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Title:
CLEANING ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/069063
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides a cleaning assembly for cleaning a cleanroom. The cleaning assembly comprises: an applicator which is wettable or pre- wetted with an amount of a disinfectant or cleaning agent; an elongate digitated unit of resilient material on which is sheathed the applicator; and an elongate actuator handle coupled or connected to the elongate digitated unit of resilient material for manual actuation of the applicator across a surface of the cleanroom so as to apply the amount of the disinfectant or cleaning agent thereto.

Inventors:
EXTON MARK EARNEST (GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/052795
Publication Date:
April 11, 2019
Filing Date:
October 01, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MICRONCLEAN LTD (GB)
International Classes:
A47L13/24; A47L13/254; A47L13/255; A47L13/256
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012162590A12012-11-29
Foreign References:
DE102008030309A12009-12-31
FR774084A1934-11-30
CA2923205A12016-09-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CURRAN, Clair (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A cleaning assembly for cleaning a cleanroom comprising:

an applicator which is wettable or pre-wetted with an amount of a disinfectant or cleaning agent;

an elongate digitated unit of resilient material on which is sheathed the applicator; and

an elongate actuator handle coupled or connected to the elongate digitated unit of resilient material for manual actuation of the applicator across a surface of the cleanroom so as to apply the amount of the disinfectant or cleaning agent thereto.

2. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the elongate digitated unit of resilient material is compressible resiliency in an axial direction.

3. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the elongate digitated unit of resilient material is single-handedly compressible resiliently in the axial direction.

4. A cleaning assembly as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the elongate digitated unit of resilient material comprises a main polygonal body portion having a pair of opposing vertices from each of which extends a digitated wing.

5. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 4 wherein the pair of opposing vertices are diametrically opposed vertices.

6. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 4 or 5 wherein the main polygonal body portion is substantially rectangular.

7. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 4 wherein the main polygonal body portion has a first vertex from which extends a first digitated wing and a second vertex from which extends a second digitated wing, wherein the first vertex and second vertex are diametrically opposed.

8. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 7 wherein the second vertex extends zig- zaggedly into the second digitated wing.

9. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 8 wherein the first vertex extends zig- zaggedly into the first digitated wing.

10. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 8 wherein the first vertex extends into the first digitated wing which consists of a single digit which tapers outwardly to its terminus.

11. A cleaning assembly as claimed in any of claims 7 to 10 wherein the first digitated wing is more rigid than the second digitated wing.

12. A cleaning assembly as claimed in any of claims 7 to 11 wherein the first digitated wing is provided with a gripping feature to further facilitate sheathing onto the applicator.

13. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 12 wherein the gripping feature is formed out-of-plane on the upper surface of the first digitated wing.

14. A cleaning assembly as claimed in claim 12 or 13 wherein the gripping feature has a distal surface which is configured to conform to the fingers of a user's hand.

15. A cleaning assembly as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the applicator is a pouch of fabric configured to be sheathed onto the elongate digitated unit of resilient material.

Description:
Cleaning Assembly

The present invention relates to a cleaning assembly for cleaning a controlled environment (eg a cleanroom).

Cleanrooms are in widespread use in various industries and serve to provide a controlled environment for processing (eg manufacturing) chemical, pharmaceutical or biological products or for carrying out scientific research. The use of a cleanroom often demands compliance with stringent regulatory protocols to protect the user and to maintain the integrity of the products.

In achieving and maintaining the required levels of contamination control in a cleanroom, it is paramount that cleaning equipment introduced into the cleanroom is itself clean and sterile Traditional items of cleaning equipment such as mops, buckets, ringers and trolleys are generally difficult to clean and sterilise and to maintain in a sterile condition. Their multiple parts often harbour dirt in locations from which is it difficult to dislodge. For example, a conventional mop has multiple stainless steel parts which slide over each other to enable the mop head to be fitted to the mop. The surfaces over which parts move or are guided are susceptible to the ingress of dirt and are difficult to clean effectively.

The present invention seeks to improve the maintenance of sterility in a cleanroom by the deployment of a one-piece (unitary) body of resilient material to actuate a wet applicator across the surfaces of the cleanroom.

