Water purifier abstract
An inexpensive, throw-away water purifier is provided for use with
water receiving household devices such as coffee makers, portable
water containers, ice makers and the like, to treat the water with
dosages of water softening and purifying chemicals as the water
flows into the devices. The purifiers are small, compact, flat pancake-like
units, used singly or in stacked combinations directing water flow
in an extended serpentine path through one or more dosages of water
treating chemicals. The purifiers have thin impervious plastics
material housings, thin porous membranes separating the water treating
chemicals from the inlet and outlet of the housing and baffle means
directing the water flow in an extended serpentine path as it flows
through the membranes and chemicals from a top inlet to a bottom
outlet. The purifiers can be thrown away after a single usage and
are sized to be compatible with the inlet mouths of standard water
receiving household appliances. The purifiers are adapted to be
stacked in superimposed relation to afford extended water treatment
and provide successive dosages of different types of water purifying
and softening chemicals.
Water purifier claims
I claim as my invention:
1. A single use inexpensive throw-away water treating device which
comprises a packet having a top wall, a bottom wall, and a peripheral
sidewall connecting said top and bottom walls, said packet filled
with one or more dosages of solid water treating chemicals spaced
from said walls, said packet having a top inlet opening in the top
wall above the dosage and a bottom outlet opening in the bottom
wall below the dosage for gravity flow of water through the dosage,
water previous filter means separating the dosage from the top,
bottom and sidewalls, and baffle means in the packet extending the
water flow from the inlet opening to the sidewall and thence radially
inward through the filter means and dosage to the outlet opening.
2. A disposable water purifier pancake packet for use with conventional
water receiving household devices which comprises a thin flat wall
impervious plastics material housing having a top wall, a bottom
wall, and an outer peripheral sidewall connecting said top and bottom
walls, said housing containing a dosage of water treating chemicals
and having a top inlet opening in the top wall above the dosage
and a bottom outlet opening in the bottom wall below the dosage,
a porous filter membrane in the housing, means in the housing suspending
said membrane in spaced relation from the top, bottom and peripheral
sidewalls of the housing and separating the dosage from the peripheral
sidewall and the inlet and outlet openings and baffle means in the
housing connected to the membrane extending the water flow path
from said inlet opening, around the interior of the peripheral sidewall
of the housing, and through the membrane and dosage to the outlet
opening of the housing.
3. The packet of claim 2 wherein the housing is formed from a pair
of inverted open mouth cup members each having an outer peripheral
sidewall with a rim edge surrounding the cup mouth and means to
secure the rim edges together.
4. The packet of claim 3 wherein an impervious dividing wall has
a periphery sandwiched between and secured to said rim edges and
a flat body portion spanning the mouths of the inverted cup members
to provide top and bottom compartments in the housing.
5. The packet of claim 2 wherein the filter membrane is a hollow
annulus with a "C"-shaped transverse cross section providing
an open gap around the inner periphery of the annulus.
6. The packet of claim 2 wherein the housing contains a plurality
of membranes in superimposed relation each containing a dosage of
water treating chemical.
7. A disposable water purifier pad adapted for use with conventional
water receiving household devices which comprises a thin flat impervious
plastics material housing having a top wall with a central inlet
opening therethrough, a bottom wall with a central outlet opening
therethrough, and a peripheral sidewall connecting said top and
bottom walls, a first a porous filter membrane defining a first
compartment in the housing containing a first dosage of a water
treating chemical, means in the housing suspending said first filter
membrane in spaced relation from the top wall and peripheral sidewall
of the housing, a second porous filter membrane defining a second
compartment in the housing containing a second dosage of a water
treating chemical, means suspending said second filter membrane
in the housing in spaced relation above the bottom wall of the housing
and the peripheral sidewall of the housing, said first and second
compartments having central portions and peripheral portions, a
first baffle in the housing spaced below the top wall of the housing
supported on the first filter membrane directing flow from the central
inlet opening of the housing top wall to the housing periphery for
flow into the first compartment, a second baffle sandwiched between
the first and second filter membranes directing flow from the central
portion of the first compartment to the central portion of the second
compartment, and a third baffle in the housing spaced above the
bottom wall of the housing supported on the second filter membrane
directing flow to the peripheral portion of the second compartment
and thence to the central outlet opening.
8. The pad of claim 7 wherein the second baffle separates the compartments
and is sealed around its periphery to the housing.
9. The pad of claim 7 wherein each filter membrane compartment
is filled with a separate water treating chemical.
