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 numberUS20040244121 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/856,294
Publication dateDec 9, 2004
Filing dateMay 28, 2004
Priority dateJun 9, 2003
Also published asCN1572953A, CN100354466C, DE102004026735A1, DE102004026735B4
Publication number10856294, 856294, US 2004/0244121 A1, US 2004/244121 A1, US 20040244121 A1, US 20040244121A1, US 2004244121 A1, US 2004244121A1, US-A1-20040244121, US-A1-2004244121, US2004/0244121A1, US2004/244121A1, US20040244121 A1, US20040244121A1, US2004244121 A1, US2004244121A1
InventorsHee Tae Lim, Jae Won Chang
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mono-tub drum-type washing machine and method for controlling the same
US 20040244121 A1
Abstract
A mono-tub drum-type washing machine includes a cabinet, a tub disposed in the cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle, the tub being integrally formed with the cabinet, a drum rotatably disposed in the tub at the predetermined tilted angle, a drum shaft for transmitting torque of a motor to the drum, and a damper for attenuating vibration of the drum when the drum is driven, the damper being installed in the cabinet.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(22)
What is claimed is:
1. A drum-type washing machine comprising:
a cabinet;
a tub disposed in the cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle, the tub being integrally formed with the cabinet;
a drum rotatably disposed in the tub at the predetermined tilted angle;
a motor for driving the drum;
a drum shaft for transmitting torque of the motor to the drum; and
a damping device for attenuating vibration of the drum as the drum is driven, the damping device being installed in the cabinet.
2. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, wherein the drum independently holds water separate from the tub and the water is fed to the drum.
3. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, wherein a door for opening/closing the drum is installed on a front portion of the cabinet at the predetermined tilted angle.
4. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, wherein the drum shaft is mounted on a rear portion of the drum, a bearing for supporting the drum shaft is disposed around the drum shaft, and a bellows-shaped sealer is disposed between the rear portion of the drum and the bearing to prevent washing water from leaking.
5. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, wherein the damping device comprises a plurality of support frames movably mounted on a rear portion of the tub to support the motor and drum shaft at the rear portion of the tub, at least one spring supportably disposed between the support frame and the cabinet, and at least one damper disposed between the support frame and the cabinet.
6. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 5, wherein the spring is coupled to the top side of the cabinet and the damper is coupled to the bottom side of the cabinet.
7. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 2, wherein at least one overflow opening is formed on a front portion circumference of the drum so that the water can be retained in the drum up to a level defined by the tilted angle of the drum.
8. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, further comprising a fluid chamber for attenuating vibration of the drum as the drum is driven, the fluid chamber being formed around a front portion of the drum.
9. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, wherein the drum and the tub are disposed at a predetermined tilted angle of about 20°-30° with respect to a horizontal plane.
10. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, further comprising an electrode sensor for detecting water overflowing through at least one overflow opening.
11. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 10, further comprising a drainage way for draining the water overflowing through the at least one overflow opening, the drainage way housing the electrode sensor.
12. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 10, further comprising a controller for detecting a level of water in the drum according to a signal from the electrode sensor and for controlling washing and dewatering cycles.
13. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 1, further comprising a space between the drum and the tub for overflow water to flow along prior to being drained through a drainage way.
14. A drum-type washing machine comprising:
a cabinet;
a tub disposed in the cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle, the tub being integrally formed with the cabinet;
a drum rotatably disposed in the tub at the predetermined tilted angle to retain washing water;
a motor for driving the drum;
a damping device for attenuating vibration of the drum as the drum is driven, the damping device being installed in the cabinet; and
an operation controller for controlling washing and dewatering cycles of the drum.
15. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 14, wherein the drum independently holds water separate from the tub and washing water is fed to the drum.
16. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 14, further comprising a drain member for draining the washing water, the drain member comprising at least one overflow opening formed on a front portion circumference of the drum so that the washing water can be retained in the drum up to a level defined by the tilted angle of the drum and a drainage way formed on a lower end of the tub to drain the washing water directed from the at least one overflow opening to a drain hose.
17. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 16, further comprising an electrode sensor for detecting the washing water overflowing through the at least one overflow openings.
18. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 14, wherein the damping device is disposed between the drum and the cabinet, the damping device comprising at least one spring and at least one damper.
19. The drum-type washing machine according to claim 14, wherein the washing water in the drum overflows through at least one overflow opening by centrifugal force of the drum during a dewatering cycle.
20. A drum-type washing machine comprising:
a cabinet with a front door;
a tub disposed in the cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle, the tub being integrally formed with the cabinet;
a drum rotatably disposed in the tub at the predetermined tilted angle to retain washing water, the drum being provided at a front portion circumference with at least one overflow openings;
a motor for driving the drum;
a drum shaft for transmitting torque of the motor to the drum, the drum shaft being connecting to a rear portion of the drum;
a damping device for supporting the drum, the damping device being disposed between the drum and the cabinet;
a drainage way for draining the washing water overflowing through the at least one overflow opening, the drainage way being provided with an electrode sensor for detecting the washing water overflowing through the at least one overflow opening; and
a controller for detecting a water level of the washing water in the drum according to a signal from the electrode sensor and for controlling washing and dewatering cycles.
21. A method for controlling a drum type washing machine, comprising the steps of:
feeding washing water to a drum disposed at a predetermined tilted angle within a cabinet;
detecting a water level of the washing water in the drum according to a signal of an electrode sensor detecting the washing water overflowing through at least one overflow opening formed on the drum; and
repeatedly performing washing and dewatering cycles when the washing water is fed to the drum to a predetermined water level.
22. The method according to claim 21, wherein the washing water is stored in the drum up to a level defined by the tilted angle of the drum.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 119 (a), this application claims the benefit of earlier filing date and right of priority to Korean Application No. 2003-36678, filed on Jun. 9, 2003 and Korean Application No. 2003-6679, filed on Jun. 9, 2003, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a drum-type washing machine, and more particularly, to a mono-tub drum-type washing machine and a method for controlling the same, which performs washing cycles by supplying washing water to a tilted drum installed in a cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] Generally, a washing machine is an electric apparatus used for removing dirt from laundry such as clothes, sheets and the like using a chemical reaction between a detergent and water. Particularly, a drum-type washing machine is designed to perform the washing operation by impacting the laundry with the detergent and water. As a tub rotates around a horizontal axis, lifters formed in a drum cause the laundry to lift and fall against the detergent and water.

