material bodies are glued to “one another by polyurethane glues or any other suitable glueing material, or by hot melt adhesives.

9. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said plate body has a substantially elongated shape, extending according to a longitudinal axis of a band element, and being provided with a plurality of cut-outs to provide a plurality of band strip extending in parallel to one another, said plate body being adapted to be folded through 180° about a longitudinal axis thereof to provide two sectors to be overlapped to one another, in a use configuration, in which the cleaning element is applied to a central shaft of a washing brush.

10. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said velvet or felt fabric materials, or other materials, are applied to the base support by a removable fixing system, such as a “Velcro” system.

11. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said velvet fabric materials are so arranged as to cover the overall surface of the base body.

12. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said materials coupled to said plate body comprise velvet fabrics or felts or other like materials, having motor vehicle polishing properties.

13. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said materials coupled to said plate body comprise velvet fabrics or felt or other like materials, adapted to dry said motor vehicles by removing therefrom residual water particles and/or to dry remove powder from said motor vehicles.

14. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said materials to be coupled to said plate body, which comprise velvet fabrics or felts or other like materials, having motor vehicle washing, polishing and/or drying and/or dry powder removing properties, are applied to said support in an alternating manner to provide a bivalent element, depending on a rotary direction of the brush with respect to the surface to be processed.

15. An improved cleaning element, according to claim 1, characterized in that said cleaning element comprises a plate-like body to which is coupled, by glueing or hot melting, a velvet fabric, either of a flat, ribbed or operated type, said velvet fabric comprising a plurality of variously oriented ridge or projection portions so shaped or arranged as to form a cleaning surface having a plurality of projecting and recessed cleaning regions.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an improved cleaning blade strip element for making motor vehicle washing system rotary bush assemblies.

As is known, automatic washing systems for washing motor vehicles conventionally comprise washing rotary brush assemblies including a support member, usually of a cylindric configuration, coupled to a rotary member.

On the outer surface of the supporting member are applied a plurality of adjoining flexible cleaning elements, at one end portion thereof, to said supporting member, perpendicularly to the latter.

The automatic cleaning and washing, for example of a motor vehicle body, are carried out by rotatively driving a plurality of brush assemblies of the above mentioned type, so that the flexible strip elements, held in a present configuration thereof under the centrifugal force generated by the rotary bush assemblies, impact on the motor vehicle body, with an interposition of water and/or suitable washing solutions or emulsions.

Prior washing brush assemblies or movable curtains comprise flaps or string or band members generally constitute of a felt material, or of synthetic material bristles, or synthetic foamed material strings.

The felt, because of its nature, absorbs water and restrains in its meshes the dirt particles removed from the painted body of the motor vehicle being washed.

However, this mode of operation negatively affects a proper duration of paint materials coating the motor vehicle body.

In fact, the foamed bristles, independently from the shapes thereof (of a star, cross, flat or round type), leave signs or marks of the operation and passage thereof, since they are rotatively driven in contact with the Vehicle painted bodies.

Actually, a synthetic foamed material has a very good performance with respect to a protective action on the painted surfaces, but it has the disadvantage of having a very weight and, accordingly, a consequent less efficacy in removing dirt.

To the above it should be moreover added that to each brush assembly corresponds a different mechanic and electronic setting of the washing system or machine because of a different weight and texture of the rotary material types.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the aim of the present invention is to provide such an improved cleaning element, particularly for rotary brush assemblies to be used in motor vehicle washing systems, adapted to overcome the above mentioned drawbacks affecting the prior art.

Within the scope of the above mentioned aim, a main object of the invention is to provide such a velveted blade strip cleaning element adapted to preserve the starting characteristics of the existing products based on which the washing system machines have been a priori calibrated, and adapted to provide an efficient velveted construction between the surface to be washed and the brush assembly rotary cleaning elements.

Another object of the present invention is to provide such an improved blade strip cleaning element adapted to remove, without absorbing, dirt particles and which has an improved washing efficiency or force.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a much more efficiently operating velveted blade strip cleaning element which does not leave objectable signs or marks on the painted surface or bodies of the motor vehicles being washed.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide such a velveted cleaning element having a very high operating efficiency while reducing its trend to “float” on the surface of the motor vehicle being washed, without sinking into the water layer which is applied on the painted surfaced during the washing operation.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the above mentioned aim and objects, as well as yet other objects, which will become more apparent hereinafter, are achieved by an improved lamellar strip cleaning element, for making rotary washing brushes for motor vehicle washing systems, characterized in that said cleaning element comprises a plate body farming a base body of said cleaning element, thereon are applied velvet fabric or felt materials, or other washing, drying and polishing materials.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent hereinafter from the following detailed disclosure of a preferred, though not exclusive, embodiment of the invention, which is illustrated, by way of an indicative, but not limitative, example in the accompanying drawings, where:

FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view showing a rotary brush including a velvet or velveted strip cleaning element according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a further perspective view of the inventive cleaning element in an extended or deploied condition thereof, before its folding and engaging in the rotary brush assembly body;

FIG. 3 is yet another perspective view showing the basic or main body of the brush assembly during an application of velvet material fabrics thereto:

FIG. 4 is yet another perspective view showing another step of the brush assembly making process or method, in which the velveted fabric material is affixed to the main or basic body;

FIG. 5 is yet a further perspective view of a velveted cleaning element made according to a further aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a front view of the subject cleaning element to which a ribbed velvet fabric material 3 is applied, said velvet fabric material including a plurality of ridges inclined with respect to the longitudinal extension of the plate-like cleaning element;

