Patent application title: Portable Iron
Michael H. Artinian (Ladera Ranch, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G2572FI
Class name: Textiles: ironing or smoothing smoothing implements
Publication date: 2011-11-10
Patent application number: 20110271564
The invention relates to a hand held iron that has opposing matching
heating plates that can be compressed onto clothing and remove wrinkles.
The portable iron incorporates heating elements disposed distal to the
hinge capable of being clamped together. The heating elements remove
wrinkles from clothing such as shirts and pants without the need of an
ironing board. The heating elements can be extended or retracted to
accommodate different clothing designs and sizes.
1. A portable iron comprising a handle, the handle further being
comprised of two handle portions, the handle portions connected at a
hinge on a proximal end of the handle portions, the distal end of the
handle portion each has a heating element.
2. The portable iron of claim 1, wherein the hinge has a Panini design.
3. The portable iron of claim 1, wherein the heating elements has a flat surface.
4. The portable iron of claim 1, wherein the heating elements surfaces are not flat and complement each other so that the surfaces interdigitate.
5. A portable iron comprising two extending arms connected with a spring mechanism on the proximal end of the extending arms and heating elements for removing wrinkles from fabric attached to the distal end of the extending arms with hand grips near the proximal end of the extending arms.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 U.S. provisional application number 61/331,336 dated May 4, 2010 the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
 The invention relates to a hand held iron that has opposing matching heating plates that can be compressed onto clothing and remove wrinkles. The portable iron incorporates heating elements disposed distal to the hinge capable of being clamped together. The heating elements remove wrinkles from clothing such as shirts and pants without the need of an ironing board. The heating elements can be extended or retracted to accommodate different clothing designs and sizes.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Portable irons have been in existence for many years. As traveling for business becomes more prevalent, even in the age of teleconferencing, there is a need for better portable irons for use without ironing boards.
 However, the drawbacks to the currently available irons are that they take a long time to heat up, current irons are awkward, current irons cannot reach creases in dress clothes, and generally are not useful for removing creases from slacks without ironing boards.
 Several portable irons are known as exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 7,121,024 to Clevenberg, U.S. Pat. No. Davidson 3,577,859, U.S. Pat. No. Johnston 3,068,598, U.S. Pat. No. Wehrwein 6,857,209 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,998,360 to Lee. These and all other referenced patents are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. Furthermore, where a definition or use of a term in a reference, which is an incorporated reference here, is inconsistent or contrary to the definition of that term provided herein applies and the definition of that term in the reference does not apply.
 Although various improvements are known to the art, all, or almost all of them suffer from one or more than one disadvantage. Therefore, there is a need to provide an improved portable iron.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is directed to a portable iron that can be held in one hand, the iron comprising a hinged handle with two heating elements opposing each other. The hinged handle may have a Panini press design to accommodate fabric of various thickness and/or have a spring to influence the heating elements relative distance from each other.
 It is an object of the invention to be light weight.
 It is further an object of the invention to have ergonomic features such as rounded edges.
 It is further an object of the invention to have rapidly warming heating elements.
 It is further an object of the invention to be cordless and re-chargeable.
 It is to be understood that the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not to be viewed as being restrictive of the present invention, as claimed. Further advantages of this invention will be apparent after a review of the following detailed description of the disclosed embodiments and in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 In the drawings:
 FIG. 1 is a side view diagram of a preferred embodiment with the heating elements attached to the distal ends of the portable iron.
 FIG. 2 is a top view diagram of a preferred embodiment.
 FIG. 3 is a diagram of a preferred embodiment with openings in the heating plates to release steam.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 The present invention is directed to a portable iron that can be held in one hand, the iron comprising a hinged handle comprising a spring mechanism 2 and hand grips 1 for controlling two heating elements 3 that oppose each other. The hinged handle may have a Panini press design to accommodate fabric of various thickness and/or have a spring to influence the heating elements relative distance from each other.