[0006]FIG. 1 shows a related art drum-type washing machine.

[0007] Referring to FIG. 1, a related art drum-type washing machine includes a cabinet 1, a tub 2 installed in the cabinet 1 to retain washing water, a drum 3 rotatably installed in the tub 2 for receiving laundry, a drum shaft 4 for transmitting torque generated by a motor 6 to the drum 3, upper and lower bearings 5 installed around upper and lower circumferences of the drum shaft 4, springs 7 for supporting the tub 2, dampers 8 disposed at a lower portion of the cabinet 1 to attenuate vibration generated during a dewatering cycle for extracting water out of the laundry, a door 9 disposed on a front portion of the cabinet 1, a gasket 10 disposed between the door 9 and the tub 2, and a drain hose 12 connecting a drainage way 11 formed on a bottom of the tub 2 to a drain pump 13.

[0008] The operation of the related art drum-type washing machine will be described hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2.

[0009] The laundry is loaded in the drum 3 with the door 9 opened. A predetermined amount of detergent is then loaded in a detergent container (not shown). Washing water with the detergent is fed into the tub 2 by opening a water supply hole. Then, the washing water is fed into the drum 3 and a space defined between the drum 3 and the tube 2 up to a predetermined level.

[0010] After the above, electric power is applied to a heater installed on a bottom of the tub 2 to heat the washing water up to a predetermined temperature.

[0011] The motor 6 is then driven, wherein the torque of the motor 6 is transmitted to the drum 3 via the drum shaft 4 and the bearings 5 to rotate the drum 3. When the motor 6 is a direct-connection type, the motor 6 is disposed on a rear side of the tub. When the motor 6 is a belt-driven type, it is generally disposed under the tub in the cabinet.

