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Title:
A FIBREGLASS TOILET PAN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/054056
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fibreglass toilet pan manufactured; the pan comprising at least two moulded components of plastics material; wherein said pan is manufactured from at least one layer of plastics material.

Inventors:
BRITT JAMIE PETER (AU)
REID JAMES VAUGHN (AU)
Application Number:
AU2010/001482
Publication Date:
May 12, 2011
Filing Date:
November 08, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BREID COMPOSITE CREATIONS PTY LIMITED (342 Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300, AU)
International Classes:
E03D1/01
Foreign References:
US4373219A1983-02-15
GB1420507A1976-01-07
CN2926350Y2007-07-25
Other References:
'Breid Creations - Home Page', [Online] Retrieved from the Internet:
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Claims:
THE CLAIMS DEFINING THE INVENTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1 A fibreglass toilet pan manufactured; the pan comprising at least two moulded components of plastics material; wherein said pan is manufactured from at least one layer of plastics material.

2 A fibreglass toilet pan according to claim 1 wherein the wall of the pan includes at least one layer of glass fibre mating and resin.

3 A fibreglass toilet pan according to claim 2 wherein the pan includes an inner moulded component comprising plastics material and an external structural moulded component comprising a glass fibre composite exterior.

4 A fibreglass toilet pan according to claim 3 wherein said pan is ground mounted or wall mounted using a binding agent.

5 A fibreglass toilet pan according to claim 4 wherein said wall includes foam between said inner moulded component and said outer structural moulded component; a reinforcing layer.

6 A fibreglass toilet pan manufactured; the pan comprising at least two moulded components of plastics material; wherein the pan is manufactured from at least one layer of glass fibre matting and resin; wherein an inner moulded component and an external structural layer; wherein the pan includes a foam layer between said inner moulded component and said outer structural moulded component; wherein the pan is ground or wall mounted using a binding agent.

7 A fibreglass toilet pan according to claim 6 wherein the moulded component may be formed from moulds constructed from; expanded polystyrene; fibrous materials; fibreglass; wood; glass; steel; rigid polyurethane foam or injection or vacuum moulding.

8 A fibreglass toilet pan according to claim 7 wherein the moulded component is at least O.Smm thick.

9 A fibreglass toilet pan according to claim 8 wherein the pan is ground or wall mounted using a binding agent; wherein the pan uses an existing PVC pipe or like as an inlet and an existing PVC pipe or like as an outlet.

10 A fibreglass toilet pan wherein the pan is manufactured from five moulded components from five separate moulds (figure IB), one moulded component forming the first side of the outer layer of the pan (2), a second moulded component forming the second side of the outer layer of the pan (1), a third moulded component forming the first side of the inner layer of the pan (4), a fourth moulded component forming the second side of the inner layer of the pan (3) and the fifth of the moulded components providing an intermediate junction between the said moulded components comprising of the cover (5) of the pan.

11 A method of manufacture of a fibreglass toilet pan comprising the steps of; a) preparing a mould having a surface defining a profile of a component of the pan; b) applying a fibre and resin reinforced composite layer; c) allowing to cure; and d) removing the moulded component from the mould. 12 A method according to claim 11 comprising the further step of preparing the outer mould surfaces with a release agent so the composite may bs separated after curing.

13 A method according to claim 12 comprising the further step of preparing the outer mould surfaces with an unwaxed plastics layer and allow to dry.

14 A method according to claim 13 comprising the further step, prior to application of a fibre reinforced composite layer, of applying to the mould a chemical bonding layer to receive an outer layer and allow to dry.

15 A method according to claim 14 comprising the further step of layering at least one layer, of a fibre reinforced composite of resin and chopped glass strands and apply to the mould after the bonding layer has cured.

16 A method according to claim 15 comprising the further step of applying at least one layer of a mixture of an elastomeric material and resin to the mould to provide flexibility.

17 A method according to claim 16 comprising the further step of applying pressure to the laminate whilst wet to consolidate the materials and allow to cure.

