US20060242758A1 - Disposable personal spa apparatus - Google Patents

Disposable personal spa apparatus Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20060242758A1
US20060242758A1 US11/117,903 US11790305A US2006242758A1 US 20060242758 A1 US20060242758 A1 US 20060242758A1 US 11790305 A US11790305 A US 11790305A US 2006242758 A1 US2006242758 A1 US 2006242758A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
liquid
delivery apparatus
apparatus
disposable
channel
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/117,903
Inventor
Gregory Hall
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.)
Kimberly Clark Worldwide Inc
Original Assignee
Kimberly Clark Worldwide Inc
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 Kimberly Clark Worldwide Inc filed Critical Kimberly Clark Worldwide Inc
Priority to US11/117,903 priority Critical patent/US20060242758A1/en
Assigned to KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. reassignment KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HALL, GREGORY K.
Publication of US20060242758A1 publication Critical patent/US20060242758A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47KSANITARY EQUIPMENT NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; TOILET ACCESSORIES
    • A47K3/00Baths; Douches; Appurtenances therefor
    • A47K3/28Showers or bathing douches
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03CDOMESTIC PLUMBING INSTALLATIONS FOR FRESH WATER OR WASTE WATER; SINKS
    • E03C1/00Domestic plumbing installations for fresh water or waste water; Sinks
    • E03C1/02Plumbing installations for fresh water
    • E03C1/04Water-basin installations specially adapted to wash-basins or baths
    • E03C1/0408Water installations especially for showers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61HPHYSICAL THERAPY APPARATUS, e.g. DEVICES FOR LOCATING OR STIMULATING REFLEX POINTS IN THE BODY; ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION; MASSAGE; BATHING DEVICES FOR SPECIAL THERAPEUTIC OR HYGIENIC PURPOSES OR SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE BODY
    • A61H9/00Pneumatic or hydraulic massage
    • A61H9/0021Hydraulic massage
    • A61H2009/0035Hydraulic massage with cabin for the whole body