Thus viewed from a first aspect the present invention provides a cleaning assembly for cleaning a cleanroom comprising:

an applicator which is wettable or pre- wetted with an amount of a disinfectant or cleaning agent;

an elongate digitated unit of resilient material on which is sheathed the applicator; and

an elongate actuator handle coupled or connected to the elongate digitated unit of resilient material for manual actuation of the applicator across a surface of the cleanroom so as to apply the amount of the disinfectant or cleaning agent thereto. By using an elongate digitated unit of resilient material instead of multiple moving parts, the cleaning assembly is advantageously less susceptible to the ingress of dirt and easier to maintain sterile.

The elongate digitated unit of resilient material is generally compressible resiliently in the axial direction. This enables the user to concertina the elongate digitated unit of resilient material for sheathing onto the applicator.

Preferably the elongate digitated unit of resilient material is single-handedly compressible resiliently in the axial direction.

The elongate digitated unit of resilient material may be substantially planar.

The elongate digitated unit of resilient material may be composed of a resilient plastic or metal.

The elongate digitated unit of resilient material may be substantially rotationally

symmetrical.

Preferably the elongate digitated unit of resilient material comprises a main polygonal body portion having a pair of opposing vertices from each of which extends a digitated wing. Particularly preferably the pair of opposing vertices are diametrically opposed vertices. Particularly preferably the main polygonal body portion is substantially rectangular.

The digitated wing may be tortuous, meandering or convoluted (eg zig-zagged).

The digitated wing may consist of a single digit. The digitated wing may consist of a pair of digits. The digitated wing may include a terminal digit which tapers outwardly. The digitated wing may include a terminal digit which is relatively thickened.

The longitudinal axes of the digitated wings may be substantially collinear. The digitated wings may be in a common plane. The transverse dimension (width) of the main polygonal body portion and the digitated wings may be substantially the same and less than the axial dimension (length). In a preferred embodiment, the main polygonal body portion has a first vertex from which extends a first digitated wing and a second vertex from which extends a second digitated wing, wherein the first vertex and second vertex are opposed. The first digitated wing and second digitated wing may be the same or different. Preferably the first vertex and second vertex are diametrically opposed.

Particularly preferably the second vertex extends tortuously (preferably zig-zaggedly) into the second digitated wing. More preferably the first vertex extends tortuously (preferably zig- zaggedly) into the first digitated wing. Alternatively more preferably the first vertex extends into the first digitated wing which consists of a single digit which tapers outwardly to its terminus.

The (or each) digit may be substantially U-shaped.

Preferably the first digitated wing is more rigid than the second digitated wing. For example, the first digitated wing may be generally thicker than the second digitated wing. By handling the more rigid first digitated wing, the user can advantageously concertina the less rigid second digitated wing to facilitate sheathing onto the applicator.

The first digitated wing may be provided with a gripping feature to further facilitate sheathing onto the applicator. The gripping feature may be formed in-plane. The gripping feature may be interdigital or intradigital. The gripping feature may be formed out-of-plane.

Preferably the gripping feature is formed out-of-plane on the upper surface of the first digitated wing (eg adjacent to the first vertex).

The gripping feature may be substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axes of the digitated wings. For example, the gripping feature may be a transverse gripping feature.

Preferably the gripping feature has a distal surface which is configured to conform to the fingers of a user's hand. The main polygonal body portion may be equipped with a bore (eg a threaded bore) or boss for coupling or connecting to the elongate actuator handle. The elongate actuator handle may be coupled to the elongate digitated unit of resilient material by a ball and socket coupling.

The elongate actuator handle may terminate at or near to its head end with a grip to assist manual actuation of the applicator across a surface of the cleanroom (eg the surface of the floor, walls or ceiling of the cleanroom).

The applicator may be pre-wetted to ensure that the amount of disinfectant or cleaning agent is acceptable for the intended purpose. The applicator may be wettable (eg dry or partially dry) for user application of the amount of disinfectant or cleaning agent The applicator is generally impregnable with disinfectant or cleaning agent.

The applicator may be composed substantially of a fabric (eg an absorbent woven and/or non- woven fabric). The applicator may be a sheath, cover, envelope, pouch or pocket of fabric. The applicator may be (or include) a sponge or mop.

Preferably the applicator is a pouch of fabric configured to be sheathed onto the elongate digitated unit of resilient material.

The disinfectant or cleaning agent may be a liquid (eg a solution) of a disinfectant or cleaning agent.