18 A method according to claim 17 comprising the further step of releasing the moulded component from the mould comprising the steps of: a) trimming the moulded component to provide for overlap on the joins; b) sanding plastics layer and edges; c) using water or pressure or compressed air or a combination of all to release the moulded component from the mould.

19 A method of manufacture of a fibreglass toilet pan comprising the steps of : a) assembling the moulded components; b) clamping the moulded components together to form a join about the moulded components; c) applying to said bonding layer a fibre reinforced outer structural layer about the moulded components wherein the interior, intermediate and outer layers form said pan

20 A method of manufacture of a fibreglass toilet pan comprising the further steps of; a) filling the interior of the pan with epoxy foam to reinforce the pan and fill voids; b) applying poly-resin over all joins; c) sanding to smooth finish; d) apply mixture of wax and styrene solution to entire pan; e) sand toilet pan; f) polish toilet pan with a combination of wet and dry sandpaper and electric sander and buffer. N

Description:
A FIBREGLASS TOILET PAN

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to a fibreglass toilet pan.

PRIOR ART

For in excess of one hundred years toilet pans have constituted a ceramic compound, such as porcelain, which is moulded and baked to provide strength, rigidity and, what has come to be accepted as, an aesthetically pleasing finish. In normal domestic situations this material and method of manufacture have proved adequate and has been the basis for the development of the toilet pan throughout the last century. However in public settings the ceramics used in toilet pans has proven to be an inadequate material that has caused city councils, hoteliers and other public patrons, a multitude of issues.

Ceramic based toilet pans are prone to cracking and shattering when substantial force, such as kicking or hitting with another object, is applied. It is common practice for hoteliers, for example, to replace ceramic based toilet pans on a weekly basis as a result of patrons kicking the toilet pans which leads to breakages. Once a ceramic based toilet pan is cracked, the shards can easily become tantamount to a weapon, posing a serious Occupational Health and Safety risk to employees, patrons and visitors of the establishment. A further problem arises when drinking glasses are dropped into the bowl of a ceramic based toilet pan can also cause the pan to shatter.

In order to overcome the aforementioned challenges associated with ceramic based toilet pans, pans constructed of welded stainless steel have been developed and introduced into many public settings with great success. The stainless steel is virtually impenetrable and therefore breakages arising from kicking pr attempting to break the pan are significantly reduced. However the use of stainless steel in the construction of the pan poses its own challenges.

In order to aljow for adequate water flow through the trap of the toilet, the stainless steel pan requires an increased diameter In the trap which allows foreign objects to travel freely through the trap which, in hotels for example, commonly includes drinking glasses and the like. Once a drinking glass has found its way into the trap or further down the pipes it will most likely become lodged in the plumbing system and hoteliers have had to dose the commercial premises for up to two days in order to remove blockages and clean up the inevitable overflow in order to resume normal trading. City and local water boards spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year removing blockages that have found their way into the sewers from a privately owned establishment, our invention would help to alleviate this problem.

As the cost of metals, such as stainless steel, increases the likelihood of a metal based pan being stolen from a public place and sold for the value of the metal also increases. The fibreglass based toilet pan has very little resale value and easily masquerades as a standard ceramic based pan, meaning it draws little or no attention from a destructive personality. The fibreglass based pan is also a lightweight alternative to the heavy ceramic and metal based pans, aiming.to alleviate weight issues associated with high density construction, weight-conscious craft such as yachts or trains, and with general shipping, handling and installation by a plumber. Finally, the ceramic and metal based pans provide very little opportunity for 'personalising'. With this we refer to the opportunities that fibreglass or plastics based toilet pans have to be suited to a specific purpose, for example, but not limited to; lightweight pans for yachts and boats; pans advertising specific brands or logos for shopping centres or hotels; the inclusion of LED lights inside the rim of the pan for nightclubs; glassed logos embedded or embossed into the pan for ease of identification (ie. City Council logo embossed into pans for public amenities); purpose built toilet pans for use in retirement homes or hospitals; enlarged pans for the obese market.

