Anehorn, Lars G. (Lyckostigen 9C, M�rsta, S-195 31, SE)
|1.||A mop yarn device for a floor mop comprising a flexible, webshaped carrier means (1), to the one sur face of which a great number of mop threads (57) are attached for cleaning purposes and the opposite surface of which is intended for releasable attachment to the frame of the floor mop, for instance by means of Velcro strip (2), c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the mop threads (57) consist on the one hand of tightly (5, 7) and, on the other, of loosely (6) plied bundles of natural fibres, which have a comparatively smooth surface structure, such as flax fibres, that the mop yarn device comprises a central portion (3) with mop threads of com paratively small length and a peripheral portion (4) with mop threads of comparatively great length, and that the loosely plied mop thread bundles (6) are located only in said central portion (3) whereas the tightly plied mop thread bundles (5, 7) are located in said central por tion (3) as well as in said peripheral portion (4).|
|2.||A mop yarn device according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the mop threads (57) are attached to the carrier means (1) in the form of closed loops.|
|3.||A mop yarn device according to claim 1 or 2, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the mop threads (57) are attached to the carrier means (1) by means of mutu ally parallel seams (8), which are arranged at a con siderable distance from each other.|
|4.||A mop yarn device according to claim 3, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that each individual mop thread is attached to the carrier means (1) in an un broken condition by means of an associated seam (8).|
|5.||A mop yarn device according to claim 4, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the majority of the mop threads (5, 6) in said central portion (3) are attached to the carrier means (1) by means of a single, continuous first seam (8'), and that the mop threads (7) in said pe ripheral portion (4) are attached to the carrier means by means of a single, continuous second seam (8"), which is completely separated from the first seam (8') and which also attaches the remaining mop threads (5, 6) of the central portion (3) to the carrier means (1).|
|6.||A mop yarn device according to any one of claims 35, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that each seam (8) con sists of at least two parallel lines of stitches (9, 10).|
|7.||A mop yarn device according to any one of the preceding claims, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the fibres in the mop threads are impregnated with oil.|
|8.||A mop yarn device according to any one of the preceding claims, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the fibres in the mop threads are dyed.|
|9.||A mop yarn device according to any one of the preceding claims, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the fibres in the mop threads consist of long, noncottonised flax fibres.|
More specifically, the invention relates to a mop yarn device, i.e. the active, cleaning component of a mop system. This mop system comprises a floor mop carrying the mop yarn device, said floor mop mainly consisting of a mop frame having a pivotable handle attached thereto, for instance as stated in Swedish patent specification 504,242. The mop yarn device can be releasably attached to the mop frame by means of Velcro strip. The mop system also comprises a board for care and maintenance of mop yarn for facilitating the cleaning of the mop yarn device, which is disclosed in Swedish patent specifica- tion 504,113.
Further, the mop yarn device according to the inven- tion is mainly intended for use in connection with dry cleaning methods, in which water is essentially used only to remove stains and which constitute the most efficient way of dramatically reducing the use of chemicals in cleaning activities, but the mop yarn device is, of course, equally useful in connection with wet cleaning methods, which must be applied when the floors are dirty due to wet dirt or dirt in solid form which has been wet.
However, the use of water when cleaning floors consider- ably increases the growth of bacteria on the floor sur- faces since the floors are not properly rinsed. In addi- tion, dry cleaning methods are less strenuous for the cleaning personnel because of the lower friction between the mop and the floor surface.
The present mop system is particularly suited for the cleaning of public areas, and the pollutants in these areas mainly consist of loose particles, such as sand, dust, skin deposits, hair, shreds of clothes etc. In wet cleaning methods big quantities of these loose particles are "smeared" over the floors by means of remaining water, which subsequently dries up, and are released as dust again. Since most cleaning in public areas is made in the daytime, wet cleaning surfaces cannot be shut off during the drying, and this results in the floors to a large extent being resoiled since the personnel have to step on the wet floors, which releases dirt from the shoes sticking to the floors.
