US3388410A - Cleaning apparatus and method - Google Patents

Cleaning apparatus and method Download PDF

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US3388410A
US3388410A US666780A US66678067A US3388410A US 3388410 A US3388410 A US 3388410A US 666780 A US666780 A US 666780A US 66678067 A US66678067 A US 66678067A US 3388410 A US3388410 A US 3388410A
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chamber
clothes
cleaning solution
speed
cleaning
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Donald E Marshall
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Donald E. Marshall
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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
    • D06F35/00Washing machines, apparatus, or methods not otherwise provided for
    • D06F35/005Methods for washing, rinsing or spin-drying
    • D06F35/006Methods for washing, rinsing or spin-drying for washing or rinsing only
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F23/00Washing machines with receptacles, e.g. perforated, having a rotary movement, e.g. oscillatory movement, the receptacle serving both for washing and for centrifugally separating water from the laundry 
    • D06F23/02Washing machines with receptacles, e.g. perforated, having a rotary movement, e.g. oscillatory movement, the receptacle serving both for washing and for centrifugally separating water from the laundry  and rotating or oscillating about a horizontal axis
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F39/00Details of washing machines not specific to a single type of machines covered by groups D06F9/00 - D06F27/00 
    • D06F39/08Liquid supply or discharge arrangements
    • D06F39/083Liquid discharge or recirculation arrangements
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F43/00Dry-cleaning apparatus or methods using volatile solvents
    • D06F43/02Dry-cleaning apparatus or methods using volatile solvents having one rotary cleaning receptacle only

Description

June 18, 1968 D. E. MARSHALL CLEANING APPARATUS AND METHOD 4 Sheets-Sheet l 72 FIEZ Filed Sept. ll, 1967 INVENTOI'QI BY 004/440 5 Mus/mu June 18, 1963 0. E. MARSHALL CLEANING APPARATUS AND METHOD 4 Sheets-Sheet 23 Filed Sept. 11, 1967 INVENTOR. DOA/440 5 44426144444 BY? A? 5 Xian/51 s June 18, 1968 D. E. MARSHALL CLEANING APPARATUS AND METHOD 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Sept. ll, 1967 INVENTOR.
zfikm FIG 6 June 18, 1968 D. E. MARSHALL CLEANING APPARATUS AND METHOD 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Sept. ll, 1967 INVENTOR.
M40 5 MAGS/I41.
TUBA/IVS United States Patent 3,388,410 CLEANING APPARATUS AND METHUD Bonald E. Marshall, Edina, Minn. (4904 Sunnyside Road, Minneapolis, Minn. 55424) Continuation-input of application Ser. No. 586,918,
Sept. 22, 1956, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 552,807,.May 25, 1966. This application Sept. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 666,780
35 Claims. (Cl. 8-153) ABSTRAQT OF THE DKSCLOSURE An improved machine and method for cleaning clothes in which conventional dry cleaning solutions or solutions of Wash water and soap or detergent may be used for cleaning. in the machine, a cleaning chamber is rotated at a relatively high speed so that the clothes and cleaning solution form and maintain an annular layer in the chamber about the axis of rotation of the chamber. Periodically, during the cleaning operation, the rotational speed of the chamber is abruptly reduced to below that required to maintain the annular layer of the clothes and cleaning solution whereby a large portion of the clothes and cleaning solution falls away from the peripheral wall of the rotating chamber and is cast down on the clothes and the cleaning solution in the lower segment of the rotating chamber. During the cleaning operation, cleaning solution is recirculated at a high gate of flow through and across the clothes in the rotating chamber.
The cleaning chamber of the machine has a plurality of holes formed in its end walls. These holes are spaced radially inwardly from the periphery of the chamber so that a predetermined volume of cleaning solution is maintained within the chamber during the cleaning operation. The chamber also includes a plurality of raiially inwardly directed ridges that assist in the rearranging of the clothes during the speed changes of the chamber. in addition, the chamber has a shroud positioned about it so as to minimize suds drag when wash water is utilized in the machine.
Background of the invention This application is a continuation-in-part of application, Ser. No. 586,918, filed Sept. 22, 1966, which, in turn, was a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 552,807, filed May 25, 1966, and now abandoned.
The inventive concept disclosed in these above identified applications represent a basic and important improvement in the art of cleaning clothes in that the utilization of this concept permits clothes to be more thoroughly cleaned in less time and by the use of a smaller total volume of cleaning solution, as compared with presently available cleaning machines and methods.
Basically, this novel concept relates to rotating the clothes to be cleaned and a volume of cleaning solution in a cleaning chamber at a high speed so that the clothes and cleaning solution form and maintain an annular layer in the rotating chamber and periodically, abruptly rearranging the clothes in the chamber. While the clothes are 3,388,410 Patented June 18, 1968 being rotated in the chamber, cleaning solution is forced over and is leached through the clothes at a relatively high rate of flow.
More specifically, in one embodiment described in these above applications, the rearrangement of the clothes is achieved by periodically, abruptly stopping the rotating chamber, and then, briefly, but sharply, rotating the chamber in the opposite direction, before again rotating the chamber at the high speed. A high volume and pressure jet of cleaning solution may be directed against the interior of the rotating washing chamber in such a manner that the force of this jet will rearrange and tumble the clothes in the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution in the rotating chamber thereby either supplementing the rearrangement of the clothes resulting from the abrupt, periodic stopping of the chamber, or in some instances, acting as the sole means of rearranging the clothes in the chamber. in these applications, it was also disclosed that the rearrangement of the clothes in the rotating chamber may be achieved by periodically, abruptly changing the speed of the chamber, rather than completely stopping the chamber.
