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US20080031677A1 - An application for dispensing and spreading a liquid on a floor surface - Google Patents

An application for dispensing and spreading a liquid on a floor surface Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080031677A1
US20080031677A1 US11462550 US46255006A US2008031677A1 US 20080031677 A1 US20080031677 A1 US 20080031677A1 US 11462550 US11462550 US 11462550 US 46255006 A US46255006 A US 46255006A US 2008031677 A1 US2008031677 A1 US 2008031677A1
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
head
liquid
surface
floor
opening
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
US11462550
Inventor
Curtis Hitchner
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.)
Betco Corp
Original Assignee
Betco Corp
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Filing date
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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L13/00Implements for cleaning floors, carpets, furniture, walls, or wall coverings
    • A47L13/10Scrubbing; Scouring; Cleaning; Polishing
    • A47L13/28Polishing implements
    • A47L13/30Implements for polishing and waxing or oiling, with dispensers for wax or oil
    • A47L13/31Implements for polishing and waxing or oiling, with dispensers for wax or oil having movable or detachable polishing or shining cloths
    • A47L13/312Implements for polishing and waxing or oiling, with dispensers for wax or oil having movable or detachable polishing or shining cloths supplied with liquid wax or oil

Abstract

An applicator is provided for dispensing a liquid onto a floor surface in response to a user input and further for spreading the liquid on the floor surface. The applicator comprises a head and a nozzle. The head has a bottom surface disposed adjacent to the floor surface and an opposite top surface. The head defines a head opening extending through the top surface and the bottom surface. The head further defines a forward edge and an opposite rearward edge, wherein the head opening is disposed between the forward edge and the rearward edge. The nozzle, which is capable of dispensing the liquid, is disposed adjacent to the head. The nozzle is also aligned with the head opening such that the nozzle is viewable from the top surface and dispenses the liquid through the head opening onto the floor surface.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to a liquid dispenser and apparatus for cleaning, waxing and surface finishing floors. More specifically, the invention relates to an applicator and an applicator assembly for dispensing a liquid onto a floor surface in response to an input by a user and for spreading the liquid on the floor surface.
  • [0003]
    2. Background Art
  • [0004]
    Treatments such as cleaning, waxing and/or finishing of floors is periodically done at many commercial and residential spaces. The type of floor surfaces vary accordingly, but include many types of hardwood and vinyl flooring. The simplest and most common method of treating these floors is by placing the liquid in a bucket, then dipping a mop into the bucket to absorb the liquid, followed by applying and spreading the liquid onto the floor with the mop. Depending on the type of treatment, the liquid may be a solution of water and soap, water and wax, floor finish or even a high solids solutions used for treating vinyl flooring. However, there are several issues with this method of treating floor surfaces. Higher labor cost may result from the inefficiency of mopping due to the continuous need to dip into the bucket for proper liquid saturation of the mop as well as continually moving the bucket to another area in order to keep the bucket proximate the area being worked on. A poor quality appearance may also result from either drips falling from a freshly dipped mop or an uneven coating resulting from the thinning out of the liquid in the mop between each dipping. Additionally, dirt from the floor may transfer to the mop and then from the mop into the bucket where the mop is continually dipped. Eventually, the liquid in the bucket may become dirty resulting in a poorer appearing floor finish.
  • [0005]
    Another common method for treating floor surfaces is with a motor driven cleaning machine such as that shown U.S. Pat. No. 4,893,375 to Girman et al., which applies a cleaning solution to a floor, then scrubs the floor and then removes the cleaning material for further treatments. However, this type of system, because of its size, weight and expense does not offer a convenient, easy to manage and efficient system for application of a liquid treatment over a large area floor using a portable system.