Damp or wet mops and swabs are very heavy and hard to move back and forth over the floors and this is the main reason for the great number of notifications of ill- ness and industrial injuries, which constitutes a burden to the cleaning trade. This often results in too frequent changes of personnel. Moreover, a tired cleaner achieves a lower working performance.
The surface layer of the floors is damaged by fre- quent use of cleaning chemicals since the floor surfaces are "roughed up" and become coarser and more lustreless and liable to take up dirt.
The object of the present invention is therefore to provide a mop yarn device with little friction against the floor surface which is cleaned with a view to facili- tating the cleaning work.
Another object of the invention is to provide a mop yarn device, which can efficiently release dirt particles from a floor surface and also catch and retain the dirt particles.
A further object is to provide a mop yarn device which can efficiently catch and retain pieces of fluff.
According to the invention, these objects are achieved by a mop yarn device as mentioned by way of introduction, which is characterised in that the mop
threads consist on the one hand of tightly and, on the other, of loosely plied bundles of natural fibres, which have a comparatively smooth surface structure, such as flax fibres, that the mop yarn device comprises a central portion with mop threads of comparatively small length and a peripheral portion with mop threads of compara- tively great length, and that the loosely plied mop thread bundles are located only in said central portion whereas the tightly plied mop thread bundles are located in said central portion as well as in said peripheral portion.
Further improvements of the invention appear from the features stated in the dependent claims.
A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described as an example with reference to the accompany- ing drawings, in which: Fig. 1 is a perspective plan view of the floor mop device according to the invention showing its carrier means with the surface intended for releasable attachment to the frame of a floor mop, Fig. 2 is a perspective bottom view showing the opposite surface of the carrier means, to which surface the mop threads are attached, and Fig. 3 is a vertical cross-section o the mop device along the line A-A in Fig. 2.
The inventive mop device comprises a flexible, web- shaped carrier means 1 of a suitable, lona-wearing fab- ric, which is washable a number of times wIthout losing its shape and which is resistant to cleaning chemicals.
Such carrier means are known per se and velour fabric is an example thereof. On the one side of the carrier means 1, which side is shown in Fig. 1, one or nore Velcro strip portions 2 are arranged, by means o which the mop yarn device is releasably attachable to the frame or plate of a floor mop by means of cooperating Velcro strip portions provided on the latter (not shown). This is also
prior-art and reference is made to the Swedish patent specifications mentioned above.
On the opposite side of the carrier means 1, a great number of mop threads of yarn are attached, as usual, for cleaning purposes, i.e. the function of the mop threads is on the one hand to release the dirt or the dirt par- ticles from the (floor) surface to be cleaned and, on the other, to catch and retain the dirt and the dust in the mop yarn device. Traditionally, mop threads consist of plied bundles of fibres, such as cotton and/or synthetic fibres, but the fibres of the mop threads of the present mop yarn device consist of quite different fibres, as will be discussed below.
Cotton yarns are as a rule compact and not particu- larly active in transporting the dirt towards the carrier means. Furthermore, cotton yarns have a tendency to let fluff come off and felt, which has an adverse effect on the cleaning work. In addition, the individual cotton fibres are not efficient in the scraping off of dirt from the floor surface. Finally, the production of cotton as such is not environment-friendly.
It is true that synthetic fibres are better at scraping off dirt from the floor surface, but they are not suitable for the transport of dirt towards the car- rier means. Yarns of synthetic fibres are comparatively stiff and thus impossible to reshape. Finally, synthetic fibres are not environment-friendly since they are not a natural product.
The requirements that a well-functioning mop yarn should meet are the following: - high strength - low friction between adjacent threads in the mop to prevent entanglement and wear between threads - low, but optimal friction against a floor surface so that the mop slides easily over the floor and at the same time collects dirt particles - a high capacity to hold dirt and detergents -
a large inner fibre surface of the yarn - easy to clean - maintained appearance and function after wash - not emitting lint and fibres when used (not to a higher degree than corresponding mop yarns based on cotton) - flexible, adaptable to a reciprocating movement of the mop - sufficiently heavy, so that the mop threads follow the floor surface without being unruly.