[0012] As the drum 3 rotates, lifters (not shown) cause the laundry loaded in the drum 3 to lift and fall while rolling. At this point, the warm washing water in the drum 3 flows along an inner circumference of the drum 3 to evenly wet the laundry.

[0013] When the laundry becomes wet, the washing operation starts. Such a drum-type washing machine has an advantage of improving washing efficiency due to the increased frictional force between the laundry and the drum caused by the lifters. Efficiency is also improved by the warm water activating the detergent.

[0014] After the washing cycle is completed, the washing water in the tub 2 is drained through the drain hose 12 by the drain pump 13. Then, a predetermined amount of clean water is fed into the tub 2 through a water supply hole after which the drum 3 rotates for a predetermined amount of time. This operation is repeated several times to perform the rinsing cycle.

[0015] After the rinsing cycle is completed, the rinsing water used for the rinsing cycle is drained to an external area by the pump 13. The drum 3 then rotates again to perform a dewatering cycle for extracting water out of the laundry.

[0016] The springs 7 are disposed between a top of the cabinet 1 and the tub 2 to support the tub 2. The dampers 8 connect a bottom of the cabinet 1 to the tub 2 to attenuate vibration generated by the tub 2 during the dewatering cycle. In order for the machine to stably maintain its balance, the springs 7 and the dampers 8 must be disposed in a vertical direction of a center of gravity of the washing machine equipped with all of its components.

[0017] As shown in FIG. 2, a counter weight 14 is installed around an inlet of the tub 2 to further aid in attenuating the vibration of the washing machine. The more the mass of the laundry, the more the attenuation of the vibration.

[0018] Referring again to FIG. 1, an amount of water stored in the tub 2 is detected by a water level sensor 15. Upon the water level sensor 15 detecting a signal, a water supply device (not shown) is controlled to adjust the amount of water fed into the tub 2.

[0019] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the water level sensor 15 is connected to the drain hose 12 via a pressure hose 16. Therefore, the water level of the tub 2 is detected by the water level sensor 15 as the water is directed to the water level sensor 15 via the pressure hose 16 connected to the drain hose 12. The water supply device is operated according to the detected water level to adjust the amount of water fed into the tub 2.

[0020] A pressure sensor 15 a divides a chamber of the water level sensor 15 into upper and lower chambers. The pressure hose 16 has a first end communicating with the lower chamber and a second end communicating with the drain hose 12.

[0021] Accordingly, when the washing water is fed into the tub 2, a portion of the washing water is directed to the pressure hose 16 via the drain hose 12 to compress air between the pressure sensor 15 a and the pressure hose 16. As a result, the compressed pressure is transmitted to the pressure sensor 15 a such that the water level of the washing water is detected. This water level detection can be illustrated by the following formula.

Ps=Pt+rgh−Patm

[0022] Ps is pressure applied to a bottom of the pressure sensor, Pt indicates pressure in the tub, and Patm is atmospheric pressure. R is density of the washing water, g is acceleration of gravity, and h indicates a height of the washing water. Therefore, rgh represents head pressure. Since the pressure in the tub Pt is identical to the atmospheric pressure Patm, it is possible for the pressure sensor to detect the head pressure in the tub.

[0023] However, such a related art drum-type washing machine has the following drawbacks:

[0024] 1. Since the cabinet 1, the tub 2 and the drum 3 are separated from each other and disposed in parallel to a horizontal plane, washing water is retained in the tub 2, increasing the consumption of the water.

[0025] 2. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, since there are gaps A and B between the drum 3 and the tub 2 and between the cabinet 1 and the tub 2, respectively, a size of the washing machine is increased as compared with a washing volume.

[0026] 3. Since the washing machine has a horizontal structure, a space for receiving ribs 15 for providing rigidity to the tub 2 during the dewatering cycle is further required, thus increasing a size of the washing machine.

[0027] 4. The pressure sensor for detecting the water level is complicated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0028] Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a mono-tub drum-type washing machine and a method for controlling the same, which substantially obviate one or more problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

[0029] It is a first object of the present invention to provide a mono-tub drum-type washing machine having a tub integrally formed with a cabinet in which the tub and a drum are disposed at a predetermined tilted angle.

[0030] It is a second object of the present invention to provide a mono-tub drum-type washing machine in which washing water is fed only to a drum disposed in a cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle.