  • [0006]
    Accordingly, there exist a need for a convenient portable system which is easy to manage, efficient and may provide a quality floor finish.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    In at least one embodiment of the present invention, an applicator for dispensing a liquid onto a floor in response to an input by a user and further spreading the liquid on the floor surface is provided. The applicator includes a head and a nozzle. The head has a bottom surface and an opposite top surface. The head defines a head opening which extends through the top surface and the bottom surface. The bottom surface is disposed adjacent to the floor surface. The head further defines a forward portion and an opposite rearward portion, wherein the head opening is disposed between the forward portion and the rearward portion. The nozzle, capable of dispensing the liquid, is disposed adjacent to the head. The nozzle is aligned with the head opening such that the nozzle is viewable from the top surface and the nozzle dispenses the liquid through the head opening onto the floor surface.
  • [0008]
    In at least one other embodiment of the present invention, an applicator assembly for dispensing a liquid onto a floor in response to an input by a user and further for spreading the liquid on the floor surface is provided. The applicator assembly includes a head, a nozzle, an elongated handle, a reservoir tank, a liquid feed conduit and a regulating valve. The head has a bottom surface comprising a mop layer and an opposite top surface comprising a structural base. The head defines a head opening extending through the top surface and the bottom surface. The bottom surface is disposed adjacent to the floor surface. The head further defines a forward portion and an opposite rearward portion, wherein the head opening is disposed between the forward portion and the rearward portion. The nozzle, which is capable of dispensing the liquid, is disposed adjacent to the head. The nozzle is aligned with the head opening such that the nozzle is viewable from the top surface and the nozzle dispenses the liquid through the head opening onto the floor surface. The elongated handle has a base end and an opposite grip end, wherein the base end is attached to the structural base. At least a portion of the liquid feed conduit is flexible material. The liquid feed conduit is connected to the reservoir tank, which is for holding a supply of the liquid, and interfaces with the nozzle to deliver the liquid from the reservoir tank to the nozzle. The regulating valve interfaces with the liquid feed conduit to control delivery of the liquid to the nozzle in response to the input.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a user operating an applicator assembly according to at least one embodiment of the invention;
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a head and nozzle portion of an applicator assembly according to at least one embodiment of the invention;
  • [0011]
    FIGS. 3 a and 3 b are respectively a front and a side view of an applicator assembly according to at least one embodiment of the invention;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the plunger device shown in FIGS. 3 a and 3 b according to at least one embodiment of the invention;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the trigger device shown in FIG. 3 b according to a least one embodiment of the invention; and
  • [0014]
    FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the mop layer according to a least one embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)
  • [0015]
    Detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various and alternative forms. The figures are not necessarily to scale, some figures may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a representative basis for the claims and/or as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.
  • [0016]
    Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates an applicator assembly 10 that may be used on a floor surface 12 for cleaning, waxing, polishing, finishing and/or any other suitable treatment known by those skilled in the art. The applicator assembly 10 may be used for many types of floor surfaces 12, including but not limited to various wood, vinyl, coated, sealed, stained, ceramic, brick, cement, synthetic and/or natural based flooring surfaces. The applicator assembly may be a portable unit which is operated by a user 14. The user 14 may operate the applicator assembly 10 by manually gripping an elongated handle 20 which is be connected to a head 30 adjacent the floor surface 12. The connection to the head 30 may be at any suitable position and means known by those skilled in the art.
  • [0017]
    The user may carry a packback 32 with a tank 34 which holds a liquid 36. The tank 34 may be constructed from a variety of materials and processes such as blow molded plastic, injection molded and welded plastic, thermoformed plastic, welded formed sheet metal or any other suitable material and process known by those skilled in the art. The liquid 36 may be a wax, soap, cleaner, finish, shampoo, water or mixture thereof, high solids mixture, stain, paint, dye, adhesive, sealant, or any other suitable liquid for flooring. The user 14 may carry the backpack 32 on his back via straps 38 which may be attached to the backpack 32. The packback may be constructed of any material suitable for carrying and supporting the load of the tank 34 filled with the liquid 36. The liquid 36 may be delivered from the tank 34 to the floor surface 12 via a liquid feed conduit 40. Additionally, the user 14 may have viewable contact of the proximate floor surface 12 including the top surface of the head 30 comprising a structural base 42.