The present invention will now be described in a non-limitative sense with reference to the accompanying Figures in which:

Figure 1 illustrates the elongate digitated unit of resilient material of a first embodiment of the cleaning assembly of the invention;

Figure 2 illustrates the elongate digitated unit of resilient material of the first embodiment of the cleaning assembly of the invention sheathed onto an applicator; and

Figure 3 illustrates the elongate digitated unit of resilient material of a second embodiment of the cleaning assembly of the invention in (a) an end view and (b) a plan view. Figure 1 illustrates the elongate digitated unit of resilient material of a first embodiment of the cleaning assembly of the invention designated generally by reference numeral 1. The elongate digitated unit of resilient material 1 is substantially planar and largely rotationally symmetrical.

The elongate digitated unit of resilient material 1 comprises a main substantially rectangular body portion 2 which has a first vertex 2a from which extends zig-zaggedly a first digitated wing 3 and a second vertex 2b from which extends zig-zaggedly a second digitated wing 4. The first vertex 2a and second vertex 2b are diametrically opposed. The first digitated wing 3 and second digitated wing 4 are in a common plane and their longitudinal axes are collinear. The width of the main substantially rectangular body portion 2 and the first and second digitated wings 3 and 4 is the same so that the overall profile of the elongate digitated unit of resilient material 1 is generally rectangular.

The first digitated wing 3 consists of a pair of digits 3a, 3b. The digit 3b tapers outwardly to its terminus. The second digitated wing 4 consists of a pair of digits 4a, 4b. The digit 4b is relatively thickened at its terminus. The first digitated wing 3 is more rigid than the second digitated wing 4. This is by virtue of the fact that the first digitated wing 3 is generally thicker (especially at its terminus) than the second digitated wing 4. Each digit 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b is substantially U-shaped.

The first digitated wing 3 is provided with an intradigital gripping feature 7 formed in-plane. The gripping feature 7 is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axes of the first and second digitated wings 3, 4 and has a distal surface which is configured to conform to the fingers of a user's hand. By gripping the intradigital gripping feature 7 and handling the more rigid first digitated wing 3 with a single hand, the user can concertina the less rigid second digitated wing 4 to sheath the elongate digitated unit of resilient material 1 onto a

conventional applicator such as a pouch of fabric soakable with a disinfectant or cleaning agent. The elongate digitated unit of resilient material 1 sheathed onto a pouch of fabric 11 is illustrated in Figure 2.

The main substantially rectangular body portion 2 is equipped with a boss 8 for coupling a conventional elongate actuator handle by a ball and socket coupling. The elongate actuator handle assists a user to actuate the elongate digitated unit of resilient material 1 sheathed onto the pouch of fabric 11 across the surfaces of a cleanroom for cleaning.

Figure 3 illustrates the elongate digitated unit of resilient material of a second embodiment of the cleaning assembly of the invention designated generally by reference numeral 31. The elongate digitated unit of resilient material 31 is substantially planar.

The elongate digitated unit of resilient material 31 comprises a main substantially rectangular body portion 32 which has a first vertex 32a from which extends a first digitated wing 33 and a second vertex 32b from which extends zig-zaggedly a second digitated wing 34. The first vertex 32a and second vertex 32b are diametrically opposed. ITie first digitated wing 33 and second digitated wing 34 are in a common plane and their longitudinal axes are collinear. The width of the main substantially rectangular body portion 32 and the first and second digitated wings 33 and 34 is the same so that the overall profile of the elongate digitated unit of resilient material 31 is generally rectangular.

The first digitated wing 33 consists of a single digit 33a. The digit 33a tapers outwardly to its terminus. The second digitated wing 34 consists of a pair of digits 34a, 34b. Each of the pair of digits 34a, 34b is substantially U-shaped. The digit 34b is relatively thickened at its terminus. The first digitated wing 33 is more rigid than the second digitated wing 34.

The first digitated wing 33 is provided with a gripping feature 37 formed out-of-plane on the upper surface of the digit 33a adjacent to the first vertex 32a. The gripping feature 37 is substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axes of the first and second digitated wings 33, 34 and has a distal surface which is configured to conform to the fingers of a user's hand. By gripping the gripping feature 37 and handling the more rigid first digitated wing 33 with a single hand, the user can concertina the less rigid second digitated wing 34 to sheath the elongate digitated unit of resilient material 31 onto a conventional applicator such as a pouch of fabric 11 soakable with a disinfectant or cleaning agent (as shown in Figure 2).

The main substantially rectangular body portion 32 is equipped with a boss 38 for coupling a conventional elongate actuator handle by a ball and socket coupling 39. The elongate actuator handle assists a user to actuate the elongate digitated unit of resilient material 31 sheathed onto the pouch of fabric 11 across the surfaces of a clean room for cleaning.