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Publication numberUS20040159127 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/724,736
Publication dateAug 19, 2004
Filing dateDec 2, 2003
Priority dateDec 2, 2002
Also published asCN1508321A
Publication number10724736, 724736, US 2004/0159127 A1, US 2004/159127 A1, US 20040159127 A1, US 20040159127A1, US 2004159127 A1, US 2004159127A1, US-A1-20040159127, US-A1-2004159127, US2004/0159127A1, US2004/159127A1, US20040159127 A1, US20040159127A1, US2004159127 A1, US2004159127A1
InventorsKyung Woo, Jin Kim, Soo Oh, Hyun Seo, Tae Lee, Joon Kim
Original AssigneeWoo Kyung Chul, Kim Jin Woong, Oh Soo Young, Seo Hyun Seok, Lee Tae Hee, Kim Joon Woo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drum-type washing machine
US 20040159127 A1
Abstract
A drum-type washing machine is provided with water adsorption accelerator at the exiting end of a water circulation pipe. The water adsorption accelerator, which may be realized as an electrical charger or an ultrasonic wave generator, facilitates the adsorption of water in laundry by processing the re-circulated water before its reintroduction to an outer tub via the water circulation pipe. The drum-type washing machine includes a water discharge pump for circulating water; a tub for containing laundry, the circulating water of the water discharge pump being adsorbed in the laundry; a water circulating pipe, in communication with the tub, for re-circulating the water circulated by the water discharge pump; and a water adsorption accelerator, disposed at one end of the water circulation pipe, for facilitating the adsorption of water in the laundry by processing the re-circulated water before reintroduction to the tub via the water circulation pipe.
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Claims(10)
What is claimed is:
1. A drum-type washing machine comprising:
a water discharge pump for circulating water;
a tub for containing laundry, the circulating water of said water discharge pump being adsorbed in the laundry;
a water circulating pipe, in communication with said tub, for re-circulating the water circulated by said water discharge pump; and
water adsorption acceleration means, disposed at one end of said water circulation pipe, for facilitating the adsorption of water in the laundry by processing the re-circulated water before reintroduction to said tub via said water circulation pipe.
2. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said water adsorption acceleration means processes the re-circulated water by electrically charging the water in said water circulating pipe before reintroduction to said tub.
3. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 2, said water adsorption acceleration means comprising:
a pair of electrodes fitted onto opposing inner surfaces of said water circulating pipe; and
a power source for applying a DC voltage to said electrodes.
4. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 3, wherein the DC voltage of said power source is obtained by rectifying the output of a step-down transformer supplied with commercial AC voltage.
5. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said water adsorption acceleration means processes the re-circulated water by generating an ultrasonic wave in the water in said water circulating pipe before reintroduction to said tub.
6. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 5, said water adsorption acceleration means comprising:
a pair of ultrasonic vibration plates, fixed to opposing outer surfaces of said water circulating pipe, for applying a mechanical vibratory energy to the water in said water circulating pipe; and
an ultrasonic oscillator 90 a for generating an ultrasonic wave of a predetermined frequency to be applied, via said ultrasonic vibration plates, as the mechanical vibratory energy to the water in said water circulating pipe.
7. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 6, said water adsorption acceleration means further comprising:
an ultrasonic transducer, attached to said ultrasonic vibration plates, for transducing a power of the ultrasonic wave of said ultrasonic oscillator into the mechanical vibratory energy applied to the water in said water circulating pipe.
8. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 1, further comprising:
electrical charging means, installed in the one end of said water circulating pipe, for electrically charging the water in said water circulating pipe; and
ultrasonic wave generating means, installed in the one end of said water circulating pipe, for generating an ultrasonic wave in the water in said water circulating pipe,
wherein the respective installations of said electrical charging means and said ultrasonic wave generating means are in close succession to one another.
9. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 8, wherein said electrical charging means is disposed in preference to said ultrasonic wave generating means, with respect to a directional flow of the water in said water circulating pipe.
10. The drum-type washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the one end of said water circulation pipe is an exiting end.
Description
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of Korean Application No. 10-2002-0075909 filed on Dec. 2, 2002, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to drum type washing machines, and more particularly, to a drum-type washing machine having a water adsorption acceleration means provided at the exiting end of a water circulating pipe.
  • [0004]
    2. Discussion of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    Generally speaking, laundering using a drum-type washing machine is carried out using a frictional force between the laundry and a rotating drum that receives the driving force of a motor to perform washing; rinsing, and dewatering steps. Such a method causes little damage to the laundry, prevents the laundry from getting tangled, and achieves such washing effects as beating and rubbing.
