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Title:
BOILER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/182539
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Boiler for generating steam and/or for heating water (13) that comprises a metal container (12) provided at least with an aperture (14) to feed the water (13) and an aperture (22) to discharge the water (13) and/or possible limescale (15). The discharge aperture (22) is selectively closable by a cap (24), and the boiler also comprises a heating element (18) associated with the container (12).

Inventors:
DE' LONGHI, Giuseppe (Vicolo Rovero1, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
LORENZON, Antonio (Via dei Carabinieri 23, FONTANELLE, 31043, IT)
GIROTTO, Riccardo (Via Morganella Est, 9/B, PONZANO VENETO, 31050, IT)
Application Number:
EP2017/059317
Publication Date:
October 26, 2017
Filing Date:
April 19, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DE' LONGHI APPLIANCES S.R.L. CON UNICO SOCIO (Via L. Seitz 47, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
International Classes:
F24H1/00; B01D46/00; F22B37/50; F24D19/08
Domestic Patent References:
2008-03-13
2003-04-10
2008-03-13
Foreign References:
FR2906543A12008-04-04
EP0402255A11990-12-12
FR2906543A12008-04-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETRAZ, Gilberto Luigi et al. (GLP SRL, Viale Europa Unita 171, UDINE, 33100, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Boiler for generating steam and/or for heating water (13), comprising a metal container (12) provided at least with an aperture (14) to feed the water (13) and an aperture (22) to discharge the water (13) and/or possible limescale (15), said discharge aperture (22) being selectively closable by a cap (24), said boiler also comprising a heating element (18) associated with said container (12), characterized in that it comprises, in correspondence or proximity to said water discharge aperture (22), an inclinable element (28), horizontally pivoting independently with respect to said cap (24) with respect to a horizontal axis ("X") disposed under the discharge aperture (22), and having at least a first operating position for covering and protecting said discharge aperture (22) and said cap (24), and at least a second operating position for facilitating the discharge of the water (13) and/or limescale (15) toward the outside of said container (12).

2. Boiler as in claim 1, characterized in that said horizontally pivoting inclinable element (28) rotates from a substantially vertical position in which it at least partly covers the cap (24) to a position beyond the horizontal, that is, inclined downward with respect to the position of normal use of the boiler (10).

3. Boiler as in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said inclinable element (28) is hinged to said container (12), or to a covering body (1 1) of said container (12). 4. Boiler as in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said inclinable element (28) is hinged to a frame (30), said frame (30) being attached to said container (12) or to said covering body (11) of said container (12).

5. Boiler as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said inclinable element (28), in the first operating position, is disposed substantially parallel to said cap (24), defining with respect to it an airspace which functions as a heat barrier against the transmission of heat.

6. Boiler as in claim 4, characterized in that on the frame (30) there are retaining pins (40) cooperating with internal walls of said inclinable element (28) in order to retain it through interference in the first operating position.

7. Boiler as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that it includes ridges (38) on said covering body (11), cooperating through interference with the front edges of said inclinable element (28) in its first operating position, determining a stable positioning at least in said first operating position.

8. Boiler as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that it has a plurality of second operating positions differently orientable and made stable by interference means.

9. Boiler as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that said inclinable element (28) is made of material with low heat conductivity.

10. Boiler as in any claim from 3 to 9, characterized in that said discharge aperture (22) is determined by a through hole provided with a tubular pipe (26) which connects said discharge aperture (22) to said covering body (11).

11. Method for removing water (13) and/or limescale (15) from a boiler (10) as in any claim hereinbefore, characterized in that it provides:

- to move said inclinable element (28), horizontally pivoting around the axis of rotation ("X") disposed under the discharge aperture (22) and independently from the cap (24) from a first substantially vertical operating position in which it covers and protects said discharge aperture (22) and said cap (24), to a second operating position, inclined downward beyond the horizontal, in which it facilitates the discharge of the water (13) and/or limescale (15), and to discharge the water (13) from inside the container (12), associating said inclinable element (28) with a receptacle, sink or other, used to discharge the water (13) from said boiler (10).

Description:
"BOILER"

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns a boiler for generating steam and/or for heating water, usable in domestic appliances and professional machines such as, for example, ironing or cleaning apparatuses, coffee machines, steamers for cooking food, steam ovens and suchlike.

The present invention also concerns a method for removing water and/or limescale from said boiler.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Boilers used to selectively generate steam and/or to heat water in domestic appliances and professional machines normally comprise a metal container, hermetically closed, provided with at least an entrance aperture to introduce the water inside it, and with an exit aperture, selectively closable with a cap, to discharge the water and possibly the limescale from inside the container.

According to some embodiments, at least in the case of boilers associated with ironing or cleaning apparatuses, the boiler also comprises an aperture for the steam to exit.

It is known that, when the boiler is used and due to heating the water, formations of limescale are generated inside the metal container, consisting of calcium carbonate and/or other minerals such as magnesium, potassium and silicon, normally dissolved in the water.

These formations of limescale can deposit and form incrustations of increasing thickness on the internal walls of the metal container.

