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Title:
HOT CLEANING APPARATUS FOR SURFACES PROVIDED WITH A MOISTURE SENSOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/186608
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Hot cleaning device (30) for surfaces suitable to keep the cleaning cloth automatically well soaked and in particular provided with one or more sensors for moisture detection (22, 43), which detect the quantity of water/moisture on the cleaning cloth (8), in order to automatically convey a suitable water quantity onto the cleaning cloth for ideal cleaning.

Inventors:
MILANESE, Pier Antonio (VIA VAL LONGA 18, SUSEGANA, 31058, IT)
Application Number:
IT2019/050062
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 22, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MILANESE, Pier Antonio (VIA VAL LONGA 18, SUSEGANA, 31058, IT)
International Classes:
A47L13/22
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017158631A12017-09-21
WO2016055855A22016-04-14
Foreign References:
US20140259516A12014-09-18
US20140165324A12014-06-19
Other References:
None
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

[Claim 1] Hot cleaning apparatus for surfaces, adapted to ensure an adequate wetting of the cleaning cloth in an automatic manner, which cleaning apparatus (30) is substantially constituted by a first upper part (31) and a second lower part (32) joined to each other in a hinged way through a movable connection (4), as for example an universal joint or the like, wherein the first upper part (31) comprises a support body (33) to which an upper handle (2) with grip (1) and a power supply cable (14) are joined, and therein there are inserted an electronic circuit board (10), connected to and supplied by the cable (14), a tank (3) for the water lower joined with a first flexible or stiff pipe (28) to an electric pump (9), such a support body (33) being provided on its surface with control and command means (13) for the cleaning modality, and said second lower part (32) comprising a means support body (5), shaped like a casing and preferably made of plastic, adapted to contain lower in succession at least a heating means (6), at least a cleaning cloth (8), joined with their upper part to said electric pump with a second stiff or flexible pipe () in such a way that the water may be taken from the tank (3) by the electric pump (9) for being then conveyed toward such a cleaning cloth (8) characterized in that at least an absorbing multilayer element (7) is inserted into and secured in contact between said heating means (6) and said cleaning cloth (8), wherein said absorbing multilayer element (7) is constituted by a quadrangular peripheral hollowed frame (24, 40), wherein a quadrangular body (35, 44) is inserted, which is in turn constituted by at least a central panel (19, 45), made of absorbing material, to which there is coupled on to the upper (36, 46) and lower (37, 47) surfaces thereof a layer made of polyester material (20, 48), which resists to temperatures up to , as for example nonwoven fabric (NW), one or more sensors for detecting the moisture (22, 43, made of conductive material, being installed lower to said multilayer element (7), in an insulated way from this latter, which sensors are arranged in to contact with the underlying cleaning cloth (8), such a central panel (19, 45) being adapted to receive, to absorb and to keep a certain quantity of water, that is supplied by the electric pump (9) through the second pipe (), acting so ad additional water tank, for let the water get gradually toward the cleaning cloth (8) applied under it, said moisture sensors (22, 43) being adapted to detect the electrical conductivity of the water present into the cleaning cloth (8) only, and the electronic circuit board (10) being adapted to read the value of the electrical resistivity (R) between two sensor (22, 43) made of conductivity material and to compare it with a reference value (X) pre-set thanks to the control and command means (13) for the cleaning modality, in a manner that if the cleaning cloth (8) is too dry, the re sistivity value is very high (R>X), the electronic circuit board (10) inserts the electric pump (9) that takes the water from the tank (3) and supplied it to the panel (19, 45), which absorbs and releases it to the cleaning cloth (8), dunking this latter, thereby increasing the electrical conductivity and by decreasing the resistivity (R), said electric pump (9) remaining active up to the electrical resistivity value detected between the sensors (22, 43) is equal to or lower than the reference value of the electronic circuit board (10) (R=X), and being adapted to turn of itself automatically when into the cloth (8) there is present the suitable desired quantity of water/moisture for the cleaning operations, subsequently, during the use of the cleaning apparatus (30), the quantity of water into the cloth (8) decreases slowly, while con sequently the electrical resistivity between the sensors (22, 43) decrease, by returning to the state R>X, thereby let the cycle of ac tivation of the electric pump (9) repeat.

[Claim 2] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that

according to the default value X memorized into the electronic circuit board (10) and set up through the control and command means (13) for the cleaning modality, the cleaning apparatus (30) may confer the desired moisture content to the cleaning cloth (8), as for example a low moisture level for the cleaning of surfaces made of wood or particularly delicate, an average moisture level for cleaning smooth or glossy surfaces, or an elevate moisture level for cleaning traditional, rough surfaces, etc..