  • [0018]
    Referring to FIG. 2, one embodiment for the applicator assembly 10 is shown in more detail in an exploded perspective view of the applicator assembly 10 proximate the head 30. The head 30 may include a top surface comprising the structural base 42 and an opposite bottom surface, adjacent the floor surface 12, comprising a mop layer 44. See FIG. 6 for a perspective view of the mop layer 44. The structural base 42 may be planar or non planer and depending on the type of floor treatment and flooring surface 12, one geometry may produce better results over another. In this embodiment, the structural base 42 is shown as a substantially planar extruded form constructed from any number of materials, such as, but not limited to aluminum, plastic, composites and/or metal. However, other suitable material known by those skilled in the art may be used.
  • [0019]
    The mop layer 44 may be viewed broadly and include both non-absorbing and absorbing materials that offer some level of liquid displacement capability. Some examples of mop layer materials may be cotton, synthetic or natural fabric, microfiber pads, rubber, laminated construction, foam, synthetic and/or natural fiber or any other suitable material known by those skilled in the art. The mop layer 44 may also be constructed out of a compressible flexible material, while in some applications, a stiffer less compressible material may be desired. Additionally, the mop layer 44 may be removably attached to the structural base 42 by a mechanical means, tacky adhesive or Velcro 58 disposed between the mop layer 44 and the structural base 42. Other suitable removable attachment means known by those skilled in the art may also be employed.
  • [0020]
    The head 30 has a head opening 46 that extends through the top surface and the bottom surface. The head has a forward edge 48 and a rearward edge 50. The head opening 46 is disposed between the forward edge 48 and a rearward edge 50. A nozzle 52, capable of dispensing the liquid 36, is disposed adjacent to the head 30 and aligned with the head opening 46 such that the nozzle 52 is viewable from the top surface of the head 30 and dispenses the liquid 36 through the head opening 46 onto the floor surface 12. In at least one embodiment, the nozzle 52 may be connected to a manifold 54, proximate to the head opening 46 and include a plurality of nozzles 52 spaced apart and capable of dispensing the liquid 36. At least one of the nozzles 52, is viewable from the top surface of the head 30 and the plurality of nozzles 52 dispenses the liquid 36 through the head opening 46 onto the floor 12. The head opening 46 may be elongated and possibly matched with an elongated head 30. This elongated design may allow for more efficient packaging of the manifold 54, dispensing of the liquid 36 onto the floor surface 12 and subsequent spreading of the liquid 36 on the floor surface 12. In at least one embodiment, a generally planar head 30 is provided where the head opening 46 and the head 30 are elongated in a substantially parallel direction and the ratio of the elongated dimension of the head opening 46 to the head 30 is greater than 0.7 and the ratio in the perpendicular direction of the head opening 46 to the head 30 is less than 0.3. The manifold 54 may also include a clear tube which further allows viewing of the liquid 36 from the top surface of the head 30 so that the user 14 may be visually aware of the dispensing liquid 36.
  • [0021]
    The elongated handle 20 may be attached to the head 30 by a pivotal connection 56. The pivotal connection 56 may allow added freedom in maneuvering the head on the floor surface 12, as for example, in tightly crowded working spaces. Other fixed and pivotal attachments known by those skilled in the art may also be used to connect the elongated handle 20 to any suitable position on the head 30.
  • [0022]
    Referring to FIG. 3, which includes 3 a, a front view of the applicator assembly 10, and 3 b, a side view of the applicator assembly 10, at least one embodiment of the present invention is shown. A liquid feed conduit 60 may be connected to the reservoir tank 34 by a coupling 62 such as, but not limited to a threaded rotary coupling. The coupling 62 may be made of any suitable material known by one skilled in the art, including a plastic and gasket construction. The liquid feed conduit 60 may be directly or indirectly connected to the manifold 54 or directly or indirect connected to the nozzle 52 in order to deliver the liquid 36 to the nozzle 52. The liquid feed conduit 60 may also included an on/off valve 64, such as, but not limited to a quarter turn on/off valve, rotary valve or a pinch valve, interposed anywhere between the coupling 62 and the nozzle 52. In at least one embodiment, the on/off valve 64 is proximate to the coupling 62. Additionally, the liquid feed conduit 60 may also include either a single or plurality of couplings 66, such as, but not limited to quick action couplings which may be interposed between the coupling 62 and the nozzle 52.