It has been found that a yarn fulfilling the re- quirements above can be made of flax fibres. This natural fibre has a smoother or glossier surface than that of the cotton fibre, which results in less friction and improves the scraping off of dirt from a surface. Further, in this connection the flax fibre has a longer working life than the cotton fibre and a higher tensile strength. Indeed flax is more expensive than cotton, but this is compen- sated for by a longer working life. Finally, the manufac- turing of flax is better than that of cotton from an environmental point of view. The invention is not, how- ever, limited to flax fibres only but it Iso comprises all natural fibres having a comparatively smooth surface structure, e.g. hemp, sisal and others.
Flax fibres are available in coarse or fine bundles, consisting of many or few fibre units joined together or completely separate fibre units.
In so called cottonisation, pectin substances are removed from the foliage and the fibre units are sepa- rated. In this process, the flax harls are boiled under pressure in a solution of 2-2.5% lye for a few hours. The fibres of cottonised flax are short and stiff. They must be spun in combination with e.g. cotton cr viscose. The tensile strength is lower than that of ordinary flax, but higher than that of cotton yarns. Blend y-rns with cotton are devoid of the usual compactness and tendency of cotton to let fluff come off and felt.
Flax yarn is strong in its longitudinal direction compared to other natural fibres, but has a low extension capacity. The flax fibres are, however, sensitive to wear and breaking forces. The yarn of a mop system is exposed to great strain throughout its working life. The yarn is exposed to mechanical treatment by wear, traction and bending during both direct use and washing/drying. The wear weakens the fibres and makes them break, which results in deposits of lint and loose fibres. Once the wear has started, there is an increased number of free fibre ends, which in their turn are exposed to wear with an additional risk of fibre loss.
Moreover, chemical attacks are made by detergents, impregnation oils or washing chemicals, affecting primar- ily the surface of the fibres, which become weaker and rougher and sensitive to new attacks.
Thus, as fibres in the mop yarn device according to the invention, non-cottonised flax is used having a great fibre length since long fibres offer less friction and short fibres are more liable to break. To further enhance the function of the mop threads in connection with clean- ing, they are impregnated with a vegetable oil which is environment-friendly, preferably rape-oil. When the mop threads are intended for domestic use, it can be con- venient to use the mop threads moistened with water in- stead of impregnated with oil, which is an advantage when subsequently cleaning the mop yarn device, for instance, by means of an ordinary washing machine. r or aesthetic reasons, the mop threads can also be dyed or ingrained.
A yarn of fine fibres is more flexible than a corre- sponding one of coarse fibres. Fine fibres are, however, light and liable to be more unruly. A yarn of coarser, heavier fibres can be more adaptable to the floor sur- face. A yarn of fine fibres has a larger fibre surface than yarn of coarse fibres. A yarn of fine fibres can therefore hold more oil or dirt particles between the fibres of the yarn, if the yarn is not tightly plied.
Very fine fibres can be difficult to clean depending on how the dirt particles are bound to the material. In general, coarse fibres are cheaper than fine. A yarn of somewhat coarser flax fibres is fully sufficient for the purpose in question. The shape of the yarn itself is more important to the function of the mop.
With further reference to the drawings, in particu- lar to Figs 2 and 3, the mop yarn device comprises a cen- tral portion 3, which is located inside the periphery of the carrier means 1, and a peripheral portion 4, which is located outside the periphery of the carrier means; in particular cf. Fig. 3. In the central portion 3 mop threads 5, 6 of the same length are attached to the car- rier means 1, whereas mop threads 7 of greater length than the mop threads 5, 6 are protrudingly attached to the carrier means in the peripheral portion 4. The mop threads 5 and 7 are relatively tightly plied or laid to offer less friction against the floor surface, whereas the mop threads 6 are relatively loosely plied or laid to increase the dirt and waste collecting capacity. The mix of the mop threads 5 with the mop threads 6 in the cen- tral portion 3 reduces the friction of the floor mop against the floor and facilitates the cleaner's work.
