US20060218825A1 - Inflatable rack for drying heat-sensitive items - Google Patents

Inflatable rack for drying heat-sensitive items Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060218825A1
US20060218825A1 US11/093,441 US9344105A US2006218825A1 US 20060218825 A1 US20060218825 A1 US 20060218825A1 US 9344105 A US9344105 A US 9344105A US 2006218825 A1 US2006218825 A1 US 2006218825A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
rack
frame
inflatable
liner
net
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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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/093,441
Inventor
Donna Steams
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Donna Steams
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.)
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Publication date
Application filed by Donna Steams filed Critical Donna Steams
Priority to US11/093,441 priority Critical patent/US20060218825A1/en
Publication of US20060218825A1 publication Critical patent/US20060218825A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F57/00Supporting means, other than simple clothes-lines, for linen or garments to be dried or aired

Abstract

A rack, adapted for drying heat-sensitive items such as textiles 14 or photographic materials, is made collapsible by providing an inflatable peripheral frame 10 which is secured to a peripheral edge of a netting 12, the netting being pulled taut when the frame is inflated. An impermeable liner 36 is also coupled to an interior edge of the frame 10, in order to collect any water or other liquid which drips through the netting or otherwise passes from the item to be dried. A drain 38 can be provided in the liner, to facilitate removal of collected liquid without having to move the rack. After deflation, the entire unit can be rolled into a cylinder for easy storage.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to air drying of heat-sensitive items such as clothing or photographic prints and, more particularly, to a space-conserving rack for this purpose which can be deflated prior to use, and deflated for storage purposes when not in use.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Many valuable fabrics such as woolens tend to shrink if subjected to the high temperatures of a tumble dryer. Photographic prints tend to curl if subjected to heat. Therefore, clothing manufacturers often caution consumers to wash the item in cool or room-temperature water and allow the item to drip-dry, preferably on a flat surface which is horizontal or slightly inclined. However, conventional racks for drip-drying clothing often are bulky and difficult to store. Furthermore, most have no receptacle to catch water which drips or runs off the rack, so the rack can only be used above a bathtub or sink, which interferes with use of that space for other purposes.
  • In order to overcome these disadvantages, the rack of the present invention has an inflatable frame which supports a net for supporting the textile item, and a flexible, impermeable liner, beneath the net, for catching water coming from the net. In a refinement of this structure, the liner is formed with at least one low spot, so that a gravitational gradient is created, tending to make water collect in the low spot, and with a drain plug in, or adjacent to, the low spot so that the consumer can empty collected water, prior to moving or collapsing the rack, without any danger of spilling the water during such operations.
  • According to another advantageous refinement, the frame has a rectangular shape and is equipped at each corner with a radially extending strap having a grommet at a free end. These straps and grommets permit hanging of the rack in a warm place, for example in a basement near a furnace, or staking it outdoors, where solar radiation or wind would speed up drying.
  • BRIEF FIGURE DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rack of the present invention, showing a garment to be dried, placed on the rack;
  • FIG. 2 is another perspective view, partly in section, of the rack of FIG. 1, in an inflated state, showing the internal structure of the invention; and
  • FIG. 3 shows a transverse section, looking parallel to major axes of the left and right sides of the rack.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an inflatable peripheral frame 10 which supports a central lattice or net 12, preferably planar, for supporting a garment or similar item 14 while it dries. The material of the net is preferably nylon or another non-water-absorbing material which withstands repeated wetting without degradation. Alternatively, the net could be made of a material which does absorb water and thereby assists the drying process, but is discarded and replaced after use, much as a razor blade or fabric softener sheet is discarded and replaced. In the embodiment shown, the frame is rectangular, but it could also be round, oval, polygonal, or some other geometric shape, depending upon the shape of the item or items to be dried. The material of the frame is preferably a flexible plastic, such as polyethylene or polypropylene. As shown, frame 10 has a left side 16, right side 18, top side 20 and bottom side 22. Preferably, a respective strap 24, 26, 28 and 30 extends radially from each corner of rectangular frame 10. Each strap is formed, adjacent its free end, with a grommet 32 for attachment of a rope, clothespin, stake or other securing element. This makes it possible to stake the rack outside, for example on a grassy lawn during sunny weather, or to suspend it horizontally indoors by ropes or on prongs of a wire stand (not shown). In case of wind, after placement onto the net of the item to be dried, a pair of diagonal cords (not shown) could be applied across the item to be dried, to keep it from blowing away. Alternatively, one could secure the item to the net by clips or clothes-pins, or could apply a second net over the item to be dried, sandwiching it in place.
  • The rack is preferably equipped, for inflation purposes, with any suitable inflation stem 34, such as those used in air mattresses and inflatable toys. Typically, such inflation stems contain a one-way valve so that they accept air blown into the device, but do not permit release of air, unless one squeezes the sides of the stem. Thus, when one needs to dry an item, one inflates the frame, places the item to be dried on the netting, waits until the item has dried, removes the dry item, and deflates the rack, so that it can be easily stored until it is needed again.
  • The cross-sectional view of FIG. 2 illustrates other advantageous features of the invention. When frame 10 is fully inflated, netting 12 is drawn taut, so that it assumes a generally planar configuration. Beneath netting 12, an impermeable liner 36 of plastic sheeting, or the like, is secured to along its edges to inflatable frame 10, for example, by heat-sealing. Alternatively, liner 36 could be removably secured to the frame, for example by snaps or by a peripheral zipper. Liner 36 has more slack, when frame 10 is fully inflated, than does netting 12, so that gravity causes liner 36 to assume a trough shape, which in turn creates a gravitational gradient, for any liquid which passes from the item 14 to be dried through the netting 12, tending to make that liquid run radially inward, from the edges of frame 10 toward a central collection point or region. Thus, when one has finished drying an item, and has removed the item from the rack, one can dispose of collected water by carrying the rack, in a horizontal orientation, to a bathtub or other place where the collected water can be conveniently discarded. Alternatively, one can provide a drain 38 in liner 36, preferably adjacent a gravitational low point, so that, when the drain is opened, one can remove the liquid before one moves the rack. The drain preferably can be opened and closed, such as by pivoting a spout, or by inserting and removing a plug. After deflation, the entire unit can be rolled into a cylinder.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates the trough shape of liner 36 beneath netting 12. Drain 38 is preferably placed at a low point, to facilitate removal of any collected liquid from the liner.
  • Various changes and modifications are possible within the scope of the inventive concept. Therefore, the invention is not limited to the preferred embodiment shown and described above, but rather is defined by the following claims.