The limescale present in the water, and the incrustations and deposits caused by it, cause malfunctions, or even occlude the hydraulic circuit through which the steam exits, and/or the devices that regulate it.

Normally, the limescale present inside the container and suspended in the water is removed by extracting the water from the container, for example by transporting the container to a place suitable for discharging it and inclining or overturning it, depending on the position of the discharge aperture.

However, the operations for removing the water and emptying the container through the exit aperture are inconvenient and difficult to perform. Furthermore, given the sizes and the position of the aperture with respect to the container, it is problematic to convey the water and/or the limescale from the container to a receptacle or a sink, which causes possible uncontrolled leakages of the water.

Another problem derives from the fact that the cap that closes the exit aperture can take on a very high temperature, which becomes another risk factor for the user, at least during the functioning of the boiler and/or immediately after it has been switched off.

Document WO 2008/028800 describes an iron comprising a compartment for containing the water to be transformed into steam, integrated in the iron, connected to a hole for feeding the water. The containing compartment does not have a specific discharge aperture.

The feed hole is closed by a closing cap made in a single piece with a window rotatable around an axis of rotation. The closing cap causes the feed hole to open or close as a function of the rotation, but upward with respect to the position of use of the iron, of the rotatable window.

Document FR 2.906.543 describes an iron comprising a compartment for containing the water to be transformed into steam, integrated in the iron, connected toward the outside by a feed aperture. The feed hole is closed by a closing cap made in a piece with a rotatable shutter door.

The closing cap causes the feed hole to open or close as a function of the rotation of the rotatable shutter door.

One purpose of the present invention, according to a first aspect, is to obtain a boiler that promotes and facilitates the operations to discharge the water, with or without limescale, and allows to perform these operations in safety, even if the water to be discharged is at very high temperatures.

Another purpose of the present invention is to obtain a boiler which, even during normal use, prevents possible risks of burning from contact with its parts, for example the cap that can be at high temperatures.

The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claims, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention or variants to the main inventive idea.

In accordance with the above purposes, the present invention concerns a boiler for generating steam and/or for heating water that comprises a metal container, provided at least with an aperture to feed the water and an aperture to discharge the water and/or the possible limescale that are present inside the container, wherein said water discharge aperture is selectively closable by a cap.

The boiler also comprises at least a heating element associated with the metal container.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the boiler comprises, in correspondence or proximity to the water exit aperture, an inclinable element horizontally pivoting independently with respect to the cap. The axis of rotation of the horizontally pivoting inclinable element is disposed under the discharge aperture, and the horizontally pivoting element rotates from a substantially vertical position at least partly covering the cap to a position beyond the horizontal, that is, inclined downward with respect to the normal position of use of the boiler.

The inclinable element therefore has at least a first operating position for covering and protecting the discharge aperture and the cap, and at least a second operating position for facilitating the discharge of the water and/or the limescale toward the outside of the container, that is, inclined downward with respect to the horizontal.

Advantageously, in the first operating position the inclinable element allows to cover and therefore substantially insulate the cap from the outside, thus preventing accidental contact by the user.

Moreover, in the second operating position the inclinable element can act as a slide to convey the water and/or the limescale exiting from the container toward the outside environment, thus facilitating the cleaning and maintenance of the boiler, preventing the water and/or the limescale from re-entering the container and preventing spilling or uncontrolled leaks of the water.

In an advantageous solution, the inclinable element has a plurality of said second operating positions, to allow to obtain a plurality of orientations differently angled downward depending on the discharge conditions of the water, for example depending on the receptacle, sink or other used to discharge the water from the boiler.

The present invention also concerns a method to remove water and/or limescale from the boiler described above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of some embodiments, given as non-restrictive examples with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 is a perspective view of a boiler in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

- fig. 2 is a perspective view of a detail of fig. 1 in a first operating condition;

- fig. 3 is a perspective view of a detail of fig. 1 in a second operating condition.

To facilitate comprehension, the same reference numbers have been used, where possible, to identify identical common elements in the drawings. It is understood that elements and characteristics of one embodiment can conveniently be incorporated into other embodiments without further clarifications.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

Embodiments described here with reference to figs. 1-3 concern a boiler 10 for generating steam and/or for heating water, usable in domestic appliances and professional machines such as, for example, ironing or cleaning apparatuses, coffee machines, steamers for cooking food, steam ovens and suchlike.

The boiler 10 comprises a metal container 12 able to contain the water to be transformed into steam, hermetically closed and provided with a feed aperture 14 to introduce the water inside it.

According to one embodiment, the container 12 can be located inside a covering body 11 that encloses the functional elements connected to the boiler 10 and protects them from the outside environment; it also allows to handle the boiler 10 when the container 12 is at high temperatures.

The container 12 is also provided with a discharge aperture 22 to allow to discharge the water 13 and/or the possible limescale 15 present in the container 12.

The discharge aperture 22 is selectively closable by a removable cap 24 which can be of any type suitable for the purpose, for example screw-type, snap-in, bayonet, and made of material suitable to support even high temperatures that the cap 24 can reach when the boiler 10 is functioning.