10. The pad of claim 9 wherein each porous filter membrane compartment
is defined by a hollow annulus.
11. The pad of claim 7 wherien the baffles have integral upstanding
beads surrounded by the filter membrane compartments.
12. A disposable water purifier comprising a pad including an impervious
housing having a top wall with an inlet opening, a bottom wall with
an outlet opening, and a peripheral sidewall connecting said top
and bottom walls, a first baffle carried by the peripheral sidewall
of the housing spanning the interior of the housing and dividing
said interior into a top compartment above the first baffle and
a bottom compartment below the first baffle, a first porous filter
membrane mounted on top of said first baffle in spaced relation
from said top wall and said peripheral sidewall of the housing,
a second porous filter membrane suspended from said first baffle
below the first baffle and spaced from said bottom wall and peripheral
sidewall of the housing, a second baffle supported on said first
membrane directing flow from the inlet to the peripheral sidewall
of the housing in the top compartment, a third baffle mounted on
the bottom of the second membrane directing flow in the bottom compartment
from the peripheral sidewall of the housing to the bottom outlet
opening, a dosage of water treating chemical in each porous filter
membrane, and an opening in the central portion of the first baffle
connecting the dosages in each membrane.
13. The pad of claim 12 wherein the means defining the filter membrane
compartments are hollow annular plastics material members each with
a "C"-shaped transverse cross section providing an open
gap around the inner periphery thereof.
14. The purifier of claim 12 wherein the first and second membranes
are sealed to the first baffle.
Water purifier description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to the art of single use throw-away type
water purifiers and specifically deals with pancake-like packets
or pads of water treating chemicals.
THE PRIOR ART
Heretofore known water purifiers required expensive, heavy, and
bulky containers and were usually permanently installed in household
pipelines. Smaller cartridges of water filtering material, such
as activated carbon, have been proposed for attachment to water
faucets and the like, but these units also require a permanent housing
and plumbing attachments and, like their larger counterpart, must
be opened up and recharged with fresh chemicals.
Since there are many instances where water purification and softening
of a truly portable nature is desired, it would be an improvement
in this art to provide inexpensive single use throw-away water purifiers
in a compact easily handled package conveniently inserted in the
inlet mouth of conventional household appliances and utensils to
soften and purify the water just prior to its use. This invention,
therefore, provides water purifiers in the form of compact small
light weight and easily handled packets which are sufficiently inexpensive
to be disposed of after single usage.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to this invention, dosages of water treating chemicals
are packaged in disposable plastic material housings containing
porous filter membranes and baffles to direct water flow from a
top inlet in an extended serpentine pass through the membranes and
dosages of chemicals as it flows to the bottom outlet of the housing.
The dosages can vary in amounts and chemical composition depending
on the quality and quantity of the water to be treated. For example,
if only about 1 gallon of water with impurities in the range of
0.05 to 0.07% is to be purified, several ounces of chemicals should
The preferred housing may be an inexpensive thin walled stiff shape
retaining polyvinyl chloride doughnut-like member about 3/4 to 11/2
inches high, about 21/2 to 41/2 inches in diameter, with a central
inlet in the top thereof and a central outlet in the bottom thereof,
about 1/2 inch in diameter. The plastics materials, sizes and shapes
of the housing can be varied to suit conditions, but the walls of
the housing need only be very thin in the order of 0.010 to 0.030
inches for minimizing costs. The housing is easily formed from two
molded cup members united in opposed relation around the peripheries
of their mouths.
The membranes are preferably a porous plastics material, vacuum
molded in hollow tire-shape. Two of these membranes are stacked
together in the housing on opposite sides of a thin dividing wall
or wafer with a 1/2 inch hole in its center and with its periphery
heat sealed between the rims of the opposed cups forming the housing.
The porous plastic members have very thin film-like or membrane-like
walls, but stiff enough to hold their shape. Thicknesses in the
range of 0.005 to 0.030 inches are useful. The membranes are preferably
constructed of a polyolefine molded to a porous state with pores
preferably not exceeding about 500 micrometers. The dividing wall
wafer has an outside diameter mating with the rims of the plastic
housing cups and preferably has a thickness in the order of 0.02
to 0.03 inches.
The top of the top membrane and the bottom of the bottom membrane
are covered with thin circular wafers or baffles of impervious plastics
material of the same order of thickness as the dividing wall between
the membranes, but no holes are provided in these top and bottom
All of the plastics materials should, of course, be FDA approved
for drinking water use.