INVENTION

The present invention seeks to provide an alternate toilet-pan fabricated from plastics materials which overcomes the aforestated disadvantages of the prior art and which prolongs the life of the pan in comparison to its ceramic equivalent, allows for an increase in load capacity and a significant reduction in the pan dead weight

Iri a broad form of the apparatus aspect, the present invention includes; a toilet pan; wherein said pan is manufactured from at least one layer of plastics material; wherein the plastics materials is manufactured from at least two moulded components.

In a broad form of the apparatus aspect, the present invention includes; a toilet pan; wherein said pan is manufactured from at least one plastics material including a reinforcing layer such as fibreglass matting and resin; wherein the plastics material is manufactured from at least two moulded components.

In a broad form of the apparatus aspect, the present invention includes; a floor or wall mounted toilet pan; wherein, the pah is anchored using a bonding agent; wherein, the pan is manufactured from at least two moulded components using at least one plastics material.

In a broad form of the apparatus aspect, the present invention includes; a water or vacuum evacuation method for waste; wherein, the pan is manufactured from at least two moulded components using at least one plastics material.

In a broad form of the method aspect, the present invention includes; a method of manufacture of a plastics toilet pan comprising the steps of; a) preparing a mould having a surface defining a profile of a component of a pan; b) applying a bonding layer; c) applying a fibre reinforced composite layer to said bonding layer; and d) removing the mould from said component.

In another broad form of the method aspect, the present invention includes; a method of manufacture of a plastics toilet pan comprising the steps of; a) preparing a mould having a surface defining a profile of a component of said pan; b) applying a release agent to an outer surface of said mould; c) applying over a release agent a plastics layer and allowing said layer to set against the mould so as to form a first layer of a laminate of a component; d) applying a chemical bonding layer to said plastics layer; e) applying at least one layer of a fibre reinforced composite to a bonding layer; f) applying at least one layer of an elastomeric material to said fibre reinforced bonding composite; g) applying pressure to the laminate to consolidate the layers; h) removing the mould from said component. In another broad form of the method aspect, the present invention includes; a method of manufacture of a plastics toilet pan comprising the steps of; a) preparing a mould having a surface defining a profile of a component of said pan; b) applying a release agent to an outer surface of said mould; c) applying over said release agent a plastics layer and ellowing said layer to set against the mould so as to form a first layer of a wall of said pan; d) applying a chemical bonding layer to said plastics layer; e) applying at least one layer of a fibre reinforced composite to said bonding layer; f) applying at least one layer of an elastomeric material to said laminate; g) using water or pressure or compressed air or a combination of all to release said pan from said mould; h) trimming a component to provide for overlap on joins of components; i) sanding plastics layer and edges to separate glass fibres for bonding; j) assembling said components; k) clamping said components together to form a join; I) applying a plastics material to said components whereby the plastics material forms a layer of said shell; m] applying an intermediate bonding layer to the outside of said internal layer; n) applying to said bonding layer at least one fibre reinforced outer structural layer about said shell; o) applying pressure to the plastics layer whilst wet to consolidate the materials and provide a seamless join; p) allowing said laminate to cure for a predetermined period; q) grinding excess plastics material until flush with component; r) apply at least one plastics layer preferably with a compressed air gun; s) sand said shell with water and sandpaper. Repeating aforestated method of manufacture until an inner shell, outer shell and cover form said pan

According to a preferred embodiment/the pan is manufactured from five moulded components: two of which comprise outer components of the pan, two of which comprise inner components of the pan and a final comprising a cover positioned between said components. The moulds are configured such that when the components are joined, the pan is complete.

The use of a fibreglass composite or plastics material in the construction of the pan means the pan can be bedded or mounted to the floor or wall with the traditional fixing method (ie a cement, sand, water mixture) or, alternatively, with another binding agent such as silicone. When mounting a ceramic pan a binding agent has a porous ceramic surface through which it can bind effectively however the fibreglass or plastics based pan requires at least one additional fixing method to ensure the durability of the product and longevity of the product's lifecycie. The invention can be mounted without these further steps however the effectiveness of the invention may be compromised by a traditional ceramic pan mount. To overcome this, either: (a) a stainless steel bracket is used to screw the pan to the floor (Figure 5A), or: (b) a fixing bar is embedded into the underside of the pan post- manufacture (Figure SB) to give the binding agent a surface to adhere to. Both of these examples are shown as floor-mounted examples although both are easily adaptable to wall-mounttng by simply moving the bracket or fixing bar and using a binding agent to adhere the pan to the fixed surface.

