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1. WO2020222214 - PERSONAL CARE DEVICE

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A personal care device, in particular an electric toothbrush, comprising:

a handle that can be grasped by a user’s hand, the handle having a longitudinal axis; a treatment head that is connected with a carrier, which carrier extends within the handle and is mounted at the handle for pivoting motion around a pivot axis against a restoring spring force;

an electrical energy consuming unit, in particular a drive unit such as a linear actuator, mounted on the carrier;

at least one electrical connector arranged between the handle and the carrier to convey electrical energy from an energy source fixedly mounted with respect to the handle to the electrical energy consuming unit;

wherein the electrical connector is realized as an elastic metal sheet element having a spring constant for providing at least a part of the restoring spring force.

2. The personal care device in accordance with claim 1, wherein the elastic metal sheet element is S-shaped or Z-shaped and has a first horizontal arm, a second horizontal arm, and a transverse arm connecting the two horizontal arms.

3. The personal care device in accordance with claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the elastic metal sheet element is pre-loaded in a rest position of the carrier, in particular wherein the pre-load force has a value in the range of between 0.1 N to 0.6 N, further in particular in the range of between 0.2 N and 0.5 N, even further in particular in the range of between 0.3 N and 0.4 N.

4. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the metal sheet element has a projection vertically extending from the first horizontal arm, which projection is fixedly connected to a contact area of a contact element on one of the carrier or handle by means of an electrically conductive connection such as a soldered connection.

5. The personal care device in accordance with claim 4, wherein the projection is disposed in a slot of the contact element, which slot extends perpendicular to the extension direction of the projection, and which slot has one open side.

6. The personal care device in accordance with claim 5, wherein the slot is chamfered at the open side.

7. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the metal sheet element is made from a copper alloy such as CuNBSilMg.

8. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the metal sheet material has a sheet thickness in the range of between 0.1 mm and 0.2 mm, in particular in the range of between 0.125 mm and 0.175 mm, further in particular of about 0.15 mm.

9. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the spring constant of the metal sheet element is in the range of between 0.1 N/mm and 0.55 N/mm, in particular in the range of between 0.2 N/mm and 0.45 N/ mm, and further in particular of around 0.32 N/mm.

10. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 2 to 9, wherein the second horizontal arm of the metal sheet element has a cut-out through which a plastic connector finger extends that is plastically deformed and holds the second horizontal arm in place.

11. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 2 to 10, wherein the metal sheet element has a projection vertically extending from the second horizontal arm of the metal sheet element, which projection abuts a side of a contact element or wherein the metal sheet element comprises a recessed portion that abuts a projection of the contact element.

12. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 2 to 11, wherein the horizontal arms of the metal sheet element essentially serve to connect the metal sheet element with contact elements and the transverse arm provides the spring function along an active length, in particular wherein the active length is in the range of between 5 mm and 15 mm, further in particular is in a range of between 6 mm and 10 mm, and even further in particular is about 8.5 mm.

13. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 2 to 12, wherein the width of the transverse arm of the metal sheet element is in a range of between 1 mm and 5 mm, in particular is in a range of between 1.2 mm and 3 mm, further in particular is in a range of between 1.3 mm and 2 mm and even further in particular is about 1.8 mm.

14. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 1 to 13, comprising at least one spring element having a spring constant, which spring element is arranged between the carrier and the handle so that the spring element adds to the restoring spring force acting between the carrier and the handle when the carrier is pivoted out of its rest position, in particular wherein the spring element is a rectangular bar spring element and/or wherein the spring element provides a restoring spring force provides more than about 50% of the total restoring spring force acting between carrier and handle.

15. The personal care device in accordance with one of claims 1 to 14, wherein a mechanical stopper element is provided at the handle to define a rest position of the carrier with respect to the handle.