[Claim 3] Cleaning device according to claim 2, characterized in that such sensors

(22, 43) for detecting the moisture have a thin and lengthened shape, and are extended almost for the entire length of the multilayer element (7), furthermore they comprise some contacts (25) joined in turn to ad ditional electric contacts (29), preferably of the pin type, to which there is connected the electronic circuit board (10) for being able to read the data of the same sensors.

[Claim 4] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 3, characterized in that said sensors (22) are joined to the lower layer NW (20) of the absorbing panel (19) with a insulating base placed between them, in such a way that said sensors (22) may detect the moisture level of the cleaning cloth (8) only and not the one of the central panel (19), since they are insulated from this latter.

[Claim 5] Cleaning device according to claim 3, characterized in that said quad rangular hollowed peripheral frame (40) of the multilayer element (7) is provided centrally and on its bottom part with at least two insulating strips (41, 42) arranged spaced away to each other and all transversally or longitudinally with respect to said frame (40), wherein each of said insulating strips (41, 42) is provided on their bottom part with said sensors for detecting moisture (43).

[Claim 6] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that the

central panel (19, 45) is realized in polyurethane open-cell foam with an suitable density.

[Claim 7] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that a wa terproof element (21, 49) is coupled on to the upper NW layer (20,48) applied to the central panel (19, 45), in the idle area of this latter, and is adapted to ensure that the water arriving from the second pipe () is spread on to the perimeter of the panel (19, 45), therefore this latter absorbs the water on to its entire surface and not on to its central part only.

[Claim 8] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that said heating means (6) is constituted by a heating plate, which is formed by a support flat quadrangular lengthened body (15), made of metal, as for example aluminum, and provided with a little edge (34) turned upward, and into which there are inserted centrally an electric resistance (16), a means for detecting the temperature (17), furthermore, such a support body (15) is provided with a central vertical through hole (18) for the passage of the water arriving from the second pipe (), wherein said heating electrical resistance (16), connected to and commanded auto matically by the electronic circuit board (10), is adapted to heat the support body (15), that in turn is in to direct contact to the multilayer element (7), in such a way that the water that conveys into this latter may be heated by said support body (15) by thermal conduction, and wherein, the means for detecting the temperature (17), which is connected to and commanded by the electronic circuit board (10) too, by detecting the temperature of the water conveyed into the multilayer element (7) and according to a preset temperature value, it let activate or not said heating electric resistance (16), thereby maintaining the water at the desired temperature.

[Claim 9] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 8, characterized in that such an electric resistance (16) is of the lengthened type, preferably with circular cross-section, and is housed into a lengthened groove (39), in the desired shaped and realized onto the lower surface (38) of the quad rangular support body (15) of the heating means (6).

[Claim 10] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 8, characterized in that said means for detecting the temperature (17) is constituted by a NTC thermistor probe.

[Claim 11] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that said upper quadrangular hollow frame (24, 40) of the absorbing multilayer element (7) is provided onto its perimeter with quick attachment fittings (26, 27), in a manner to be joined in a removable manner to the heating means (6).

[Claim 12] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 8, characterized in that said control and command means (13) for the cleaning modality are con stituted at least by at least a turn on/off means (50), as for example a button or a switch, by at least a selecting means (51), as for example a push-button or a touch-button, and by at least a signaling lighting means (52) of any shape, as for example a led, in such a way that with said selecting button (51) there is set a preset moisture level, that is signaled by a color or a specified flashing of a fixed light of the led (52) or by a specified led (52) among a plurality of led and after, with the same methodology of illumination of led or with an acoustic signaling means (buzzer), there is shown that the temperature detected by the means for detecting temperature (17) needed for obtaining the preset moisture has been reached, or the exhaustion of the water in to the tank

(3).

[Claim 13] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 8, characterized in that said control and command means (13) for the cleaning modality are constitute by at least a display (53), wherein there are shown at least the data concerning the preset moisture level (54), at least the data of the temperature detected by the thermistor (17) in °C or °F, and are con stituted by one or more means of starting (55) and for selecting the preset moisture (56), as for example push-button or touch-buttons, or inserted in the display (53) if this latter is of the touch screen type, wherein such a display (53) may be provided with one or more lighting means (57) of any shape, ad for example led, eventually coupled with a acoustic signaling means (buzzer), adapted to shown with a certain flashing or fixed light or particular color the exhaustion of the water into the tank (3) and/or the temperature detected by the thermistor (17) set for obtaining the selected preset moisture.