[0031] It is a third object of the present invention to provide a mono-tub drum-type washing machine that, when the washing water is fed into the drum above a predetermined level, allows the washing water to overflow through overflow openings formed on a front portion of a drum.

[0032] It is a fourth object of the present invention to provide a mono-tub drum-type washing machine and a method for controlling the same, which can control water supply by electric connection when washing water overflows through overflow openings formed on a front portion of a drum.

[0033] It is a fifth object of the present invention to provide a mono-tub drum-type washing machine and a method for controlling the same, which can perform washing and dewatering cycles by feeding washing water only to a tilted drum.

[0034] Additional advantages, objects, and features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

[0035] To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a mono-tub drum-type washing machine comprising: a cabinet; a tub disposed in the cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle, the tub being integrally formed with the cabinet; a drum rotatably disposed in the tub at the predetermined tilted angle; a motor for driving the drum; a drum shaft for transmitting torque of the motor to the drum; and a damping device for attenuating vibration of the drum as the drum is driven, the damping device being installed in the cabinet.

[0036] In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mono-tub drum-type washing machine comprising: a cabinet; a tub disposed in the cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle, the tub being integrally formed with the cabinet; a drum rotatably disposed in the tub at the predetermined tilted angle to retain washing water; a motor for driving the drum; a damping device for attenuating vibration of the drum as the drum is driven, the damping device being installed in the cabinet; and an operation controller for controlling washing and dewatering cycles of the drum.

[0037] In still another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mono-tub drum-type washing machine comprising: a cabinet with a front door; a tub disposed in the cabinet at a predetermined tilted angle, the tub being integrally formed with the cabinet; a drum rotatably disposed in the tub at the predetermined tilted angle to retain washing water, the drum being provided at a front portion circumference with at least one overflow opening; a motor for driving the drum; a drum shaft for transmitting torque of the motor to the drum, the drum shaft being connecting to a rear portion of the drum; a damping device for supporting the drum, the damping device being disposed between the drum and the cabinet and having predetermined tension; a drainage way for draining the washing water overflowing through the at least one overflow openings, the drainage way being provided with an electrode sensor for detecting the washing water overflowing through the at least one overflow opening; and a controller for detecting a water level of the washing water in the drum according to a signal from the electrode sensor and for controlling washing and dewatering cycles.

[0038] In still yet another aspect of the present invention, a method for controlling a mono-tub drum type washing machine, comprising the steps of: feeding washing water only to a drum disposed at a predetermined angle within a cabinet; detecting a water level of the washing water in the drum according to a signal of an electrode sensor detecting the washing water overflowing through at least one overflow opening& formed on the drum; and repeatedly performing washing and dewatering cycles when the washing water is fed to the drum to a predetermined water level.

[0039] It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0040] The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention. In the drawings:

[0041]FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a related art drum-type washing machine.

[0042]FIG. 2 is a schematic front view of a related art drum-type washing machine.

[0043]FIG. 3 is a view of a related art water level detecting structure.

[0044]FIG. 4 is a side sectional view of a mono-tub drum-type washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0045]FIG. 5 is a schematic perspective view of a mono-tub drum-type washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0046]FIG. 6 is a side sectional view of a mono-tub drum-type washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0047]FIG. 7 is a view illustrating a fluid chamber and overflowing opening of a mono-tub drum-type washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0048]FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a water level detecting structure of a mono-tub drum-type washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0049]FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating a washing control method of a mono-tub drum-type washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0050] Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0051]FIGS. 4 through 7 show a mono-tub drum-type washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention. It is to be understood that throughout this specification, the term “front portion” refers to a part of an object which is nearest the front of the mono-tub drum-type washing machine or toward where door 108 is located. Similarly, the term “rear portion” refers to a part of an object which is nearest the rear of the mono-tub drum-type washing machine or toward where motor 107 is located.