  • [0023]
    The applicator assembly 10 further comprises a regulating valve 70, shown in this embodiment as a plunger device 70, but may include other valve configurations known by those skilled in the art. The plunger device 70 is shown in more detail as a sectional view in FIG. 4. The liquid feed conduit 60 may be flexible proximate to the plunger device 70 and may be disposed in a guide 72 or guides 72 to help conform the liquid feed conduit 60 to the plunger device 70. The liquid feed conduit 60 may also optionally be attached to the elongated handle 20 by an attachment clamp 88 shown in FIG. 3 b. The plunger device 70, now referring to FIG. 4, includes a channel 74 wherein the liquid feed conduit 60 is disposed within the channel 74. The plunger device 70 further comprises a plunger 76 and a spring 78. The plunger device 70 is responsive to an input by the user 14. In this embodiment, the user input may be provide by a manually actuated device such as, but is not limited to, either a lever 86 attached directly to the plunger 76 or a wire cable 84 interfaced with the plunger device 70 and connected to, for example, a trigger device 82 as shown in FIG. 5. The plunger 76 acts compressibly on the liquid feed conduit 60 when either the trigger device 82 or the lever 86 is not actuated preventing delivery of the liquid 36. The plunger 76 does not act compressibly on the liquid feed conduit 60 when the either the trigger device 82 or the lever 86 is actuated allowing delivery of the liquid 36.
  • [0024]
    Referring to FIG. 5, one embodiment of the trigger device 82, shown in sectional view, includes a trigger 90, which is pivotally attached 92 either directly or indirectly to the elongated handle 20. The trigger 90 may be proximate the grip end of the elongated handle 20. The trigger device 82 may be connected to the wire cable 84 such that when a user actuates the trigger device 82 a tensile load is applied to the plunger device 70, which is responsive to the tensile load.
  • [0025]
    While embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended that these embodiments illustrate and describe all possible forms of the invention. Rather, the words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. An applicator for dispensing a liquid onto a floor surface in response to an input by a user and further for spreading the liquid on the floor surface, the applicator comprising:
    a head having a bottom surface disposed adjacent to the floor surface and an opposite top surface, the head defining a head opening extending through the top surface and the bottom surface, the head further defining a forward edge and an opposite rearward edge, wherein the head opening is disposed between the forward edge and the rearward edge; and
    a nozzle, capable of dispensing the liquid, disposed adjacent to the head and aligned with the head opening such that the nozzle is viewable from the top surface and dispenses the liquid through the head opening onto the floor surface.
  2. 2. The applicator of claim 1 further comprising a manifold connected to the nozzle and proximate the head opening, wherein the head and the head opening are elongated, the manifold including a plurality of nozzles spaced apart and capable of dispensing the liquid, wherein the plurality of nozzles dispenses liquid through the head opening and onto the floor surface.
  3. 3. The applicator of claim 1 further comprising a mop layer disposed adjacent to the bottom surface and between the bottom surface and the floor surface, the mop layer defining a mop layer opening and the mop layer opening aligned with the head opening such that the nozzle dispenses the liquid through the mop layer opening and onto the floor surface.
  4. 4. The applicator of claim 3 wherein the head, the head opening and the mop layer opening are elongated.
  5. 5. The applicator of claim 3 wherein the mop layer is releasably attached to the bottom surface of the head.
  6. 6. An applicator assembly for dispensing a liquid onto a floor surface in response to an input by a user and further for spreading the liquid on the floor surface, the applicator assembly comprising:
    a head having a bottom surface disposed adjacent to the floor surface and comprising a mop layer and the head further having an opposite top surface comprising a structural base, the head defining a head opening extending through the top surface and the bottom surface, the head further defining a forward edge and an opposite rearward edge, wherein the head opening is disposed between the forward edge and the rearward edge;
    a nozzle, capable of dispensing the liquid, disposed adjacent to the head and aligned with the head opening such that the nozzle is viewable from the top surface and dispenses the liquid through the head opening onto the floor;
    an elongated handle having a head end and an opposite grip end, wherein the head end is attached to the structural base;
    a reservoir tank for holding a supply of the liquid;
    a liquid feed conduit where at least a portion is flexible material, the liquid feed conduit connected to the reservoir tank and interfacing with the nozzle to deliver the liquid from the reservoir tank to the nozzle; and
    a regulating valve interfacing with the liquid feed conduit to control delivery of the liquid to the nozzle in response to the input.