Claims (11)

1. An inflatable and collapsible rack for drying heat-sensitive items, comprising:
a flexible net (12) adapted to support an item, to be dried, in an essentially planar orientation;
a frame (10) secured to a peripheral edge of said net and adapted to inflate and to thereby pull said net taut; and
a flexible impermeable liner (36) coupled to said frame beneath said net, in order to collect any liquid passing from the item to be dried.
2. The inflatable rack of claim 1, wherein a peripheral edge of said liner (36) is sealed to said frame (10).
3. The inflatable rack of claim 1, wherein a peripheral edge of said liner (36) is releasably secured to said frame.
4. The inflatable rack of claim 1, further comprising an inflation stem (34) formed on said frame (10) and containing a valve, to enable inflation of said rack for use and deflation of said rack for storage reasons.
5. The inflatable rack of claim 1, wherein said net (12) comprises a non-water-absorbing material.
6. The inflatable rack of claim 1, wherein
said non-water-absorbing material is nylon.
7. The inflatable rack of claim 1, wherein said frame has the shape of a polygon, with a radially extending strap (24-30) at each corner or vertex.
8. The inflatable rack of claim 1, wherein each strap is formed with a grommet (32) for holding said rack in a desired location.
9. The inflatable rack of claim 1, further comprising a drain (38) provided in said liner (36) to facilitate removal of any liquid collected in said liner.
10. The inflatable rack of claim 1, further comprising means for immobilizing said item on said netting (12) while drying, regardless of ambient wind conditions.
11. The inflatable rack of claim 1, wherein said peripheral edge of said liner is coupled to said frame near where said net (12) meets said frame (10) and said liner is dimensioned with slack, so that a gravitational gradient is formed, tending to cause any liquid received to collect at a central location on said liner.
US11/093,441 2005-03-29 2005-03-29 Inflatable rack for drying heat-sensitive items Abandoned US20060218825A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/093,441 US20060218825A1 (en) 2005-03-29 2005-03-29 Inflatable rack for drying heat-sensitive items

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/093,441 US20060218825A1 (en) 2005-03-29 2005-03-29 Inflatable rack for drying heat-sensitive items

Publications (1)

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US20060218825A1 true US20060218825A1 (en) 2006-10-05

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US11/093,441 Abandoned US20060218825A1 (en) 2005-03-29 2005-03-29 Inflatable rack for drying heat-sensitive items