[0052] Referring to FIGS. 4 through 7, the mono-tub drum-type washing machine 100 comprises a cabinet 101 provided at a front portion with a door 108, a tub 102 preferably integrally formed in the cabinet 101 at a predetermined tilted angle, a drum 103 disposed in the tub 102 to retain washing water, a drum shaft 104 connected to a rear portion of the drum 103, front portion and rear portion bearings 105 supportably disposed around front portion and rear portion circumferences of the drum shaft 104, a motor 107 connected to the drum shaft 104, a plurality of U-shaped support frames 110 movably mounted on a rear portion of the tub 102 to support the motor 107 and the drum shaft 104 in an X-shape at the rear portion of the tub 102, at least one spring 111 mounted between each of the U-shaped frames 110 and the cabinet 101, at least one damper 112 mounted between each of the U-shaped frames 110 and the cabinet 101, a plurality of overflow openings 131 formed on a front portion circumference of the drum 103, a fluid chamber 132 formed on a front portion circumference of the drum 103, which stores a predetermined amount of fluid to attenuate vibration and noise of the drum as the drum is driven, and a drainage way 133 formed on a bottom of the tub 102 to drain washing water overflowing through the overflow openings 131.

[0053] The tub 102 and the drum 103 are disposed in the cabinet 101 preferably at a predetermined tilted angle of about 20°-30°. The door 108 is installed on the front portion of the cabinet 101 to open and close a laundry loading/unloading opening.

[0054] The tub 102 is formed in a cylindrical shape. Preferably, the tub 102 is integrally formed with the cabinet 101 so that the tub 102 and the cabinet 102 form one continuous piece. The drum 103 is formed in a cylindrical shape and disposed in the tub 102. The tilted angle of the drum 103 is identical to that of the tub 102. A predetermined space is defined between the drum 103 and the tub 102.

[0055] The drum 103 independently holds water separate from the tub 102. Washing water is not fed to the tub 102 but only to the drum 103. Therefore, the washing water is retained only in the drum 103.

[0056] The door 108 is installed on a front portion of the tub 102 that is tilted rearward. That is, as the tub 102 is installed at the predetermined tilted angle, the front portion of the tub 102 is tilted rearward with respect to a front portion of the cabinet 101. Because the door 108 is installed on the tilted front portion of the tub 102, it is convenient for a user to load and unload the laundry. However, the installed door structure can be varied according to a user's preference and/or structural stability.

[0057] Because the tub 102 is integrally formed with the cabinet 101, a gasket formally required for sealing a gap between the door and the tub of the prior art is no longer required in the present invention. Furthermore, the washing water is retained only in the drum 103 up to a height allowed by the tilted angle of the drum 103.

[0058] The door 108, the tub 102 and the drum 103 are identically tilted by about 20°-30° with respect to a horizontal plane. However, a different tilted angle may be used depending on the needs and applications.

[0059] As shown in FIG. 6, when the washing water is fed into the drum 103 above a predetermined water level, the washing water overflows through the overflow openings 131. The overflowing water flows along the space between the drum 103 and the tub 102 and is then drained through the drainage way 133. The overflow openings 131 are, as shown in FIG. 7, formed on the front portion circumference of the drum 103 and separated from each other at a predetermined interval. Thus, the water drain openings function to communicate the drum 103 with the tub 102.

[0060] Referring to FIG. 7, the fluid chamber 132 is formed on the front portion circumference of the drum 103 and filled with fluid to attenuate the vibration of the drum 103 during the dewatering cycle in which the drum 103 is driven to extract water from the laundry.

[0061] As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the drum shaft 104 is installed between the rear portion of the drum 103 and the motor 107 to transmit torque of the motor 107 to the drum 103. The bearings 105 installed around the drum shaft 104 support the drum shaft 104.

[0062] A bellows-shaped sealer 106 is formed between the rear portion of the tub 102 and the front portion bearing 105 to prevent washing water from leaking to the bearings.

[0063] The U-shaped frames 110 are mounted on a rear portion of the tub 102. The U-shaped frames 110 are coupled at their rear portions in an X-shape. The springs 111 are connected between the U-shaped frames 110 and the top side of the cabinet 101. The dampers 112 are connected between the U-shaped frames 110 and the bottom side of the cabinet 101. As a result, the vibration of the drum 103 can be attenuated as the drum is driven by the motor 107.

