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Apparatus for applying filler material and method of using same

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Title: Apparatus for applying filler material and method of using same.
Abstract: A nozzle for applying filler material within a groove is provided that includes a plate member, an orifice through the plate member, a guide member for engaging the groove, and a pliable attachment. The orifice is in communication with a supply of the filler material. The guide member protrudes from the plate member and has a width less than the groove. The pliable attachment has a channel with an angled portion for directing the filler material into the groove. The nozzle may also be used independent from the attachment. Also provided is a method for applying filler material into the spaces between tiles. The method include steps directed to the preparation of the filler material, such as combining a cementitious material with a plasticizer in order to form an admixture that has a viscosity making it suitable for application through the nozzle. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20090294489 - Class: 2226112 (USPTO) - 12/03/09 - Class 222 
Dispensing > With Casing Or Support >Ambulant >With Guide Or Guide Line Marker >Mortar Applying Machine

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20090294489, Apparatus for applying filler material and method of using same.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation-in-Part of and claims priority to U.S. application Ser. No. 12/131,484 filed Jun. 2, 2008 to Gene Keohan entitled Apparatus for Applying Filler Material and Method of Using Same, currently pending, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Billions of square feet of tile are installed in the United States every year. It is very common to tile floors, walls, bathtubs, showers, counters, backsplashes and swimming pools in both residential and nonresidential settings. According to one estimate, approximately 2.7 billion square feet of tile were installed in the United States in 2006.

Normally, after tiles have been installed and have had a chance to set up, a filler material, such as a grout, is applied to the void spaces between the tiles. In doing so, a quantity of grout is first placed on or around the tiles. A grout float or trowel is then used to spread and disperse the grout into the void spaces between the tiles. When spreading and dispersing the grout, the grout float is typically moved back and forth in diagonal sweeping motions in order to work the grout into the void spaces between the tiles. In order to effectively force the grout into the void spaces, the grout float is held at an angle with respect to the tiles. Once the void spaces are completely filled with grout, the excess grout can be scraped from the tiles using the side of the grout float. This is often a time consuming and messy process and can take a large toll on the grout applicator\'s knees and back.

Accordingly, a need exists for a device that can be used to apply filler materials to the void spaces between tiles and the like in a quicker and cleaner fashion. A need further exists for a device that can be used to apply filler materials wherein the applicator does not have to hunch down on his or her hands and knees. Additionally, a need exists for a method in which filler materials can be applied in a quicker and cleaner fashion and that does not require the applicator to hunch down on his or her hands and knees, thereby preventing pain or injury.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the present invention is directed to an apparatus for applying filler material within a groove that includes a plate member, an orifice through the plate member, a guide member for engaging the groove, and a pliable attachment. The orifice is in communication with a supply of the filler material. The guide member protrudes from the plate member and has a width less than the groove. The pliable attachment has a channel with an angled portion for directing the filler material into the groove.

Another embodiment of the present invention is directed to an apparatus for distributing flowable materials within the space between two tiles that includes a tubular portion, a plate, an orifice through the plate, a guide member, and a supple attachment. The tubular portion is in communication with a supply of the filler material. The plate has a width greater than the space between the tiles and is adapted for contacting a surface on either side of the space. The orifice is in communication with the tubular portion and the guide member is configured to fit within the space between the tiles. The supple attachment has a cavity in communication with the orifice. The cavity includes a channel with an angled portion for directing the filler material into the space.

A further embodiment of the present invention is directed to a nozzle for applying grout between tiles that includes a tube, a plate member, an orifice through the plate member, and a guide member. The tube is configured to be removably mounted to and in communication with a device for feeding the grout. The plate member has a width greater than the distance between the tiles. The orifice is in communication with the tube for distributing the grout in between the tiles. The guide member protrudes from the plate member and is configured for engaging a space between the tiles.

The present invention is also directed to a method for applying filler material between tiles comprising the steps of providing a nozzle in communication with a supply of filler material, placing the nozzle on the tiles, causing the filler material to be supplied to the nozzle and distributed from the nozzle to a space between the tiles, and moving the nozzle in a direction in order to continue the distribution of the filler material between the tiles. The nozzle includes a plate member with an orifice for distributing the filler material between the tiles and a guide member protruding from the plate member. The method for applying the filler material may also include steps directed to the preparation of the filler material, such as combining a cementitious material with a plasticizer in order to form an admixture that has a viscosity making it suitable for application through the nozzle.

Certain embodiments of the invention are outlined above in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contributions to the art may be better appreciated. In this respect, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of embodiments in addition to those described and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein, as well as the abstract, are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Though some features of the invention may be claimed in dependency, each feature has merit when used independently.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the present invention relates from reading the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded bottom perspective view of a nozzle with an attachment having a tapered cavity and parallel-walled channel in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an assembled bottom perspective view of a nozzle with an attachment having a tapered cavity and parallel-walled channel in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded bottom perspective view of a nozzle with an attachment having a parallel-walled chamber and tapered channel in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an assembled bottom perspective view of a nozzle with an attachment having a parallel-walled chamber and tapered channel in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an exploded bottom perspective view of a nozzle with an attachment having multiple channels;

FIG. 6 is an assembled bottom perspective view of a nozzle with an attachment having multiple channels;

FIG. 7 is an exploded side perspective view of a machine for applying filler materials into spaces between tiles; and

FIG. 8 is an assembled side perspective view of a machine for applying filler materials into spaces between tiles.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20090294489 A1
Publish Date
12/03/2009
Document #
12476744
File Date
06/02/2009
USPTO Class
2226112
Other USPTO Classes
401137, 401171, 222324
International Class
/
Drawings
9



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