FIG. 7 shows a cleaning element, coated by a velvet ribbed fabric material, the ridges of which are arranged parallel to the longitudinal extension of said cleaning element;

FIG. 8 is a front view of an inventive cleaning element, to which a ribbed velvet fabric material is applied including a plurality of ridges arranged crosswise with respect to the longitudinal extension of said cleaning element;

FIG. 9 shows a further cleaning element in which the velvet ribbed fabric material element comprises a plurality of ridges having an angled configuration;

FIG. 10 shows a further cleaning element coated by a velvet ribbed fabric material layer, in which the projecting or ridge elements have an approximately sinusoidal pattern; and

FIG. 11 shows a cleaning element the projecting or ridge element of which have a point pattern or configuration.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the number references of the above mentioned figures, the cleaning element according to the present invention, which has been generally indicated by the reference number 1, comprises a plate-like main body 2, which may be advantageously made of a foamed closed cell plastics material.

More specifically, said plate-like body 2 may also be made of a non foamed plastics material or any other suitable materials provided that the latter have a flexible nature.

Preferably, the plate-like body, constituting the basic or main body of the cleaning element, is made of a plastic foamed material such as polyethylene, EVA, or any other suitable flexible closed cell foamed material.

Said material may have a weight from 10 to 350 Kg/m3.

According to the present invention, on the faces or surfaces of said plate-like body 2, velvet fabric materials 3, or other velvet or felt materials adapted to provide a washing, drying and polishing or buffing operation are applied or coated.

Said materials preferably comprise a synthetic fabric on a face thereof is coated by spreading an adhesive material and on the other face thereof a velvet pattern or material is coated.

The coupling of the synthetic fabric to the plate-like body 2 may be achieved, in addition to glueing, by thermally or hot melting any other suitable hot melt adhesive.

For example, the fabric materials 3 may comprise mechanically carded or 5 raised fabrics, which have been so carded and/or raised to provide them with a desired velvet aspect or pattern.

Moreover, the velvet fabric material may comprise a polyamide, polyester or a derivative thereof.

For glueing it is possible to use polyurethane glues or any other suitable adhesive substances.

As shown, the plate-like body 2 has a substantially elongated configuration, extending along the longitudinal axis of the band element, and notches or cuts 5 are provided thereon thereby generating a plurality of parallel strip elements 4.

The plate-like body 2 may be folded or bent through 180° about its longitudinal axis to provide two sectors, generally indicated by the reference numbers 6 and 7, which are overlapped onto one another, in their use configuration, as is clearly shown in FIG. 1, in which the cleaning element 1 according to the present invention is applied to a brush assembly central shaft 8.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, the velvet fabrics, felts or other materials adapted to wash, dry and polish the motor vehicle body, may be applied to the base supporting member 2 by a removable affixing system, for example of that type which is commercially called “Velcro”.

The velvet fabrics 3, or felts and other washing, drying and polishing materials, may also cover the overall surface of the main or base body 2, as is shown, by way of an example, in FIG. 5.

Thus, since the plate-like body 2 is made of a synthetic foamed material, the overall cleaning element will have a much improved cleaning efficiency whereas, prior like elements would tend to “float” on the vehicle without sufficiently penetrating the water layer applied on the vehicle body paint during the washing operation.

The velvet envelope 3 provides the strips or “bristles” 4 with a very efficient operating characteristics, while preventing said strips or bristles from leaving marks on the painted surfaced of the vehicles being washed.

It should be moreover pointed out that the materials coupled to the plate-like body may also comprise either smooth or ribbed velvet fabrics, or felt or other like materials, having constructional characteristics specifically designed to polish the motor vehicle bodies.

Moreover, said materials coupled to said plate-like body may also comprise velvet fabrics or a felt or other like materials, having characteristics for properly draying the motor vehicle bodies by efficiently removing water particles therefrom.

According to a further aspect of the present invention, the materials coupled to the plate-like body, which, as above stated, may comprise either smooth or ribbed velvet fabrics, or other felt or the like materials, having a structure specifically designed for providing a proper washing, polishing and/or drying operation, are applied to their supporting member in an alternating manner, thereby providing a “bivalent” element, depending on its rotary direction with respect to the surface to be processed.

Thus, it should be apparent that the cleaning element, having the above disclosed velveted surface, may also comprise a ribbed pattern with fabric ridges or projecting portions, having different configurations and inclinations.

In particular, each said cleaning element may comprise ribbed coating fabrics with variously arranged ridges and inclined portions, with a longitudinal arrangement, a cross arrangement, an angled pattern, a sinusoidal pattern, or point projecting elements, thereby greatly increasing the cleaning capability and efficiently removing dirt and debris from the motor vehicle bodies.

Thus, with the above disclosed alternating approaches, constituting the subject matter of the present invention, is possible to apply to the inventive cleaning element a felt portion on a side thereof, in particular on its washing side, and yet another felt portion on the other side thereof, that is its polishing side, thereby providing a double washing and polishing effect.

From the above it should be moreover apparent that the inventive cleaning element could be also used to remove dirt and debris/powder and dust from the desired surfaces without using water, that is in a sort of dry washing operation.

It has been found that the invention fully achieves the intended aim and objects.

In fact, the invention has provided an improved cleaning element adapted to preserve the starting characteristics of the existing products based on which the washing machines have been a priory set or calibrated, while providing an efficient velveted construction or structure between the surface to be washed and the rotary cleaning elements of the brush assemblies operating thereon.

In practicing the invention, the used materials, as well as the contingent size and shapes, can be any, depending on requirements and the status of the art.