[0064] The operation of the mono-tub drum-type washing machine will be described hereinafter.

[0065] Referring to FIGS. 4 through 7, the laundry is loaded in the drum 103 with the door opened. After the door 108 is closed, detergent is loaded in a detergent container (not shown) and the water supply hole is opened such that the washing water together with the detergent is fed into the drum 103 installed in the cabinet 101 at the predetermined tilted angle.

[0066] As shown in FIG. 8, the washing water is fed into the drum 103 up to a tilted water level defined by the tilted angle of the drum 103. When the washing water is fed above the tilted water level, the washing water overflows through the overflow openings 131. The overflow water flows along the space between the drum 103 and the tub 102, which is then drained through the drainage way 133. Thus, the overflowing water is drained through the drainage way 133, which is formed at the lowest portion of the tub 102.

[0067] The washing water drained through the drainage way 133 is exhausted to an external area by a drain pump 135 via a drain hose 134.

[0068] An electrode sensor formed of electrodes 133 a is installed in the drainage way 133. When the washing water overflows, the electrodes 133 a are electrically connected to each other to transmit a signal to a controller 140. Upon receiving the signal, the controller 140 closes the water supply hole to halt the feeding of washing water into the drum and operates the motor to perform the washing cycle.

[0069] When a predetermined amount of water is fed into the drum through the above described water supply control, electric power is applied to a heater disposed under the drum 102 to heat the washing water up to a predetermined temperature.

[0070] The motor 107 is then activated to transmit torque through the drum shaft 104 and the bearings 105 to rotate the drum 103.

[0071] As the drum 103 rotates, lifters cause the laundry loaded in the drum 103 to lift and fall while rolling. At this point, the warm washing water in the drum 103 flows along an inner circumference of the drum 103 to evenly wet the laundry.

[0072] When the laundry becomes wet, the washing operation starts. Washing efficiency is improved as frictional force between the laundry and the drum is increased by the lifters. Efficiency is further improved as the warm water activates the detergent.

[0073] After the above, a predetermined amount of washing water is fed to drum 103. The drum 103 then rotates for a predetermined amount of time to realize the rinsing cycle. Hence, after the washing water is fed, the washing and rinsing cycles are simultaneously realized without draining the water.

[0074] After the washing and rinsing cycles are completed, a dewatering cycle for extracting water from the laundry is performed. In the dewatering cycle, the drum 103 rotates at high speed causing machine vibration and noise. Accordingly, the water is extracted by centrifugal force of the drum 103 and drained through the overflow openings 131. The water is then exhausted out of the washing machine via the space between the tub 102 and the drum 103 and the drainage way 133 by the drain pump 135. At this point, the electrodes 133 a of the electrode sensor are in a state where they are electrically disconnected from each other.

[0075] During the dewatering cycle, the vibration generated by the drum is attenuated by the springs 111 and the dampers 112 that are disposed between the cabinet 101 and the U-shaped frames 110 defining the X-shaped base.

[0076] After the rinsing and dewatering cycles are completed, the laundry is unloaded from the drum 103 with the door 108 opened.

[0077]FIG. 9 shows a flowchart illustrating a method for controlling the mono-tub drum-type washing machine 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0078] Referring to FIG. 9, the washing water is fed into the tilted drum (S101). When the washing water overflows through the overflow openings and is then drained through the drainage way, the electrode sensor installed in the drainage way is activated. At this point, the controller 140 determines whether the electrodes 133 a of the electrode sensor are electrically connected (S103). When it is determined that the electrodes 133 a are connected, the water feeding to the drum is blocked (S105) and the washing cycle is performed (S107). After the washing cycle, a dewatering cycle is performed without a drainage cycle (S109).

[0079] As described above, since the springs 111 and the dampers 112 are fixed on the frames 110, the springs 111 and the dampers 112 must be disposed at the predetermined tilted angle with respect to a horizontal plane in order to stably maintain the balance of the machine while vibrating.

[0080] The fluid chamber 132 disposed around the drum 103 further reduces vibration and noise. The more the mass of the washing machine, the more the reduction of the vibration and noise.

