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Title:
PROCESSING A BRUSH HEAD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/015275
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus and method are disclosed for processing a brush head comprising multiple filaments, the apparatus comprising a structure comprising an array of blades, the structure configured to rotate around an axis of rotation, each of the blades having a cutting edge that extends substantially parallel to the axis of rotation, whereby to provide multiple axially extending cutting edges. The method comprises the steps of providing the apparatus and passing the terminal end of a filament cluster of a brush over the apparatus, or otherwise introducing the terminal end of the filament cluster to the apparatus, whereby to flirt, feather and/or trim the filament cluster.

Inventors:
HOBBS, Stuart (Norton Villa, Bridgnorth Road, Norton Shropshire TF11 9EE, TF11 9EE, GB)
WU, Yibin (Zhaoqing Avenue North, No 11 ZoneDuanzhou District, Zhaoqing City, CN)
Application Number:
EP2017/067769
Publication Date:
January 25, 2018
Filing Date:
July 13, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
L G HARRIS & CO LIMITED (Stoke Prior Brush Works, Stroke Prior, Bromsgrove Worcestershire B60 4AE, B60 4AE, GB)
International Classes:
A46B3/12; A46D1/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009125162A12009-10-15
Foreign References:
DE3941738A11991-06-20
EP1230871A12002-08-14
US3589774A1971-06-29
DE2105526A11972-06-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRYERS LLP (7Gay Street, Bath Bath and North East Somerset BA1 2PH, Bath Bath and North East Somerset BA1 2PH, BA1 2PH, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . An apparatus for processing a brush head comprising multiple filaments, the apparatus comprising:

a structure comprising an array of blades, the structure configured to rotate around an axis of rotation, each of the blades having a cutting edge that extends substantially parallel to the axis of rotation, whereby to provide multiple axially extending cutting edges.

2. The apparatus according to claim I , wherein the structure is generally cylindrical, such as a rod or drum portion, wherein the array of blades are part of, disposed on or attached to the rod or drum portion.

3. The apparatus according to claim I or claim 2, comprising a cylindrical array of blades.

4. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein the blades are adhered to a surface of the structure.

5. The apparatus according to any of claims I -3, wherein the blades are integrally formed with a surface of the structure.

6. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein the blades are evenly spaced about the structure.

7. The apparatus according to any of claims I -5, wherein the blades are unevenly spaced about the structure.

8. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein each blade has a generally rectangular surface area.

9. The apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein each blade is disposed at an acute angle with the surface of the structure.

1 0. The apparatus according to any of claims I -8, wherein each blade is disposed at an obtuse angle with the surface of the structure.

I I . The apparatus according to any of claims I -8, wherein each blade is disposed at a normal angle to the surface of the structure.

12. A flirting or trimming machine for processing filaments of a filament bundle for a brush head, comprising the apparatus according to any preceding claim. 1 3. A method of processing a brush head, the method comprising:

providing apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim;

passing the terminal end of a filament cluster of a brush over the apparatus, or otherwise introducing the terminal end of the filament cluster to the apparatus, whereby to flirt, feather and/or trim the filament cluster.

14. A method according to claim I 3, comprising the step of rotating the apparatus to knock out loose filaments from a cluster of filaments.

15. A method according to claim I 3 or claim 14, comprising the step of rotating the apparatus to trim or feather filaments in a brush head.

16. A method according to any of claims 1 3- 15, comprising the step of rotating the apparatus to shape an end of the brush head. 17. A method according to any of claims 1 3- 16, comprising the step of angling each blade to provide a contact region between the cutting edge of each blade and an end of each filament in a brush head.

18. A method according to claim 17, wherein the blade extends axially along an end of a brush head.

19. A method according to claim 1 7 or claim 18, wherein the cutting edge contacts substantially the entire width of the end of a brush head as the drum is rotated. 20. A method according to any of claims 1 3- 19, wherein the axial length of an end of a brush head is arranged perpendicularly to the axis of rotation of the apparatus as the apparatus is rotated.

21 . A paint brush comprising a brush head that has been processed using the method according to any of claims I 3-20.

22. A paint brush according to claim 21 , wherein the brush head comprises an irregularly shaped profile.

I I

Description:
PROCESSING A BRUSH HEAD

TECHNICAL FIELD

Aspects relate, in general, to an apparatus and method for processing a brush head. BACKGROUND

In the manufacture of paintbrushes, it is typical for a brush to include filaments and a ferrule, which is typically a metal band that holds the filament and a handle together and gives the brush strength. A spacer plug within the ferrule which helps the filament sit tightly in the brush and creates a reservoir for paint can also be provided and, in general, epoxy is used to lock the filament in place.