[Claim 14] Cleaning apparatus according to claim 12 or 13, characterized in that it is provided with a movement sensor connected to the electronic circuit board (10), that detects when the same powered cleaning apparatus (30) is moving, therefore in use, and the same electronic circuit board (10) turn off the acoustic signaling means (buzzer), which have been signaling that the preset temperature has been reached.

Description:
HOT CLEANING APPARATUS FOR SURFACES PROVIDED WITH A MOISTURE SENSOR

[0001] This invention concerns a hot cleaning device for surfaces equipped with at least one moisture sensor of the cleaning cloth able to guarantee the suitable automatic soaking of the same cleaning cloth.

[0002] Several hot cleaning devices for surfaces are known that basically include the

cleaning cloth under the brush that is in contact with the floor and a steam generator made of an instantaneous steamer or a boiler under pressure, where the steam produced by the steam generator is usually conveyed out to the cleaning cloth by tubes.

[0003] Moreover, devices are known for the hot cleaning of surfaces lying on a separated steam generator so that the steam goes against the device before performing the cleaning.

[0004] The most common problem of such devices is that the steam that has soaked the cleaning cloth gets immediately cold when the cloth is put in contact with the floor to clean, thus losing the temperature that would be indispensable for efficient

[0005] cleaning.

[0006] Moreover, when continuing to soak the cloth with steam the cloth gets more and more dampened with water deriving from cold steam that is dragged on the floor, thus basically not cleaning it.

[0007] Finally, there is a kind of device for surface cleaning equipped with a heated plate in direct contact with the cleaning cloth, so that the cloth can be heated and also provided with an upper water tank connected underneath with said cleaning cloth, so that the cloth can be cyclically dampened.

[0008] Unfortunately, since the cleaning cloth is dampened cyclically with a set frequency it is not possible to establish the moisture level in said cleaning cloth when used and therefore it can be either too dry or too wet, thus not guaranteeing the proper cleaning of the floor.

[0009] This invention aims at creating a surface hot cleaning device provided with at least one moisture sensor of the cleaning cloth that solves the problems described above.

[0010] The cleaning device in compliance with the invention shows the characteristics

described below - only as an example and with no limitations - and with reference to the figures enclosed where:

[0011] - Fig. la and lb show a front view and a side view respectively of the surface hot cleaning device in compliance with the invention; [0012] - Fig. 2 shows a prospect view of a first element of the device in Fig. 1 ;

[0013] - Fig. 2a shows a section view of the element in Fig. 2;

[0014] - Fig. 3 shows a prospect view of a first construction of a second element of the device in Fig. 1;

[0015] - Fig. 4a shows a prospect view from beneath of a component of the element of Fig.

3;

[0016] - Fig. 4b shows a prospect view from above of the component of Fig. 4a;

[0017] - Fig. 5 shows a prospect view of a second construction of the second element of the device in Fig. 1;

[0018] - Fig. 6a shows a prospect view from above of a first component of the element in

Fig. 5;

[0019] - Fig. 6b shows a prospect view from below of the first component of Fig. 6a;

[0020] - Fig. 7 shows a prospect view of a second component of the element in Fig. 5;

[0021] - Fig. 8 shows a front view of a first construction of a further component of the

device in Figures la- lb ;

[0022] - Fig. 9 shows a front view of a second construction of a further component of the device in Figures la- lb ;

[0023] - Fig. 10 shows a plan of the cleaning device in Fig. 1, compliant with the invention.

[0024] In the description and in the figures below a surface hot cleaning device is described that is equipped with at least one moisture sensor for the cleaning cloth aiming at guar anteeing the suitable automatic dampening of the same cleaning cloth as it will be described below.

[0025] Figures la and lb show the cleaning device (30), being the object of this invention, where it can be seen that such cleaning device (30) is basically made of a first upper part (31) and a second lower part (32) that are linked by means of a mobile junction (4), such as for example a universal joint or the like, in which the first upper part (31) includes a supporting body (33) to which an upper handle is connected (2) with a grip (1) and a power supply cable (14) and that contains a PC board (10), a water tank (3), an electric pump (9), and in which the surface of such supporting body (33) is provided with a spy glass to see the water level (12) as well as the control and command devices for the cleaning modes (13), while said second lower part (32) includes a main supporting body (5) having the shape of a cover and preferably made of plastic to which are linked underneath in this sequence towards the bottom at least one heating means (6), at least one absorbing multilayer element (7) and at least one cleaning cloth (8), such supporting body (5) being possibly equipped on its upper part with a warning light or an acoustic device (11) to communicate that the device (30) is ready for use.