  7. 7. The applicator assembly of claim 6 wherein the mop layer is removably attached to the structural base.
  8. 8. The applicator assembly of claim 6 wherein the elongated handle is pivotally attached to the structural base.
  9. 9. The applicator assembly of claim 6 further comprising a backpack for holding the reservoir tank and further including straps enabling the user to carry the backpack via the straps.
  10. 10. The applicator assembly of claim 6 wherein the floor surface is viewable through the head opening from the top surface.
  11. 11. The applicator assembly of claim 6 wherein pressure for delivery of the liquid is produced by gravitational force.
  12. 12. The applicator assembly of claim 6 wherein the liquid feed conduit between the regulating valve and the nozzle includes a clear flexible tube.
  13. 13. The applicator assembly of claim 6 further comprising a manifold connected to the liquid feed conduit and the nozzle, the manifold proximate the head opening and including a plurality of nozzles spaced apart and capable of dispensing the liquid, the head and the head opening are elongated and the plurality of nozzles dispenses the liquid through the head opening and onto the floor surface.
  14. 14. The applicator assembly of claim 13 wherein the head is generally planar, the head and the head opening are elongated substantially parallel in a longitudinal direction, the ratio of the longitudinal dimensions of the head opening to the head is greater than 0.7 and the ratio of the transverse dimensions of the head opening to the head is less than 0.3.
  15. 15. The applicator assembly of claim 6 further comprising a manually activated control element wherein actuation of the manually activated control element by the user provides the input to the regulating valve.
  16. 16. The applicator assembly of claim 15 wherein the manually activated control element is a trigger device including a trigger pivotally attached to the elongated handle and proximate the grip end.
  17. 17. The applicator assembly of claim 16 wherein the trigger device communicates the input with the regulating valve via a wire cable.
  18. 18. The applicator assembly of claim 15 wherein the regulating valve is a plunger device attached to the elongated handle between the base end and the grip end, the plunger device comprising a channel with at least part of the flexible material portion of the liquid feed conduit disposed within the channel, the plunger devise further comprising a plunger which acts compressibly on the liquid feed conduit when the manually activated control element is not actuated preventing delivery of the liquid and the plunger device does not act compressibly on the liquid feed conduit when the manually activated control element is actuated allowing delivery of the liquid.
  19. 19. The applicator assembly of claim 18 wherein the liquid feed conduit connection to the reservoir tank is a rotary coupling.
  20. 20. The applicator device of claim 19 wherein the liquid feed conduit further comprises an on/off valve, interposed between the rotary coupling and the plunger device, and a quick action coupling, interposed between the on/off valve and the nozzle.
US11462550 2006-08-04 2006-08-04 An application for dispensing and spreading a liquid on a floor surface Abandoned US20080031677A1 (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP2636353A3 (en) * 2012-03-09 2015-11-25 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Surface cleaning apparatus
US9889464B1 (en) * 2011-12-14 2018-02-13 Clark T. Winne Apparatus for finishing drywall without sanding

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US2768401A (en) * 1953-05-18 1956-10-30 Joseph A Becker Liquid wax dispenser
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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9889464B1 (en) * 2011-12-14 2018-02-13 Clark T. Winne Apparatus for finishing drywall without sanding
EP2636353A3 (en) * 2012-03-09 2015-11-25 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Surface cleaning apparatus
US9320405B2 (en) 2012-03-09 2016-04-26 Bissell Homecare, Inc. Surface cleaning apparatus

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Owner name: BETCO CORPORATION, OHIO

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HITCHNER, CURTIS;REEL/FRAME:018360/0451

Effective date: 20060927