Abstract

A disposable spa apparatus has a flexible laminate from which liquid such as water may be emitted. The laminate is bonded to form channels, and may be connected to a pre-pressurized liquid supply. The apparatus may be used in the shower or bath, and may have a dispenser for dispensing additives into the liquid before it is emitted from the apparatus.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a spa apparatus, and more particularly, the present invention relates to a portable, disposable spa apparatus that may be used to spray the body with water in the tub or shower.
  • Using a shower or bath having a spray of water emitted from a relatively large surface area is relaxing and pleasurable. In more recent years, it has become popular to install multiple shower heads and shower spray spas in the home, for example products available from Kohler Co. such as the KOHLER BodySpa products. Considering the cost of the apparatus and the need for plumbing work, this activity can be cost prohibitive for some, especially if more than one bathroom is fitted with such plumbing. Further, persons that live in rented housing may find it difficult to install and use spa apparatuses that require special plumbing.
  • Several attempts at portable and more affordable spa apparatuses have been made that may alleviate the inconvenience and cost of installing multiple shower heads or spray units. One such apparatus is a rigid pad that has channels with orifices for spraying water outwardly from one surface of the pad. Water is supplied from a hose connected to a residential water supply. Another such apparatus is a flexible pad that is permanently attached to a pump housing. The pad has orifices for spraying water outwardly from a pad surface. The pump further pressurizes water supplied to the apparatus from a residential water supply.
  • However, such attempts have not been completely satisfactory. Both apparatuses are meant to be used for an extended period of time, and possibly stored between uses. Each such spa apparatus is used in a moist environment and the interior surfaces of the water channels may not be accessible without disassembling and possibly destroying the apparatus. Storing used spa apparatuses that may not or cannot completely dry invites mold and bacteria overgrowth. Therefore, unless the user is willing to be inconvenienced by cleaning these portable apparatuses, what initially may be a pleasurable bathing experience may turn into a concerning and unhealthy experience if mold or bacteria is being transferred to the body and the bath environment.
  • Accordingly, despite the attempts to develop portable shower spas, there remains a need for an apparatus that can provide a spray of water in the tub or shower without the need for extensive cleaning of the apparatus. Moreover, there remains a need for an affordable spa apparatus.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In response to the difficulties and problems discussed above, a new shower spa apparatus has been discovered. In one aspect, the present invention concerns a disposable liquid delivery apparatus that uses water from pre-pressurized liquid supply. The apparatus includes a laminate made from a flexible back sheet of liquid impervious material that is bonded to a flexible front sheet of liquid impervious material to form at least one channel. The flexible front sheet defines a body-facing surface and the flexible back sheet defines a rear surface. The front sheet further defines a plurality of apertures therethrough in communication with the at least one channel. A node is attached to the laminate so that it is in liquid communication with at least one channel, allowing liquid to flow into the node and exit from the plurality of apertures.
  • In another aspect, the present invention concerns a personal hygiene kit for delivering liquid to a body for the purpose of bathing. The kit may include a disposable liquid delivery apparatus. The apparatus is made from a laminate formed by a flexible back sheet of liquid impervious material bonded to a flexible front sheet of liquid impervious material. The bond forms at least one channel in the laminate. The flexible front sheet has a thickness of 0.01 to 0.5 mm and defines a body-facing surface. The front sheet defines a plurality of apertures therethrough in communication with the at least one channel. The flexible back sheet defines a rear surface. A node is attached to the laminate so that it is in liquid communication with one or more channel, allowing liquid to flow into the node and exit from the plurality of aperture. A liquid supply hose is adapted for connecting the node to the liquid supply. Further at least one securement member is adapted for selectively attaching the disposable liquid delivery apparatus to a fixed structure.
  • In yet another aspect, the present invention concerns a disposable liquid delivery apparatus that can receive a supply of pre-pressurized liquid. The apparatus includes a laminate with a flexible back sheet of liquid impervious material that is bonded to a flexible front sheet of liquid impervious material to form at least one channel. The flexible back sheet and the flexible front sheet each have a thickness of about 0.02 mm to about 0.3 mm, and a basis weight of about 20 gsm to about 300 gsm. The flexible front sheet defines a body-facing surface and the flexible back sheet defines a rear surface. The front sheet further defines a plurality of apertures therethrough in communication with the channel. A node is attached to the laminate so that it is in liquid communication with one or more channel. A hose connector is attached between the node and the supply of pre-pressurized liquid. Liquid can flow into the node from the hose connector and exit from the plurality of apertures.
  • It is understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention claimed. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute part of this specification, are included to illustrate and provide a further understanding of particular embodiments of the article of the present invention. Together with the description, the drawings serve to explain the various aspects of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention will be more fully understood and further advantages will become apparent when reference is made to the following detailed description of the invention and the accompanying drawings wherein like numerals represent like elements. The drawings are merely representative and are not intended to limit the scope of the appended claims.
  • FIG. 1. representatively shows a front perspective view of one example of a spa apparatus of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2. representatively shows a partial section view of the spa apparatus of FIG. 1, taken along line 2-2;
  • FIG. 3. representatively shows a partial side view of an alternate configuration of the spa apparatus, with portions of the apparatus partially cut away to show node in communication with a channel.
  • FIG. 4. representatively shows a front perspective view of another example of a spa apparatus of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5. representatively shows a partial perspective view of the spa apparatus shown in FIG. 4, with portions of the apparatus shown in phantom to illustrate a node connected to a supply hose and in communication with channels;
  • FIG. 6. representatively shows a front perspective view of yet another example of a spa apparatus of the present invention;
  • FIG. 7. representatively shows a partial front perspective view of yet another example of a spa apparatus of the present invention that includes a shower caddy;
  • FIG. 8. representatively shows a front perspective view of a further example of a spa apparatus of the present invention that may function as a shower curtain;
  • FIG. 9. representatively shows a plan view of yet another example of a spa apparatus of the present invention that may function as a bathing mat.
  • FIG. 10 a. representatively shows a side elevation view of one example of a dispenser as shown in FIG. 9; and
  • FIG. 10 b. representatively shows a bottom elevation view of the dispenser shown in FIG. 10 a.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present disclosure of the invention will be expressed in terms of its various components, elements, constructions, configurations, arrangements and other features that may also be individually or collectively be referenced by the term, “aspect(s)” of the invention, or other similar terms. It is contemplated that the various forms of the disclosed invention may incorporate one or more of its various features and aspects, and that such features and aspects may be employed in any desired, operative combination thereof.