[0026] Fig. 2 shows the heating means (6), preferably made of a heating plate that consists of a flat stretched quadrangular supporting body (15) made of metal such as for example aluminium, provided with a perimetric edge (34) looking above and on whose lower surface (38) at least one heating element (16) and a means to measure the tem perature (17) are fixed made for example of a thermistore with NTC probe, moreover such supporting body (15) is provided with a vertical central through hole to let water go through (18).

[0027] As it can be seen in Fig. 2a, such heating element (16) has a stretched shape

preferably with round section and can be hosted by a long groove (39), with the preferred shape and carved into said lower surface (38) of the quadrangular supporting body (15) of the heating means (6).

[0028] Fig. 3 shows a view of the component of the absorbing multilayer element (7) in one of the first constructions, where the multilayer element (7) is made of a hollow quad rangular edge frame (24), provided with fast coupling and uncoupling devices on the edge (26, 27), where a quadrangular body is inserted (35) that can be seen

[0029] also in Figures 4a-4b, which is made of at least one central panel (19) in open-cell polyurethane foam with suitable thickness on which a polyester layer (20) is coupled on its upper surface (36) and on its lower surface (37) resistant to temperatures up to , such as for example a non-woven fabric or the like; moreover, on the upper non- woven fabric layer (20) in the middle part of the panel (19) a water-tight element (21) is installed (see Fig. 4b), while on the lower non-woven fabric layer (20) one or more sensors for moisture detection (22) are installed made of a conductive material of a known type with an interposed insulating base (23) (see Fig. 4a).

[0030] Such sensors for moisture detection (22) preferably have a thin and stretched shape and include contacts (25) that are connected to other electric contacts (29), preferably of pin type and the sensors are spread almost along the entire panel length (19).

[0031] Fig. 5 shows a view of the components of the absorbing multilayer element (7) in its second construction, in which the multilayer element (7) is made of a hollow quad rangular frame along the edge (40), provided with fast coupling/uncoupling elements on the edge (26, 27) and in the middle and underneath with at least two insulating straps (41, 42) that are located far from each other either across the frame or along it (40), that can be seen in Fig. 6a-6b. Each insulating strap (41, 42) is provided un derneath with one or more sensors for moisture detection (43) made of a conductive material already known.

[0032] Such sensors for moisture detection (43) preferably have a thin and stretched shape and include some contacts (25) that are connected with other electric contacts (29), preferably of pin type and such sensors are spread almost along the entire length of the insulating straps (41, 42).

[0033] The edge frame (40), which is located above such insulating straps (41, 42), hosts a quadrangular body (44), which can be seen in detail in Fig. which such quadrangular body (44) is made of at least one central panel (45) in open-cell polyurethane foam with suitable density and thickness, on whose upper (46) and lower (47) surfaces a layer of polyester material is coupled (48) that is resistant to temperatures up to , such as for example a non woven fabric or the like; moreover the upper non woven fabric (48) is combined in the middle part of the panel (45) with a watertight element (49).

[0034] This multilayer element (7) is joined to the lower part of the heating plate (15) and fastened by means of fast coupling/uncoupling devices (26 and 27), while on the lower part of said multilayer element at least one cleaning cloth (8) is fastened with known methods and in contact with said sensors (22, 43).

[0035] Fig. 8 shows a plan of such control and command means of the cleaning modes (13) in a first construction and it can be seen that they consist of at least one on/off element (50), such as for example a button or a switch, by at least one selector (51), such as for example a pushbutton or a touch button and at least one lamp (52) of any shape, like for example a LED light, so that with such selector (51) a preset moisture level is es tablished, shown by a colour or a specific lamp blinking or a fixed LED light (52) or by a specific LED light (52) among various LED lights and afterwards the same system of LED lights or an acoustic device will communicate that the temperature detected by the thermistore (17) that is necessary to reach the preset level of moisture has been reached or that the water in the tank has finished (3).

[0036] Fig. 9 shows a plan of the control and command devices of the cleaning modes (13) in their second construction and it can been seen that they consist of at least one display (53) showing at least the preset moisture level (54), at least the temperature detected by the thermistore (17) either in °C or °F and are formed by one or more on/ off devices (55) and a selector for the preset moisture (56), such as for example push or touch buttons or are part of the display (53) if of touch-screen type.

