Wash chamber for automated appendage-washing apparatus

  • US 7,789,095 B2
  • Filed: 12/09/2008
  • Issued: 09/07/2010
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/31/2006
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An automated cleaning station to at least partially clean at least a portion of at least one appendage of a person using at least one fluid, comprising:

  • a body;

    a rotatable wash chamber associated with the body, the wash chamber including an inner member and an outer member, the wash chamber including a first end and a second end, the wash chamber including an axis of rotation;

    an appendage receiving cavity located within the inner member, the appendage receiving cavity adapted for being accessible by the portion of the at least one appendage through an opening in the first end of the wash chamber;

    an annular cavity located between the inner member and the outer member, the inner member including a first surface and a second surface, the first surface facing the appendage receiving cavity and the second surface facing the annular cavity;

    a first set of nozzles disposed on the inner member in a ring configuration, the first set of nozzles located proximate to the first end of the wash chamber, wherein each nozzle of the first set nozzles is adapted to produce a spray that is projected at a pitch angle of between 15 and 35 degrees and at a roll angle of substantially 0 degrees;

    a second set of nozzles disposed on the inner member in a helical pattern along a length of the cylinder portion of the inner member, the second set of nozzles including a first nozzle located proximate to the opening in the first end of the wash chamber, wherein each nozzle of the second set of nozzles is adapted to produce a spray pattern that is projected at a pitch angle of substantially 0 degrees, wherein a first spray pattern associated with the first nozzle of the second set of nozzles is projected at a first roll angle, wherein a second spray pattern associated with a second nozzle of the second set of nozzles is projected at a second roll angle, the second roll angle steeper than the first roll angle, and wherein a remainder of the second set of nozzles each have a corresponding spray pattern oriented at progressively steeper roll angles;

    at least one off-helix nozzle disposed on the inner member;

    a third set of nozzles disposed on a frusto-conical portion of the inner member;

    a guard comprising an annular recess located on the inner member proximate to the opening in the wash chamber and a cylindrical portion disposed on the body, wherein the cylindrical guard is received in the annular recess, and wherein an inner surface of the cylindrical portion is flush with the first surface of the inner member;

    a seal between the inner member and the outer member, the seal comprising an annular ring operatively associated with a circular flange disposed on the outer member;

    a drain disposed on the inner member including a drain surface having a plurality of perforations;

    a seating mechanism associated with the body, the seating mechanism adapted to receive a fluid inlet disposed on the wash chamber, the fluid inlet comprising an opening in the outer member and a tubular portion extending from the opening, the fluid inlet providing an entrance for the at least one fluid into the annular cavity, the fluid inlet being radially symmetric with respect to the axis of rotation, wherein the seating mechanism includes an o-ring, the o-ring providing a seal between an interior of the seating mechanism and a receiving basin, the receiving basin adapted to receive fluid exiting the appendage receiving cavity through the drain;

    whereby during operation of the wash chamber, the at least one fluid flows in from the fluid inlet, into the annular cavity and through the first, second and third set of nozzles, and the off-helix nozzle into the appendage receiving cavity.

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