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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DRYING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/131339
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An article drying device (10) in the form of a plurality of lubes (20,30,40,50,60) arranged in a telescopic formation such that the device is extendable from a collapsed configuration in which the tubes are stowed one within the other, to an extended position where the tubes are substantially exposed, the exposed Lubes having end formations (21,27.31 ) for restraining a respective neighbouring lube, such that the exposed tubes form a generally rigid support structure in their extended form, the device further including at a base end (22) an air mover (12) for moving air inside the tubes and an uppermost end including an air outlet (65), the air mover being housed in a non-circular housing relative to the major axis of the tubes, thereby preventing or inhibiting the drying device from rolling when I he tubes are leaning against an upright surface.

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Inventors:
FORTESCUE, Howard Francis (3 Longhouse Grove, Henllys, Cwmbran NP44 6HQ, GB)
Application Number:
GB2012/050653
Publication Date:
October 04, 2012
Filing Date:
March 23, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FORTESCUE, Howard Francis (3 Longhouse Grove, Henllys, Cwmbran NP44 6HQ, GB)
International Classes:
F26B9/00; D06F59/02; F26B25/06
Foreign References:
US5287636A
US7526876B2
US20050204579A1
EP0761236A2
US20060186073A1
US2307256A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HALSTEAD, Richard (Wynne-Jones, Lainé & James LLPTemple Court,13A Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9HA, GB)
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Claims:
Claims

1. An article drying device (10) in the form of a plurality of tubes (20,30,40,50,60) arranged In a telescopic formation such thai the device is extendable from a collapsed configuration in which the tubes are slowed one within the other, to an extended position where the tubes are substantially exposed, Ihe exposed tubes having end formations (2127,31 ) for restraining a respective neighbouring tube, such that the exposed tubes form a generally rigid support structure in their extended form, the device further including at a base end (22) an air mover (12) for moving air inside the l:ubes and an uppermost end including an air outlet (65), the air mover being housed in a non-circular bousing (22) relative to the major axis of the tribes, thereby preventing or inhibiting the drying device from rolling when the tubes are leaning against an upright surface,

2. A drying device according to claim 1 wherein the air outlet Is a cranked elbow terminal tube portion (65) for allowing the egress of the moved air out of the terminal tube (60).

3. A drying device according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the restraining means comprises pins (27) Insertable through coincideni apertures (21 ,31 ) formed in adjacent tubes.

4. A drying device according to claim 3 wherein each pin (2?) is formed from plastics moulding and is held in place by means of a flexible collar (26) extending around a respective tube.

5. A drying device according to any preceding claim wherein the air mover comprises a fan (12) supported within the base (22), and the base includes a rechargeable energy store for operating the fan.

6. A drying device according to claim 5 wherein the base (22) has a plurality of feel. (23) and an air gap between adjacent feet in fluid communication with the fan (12) for allowing air to pass from the surroundings of the base into the tubes. 7. A drying device according to claim 2 wherein the cranked terminal tube (66) has an exit aperture (66) extending approximately perpendicular to the general axis of the telescopic lubes when in their extended form,

8, A dryng device according to any preceding claim wherein the device (10) comprises five tubular sections (20,30,40,50,60) including the base (22) and the upper terminal tube section (65).

9. A (.hying device according io any preceding claim wherein the tubular sections (20,30,40,50,60) are of a generally triangular section, having outwardly curved sides,

10. A drying device substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the drawings.

Description:
Drying apparatus

This invention relates to a drying apparatus suitable for insertion within an article to be dried and forming a stand used to support the article to be dried.

Often, typically in outdoor activities various articles of clothing, bags and other equipment are used which often get wet In use. Where such articles are porous then it is reasonably easy to dry them out. However, where such articles are formed from waterproof material then it Is much harder to dry them on the inside, it is often not possible to turn such articles inside out to dry them. One technique employed is to use a hair dryer to dry the Inside of such articles. However, this method requires supervision for long periods.

Where it is required to dry so-called "dry-suits" used for diving and other water sports, it is not an easy task to support the dry suit when it is being dried. Furthermore, since drying space is often limited, then a drier which can act as a dry-suit support would be advantageous. The inventor has considered the above and devised the foregoing invention, embodiments of which address the problems mentioned above.

According to the invention there is provided an article drying device in the form of a plurality of tubes arranged in a telescopic formation such that the device is extendable from a collapsed configuration in which the tubes are stowed one within the other, to an extended position where the tubes are substantially exposed, the exposed tubes having end formations for restraining a respective neighbouring tube, such that the exposed tubes form a generally rigid support structure in their extended form, the device further including at a base end an air mover for moving air inside the tubes and an uppermost end including an air outlet, the air mover being housed in a non-circular housing relative to the major axis of the tubes, thereby preventing or inhibiting the drying device from rolling when the tubes are leaning against an upright surface.

in an embodiment the air outlet is a cranked or elbow-shaped terminal tube portion for allowing the egress of the moved air when a wet or damp article to be dried is being supported on the drying device.

In an embodiment the restraining means comprises a pin inseriable through coincident apertures formed In adjacent tubes.

Preferably the pin is formed from plastics moulding and is held in place by means of a flexible collar extending around one or more of the tubes.

In an embodiment the air mover comprises a fan supported within the base, and the base includes a rechargeable energy store for operating the fan.