The use of a fibreglass composite or plastics material in the construction of the pan means the flow design of the water also has to be addressed. Typically a ceramic based pan will employ a flow design using water as its primary evacuation method for the removal of waste through the trap and the eradication of odour causing substances building up around the rim of the bowl. The ceramic around the rim of the pan is usually approximately half-an-inch thick which allows holes of adequate thickness to be drilled into the ceramic this, in turn, allows the water to be directed to ensure adequate coverage of the bowl and successful evacuation of waste through the trap. A pan constructed of stainless steel has to adapt this method because the typical one-sixteenth of an inch thickness of the stainless steel does not provide adequate directional flow for the water and therefore evacuation of waste is ineffective. Some stainless steel pans have overcome this challenge by enlarging the trap of the pan to allow water and waste to flow more freely through the enlarged trap, however as previously mentioned, this also allows foreign matter to escape through the trap. Other stainless steel pans have utilised directional flow designs (US Patent No. 3,983,582) or upturned notches (US Patent No. 4,559,650) to overcome the restrictions posed by the material.

The use of a fibreglass composite or plastics material in the construction of the pan means there are limitations to the moulds to compensate for the use of the material. Traditional styling has had to be redesigned so that components lift easily from moulds without splitting or chipping and the internal workings of the water flow design have also had to be enlarged so that larger channels lift more easily from the moulds. There are also key points of the design which require reinforcement to ensure a durable product that is capable of overcoming the lateral load problems associated with the design a nd construction of a toilet pan, the injection of an expanding foam between the inner and outer shell (Figure 1C, 22) is an optional inclusion that affords easier and safer weight distribution.

The invention has been developed to employ water as the preferred evacuation method, although it can easily be adapted to use a vacuum method. The invention has overcome the natural friction of the material and consequent directional water flow issues by moulding small funnels into the rim of the bowl (Figure 1C) to ensure adequate water coverage of the bowl surface and sufficient volume to allow water and waste to exit the bowl and trap without any backflow or build-up of odour causing substances. The small moulded funnels or channels significantly improve the hydraulic performance of the pan,

The invention aims to provide a toilet pan constructed of plastics materials, preferably a laminate of glass fibre and resin, or another plastic based compound, which will be; durable and lightweight; anchored to a fixed wall or floor surface; use water, vacuum or a combination of both to evacuate waste; and suited to standard plumbing fixtures.

BREIF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1A is a perspective view of the invention namely a toilet pan including a bowl section.

Figure IB is a cross sectional view of an assembled skirt section, a bowl section and cover section comprising a toilet pan.

Figure 1C is a cross sectional view of the side of an assembled toilet pan which also includes the flow design in the cover.

Figure ID is a perspective view of the rear of an assembled toilet pan including a water inlet.

Figure 2 is a sectional view showing a laminate of layers required to form an embodiment of the invention.

Figure 3A is a cross sectional view of an assembled skirt section, bowl section and cover section comprising a toilet pan demonstrating joins required to form an embodiment of the invention. Figure 3B is a perspective view of the invention namely a toilet pan including a cover section showing a join.

Figure 4A depicts a method of assembly, namely encasing an inner shell in two outer shell components before affixing a cover.

Figure 4B depicts another further method of assembly, namely inserting an assembled inner shell into an assembled outer shell before affixing a cover.

Figure 4C depicts a method of assembling a combined inner and outer shell and a cover.

Figure S depicts a preferred mounting method for the installation of the floor mounted pan,

A PREFERRED EM BODIMENT OF THE I NVENTION

There will be described below a preferred embodiment of the present invention with reference to the drawings.

A toilet pan according to this embodiment includes an outer shell (6), an inner shell (7) and a cover (5) shown in Figures 1A and 1C-

Figure 1A shows a perspective of the cover (5) of the pan which has a flat top surface on which a toilet seat may be affixed (not shown).

