Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
STEAM IRONING DEVICE, IRONING BOARD AND IRONING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2006/067753
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A steam ironing device (10) provides an ionized steam output using an ionizing arrangement (30). The ionization process, in particular the high energy electric discharge used for ionization, breaks down steam particles into finer particles. As a result, a greater proportion of the steam particles generated can penetrate into the fabric of the garment being ironed, to improve fabric treatment and fabric moistening. Air ionization can also be used.

Inventors:
JIANG YONG (SG)
HAR TANG P (SG)
CHEAH CHEE S (SG)
MA MUN T (SG)
TAN BOON T (SG)
NATHAMINU BALAJI VIGNESH (SG)
CHIGURUPATI SEETHARAM S S (SG)
JEENINGA PIETER (SG)
HO KAT T (SG)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2005/054350
Publication Date:
June 29, 2006
Filing Date:
December 21, 2005
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KONINKL PHILIPS ELECTRONICS NV (NL)
JIANG YONG (SG)
HAR TANG P (SG)
CHEAH CHEE S (SG)
MA MUN T (SG)
TAN BOON T (SG)
NATHAMINU BALAJI VIGNESH (SG)
CHIGURUPATI SEETHARAM S S (SG)
JEENINGA PIETER (SG)
HO KAT T (SG)
International Classes:
D06F75/10; D06F81/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2001089708A22001-11-29
WO2004085732A12004-10-07
WO2003074776A22003-09-12
WO2003029551A12003-04-10
WO2004103127A12004-12-02
WO2003052194A12003-06-26
Foreign References:
US6471752B12002-10-29
EP1319743A22003-06-18
US20030224965A12003-12-04
US5435837A1995-07-25
US20010004051A12001-06-21
US4574503A1986-03-11
EP1233102A12002-08-21
US2661552A1953-12-08
US20050150261A12005-07-14
US4578563A1986-03-25
US6693788B12004-02-17
US6312507B12001-11-06
Other References:
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 014, no. 439 (C-0761), 19 September 1990 (1990-09-19) -& JP 02 172500 A (TOSHIBA CORP), 4 July 1990 (1990-07-04)
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 1995, no. 06, 31 July 1995 (1995-07-31) -& JP 07 059997 A (MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND CO LTD), 7 March 1995 (1995-03-07)
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 2002, no. 06, 4 June 2002 (2002-06-04) -& JP 2002 035491 A (SANYO ELECTRIC CO LTD; TECHNO CLEAN KK), 5 February 2002 (2002-02-05)
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 018, no. 043 (C-1156), 24 January 1994 (1994-01-24) -& JP 05 269299 A (MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND CO LTD), 19 October 1993 (1993-10-19)
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 2003, no. 12, 5 December 2003 (2003-12-05) -& JP 2003 323996 A (OKANO KAZUO), 14 November 2003 (2003-11-14)
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Schouten, Marcus M. (AA Eindhoven, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:
1. A steam ironing device (10) comprising an iron with a sole plate (12), a water reservoir (18) and steam generating means, wherein the ironing device further comprises means (30,32,40) for providing an electrically charged steam output to the article being ironed.
2. A device as claimed in claim 1, provided with heating means for heating the sole plate (12).
3. A device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output comprises an electrode arrangement arranged for charging the steam.
4. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, comprising a steam chamber (22) having steam outlet nozzles (26), and wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output comprises an electrode arrangement (30) within the steam chamber (22).
5. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the electrode arrangement (30) comprises at least two electrodes (30) to which different voltages are applied.
6. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the electrode arrangement comprises at least two electrodes (30) to which a first voltage is applied, and wherein the steam chamber defines a further ground electrode (44).
7. A device as claimed in claim 5 or 6, wherein the at least two electrodes (30) extend into the nozzles (26).
8. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the electrode arrangement comprises two electrodes (30) across which a voltage is applied, and further comprising a wire (31) extending between the electrodes to define two wire/electrode pairs.
9. A device as claimed in claim 8, wherein each wire/electrode pair is provided in a respective steam outlet nozzle.
10. A device as claimed in claim 1, 2 or 3, comprising a steam chamber (22) having steam outlet nozzles (26), and wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output comprises an electrode arrangement (30) provided at the outlet of the nozzles (26).
11. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the means for providing an ionized output provides negative ions.
12. A device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output comprises means for providing an ionized air flow and for mixing the ionized air flow with steam.
13. A device as claimed in claim 12, comprising a steam chamber (22) having outlet nozzles to provide the steam for mixing with the ionized air flow.
14. A device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output further comprises means for providing ionized air.
15. A device as claimed in claim 14, wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output comprises an ac ionizer (56), and the means for providing ionized air comprises a dc ionizer (58).
16. A device as claimed in claim 14, wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output and the means for providing ionized air comprise an ac ionizer with an output having a dc offset.
17. A device as claimed in claim 16, wherein the ac ionizer has a negative voltage dc offset.
18. A device as claimed in claim 14, wherein the means for providing an electrically charged output and the means for providing ionized air comprise an ac ionizer and an acdc converter.
19. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the water reservoir, the steam generating means and the means (30,32,40) for providing an electrically charged steam output to the article being ironed are provided in the iron.
20. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein a heater arrangement (14) is provided for heating the sole plate (12), and the steam chamber (22) is heated by the same heater arrangement (14) as the sole plate (12).
21. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein the water reservoir is external to the iron.
22. A device as claimed in claim 21, wherein the steam generating means is external to the iron.
23. A device as claimed in claim 22, wherein the water reservoir, the steam generating means and the means (30,32,40) for providing an electrically charged steam output to the article being ironed are housed within an ironing board.
24. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein a pump (20) is provided for controlling the flow of water from the water reservoir to the steam generating means.
25. An ironing system comprising a device as claimed in claim 23, and the ironing board.
26. An ironing method comprising applying electrically charged steam to a garment during ironing, the ironing comprising applying pressure to the garment using an iron sole plate.
27. An ironing method as claimed in claim 26, further comprising applying ionized air to the garment during ironing.
28. A steam ironing system comprising: an iron (94) with a sole plate; an ironing board (90); a water reservoir and steam generating means (92); and means for providing an electrically charged steam output to the article being ironed.
29. A steam iron as claimed in claim 28, further comprising means for providing ionized air.
30. A system as claimed in claim 28 or 29, wherein the means for providing an electrically charged steam output to the article being ironed forms part of the board.
31. A steam ironing device (10) comprising an iron with a sole plate ( 12), a water reservoir (18) and steam generating means, wherein the ironing device further comprises means (56) for providing an ionized air flow to the article being ironed.
32. An ironing board device (90) comprising means (92) for providing an ionized air flow to the article being ironed.
33. A device as claimed in claim 31 or 32, wherein the ionized air flow comprises a negative ion air flow, a positive ion air flow or a mixture of negative and positive ion air flows.
34. A steam ironing system comprising an iron with a sole plate (12) and steam generating means for providing a steam output comprising steam droplets, for application to the article being ironed, wherein at least 55% of the steam droplets in the steam output have a droplet size of less than 5 microns.
35. A system as claimed in claim 34, comprising a steam ionization means for providing the droplet size distribution.
36. A steam ironing system as claimed in claim 34 or 35, comprising a steam iron, and wherein the steam generating means forms part of the iron.
37. A steam ironing system as claimed in any one of claims 34 to 36, comprising an iron (94) and an ironing board (90), and wherein the steam generating means (92) forms part of the ironing board.
38. An ironing method comprising applying steam to a garment during ironing, the steam comprising steam droplets, with at least 55% of the steam droplets in the steam output having a droplet size of less than 5 microns.
39. A method as claimed in claim 38, comprising ionizing the steam output to provide the droplet size distribution.
40. An ionizer (60,62,64,68,70,72,74) for providing ac and dc ionization, comprising means for generating an ac voltage waveform, and deriving therefrom a dc waveform.
41. An ionizer as claimed in claim 40, wherein the means for generating an ac voltage waveform generates an ac waveform with a dc offset.
42. An ionizer as claimed in claim 40, comprising an ac to dc converter (80).
43. An air and steam ionizer comprising an ionizer as claimed in any one of claims 40 to 42.
Description:
Steam ironing device, ironing board and ironing system

This invention relates to a steam ironing device, such as a steam iron with integrated water reservoir, a steam ironing system with separate steam boiler or integrated steam ironing system in which a boiler or steam generator is integrated with an ironing board. The invention also relates to an ironing board.

Steam irons are a well-known domestic appliance.

A conventional steam iron comprises a soleplate heated by an electric heating element. The temperature of the soleplate is kept at a desired temperature by means of a thermostat and a temperature dial. Steam is generated by a steam generator, which comprises a water tank, a water-dosing pump, and a steam chamber. The water pump pumps water from the water tank to the steam chamber (as drips rather than a large flow of water) via a hose under command of a pump signal from an electric control device. The rate at which water is supplied dictates the amount of steam being produced, and the amount of steam is sufficiently low that the temperature of the sole plate is not significantly affected.

Instead of a pumped system, water can be dosed to the steam chamber under gravity.

The steam chamber is typically heated by the soleplate, but an auxiliary heating element may instead be provided. The steam from the steam chamber reaches steam vents provided in the base of the sole plate.

The steam produced by steam irons serves to dampen the fabric to be ironed. The application of moisture to a garment during ironing makes the ironing process easier, and reduces the time taken. In particular, the weakness of some fibres increases with the water content, especially cotton, linen, viscose and wool. The application of moisture thus conditions the fabric for subsequent ironing. This ironing process is essentially a relaxation process by which the fibres recover from the plastic deformation caused by wearing of the clothing. An alternative to the application of steam is the use of a cold-water spray or pre- dampening of a garment before ironing.

In the usual steam ironing device the moisturizing of the garment is not optimal under all conditions.

The objective of the invention is to improve the ease and/or the performance of steam ironing.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a steam ironing device comprising an iron with a sole plate for pressing against an article to be ironed, a water reservoir and steam generating means, wherein the ironing device further comprises means for providing an electrically charged steam output to the article being ironed.

Preferably, the electric charging is achieved using an ionization arrangement. It has been found that the ionization process, in particular the high energy electric discharge used for ionization, can break down steam droplets into finer droplets. As a result, a greater proportion of the steam droplets generated can penetrate into the fabric of the garment being ironed.

The ionization also charges the water molecules either positively or negatively, depending on the type of ionizer used.

For example, the ionization process gives a much higher percentage of steam droplets having less than 5 micron diameter than in a normal steam iron output. The finer steam also presents an increased steam droplet surface area, enabling a more rapid dissipation of heat. This allows an increased level of condensation for conditioning the fabric.

The effectiveness of the steam application is therefore significantly improved. The steam output also has increased visibility compared to superheated dry steam, and this assists the operator of the iron.

The means for providing an electrically charged output may also comprise means for providing ionized air. This can be applied directly to the garment or mixed with steam.

The ionized air provides deodorizing and anti-bacterial properties. The means for providing an electrically charged output can comprise a dc ionizer, and the means for providing ionized air can comprise a separate ac ionizer. Alternatively, a single ac ionizer can be used with an output having a dc offset, for example a negative voltage dc offset. Alternatively, an ac ionizer can be used together with an ac-dc converter.

The invention thus also provides a steam ironing device comprising an iron with a sole plate for pressing against an article to be ironed, a water reservoir and steam generating means, wherein the ironing device further comprises means for providing an ionized air flow to the article being ironed. The invention also provides an ironing board comprising means for providing an ionized air flow to the article being ironed.

In each embodiment, the sole plate is preferably heated.

The iron preferably comprises a steam chamber having steam outlet nozzles, and an electrode arrangement is provided within the steam chamber.

For example, the electrode arrangement may comprise at least two electrodes to which different voltages are applied. These then provide a field which induces ionization. The electrode arrangement may instead comprise at least two electrodes to which a first voltage is applied, and the steam chamber can define a further ground electrode. The water molecules in the vicinity of the electrodes are then charged to the same polarity.

For example, substantially only negatively charged water droplets may be provided in the steam output. It has been found that fabric tends to be positively charged, and the generation of negatively charged steam droplets takes advantage of this by allowing electrostatic attraction of the steam droplets to the fabric. This makes the use of the generated steam more efficient.

The at least two electrodes can extend into the nozzles, thereby providing ionization/charging at the steam nozzle outlets.

An electrode arrangement may instead be provided at the nozzles, and external of the steam chamber.

The same heater arrangement may be used for generating the steam as for the sole plate, or else different heating arrangements may be used. In another arrangement, an ionized air flow is provided and is mixed with steam.

A venturi mixing device may be used. The steam may again be provided by a steam chamber, heated by the sole plate heater.

In addition to an iron with all of the components integrated into the iron casing, the invention can be applied to a steam ironing system with separate steam boiler, or to an integrated steam ironing system in which a boiler or steam generator is integrated with an ironing board.

The invention also provides an ironing method comprising applying electrically charged steam to a garment during ironing.

The invention also provides a steam ironing system comprising: an iron with a sole plate for pressing against an article to be ironed; an ironing board; a water reservoir and steam generating means; and means for providing an electrically charged steam output to the article being ironed. According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a steam ironing system comprising an iron with a sole plate for pressing against an article to be ironed and steam generating means for providing a steam output comprising steam droplets, for application to the article being ironed, wherein at least 55% of the steam droplets in the steam output have a droplet size of less than 5 microns. The invention also provides an ionizer for providing ac and dc ionization, comprising means for generating an ac voltage waveform, and deriving therefrom a dc waveform.

Examples of the invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a first example of steam iron in accordance with the invention;

Figure 2 shows in more detail the steam chamber of the iron of Figure 1;

Figure 3 shows a second example of steam iron in accordance with the invention;

Figure 4 shows a third example of steam iron in accordance with the invention;

Figures 5 A and 5B show two versions of a fourth example of steam iron in accordance with the invention; Figure 6 shows a fifth example of steam iron in accordance with the invention;

Figure 7 shows an ionizer of the invention;

Figure 8 shows the output of the ionizer of Figure 7;

Figure 9 shows an alternative design of ionizer; and

Figure 10 shows an ironing system of the invention, in which the steam generation is integrated into an ironing board.

Figure 1 shows a first example of iron in accordance with the invention.

The iron comprises a metal soleplate 12 heated by an electric heating element 14. The temperature of the soleplate is kept at a desired temperature by means of a thermostat and a temperature dial 16. Steam is generated by a steam generator, which comprises a water tank 18, a water-dosing pump 20, and a steam chamber 22. The water pump 20 pumps water from the water tank 18 to the steam chamber 22 via a hose under command of a pump signal from a control processor 24.

In the example shown, the steam chamber 22 is heated by the soleplate 12, but an auxiliary heating element may instead be provided so that the water chamber 18 can be implemented as a separate boiler. The steam from the steam chamber is routed to steam vents 26 in the base of the sole plate.

The iron of the invention is conventional to the extent described above.

In accordance with the invention, the steam iron is provided with means for charging the steam output. In Figure 1, this charging means comprises ionization electrodes 30 powered by an appropriate power source 32, and provided within the steam chamber 22. These electrodes induce high energy electric discharge within the steam formed in the steam chamber.

The ionization process breaks down the steam into finer droplets. As a result, a greater proportion of the steam droplets generated can penetrate into the fabric of the garment being ironed. This provides improved penetration of the droplets into the fabric and also gives an increase in condensation rate.

The ionization process charges the water molecules, and it may also ionize the surrounding air. The resulting charged steam resists formation of large droplets as a result of electric repulsion, both in transit and during deposition, and the droplet size is also more uniform.

The use of ionization has been proposed in various domestic appliance applications, for different reasons, and the use of ionization within a steam iron also provides corresponding subsidiary benefits.

For example, the use of air ionization systems has been proposed in order to provide anti-bacterial and deodorizing properties. Negative ions in particular have been found to posses these properties.

For a steam iron, the use of ionization can therefore also provide deodorizing benefits both for the garment being ironed and for the surrounding air, which is of course in the vicinity of the user of the iron. The combination of air and steam ionization thus

conditions the garment, removes odour, refreshes the garment and the environment around the iron, and prevents mould formation.

The charged steam flow also serves to reduce fabric static electricity.

A further benefit is that ions resulting from the ionization process can be electrostatically attracted to the garment. It has been found that fabric tends to be positively charged (by a process of giving up surface electrons). This tendency to give up surface electrons is dependent on the dampness of the fabric, but in all cases, the generation of negative ions takes advantage of this by allowing electrostatic attraction of the ionized steam to the fabric. The ionization can be achieved in conventional manner. Essentially, a pair of electrodes disposed closely adjacent between which (?)apsi] high frequency alternating field is applied will produce high corona discharge energy. The energy of a high energy corona discharge can reduce droplet size, and the emitters in an ac system will emit positive and negative ions alternately. Alternatively, a dc ionizer may be used and can emit one ion charge only.

Figures 2 to 4 show in more detail possible implementations of the invention. In each case, the sole plate 12 is shown, and the steam chamber 22 is integral with the sole plate and heated by the sole plate heater 14. The water supply to the steam chamber is shown schematically as 38. In Figure 2, the electrodes 30 of the ionizer 40 extend through the steam chamber, with insulating inserts 42 isolating the electrodes 30 from the sole plate metal. Each electrode 30 extends into the nozzle opening 26, and thereby provides charging of the steam exiting the nozzle.

In Figure 3, the electrodes 30 are of the same polarity, and the other electrode is defined by the sole plate itself, which is at ground potential. Thus, one of the output terminals 44 of the ionizer 40 is ground.

In Figure 4, instead of the ionizer electrodes being provided in the steam chamber, they are provided at the nozzle outputs 26.

Further variations are shown in Figures 5A and 5B, in which the ionizer electrodes are again provided at a single output nozzle of the steam chamber (Figure 5A) or at multiple output nozzles (Figure 5B). In Figure 5B, a conductive wire 31 extends between the two electrodes 30 effectively so as to define two pairs of electrodes, each within an output nozzle of the steam chamber. The electrodes spark against the conductive wire adjacent to them.

As mentioned above, the ionization process can provide charged steam droplets and ionized air.

Steam ionization can be achieved most effectively using an ac ionizer. This is because the efficiency of dc ionizers can drop in the presence of moisture around the dc emitter.

For air ionization, a dc ionizer is most commonly used in existing air ionization technology. Negative ions from the ionization of air have been found to have antibacterial and deodorizing properties.

Figure 6 shows a further embodiment of the invention in which an air ionizer is used, for example a dc ionizer. In this example, the air ionizer is remote and independent of the water reservoir. An ionized air ouput 50 is provided from the front of the iron separate to the steam output 52 from the soleplate 54. The direction of emission of the ionized air output can be adjusted, and the interaction of the air ions and the steam molecules on the fiber provides the charged steam output to the device being ironed, which in turn improves steam particle breakdown and moisture absorption, as discussed above.

The steam and air ionization can be achieved with separate ionizers, for example a dc ionizer for the air, to provide a negative ion output, and an ac ionizer for the steam. The outputs to the garment may be separate or they may be together, either at the front of the iron or through the soleplate. Figure 5 shows schematically a dc ionizer 56 for the air and an ac ionizer 58 for the steam.

In a further embodiment, an ionizer is provided which operates effectively both for air and steam ionization.

Figure 7 shows an ionizer of the invention. The live and neutral mains input is provided to terminals 60, and a variable resistor 62 provides gain control. A step up transformer 64 provides the high voltage ac output required for ionization. The transistor 66 and capacitor 68 function as a charging and discharging circuit.

A voltage control unit 70 provides a dc imbalance to the waveform at the output of the transformer, for example a negative dc imbalance, as shown in Figure 8 (where voltage Y is greater than voltage X). The pair of electrodes 72 functions as an ac ionizer, whereas the single electrode 74 functions as a dc emitter.

An alternative is to derive a dc ionization voltage from the ac ionization output using an ac-dc converter 80 as shown in Figure 9. In this case, the voltage control unit does not need to provide any dc imbalance, and the dc ionizer function is provided by a pair of electrodes 82. The circuit of Figure 9 is otherwise the same as the circuit of Figure 7.

In the examples above, the steam chamber content or output flows past the ionizer electrodes. Instead, the steam chamber output can be mixed with ionized air. The Venturi effect can be used to provide passive mixing of the steam with a source of ionized air. In the examples above, the steam chamber is heated by the sole plate. It is equally possible for a separately powered steam generator to enable completely independent control of the sole plate heating function and the steam generation iunction.

As mentioned above, ionization can be induced by an alternating current field or a direct current field. A large negative voltage applied to the electrodes can provide the generation of negative ions, which are associated with the deodorizing properties and reduction in particulate impurities. The implementation of the ionizing function, in particular the required electrode designs and voltage drive schemes, will be routine to those skilled in the art.

There may be additional functions implemented by the processor 24, but these additional functions are not relevant to this invention, and for this reason, only an overview of the operation of the steam iron has been given. The invention can be applied to all types of known steam irons, and accordingly many different variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

The detailed examples given all relate to a steam iron in which the water reservoir and steam generation is internal to the iron. There are other types of ironing device to which the invention can be applied, and which are intended to be within the scope of this application.

Steam ironing "systems" are known, in which a separate external steam boiler is provided. This boiler can be mounted on a stand, and steam is supplied from the boiler to the iron by a connecting steam hose. The steam hose can also provide the electric power lines to the iron. In this case, the ionization can be provided in the iron itself or in the external boiler. The boiler in the stand may have a separate water reservoir for feeding water to the boiler as needed. Instead of an external boiler, the steam generation may be in the iron, and only an external water reservoir is provided in the iron stand. In this case, a pump feeds the water from the water reservoir into the iron, and the water hose can again provide the electric power lines to the iron.

Ironing systems are also known in which the external boiler or steam generator is integrated with an ironing board. The ironing board may be provided with additional functions, such as heating for the board and a fan.

Figure 10 shows an ironing system comprising a board 90 which is provided with the ionized steam generation system 92 and an iron 94. The steam generation system can deliver steam to the iron for subsequent application to the article being ironed, or else the steam generation system 92 can apply the steam directly to the article being ironed. The water supply to the steam chamber can be pumped or under gravity.

In Figure 10, the system 92 may be for providing only the ionized air output (for garment treatment during ironing). In this case, the iron may be conventional, or else it may provide an ionized/charged steam output in the manner explained above.

In the examples above, the iron sole plate is heated. However, it is possible for the heating to be carried out separately (including heating by means of the applied steam), and the iron sole plate is then purely for pressing.

The examples above each use an ionization arrangement to charge the steam output and also to provide finer steam droplets.

A steam output with fine droplets can provide the advantages as outlined above without needing the droplets to be charged. The invention therefore also provides a steam ironing device in which at least 40% of the steam droplets in the steam output provided to the garment during ironing have a droplet size of less than 10 microns.

More preferably, at least 50% of the steam droplets have a diameter of less than 10 microns. In further preferred examples, at least 40% of the steam droplets in the steam output provided to the garment during ironing have a droplet size of less than 7 microns, and more preferably, at least 50% of the steam droplets have a diameter of less than 7 microns.

In further preferred examples, at least 40% of the steam droplets in the steam output provided to the garment during ironing have a droplet size of less than 5 microns, and more preferably, at least 50% of the steam droplets have a diameter of less than 5 microns. For example 50%-75%, or 55%-65% of the steam droplets have a diameter of less than 5 microns.

By providing a more uniform and small size droplet spread, the ironing performance is improved. These droplet sizes can be achieved using the ionization process, but other processes are possible, for example using a mechanical arrangement or an ultrasound arrangement. The steam nozzle designs and layout can also be optimised for a particular desired droplet size.

The air ionization is an ozone generation process, and the ozone level can be adjusted according to the odour of the fabric being treated.

Some of the benefits of the invention can be obtained with only an ionized air output from the iron, and with a conventional steam output. Some aspects of the invention are therefore not limited to steam irons with electrically charged steam output, but also relate to the use of an ionized air output, namely a conventional iron with the ionizer 56 to produce the output 50 shown in Figure 6.

Although the dc process preferably produces negative ions, it may instead be selected to produce positive ions. Various other modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art.




 
Previous Patent: STEAM IRONING DEVICE

Next Patent: DEVICE FOR GENERATING STEAM