Patent application title: PUSH BROOM APPARATUS
Catherine Sarris (Harrisburg, SD, US)
Bill Nelson (Harrisburg, SD, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47L1300FI
Class name: Cleaning and liquid contact with solids processes using solid work treating agents
Publication date: 2012-11-08
Patent application number: 20120279520
A push broom apparatus is shown having an elongated handle with an
elongated broom head attached to the elongated handle. A plurality of
substantially rigid bristles are attached laterally to the broom head. A
plurality of substantially flexible bristles are also attached laterally
to the broom head. At least one scraper blade is attached to the elongate
1. A push broom apparatus, comprising: an elongated handle; an elongated
broom head attached to the elongated handle; a plurality of substantially
rigid bristles attached laterally to the broom head; a plurality of
substantially flexible bristles attached laterally to the broom head; and
at least one scraper blade attached to the elongate broom head.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein an axis along which the broom handle extends is substantially parallel to an axis along which the scraper blade extends.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein an axis along which the broom handle extends is offset from an axis along which the scraper blade extends.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the scraping edge of the scraper blade has a sawtooth pattern.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the scraper blade is constructed from a metal.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the substantially rigid bristles are constructed from metal fibers.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the elongated broom head is removable attached to the elongated handle and reconfigurable so that the lateral side of the broom head facing away from the elongated handle can be reversed.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein broom head is molded from plastic.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a mounting edge of the at least one scraper blade has a plurality of apertures therein running parallel to the mounting edge.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the plurality of apertures secures the at least one scraper blade in the elongated broom head when the broom head is molded from plastic.
11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the at least one scraper blade comprises two scraper blade, each of the two scraper blade mounted on opposite lateral sides of the elongated broom head.
12. A push broom apparatus, comprising: an elongated broom head; a plurality of substantially rigid bristles attached laterally to the broom head in a substantially rectangular grouping; and a plurality of substantially flexible bristles attached laterally to the broom head in a substantially rectangular grouping.
13. The apparatus of claim 12 further comprising at least one scraper blade attached to the elongate broom head.
14. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a plurality of substantially rigid bristles are placed together in a substantially rectangular grouping on the broom head between two groupings of substantially flexible bristles, located on either side of the grouping of substantially rigid bristles.
15. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the scraper blade is constructed from a metal.
16. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the substantially rigid bristles are constructed from metal fibers.
17. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein a mounting edge of the at least one scraper is molded into a lateral edge of the broom head.
18. A method for sweeping compacted dirt from a surface, the method comprising the acts of: providing a push broom apparatus, comprising: an elongated handle; an elongated broom head attached to the elongated handle; a plurality of substantially rigid bristles attached laterally to the broom head; a plurality of substantially flexible bristles attached laterally to the broom head; and at least one scraper blade attached to the elongate broom head; locating the push broom apparatus about a surface having compacted dirt; and repeatedly pushing and pulling the push broom apparatus over the compacted dirt to determine if the substantially rigid bristles alone will remove the compacted dirt.
19. The method of claim 18, further comprising the acts of: if the substantially rigid bristles alone are determined not to have removed the compact dirt, rotating the broom 180 degrees along the axis of the elongated handle so that the scraper blade is located proximate to the compacted dirt and debris; and scraping the dirt and debris to substantially loosen it so that it may be swept away.
 The subject disclosure relates to cleaning implements such as push brooms and the like. More particularly, the various embodiments relate to a new rugged push broom apparatus for clearing dirt and debris from a ground surface (e.g., concrete, asphalt) in a highly efficient and convenient manner.
 By way of background concerning some conventional systems, brooms sometimes are classified as either "push" brooms or "upright" brooms. Upright brooms are often wide and generally have relatively long bristles, typically extending from a shroud or broom head. An elongated handle having a central longitudinal axis aligned with the bristles may facilitate side-to-side sweeping of the upright broom. An end of the handle may be permanently secured within an opening in the broom head.
 Push brooms generally have relatively short bristles, which may be set in a wide block, or broom head. The broom head is generally rectangular. An elongated handle may extend upwardly from the broom head and be set at an angle to facilitate pushing the broom, with a long side of the broom head facing in the direction of sweeping. Push brooms often have detachable handles. A detachable handle facilitates shipping of the brooms. Additionally, depending on the configuration of the broom head, a detachable handle can permit the handle to be mounted on the broom head in the opposite direction, and thus allow sweeping in reverse direction to prolong the life of the bristles.