The membrane compartments are filled with water treating chemicals,
preferably in the form of small beads, flakes or granules of ion
exchange resins, activated charcoal and the like. The pair of superimposed
membrane compartments may be filled with the same or different chemicals
in dosages to insure water purification on a single pass through
the housing. The peripheries of the membranes are spaced inwardly
from the periphery of the housing and the wafers or baffles are
spaced from the top and bottom walls of the housing to direct the
water flow from the top inlet radially outward to the periphery
of the top membrane, thence radially inward through the chemicals
to the central hole in the dividing wall or baffle, thence radially
outwardly through the chemical in the bottom membrane, through the
periphery of this bottom membrane and thence radially inward to
the bottom outlet of the housing. The extended flow path insures
fast flow and maximum intimate contact of the water with the chemicals.
A gravity flow of only 2 minutes or less for one gallon of water
to pass through entire purifier is achieved.
The pad-like purifiers of this invention may vary greatly in size
and shape with the plastics material components being quite thin
to minimize cost and still provide structural strength to maintain
the shape and seal the chemicals in the porous membrane compartments.
It is then an object of this invention to provide a disposable
water purifier in the form of a flat pancake-like packet or pad
containing one or more dosages of water treating chemicals and adapted
for use with conventional water receiving household devices as water
is flowed into such devices.
Another object of this invention is to provide a throwaway type
water purifier pad for use with conventional household appliances
A specific object of this invention is to provide a flat pad or
pancake packet containing one or more dosages of water treating
chemicals and having a top inlet and a bottom outlet with a porous
filter membrane separating the dosage from the inlet and outlet
and baffle means in the housing extending the water flow path between
the water inlet and outlet.
A further specific object of this invention is to provide a disposable
single use water purifier having a doughnut-like housing containing
stacked porous membrane compartments filled with water treating
chemicals and a serpentine flow path for water through the housing
A very specific object of the invention is to provide a disposable
water purifier of thin-walled molded plastics material providing
a flat pancake-like pad containing a plurality of superimposed membranes
filled with solid particles of water treating chemicals and having
exposed peripheral porous walls receiving water flow therethrough
together with baffle means directing the water flow in a serpentine
path from a top inlet to a bottom outlet of the housing.
Other and further objects of this invention will be apparent to
those skilled in this art from the following detailed description
of the annexed sheets of drawings, which show a best mode embodiment
of the invention.
ON THE DRAWINGS
FIGS. 1-4 are somewhat diagrammatic perspective views of water
receiving household appliances each provided with a disposable water
purifier of this invention at the inlet thereof.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a purifier packet or pad of this
FIG. 6 is a vertical cross sectional view of the purifier along
the line VI--VI of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the components of the purifier of
FIGS. 5 and 6.
FIG. 8 is a plan view of one of the annular membrane components
with parts broken away to show underlying portions.
FIG. 9 is a plan view of the separator wall or wafer between the
FIG. 10 is a plan view of one of the wafers or baffles at the top
and bottom of the stacked membranes.
FIG. 11 is a side elevational view showing the manner in which
a plurality of the purifiers of FIGS. 1-10 may be stacked and sealed
AS SHOWN ON THE DRAWINGS
In FIGS. 1-4 purifier packets or pads 10 of this invention are
illustrated in use with various types of household utentils or appliances
to show the compatibility of the purifiers of this invention with
standard household devices.
In FIG. 1 the purifier 10 is illustrated as mounted in a funnel
11 for feeding water to a coffeepot 12. The water must pass through
the purifier 10.
In FIG. 2 the purifier 10 is mounted in the water inlet 13 of a
coffee maker 14.
In FIG. 3 the purifier 10 is mounted in the water inlet 15 of a
portable molded plastic water bottle 16 having a dispensing outlet
17. The device 16 is of the type conveniently mounted in an icebox
to provide chilled water.
In FIG. 4 the purifier 10 is mounted in the water inlet 18 of an
ice cube maker 19 of the type mounted in the freezing compartment
of a refrigerator 20.
The conventional household appliances or utentils of FIGS. 1-4
thus have the water fed thereto treated by a purifier 10 of this
invention. This purifier 10 is sized for easily handling and may
take various shapes to fit the water inlets of the devices. It is
completely disposable and thrown away after use. No special holders
or auxiliary containers are needed.