  • It should also be noted that, when employed in the present disclosure, the terms “comprises”, “comprising” and other derivatives from the root term “comprise” are intended to be open-ended terms that specify the presence of any stated features, elements, integers, steps, or components, and are not intended to preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, elements, integers, steps, components, or groups thereof.
  • Within the context of this specification, each term or phrase below includes the following meaning or meanings:
  • “Attach” and its derivatives refer to the joining, adhering, connecting, bonding, sewing together, or the like, of two elements. Two elements will be considered to be attached together when they are integral with one another or attached directly to one another or indirectly to one another, such as when each is directly attached to intermediate elements. “Attach” and its derivatives include permanent, releasable, or refastenable attachment. In addition, the attachment can be completed either during the manufacturing process or by the end user.
  • “Bond” and its derivatives refer to the joining; adhering, connecting, attaching, sewing together, or the like, of two elements. Two elements will be considered to be bonded together when they are bonded directly to one another or indirectly to one another, such as when each is directly bonded to intermediate elements. “Bond” and its derivatives include permanent, releasable, or refastenable bonding.
  • “Connect” and its derivatives refer to the joining, adhering, bonding, attaching, sewing together, or the like, of two elements. Two -elements will be considered to be connected together when they are connected directly to one another or indirectly to one another, such as when each is directly connected to intermediate elements. “Connect” and its derivatives include permanent, releasable, or refastenable connection. In addition, the connecting can be completed either during the manufacturing process or by the end user.
  • “Disposable” refers to articles which are intended to be discarded after limited use and which are not intended to be laundered or otherwise restored for use.
  • The terms “disposed on,” “disposed along,” or “disposed toward” and variations thereof are intended to mean that one element can be integral with another element, or that one element can be a separate structure bonded to or placed with or placed near another element.
  • “Layer” when used in the singular can have the dual meaning of a single element or a plurality of elements.
  • “Liquid impermeable,” when used in describing a layer or multi-layer laminate means that liquid, such as water, will not pass through the layer or laminate, under ordinary use conditions, in a direction generally perpendicular to the plane of the layer or laminate at the point of liquid contact.
  • “Liquid permeable” refers to any material that is not liquid impermeable.
  • “Nonwoven” and “nonwoven web” refer to materials and webs of material that are formed without the aid of a textile weaving or knitting process. For example, nonwoven materials, fabrics or webs have been formed from many processes such as, for example, meltblowing processes, spunbonding processes, air laying processes, and bonded carded web processes.
  • These terms may be defined with additional language in the remaining portions of the specification.
  • The present invention is directed to providing a disposable spa apparatus that can be used in a shower, bath or similar setting. The spa apparatus may be used in the shower as a shower curtain or a shower or tub wall covering that provides one or more streams of water for wetting, washing and/or massaging the body. The spa apparatus may also be used in a horizontal position by placing it on a bath tub floor, a shower floor, shower ceiling or the like.
  • FIGS. 1 through 10 b representatively illustrate an example of a disposable spa apparatus, as generally indicated at 10, of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 1, the spa apparatus 10 may be removably attached to a shower wall surface 11. Spa apparatus 10 includes a laminate 12 generally formed from a back sheet 14 and a front sheet 16. Desirably, each sheet 14 and 16 is made from a liquid impervious material which is flexible so that it may be rolled up or folded for packaging or storage.
  • Back sheet 14 may be from film and nonwovens as described below, or laminate combinations thereof. For example, back sheet 14 may be a separate sheet of film made from the following materials, including but not limited to: vinyl (polyvinyl chloride or other), polyolefin (such as polyethylene, polyethylene copolymers, polypropylene, single-site catalyzed polyethylene and others), polylactic acid, polystyrene, styrenic block copolymers (such as Styrene-Isoprene-Styrene, Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene, Styrene-Ethylene-Propylene-Styrene, and Styrene-Ethlyene-Butylene-Styrene), polyurethanes, polyesters, polyamides such as Nylon 6, Nylon 6/6, Nylon 6/10, etc.), polyether amides, Vinyl acetate polymers (such as Ethylene Vinyl Acetate), or blends thereof. In the alternative, sheet 14 could be a foam made from one or more of the above-listed materials.
  • Alternatively, backsheet 14 may be a separate sheet of nonwoven material made from the following materials, including but not limited to: spunbonded nonwoven, carded nonwoven, meltblown nonwoven, hydroentangled nonwoven and laminates such as the spunbond-meltblown and spunbond-meltblown-spunbond laminates such as are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,041,203 and 4,766,029 to Brock et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,169,706 to Collier et al., all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties, to the extent that they do not present a conflict.
  • In a further alternative, backsheet 14 may be a separate sheet of nonwoven/film laminate made from a combination of the materials listed above.
  • It is understood that those skilled in the art of nonwoven or film making appreciate that additives such as process aids, colorants, anti-microbials, inorganic fillers and other ingredients may be added to the polymer or other blends for reasons of quality, function or aesthetics. Further, it may be suitable to deliver the film as a multi-layered coextruded or coated structure to prevent blocking, facilitate handling, or provide a surface texture or feel that is desirable to the user of the device. The laminate 12 may be entirely or partially treated to resist or prevent fungus and bacteria growth, or may be made from materials which have a material resistance to such growths.
  • Front sheet 16 may be any one of the films, nonwovens, combined laminates or foams as described herein for back sheet 14. However, if back sheet 14 and front sheet 16 are made from identical materials, back sheet 14 may be integrally connected to front sheet 16 along a fold line, or may be integrally connected along two fold lines to form a flattened tube. Thus, in manufacture, the stock from which sheet 14 and sheet 16 are derived may be two separate webs, a single web, or tube stock.
  • The materials from which sheets 14, 16 may be made can vary in thickness and basis weight. Back sheet 14 and/or front sheet 16 may have a thickness of about 0.01 millimeters (mm) to about 5 mm. More suitably, sheet 14 and/or 16 may have a thickness of about 0.01 mm to about 0.5 mm; even more suitably, sheet 14 and/or 16 may have a thickness of about 0.02 mm to about 0.3 mm; and most suitably, sheet 14 and/or 16 may, have a thickness of about 0.05 mm to about 0.2 mm. The back sheet 14 and/or front sheet 16 may have a basis weight of about 5 grams per square meter (gsm) to about 5000 gsm. More suitably, sheet 14 and/or 16 may have a basis weight of about 5 gsm to about 500 gsm; even more suitably, sheet 14 and/or 16 may have a basis weight of about 20 gsm to about 300 gsm; and most suitably, sheet 14 and/or 16 may have a basis weight of about 50 gsm to about 250 gsm.