Subsequently, it has been found that satisfactory relative motion between the clothes and cleaning solution, and thus satisfactory cleaning action can be achieved if the chamber is rotated at lower speeds than heretofore thought possible. In fact, it has been found that if the chamber is rotated at or just above the speed necessary to form and maintain the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution, satisfactory cleaning may be obtained provided that there is a sufiicient flow of cleaning solution over and through the clothes while the clothes are maintained in the annular layer. Furthermore, the requisite rearrangement of the clothes can be achieved by abruptly reducing the speed of the rotating chamber to an intermediate speed below the speed that is necessary to maintain the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution in the rotating chamber. Moreover, when the speed of the chamber is abruptly reduced in this manner, it has been found that a large portion of the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution falls away from the peripheral wall of the chamber and is cast down on the clothes and cleaning solution in the lower segment of the chamber. This falling away and casting down of a portion of the annular layer greatly increases the cleaning action of these improved machines of this invention as it provides additional and forceful relative movement between the clothes and cleaning solution. While somewhat superficially similar to the type of cleaning action utilized by the conventional tumble type washing machines, the additional cleaning action thus achieved by the falling away and casting down of a portion of the layer of clothes and cleaning solution provides superior cleaning action since the weight of the falling cleaning solution assists the cleaning.
Moreover, since the chamber is not completely stopped, it obviously does not require as much time to return the rotating chamber to the high speed at which the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is formed and maintained and thus, the number of periodic rearrangements of the clothes that may be employed in any given time is increased. This, plus the added cleaning action resulting from the falling away and casting down of the clothes and cleaning solution in the rotating chamber, permits even more thorough cleaning in less time than heretofore possible.
Summary of the invention Accordingly and briefly, the improved machine and method of this invention is an improvement to the machines and methods described in the above identified applications and, more particularly, is an improved machine and method wherein. the rearrangement of the clothes and cleaning solution in the rotating chamber is achieved by periodically, abruptly reducing the rotational speed of the chamber to an intermediate speed.
More specifically, this invention relates to an improved machine and method for cleaning clothes wherein the clothes and cleaning solution are formed and maintained in an annular layer about the axis of rotation of the cleaning chamber. Periodically, the speed of the rotating chamber is abruptly reduced to a speed below that necessary to maintain the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution so that a large portion of the clothes and cleaning solution falls away from the side wall of the rotating chamber and is cast down upon the clothes and cleaning solution in the lower segment of the chamber. This casting down of the clothes and cleaning solution increases the cleaning action acting on the clothes as it provides additional and forceful relative motion between the clothes and cleaning solution.
In the improved machine and method of this invention, cleaning solution is introduced into and removed from the rotating chamber at high rates of fiow, with the rates of flow being adjusted so that there is always sufiicient cleaning solution present in the rotating chamber to form and maintain an annular layer of cleaning solution therein. Moreover, in the improved machine of the present invention, the cleaning solution is removed from the rotating chamber through a plurality of holes which are formed in the end walls of the rotating chamber and which are spaced radially inwardly from the periphery of the rotating chamber. This arrangement of the holes improves the washing characteristics of the machine as well as minimizing the possibility that suds can retard the speed of the rotating chamber.
The rotating chamber of this improved machine has a plurality of radially inwardly directed spiral ridges formed in the side wall thereof, which ridges cause the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution to skid axially, relative to the axis of rotation of the chamber, when the speed of the chamber is changed. This axial sliding assists in the rearrangement and also provides some additional relative movement between the clothes and cleaning solution.
As in the machines described in the above identified applications, the machine of the present invention permits the clothes to be cleaned in a relatively shorter time and by the use of a smaller volume of cleaning solution as compared with presently available machines. In addition, either conventional dry cleaning solutions or conventional solutions of wash water and soap or detergent may be used equally as well with the improved machine and method of this invention.
Accordingly, one of the primary objects of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and a method for cleaning clothes and the like wherein the time and the volume of cleaning solution required to clean the clothes satisfactorily are significantly reduced.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method for cleaning clothes wherein either conventional dry cleaning solutions or solutions of wash water and soap or soap and synthetic detergent may be used to clean the clothes.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method for cleaning clothes wherein an annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is formed and maintained in a cleaning chamber which is rotated about the central axis at a relatively high speed and wherein the rotational speed of the chamber, and thus, the clothes and cleaning solution are periodically, abruptly reduced from the high speed to an intermediate speed, whereby the clothes in the chamber are tumbled and rearranged therein.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method for cleaning clothes wherein an annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is formed and maintained in a cleaning chamber which is rotated about a central axis at a relatively high speed and wherein the rotational speed of the chamber, and thus, the clothes and cleaning solution are periodically, abruptly reduced to a speed below that necessary to maintain the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution whereby a large portion of the clothes and cleaning solution falls away from the periphery of the chamber and is cast down on the clothes and cleaning solution in the lower segment of the rotating chamber. A further related object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method for cleaning clothes wherein after a portion of the clothes and wash water have been cast down upon the lower segment of the rotating chamber because of an abrupt reduction of the speed of the chamber, the speed of the rotating chamber is quickly increased or returned to the relatively high speed so that the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is reformed. A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method for cleaning clothes wherein the cycle of reducing the speed of the chamber, the casting down of the clothes and cleaning solution in the chamber, and returning the speed of the chamber to a relatively high speed is periodically repeated during the cleaning operation whereby there is a significant increase in the amount of relative movement achieved between the clothes and the cleaning solution.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method for cleaning clothes wherein during the rotation of the cleaning chamber at relatively high speeds, i.e., during the time the annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is maintained in the chamber, cleaning solution is introduced into and removed from the rotating chamber at relatively high rates of flow whereby the cleaning solution leaches through the clothes in the annular layer and also passes over or flows across the radially inner surface of the annular layer. A related object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method of cleaning clothes wherein the cleaning solution is continuously removed from the rotating chamber through a plurality of holes formed in the ends of the rotating chamber and spaced radially inwardly with respect to the outer periphery of the rotating chamber.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine for cleaning clothes and the like wherein the rotating cleaning chamber of the machine includes a plurality of radially inwardly directed spiral ridges in its side wall which ridges cause the clothes and wash water in the chamber to skid axially relative to the axis of rotation of the chamber during the speed changes of the chamber.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine for cleaning clothes and method for cleaning clothes wherein a shroud is formed and arranged about the rotating chamber so that when wash water and soap or soap and synthetic detergent solution is used as a cleaning solution, soap suds are not permitted to accumulate adjacent to the chamber and, thereby, eliminating suds drag on the rotating chamber.