 Some push brooms have an attached scraper. However, depending on the method by which the scraper is attached, it can become bent, fall off the device, or become dull and ineffective during use. Existing push brooms with scrapers are sometimes manufactured so that the scraper blade can be inserted into a slot in the broom head. However, this style of blade attachment often results in the blade separating form the broom head while the broom is in use, requiring the user to bend down, pick up the separated scraper blade, and reinsert it into the slot. Still other push brooms use bristles that are too soft to dislodge compacted dirt.
 The above-described deficiencies of today's push brooms are merely intended to provide an overview of some of the problems of conventional systems, and are not intended to be exhaustive. Other problems with the state of the art and corresponding benefits of some of the various non-limiting embodiments may become further apparent upon review of the following detailed description.
 A simplified summary is provided herein to help enable a basic or general understanding of various aspects of exemplary, non-limiting embodiments that follow in the more detailed description and the accompanying drawings. This summary is not intended, however, as an extensive or exhaustive overview. Instead, the sole purpose of this summary is to present some concepts related to some exemplary non-limiting embodiments in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description of the various embodiments that follow.
 According to one exemplary embodiment, A push broom apparatus is shown having an elongated handle with an elongated broom head attached to the elongated handle. A plurality of substantially rigid bristles are attached laterally to the broom head. A plurality of substantially flexible bristles are also attached laterally to the broom head. At least one scraper blade is attached to the elongate broom head.
 These and other embodiments are described in more detail below.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The disclosure will be better understood when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a new push broom apparatus according to the present disclosure.
 FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of a side portion of the push broom, according to the illustrative embodiment.
 FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective view of the push broom, according to the illustrative embodiment.
 FIGS. 4a through 4d illustrate the push broom in operation, according to an illustrative embodiment.
 FIG. 5 illustrates a plurality of possible blade configurations, according to an illustrative embodiment.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 The claimed subject matter is now described with reference to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals are used to refer to like elements throughout. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the claimed subject matter. It may be evident, however, that the claimed subject matter may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and devices may be shown in block diagram form in order to facilitate describing the claimed subject matter.
 Moreover, the word "exemplary" is used herein to mean serving as an example, instance, or illustration. Any aspect or design described herein as "exemplary" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other aspects or designs. Rather, use of the word exemplary is intended to present concepts in a concrete fashion. As used in this application, the term "or" is intended to mean an inclusive "or" rather than an exclusive "or." Therefore, unless specified otherwise, or clear from context, "X employs A or B" is intended to mean any of the natural inclusive permutations. That is, if X employs A; X employs B; or X employs both A and B, then "X employs A or B" is satisfied under any of the foregoing instances. In addition, the articles "a" and "an" as used in this application and the appended claims should generally be construed to mean "one or more" unless specified otherwise or clear from context to be directed to a singular form.
 In the following detailed description of embodiments according to the present disclosure, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific preferred embodiments in which the system of the disclosure may be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosure. To avoid detail not necessary to enable those skilled in the art to practice the systems and methods of the disclosure, the description may omit certain information known to those skilled in the art. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present disclosure is defined only by the appended claims.
 With reference now to the drawings, and in particular FIGS. 1 through 5 thereof, various embodiments employing the principles and concepts of the present push broom apparatus generally designated by the reference number 10, will be described.
 One embodiment of the disclosure relates to a push broom apparatus 10, as shown in FIG. 1. The push broom 10 generally includes an elongated handle 12, a broom head 14, a scraper, a plurality of substantially rigid bristles 17, and a plurality of flexible bristles 18. In FIG. 1, the broom head 14 is shown substantially rectangular and has a front face 70 and a rear face 72. Although the broom head 14 is shown with a rectangular configuration, it should be realized by those with skill in the art that the configuration could take a variety of shapes and still embody the spirit of an embodiment, such as, for example, a triangular configuration, a boomerang configuration, a square configuration or a circular configuration.
 Although the broom head 14 is shown and described herein in connection with a handle 12, the broom head 14 also could be used with other devices employing cleaning implements that are pushed forward and pulled back during use, including automatic cleaning devices, street sweepers and the like, and such use is contemplated as being within the scope of the invention.