  • Back sheet 14 and front sheet 16 each have an inner surface 18 and an outer surface 20. Inner surfaces 18 of each sheet 14 and 16 are placed together and the sheet 14 and sheet 16 are then permanently bonded together over selected areas to form laminate 12. Bonding may be achieved thermally, ultrasonically, by use of adhesives, high pressure, combinations thereof, or the like. For example, patterned embossing rolls or calendar rolls may be used. The resulting laminate has a rear surface that coincides with back sheet 14, and a body-facing surface that coincides with front sheet 16.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, bonding laminate 12 over only select areas will create bonded portions 21, and unbonded portions that define one or more channels 22. Dead portions 23 may also be formed (see FIG. 4). Dead portions are channels or unbonded sections that are completely surrounded by bonded portions 21. It is desirable that no liquid enter or exit a dead portion.
  • Channels 22 may have at least one aperture formed in sheet 16 so that it is open to channel 22. The purpose of each aperture is to allow liquid to exit channel 22 at the body-facing surface of laminate 12. If channel 22 does not include an aperture extending through front sheet 12, it may instead fill with liquid so that it appears raised. This may be used as a desired aesthetic effect as discussed herein.
  • Sheets 14 and 16 may have a variety of configurations, and the embodiments of laminate 12 as shown in FIGS. 1-9 are not meant to encompass all the overall possible shapes of laminate 12. For instance, laminate 12 may be irregular, round, oval, triangular, novelty-shaped (e.g., animal), hourglass shaped, etc. In addition, it is not critical to have laminate sheets 14 and 16 overlap so that outer side edges 17 and top edges 19 are aligned with respect to each edge of sheet 14 and 16.
  • Each channel 22 is designed to receive liquid (e.g. water), most desirably from a pre-pressurized source. By the term “pressurized,” it is meant that the liquid emanates from a source having a pressure greater than ambient pressure, such as a residential or municipal water supply, or the like. The liquid, such as water, is then pressurized before it reaches the apparatus 10. The liquid may be pressurized by an external pump mechanism or by gravity, e.g. an overhead tank.
  • The size of each channel 22, and the number and sizes of each aperture 24 located on each channel 22 are factors which influence the pressure at which liquid exits laminate 12. Several liquid streams simultaneously striking the body at various points may be more desirable than one or two streams. Further, liquid streams exiting at higher-pressures may provide a more satisfying spa experience. However, if the liquid exits apparatus 10 at too high of a pressure, it may irritate sensitive skin. If the liquid exits apparatus 10 at too low of a pressure, the person may find it necessary to stand uncomfortably close to the body-facing surface of laminate 12, or the liquid may not be able to satisfactorily strike the body at all. In the alternative, it may be desirable to have more of a mist of small liquid droplets than a continuous liquid stream. The apertures may be sized and/or configured to produce such a mist.
  • With respect to each channel 22, the number and or size of aperture(s) 24 is inversely proportional to the pressure at which liquid can exit channels 22 given a constant liquid supply pressure and total channel volume. The flexibility of the sheets 14 and 16 can also affect pressure. If the sheets 14, 16 can stretch, this may inversely affect the pressure at which liquid can exit channels 22.
  • Referring now to the various embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-9, it is seen that channels 22 may have various configurations. For example, channels 22 may be straight or curved, and may be used to form functional and/or aesthetic designs. The embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 5 are relatively simple designs which include a few straight channels emanating downward from a node 28 (as described herein). As seen in FIGS. 7 and 9, some designs have a main channel 22 m in communication with a node 28, with branched channels 22 b extending from the main channel 22 m.
  • The embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-9 vary in the degree to which they are both functional and aesthetic. By way of example, as seen in FIG. 6, the channels 22 may appear to some viewers as a funny face design, yet have features that correspond with body parts such as the chest, torso and arms. In FIG. 9, the channels 22 form a pleasing design while possibly providing some cushioning when used as a bathing mat.
  • For any embodiment of the present invention, apertures 24 may be staggered, aligned with each other or even randomly positioned along the channels 22, keeping in mind the desired water pressure. Apertures 24 may be strategically placed along channels 22 to correspond with the users body. For example, the apertures may correspond with certain acupressure sites or body parts. For relatively long channels, such as channel 22 a shown in FIG. 6, it is likely that relatively few apertures will be desirable along its length to prevent the liquid pressure from dissipating too quickly. Thus, for some designs, each channel 22 may contain very few apertures 24, or no apertures at all. However, to relieve pressure buildup within the laminate 12, it is most desirable that at least one channel 22 has at least one aperture 24. For ease of illustration, not all possible apertures are shown in FIGS. 1-9
  • So that water may be directed into channels 22, it is desirable to connect at least one channel 22 to a common manifold or liquid distribution node 28. Referring to FIG. 3, node 28 may be as simple as a cylindrically shaped hose connector 32 having an exterior or interior thread at a distal end for selective attachment to a threaded hose, and an outwardly extending flange 34 at a proximal end for connection to the front sheet 16. In the alternative, node 28 may be constructed from a pair of sheet members 140 that straddle laminate 12, see FIG. 9. In particular, a first sheet member is disposed onto a second sheet member and sealed to form a cavity between the sheet members 140 as it partially straddles laminate 12. A portion of a tubular member 142 is disposed between the pair of sheet members 140 and secured thereto by adhesives or another type of bond so that a liquid supply hose may be connected to tubular member 142 and a pre-pressurized liquid supplied to the laminate 12. It is also contemplated that sheet member 140 and tubular member 142 may be made integrally, such as by a casting or injection molded process. Other types of connectors or more complex manifolds may be suitable.
  • Apparatus 10 may have more than one node 28 to accommodate more than one liquid supply source or supply line 26, e.g. from a bathtub spout and an outlet supply line. Node 28 may be constructed from materials such as nylon, plastic or metal.
  • A liquid supply hose 30 is connected between node 28 and supply line 26 so that liquid, e.g. water, may flow from the supply line 26 to node 28, from node 28 to channels 22, and exit the channels 22 at aperture(s) 24. As seen in FIG. 1, liquid supply hose 30 may have a collar 36 for connecting the hose 30 between an outlet (e.g. shower head, faucet or the like) and a liquid supply line 26. Alternatively, instead of a collar 36, a hose adaptor for a tub spout may be used as is known in the art, for example, a rubber collar that attaches to a tub spout for supplying water to a handheld shower. A diverter valve 40 may be attached to collar 36 for diverting the liquid from the liquid outlet to hose 30, and vice versa. In the alternative, or as an addition, hose 30 may further include a shut-off valve 38 located between node 28 and collar 36 (or at collar 36) to allow water to simultaneously flow into the apparatus 10 and an outlet such as a shower head, or prohibit liquid from flowing to apparatus 10 while still allowing liquid to flow to the outlet. Liquid supply hose 30 may be made from materials such nylon, vinyl, reinforced PVC, flexible metal-clad PVC, or the like. The collar 36 and hose 30 may be referred to in combination as a “supply hose.”
  • Referring to FIG. 1, laminate bonded portions 21 may be aesthetically enhanced by printing, embossing or the like. For example, one or more indicia 42 may be embossed or printed onto laminate 12 so that the indicia is visible from the body-facing surface. As shown in FIG. 1, indicia 42 is a floral design meant to enhance the look of apparatus 10. However, indicia 42 could instead be informational, portray brand information, or the like. Indicia 42 may also be disposed on outer surface 20 so that it overlaps or enhances the appearance of channels 22 (not shown).
