Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040104649 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/679,728
Publication dateJun 3, 2004
Filing dateOct 6, 2003
Priority dateOct 4, 2002
Also published asDE10246438A1, EP1405581A1
Publication number10679728, 679728, US 2004/0104649 A1, US 2004/104649 A1, US 20040104649 A1, US 20040104649A1, US 2004104649 A1, US 2004104649A1, US-A1-20040104649, US-A1-2004104649, US2004/0104649A1, US2004/104649A1, US20040104649 A1, US20040104649A1, US2004104649 A1, US2004104649A1
InventorsMarkus Albrecht, Wolfgang Muller, Erwin Rummel
Original AssigneeWolfgang Muller, Markus Albrecht, Erwin Rummel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drawer system
US 20040104649 A1
Abstract
The invention concerns a drawer system with an automatic self-closing mechanism, with which the kinetic energy is stored when the drawer is opened along the entire opening length in the form of potential energy in energy storage, which potential energy is, after the drawer is released, delivered by a speed regulator in a controlled slow and uniform manner again along the entire closing length to the drawer in the form of kinetic energy. The invention-related closing system has the advantage that the disengagement and release of the drawer, a certain closing movement is guaranteed, without the drawer reaching too high a speed while closing. Thus, the drawer closes softly and very quietly, without fearing damage to the drawer or its contents.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(23)
1. Drawer system, especially for cabinets/furniture, with a self-closing mechanism for the drawer that is guided lengthwise on rails (6-8), with energy storage, which stores kinetic energy in the form of potential energy when the drawer is pulled out and which potential energy is transferred again to the drawer in the form of kinetic energy when the drawer is closed is characterized by the kinetic energy that is stored with the opening cycle of the drawer (1, 16, 30, 34, 41) along the total extension length in the form of potential energy into energy storage (11, 19, 31, 52, 53), which potential energy, after releasing the drawer (1, 16, 30, 34, 41) that is controlled slowly and uniformly by a speed regulator (12, 20, 35, 42, 59) again along the entire closing length on the drawer (1, 16, 30, 34, 41) is outgoing in the form of kinetic energy, so that this automatically pulls it into it closed end position.
2. Drawer system, according to claim 1, is characterized by the energy storage (11, 19, 31) works between the drawer (16, 30, 34) and the cabinet body (17) on which the rails (6-8) are fastened.
3. Drawer system, according to claim 1 or 2, is characterized by the energy storage (52, 53) with the full extension drawer system works with cabinet rail (8), center rail (7) and drawer rail (6) between the drawer rail (6) and the center rail (7), and/or between the cabinet rail (8) and the center rail (7).
4. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 1 to 3, is characterized by the energy storage (11, 19, 31, 52, 53) that contains at least one flexible ductile spring.
5. Drawer system, according to claim 4, is characterized by the ductile spring of the energy storage (11, 19, 31, 52, 53) has at least one spiral spring (11, 19) and/or at least one torsion spring (31) and/or at least one helical/coil spring (52, 53).
6. Drawer system, according to claim 5 is characterized by the spring (11, 19, 31, 52, 53) that is made out of metal and/or plastic.
7. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 4 to 6, is characterized by the spring (11, 19, 31) that is fastened with one end on a shaft (24) and on its other end to the drawer (16, 30, 34), so that the shaft (24) by a pinion (21) has a toothed engagement with a toothed rack (23) of the cabinet (17), whose lengthwise axle runs parallel to the rails (6-8) and/or the opening and closing distance of the drawer (16, 30, 34, 41).
8. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 4 to 7, is characterized by the spring (11, 19, 31) that is fastened to the back side (3) of the drawer (16, 30, 34).
9. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 1 to 8, is characterized by the speed regulator (12, 20, 35 42) that works between the cabinet (17) and the drawer.
10. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 1 to 9, is characterized by the speed regulator (59) that works between the cabinet rail (8) and the movable rail(s) (6, 7).
11. Drawer system, according to claim 10, is characterized by the speed regulator (59) that is located on the center rail (7) and works between all rails (6-8)
12. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 1 to 11, is characterized by the speed regulator (12, 20, 35, 42, 59) that has lat least one toothed rack (15; 23; 45; 61, 62), at least one pinion (13; 21, 25, 26; 36, 37; 43; 60) and at least one damper/brake (14; 22; 38, 39; 44; 63), which connect to each other and work together.
13. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 1 to 12, is characterized by the drawer (1,16, 30, 34, 41) that is held by at least one detent/holding system (10, 18, 32, 47-49) in the open position, which the user must uncouple before the drawer (1, 16, 30, 34, 41) is pulled in by the automatic self-closing mechanism.
14. Drawer system, according to claim 13, is characterized by the detent/holding system (10) that works between the rails (6-8).
15. Drawer system, according to claim 13, is characterized by the detent/holding system (10) that works with full extension drawer systems with the cabinet rails (8), center rail (7) and drawer rail (6) that work between the drawer rail (6) and center rail (7) and/or between the cabinet rail (8) and center rail (7).
16. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 13 to 15, is characterized by the detent/holding system (18, 32, 47-49) that works between a shaft of the energy storage and/or speed regulator and the drawer (16, 30, 34, 41).
17. Drawer system, according to claim 16, is characterized by the detent/holding system (18, 32, 47-49) that is attached to the rear wall of the drawer (16, 30, 34, 41).
18. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 13 to 17, is characterized by the detent/holding system (10) that is a releasable form-fitting catch connection.
19. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 13 to 17, is characterized by the detent/holding system (18, 32, 47-49) has a releasable positive form-fitting and/or frictionally engaged clamp connection with partially flexible springy ductile construction parts.
20. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 13 to 19, is characterized by the speed regulator (12), the energy storage (11) and the detent/holding system (10) for the extended ‘pulled-out’ drawer (1) are separated from each other in the drawer system.
21. Drawer system, according to one of the claims 13 to 20, is characterized by the speed regulator (20, 35, 42), the energy storage (19, 31) and the detent/holding system (18, 32, 47-49) for the extended ‘pulled-out’ drawer (16, 30, 34, 41) are located in a common area of the drawer system.
22. Drawer system, according to claim 21, is characterized by the common area at the back side (3) of the drawer (16, 30, 34, 41).
23. Drawer system, according to claims 21 or 22, is characterized by the speed regulator (20, 35, 42), the energy storage (19, 31) and the detent/holding system (18, 32, 47-49) is partly located on a common shaft (24), which by a pinion (21) is in toothed engagement with a toothed rack (23) of the cabinet (17), whose lengthwise axle runs parallel to the rails (6-8) and/or the opening-/closing path of the drawer (16, 30, 34, 41).
Description