Preferably the base has a plurality of feet and an air gap between adjacent feet in fluid communication with the fan for allowing air to pass from the surroundings of the base into the tubes.

Preferably the cranked elbow terminal tube has an exit aperture extending approximately perpendicular to the general axis of the telescopic tubes.

Preferably the device comprises five tubular sections including the base and the upper terminal tube section.

Preferably the tubular sections are formed from a generally triangular section, having outwardly curved sides.

The invention can be put into effect in numerous ways, one embodiment only being described below, with reference to the drawings wherein:- Figure 1 shows a drying device according to the invention in an extended configuration;

Figure 2 shows the drying device according to the invention in a collapsed, stowed condition;

Figure 3 shows an enlarged sectional view of a tube shown In figure i ; and

Figure 4 shows an enlarged view of the base of the drying device shown In Figures i and 2.

Referring to Figure 1 there is shown an article drying device 10 which comprises five tubular sections 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 which are of dimensions that allow them to slide one within the other in the manner of a telescope releasably mounted on a generally triangular base 22, containing a battery operated fan (not shown) which draws air in via three spaced inlets 22a (only one of which is shown). The drying device also Includes four restraining means in the form of locking rings 25. 35, 45, and 55 which restrain the tubular sections 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 in their respective extended positions illustrated. These locking collars can he manipulated to allow the tubular sections 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 to be collapsed one inside the other to form a configuration shown in F igure 2.

Figure 2 shows the drying device 10 in a coilapsed configuration wherein the lubes 30, 40, 50 and 60 are substantially held within the lowermost tube 20 in a coilapsed position. Better shown in Figure 2 Is the elbow-shaped terminal tube portion 65 which has an aperture 66 extending generally perpendicular to the axis A of the lube sections. Figure 3 shows an enlarged sectional view of the locking ring 25, However, it should be noted that the locking rings 35, 45 and 55 will he constructed in the same way although they will each he successively slightly smaller in size. The locking ring 25 comprises two opposing clips 28 which each include pin sections 27, In use the pins 27 are urged toward the tube axis A by means of a flexible and resilient collar 26, When apertures 21 in the tube 20 and apertures 31 in the tube 30 are substantially in alignment then the pins 27 will be urged into engagement with those apertures to lock the two tubes 20 and 30 in relative position. Squeezing the clips 28 below the pins 27 rocks the clips 28 on the wall of the tube 20 and moves the pins 27 radially outwardly to the axis A to release them, at least from the aperture 31 formed in the tube 30. This action allows the tube 30 to move in the direction of arrow B so that the tube 30 can be slid downwardly into the tube 20,

The same action can be performed for the other locking rings 35, 45 and 55. Since the tubes 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 are not circular in section, then the apertures 21 and 31 , and the respective apertures of the other tubes will be coincident at some point during their respective translation because the tubes do not relate relative to each other about the axis A.

Figure 4 shows the inside base frame 22b of the base section 22. The base frame 22b can attach to the lowermost tubular section 20 shown in broken outline. The base frame 22b includes three feet 23 which are spaced to provide three air gaps 24 for allowing air to flow. The base includes an axial fan and motor 12 shown schematically in chain dotted outline. In addition, the base Includes an energy store in the form of rechargeable batteries, together with a programmable timer and display all shown generally with the reference 29.

In use, the drying device 10 can he used in a collapsed arrangement as shown in Figure 2, or in an extended configuration where one or more of the tubular sections is extended. The device 10 can also be used with all the tubular sections extended as shown In Figure 1.

In use, the drying device is inserted Into an article to be dried. The article is generally inverted and the drying device is used to support the article in the inverted position, so that relatively dense humid air sinks out from the inverted article, Where dry suits and the like are to be dried then two drying devices 10 can be used and inserted into each leg of the dry suit to dry each leg.

The fan 12 is powered by the rechargeable batteries (net shown) and a timer 29 Is used to sel a drying period, typically of one to two hours. Air Is sucked through the gaps 24 in the base up through the tubular sections along the axis A to the upper terminal cranked elbow section 65 and into the article to be dried, it will be apparent that the supported article does not block the air exhausting from the device 10 because air is exhausted to one side of the device through the cranked elbow section 65.

In this way articles of different sizes can be dried and supported at the same time, for example in a cupboard or other confined area. The drying process can be unsupervised and requires relatively little energy. It is envisaged that air movement within the order of 5 to 50 cubic metres per hour will provide efficient drying, guietly and safely.

Although it is not essential, the device may employ a humidity sensor to monitor the humidity of the air emitted by the drying article and to terminate the drying process should the measured humidity of the air fall beiovv a preset threshold.

The timer 29 is adjustable so that a pre-defined drying time can be used, It is envisaged that a low voltage battery fan will he used, in the order of 5 veils de and the rechargeable batteries wii! be recharged using an intelligent charging circuit allowing an automatic termination or reduction in the charging current in response to constant or periodic interrogation of the battery status,

Whilst plastics and metallic materials are preferred for the construction of the device 10, it will be appreciated that other materials could be employed, including composite materials. Other modifications, additions or omissions which do not depart from the scope of the Invention will be apparent to the skilled addressee.

The Invention has particular application to the drying of articles which are purportedly waterproof, including dry-suits, golf bags, Wellingtons, waders and other items having generally closed ends which are difficult to reach.