  • Referring to the embodiment of the present invention as seen in FIG. 4, an area comprising the laminate bonded portions 21 and or dead portions 23 may be large enough that these portions may include storage members. For example, one or a variety of storage members such as pockets 50 may be attached to any convenient portion of the body-facing surface of laminate 12. Pockets 50 may be made of transparent vinyl, mesh fabrics, or any of the materials from which sheet 14 and 16 are made. The pockets 50 may have some type of drain (aperture) so that any liquid getting into the pockets may drain out. Other types of storage members may include loops 52, hook and loop straps (not shown) or the like. Further, storage members may include bonded portions 21 or dead portions 23 that are partially or completely slit, cut or physically altered to provide storage.
  • Apparatus 10 may be suspended from a fixed structure or used horizontally on a floor as a bathing mat or on the ceiling as an overhead shower. If suspension is desired, such as for use in a shower, a variety of securement members may be used as demonstrated by the various embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4-8. For instance, in embodiment shown in FIG. 1, suction cups 54 are used to hang laminate 12 adjacent a shower wall. Suction cups 54 may be permanently or removably attached to each corner 56 of laminate 12 either by hooks, adhesives, thermal bonds, clips or the like. More or less suction cups may be used, and suction cups 54 may be attached to different portions of laminate in addition to or instead of corners 56.
  • The securement member as seen in the embodiment of FIG. 4 is a rope member 58 that connects to a support member such as a dowel 60. Dowel 60 may be made from a rigid, water resistant materials such as plastic, wood or metal. Rope member 58 may be tied to opposite exposed ends of dowel 60 (shown) or threaded through apertures located at each end of dowel 60 and knotted (not shown).
  • The securement member as seen in the embodiment of FIG. 6 is a double-ended hook member 64 that engages a fixed structure such as supply line 26 at one end and at an opposite end, attaches to a loop member (shown) or aperture (not shown) located an upper end of laminate 12.
  • The securement member as seen in the embodiment of FIG. 7 is a shower caddy 70. Shower caddy 70 may be of any configuration, and includes attachment members such as arms 72. As shown by way of example, a pair of arms 72 may selectively connect to corresponding sleeves 73 extending from an upper end portion 76 of laminate 12. Sleeves 73 are loops of material (for example, the material from which sheet 14 or 16 is made) that is attached to laminate 12 either integrally or by a bond such as a thermal bond or the like. Of course, hooks, clips or the like may also be used as attachment members for selectively connecting the laminate 12 to shower caddy 70. A hook 78 or the like may be used to hang shower caddy 70 from a fixed structure. Shower caddy 70 may be made of a variety of materials as is known in the art.
  • The securement member as seen in the embodiment of FIG. 8 is a set of shower curtain rings 80 that attach through corresponding apertures (not shown) at the top edge portion 82 of laminate 12. In this embodiment, laminate 12 functions as a shower curtain. Shower curtain rings 80 are attached to a shower curtain rod 84 as in known in the art.
  • It may be suitable to apply coatings to one or more surfaces of the laminate 12. If the present invention is used horizontally as a bathing mat such as shown in FIG. 9, it may be desirable to include a non-slip coating or the like on the rear surface of laminate 12 so that it can resist sliding on the tub or shower surface. If the laminate 12 is used on a floor, wall or ceiling, a releasable adhesive coating may be applied to the laminate so it can temporarily adhere to these surfaces.
  • Each embodiment of laminate 12 may be configured such that one portion of the laminate 12 is positioned in one plane, and other portion(s) of the laminate 12 are position in another plane or planes (not shown). For example, in a tub, the laminate 12 could have side sections that attach to the tub side surfaces, and a bottom section that attaches to the tub floor. This may be useful, for example, for providing an aromatherapy mist/spray, or for general bathing. Alternatively, a portion of a laminate 12 used as a shower bathing mat may be positioned on the shower wall, and the remaining portion of the laminate 12 on the shower floor. This may be useful, for example, for shaving legs and washing feet.
  • Weights 90 may be used in any of the embodiments to stabilize the apparatus 10 and/or cause apparatus 10 to hang straight, especially before its initial use. By way of example, in the embodiment of FIG. 6, a series of weights (e.g. metal disks) may be disposed between the sheets 14 and 16 near a bottom portion 92 of laminate 12. In another example as seen in FIG. 4, a dowel 90 is slideably contained within a sleeve 94 located at the bottom portion 92 of laminate 12. Sleeve 94 may be in addition to laminate 12 or may be formed between sheets 14 and 16. Alternatively, a channel 22, with or without apertures, may be used to add weight to a desired location of the laminate. Other weights may be used anywhere in the surface of laminate 12, as desired.
  • It may further be desirable to prohibit liquid from exiting a portion of at least one of the channels 22. A blocking member may be used to prohibit the liquid flow, the blocking member being a clip, press bar or the like, For example, in the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 4, a large clip 100 is mechanically biased to prohibit liquid from flowing in channels 22 “downstream” of clip 100. Optionally, a slot 98 may be cut through a bonded portion 21 (and or dead portion 23) that is in relatively close proximity to one or more channels 22. The clip 100 may be disposed in slot 98 so that the user may selectively move clip 100 along one or more channels 22 in a slot direction 102. The advantage slot 98 provides is that a shorter clip may be used. Of course, many other arrangements of slots and blocking members may be possible. For example, individual valves may be attached to one or more apertures 24 (not shown). Valves may be added to individual nodes and activated as desired.
  • An optional dispenser maybe available for dispensing additives into the liquid flowing through apparatus 12. Additives may include perfumes, medications, dyes, soap, detergent, water conditioners, antibacterial agents and fungicides. As an example, the additive may be in tablet or bead form, and held within the node 28 by the dispenser until it dissolves. Other dispensers may be able to accommodate liquids or powders. For example, as seen in FIG. 9, the dispenser 110 could be a screened holder that may be attached to node 28 a at a first end 112, and attached to hose 30 (not shown) at second end 114 without being drawn into channel(s) 22 by the liquid flow. In the representative example shown in FIGS. 10 a and 10 b, the dispenser 110 could have threaded portion 116 at end 114 (shown) and end 112 (not shown). A screen could be located at end 112 to trap any larger solids within the dispenser so that any water flowing through dispenser 110 may dissolve and be dispersed into the liquid. Alternatively, the dispenser could be a bottle (not shown) having an opening in liquid communication with hose 30, and that hangs underneath hose 30 when in use. Liquid additives placed within the bottle could be drawn into the liquid stream as the liquid flowed past the bottle opening.
  • Hose 30 may be relatively short as seen in FIG. 3, or longer as seen in FIG. 1. If a longer hose is used, a hose keeper 46 may be used to keep hose 30 from hanging in the user's way. Hose keeper 46 may be a tie, hook and loop strap or anything that can be used to selectively connect the hose 30 to a fixed structure such as supply line 26.
  • The spa apparatus 10 may further be provided to users as a kit. In particular, the kit may include laminate 12 and one or more of the following as defined herein: a securement member, a dispenser, additives, spare laminates 12, a hose 30 or supply hose, a hose keeper 46, and the like. Optional accessories may be made available.
  • One of skill in the art will readily appreciate that the various personal spa apparatuses described herein may be combined to arrive at a number of configurations not illustrated herein, yet quite suitable for use in the bath or shower. Having described the invention in rather full detail, it will be readily apparent that various changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. All of such changes and modifications are contemplated as being within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended Claims and any equivalents thereto.