Near the end of the manufacturing process, once the brush head has been made and epoxied, the head can be passed through equipment to clean out any loose filaments within the head that may not have been properly adhered using the epoxy. The brush head can also be 'tipped' so that the ends of the filaments are feathered or split by exposure to a sanding wheel, thereby making them finer at the end that picks up paint (for example). The ends of the filaments may also be subsequently tapered or shaped to provide a particular shape for the end of the brush head that lends itself to the task at hand and/or reduces the tip weight to reduce user fatigue.

SUMMARY

According to an example, there is provided an apparatus for processing a brush head comprising multiple filaments, the apparatus comprising a structure comprising an array of blades, the structure configured to rotate around an axis of rotation, each of the blades having a cutting edge that extends substantially parallel to the axis of rotation, whereby to provide multiple axially extending cutting edges.

The structure may be generally cylindrical, such as a rod or drum portion, wherein the array of blades may be part of, disposed on or attached to the rod or drum portion.

The structure may comprise a cylindrical array of blades.

The blades may be adhered to a surface of the structure.

The blades may be integrally formed with a surface of the structure.

I The blades may be evenly or unevenly spaced about the structure.

Each blade may have a generally rectangular surface area. Each blade may be disposed at an acute angle with the surface of the structure.

Each blade may be disposed at an obtuse angle or a normal angle with the surface of the structure. Each blade may be disposed at a normal angle to the surface of the structure.

According to an example, there is provided a flirting or trimming machine for processing filaments of a filament bundle for a brush head, comprising the apparatus according to the first aspect.

According to an example, there is provided a method of processing a brush head, the method comprising providing the apparatus of any other aspect, passing the terminal end of a filament cluster of a brush over the apparatus, or otherwise introducing the terminal end of the filament cluster to the apparatus, whereby to flirt, feather and/or trim the filament cluster.

The method may comprise the step of rotating the apparatus to knock out loose filaments from a cluster of filaments.

The method may comprise the step of rotating the apparatus to trim or feather filaments in a brush head.

The method may comprise the step of rotating the apparatus to shape an end of the brush head. The method may comprise the step of angling each blade to provide a contact region between the cutting edge of each blade and an end of each filament in a brush head.

The blade may extend axially along an end of a brush head. The cutting edge may contact substantially the entire width of the end of a brush head as the drum is rotated. The axial length of an end of a brush head may be arranged perpendicularly to the axis of rotation of the apparatus as the apparatus is rotated.

According to an example, there is provided a paint brush comprising a brush head that has been processed using the method according to the third aspect.

The brush head may comprise an irregularly shaped profile.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure I is an illustration showing a decorating painting brush according to an example;

Figures 2A-D are illustrations showing a method of machine-making/forming of a decorating paintbrush head of the same general type as that shown in figure I according to an example;

Figure 3 is an illustration showing an existing method for 'tipping' a brush head after cleaning out loose filaments according to an example;

Figure 4 is an illustration showing an apparatus according to an example;

Figure 5 is an illustration showing an example method for processing a brush head according to an example; and

Figures 6A-C are illustrations showing blades disposed on a drum according to an example. DESCRIPTION

Example embodiments are described below in sufficient detail to enable those of ordinary skill in the art to embody and implement the systems and processes herein described. It is important to understand that embodiments can be provided in many alternate forms and should not be construed as limited to the examples set forth herein. Accordingly, while embodiments can be modified in various ways and take on various alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof are shown in the drawings and described in detail below as examples. There is no intent to limit to the particular forms disclosed. On the contrary, all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the scope of the appended claims should be included. Elements of the example embodiments are consistently denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the drawings and detailed description where appropriate.

The terminology used herein to describe embodiments is not intended to limit the scope. The articles "a," "an," and "the" are singular in that they have a single referent, however the use of the singular form in the present document should not preclude the presence of more than one referent. In other words, elements referred to in the singular can number one or more, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises," "comprising," "includes," and/or "including," when used herein, specify the presence of stated features, items, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, items, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.

Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein are to be interpreted as is customary in the art. It will be further understood that terms in common usage should also be interpreted as is customary in the relevant art and not in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein.