[0081] Since the cabinet 101 and the tub 102 are integrally formed with each other and disposed at the predetermined tilted angle, the size of the components determining the washing volume can be enlarged. In addition, because of the present invention's design, a counter weight formally required by the prior art for reducing vibration and noise is no longer necessary, thus reducing the weight of the washing machine as well as providing more space for enlarging the washing volume. Further due to the design of the present invention, ribs formally required by the prior art to provide rigidity to the tub is no longer essential, thus also offering more space for enlarging the washing volume.

[0082] Because the water is fed only to the tilted drum 103 at the predetermined angle, it is possible to open the door during the washing operation. Hence, a user may access his laundry during the washing operation without getting himself or his surroundings wet. Furthermore, unlike the prior art, the present invention decreases the consumption of water because the tub is no longer fed with water. Consequently, washing time is also reduced because the additional time necessary to feed the extra water is eliminated.

[0083] Additionally, because detergent foam is not formed in the space between the tub and the drum of the present invention, it is possible to use normal detergent.

[0084] In the prior art, the water level detecting structure is complicated as it is provided in the drum 103. However, in the present invention, since the water level sensor is formed of electrodes disposed in the drainage way, the structure of the water level sensor can be simplified.

[0085] As described above, the inventive mono-tub drum-type washing machine has advantages as follows:

[0086] 1. Since the cabinet and the tub are integrally formed with each other and disposed at the predetermined tilted angle, it is possible to supply the water only to the tilted drum, thus saving water by not having to feed the tub and reducing the washing time by not having to wait the additional time necessary to feed the extra water.

[0087] 2. Since the tub and the cabinet are integrally formed with each other, the washing volume can be maximized and a lightweight design of the tube becomes possible. In addition, since detergent foam is not formed in the space between the tub and the drum, it is possible to use normal detergent.

[0088] 3. Since the liquid chamber is provided, the counter weight that has been used in the prior art can be omitted.

[0089] 4. Since the cabinet and the tub are integrally formed with each other, no gasket is required between the tub and the door.

[0090] 5. Since the front portion of the cabinet is tilted rearward, it is convenient for the user to load/unload the laundry in/from the drum. Furthermore, it is possible for the user to open the door during the washing operation.

[0091] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7533548Jun 16, 2003May 19, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
US7568366Sep 7, 2006Aug 4, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Drum-type washing machine and bearing housing structure thereof
US7571625Jun 28, 2006Aug 11, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
US7607326Jun 24, 2005Oct 27, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine and bearing housing structure thereof
US8166782Feb 2, 2006May 1, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
US8186185May 19, 2011May 29, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
US8201422May 19, 2011Jun 19, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
US8671718 *Nov 5, 2010Mar 18, 2014Lg Electronics Inc.Drum-type washing machine
US8782871 *May 28, 2010Jul 22, 2014Lg Electronics Inc.Manufacturing method of laundry machine
US20110041566 *Nov 5, 2010Feb 24, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Drum-type washing machine
US20120060350 *May 28, 2010Mar 15, 2012Kwon Ig GeunManufacturing method of laundry machine
EP1433890A2 *Jun 20, 2003Jun 30, 2004Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
EP1645678A2 *Jul 26, 2005Apr 12, 2006LG Electronics, Inc.Washing machine
EP1688531A1 *Feb 1, 2006Aug 9, 2006LG Electronics, Inc.Drum type washing and drying machine
EP1710340A2 *Jun 20, 2003Oct 11, 2006Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
EP2161366A1 *Jun 20, 2003Mar 10, 2010LG Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
EP2161367A1 *Jun 20, 2003Mar 10, 2010LG Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
EP2161368A1 *Jun 20, 2003Mar 10, 2010LG Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
EP2161369A1 *Jun 20, 2003Mar 10, 2010LG Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
EP2339056A1 *Mar 29, 2007Jun 29, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Drum type washing machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification8/159, 8/158, 68/12.05, 68/24, 68/142, 68/12.19, 68/23.1, 68/208
International ClassificationD06F39/08, D06F33/00, D06F23/06
Cooperative ClassificationD06F23/06
European ClassificationD06F23/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 28, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LIM, HEE T.;CHANG, JAE W.;REEL/FRAME:015405/0123
Effective date: 20040520