Claims (21)

1. A disposable liquid delivery apparatus that uses liquid from a pre-pressurized liquid supply, the apparatus comprising:
a laminate comprising a flexible back sheet of liquid impervious material that is bonded to a flexible front sheet of liquid impervious material to form at least one channel, wherein the flexible front sheet defines a body-facing surface and the flexible back sheet defines a rear surface;
the front sheet defining a plurality of apertures therethrough in communication with the at least one channel, and
a node attached to the laminate so that it is in liquid communication with at least one of the at least one channel, wherein the liquid can flow into the node and exit from the plurality of apertures.
2. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 wherein the flexible front sheet comprises a film.
3. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 wherein the flexible front sheet comprises a foam or a nonwoven.
4. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 wherein the flexible back sheet and the flexible front sheet each have a basis weight of about 5 gsm to about 500 gsm.
5. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 wherein the flexible back sheet and the flexible front sheet each have a basis weight of about 50 gsm to about 250 gsm.
6. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a storage member attached to the body-facing surface of the apparatus.
7. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a removable blocking member for selectively blocking the flow of fluid in the at least one channel.
8. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 8 wherein the blocking member is a clip.
9. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a hose connector for distributing fluid from the liquid supply to the node.
10. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 9 further comprising a dispenser that is in fluid communication with the pre-pressurized liquid supply for supplying additives to the liquid prior to exiting the at least one channel.
11. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 10 wherein the additives are selected from the group consisting of soap, detergent, medication, dyes, perfumes, water conditioners, antibacterial agents, and fungicides.
12. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a diverting valve is attached to the pre-pressurized liquid supply for selectively diverting water to the apparatus.
13. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a securement member adapted for attaching the apparatus to a fixed structure.
14. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 wherein the apparatus is a shower curtain.
15. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 wherein the apparatus is a bathing mat.
16. The disposable liquid delivery apparatus of claim 1 further comprising indicia on the body-facing surface.
17. A personal hygiene kit for delivering liquid to a body for the purpose of bathing, the kit comprising:
a disposable liquid delivery apparatus comprising:
a laminate comprising a flexible back sheet of liquid impervious material that is bonded to a flexible front sheet of liquid impervious material to form at least one channel, wherein the flexible front sheet defines a body-facing surface and the flexible back sheet defines a rear surface, and wherein the flexible front sheet has a thickness of 0.01 to 0.5 mm;
the front sheet defining a plurality of apertures therethrough in communication with the at least one channel, and
a node attached to the laminate so that it is in liquid communication with one or more of the at least one channel, wherein the liquid can flow into the node and exit from the plurality of apertures;
a liquid supply hose adapted for connecting the node to the liquid supply; and
at least one securement member adapted for selectively attaching the disposable liquid delivery apparatus to a fixed structure.
18. The personal hygiene kit of claim 17 wherein the at least one securement member is a shower caddy.
19. The personal hygiene kit of claim 17 further comprising a dispenser connected to the disposable liquid delivery apparatus and in liquid communication with the liquid supply so that it is adapted for dispensing an additive into the liquid supply.
20. The personal hygiene kit of claim 19 further comprising an additive selected from the group consisting of soap, detergent, medication, dyes, perfumes, water conditioners, antibacterial agents, and fungicides.
21. A disposable liquid delivery apparatus that can receive a supply of pre-pressurized liquid, the apparatus comprising:
a laminate comprising a flexible back sheet of liquid impervious material that is bonded to a flexible front sheet of liquid impervious material to form at least one channel, wherein the flexible front sheet defines a body-facing surface and the flexible back sheet defines a rear surface;
the front sheet defining a plurality of apertures therethrough in communication with the at least one channel, and
a node attached to the laminate so that it is in liquid communication with at least one of the at least one channel, wherein the liquid can flow into the node and exit from the plurality of apertures;
a hose connector that can be attached between the node and the supply of pre-pressurized liquid; and
and wherein the flexible back sheet and the flexible front sheet each have a thickness of about 0.02 mm to about 0.3 mm, and a basis weight of about 20 gsm to about 300 gsm.
US11/117,903 2005-04-29 2005-04-29 Disposable personal spa apparatus Abandoned US20060242758A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/117,903 US20060242758A1 (en) 2005-04-29 2005-04-29 Disposable personal spa apparatus