Figure I is a schematic representation of a brush according to an example. As can be seen in figure I , brush 1 00 comprises a brush head, generally located at 1 01 , and a handle 1 03. A ferrule 1 05 is provided within which multiple bristles or filaments 1 07, forming a bristle cluster, are secured, such as by adhesion using a suitable glue or epoxy for example. The bristles may be natural or synthetic and extend out of an end of the ferrule. Typically, the ferrule is a metal band open at both ends and the handle may be formed from wood or a plastics material and is secured to the ferrule by pins or adhesion.

During manufacture of a brush such as that depicted in figure I for example, a pre-set volume of bristles 209 is provided, as shown in figure 2A. In a typical manufacturing process, the bristle stack is grabbed and pushed partially through the lower end 21 I of the ferrule 205, as shown in figure 2B to start to form the filaments 207 forming a terminal end of the bristle cluster used for painting. Spacer plugs 21 3 can then be inserted at the root end 21 5 of the filaments 207. The root end 21 5 of the filaments 207 is then patted upwards to push it further through the ferrule until the root end reaches the lower end 21 I as shown in figure 2C. A clamp (not shown) then grabs the tip end 21 7 of the filaments 207 and pulls them through the ferrule 205 to the position shown in figure 2D. Typically, the plugs 21 3 (buried in the filament) are positioned so that they are "high set" i.e. they are spaced from the ferrule end 21 9. In some examples, the plugs 21 3 are at least 7mm away from the free edge of the ferrule 21 1 . Resin R is then poured through the ferrule end 21 I and allowed to reach a final level 221 within the ferrule, which may be approximately the same level as where the plugs 21 3 extend to in the ferrule. Again, it will be noted that the level 221 is spaced from the ferrule end 21 9. The resin solidifies to a monolithic block and locks the filaments in place.

In one of the final stages of the manufacture of a brush, such as a paint brush for example, which may be the same general configuration as the brush 1 00 of figure I , the tip 21 7 of the brush 1 00 is generally exposed to a sanding wheel in order to feather and split the ends of the filaments 207. Subsequently, the brush head may be tapered or shaped. In another known example, a brush head can be tipped using an array of rotating discs, or a screw thread arrangement, which filament bundles are passed over. An example of an existing apparatus for tipping a brush head is shown in figure 3. The discs 3 1 0 are arranged so that they can pass between the ends of the filaments 3 17 as the discs rotate and as the filament bundles move down a production line for example. Each disc therefore presents a radially extending 'cutting edge' 33 1 (with respect to the axis of rotation of the discs) to the bundles. The action of the rotating discs against the filaments feathers the ends of the filaments whilst also knocking out any loose filaments which may not have adhered properly.

According to an example, an apparatus for processing a brush head comprising multiple filaments or bristles (a bristle/filament cluster or bundle) is provided. A cylindrical array of blades, the long axes of which rotate around the axis of, for example, a structure onto which the blades are mounted are provided in order to present multiple axially extending cutting edges to filament bundles. The structure may be a rod or drum portion. Filament bundles can therefore be trimmed or shaped whilst also knocking out loose filaments from the cluster and splitting the ends of the remaining ones of the bristles in order to feather them.

Figure 4 is a schematic representation of an apparatus 400 according to an example.

Apparatus 400 comprises a structure which in this example is a drum portion 401 . Arranged or otherwise provided on the outer surface of the drum portion 401 are multiple blades 402. The blades may be adhered to an outer surface of the drum or integral therewith (such as welded or manufactured as a single article). The blades may be evenly spaced about the drum or unevenly spaced. The blades 402 comprise a long axis, i.e. cutting edge or length, which rotates about the axis of rotation of the drum 408. In another example, the apparatus may comprise multiple blades arranged on an outer surface of a rod or simply adhered or attached to one another and having similar features as described herein with reference to the example shown in figure 4.

In the example shown in figure 4 the surface of each blade 402 is generally rectangular with axially extending cutting edges. The blades and/or their respective cutting edges 405 may have curved or straight edges. In other examples, the blades may be trapezoidal, saw-toothed or triangular or another shape having straight or irregular edges, or semi-spherical or other shape having curved edges, or a combination of curved and straight edges. Each of the blades may have the same or a different shape. The blades may each be generally symmetrical or asymmetrical or a combination of both. The length and/or width of the blades may be varied to achieve the desired shaping of the brush and the blades may overhang the width of the drum. The length and/or width of each of the blades may be the same or different. The blades can be shaped to provide a desired shaping or tapering to the end of the brush. Accordingly, brush heads with irregular profiles (such as a double domed arrangement for example, or a brush with a triangular type profile at the end) can be made.