[0001] The invention concerns a drawer system with an automatic self-closing device, according to the characterizing clause of the independent claims.

[0002] Numerous drawer systems of this type with self-closing mechanisms that are state of the technology are well known, as for example, AT 395 099B, AT 393 444B, AT 394 133B, EP 0391 221 A1 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,658,398.

[0003] With the pull-out slide sets for the drawer AT 395 099 B, the slides run diagonally downward to the inside rear of the cabinet. In the pull-out or open position, the drawer rails are held by a locking device. The flexible swivel component of the locking device is released by pressing the drawer. After this disengagement, the drawer goes from the open position back into the closed position in the cabinet as a result of the force of gravity caused by the diagonal slides.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 3,658,398 shows a lock mechanism of an extended open drawer of a cabinet piece; whereby, the guide rails of the drawer are, likewise, slanted to the back of the inside of the cabinet. In the open position, the drawers are held by a spring latch of the lock mechanism, which must be disengaged before pushing in the drawer.

[0005] AT 393 444 B shows a cabinet drawer, whose extension rails are installed diagonally to the drawer bottom towards the back inside the cabinet and are held swiveling in the cabinet's front area on the cabinet rails. The drawer tips when it is pushed downward into the rear of the cabinet and is automatically drawn in due to the force of gravity. Then the drawer is pulled out, it tips forward and downward and goes in the front end position and stays there.

[0006] AT 394 133 B makes known a closing device for a drawer, which pulls the drawer to the back area of its closing path into the cabinet. The closing device is formed with a spring-mounted lever (with guided rollers) that swivels around the axle. The guide rollers are led along a partly dual connecting link track under spring pressure. When the drawer is pulled out, the guide roller runs in a flat track with just the slightest force expended by the user; whereby, the closing lever's spring is stressed. When the drawer is pushed back in, the guide roller runs back in a steep track by a larger closing force exerted by the previously stressed spring, so that the drawer is automatically pulled into the cabinet. The closing force of the closing device's spring does not work on the drawer until the drawer reaches the back third of the draw-pull length. So, the closing device works maximally only in the final third draw-pull distance of the drawer.

[0007] The European patent application EP 0 391 221 A1 shows a closing device for drawers, which pulls the drawer over a longer distance in the cabinet, but still only in the final third section of the drawer's draw-pull length. If the drawer is opened, a tilting segment moves along a guide groove, stressing a helical/coil spring, which is fastened at the one end to the tilting segment and at the other end to the cabinet. After a certain pull-out (opening) distance (the first third of the pull-out distance) the tilting segment is released from the drawer and blocks in an elbow of the guide groove at the place where the drawer's uncoupling takes place. So, the drawer is free to move and open without pulling or pushing effects from a spring. If the drawer is closed, the drawer and/or its drawer rail (in the last third of the insertion distance) couples due to the spring's stressed condition and the clamped tilting segment at the place where the coupling takes place in the guide groove, which is disengaged by a light push of the drawer. Thus, the tilting segment can be pulled into the guide groove in the cabinet by the pre-loaded strength of the spring, which pulls the coupled drawer into the closed position. Here, also, the closing device operates maximally and effectively only in the final third of the drawer's closing length.