 In a preferred embodiment the extending arms 4 are connected to an adjustable spring mechanism 2 at the extending arms 4 proximal ends, FIG. 1. The extending arms 4 are further connected at their distal end to heating elements 3. The heating elements 3 can also be shaped so that the length parallel to the extending arms 4 is greater than the width for stroking fabric. Hand grips 1 are disposed near the proximal end of the extending arms 4 for a user to hold and control the portable iron. Additionally, the portable iron requires power that can be provided at a charging connection 5 for a corded device. In an alternative, the charging connection 5 could be a battery or a rechargeable battery disposed within or on the hand grips 1, the spring mechanism 2, or the extending arms 4. In a preferred embodiment the extending arms 4 are made of strong light weight polymer. Alternatively, the extending arms 4 could be made of polymer with metal to reinforce the strength of the portable iron. A user turns on the portable iron via the charging connection 5 which heats the heating elements 3 at the distal end of the extending arms 4. The user then applies pressure on the hand grips 1 to pinch or otherwise engage fabric with heating elements 3 and remove wrinkles by moving the portable iron relative to the fabric. The heating elements 3 can have numerous features to improve the efficiency of removing wrinkles from fabric, including rounded edges to reduce drag and the potential for catching or otherwise disrupting the fabric's integrity.
 In a preferred embodiment the heating elements 3 can be attached to the extending arms 4 with a screw or rod that allows the heating element to rotate three-hundred sixty (360) degrees. The extending arms 4 could have grooves that mate with grooves on the non-heating surface of the heating elements 3 at fixed intervals so that when a user rotates the heating elements 3, the heating elements 3 will remain fixed in that position. Depending on the shape of the fabric, a user may want to turn the heating elements 3 one-hundred eighty (180) degrees relative to the extending arms 4 so that the user can pull or drag the portable iron across fabric. In some situations, rotating the heating elements 3 will allow the user to increase efficiency by covering greater fabric surface area per stroke with the portable iron.
 The heating elements 3 could be made of metal or preferably from a ceramic material that heats and cools rapidly. Ceramic materials are known to be light weight and durable as well. The heating elements 3 are designed to mate each other in a complementary manner. In a preferred embodiment the heating elements 3 could be flat for the least resistance when drawn, pulled or stroked over fabric. Additionally, the heating elements 3 could be coated with a friction reducing material such as Teflon® or Mylar®, see FIG. 3. In an alternative embodiment, the heating elements 3 surface could be modified to have undulating waves which would increase the surface area contacting the fabric compared to a flat surface.
 In an alternative embodiment the spring mechanism 2 could be designed similar to a Panini press joint. The extending arms 4 are attached at the proximal end with links that allow the heating elements 3 to mate over any thickness of material. Typical range of thickness for fabric is 1-2 millimeters for dress shirts and up to 1-2 centimeters for cotton towels. In another alternative embodiment, the spring mechanism 2 could be designed as a flexible handle that operates like tongs, see FIG. 1.
 In a preferred embodiment the extending arms 4 are in an extended state which allows the heating elements 3 to extend distal from the spring mechanism 2 to reach difficult fabric design positions, for example the under arm of a shirt or blouse. Alternatively, the extending arms 4 can be fixed in a retracted position which allows for easy handling of square or rectangular fabric. Also, when the extending arms 4 are in the retracted position, the portable iron is compact and easily stored or transported.
 In a preferred embodiment the hand grips 1 are simply soft rubber affixed to the surface of the extending arms 4 near the proximal end, FIG. 2. Alternatively, the hand grips 1 could be molded directly into the extending arms 4.
 Steam is well known in the industry to aid in wrinkle removal. In another preferred embodiment the portable iron has a water storage tank (internal to the extending arms 4) with a fluid path that delivers water directly to the heating elements 3 to create steam. FIG. 1 discloses a portable iron with an inlet 6 for a water receptacle in the extending arms 4 or spring mechanism 2. In this particular embodiment the heating element surface can be modified with vents or holes 7 for the steam to escape, see FIG. 3. Alternatively the water storage can be in a reservoir attached to the non-heating surface of the heating elements 3. The reservoir need only be able to have a capacity in the range of 10 milliliters to 100 milliliters. The portable iron would have a control preferably but not necessarily near the spring mechanism 2 to allow water to reach the heating elements 3 thus controlling whether steam is on or off.
 The foregoing description is, at present, considered to be the preferred embodiments of the present discovery. However, it is contemplated that various changes and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art, may be made without departing from the present discovery. Therefore, the foregoing description is intended to cover all such changes and modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the present discovery, including all equivalent aspects.
Patent applications in all subclasses SMOOTHING IMPLEMENTS