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/117,903 US20060242758A1 (en) 2005-04-29 2005-04-29 Disposable personal spa apparatus
PCT/US2006/011194 WO2006118710A1 (en) 2005-04-29 2006-03-27 Disposable personal spa apparatus

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20060242758A1 true US20060242758A1 (en) 2006-11-02

Family

ID=36695025

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/117,903 Abandoned US20060242758A1 (en) 2005-04-29 2005-04-29 Disposable personal spa apparatus

Country Status (2)

Country Link
US (1) US20060242758A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2006118710A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050011139A1 (en) * 2003-07-17 2005-01-20 Tvi Corporation Partition system
US20120167298A1 (en) * 2006-10-05 2012-07-05 Carla Elizabeth Litwhiler Splash Guard Towel
US20140259383A1 (en) * 2013-03-14 2014-09-18 Masco Corporation Of Indiana Rough-in assembly for free-standing tub filler
US9216432B2 (en) 2012-01-24 2015-12-22 Larry M Lea Methods and apparatus for distributing water in a shower enclosure
US10278544B1 (en) * 2018-09-12 2019-05-07 William Lee Kiddell Shower mat with auxiliary shower spray head

Citations (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3121235A (en) * 1961-11-24 1964-02-18 Gellmann Daniel Universal shower line unit
US3292185A (en) * 1964-12-01 1966-12-20 Arsene N Lucian Bath mat shower means
US3420227A (en) * 1965-08-26 1969-01-07 Peter H Voorlas Water-air massaging device
US4014051A (en) * 1975-09-04 1977-03-29 Pettit Lewis A Back scratching and/or scrubbing device
US4041203A (en) * 1972-09-06 1977-08-09 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven thermoplastic fabric
US4151616A (en) * 1976-08-12 1979-05-01 Larsen Charles H Camping shower
US4218013A (en) * 1978-08-11 1980-08-19 Davison Charles A Shower head fluid dispenser
US4417568A (en) * 1980-08-01 1983-11-29 Nitto Kohki Co., Ltd. Air bubble generating apparatus for use in bathtub
US4766029A (en) * 1987-01-23 1988-08-23 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Semi-permeable nonwoven laminate
US4780916A (en) * 1987-05-11 1988-11-01 Sutton Bernard S Tub seat massager
US4982959A (en) * 1989-09-11 1991-01-08 Elliot Rudell Water sprinkler mat game
US5169706A (en) * 1990-01-10 1992-12-08 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Low stress relaxation composite elastic material
US5329650A (en) * 1992-03-06 1994-07-19 Herman Miller, Inc. Shower stall control column
US5414879A (en) * 1990-03-12 1995-05-16 Toto, Ltd. Shower apparatus
US5761751A (en) * 1995-06-30 1998-06-09 Morrissey; Suzanne Protective curtain for a shower/tub
US5774907A (en) * 1997-05-05 1998-07-07 Doggwiler; Marc Shower wall back scrubber and massager
US6183430B1 (en) * 1999-09-09 2001-02-06 Ching-Chi Lin Portable bathtub massage pad
US6295663B1 (en) * 1998-06-30 2001-10-02 Stearns Inc. Pressurized solar heated shower
US6691338B2 (en) * 2001-04-06 2004-02-17 Interbath, Inc. Spa shower and controller