These and other objects and features of this invention will "become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the improved washing machine of the present invention with the side of the cabinet partially removed;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken along lines 2-2. in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical, cross-sectional of the cleaning chamber showing the clothes and cleaning solution in the chamber during relatively 'low speed rotation of the chamber;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the cleaning chamber rotating at a relatively high speed and showing the clothes and cleaning solution in the chamber formed in an annular layer about the axis of rotation in the chamber;
FIGURE 5 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the cleaning chamber during an abrupt reduction of speed of the chamber and showing the clothes and cleaning solution falling away from the side wall of the chamber and being cast down upon the clothes and cleaning solution in the lower portion of the rotating chamber;
FIGURE 6 is a partial vertical cross-sectional view of the rotating chamber and the shroud and showing the flow of cleaning solution within the chamber and shroud during high speed rotation of the chamber;
FIGURE 7 is a diagrammatic view of the piping system for an improved machine of the present invention wherein a wash water and soap or soap and syhthetic detergent solution is utilized as the cleaning solution; and
FIGURE 8 is a diagrammatic view of the piping system of an improved machine of the present invention wherein conventional dry cleaning solution is utilized as the cleaning solution.
Description of the preferred embodiment An improved machine embodying the principles of the present invention is shown generally at 11. This machine, as hereinafter described, is designed for the use of a solution of wash water and soap or detergent as the cleaning solution. The machine 11 has a sheet metal outer cabinet 12 which acts as a frame for supporting the components of the machine as well as providing a protective cover for these components.
A shroud 13 is positioned in the cabinet 12 and is constructed so as to prevent the leaking of fluid from the interior of the shroud. The shroud 13 has a one-piece side wall 14 which includes an upper, semicircular portion 15 that gives the side wall a generally keyhole like vertical cross-section, as shown in FIGURE 2. Troughs 16 are formed along the front and rear edges of the wall 14 around the semicircular portion 15. The shroud 13 includes a straight front wall 17 which has a circular opening 18 formed therein. The edge of the opening 18 is bent forward so that the edge contacts the front wall 19 of the cabinet 12 adjacent the edge of a circular opening 21 formed in the wall 19. A conventional hinged door 22 is mounted on the wall 19 adjacent to the opening 21 and is adapted to close the opening 21. The door 22 includes a conventional handle and lock 23 for facilitating opening and closing the door and for preventing the door from opening during operation of the machine.
The shroud 13 also has a rear wall 24 which is straight where adjacent to the upper portion 15 but is bent toward the frontat the lower end 25 thereof so that the lower interior portion 26 of the shroud has a smaller crosssectional area than the upper interior portion.
A cooling jacket 27 is attached to the shroud 13 along the lower end 25 of the Wall 24 for cooling the wash water in the shroud, as more fully explained hereinafter.
A plurality of structural members, shown generally at 28, are positioned between the shroud 13 and the cabinet 12 and between the shroud 13 and a vertical wall 29 and these members firmly support the shroud within the cabinet.
A general-1y cylindrical cleaning chamber 31 is mounted for rotation on a shaft 32 in the interior of the shroud 13. The chamber 31 has a generally cylindrical side wall 33 and fiat front and rear end walls 34 and 35 respectively. A circular flanged opening 36 is formed coaxial with the axis of rotation of the chamber 31 and shaft 32 in the front wall 34 of the chamber. The opening 36 is aligned with the opening 18 in the front wall 19 of the shroud 13 and thus with the opening 21 in the front Wall 19 of the cabinet. The opening 36 is approximately the same size as opening 18, and there is adequate clearance between the flanged opening 36 and opening 18 so that there is no contact therebetween during high speed rotation of the chamber. The openings 18, 21 and 36 are of such size that clothes and other items to be Washed may be placed within the interior of the chamber 31 through these openings.
The chamber 31 has a plurality of radially inwardly directed spiral ridges 37 formed in the side wall 33 and disposed at an angle to the direction of rotation of the chamber. More specifically, the chamber 31 as shown,
includes eight ridges each disposed at an angle of forty-' five degrees to the direction of rotation of the chamber. These ridges 37 cause the clothes and wash Water in the chamber 31 to skid generally axially with respect to the central axis of rotation of the chamber especially during periodic speed changes of the chamber. This skidding assists in rearranging the clothes in the chamber so as to insure thorough cleaning and also causes some relative movement between the clothes and wash water.
A plurality of holes 38 is formed in the end walls 34 and 35 for permitting wash water to be emitted from the chamber during rotation thereof. In each of the walls, the holes 38 are formed along the circumference of a circle having as its center, the axis of rotation of the chamber. As shown in FIGURES 2 and 6, the holes 38 are spaced radially inwardly, with respect to the axis of rotation of the chamber, a certain distance from the side wall 33 of the chamber. Preferably, the holes 38 should be spaced inwardly from the innermost edge of the ridges 37. For example, in a chamber having a twenty-four inch diameter, the holes 38 are spaced radially inwardly from the side wall 33 a distance of approximately two inches. This inward spacing of the holes 38 insures that there will always be a .minimum volume of wash water within the rotating chamber 31.
To permit the chamber 31 to drain when it is stopped or during spin dry operation, a plurality of drain holes 39 is formed in each of the end walls 34 and 35 adjacent to the side wall 33, with at least one drain hole 39 being positioned between adjacent ridges 37. The diameter of the holes 39 is quite small relative to the diameter of holes 38, for example inch diameter for holes 39 as compared to inch diameter for holes 38.
As shown in FIGURES l, 2 and 6, the upper portion of the side wall 14 of the shroud 13 is positioned closely adjacent the side wall 33 of the rotating chamber 31 so that there is minimum of space between these two side walls. This close spacing substantially prevents wash water from getting between these side walls and thus minimizes the possibility that soap or soap and synthetic detergent suds can develop between these walls and retard the rotation of the chamber. Moreover, the length of the chamber is such that the end walls 34 and 35 of the chamber are positioned adjacent the troughs 16. Thus, as shown in FIGURE 6, the wash water emitted from the rotating chamber 31 through the holes 38 is collected in these troughs and directed therein to the bottom 26 of the shroud. This arrangement of the chamber and troughs minimizes sudsing of the wash water in the shroud adjacent the rotating chamber and therefore also minimizes the possibility of suds drag on the chamber.