To eliminate the above disadvantages of free fibre ends and to catch and retain more easily pieces of fluff and other voluminous dirt, the mop threads 5-7 are prefer- ably attached to the carrier means in the form of closed loops, which is clearly shown in the Figures.
As is best shown in Figs 1 and 3, the mop threads 5- 7 are attached to the carrier means 1 by means of mutu- ally parallel seams 8, which are arranged at a consider- able distance from each other so that the pile will not get so thick that the insertion of dirt etc. towards the carrier means is at risk.
From a manufacturing point of view, it is advanta- geous to attach the most central mop threads 5, 6 in the central portion 3 by means of one single continuous
seam 8' and to attach the rest of the short threads 5, 6 included in the central portion 3, together with the long threads 7 included in the peripheral portion 4, by means of a second continuous seam 8", which is completely sepa- rated from the first seam 8', as is clearly shown in Fig. 1. In this connection, it is also expedient to make each seam 8 as two parallel lines of stitches 9 to better secure the threads 5-7 and better spread the thread loops. The arrangement above also makes it possible to attach each individual mop thread 5-7 to the carrier means 1 in an unbroken or continuous condition, i.e. as a continuous thread by means of, and along, the entire associated seam 8, which considerably facilitates the manufacturing of the mop yarn device.
The mop yarn device stated above can, when required, be cleaned by means of the board for care and maintenance of mop yarn which is stated in Swedish patent specifica- tion 504,113 mentioned above. Occasionally, the mop yarn device must, however, be subject to a more thorough cleaning by washing. In this connection, the design of the mop threads makes them open up somewhat more and the thread loops to be randomly oriented, i.e. they extend in all directions. As a result, the cleaning function of the mop yarn device is further improved.
The inventive mop yarn device has also been tested against other prior-art mop yarn devices and different floor materials. The result of the test is stated below.
COMPARISON OF THE FRICTION OF MOPS AGAINST FLOOR MATERIALS Purpose: To compare the friction of different mops against floor materials.
Test material: 1. mop with a large portion of synthetic yarn 2. mop with a small portion of synthetic yarn 3. mop with flax yarn only 4. the present mop based on cotton/synthetic yarn 5. mop with cotton yarn only The floor materials consisted of A. oak parquet, "Tarkett Plankwood" B. linoleum floor Method: A friction measure was determined by a test according to a modified TEFO-method 18-66. The test is carried out by placing a mop sample on a floor material. A weight of 1.5 kg is applied to the mop sample to simulate the pressure of the mop when cleaning. The mop sample is attached to a load cell, which itself is connected to a tensile tester. The floor material is moved in relation to the mop at a constant rate. The static and dy- namic friction force is registered.
Each mop variant was tested against two floor samples.
Test size: a mop of 16 cm in full width, edges excluded.
Floor sample: 22 x 19 cm The floor material was moved by 3 cm.
Result: Test against oak parquet Registered force Fmean Mop sample Mop weight (g) [F1;F2] (cN) N* 1. 76.9 441;452 0.293 2. 64.4 393;420 0.269 3. 105.3 370;396 0.247 4. 67.6 452;433 0.292 5. 54.1 437;438 0.291 *N is the normal force (the force of the mop against the base) Fmean/N is a measure of the dynamic frictional coeffi- cient.
Test against linoleum floor Registered force Fmean Mop sample Mop weight (g) [F1;F2] (g) N* 1. 76.0 427;413 0.276 2. 65.1 416;412 0.274 3. 95.1 414;411 0.268 4. 67.2 434;425 0.284 5. 51.0 7 516;453 0.323 The invention is not limited to that described above or shown in the drawings, and can be modified within the scope of the appended claims.