  • [0006]
    Referring to FIG. 1, a drum-type washing machine according to a related art is comprised of an outer tub 2 for containing washing water, suspended in a cabinet 1 and having an open front side; an inner tub 3 for holding laundry, rotatably mounted in the outer tub; a water discharge pump 5, in communication with the outer tub through a first water discharge pipe 4 a, for pumping water to be discharged from the outer tub; a circulating pipe 4 b, in communication with the outer tub through a gasket 7 forming a seal between a door 2 a and the open front side of the outer tub, for re-circulating the washing water pumped by the water discharge pump; a second water discharge pipe 4 c for discharging water pumped by the water discharge pump; and a changeover valve 6, disposed at a branching point of the circulating pipe and second water discharge pipe, for controlling a flow direction of the washing water.
  • [0007]
    In the operation of the above drum-type washing machine, with laundry loaded in the inner tub 3, a washing mode is selected so that an appropriate amount of washing water is supplied to the inner tub, which is then rotated at a low speed to perform washing. As washing thus proceeds, the washing water is continuously pumped by the water discharge pump 5, to be re-supplied to the outer tub 2 through the controlled changeover valve 6 and the circulating pipe 4 b. Upon completion of the washing, the washing water is pumped by the water discharge pump 5 and is discharged through the controlled changeover valve 6 and the second water discharge pipe 4 c.
  • [0008]
    The washing step as described above is followed by at least one rinsing step in which the same basic procedure is repeated. That is, in washing and rinsing, re-circulated water rains down upon the laundry in the inner tub 3 from an upper point of the gasket 7.
  • [0009]
    In the drum-type washing machine according to the related art as described above, however, the raining water fails to be thoroughly adsorbed in the laundry during a given step of washing or rinsing, and detergent is incompletely dissolved in the water in the washing step. As a result, wash performance is poor.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0010]
    Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a drum-type washing machine that substantially obviates one or more of the problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.
  • [0011]
    An object of the present invention, which has been devised to solve the foregoing problem, lies in providing a drum-type washing machine, in which water adsorption is accelerated during washing and rinsing steps.
  • [0012]
    It is another object of the present invention to provide a drum-type washing machine, in which detergent is more uniformly dissolved into washing water.
  • [0013]
    It is another object of the present invention to provide a drum-type washing machine, in which washing performance is improved.
  • [0014]
    It is another object of the present invention to provide a drum-type washing machine, in which wash time is shortened.
  • [0015]
    Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from a practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the subject matter particularly pointed out in the specification and claims hereof as well as in the appended drawings.
  • [0016]
    To achieve these objects and other advantages in accordance with the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a drum-type washing machine comprising a water discharge pump for circulating water; a tub for containing laundry, the circulating water of the water discharge pump being adsorbed in the laundry; a water circulating pipe, in communication with the tub, for re-circulating the water circulated by the water discharge pump; and water adsorption acceleration means, disposed at one end of the water circulation pipe, for facilitating the adsorption of water in the laundry by processing the re-circulated water before reintroduction to the tub via the water circulation pipe. The water adsorption acceleration means of the present invention may be realized by an electrical charging means, an ultrasonic wave generating means, or both.
  • [0017]
    It is to be understood that both the foregoing explanation and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and illustrative and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0018]
    The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiment(s) of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention. In the drawings:
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 1 is a side sectional view of a drum-type washing machine according to a related art;
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 2 is a side sectional view of a drum-type washing machine in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 3 is a side sectional view of a drum-type washing machine in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 4 is a side sectional view of a drum-type washing machine in accordance with a third preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0023]
    Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Throughout the drawings, like elements are indicated using the same or similar reference designations where possible.
  • [0024]
    The drum-type washing machine according to the present invention is provided with water adsorption acceleration means at the exiting end of a water circulation pipe. The water adsorption acceleration means facilitates the adsorption of water in laundry by processing the re-circulated water before its reintroduction to an outer tub via the water circulation pipe. The water adsorption acceleration means of the present invention may be realized by an electrical charging means, an ultrasonic wave generating means, or both.
  • [0025]
    Referring to FIG. 2, a drum-type washing machine in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises an outer tub 20 for containing washing water, suspended in a cabinet 10 and having an open front side; an inner tub 30 for holding laundry, rotatably mounted in the outer tub; a water discharge pump 50, in communication with the outer tub through a first water discharge pipe 40 a, for pumping water to be discharged from the outer tub; a circulating pipe 40 b, in communication with the outer tub through a gasket 70 forming a seal between a door 20 a and the open front side of the outer tub, for re-circulating the washing water pumped by the water discharge pump; a second water discharge pipe 40 c for discharging water pumped-by the water discharge pump; and a changeover valve 60, disposed at a branching point of the circulating pipe and second water discharge pipe, for controlling a flow direction of the washing water.
  • [0026]
    According to the first embodiment of the present invention, a drum-type washing machine further comprises means for electrically charging the circulating water in the water circulating pipe 40 b just before entry into the outer tub 20. The electrical charging means is installed in the exiting end of the water circulating pipe 40 b and comprises a pair of electrodes 80 a and a DC power source 80 b for applying a voltage to the electrodes via lead lines 80 c. The electrodes 80 a are fitted onto opposing inner surfaces of the water circulating pipe 40 b above the gasket 70, and the DC power source 80 b is disposed at the ends of the lead lines. The DC power source 80 b may be obtained by rectifying the output of a step-down transformer (not shown) supplied with commercial AC voltage.