[0008] The pulling device and/or closing device in the above state of technology has the disadvantage that the drawers are pulled, pushed and/or accelerated by the diagonally installed slides (force of gravity) with too much momentum into the cabinet.

[0009] Particularly with the full extension self-closing systems, the drawers are accelerated too much on their entire closing lengths. With spring-loaded full-extension self-closing devices, empty or light-weight drawers reach high final speeds, while closing devices, which have downward slides that slant to the back, also close too quickly with heavily loaded drawers.

[0010] What both systems have in common is the fact that because of the accelerating mass, the resulting kinetic energy (force) in the closing position must be completely reduced. When the drawer stops in the end ‘closed’ position, there is a sharp impact because the energy is stopped suddenly by deformation (flexible impact). This impact is damaging to all parts and generates noise. Elastic and/or flexible buffer elements cannot solve this stop-problem.

[0011] Closing device that work only in the rear area have the disadvantage that the drawer must be manually pushed a long way until the self-closing force activates, or stays in the open position and disturbs there.

[0012] The task of the invention is to create a drawer system with a self-closing mechanism, which automatically pulls in the drawer from the fully open position and which regulates the drawer's closing speed into the cabinet.

[0013] The invention is solved by the fact that the kinetic energy is stored during the drawer's opening cycle along the total pull-out length in the form of potential energy in an energy storage, which potential energy, after the drawer is released, is delivered by a speed regulator to give a controlled, slow and uniform pull-back along the entire closing distance in the form of kinetic energy.

[0014] The invention-related closing system or self-closing system has the advantage that after the disengagement and/or after the drawer is released, a safe and secure closing movement is ensured, and the drawer does not achieve too high a speed while closing. So the drawer closes softly and quietly without damaging the drawer or its contents.

[0015] Preferred embodiments are more closely described in the claims and in the figure drawings.

[0016] It is preferred, in particular, that the drawer is held in the open position by at least one retaining system, which the user must uncouple before the drawer is drawn in by the self-closing automatic mechanism. This is, however, not necessary, for the invention's solution, since an energy storage and a movement regulator are only needed for this, in order not to let the drawer close uncontrolled into the cabinet. In principle the drawer can also be held by the user in the (part) open position, so the desired components can be taken or put in by hand. Afterwards, the user releases the drawer and then the drawer is drawn in a controlled manner by the invention-related automatic self-closing mechanism completely into the cabinet without incurring any damage.

[0017] A retaining system for keeping the drawer open is preferred, which allows the user to have both hands free in order to put items in or take items out of the drawer, and, in particular, a retaining system that works between the rails.

[0018] Then with a full-extension drawer system, the retaining system works between the drawer rail and center rail and/or between the cabinet drawer and center rail.

[0019] In another embodiment of the invention, the retaining system for holding the drawer open can operate between the shaft of the energy storage and/or the speed regulator and the drawer, to which the retaining system is attached (in particular, on the rear wall or the back bottom of the drawer).

[0020] It is preferred that the retaining system is designed as releasable form-fitting catch connection or as a releasable form-fitting and/or frictionally engaged clamp connection with partial flexible springy ductile parts.

[0021] The energy storage system, which is essentially necessary for the invention, works, however, between the moving parts of the drawer slide (especially the drawer itself) and stationary parts of the drawer slide (especially the cabinet parts on which the rails are fastened).

[0022] With the full extension drawer system, the energy storage works, preferably, between the drawer rail and center rail or between the cabinet rail and center rail or a combination thereof.

[0023] The energy storage can be designed as desired; however, it preferably has a flexible ductile spring—for example, one or more spiral spring (s) or one or more torsion spring (s) or any combination thereof. The springs are made, preferably, of metal and/or plastic.

[0024] The spiral spring (s) or torsion spring (s) are then, in a preferred manner, fastened with one end to the shaft and with the other end to the drawer, so that the shaft by a pinion is in toothed engagement with a toothed rack on the cabinet.

[0025] Also, the spring of the energy storage, as the previously described retaining system, is preferably fastened on the back side or bottom of the drawer in the vicinity of the drawer's back side.

[0026] The speed regulator, which is essentially necessary to the invention, works preferably between the cabinet and drawer, or however, between the cabinet rail and the movable rail (s) or any combination thereof.