As noted above, the chamber 31 is mounted for rotation on the shaft 32 which extends through and is journaled in a bearing 41 carried by the wall 29. The other end 42 of the shaft 32 is journaled in a bearing 43 carried by rear wall 44 of the cabinet. A pair of sheaves or pulleys 45 are mounted on the shaft 32 between the bearings 41 and 43 and the sheaves 45 are adapted to be driven by V-belts 46.
Conventional motor 47 is mounted on the bottom wall 43 of the body cabinet 12. The mot-or 47 must be of the type which will permit the polarity of its windings to be reversed by changing the connections of the motor windings so that when the connections are changed, the motor will act as a brake.
An output shaft 49 of the motor 47 extends through an aperture formed in the wall 29 and has a pair of sheaves or pulleys 51 mounted thereon. The sheaves 51 receive the V-belts 46 so that the motor 47 is connected with the shaft 32 and thus the chamber 31 by means of the belts 46 and sheaves 45 and 51.
A conventional pump 52 is also driven "by the motor 47 through a direct connection with the motor 47. The enlarged inlet 53 of the pump 52 communicates directly with the lower portion 26 of the shroud 13. To minimize sudsing of the wash water, and to maintain a sufficient volume of wash water in the rotating chamber, the capacity of the pump 52 should be greater than the maximum rate of fiow of wash water out of the chamber through the holes 38. An example of a commercially available pump, which may be utilized as the pump 52 is the twostage centrifugal pump manufactured by Nash Engineering of Norwalk, Conn.
The outlet 54 of the pump 52 communicates with a pair of nozzles 55 and 56 which direct high volume and pressure streams of wash water into the interior of the chamber 31 through the opening 36. More specifically, the nozzles 55 and 56 are connected to the ends of the pipes 57 and 58 which extend through apertures in the side wall 14 of the shroud and which are interconnected at their ends by a T 59. A pipe 61 connects the T 5? with the outlet 54 of the pump 52.
As noted above, the machine 11 of this invention utilizes a solution of wash water and soap or soap and synthetic detergent as the cleaning solution to clean clothes and the like, and the piping circuit for the machine is shown diagrammatically in FIGURE 7.
In the circuit shown in FIGURE 7 hot and cold water may be introduced into the lower portion 26 of shroud 13 through pipes 62 and 63 respectively which are connected with sources of hot and cold water, not shown. Conventional electrically controlled valves 64 and 65 are positioned in pipes 62 and 63 respectively and control the flow of water therethrough. The operation of the u valves 64 and 65 in turn is controlled by a conventional timing mechanism 66.
The timing mechanism employs an electric motor which sequentially operates a plurality of switches in a preselected sequence. Such timing mechanisms are old and well known in the art.
In some instances, it may be advantageous to use only soft water in the machine 11 and sometimes, there is no soft cold water available. For this reason, an additional pipe 67 may be connected to the pipe 63 upstream from the valve 65. A conventional electrically controlled valve 63 is positioned in pipe 67 and this valve, like valves 64 and 65 is controlled by the timing mechanism 66. Thus, in such instances, only hot water, through pipe 62 is to be introduced into the shroud 13 while cold water, through pipe 67 may be introduced to the cooling jacket 27 adjacent the bottom portion 26 of the shroud 13. The rate of flow of cold water through the jacket 27 is selected so that the temperature of the wash water in the shroud 13 is maintained at an optimum washing temperature. The cold water flows from the jacket 27 to a sump 69 through a pipe 71.
As noted above, the outlet 54 of the pump 52 is connccted with the nozzles 55 and 56 by means of the pipe 61. Conventional two-way electrically controlled valves 72 and 73 are positioned in pipe 61, and the operation of both these valves is controlled by the timing mechanism 66. A pipe 74 connects the valve 72 with the sump 69 while a pipe 75 connects the valve 73 with the inlet 53 of the pump 52.
At the startup of the machine 11, and while the clothes or the like are being placed within the chamber 31, water is introduced into bottom portion 26 of the shroud 13 through pipes 62 and/or 63. After a predetermined amount of water has been introduced into the shroud 13, the motor 47 is energized and thus the pump 52 begins to operate and the chamber 31 begins to rotate. At this time, the valves 72 and 73 permit wash water to flow through the pipe 61 and into the interior of the rotating chamber 31. During startup and while water is being introduccd and accumulated in portion 26 of the shroud, and while the chamber 31 is being rotated at the intermediate speed, the interior of the chamber appears as shown in FIGURE 3 with the arrow 76 indicating the direction of rotation. Thereafter, as the rotational speed of the chamber 31 increases to a relatively high speed and the amount of wash water in the chamber increases, the wash water and clothes are formed and maintained in an annular layer such as shown in FIGURE 4. It should be noted that in order to form and maintain an annular layer of clothes and wash water in the chamber 31, the centrifugal force acting on the clothes and wash water, due to the rotational speed of the chamber, must be greater than the force of gravity acting on the clothes and wash water. Moreover, to control sudsing in the chamber, it has been found that the speed of the chamber should be somewhat greater than that necessary to overcome the gravitational forces acting on the clothes and wash water.
While the chamber 31 is being rotated by the motor 47 at the relatively high speed, wash water is being continuously introduced into and removed from the chamber through the nozzles 55 and 56 and the holes 38 respectively. Moreover, because of the arrangement of the holes 38 in the chamber, the wash water is forced to flow both through the clothes and along the radial inner surface of the annular layer whereby penetration and surfacing of the dirty wash water, followed by tumbling, leave the clothes in the chamber thoroughly cleaned. In this connection, the term surfacing will be understood to describe the action of the water flowing across the inner radial surface of the annular layer, from the nozzles to the holes 38, to lift and carry away the dirt and dirty wash water in the annular layer formed by the high speed rotation of the chamber.
After an annular layer of clothes and wash water has been formed in the chamber, the timing mechanism 66 causes the electrical connections of the motor 47 to be changed so that the motor abruptly begins acting as a brake. As soon as the motor begins acting as a brake, the speed of the rotating chamber is quickly and abruptly reduced to an intermediate speed below that necessary to maintain the annular layer of clothes and wash water whereby a large portion of the clothes and wash water falls away from the side wall 33 of the chamber and is cast down on the clothes and wash water in the lower segment of the chamber as shown in FIGURE 5. This, of course, provides added and forceful relative motion between the clothes and wash water. Thereafter, for a few seconds, the clothes and wash water are tumbled in the chamber rotating, as shown in FIGURE 3, at the intermediate speed before the timing mechanism 66 again reenergizes the motor so that the chamber 31 is quickly returned to the relatively high speed at which the annular layer of clothes and wash water is reformed, as shown in FIGURE 4.
The cycle of forming an annular layer of wash water and clothes abruptly reducing the speed of the chamber so that a portion of the clothes and wash water fall away from the side wall of the chamber, tumbling the clothes at the reduced speed, and then quickly, reforming the annular layer by returning the chamber to the relatively high speed may be periodically repeated numerous times during the washing operation. Moreover, since the time required for such a cycle is small, many such cycles can be repeated within a relatively short time.
At the end of the washing operation, the timing mechanism 66 causes the valve 72 to direct the dirty wash water flowing in pipe 61 into pipe 74 and thus, into the sump 69. After most of the dirty wash water has been pumped into the sump 69, the valve 72 may be returned to the position wherein the flow through pipe 61 is directed into the chamber.
It should be noted that during the time the motor 47 is acting as a brake, an optimum level of wash water in chamber 31 for best cleaning results may be obtained if the flow through nozzles 55 and 56 is momentarily reduced. To accomplish this, the timing mechanism 66 causes valve 73 to divert some of the wash water flowing through pipe 61 into pipe 75 which as noted above, returns the wash water to the inlet 53 of the pump 52 while the motor 47 is acting as a brake and while the clothes are being tumbled in the chamber as shown in FIGURE 3. The wash water is returned to the inlet 53, rather than to the portion 26, so as to control sudsing of the wash water in the shroud 13. As soon as the motor 47 again begins to rotate the chamber 31, the timing mechanism 66 causes valve 73 to again permit all the wash water to flow from the pump 52 through pipe 61 and through the nozzles 55 and 56 and into the rotating chamber 31.
After the washing operation has been completed, and the dirty wash water has been pumped to the sump, clean rinse water may be introduced into the lower portion 26 of the shroud 13 through the pipes 62 and/or 63. During this time, the motor 47 remains energized so that the chamber 31 is rotated at the intermediate speed, and the pump 52 circulates this clean rinse water over and through the tumbling clothes in the rotating chamber. The speed of the chamber 31 is increased to the relatively high speed and then is abruptly reduced to the intermediate speed whereby a large portion of the clothes and rinse water in the annular layer fall away from the side of the chamber. Thereafter the clothes are briefly tumbled in the chamber at the intermediate speed, and then the chamber is returned to the high speed. As in the washing cycle, these steps of high speed rotation, abrupt speed reduction, tumbling of the clothes and return to high speed rotation, may be repeated periodically during the rinse cycle. Moreover, while the chamber 31 is rotating at the intermediate speed, the valve 73 may be operated to direct a portion of the recirculating rinse water back to the pump inlet 53 through pipe 75. When the rinsing cycle is completed, the dirty rinse water may be pumped to the sump through the pipe 74. After the dirty water has been replaced by clean rinse water introduced into the portion 26 of the shroud, the steps of high speed rotation, abrupt speed reduction, tumbling and return to high speed may be repeated several times to get the dirt out of the clothes.
Of course, the complete rinsing cycle may be repeated two or three times to insure that the clothes are thoroughly rinsed. After the rinsing operation has been completed, the clothes can be spun dried by rotation of the chamber 31 at a very high speed, such as 400 to 600 rpm, for a short period of time. During spin drying, of course, no water is introduced into the shroud through the pipes 62 and/or 63, and the water extracted from the clothes is pumped directly to the sump 69 and the pump 52 spins empty.
As noted above, the principles of this invention can be utilized with a machine that uses conventional dry cleaning solutions, such as perchloroethylene, as a cleaning solution. FIGURE 8 shows, diagrammatically, a piping circuit for a machine 77 that is adapted to use dry cleaning solutions. The operation of machine 77 is generally similar to the operation of machine 11, as described above. Moreover, except as noted below, the machine 77 is structurally identical to machine 11, and for this reason and for convenience, the same reference numerals will be used for the parts or components of machine 77 as were used in the description of machine 11.
In machine 77, cleaning solution is introduced into a tank 78 through a pipe 79 which is connected with a source of cleaning solution, not shown. A conventional electrically controlled valve 81 is positioned in the pipe 79 for controlling the flow therethrough and the operation of the valve is controlled by the timing mechanism 66. A conventional liquid level sensing device 82 is positioned within the tank 78 and is connected with the timing mechanism 66 so that when a level of the cleaning solution in the tank 78 reaches a preselected level, the timing mechanism causes the valve 81 to prevent additional cleaning solution to be introduced into the tank. A vent 83 is also positioned on the tank 78 to vent the fumes from the cleaning solution and to prevent air lock.
The cleaning solution flows from the tank 78 to the inlet 53 of the pump 52 through a pipe 84. A conventional electrically controlled valve 85 is positioned in the pipe 84 and the operation of the valve is controlled by the timing mechanism 66. As in the machine 11, the pipe 61 interconnects the outlet 54 of the pump 52 with the nozzles 55 and 56.
Conventional electrically controlled valves 86, 87 and 88 are positioned in the pipe 61 and the operation of each valve is controlled by the timing mechanism 66. The valve 86 is used to divert cleaning solution from the pipe 61 back to the tank 78 through a pipe 89. The valve 87 is used to connect the outlet 54 of the pump 52 directly to the shroud 13, through a pipe 91, so that the lower portion 26 of the shroud can be filled with solution during initial start-up of the machine. A pipe 92 interconnects the lower portion 26 of the shroud with the inlet 53 of the pump 52. A conventional electrically controlled valve 93 is positioned in pipe 92 and the operation of this valve is controlled by the timing mechanism 66.
Valve 88 may divert, through a pipe 94, some of the cleaning solution from the pump outlet 54 back to the pipe 92, and thus back to the pump inlet 53, during the time the motor 47 is acting as a brake. A filter 95 is positioned in pipe 61 between valves 86 and 87. The filter 95 may be of conventional design and is used to remove the dirt and dyes from the circulating cleaning solution.
Since the operation of machine 77 is similar to that of machine 11, a detailed description thereof is believed to be unnecessary. Suilice it to note that during relatively hieh s eed rotation of the chamber 31, cleanin solution a P a is continously introduced into and removed from the chamber. This cleaning solution in a correspondingly large volume is recirculated over and through the clothes in the chamber except during the time when the motor is actin as a brake. When the motor is acting as a brake, the cleaning solution is partially recirculated from the pump outlet -4 back to the pump inlet 53 through the pipes 93 and 94.
As noted above in both machines 11 and 77, the chamber 31 overcome the force of gravity and form the layer of clothes and cleaning solution therein. For example in a machine, similar to machine 11, that has a cylindrical chamber with a diameter of 24 inches and a length of inches, it has been found that the minimum r.p.m. that will form an annular layer in the chamber is approximately 55 rpm. When pounds of clothes (dry weight) are being washed in the chamber and 31 gallons per minute of aerated detergent solution are being circulated through the machine, however, normally such a machine would be run at approximately 100-200 rpm. The intermediate speed or the speed to which the rotating chamber is reduced in order to cause the clothes and wash water to fall away from the side wall of the chamber is, for such a machine, approximately 45 to 50 rpm. Furthermore, when conventional dry cleaning solution is used as the cleaning solution, the relatively high speed at which the chamber would be rotated would only need to be approximately 100 r.p.m. because there is no sudsing problem.
Moreover, as noted above, the washing cycle, i.e., torn ing an annular layer of clothes and wash water, reducing the speed of the chamber so that a portion of the layer falls away from the wall of the chamber, and then reforming the annular layer, may be repeated numerous times during the washing operation. Thus, for a machine having as its relatively high speed, a speed of 200 r.p.m., this washing cycle could be repeated approximately 6 times per minute or when the relatively high speed is 100 rpm, the cycle could be repeated approximately 12 times a minute.
A more specific example of the times required to perform typical washing, rinsing, and spin dry operations in a washing machine of the present invention, is set forth in Table I. The washing machine used for the cleaning operations described in Table I has rotating-cleaning chamber, corresponding to chamber 31 which is 24 inches in diameter and 15 inches in len th. Approximately twenty pounds of clothes (dry weight) are cleaned in the rotating chamber, and at any given time during high speed rotation of the chamber, there is between 45 and 65 pounds of wash water plus 20 pounds of clothes in the chamber, and the wash water in the chamber forming and maintaining an annular layer having a radial thickness of approximately 2% inches. Water is introduced into the lower portion of the shroud through pipes corresponding to pipe 62 and/or 63, at a rate of approximately one pound per second. Wash water is recirculated in the machine at a rate of about 31 gallons per minute which is equal to approximately 3 pounds per second due to the aeration of the wash water by the pump.
The high speed of the chamber is 200 rpm. while the intermediate speed is 45 rpm. The machine utilizes a 2 HP. electric motor, corresponding to motor 47, that should be rotated above that speed necessary to can accelerate the chamber from 45 rpm. to 200 rpm. in about 4 seconds while the motor can brake the chamber from 200 r.p.rn. to 45 r.p.rn. in about two seconds.
5 TABLE I Time Water (in lbs.)
(in see.) In Out In Recir- Sysculating tern Washing Operation:
Preliminary Fill" (saturation and distribu- 15 tion of clothes at 45 r.p.m.) G1 61 41 Preliminary Speed-up to rpm 4 65 45 Wash Cycle #l:
Braking to 45 r.p.m.:
2 sec.. 20 titfititsetil ifttw 10 75 55 Speedup to 200 r.p.m.: 4 sec Wash CycleitZ 10 85 65 Wash Cycle #3. 10 85 65 Wash Cycle #4-. 10 S5 65 Wash Cycle #5 10 85 65 Wash Cycle #6.. 10 85 65 Drain Wash Water at 200 r.p.rn 15 45 40 20 Continue Draining While Adding Rinse Water at 200 r.p.n1 5 5 15 10 Total Wash Operations 00 (including water charging) 145 90 RillSlilfI Operations:
Preliminary Fill: Braking to 45 r.p.m 2 2 32 12 Distribution of clothes at 35 45 r.p.m 13 45 25 Rinse Stage #1:
Fill at 45 22p... 36 36 81 61 Speed-up to 200 r. p.m.-... 4 4 85 G5 Rinse Cycle #1:
Braking to 45 rpm;
2 sec 40 Tliiggle in lower segment: 10 85 G5 Speed-up to 200 r.p.m.
4 sec Rinse Cycle #2 10 85 65 Rinse Cycle #3.. 10 85 65 Rinse Cycle #4 10 85 65 Rinse Cycle #5 (with water input and drain) 10 10 30 G5 0 Rinse Cycle #6 input and drain) 1O 10 30 45 25 Rinse Stage #2-. 100 G0 60 45 25 Rinse Stage #3 100 60 60 45 25 Total Riusing Operations (including water charging) 315 195 Spin Dry Operation (400-600 r.p.m.) 35
Time Totals:
Wash Stage 145 scc.=2.4 Min. Rinse Stages 315 see.= .3 Min. Spin Dry 300 scc.=5.0 Min.
Total Cleaning Cycle Time 12.7 Min.
Water Usage Totals: Lbs. Wash Operations 00 Rinse Operations 105 Total 235 *Detcrgent gradually added to shroud.
NOTES (1) Optimum suri'acing" of the dirt from the clothes occurs when the circulating wash water flows at a high rate across the inner radial surface of the annular layer during high speed rotation of the chamber and flows axially out of the ends of the chamber. In the machine whose operation described in Table I, this optimum surfacing occurs when there are pounds of water in the machine.
(2) Optimum tumbling conditions occur in a tumble drum of a conventional tumble machine when the load of clothes and water in a still condition in a chamber reaches hallway to the center of the chamber. However, in the machine whose operation is described in the Table I, 85 pounds of clothes and wash water are in the chamber and the level of the clothes and water in the chan'iber in a still condition is oi the way to the center of the chamber. This higher level of water and clotzics increases the eiIecLivciicSs oi the falling away and casting down of t :0 water I 0 and clothes during to appropriate braking oi the chamber.
The total time for the complete cleaning operation as described in Table I, is approximately percent of the time required to clean the same weight of clothes in presently commercially available washing machines. Moreover, approximately 285 pounds of water, including 195 pounds of water during the rinsing steps, are used in the cleaning operation described in Table I, which is approximately 56 percent of the amount of water used to clean the same weight of clothes in presently commercially available washing machines.
Of course, it should be noted that Table I is merely illustrative and various diiferent speeds may be used depending on the desired cleanliness to be achieved, the weight of the clothes to be cleaned, the amount of cleaning solution to be recirculated, etc. Also, if desired, the timing mechanism 66 could be set so that the rotating chamber merely cycles above and below the speed at which an annular layer is formed so that almost as soon as the layer is formed or reformed, the layer of clothes and cleaning solution is caused to fall away from the side of the chamber.
Conclusion From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the improved machine and method of this invention enables clothes and the like to be thoroughly cleaned in a relatively short period of time, as compared with present commercially available machines. Moreover, this rapid and thorough cleaning is achieved by the use of standardized components that can be readily purchased or inexpensively manufactured. Furthermore, while the machine described herein has particular utility in a coin-operated laundering and/or dry cleaning type of operation, it can be utilized in the home.
Also, it should be noted that various modifications could be made to the machines described herein. For example, rather than having a horizontally rotating chamber, the chamber could be disposed at an angle of or 90 with the floor. In such a modified machine, the ridges formed in the chamber would be disposed so as to cause the clothes and wash water to slide axially down to the bottom of the rotating chamber during the braking of the chamber. Further, the piping diagrams shown in FIGURES 7 and 8 can be changed and equivalent piping circuits would, of course, be obvious to those skilled in the art. Likewise, one nozzle, rather than two nozzles could be used.
Lastly, it should be noted that the term clothes, as used herein, should not be limited to its conventional definition, but should be read to include all fabrics or materials which are or could be cleaned in machines. Furthermore, the basic concept and invention herein described rnay be embodied in other specific forms and constructions without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics of the invention. For this reason, the preferred embodiment described hereinabove is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and the range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
I claim as my invention:
1. An improved machine for cleaning clothes and the like including a rotatable chamber adapted to receive clothes to be cleaned in a cleaning solution; means for rotating the chamber about its central axis at a relatively high speed whereby the clothes and cleaning solution in the chamber form and maintain a generally annular layer about said central axis, and means for periodically, abruptly reducing the rotational speed of the chamber from said relatively high speed to an intermediate speed, whereby the clothes in the chamber are tumbled and rearranged.
2. The machine described in claim 1 wherein during said relatively high speed rotation of the chamber, cleaning solution is continuously introduced into and removed from the chamber whereby a volume of cleaning solution is maintained in the chamber.
3. The machine described in claim 1 wherein the means for changing the rotational speed of the chamber quickly returns the chamber to said relatively high speed after said reduction of rotational speed, whereby said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is again formed.
4. The machine described in claim 1 wherein said intermediate speed is below the rotational speed required to maintain said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution whereby a large portion of the clothes and cleaning solution falls away from the rotating chamber and is cast down on the clothes and cleaning solution in the lower segment of the chamber.
5. The machine described in claim 3 which includes means for introducing cleaning solution into the interior of the rotating chamber; and means for removing cleaning solution from the rotating chamber.
6. The machine described in claim 4 which includes means for quickly returning the rotational speed of the chamber to said relatively high speed after said reduction of rotational speed whereby said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is again formed.
7. The machine described in claim 4 which includes means for introducing cleaning solution into the interior of the rotating chamber; and means for removing cleaning solution from the rotating chamber.
8. The machine described in claim 5 wherein the chamber has a generally cylindrical side wall and has end walls, wherein said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is formed and maintained adjacent the side wall and wherein the means for removing cleaning solution from the chamber includes a plurality of holes formed in at least one of the end Walls of the chamber, said holes being spaced radially inwardly from the side wall, relative to said central axis.
9. The machine described in claim 6 wherein the chamber has a side wall and end Walls; wherein said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is formed and maintained adjacent the side wall; and wherein ridges means are formed in the side wall to assist the rearrangement and tumbling of the clothes during said changes in rotational speed of the chamber.
10. The machine described in claim 7 wherein the means for introducing cleaning solution into the chamber includes nozzle means whereby the cleaning solution is introduced into the interior of the chamber in the form of a relatively high pressure jet.
11. The machine described in claim 7 wherein the chamber has a side Wall and has end walls; wherein said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is formed and maintained adjacent the side wall; and wherein the means for removing cleaning solution from the chamber includes a plurality of holes formed in at least one of the end walls of the chamber, said holes being spaced radially inwardly from the side wall, relative to said central axis.
12. The machine described in claim 9 wherein the side wall of the chamber is generally cylindrical; and wherein the ridge means includes spaced ridges which are directed radially inwardly, relative to said central axis, with the longitudinal central axis of each of the ridges being disposed at an angle to the direction of rotation of the chamber whereby during said changes in rotational speed of the chamber, the ridges cause the clothes in the chamber to skid, relative to the side wall, generally in a direction other than the direction of rotation of the chamber.
13. The machine described in claim 9 which includes means for introducing cleaning solution into the interior of the rotating chamber; and means for removing cleaning solution from the rotating chamber.
14. The machine described in claim 10 wherein the means for introducing cleaning solution into the interior of the chamber includes means for pumping said cleaning solution, the pump means having an inlet and outlet, first conduit means for connecting said outlet with the nozzle means, second conduit means for connecting said outlet with said inlet, valve means in the second conduit means for selectively interconnecting said outlet with said inlet; and means for controlling the valve means whereby When the chamber is rotating at said relatively high speed, cleaning solution may flow from the outlet, through the first conduit means and into the rotating chamber through the nozzle means and when the chamber is rotating at said intermediate speed, cleaning solution may flow from the outlet and through the first and second conduit means.
15. The machine described in claim 11 wherein the chamber has a generally right cylindrical side wall; and wherein said holes are equi-spaced about said central axis and equi-spaced from one another.
16. The machine described in claim 11 wherein the means for introducing cleaning solution introduces cleaning solution into the interior of the chamber at a first predetermined rate of flow; wherein the means for removing cleaning solution removes cleaning solution from the chamber at a second predetermined rate of flow, said first predetermined rate of flow being at least equal to said second predetermined rate of flow.
17. The machine described in claim 11 which includes means for collecting the cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber, the collecting means being connected with the means for introducing cleaning solution into the chamber whereby said cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber maybe reintroduced into the chamber.
18. The machine described in claim 12 wherein said central axis of the chamber is horizontal; and wherein said longitudinal central axis of the ridges is disposed at an angle of to the direction of rotation of the chamber.
19. The machine described in claim 14 which includes means for collecting the cleaning solution removed from the rotatiru chamber, the collecting means being connected with said inlet whereby said cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber may be reintroduced into the chamber.
20. The machine described in claim 16 wherein the means for introducing cleaning solution into the interior of the chamber includes nozzle means and means for pumping cleaning solution to the nozzle means, the pump means having an inlet and outlet; first conduit means for connecting said outlet with the nozzle means; second conduit means for connecting said outlet with said inlet; valve means in the second conduit means for selectively interconnecting said outlet with said inlet; and means for controlling the valve means whereby when the chamber is rotating at said relatively high speed, cleaning solution may flow from the outlet through the first conduit means and into the rotating chamber through the nozzle means and when the chamber is rotating at said intermediate speed, cleaning solution may flow from the outlet and through the first and second conduit means.
21. The machine described in claim 17 wherein the collecting means includes a shroud which extends about the upper portion of the chamber so as to catch the cleaning solution removed from the chamber and direct said cleaning solution away from the rotating chamber, the shroud including a central portion that is conformable to and spaced closely adjacent to the nonperforated side wall of the chamber whereby the space between, and thus the amount of cleaning solution that can flow between the central portion and the side wall is minimized, and a trough positioned adjacent to said holes in the end wall of the chamber.
22. The machine described in claim 20 wherein the means for removing cleaning solution includes means for collecting the cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber, the collecting means being connected with said inlet whereby cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber may be reintroduced into the chamber through the nozzle means and wherein pump means has a capacity greater than said second predetermined rate of flow.
23. The machine described in claim 21 wherein the cleaning solution is wash water, and wherein the collecting means includes means for introducing additional wash water into the collecting means and means to control the temperature of the wash water flowing in the collecting means.
24. The machine described in claim 22 wherein the side wall of the chamber is generally cylindrical; and wherein the ridge means to assist the rearrangement and tumbling of the clothes during said changes in rotating speed of the chamber, the ridge means including spaced ridges which are radially inwardly directed, relative to said central axis, with the longitudinal central axis of each of the ridges being disposed at an angle to the direction of rotation of the chamber whereby during said changes in rotational speed of the chamber, the ridges cause the clothes to skid, relative to the side wall, generally in a direction other than the direction of rotation of the chamber.
25. The machine described in claim 22 which includes means for quickly returning the rotational speed of the chamber to said relatively high speed after said reduction of rotational speed whereby said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution is again formed.
26. The machine described in claim 22 wherein the collecting means includes a shroud which extends about the upper portion of the chamber so as to catch the cleaning solution removed from the chamber and direct said cleaning solution away from the rotating chamber, the shroud including a central portion that is conformable to and spaced closely adjacent to the nonperforated side Wall of the chamber, whereby the space between, and thus the amount of cleaning solution that can flow between, the central portion and the side Wall is minimized, and a trough positioned adjacent to said holes in the end wall of the chamber.
27. The machine described in claim 25 wherein the side wall of the chamber is a right cylinder having a diameter of approximately 24 inches; and wherein the relatively high rotational speed is in the range of -200 r.p.m. and said intermediate speed is in the range of 45-50 rpm.
28. The machine described in claim 26 which includes means for collecting the cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber, the collecting means being connected with said inlet whereby said cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber may be reintroduced into the chamber.
29. A method of cleaning clothes and the like in a machine having a rotatable chamber adapted to receive the clothes and a cleaning solution, comprising the steps of rotating the clothes and cleaning solution in the chamber at a relatively high speed whereby the clothes and cleaning solution form and maintain a generally annular layer about the axis of rotation of the chamber and tumbling and rearranging the clothes in the chamber by periodically abruptly reducing the rotational speed of the chamber from said relatively high speed to an intermediate speed.
30. The method of cleaning clothes described in claim 29 including the steps of reducing the rotational speed of the chamber to an intermediate speed below the speed required to maintain said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution whereby a large portion of the clothes and cleaning solution falls away from the rotating chamber and is cast down on the clothes and cleaning solution in the lower segment of the chamber.
31. The method of cleaning clothes described in claim 30 including the step of quickly returning the rotational speed of the chamber to said relatively high speed after the step of reducing the rotational speed of the chamber from said relatively high speed to said intermediate 17 speed, whereby an annulanlayer of clothes and cleaning solution is again formed.
32. The method of cleaning clothes described in claim 31 including the steps of introducing cleaning solution into the interior of the rotating chamber in the form of a relatively high pressure jet Which is directed onto the layer of clothes and cleaning solution; and continuously removing cleaning solution from the rotating chamber in such a manner that the cleaning solution in the chamber must leach through the clothing before being removed from the chamber.
33. The method of cleaning clothes described in claim 32 including the steps of continuously introducing cleaning solution into the rotating chamber at a first predetermined rate of flow and continuously removing cleaning solution from the rotating chamber at a second predetermined rate of flow and in such a manner that a volume of cleaning solution is always present in the rotating chamber during the cleaning operation, with the said first predetermined rate of flow being at least equal to said second predetermined rate of flow.
34. The method of cleaning clothes described in claim 33 including the steps of causing a large portion of the cleaning solution introduced into the interior of the rotating chamber to flow generally axially along the inner, radial surface of said annular layer of clothes and cleaning solution and out of an end of the rotating chamber so as to remove the accumulated dirt therefrom.
35. The method of cleaning clothes described in claim 33 including the steps of collecting the cleaning solution removed from the rotating chamber and reintroducing said cleaning solution back into said rotating chamber.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,165,884 7/1939 Cham'berlin et a1. 6824 X 2,322,559 6/1943 Baird 6824 2,357,909 9/1944 Ridge 6824 2,432,766 12/1947 Kirby 68148 X 2,556,490 6/1951 Chamberlin 6824 X 2,706,899 4/1955 Meyer 6824 2,760,639 8/1956 Haverstock 6824 X WILLIAM I. PRICE, Primary Examiner.
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