An example of an apparatus for processing a brush head is shown in Figure 5. The blades 502 allow for a large area of contact to be achieved between the cutting edge 505 of the blade and the end of the brush head 5 1 7. The blade extends axially along the end of the brush 5 1 7 and the cutting edge 505 may contact substantially the entire width of the end of the brush as the drum rotates. This improves the removal of loose filaments that may not have been properly adhered using the epoxy. In an example, the width of the blades may be larger than the width of the bristle cluster. Multiple apparatus 400 may be provided side by side, and brushes may be moved relative the apparatus so that the filaments pass in the direction shown by the arrow in figure 5. Alternatively, or in addition, the apparatus may be movable in a direction parallel to the axis of rotation and/or in an orthogonal direction or indeed in any desired direction in order to enable the tip of a brush to be feathered and shaped as desired.

Figure 6A shows the angles between the blades and the drum surface. As the drum rotates, a degree of contact or impact is provided between the cutting edge 605 of the blade and the end of each filament in the brush. A blade 602 subtends an angle 650 to the surface of the drum 601 . The angle 650 may be selected according to the desired shaping for the end of the brush or to customise the degree of impact for removing loose filaments as the drum or rod rotates.

For example, consider the axial length of the end of the brush arranged perpendicularly to the axis of rotation 408 of the apparatus 400 as the brush passes down a production line. For each blade having an acute angle 670 with the drum surface in the direction of rotation of the drum, as shown in Figure 6B for a clockwise rotation about the centre axis 408, this arrangement may provide a larger impact force against the filament ends of the brush as the drum rotates, when compared to a blade disposed at a normal angle or obtuse angle to the drum surface. The cutting edge of the blade having an acute angle may contact the end of the brush in a more 'jabbing' arrangement as shown in figure 6B; as opposed to an obtuse angled blade 680 having a more 'sweeping' arrangement, as shown in Figure 6C, as the cutting-edge contacts and moves/sweeps across the filaments. As such the angle at which the blade is disposed on the drum may be adjusted or selected to provide a desired degree of contact for the removal of loose filaments from the brush. Alternatively, or additionally, the angle of the blade may be adjusted or selected to provide a desired level of feathering or splitting to the ends of the filaments. For example, an acute angled blade in the direction of rotation may provide increased feathering and splitting when compared to an obtuse angled blade which may provide decreased feathering and splitting. In a manufacturing line, the angle that the blades present to a brush head may be modified by, for example, changing the position of the brush relative to the apparatus as it moves past the blades and/or changing the angle that the brush presents to the apparatus and/or changing the apparatus that is used so as to select a specific blade angle. For example, a line may be selected for brush based on the desired end profile of the brush tip, which line comprises apparatus with blade configurations/angles/shapes and so on that result in the desired end profile.

The bladed drum described herein may be used on a conventional flirting machine and trimming machine. The shape of the drum is not limited to having a circular cross-section and may have another cross-sectional shape. The drum upon which the blades are disposed may be cylindrical and have a generally circular cross-section or another cross-section which may be generally oval or even square shaped. For example, an oval cross-section may be used to vary the speed at which each blade contacts the ends of the filaments as the drum rotates to assist removal of loose filaments and to vary the degree of tipping and/or shaping the end of the brush.

A series of drums 400 may be mounted along a production line that rotate in the same direction or alternating directions along the production line. The direction of rotation of a drum 400 may be reversed or alternated between forward and backward rotations to provide different levels of processing to the brush ends as each brush passes down a production line.

The apparatus 400 has the advantage of removing loose filaments, tipping and shaping of the brush in a single process, i.e. at the same time as opposed to separately removing loose filaments, tipping and shaping. This saves time on a production line and makes the processing method more compact. It also allows more control over the tipping and shaping of a brush. This opens up other possibilities for tipping and shaping of brushes since the processing method can be easily tailored and applied to any type of brush head and may allow for processing of other shapes.

The present invention has been generally described with reference to a decorating painting brush, however it should be understood that the apparatus and method described herein is not limited to a decorating painting brush and may be applied to other types of brush.

The present inventions can be embodied in other specific apparatus and/or methods. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. In particular, the scope of the invention is indicated by the appended claims rather than by the description and figures herein. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.