[0037] This display (53) can also be provided with one or more lamps (57) of any shape, such as for example LED lights possibly combined with an acoustic device to show when blinking or showing a fixed light or a special colour that the water in the tank has finished (3) and/or the temperature detected by the thermistore (17) that has been set to produce the selected preset moisture.

[0038] Fig. 10 shows a plan of the cleaning device (30), and in particular the dampening and moisture detection circuit of the cleaning cloth (8) and it can be seen that the water tank (3) is connected through a first flexible or rigid pipe (28) to the electric pump (9), which is connected to a second rigid or flexible pipe () to the central hole (18) of the heating plate (15), so that the water coming out of the tank (3) and pumped out by the electric pump (9) and therefore going downwards can reach and get through the multilayer element (7) to moisten directly the cleaning cloth (8). The heating element (16), connected to and automatically controlled by the PC board (10), is suitable to heat the supporting body (15), which is in direct contact with the multilayer element (7), so that the water flowing into this element can be heated by said heating body (15) by thermal conduction.

[0039] The thermistore (17), which is also connected to and controlled by the PC board (10), when detecting the temperature of the water flowing into the multilayer element (7) and according to the preset temperature level starts or does not start said heating element (16), thus keeping the water at a selected temperature.

[0040] The central panel (19, 45) has a suitable size to absorb and retain a certain quantity of water, thus acting as a further water tank and the water then gradually flows to the cleaning cloth (8) located under it, moreover the watertight upper central

[0041] element (21, 49) is shaped so that it guides the water onto the edge of the panel (19, 45), so that the surface of the panel can absorb it on its entire surface and not only in its central part.

[0042] It can also be remarked that the PC board (10), powered by the power supply cable (14), is connected to the electric pump (9) and to the moisture detection sensors (22,

43) through the contacts (29) and the contacts (25), like the sensors (22, 43) are in contact with the upper surface of the cleaning cloth (8).

[0043] In this configuration the sensors (22, 43) can detect the moisture level only of the cleaning cloth (8), because they are insulated from the upper panel with insulating material (23; 41 and 42), and the PC board (10) can then control the electric pump (9) so that the latter can automatically feed or not feed the multilayer element (7) with water that is heated by the heating element (6), according to the values set by means of the control and command devices of the cleaning modes (13).

[0044] In particular, the moisture on the cleaning cloth (8) is detected by reading the

electrical conductivity of the water on the cleaning cloth, in the way described below.

[0045] The PC board (10) reads the value of the electrical resistance (R) between the two sensors made of conductive material (22, 43) and it compares it with a reference value (X) already preset by using the control and command devices of the cleaning modes (13), and in case the cleaning cloth (8) is too dry the electrical resistance value will be very high (R>X), and in this case the PC board (10) starts the electric pump (9) that takes the water from the tank (3) and conveys it to the cleaning cloth (8), thus soaking it and increasing its electrical conductivity and reducing its electrical resistance (R).

[0046] The electric pump (9) continues to work until the electrical resistance measured

between the sensors (22, 43) equals or is lower than the reference value of the PC board (10) (R=X), and in this condition it turns off automatically.

[0047] When the electric pump has turned off (9), the cloth (8) is soaked with the quantity of water/moisture that is ideal for the cleaning operations one wishes to perform.

[0048] When using the cleaning device (30), the quantity of water absorbed by the cloth (8) slowly diminishes, while, as a consequence, the electrical resistance between the sensors (22, 43) increases, thus getting back to the situation R> 5 X and restarting the electric pump cycle (9), as described above.

[0049] Therefore, according to the X reference value stored in the PC board (10), the

cleaning device (30) can provide the desired moisture level to the cleaning cloth (8), such as for example a low moisture level to clean wooden or particularly sensitive surfaces, an average moisture level to clean smooth and glossy surfaces or a high moisture level to clean traditional, rough surfaces and the like.

[0050] The cleaning device (30) can also be provided with a motion sensor (not shown) connected to the PC board (10) that feels when the cleaning device (30) is on and is moving, i.e. is being used, and the same PC board (10) turns off the acoustic device that showed that the set temperature had been reached.

[0051] The cleaning device (30) can also be used in dry mode with a duster and without electric connections.

[0052] The functioning of this device can be then summed up as follows:

[0053] the device in this construction allows cleaning surfaces with the ideal dampening of the cleaning cloth (8) that is kept at the same temperature as the heating plate (6), thus guaranteeing the perfect cleaning and sanitation of the floors.