[0027] In a preferred embodiment, the speed regulator is on the center rail and works between all the rails of the slide system.

[0028] In particular the speed regulator has at least one toothed rack, at least one pinion and at least one damper/brake, which are connected to each other and work together.

[0029] The speed regulator (which is essential to the invention), the energy storage (which is essential to the invention) and the integrated retaining system (which is optional, but preferred to the invention) for the (partial and full) extension drawer are either arranged separately from each other, but it is preferred that they are arranged in a common area (in particular, in the rear area on the back side or the back side underneath the drawer on the drawer system).

[0030] In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the components of the speed regulator, the components of the energy storage and the parts of the retaining system (available, if necessary) of the drawer when opened are on the common shaft. This shaft is then by a pinion in a toothed engagement with a toothed rack of the cabinet, which longitudinal axle runs parallel to the rails and/or the opening/closing paths of the drawer. Thereby, space and weight can be saved and, also, maintenance and repairs are easier.

[0031] With the invention-related self-closing system, the kinetic energy of the ‘exit’ opening cycle of the drawer is stored in energy storage as potential energy, that will transfer back into kinetic energy when the drawer is drawn back automatically into the cabinet. In this way the speed is controlled by a regulator device, particularly in such a manner, that the drawer does not accelerate during its closing cycle or go too slowly at the beginning of the closing cycle. Now it accelerates at a constant maximally permissible speed.

[0032] In the following the invention is more closely described by several embodiments that are used, however, only as examples and should not be understood as restrictive.

[0033] Shown:

[0034]FIG. 1: shows the perspective view of a drawer in the closed position;

[0035]FIG. 2: shows the perspective view of the drawer, according to FIG. 1, in the open position;

[0036]FIG. 3: shows a perspective view of a detent ratchet as a cut-out from FIG. 1 and FIG. 2;

[0037]FIG. 4: shows a side view of a drawer with cut-outs of the side wall decor with the invention-related combination of a spiral spring designed as energy storage, a speed regulator designed as a rotation damper and a detent ratchet;

[0038]FIG. 5: shows the detent ratchet designed as a detent pawl;

[0039]FIG. 6: shows the rotation damper with a toothed gear that combs the toothed rack of the drawer rail;

[0040]FIG. 7: shows a drawer on whose back wall a shaft is held, which transfers the stored energy of the spiral spring with its pinion to the stationary toothed rack, so that the pair of ratchets/pawls and the pair of pinions sit on the same shaft for control;

[0041]FIG. 8: shows the position of the drive shaft and control shaft with the toothed pinion and toothed rack;

[0042]FIG. 9: example of a ratchet with ratchet wheel/gear;

[0043]FIG. 10: example of a ratchet with ratchet wheel/gear;

[0044]FIG. 11: shows an enlarged representation of the spiral spring as a storage and an actuator on the drive shaft mounted with the speed regulator (for example, a rotation damper);

[0045]FIG. 12: shows an additional embodiment with a shaft (held again on the rear wall) but with a torsion spring as energy storage and an actuator and a lamella back-run stop;

[0046]FIG. 13: shows an enlarged view of the mounted torsion spring;

[0047]FIG. 14: shows the speed regulator with an alternative design for the ratchet;

[0048]FIG. 15: shows the alternative version of the ratchet as a expandable lamella made of flexible material;

[0049]FIGS. 16,17 & 18: show the drawer with actuator as before, but with another regulator;

[0050]FIG. 20: shows a partial cut-out of the centrifugal regulator;

[0051]FIG. 21: shows a drawer with the cabinet that has slanted-to-the-back slide that is built underneath;

[0052]FIG. 22: shows the damper actuator;

[0053]FIG. 23: shows a drawer retaining system as another alternative to the detent ratchet;

[0054]FIG. 24: the principle is the same as in FIG. 23, only the casing bottom is rigid and the pin is flexible;

[0055]FIG. 25: shows a drawer that is pulled out fully extended, so that the carriages are each mounted with a helical/coil spring, which are fastened on the ends of the center rails;

[0056]FIG. 26: shows the drawer slide, according to FIG. 25, when the drawer is closed;

[0057]FIG. 27: shows the drawer slide, according to FIG. 26, of a closed drawer seen from the back side;

[0058]FIG. 28: shows the drawer slide, according to FIG. 27, of a section of a side view;

[0059]FIG. 29: shows the layout of the left end of the helical/coil spring on the center rail in an enlarged representation of the left slide of FIG. 27;

[0060]FIG. 30: shows the layout of the right end of the helical/coil spring on the carriage in an enlarged representation of the right side of FIG. 27;

[0061]FIG. 31: shows an enlarged representation of both pinions that are engaged with the toothed rack;

[0062] FIGS. 32 to 35: show a perspective representation of the drawer slide, according to FIG. 27, in the closed position (FIGS. 32 and 35) and in the open position (FIGS. 33 and 34) of the drawer.