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN102845825A (en) * 2011-08-08 2013-01-02 南通天华和睿科技创业有限公司 Tobacco airing support

Citations (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2473047A (en) * 1944-08-17 1949-06-14 Bershad Israel Portable clothes drier
US2714978A (en) * 1953-12-14 1955-08-09 Lynne A Smith Device for drying sweaters
US3487557A (en) * 1968-02-05 1970-01-06 Lorraine A Linstead Sweater drier
US3572266A (en) * 1969-07-29 1971-03-23 Farah Mfg Co Inc Control device for reece pocket welting machine
US3572260A (en) * 1969-01-14 1971-03-23 Ironees Co Garment drying apparatus
US3675338A (en) * 1970-08-31 1972-07-11 John O Maki Drip dryer for drip dry clothing
US4538365A (en) * 1984-07-27 1985-09-03 Aho Martin P Horizontal drip dryer
US4677764A (en) * 1985-02-11 1987-07-07 Cerny Gene L Apparel drying tray
US4697357A (en) * 1984-01-30 1987-10-06 Art Van Vliet Garment-drying netting platform
US4777737A (en) * 1987-05-11 1988-10-18 John Wolens Apparatus for drying garments
US4862602A (en) * 1986-12-23 1989-09-05 Krill John J Drying frame
US4959911A (en) * 1987-05-11 1990-10-02 John Wolens Apparatus for drying garments
USD315432S (en) * 1988-04-29 1991-03-12 J. H. Smith Co., Inc. Sweater dryer
US5372266A (en) * 1993-09-02 1994-12-13 Fisher; Daniel R. Collapsible clothes dryer
US5555648A (en) * 1995-09-12 1996-09-17 Griffin; Robert D. Portable device for drying and removing wrinkles from clothing
US5669858A (en) * 1993-10-12 1997-09-23 Blair; Rodney Lee Portable inflatable structure
US5865693A (en) * 1998-01-08 1999-02-02 Johnson; Dean A. Inflatable soccer goal
US5992045A (en) * 1998-03-06 1999-11-30 Bajer Design & Marketing, Inc. Collapsible drying apparatus and method for forming and collapsing said apparatus
US6960181B2 (en) * 2002-10-22 2005-11-01 Carol J. Stevens Irrigation dressing with a tubular dam

Patent Citations (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2473047A (en) * 1944-08-17 1949-06-14 Bershad Israel Portable clothes drier
US2714978A (en) * 1953-12-14 1955-08-09 Lynne A Smith Device for drying sweaters
US3487557A (en) * 1968-02-05 1970-01-06 Lorraine A Linstead Sweater drier
US3572260A (en) * 1969-01-14 1971-03-23 Ironees Co Garment drying apparatus
US3572266A (en) * 1969-07-29 1971-03-23 Farah Mfg Co Inc Control device for reece pocket welting machine
US3675338A (en) * 1970-08-31 1972-07-11 John O Maki Drip dryer for drip dry clothing
US4697357A (en) * 1984-01-30 1987-10-06 Art Van Vliet Garment-drying netting platform
US4538365A (en) * 1984-07-27 1985-09-03 Aho Martin P Horizontal drip dryer
US4677764A (en) * 1985-02-11 1987-07-07 Cerny Gene L Apparel drying tray
US4862602A (en) * 1986-12-23 1989-09-05 Krill John J Drying frame
US4959911A (en) * 1987-05-11 1990-10-02 John Wolens Apparatus for drying garments
US4777737A (en) * 1987-05-11 1988-10-18 John Wolens Apparatus for drying garments
USD315432S (en) * 1988-04-29 1991-03-12 J. H. Smith Co., Inc. Sweater dryer
US5372266A (en) * 1993-09-02 1994-12-13 Fisher; Daniel R. Collapsible clothes dryer
US5669858A (en) * 1993-10-12 1997-09-23 Blair; Rodney Lee Portable inflatable structure
US5555648A (en) * 1995-09-12 1996-09-17 Griffin; Robert D. Portable device for drying and removing wrinkles from clothing
US5865693A (en) * 1998-01-08 1999-02-02 Johnson; Dean A. Inflatable soccer goal
US5992045A (en) * 1998-03-06 1999-11-30 Bajer Design & Marketing, Inc. Collapsible drying apparatus and method for forming and collapsing said apparatus
US6960181B2 (en) * 2002-10-22 2005-11-01 Carol J. Stevens Irrigation dressing with a tubular dam

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN102845825A (en) * 2011-08-08 2013-01-02 南通天华和睿科技创业有限公司 Tobacco airing support

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