  • [0027]
    In washing and rinsing steps using the drum-type washing machine as shown in FIG. 2, water is continuously re-circulated through the water circulating pipe 40 b, to rain down onto the wet laundry in the inner tub 30. As the circulating water passes the electrodes 80 a, the water molecules are positively (or negatively) charged by the voltage of the DC power source 80 b. The electrically charged water rains down onto the wet laundry, and in particular, the water of the wet laundry, which is electrically neutral and therefore possesses an attractive force with respect to the charged water molecules being supplied from the water circulating pipe 40 b. As a result, the water having the charged molecules is adsorbed in the laundry more quickly so that a more thorough adsorption is achieved during a washing or rinsing step. Moreover, by the repeated charging of the continuously re-circulated water via the water circulating pipe 40 b during washing and rinsing, adequate washing and rinsing can be achieved with less water, thus conserving water.
  • [0028]
    Referring to FIG. 3, a drum-type washing machine in accordance with a second preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises, in lieu of the electrical charging means of the first embodiment, means for generating an ultrasonic wave in the circulating water in the water circulating pipe 40 b just before entry into the outer tub 20. The ultrasonic wave generating means is installed at the exiting end of the water circulating pipe 40 b and comprises a pair of ultrasonic vibration plates 90 b and an ultrasonic oscillator 90 a for generating an ultrasonic wave of a predetermined frequency to be applied via the plates as a mechanical vibratory energy to the circulating water. An ultrasonic transducer 90 c is attached to the ultrasonic vibration plates 90 b for transducing the power of the ultrasonic wave into the mechanical vibratory energy. The ultrasonic vibration plates 90 b are fixed to opposing outer surfaces of the water circulating pipe 40 b above the gasket 70, to apply the mechanical vibratory energy to the circulating water.
  • [0029]
    In washing and rinsing steps using the drum-type washing machine as shown in FIG. 3, water is continuously re-circulated through the water circulating pipe 40 b, to rain down onto the wet laundry in the inner tub 30. As the circulating water passes the ultrasonic vibration plates 90 b, the ultrasonic oscillator 90 a generates an ultrasonic wave, the ultrasonic wave transducer 90 c transduces the power of the wave into a mechanical vibratory energy of a corresponding frequency, and the vibratory energy is transmitted through the ultrasonic vibration plates to the water flowing through the water circulating pipe 40 b, thus producing cavitations in the flowing water. As a result, the water having the cavitations is adsorbed in the laundry more quickly, so that a more thorough adsorption is achieved during a washing or rinsing step, since smaller water particles are produced by a breaking up of the water by the cavitations.
  • [0030]
    In the washing step in particular, the thus-produced cavitations in the water activate the molecular motion of the water with respect to detergent and apply an impact to the detergent to accelerate its uniform dissolution into the water.
  • [0031]
    Moreover, the impact of the cavitations facilitates the breaking up, softening, and separation of solids and oily components adhered to surfaces of the laundry being washed or rinsed.
  • [0032]
    Referring to FIG. 4, a drum-type washing machine in accordance with a third preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises the electrical charging means of the first embodiment as well as the ultrasonic wave generating means of the second embodiment. The charging means and ultrasonic wave generating means are each installed, in close succession, at the exiting end of the water circulating pipe 40 b. Preferably, the installation location of the electrical charging means precedes that of the ultrasonic wave generating means, with respect to the flowing direction of the re-circulating water.
  • [0033]
    In the operation of the drum-type washing machine of the third embodiment, the effect of the electrical charging means is achieved in tandem with the effect of the ultrasonic wave generating means. Thus, the effect of accelerating the adsorption of water in the laundry is further enhanced, to improve washing performance of the drum-type washing machine adopting the present invention accordingly.
  • [0034]
    It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover such modifications and variations, provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7950254 *May 17, 2005May 31, 2011The Procter & Gamble CompanyMethod and system for washing
US20050252255 *May 17, 2005Nov 17, 2005Gray Peter GMethod and system for washing
US20150204001 *Jan 12, 2015Jul 23, 2015Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Washing machine
EP2899306A3 *Jan 20, 2015Nov 4, 2015Samsung Electronics Co., LtdWashing machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/13.00A, 68/184, 68/18.00R
International ClassificationD06F39/00, D06F35/00, D06F39/08
Cooperative ClassificationD06F35/00, D06F39/007
European ClassificationD06F39/00S, D06F35/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 23, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WOO, KYUNG CHUL;KIM, JIN WOONG;OH, SOO YOUNG;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:015255/0944;SIGNING DATES FROM 20031202 TO 20031205