Figures IB and 1C show cross . sectlonal views of a pan including components used in this embodiment to form the pan. In this embodiment the cover section (5) includes an inner wall or rim section allowing water to enter an inlet (26) on Figure 1C and be distributed around an inside of the rim before travelling through the bowl and trap of the pan and evacuating from a waste outlet (25) on Figure lC. The method of evacuation may be water or vacuum.

Figure 1C shows a foam layer (22) inserted into the assembled pan to the foam fill line (24) and encased in a sealing laminate (23). In this embodiment the assembled pan may he floor mounted by using a suitable bonding agent. It is an intention of the invention that a pan may be either; floor, ground or wall mounted.

Figure ID 'shows an inlet (26) where in this embodiment water is released into a bowl of the pan.

In this embodiment an inner shell (7), an outer shell (6) and a cover (5) are moulded from layers of glass fibre matting and resin shown in Figure 2. In this embodiment the layers include; a release agent (13), a plastics layer (14), a chemical bonding layer (15), a reinforced composites layer (16) and an elastomeric composite (17). A release agent (13) includes a PVA based agent to allow the components to be removed from the mould (12). A plastics layer (14) includes a mix of a pigmented resin and catalyst which is applied to the moulded laminate and allowed to cure to provide a hard outer coating for a component. A chemical bonding layer (15) includes a vinylester or polyester resin, fibre matting and a catalyst which is applied to the moulded laminate to provide a chemical and water resistant layer. A reinforced composites layer (16) includes a composite of polyester resin, catalyst and fibre matting which is applied to the moulded laminate to provide a strengthening and reinforcing layer. An elastomeric composite (17) includes a composite of woven or stitched fibre matting and resin which is applied to the moulded laminate. In this embodiment a roller is used to consolidate the laminate and the laminate is allowed to cure.

A preferred embodiment of the invention uses five components including; an inner component (first side) (4), an inner component (second side) (3), an outer component (first side) (2), an outer component (second side) (1) and a cover (5) shown in Figure 1A and lC. In this embodiment once the five components have cured and been released from moulds they are trimmed of excess laminate and sanded to ensure they fit together. Components are joined according to Figure 4B which shows an inner shell (7) being inserted into an outer shell (6). Further in this embodiment a combined inner and outer shell is joined with a cover (5) to form a pan.

An inner shell (7) in this embodiment includes two components; inner component (first side) (4) and inner component (second side) (3). In this embodiment two inner components are joined with at least one layer of fibre reinforcing material to form an inner, shell (7). In this embodiment edges of the components a re ground with a grinder to expose fibres. Resin and fibre matting strips are used to bond two inner components with use of clamps, tape, wood pieces/strips or a further binding material to periodically secure components until cured. Once cured the binding material is removed and any further join surfaces are applied with resin and fibre matting. I n this embodiment joins are sanded until flush with the shell. An outer shell (6) in this embodiment includes two components; outer component (first side) (2) and outer component (second side) (1). In this embodiment two outer components are joined with at least one layer of fibre reinforcing material. In this embodiment edges of the components are ground with a grinder to expose fibres. Resin and fibre matting strips are used to bond two outer components with use of clamps, tape, wood pieces, strips or a further binding material to periodically secure components until cured. Once cured the binding material is removed and any further join surfaces are applied with resin and fibre matting. In this embodiment joins are sanded until flush with the shell. An inner shell (7) and an outer shell (6) are joined with a binding agent internally and the cover (S). In this embodiment edges of the components are ground with a grinder to expose fibres. A paste including resin and a filling agent is applied to the cover (5) and the rim surfaces of the combined inner shell (7) and outer shell. (6). Resin and fibre matting strips are used to bond two inner components with use of clamps, tape, wood pieces, strips or a further binding material to periodically secure components until cured. Once cured the binding material is removed and any further join surfaces are applied with resin and fibre matting. In this embodiment joins are sanded until flush with the shell.

It will be recognised by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and modifications may be made to the invention as broadly described herein without departing from the overall spirit and scope of the Invention.