[0063] FIGS. 1-6 show a first drawer system, according to the invention, in which a full extension is represented. However, the invention can also be easily used with partial extensions.

[0064] The full extension, represented in FIG. 1, contains a pair of rail systems (5-8), which are securely connected by a holding angle (9) to a (in FIG. 7 represented) cabinet component (17) (body). Since, in each case, two uniform mirror-symmetrical rail systems (5-9) are per drawer (1), the following describes only one rail system (5-9) on one side of the drawer (1).

[0065] The cabinet-fixed cabinet rail (8) is fastened on the holding angle (9), so that it is held by a carriage (51 in FIG. 27) and can be moved lengthwise and this is another carriage (50 in FIG. 27) on a drawer rail (6) and can be moved lengthwise, on which a decor (5) is fastened that is the side component of the drawer (1).

[0066] So, the front panel (2) of the drawer (1) is on the front of the decor (5), behind the rear wall (3) and subjacent to the drawer (1) bottom.

[0067]FIG. 2 shows the same drawer (1) as in FIG. 1, but is shown with an open drawer (1) instead of a closed drawer.

[0068] In the right section of the illustration in FIGS. 1 and 2, a detent ratchet (10) can be seen that is shown enlarged in FIG. 3. The detent ratchet (10) is on the drawer rail (6) and, when the drawer (1) is fully extended, engages in a recess or a projection (not shown) in a catching manner and holds the drawer (1) in the extended position until the user manually releases the detent ratchet (10).

[0069]FIG. 4 shows a side view of the drawer (1) according to FIGS. 1-3, with cut-outs of a side wall decor (5), under which in the upper left area, a spiral spring (11) is designed as energy storage that stores potential energy when the drawer (1) is pulled open (the mechanism is not closely described in the drawing here) until the drawer (1) is pulled out to the end position as shown in FIG. 2. Here the detent device (10) then engages and holds the drawer (1) in the end position until the user releases the detent stop (10). FIG. 5 shows an enlarged representation of the detent device (10).

[0070] After the detent device (10) has been unblocked, the potential energy contained in the spiral spring (11) is then transferred in the form of kinetic energy again to the drawer (1) so that the drawer pulls back automatically into the closed position.

[0071] So that this automatic closing doesn't occur in an uncontrolled manner, a speed regulator (12) is located in the front area of the drawer (1) and behind the panel (2) in the decor (5). This brakes the speed of the closing drawer (1) in such a way that a maximum speed is not exceeded. In particular, the regulator (12) prevents an inadvertent acceleration of the drawer, preventing damage to the items in the drawer, as well as the drawer itself.

[0072] The speed regulator (12) has a toothed rack (15) that engages with a pinion (13), which lies on a shaft with a speed damper (14). The toothed rack (15) is thereby on the cabinet (17) or on the stationary cabinet rail (8), the pinion on a part (2-5) of the drawer (1) or on a movable rail (6 or 7). FIG. 6 shows an enlarged view of the pinion's (13) toothed engagement with the toothed rack (15) by the regulator (12) with the damper (14).

[0073] FIGS. 7-10 show another embodiment of the invention with a drawer (16) on which rear wall (3) a shaft (24) is held that transfers the stored energy of the spiral spring (19) to the stationary toothed rack (23) with its pinion (21). On the same shaft (24) sit a pair of ratchets (18) and a pair of pinions (25,26).

[0074] The shaft (24) can be mounted one-sided and can be held by only one bearing (27) or, however, the shaft (24) can be held by several bearings and, especially for side stabilization, can be held on both sides for the drawer (16) on the cabinet (17).

[0075] The shaft (24) serves several purposes; namely, one as a drive shaft and others as regulator shaft. The drawer (16) is pulled out of the cabinet (17), then the shaft (24) rotates due to the toothed engagement of the end-sided attached pinion (21) with the toothed rack (23) that is fastened on the cabinet, in the lengthwise direction of the drawer (16). Thus, the linear movement of the drawer (16) is converted into a rotating motion of the shaft (24) and the spiral spring (19) located on the shaft (24) is tightened or stressed. The kinetic energy of the drawer's movement and, simultaneously, the shaft (24) is then converted into potential energy of the spring (19).

[0076] After the pair of ratchets (18) is released, the drawer (16) is pulled from its open position back into the cabinet again, due to the transformation of the spring's (19) potential energy into kinetic energy that is in the form of the shaft's (24) rotating motion and, at the same time, the rolling of the pinion (21) on the toothed rack (23); whereby, the drawer moves linear into the cabinet body (17). The drawer's (16) insertion movement into the cabinet (17) is controlled by the speed regulator (20).