 As depicted in FIG. 2, the broom head 14 includes a plurality of substantially rigid bristles 17 and a plurality of flexible bristles 18 for dislodging and sweeping away dirt and debris. The substantially rigid bristles 17 can be of any desired length and density and can be of a substantially rigid natural or manmade composition, including but not limited to rigid fibers, rigid polymeric or other synthetic fibers and metallic bristles. The substantially rigid bristles 17 can also be composed of various bristles linked together in a single bristle, then grouped in to tufts of multiple bristles. East of the composite bristles could comprise a top and a bottom, such that the bristle material about the top of the bristle is a rigid material (e.g., metal), while the material about the bottom portion of the bristle is a flexible material (e.g., nylon), so as to make the overall action of the bristle that of a rigid bristle, but so as not to damage the surface of flooring. The flexible bristles 18 can be of any desired length and density and can be of a natural or manmade composition, including but not limited to natural hairs, natural fibers, polymeric or other synthetic fibers and metallic bristles. Either type of bristles can be mounted to the broom head 14 in any conventional, or other convenient, way. As illustrated, the bristles are grouped in tufts and mounted into holes (not shown) in the bottom surface 16 of the broom head 14.
 According to an embodiment, a tuft of flexible bristles 18 is mounted along the rear side 72 and the front side 70 of the broom head 14, so as to leave a space between the two tufts of flexible bristles 18 for a tuft of substantially rigid bristles 17. In other embodiments, the tufts may be ordered differently, such that only one tuft of flexible bristles 18 is mounted along a side of the broom head 14 and one tuft of substantially rigid bristles 17 is mounted along an opposite side of the broom head 14. In some embodiments, four or more tufts of alternating flexible bristles 18 and substantially rigid bristles 17 could be employed.
 In use, as the broom head 14 is pushed over a surface to be cleaned in the direction of the front side 70, loose dirt and debris are collected and pushed by the leading edge of the bristles on the broom head 14. Compacted or otherwise difficult to remove dirt and debris (e.g., dirt and debris that is not collected and pushed by the leading edge of the bristles on the broom head 14, compacted material) is encountered by the substantially rigid bristles 17, which, by their substantially rigid nature, break up or otherwise loosen the compacted material so that a subsequent tuft of flexible bristles 18 can capture and push the newly loosened debris forward. In a configuration with substantially rigid bristles 17 located about the front side 70 and flexible bristles 18 located about the rear side 72 of a broom head 14, the substantially rigid bristles 17 will first come into contact with compacted material when the push broom 10 is pushed in the direction of the front side of the broom head 14, and the flexible bristles 18 will collect and push the loose and newly loosed dirt and debris. According to an embodiment, in order to clean a particularly compacted material, multiple passes or additional downward pressure on the boom head 14 may be necessary.
 According to some embodiments, the broom may have an additional set of bristles with a length extending beyond that of the substantially rigid 17 and the substantially flexible 18 bristles (e.g., extra-long bristles), grouped in a configuration perpendicular to the substantially rigid 17 bristles, and located at a left side and a right side of the broom head 14. The extra-long bristles would be constructed of a particularly flexible material (e.g., a natural fiber) so as to flare outwards from the broom head when the head is being pushed across the ground and collect find particles that may be pushed to the outside of the broom head 14 by the substantially flexible 18 and substantially rigid 17 bristles.
 As seen in FIGS. 1 through 5, the handle 12 has a central axis 20, a mounting end 21, and a distal end 22. The handle 12 can be made of any conventional material (such as plastic, metal, or wood) and have any conventional or otherwise convenient length and configuration. Although the illustrated handle 12 is straight, it could also have one or more bends or curves for added convenience or ease of use and have a different length and diameter. It could also have a shaped handgrip or hanger tip at the distal end 22. The angle 11 of the handle 12 to the perpendicular axis of the broom head 14 parallel to the ground surface can be any angle 11 that will allow the longitudinal axis 20 of the handle 12 to be positioned at an angle 11 so that the push broom 10 is easily and comfortably pushed. The angle 11 can be less than about 90°, preferably in a range of between about 10° to about 80°, and more preferably in a range between about 20° to about 50°.
 As is commonly known, broom bristles can become bent or worn after repeated use in one direction. Thus, it is desirable to be able to periodically reverse the handle 12 direction to allow sweeping with the opposite face of the broom head 14 as the leading face during sweeping. According to an embodiment, the handle 12 can be detached from one side of the broom head 14 to the other side of the broom head 14, that that the push broom 10 can be in a configuration where the rear side 70 is now the leader edge of the broom head 14 when the push broom 10 is being pushed by an operator. According to some embodiments, the handle 12 is readily removable and movable to enable this to be done.