As shown in FIG. 5 the purifier 10 is a flat cylindrical pad or
pancake-like packet with a top central inlet 21 and a bottom central
As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 the purifier 10 has a housing 23 composed
of two thin walled cup-shaped molded plastic halves 24 and 25 each
with a flat cylindrical base 26 and an upstanding peripheral cylindrical
sidewall 27. The top cup member 24 contains the central circular
inlet 21 in its base 26 while the bottom cup member 25 contains
the central circular outlet 22. The cylindrical sidewalls 27 of
the cup members have aligned rims 28. A thin impervious plastics
material circular wall or disk 29 spans the mouths of the inverted
cup members 24 and 25 and has its periphery extended between their
rims 28. The periphery of the disk 29 is heat sealed to the rims
forming a housing with a top compartment 30 and a bottom compartment
31. The wall or disk 29 has a central opening or hole 32 therethrough.
A top cylindrical bead or shoulder 33 and an aligned bottom cylindrical
shoulder or bead 34 are integrally formed around the wall or disk
29 between the inlet and periphery of the wall, but closer to the
A pair of hollow tire-shaped annular porous membranes 35 are seated
on opposite faces of the wall 29. These membranes 35 are channel-shaped
in cross section with an upstanding outer peripheral wall 36 and
radial legs 37. The bottom leg of the top membrane 35 is abutted
against the top bead 33 of the wall 29 while the top leg 37 of the
bottom membrane 36 is bottomed against the bottom wall 34 of the
wall. These legs are secured to the wall 29 as by heat sealing or
by an adhesive.
The peripheral wall 36 of each membrane is of smaller diameter
than the sidewalls 27 of the cups 24 and 25 forming the housing
23 thereby providing an annular space between the housing and the
membrane on each side of the dividing wall 29.
The top leg 37 of the top membrane 35 and the bottom leg 37 of
the bottom membrane 35 are covered with thin plastic circular baffles
or wafers 38 with each baffle having a bead or shoulder 39 abutting
the inner end of the leg. The baffles 38 are sealed to the adjacent
leg by heat sealing or glue.
The baffles 38 are spaced inwardly from the top and bottom walls
26 of the housing 23 providing flow paths or gaps 40 commmunicating
with the gaps or flow paths 41 surrounding the peripheries of the
Each membrane 35 is filled with a solid water treating chemical
in the form of small granules or beads. Thus, the top membrane maybe
filled with an ion exchange resin 42 while the bottom membrane may
be filled with a bacteria filtering chemical such as activated charcoal
Water entering the inlet 21 flows through the top gap or passage
40 radially outward to the top peripheral passage 41 and thence
through the porous wall 36 of the top membrane 35 to flow radially
inward through the dosage of chemicals 42 to exit through the hole
32 in the dividing wall 29 and flow radially outward through the
chemicals 43 in the bottom membrane 35 then exiting through the
peripheral wall 36 of this bottom membrane 35 into the bottom gap
or passage 41 between the bottom membrane and the sidewall 26 of
the bottom cup member 25 and thence radially inward through the
passage 40 between the bottom baffle 38 and the bottom wall 26 of
the bottom cup 25 to exit at the outlet 22. An extended serpentine
reversed flow path is thus provided for the water forcing it to
flow radially inward through the chemicals in the top membrane and
radially outward through the chemicals in the bottom membrane. This
arrangement provides increased intimate contact between the chemicals
and the water.
While two superimposed membranes are provided in the housing 23
as illustrated, it should be understood that three or more superimposed
membranes could also be provided.
Further, as shown in FIG. 11 a plurality of packets or pads 10
can be stacked in sealed relation connecting the bottom outlet 22
of the top pad with the top inlet 21 of a bottom pad without leakage
by the use of an annulus of double-faced adhesive tape 44 between
the superimposed pads adhesively sealed to the adjacent walls 26
thereof and surrounding the outlet 22 of the top pad 10 and the
inlet 21 of the bottom pad 10.
It will be understood that the components of the purifier pads
of this invention are inexpensive plastics material easily molded
and having thin walls for economy sake. The porous membranes preferably
have pores in the order of 500 micrometer. While the purifiers have
been shown in the form of flat pancake-like circular members it
should be understood that the shapes of the pads can be varied to
suit conditions of use.
From the above descriptions it will be understood that this invention
provides an inexpensive, compact, lightweight, water purifier containing
selected dosages of water purifying and filtering chemicals and
formed from sufficiently inexpensive materials as to warrant disposal
after single usage. The devices are sized and shaped to fit water
inlets of conventional household appliances and utensils.