[0077]FIG. 8 shows the layout of the drive- and regulator shaft (24) with the toothed pinion (21) and the toothed rack (23) that is affixed to the cabinet.

[0078]FIGS. 9 and 10 show an example of a ratchet (29) with a flexible springy ratchet wheel (28). The ratchet (29) is pressed automatically in the drawer's (16) open position on the flexible springy ratchet wheel (28) causing a restrain of the movement. So the drawer (16) stays in a completely open position; the drawer's (16) energy storage cannot pull it back. Only if the user releases the ratchet (29) from the ratchet wheel (28), is the drawer pulled back into the cabinet (17) because of the force activated by the stressed spring (19).

[0079]FIG. 11 shows the spring (19) whose end is fastened on the shaft (24) and whose other end is fastened on the rear wall (3) of the drawer (16). When the shaft (24) turns, the spring (19) becomes tightened/stressed and the stressed spring (19) can, with the disengaged ratchet pair (18), loosen or distress and turn the shaft (24).

[0080] In addition to the spring (19), FIG. 11 shows a regulator (20) that, together with a pinion (26), is engaged with a pinion (25) on the shaft (24). The pinion (26) of the regulator (20) is held on an additional shaft of the damper (22). Thus, the shaft (24), which is propelled by the relaxation of the spring (19), can turn only within limits, which are set by the regulator (20) and/or its damper (22).

[0081] FIGS. 12 to 15 show another embodiment of the invention with a drawer (30), which has the same components as the previously described drawer (16) (according to FIGS. 7 to 11) and which has the same reference symbols.

[0082] In contrast to the drawer (16) (according to FIGS. 7 to 11), the drawer (30) does not have a spiral spring as the energy storage, but instead has a torsion spring (31) that is wound around the shaft (24) and is firmly attached with its one end to the shaft (24) and is connected with its other end by a clip to the rear wall (3) of the drawer (30). The torsion spring (31) naturally permits several turns of the shaft (24) until the drawer (30) is completely open.

[0083] An additional difference is another catch of the drawer (30) in the completely open position that is in the form of a lamella back-run lock device (32) with a flexible lamella (33) on the shaft (24). The lamella back-run lock device (32) can then, when the drawer (30) is open, be disengaged so that the drawer (30), because of the torsion spring's (31) stored energy, goes back into the cabinet (17) until it is in the final position (closed).

[0084] FIGS. 16 to 20 show another embodiment of the invention with a drawer (34), which has the same components as the previously described drawers (16 and 30, according to FIGS. 7 to 11 and 12 to 15) and which has the same reference symbols.

[0085]FIGS. 17 and 18 show again the same ratchet pair (18) and/or the storage springs (19) on the shaft (24).

[0086] In contrast to the drawer (16) (according to FIGS. 7 to 11), the drawer (34) has another speed regulator (35) whose worm screw (37) combs with a worm wheel (36) on the shaft (24), which is clearly visible in the enlarged illustration shown in FIG. 19. The worm screw (37) is connected to a centrifugal regulator (38) with weights (39), which works as a speed damper. The worm screw (37) and the centrifugal regulator (38) with weights (39) are installed with a holding device (40) on the rear wall (3) of the drawer (34). This speed damper is preferably designed, as it has already been used for decades with dial telephones, which function very reliably.

[0087] In the place of a rotation damper as a regulator with a damping medium, a centrifugal regulator (38) is also used. A worm wheel (36) propelled a worm screw (37) with a larger transfer. Thus, the weights (39) with brake linings are pressed by centrifugal force against a cylinder's inner wall and, thus, limiting the number revolutions and braking the drawer's closing speed.

[0088]FIG. 20 shows an enlarged illustration of the centrifugal regulator (38) with weights (39).

[0089]FIG. 21 shows another embodiment of the invention with a drawer (4) that has a downward slanting built-underneath slide (6-8), so that the damper and/or regulator is fastened on the drawer back wall so that its drive pinion engages with the toothed rail on the body. In FIG. 22 the speed regulator (42) is shown enlarged, which is fastened with its shaft (46) to the drawer back wall (3) so that its drive pinion (43) engages in the toothed rail (45) fastened on the cabinet (17); whereby, the pinion (43) is damped and/or braked by the damper (44) on the same shaft (46).

[0090]FIGS. 23 and 24 show a variation of a lock pair (47-49) on the same shaft (46) of the speed regulator (42) (or on a separate shaft), which the drawer (41) (in its completely pulled-out ‘open’ cabinet [17] position) should hold, until the user disengages this position.

[0091] The lock pair (47-49) has a casing (47) in which a locking wheel (48), swiveling with the shaft (46), is inserted. The locking wheel (48) works together with a pin (49), which goes into the casing (47) when the drawer is pulled out in the end position. FIG. 23 shows a flexible casing (47 a), in particular a flexible casing bottom, that wedges a rigid pin (49 a). Whereas, in FIG. 24, a rigid casing (47 b) wedges a flexible springy pin (49 b).

[0092] So a toothed wheel-shaped locking wheel (48) propelled from a regulator shaft (46) turns in a casing (47). A pin (49) is pressed against the bottom of the casing (47). The resistance of the flexible bottom (47 a) and/or the flexible pin (49 b) holds the drawer (41) in the open position. Also, a combination of a flexible bottom, a flexible casing (47 a) and a flexible pin (49 b) is possible.

[0093] FIGS. 25 to 35 show another variant of the invention with the energy storage system in the form of helical/coil springs (52,53) and a speed regulator (59) that works between the rails (6-8). The same construction parts here as shown in the previously described figures have the same reference symbols. For reasons of clarity the drawer itself and the cabinet body are not represented.

[0094] In a casing a toothed wheel-shaped locking wheel propelled by a regulator shaft turns. A pin is pressed against the flexible bottom. The resistance of the bottom holds the drawer in an open position.

[0095]FIG. 25 shows the full-extension drawer slide in the pulled-out position, with the rest of the rails (6-8)—namely, the drawer rail (6), the center rail (7) and the cabinet rail (8) with both fastening angles (9). Between the rails (6,7 and 7,8) are conventional carriages. FIG. 26 shows the drawer slide (shown in FIG. 25) in the closed position.

[0096]FIG. 27 now shows the drawer slide (shown in FIG. 26) in a closed drawer viewed from the backside, where the inner life of the rails can be better seen. The roller carriages (50) between the drawer rail (6) and the center rail (7) and also, the roller carriage (51) between the center rail (7) and the cabinet rail (8) are each mounted with a helical/coil spring (52, 53) which fits with its other end on the locating plate (54, 55) of the center rail (7).

[0097] Now if the drawer is pulled out of the cabinet (not shown), then the helical/coil springs (52, 53) between the center rail (7) and the roller carriage (50, 51) are lengthened by the supply of kinetic energy and is stored in them in the form of potential energy. The drawer is then held by a corresponding locking device (not shown) in the open position until the user disengages it and with this action, the drawer, by means of the helical/coil spring (52, 53) goes back into the cabinet. The stored potential energy of the helical/coil spring (52, 53) is then transformed back into kinetic energy until the drawer is pulled into the end ‘closed’ position in the cabinet.

[0098] A speed regulator (59) is located between the rails (6-8) so that the drawer doesn't accelerate and close in an uncontrolled manner. Its function is described later in FIG. 31.

[0099]FIG. 28 still shows the drawer slide with the rails (6-8) and the angle (9) shown in FIG. 27 of a side view section.

[0100]FIG. 29 shows, as an example, the layout and attachment of the left end of the helical/coil spring (52) to the center rail (7) in an enlarged representation on the left side of FIG. 27. FIG. 30 shows the layout and attachment of the right end of the helical/coil spring (52) on the roller carriage (50) in an enlarged representation on the right side of FIG. 27. Naturally the same is also valid for the second helical/coil spring (53) that is located between the center rail (7) and the roller carriage (51) and is supported on the locating plate (54) of the center rail (7) and is fastened there.

[0101]FIG. 31 now shows an enlarged representation of the speed regulator (59), as well as the synchronization of the roller carriages (50, 51) with the center rail (7). In order to synchronize the roller carriages (50, 51) a pinion (56) (here smaller), as usual is located, swiveling but stationary, on the center rail (7), which when engaged with the toothed racks (57,58) that are on the roller carriage (50, 51). So it is ensured that the roller carriages (50, 51) do not move differently when the drawer is opened or closed, but instead, move simultaneously and uniformly. On the same axle of the synchronous pinion (56) there is an additional (here larger) pinion (60), swiveling but stationary, on the center rail (7), which engages with additional toothed racks (61, 62) on the rails (6, 8). The rails themselves synchronize to each other because of this pinion (60).

[0102] As a result of both pinions (56 and 60), the energy stored in the springs (52, 53) is transferred synchronously when the drawer is closed, synchronously by the center rail (7) to both roller carriages (50, 51) and, also, synchronously to both other rails on the drawer rail (6) and cabinet rail (8).

[0103] Likewise, on the same axle as the pinion (56, 60), the speed regulator (63) provides for a controlled closing of the drawer.

[0104] FIGS. 32 to 35 show, once again, the drawer slide as shown in FIGS. 25 to 31 with perspective representations for better illustration. FIGS. 32 and 35 show the drawer slide in the closed position, and FIGS. 33 and 34 show the drawer slide and/or the drawer (not shown) in the open ‘pulled-out’ position.

Drawing Legend

[0105]1. Drawer

[0106]2. Front panel of the drawer

[0107]3. Rear wall of the drawer

[0108]4. Drawer bottom

[0109]5. Decor side wall

[0110]6. Drawer rail

[0111]7. Center rail

[0112]8. Cabinet rail

[0113]9. Fastening angle for the cabinet rail

[0114]10. Detent ratchet or detent pawl

[0115]11. Spiral spring as energy storage

[0116]12. Speed regulator

[0117]13. Toothed gear

[0118]14. Damper

[0119]15. Toothed rack

[0120]16. Drawer

[0121]17. Cabinet

[0122]18. Detent ratchet or detent pawl pair

[0123]19. Spiral spring as energy storage on shaft (4) and rear wall (3)

[0124]20. Speed regulator

[0125]21. Toothed gear

[0126]22. Damper on rear wall (3)

[0127]23. Toothed rack, fixed to the cabinet

[0128]24. Shaft

[0129]25. Pinion on rack (24)

[0130]26. Pinion on damper (22)

[0131]27. Bearing shaft (24)

[0132]28. Flexible ratchet wheel on shaft (24)

[0133]29. Ratchet on rear wall (3)

[0134]30. Drawer

[0135]31. Torsion spring

[0136]32. Lamella back run lock device

[0137]33. Flexible lamella

[0138]34. Drawer

[0139]35. Speed regulator

[0140]36. Worm wheel

[0141]37. Worm screw

[0142]38. Centrifugal regulator

[0143]39. Weights

[0144]40. Retaining/holding device

[0145]41. Drawer

[0146]42. Speed regulator

[0147]43. Toothed gear from 42 on 3

[0148]44. Damper from 42 on 3

[0149]45. Toothed rack from 42 to cabinet

[0150]46. Regulator shaft

[0151]47. Casing, 47 a, 47 b

[0152]48. Locking wheel

[0153]49. Pin, 49 a, 49 b

[0154]50. Roller carriage between 6 and 7

[0155]51. Roller carriage between 8 and 7

[0156]52. Helical/coil spring between 7 and 50

[0157]53. Helical/coil spring between 7 and 51

[0158]54. Locating plate on 7 for 52

[0159]55. Locating plate on 7 for 53

[0160]56. Synchronizing pinion on 7 for 57 and 58

[0161]57. Toothed rack from 50

[0162]58. Toothed rack from 51

[0163]59. Speed regulator

[0164]60. Pinion on 7 between 61 and 62

[0165]61. Toothed rack from 6

[0166]62. Toothed rack from 8

[0167]63. Damper

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7240978 *Mar 25, 2005Jul 10, 2007Nifco Inc.Sliding assisting device
US7281773 *Jul 7, 2005Oct 16, 2007Nifco Inc.Sliding assisting apparatus
US7431410 *Jul 11, 2005Oct 7, 2008Nifco Inc.Sliding assisting apparatus
US7575242 *Jun 16, 2006Aug 18, 2009Siemens Medical Solutions Usa, Inc.Collimator change cart
US7901017Jul 2, 2007Mar 8, 2011Corry Contract, Inc.Security file cabinet with self-closing, self-locking drawers
US7922270 *Apr 17, 2008Apr 12, 2011Peka-Metall AgPull-in and damping device for a displaceable element
US7994743 *Oct 1, 2008Aug 9, 2011Grass GmbhDevice for moving a first furniture part relative to a second furniture part, and a piece of furniture
US8205951Oct 28, 2010Jun 26, 2012Knape & Vogt Manufacturing CompanyClosing device for drawers
US8632141 *Aug 10, 2010Jan 21, 2014Segos Co., Ltd.Sliding apparatus with self-closing means
US20110037362 *Aug 10, 2010Feb 17, 2011Park Yoon SigSliding apparatus with self-closing means
WO2005122832A1 *Jun 3, 2005Dec 29, 2005Blum Gmbh JuliusDevice for moving a moving furniture component
WO2011056792A1 *Nov 2, 2010May 12, 2011Knape & Vogt Manufacturing CompanyClosing device for drawers
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/333
International ClassificationA47B88/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47B88/047, A47B2210/0078, A47B2210/0067, A47B2210/007
European ClassificationA47B88/04S
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 18, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: GRASS GMBH, AUSTRIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MUELLER, WOLFGANG;ALBRECHT, MARKUS;RUMMEL, ERWIN;REEL/FRAME:014988/0508
Effective date: 20030820