 For scraping, a metal blade 74 is mounted in the broom head 14. The metal blade 74 may have a substantially rectangular shape with a scraping edge 76, a mounting edge 78 and two side edges 80, 82. The metal blade 74 can be made of any metal heavy enough for scraping dirt, debris and ice from a surface. Various thicknesses of the metal blade 74 may be employed to produce brooms for situations of varying sweeping difficulty. The metal blade 74 may also be constructed of plastic, and can be molded as part of the broom head 14 according to some embodiments. A plurality of apertures in the metal blade 74 can be located along the mounting edge 78, substantially parallel to the mounting edge 78, for receiving resin during the molding process of the broom head 14, in cases where the broom head 14 is molded. The resin passing through these apertures would secure the metal blade 74 in the broom head 14 and prevent the metal blade 74 from falling out over use. The scraping edge 76 of the metal blade 74 may be a substantially straight edge, parallel to the mounting edge 78. The scraping edge 76 may have a bevel to it to sharpen the edge and make it more capable of scraping items off of a surface. The scraping edge 76 may also have a variety of other shapes, such as a sawtooth shape, for the purpose of breaking up dirt and debris, or ice, on a surface. The width of the metal blade 74 between the two side edges 80, 82 can be any width equal to or shorter than the broom head 14. Two metal blades 74 may be mounted to the broom head 14, one on head longitudinal side, so that the scraping function can be used regardless of how the broom head 14 is mounted to the handle 12. The metal blade 74 can be installed so that the angle of the metal blade 74 substantially matches the angle of the handle 12 to the ground. The metal blade 74 can also be positioned at an angle 9 of 90 to 180 degrees on a perpendicular plane to the handle. More preferably, this angle 9 would be between 100 to 180 degrees. Even more preferably, this angle 9 would be between 140 and 180 degrees.
 According to one embodiment, in use, the metal blade 74 may be used initially by turning over the broom so that the scraping edge 76 is positioned on or before a compacted pile of dirt or debris. The scraper edge 76 is then pushed back and forth over the compacted pile to break up the pile, making it possible for the bristles of the brush to push the resulting loose dirt and debris out of the way. In some cases, compacted dirt and debris may leave a mark on the surface where it was once attached. The substantially rigid bristles 17 of the broom can aid in the removal of this mark by rigidly sweeping the particles that produce the mark from the surface.
 The word "exemplary" is used herein to mean serving as an example, instance, or illustration. For the avoidance of doubt, the subject matter disclosed herein is not limited by such examples. In addition, any aspect or design described herein as "exemplary" is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other aspects or designs, nor is it meant to preclude equivalent exemplary structures and techniques known to those of ordinary skill in the art. Furthermore, to the extent that the terms "includes," "has," "contains," and other similar words are used in either the detailed description or the claims, for the avoidance of doubt, such terms are intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term "comprising" as an open transition word without precluding any additional or other elements.
 In view of the exemplary apparatus and methods described supra, methodologies that may be implemented in accordance with the disclosed subject matter will be better appreciated with reference to the flowcharts of the various figures. While for purposes of simplicity of explanation, the methodologies are shown and described as a series of blocks, it is to be understood and appreciated that the claimed subject matter is not limited by the order of the blocks, as some blocks may occur in different orders and/or concurrently with other blocks from what is depicted and described herein. Moreover, not all illustrated blocks may be required to implement the methodologies described hereinafter.
 Aspects of the system of the disclosure are disclosed in the description and related drawings directed to specific embodiments of the disclosure. Alternate embodiments may be devised without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Additionally, well known elements of the system of the disclosure will not be described in detail or will be omitted so as not to obscure the relevant details of the disclosure.
 Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it should be appreciated that any arrangement calculated to achieve the same purpose may be substituted for the specific embodiments shown. This disclosure is intended to cover any and all adaptations or variations of various embodiments. It is to be understood that the above description has been made in an illustrative fashion, and not a restrictive one. Combinations of the above embodiments, and other embodiments not specifically described herein will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. Thus, the scope of various embodiments includes any other applications in which the above compositions, structures, and methods are used.
 Moreover, in the foregoing Detailed Description, it can be seen that various features are described in the context of a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. The disclosure of a single embodiment is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments require more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive subject matter lies in less than all features of a single disclosed embodiment. Thus the following claims are hereby incorporated into the Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate preferred embodiment. In the appended claims, the terms "including" and "in which" are used as the plain-English equivalents of the respective terms "comprising" and "wherein," respectively. Further, where the term "substantially" is used, it is intended to mean "for the most part" or "being largely but not wholly that which is specified".
Patent applications in class Using solid work treating agents
Patent applications in all subclasses Using solid work treating agents