Family Cites Families (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE2613109A1 (en) * 1976-03-24 1977-09-29 Rolfherbert Stuehmer Shower curtain of plastic foil material - has water outlet openings on inside fitted with flexible connecting pipe for wider showering

Patent Citations (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3121235A (en) * 1961-11-24 1964-02-18 Gellmann Daniel Universal shower line unit
US3292185A (en) * 1964-12-01 1966-12-20 Arsene N Lucian Bath mat shower means
US3420227A (en) * 1965-08-26 1969-01-07 Peter H Voorlas Water-air massaging device
US4041203A (en) * 1972-09-06 1977-08-09 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Nonwoven thermoplastic fabric
US4014051A (en) * 1975-09-04 1977-03-29 Pettit Lewis A Back scratching and/or scrubbing device
US4151616A (en) * 1976-08-12 1979-05-01 Larsen Charles H Camping shower
US4218013A (en) * 1978-08-11 1980-08-19 Davison Charles A Shower head fluid dispenser
US4417568A (en) * 1980-08-01 1983-11-29 Nitto Kohki Co., Ltd. Air bubble generating apparatus for use in bathtub
US4766029A (en) * 1987-01-23 1988-08-23 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Semi-permeable nonwoven laminate
US4780916A (en) * 1987-05-11 1988-11-01 Sutton Bernard S Tub seat massager
US4982959A (en) * 1989-09-11 1991-01-08 Elliot Rudell Water sprinkler mat game
US5169706A (en) * 1990-01-10 1992-12-08 Kimberly-Clark Corporation Low stress relaxation composite elastic material
US5414879A (en) * 1990-03-12 1995-05-16 Toto, Ltd. Shower apparatus
US5428850A (en) * 1990-03-12 1995-07-04 Toto Ltd. Shower apparatus
US5329650A (en) * 1992-03-06 1994-07-19 Herman Miller, Inc. Shower stall control column
US5761751A (en) * 1995-06-30 1998-06-09 Morrissey; Suzanne Protective curtain for a shower/tub
US5774907A (en) * 1997-05-05 1998-07-07 Doggwiler; Marc Shower wall back scrubber and massager
US6295663B1 (en) * 1998-06-30 2001-10-02 Stearns Inc. Pressurized solar heated shower
US6183430B1 (en) * 1999-09-09 2001-02-06 Ching-Chi Lin Portable bathtub massage pad
US6691338B2 (en) * 2001-04-06 2004-02-17 Interbath, Inc. Spa shower and controller

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050011139A1 (en) * 2003-07-17 2005-01-20 Tvi Corporation Partition system
US7841027B2 (en) * 2003-07-17 2010-11-30 Immediate Response Technologies Partition system
US20120167298A1 (en) * 2006-10-05 2012-07-05 Carla Elizabeth Litwhiler Splash Guard Towel
US9015877B2 (en) * 2006-10-05 2015-04-28 Carla Elizabeth Litwhiler Splash guard towel
US9216432B2 (en) 2012-01-24 2015-12-22 Larry M Lea Methods and apparatus for distributing water in a shower enclosure
US20140259383A1 (en) * 2013-03-14 2014-09-18 Masco Corporation Of Indiana Rough-in assembly for free-standing tub filler
US9334633B2 (en) * 2013-03-14 2016-05-10 Delta Faucet Company Rough-in assembly for free-standing tub filler
US10278544B1 (en) * 2018-09-12 2019-05-07 William Lee Kiddell Shower mat with auxiliary shower spray head

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2006118710A1 (en) 2006-11-09

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US6655734B2 (en) Disposable sanitary seat cover
US5154671A (en) Water slide and pool with water curtain and pool replenishment system
US5193563A (en) Surgical suite scrub station
CA2518361C (en) Disposable nonwoven cleansing mitt
US3198437A (en) Shower bath dispenser
US6691897B2 (en) Sanitizing stand and method for dispensing free public health cleaning and sanitizing supplies
US3868950A (en) Body treating apparatus
ES2240355T3 (en) Textured film devices.
ES2241748T3 (en) Article distributor.
US4809369A (en) Portable body shower
AU2010320709B2 (en) Ultrasonic surface treatment device and method
EP1906859B1 (en) Combination dispenser for carrying product dispensers
US7357274B2 (en) Tissue dispenser
CA2636048C (en) Colostomy bag cleaning system
JP2003511127A (en) Semi-closed applicator for distributing a substance onto a target surface
US20080201879A1 (en) Foot cleaning device
JP2004531325A (en) Semi-enclosed applicator supplies the substance on the target surface
KR20030053532A (en) Dispensing apparatus
US6085367A (en) Bathtub liners
EP1443845A1 (en) Floor finish application system using applicator pad and matched floor finish composition
US6526618B1 (en) Bath scrubber
JP2002509000A (en) Hand-held or fixed type massage shower
EP2036481A3 (en) Premoistened wipes and methods of use
US6793434B1 (en) Brush
US20090241978A1 (en) Exfoliating shower mat

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC., WISCONSIN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HALL, GREGORY K.;REEL/FRAME:016518/0938

Effective date: 20050427

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION