GB2136291A - Warm air drying apparatus - Google Patents

Warm air drying apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2136291A
GB2136291A GB08304780A GB8304780A GB2136291A GB 2136291 A GB2136291 A GB 2136291A GB 08304780 A GB08304780 A GB 08304780A GB 8304780 A GB8304780 A GB 8304780A GB 2136291 A GB2136291 A GB 2136291A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
warm air
drying apparatus
position
apparatus according
air drying
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB08304780A
Other versions
GB2136291B (en
GB8304780D0 (en
Inventor
Terence Hynes
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Smiths Group PLC
Original Assignee
Smiths Group PLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Smiths Group PLC filed Critical Smiths Group PLC
Priority to GB08304780A priority Critical patent/GB2136291B/en
Publication of GB8304780D0 publication Critical patent/GB8304780D0/en
Publication of GB2136291A publication Critical patent/GB2136291A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2136291B publication Critical patent/GB2136291B/en
Application status is Expired legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47KSANITARY EQUIPMENT NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; TOILET ACCESSORIES
    • A47K10/00Body-drying implements; Toilet paper; Holders therefor
    • A47K10/48Drying by means of hot air

Abstract

In a warm air drying apparatus for drying parts of the body, an airflow directing flap (14) is movable manually between two positions to direct a warm air flow produced by a fan and heater combination through respective outlets in order to dry the hands and face of a user and a sensor (25) is arranged to detect movement of the flap from one to the other of its positions and to cause energisation of the fan and heater as a result of such movement. The sensor may also serve to detect proximity of, for example, a user's hand with the flap in its one position and control energisation of the fan and heater accordingly. <IMAGE>

Description

SPECIFICATION Warm air drying apparatus This invention relates to warm air drying apparatus for drying parts of the body, and is especially concerned with warm air drying apparatus suitable for drying the hands and face of a person.

In a known form of hand drying apparatus there is provided an outlet air flow director in the form of a nozzle or flap which can be moved manually from a first position in which it directs a flow of warm air issuing from the apparatus generally downwardly over a user's hands to second position in which it directs the flow of warm air generally upwardly in order to dry a user's face.

The warm air flow generating means comprises a blower and heater. It has been usual in such a hand drying apparatus to control energisation of the blower and heater by way of an electric switch mounted on the apparatus which is operable manually by a user and which serves to control, through an associated timer device, energisation of the blower and heater for a predetermined duration.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved warm air hand and face drying apparatus of the aforementioned kind having a moveable air flow director.

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a warm air drying apparatus for drying parts of the body having means for producing a flow of warm air, an air flow director that is moveable between first and second positions in which the air flow is directed in first and second directions respectively, and sensing means for sensing movement of the air flow director from its first position to its second position and operating the means for producing the flow of warm air in accordance therewith.

The sensing means is preferably also arranged to sense the proximity of a user to the apparatus when the air flow director is in its first position and to operate the means for producing the warm air flow in accordance therewith. More especially, the sensing means may be arranged to sense the presence of a user in proximity to an outlet of the apparatus through which the flow of warm air is issued in the first direction.

The sensing means preferably emits a directional beam and operates the means for producing the warm airflow in response to, for example, a user's hand positioned in the path of, and interrupting, the beam.

The sensor is preferably disposed within the apparatus such that when the air flow director is moved from its first to its second position, a part carried with the director extends into, and interrupts, the beam.

The beam may be an infra-red or ultrasonic beam.

The air flow director is preferably biassed, for example by a spring, towards its first position. The director may comprise a flap pivotally mounted on a housing of the apparatus which defines, together with respective parts of the housing, first and second outlets respectively for directing the flow of warm air in the first and second directions.

Various warm air hand and face drying apparatus in accordance with the present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus; and Figures 2 and 3 are schematic,, cross-sectional views of a part of the apparatus showing an air flow director flap thereof in first position and second positions respectively.

Referring to Figure 1 , the warm air hand and face drying apparatus generally includes a housing 10 which contains, for example, an electric motor driven centrifugal blower and an electrical resistance heating element (not shown) that are energisable to produce a flow of warm air for drying purposes. Ambient air is.sucked in through an inlet 11 in the base of the housing 10 and warm air is delivered through a duct leading from the blower scroll and discharged from an outlet region 12 of the housing 10 where it can be used to effect drying of a user's hands or face.

Referring now also to Figures 2 and 3, a director flap 14 is positioned in the outlet region 12 of housing 10 and is manually movable between a first position, as shown in Figure 2, and a second position, as shown in Figure 3. In its first position, the director flap 14 serves to direct the flow of warm air produced by the blower and heater, indicated by the arrow A, generally downwardly through a rectangular outlet 1 5 defined by a lower edge of the flap 14 and a portion 1 6 of the housing to a region adjacent to, and beneath, the apparatus where a user positions his hands in order to dry them. In its second position, the director flap 14 serves to direct the flow of warm air A generally upwardly through a second rectangular outlet 1 8 defined by the upper edge of the flap 14 and a portion 1 9 of the housing 10 so as to effect drying of a user's face.

The director flap 1 4 comprises a plastics member having a flat-sided central part 20 with upstanding walls 21 at either end, only one of which is visible in the drawings, which are pivotally mounted on the housing 10 about a horizontal axis 22 so as to enable the flap 14 to be moved pivotally between its first and second positions.

A helical spring 23 is connected between the flap 14 and the housing 10 to bias the flap 14 towards its first position in which the outlet 1 5 is defined and the upper edge of the flap 14 abuts the portion 1 9 of the housing. Manual pressure on the flap 14 by a user causes the flap 14 to pivot against the action of the spring 23 to its second position in which the outlet 18 is defined and the outlet 1 5 disappears.

A sensor 25 is disposed in the housing 10 which, together with an associated control circuit, controls energisation of the blower and heater.

The sensor 25 is positioned over the region 12 and produces a beam, referenced at 26, of infrared radiation which is directed downwardly through the outlet 1 5 when the flap 14 is in its first position. The sensor is of a kind which is responsive to reflection of its transmitted beam and in this respect includes in addition to a transmitter element, a receiver element for detecting a portion of its beam reflected by an object in the beam's path. Thus when a user positions his hand adjacent the outlet 1 5 the beam 26 is interrupted by his hand and a portion of the beam 26 is reflected back to the sensor 25 whereupon the sensor responds to provide a control signal to its associated control circuit to effect energisation of the blower and heater.The control circuit may operate to energise the blower and heater for as long as such a signal is generated by the sensor 25 or alternatively may maintain energisation for a predetermined duration.

Should a user wish to dry his face, he would depress the flap 14 to pivot the flap to its second position to open the face drying outlet 18. In so doing, a part of the flap 14 is moved into the path of the beam 26 transmitted by the sensor 25 thereby interrupting the beam and reflecting a portion of the beam back to the sensor which responds in the aforementioned manner to initiate energisation of the blower and heater.

When the user has finished drying his face, he releases the flap 14 which is then returned automatically to its first position under the action of the spring 23 and out of the path of the beam 26, thus de-energising the blower and motor.

The sensor 25 has a limited range, being responsive only to objects in proximity to the apparatus, and will not therefore respond to reflections of its beam from objects, for example a floor, further away.

The sensor 25 may alternatively be of an ultrasonic type.

Furthermore, the sensor need not be of the reflective type described but may alternatively be of the kind, for example photoelectric, having separate and remotely positioned transmitter and receiver elements. In this case one of the two elements would be mounted in a position corresponding to that of the sensor 25 and the other element mounted beneath the outlet 15, possibly on a part of the housing, whereupon the positioning of a hand adjacent the outlet 1 5 or movement of the flap 14 to its second position would break the beam between the two elements thus triggering the control circuit to initiate energisation of the blower and heater.

Although it is particularly convenient to use the same sensor for detecting both the presence of a user's hand adjacent the outlet 1 5 and the movement of the flap 14 to its second position, in another embodiment of the invention (not shown) a sensor generally similar to the sensor 25 is used to detect the presence of a user's hand in proximity to the outlet 1 5 and a separate sensor provided for detecting movement of the flap 14 from its first to its second position. The hand detecting sensor is positioned away from the path of travel of the flap 14, for example on the exterior of the housing 10 so that its operation is not interfered with by the flap 14. The second sensor may comprise a beam type sensor similar to the above described sensor 25 or may instead be an electrical switch actuated by the flap 14 or a part moved with the flap 14, when pivoted to its second position. The operation of this second embodiment would be the same as with the first embodiment, that is, energisation of the blower and heater being initiated by either a hand piaced adjacent the outlet 15 or movement of the flap 14 to its second position.