According to possible solutions, as shown by way of example in the drawings, the discharge aperture 22 is disposed in substantial proximity to the bottom of the container 12, so as to facilitate the operations to discharge the water and to empty the container 12.

According to one embodiment, the discharge aperture 22 comprises a through hole provided with a tubular pipe 26 that connects the discharge aperture 22 to the covering body 11.

According to other embodiments, the container 12 and/or the tubular pipe 26 can be conformed so as to have a downward inclination to promote the discharge of the water and/or the limescale 15 from the container 12.

According to some embodiments, the container 12 can also be provided with a steam exit aperture connected to devices to emit and regulate the steam 16.

The boiler 10 also comprises a heating element 18 associated with the container 12, selectively activated to heat the water inside it. The heating element 18 can be an electric resistance or plate, positioned outside the container 12, in contact with the bottom or inside it, in direct contact with the water to be heated. According to some embodiments, the boiler 10 can also comprise one or more detection devices 20 configured to detect the temperature and/or pressure inside the container 12, disposed on an external surface of the container 12.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the boiler 10 comprises an inclinable element 28 pivoting horizontally and independently with respect to the cap 24.

In particular, the inclinable element 28 rotates around an axis of rotation "X" that passes under the discharge aperture 22. Therefore, the inclinable element 28 can assume at least a first operating position where it covers and protects the discharge aperture 22 and the cap 24, substantially vertical, when the discharge aperture 22 is closed by the cap 24 and the boiler 10 is functioning normally (fig. 2), and a second operating position where it facilitates the discharge of the water 13 and/or the limescale 15, in which the discharge aperture 22 is first freed of the cap 24 (fig. 3), and then the boiler 10 is inclined to discharge the water from inside it.

The second position of the inclinable element 28 is advantageously beyond the horizontal, defined by the work plane of the boiler 10 in its normal position of use, so as to promote and facilitate the discharge of water from inside the boiler 10.

In particular, in the first operating position the inclinable element 28, being disposed substantially vertical, completely covers the cap 24, which is therefore not accessible from outside, thus preventing accidental contacts that can cause burns and in any case damage for the user. Advantageously, in the first operating position the inclinable element 28 is disposed substantially vertical parallel to the cap 24, but at a certain distance from it, so that the air gap formed constitutes a heat barrier and reduces the overheating of the inclinable element 28 also due to irradiation.

It is also advantageous to make the inclinable element 28 of a material with low heat conductivity.

According to one embodiment, the inclinable element 28 can be pivoted oscillating to the container 12 or the covering body 11, so that it can be selectively positioned in the first or second of its operating positions.

According to another embodiment, the inclinable element 28 is pivoted to a frame 30 that is attached to the container 12 or the covering body 11.

Small retaining pins 40 can be present on the frame 30, which, cooperating with the internal walls of the inclinable element 28, retain it through interference in the first operating position. This gives greater safety against accidental opening, for example by children.

According to a variant, as an alternative to or in combination with the small pins 40, ridges 38 can be provided on the covering body 1 1, which cooperate through interference with the front edges of the inclinable element 28 in its first operating position, causing a stable positioning at least in said position.

In its second operating position, shown in fig. 3, the inclinable element 28 can advantageously assume, as we said, a downwardly inclined position that promotes the discharge of the water from inside the container 12.

In a preferential solution, two or more differently inclined second positions can be provided, to allow to position the inclinable element 28 in the most suitable position, depending on the discharge modes, for example a position for a possible collection receptacle, a sink, or other.

These different positions can be obtained, also in a known manner, by providing mechanical stops, for example interfering ridges, small gears or other analogous or equivalent elements, integrated in the pivoting mechanism of the inclinable element 28 with respect to the frame 30.

According to some embodiments, the inclinable element 28 is configured totally removable from the container 12, the covering body 11 or the frame 30, by interference means.

According to some embodiments, the cap 24 is provided with a threaded portion 34 to determine a coupling, releasable through screwing, with the discharge aperture 22, which is also provided with respective threaded portions.

It comes within the field of the present invention that the cap 24 can be the snap-in or bayonet coupling type, or any other suitable for the purpose.

According to some embodiments, the cap 24 also comprises a grip 36, solid with the threaded portion 34 and conformed to facilitate gripping by the user to screw/unscrew the cap 24 with respect to the discharge aperture 22. The grip 36 is advantageously made of material with a low heat conductivity.

In one embodiment, a packing 32 can be associated with the discharge aperture 22, for example made of heat-resistant rubber, conformed to determine a direct and sealed connection with the covering body 11, so as to prevent accidental infiltrations of the water 13 between the covering body 11 and the container 12.

It is clear that modifications and/or additions of parts may be made to the boiler 10 as described heretofore, without departing from the field and scope of the present invention.

It is also clear that, although the present invention has been described with reference to some specific examples, a person of skill in the art shall certainly be able to achieve many other equivalent forms of boiler 10, having the characteristics as set forth in the claims and hence all coming within the field of protection defined thereby.