Claims (9)

1. A warm air drying apparatus for drying parts of the body having means for producing a flow of warm air, an air flow director that is movable between first and second positions in which the air flow is directed in first and second directions respectively, and sensing means for sensing movement of the air flow director from its first position to its second position and operating the means for producing the flow of warm air in accordance therewith.
2. A warm air drying apparatus according to Claim 1, wherein said sensing means is arranged to sense proximity of a user to the apparatus when the air flow director is in its first position and to operate the means for producing the warm air flow in accordance therewith.
3. A warm air drying apparatus according to Claim 2, wherein said sensing means is arranged to sense the presence of a user in proximity to an outlet of the apparatus through which the flow of warm air is issued in the first direction.
4. A warm air drying apparatus according to Claim 2 or Claim 3, wherein said sensing means is of a kind which emits a directional beam and operates the warm air flow producing means in response to an object positioned in the path of said bearn.
5. A warm air drying apparatus according to Claim 4, wherein said sensing means is disposed within the apparatus such that when the air flow director is moved from its first to its second position, a part carried with the director extends into said beam.
6. A warm air drying apparatus according to Claim 4 or Claim 5, wherein said beam comprises an infra-red beam.
7. A warm air drying apparatus according to Claim 4 or Claim 5, wherein said beam comprises an ultrasonic beam.
8. A warm air drying apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said air flow director is biased towards its first position.
9. A warm air drying apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said air flow director comprises a flap pivotally mounted on a housing of the apparatus which defines, together with respective parts of the housing, first and second outlets for directing respectively the flow of warm air in the first and second directions.
1 0. A warm air drying apparatus substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
GB08304780A 1983-02-21 1983-02-21 Warm air drying apparatus Expired GB2136291B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB08304780A GB2136291B (en) 1983-02-21 1983-02-21 Warm air drying apparatus

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB08304780A GB2136291B (en) 1983-02-21 1983-02-21 Warm air drying apparatus

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB8304780D0 GB8304780D0 (en) 1983-03-23
GB2136291A true GB2136291A (en) 1984-09-19
GB2136291B GB2136291B (en) 1986-05-08

Family

ID=10538347

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB08304780A Expired GB2136291B (en) 1983-02-21 1983-02-21 Warm air drying apparatus

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (1) GB2136291B (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2196843A (en) * 1986-11-06 1988-05-11 Formula Systems Ltd Drying apparatus
US4876435A (en) * 1988-01-13 1989-10-24 Hawkins F Jr Sanitary hand dryer
US4937432A (en) * 1988-02-04 1990-06-26 Mo-El S.R.L. Apparatus to deliver hot air
GB2450308A (en) * 2007-02-13 2008-12-24 Get Plc Fan heater
US7946055B2 (en) * 2005-07-30 2011-05-24 Dyson Technology Limited Dryer

Families Citing this family (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2428569B (en) 2005-07-30 2009-04-29 Dyson Technology Ltd Dryer
GB0515754D0 (en) 2005-07-30 2005-09-07 Dyson Technology Ltd Drying apparatus
GB0515749D0 (en) 2005-07-30 2005-09-07 Dyson Technology Ltd Drying apparatus
GB0515750D0 (en) 2005-07-30 2005-09-07 Dyson Technology Ltd Drying apparatus
GB2434094A (en) 2006-01-12 2007-07-18 Dyson Technology Ltd Drying apparatus with sound-absorbing material

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2196843A (en) * 1986-11-06 1988-05-11 Formula Systems Ltd Drying apparatus
WO1988003381A1 (en) * 1986-11-06 1988-05-19 Formula Systems Limited Drying apparatus
US4876435A (en) * 1988-01-13 1989-10-24 Hawkins F Jr Sanitary hand dryer
US4937432A (en) * 1988-02-04 1990-06-26 Mo-El S.R.L. Apparatus to deliver hot air
US7946055B2 (en) * 2005-07-30 2011-05-24 Dyson Technology Limited Dryer
GB2450308A (en) * 2007-02-13 2008-12-24 Get Plc Fan heater

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB2136291B (en) 1986-05-08
GB8304780D0 (en) 1983-03-23

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Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
732E Amendments to the register in respect of changes of name or changes affecting rights (sect. 32/1977)
PE20 Patent expired after termination of 20 years

Effective date: 20030220