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Publication numberUS20080216523 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/041,921
Publication dateSep 11, 2008
Filing dateMar 4, 2008
Priority dateMar 6, 2007
Also published asCN101177907A, DE102008012648A1, DE102008012648B4
Publication number041921, 12041921, US 2008/0216523 A1, US 2008/216523 A1, US 20080216523 A1, US 20080216523A1, US 2008216523 A1, US 2008216523A1, US-A1-20080216523, US-A1-2008216523, US2008/0216523A1, US2008/216523A1, US20080216523 A1, US20080216523A1, US2008216523 A1, US2008216523A1
InventorsSang-Hee YOO, Jong-Deuk BAE, Bo-Young CHANG, Young-bae Park, Ji-Maeng Kim, Soo-jin Jung, Ae-Na Jo
Original AssigneeYoo Sang-Hee, Bae Jong-Deuk, Chang Bo-Young, Park Young-Bae, Ji-Maeng Kim, Jung Soo-Jin, Ae-Na Jo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foreign materials filtering apparatus
US 20080216523 A1
Abstract
In a foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine, a filter unit is not exposed to inside of a washing tub thus not to directly come in contact with laundry. Accordingly, the filter unit and laundry are prevented from being damaged, and the entire appearance is enhanced. Additionally, the foreign materials filtering apparatus is modularized to facilitate a detachable mounting, thereby enhancing the user's convenience.
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Claims(14)
1. A foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine, comprising:
a washing water circulating duct having one or more washing water inlets, and installed on an inner circumferential surface of the washing tub;
a filter cover mounted at the washing water circulating duct and having drain holes so as to communicate with the washing water inlets; and
a filter unit disposed between the washing water circulating duct and the filter coven for filtering foreign materials from washing water,
wherein the filter cover comprises:
a cap having the drain holes for covering the washing water inlet of the washing water circulating duct; and
a handle coupled to the cap thus to be mounted at the washing water circulating duct.
2. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 1, wherein the handle is detachably mounted at the cap.
3. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 2, wherein the handle and the cap are formed of different materials from each other.
4. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 2, wherein the handle is formed of a material softer than that of the cap.
5. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 2, wherein one or more handle fixing ribs are formed at the cap, and a fixing recess for insertion-fixing the handle fixing rib is formed at the handle.
6. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 5, wherein the handle fixing rib has an end extendingly formed in a wedge shape.
7. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 2, wherein a plurality of handle fixing ribs are formed inside and outside the cap with an interval therebetween, and the handle is insertion-coupled to a space between the two handle fixing ribs.
8. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 1, wherein the handle is fixedly coupled to the cap thus to be mounted at the washing water circulating duct.
9. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 8, wherein the handle and the cap are formed of different materials from each other.
10. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 8, wherein the handle is formed of a material softer than that of the cap.
11. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 8, wherein one or more handle fixing ribs are formed at the cap, and a fixing recess for insertion-fixing the handle fixing rib is formed at the handle.
12. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 11, wherein the handle fixing rib has an end extendingly formed in a wedge shape.
13. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 8, wherein a plurality of handle fixing ribs are formed inside and outside the cap with an interval therebetween, and the handle is insertion-coupled to a space between the two handle fixing ribs.
14. The foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine of claim 1, wherein the handle is fixedly coupled to the cap in an insert molding manner.
Description
RELATED APPLICATION

The present invention relates to subject matter contained in priority Korean Application No. 10-2007-0022178, filed on Mar. 6, 2007, which is herein expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a foreign materials filtering apparatus, and more particularly, to a foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine.

2. Description of the Background Art

Generally, a washing machine is largely classified into a drum type washing machine that a washing tub rotates in a horizontal direction with respect to the ground, and a pulsator type washing machine the washing tub rotates in a vertical direction with respect to the ground. According to the drum type washing machine, while a washing tub rotates, laundry comes into friction with an inner wall of the washing tub or drops from the washing tub thereby to be cleaned. On the contrary, laundry comes into friction with a water current generated while a pulsator rotates, or is entangled by the pulsator, thereby being cleaned.

In the conventional pulsator type washing machine, a foreign materials filtering apparatus for filtering each kind of foreign materials such as nap generated from laundry during a washing process is installed above the washing tub.

In the foreign materials filtering apparatus, a filtering net for filtering foreign materials is attached to a frame detachably mounted at the washing tub. The frame is formed of an elastic material in a rectangular belt shape so as to be detachably mounted at the washing tub. And, the filtering net is formed of a mesh-shaped fibrous material or a material similar thereto having a certain aperture ratio so as to pass washing water and filter foreign materials.

In a washing machine having the foreign materials filtering apparatus, a pulsator provided on a bottom surface of a washing tub rotates to generate a water current, and by the generated water current, washing water rises along a passage formed between an inner wall and an outer wall of the washing tub. The risen washing water is introduced into the washing tub via the foreign materials filtering apparatus. While the washing water passes through the foreign materials filtering apparatus, foreign materials such as nap detached from laundry and mixed with the washing water are filtered by passing through a filtering net of the foreign materials filtering apparatus.

However, the conventional foreign materials filtering apparatus has the following problems.

The filtering net is installed to be exposed to inside of the washing tub, thereby repeatedly coming in contact with laundry. Accordingly, the filtering net or laundry may be damaged, or the frame may be detached from the washing tub, which causes the entire appearance to be degraded.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine capable of preventing a filtering net and laundry from being damaged by preventing friction therebetween, and capable of preventing a frame from being detached from a washing tub.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a foreign materials filtering apparatus capable of easily installing a filtering net and enhancing the entire appearance.

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine, comprising: a washing water circulating duct having one or more washing water inlets, and installed on an inner circumferential surface of the washing tub; a filter cover mounted at the washing water circulating duct and having drain holes so as to communicate with the washing water inlets; and a filter unit disposed between the washing water circulating duct and the filter cover, for filtering foreign materials from washing water, wherein the filter cover comprises: a cap having the drain holes for covering the washing water inlet of the washing water circulating duct; and a handle coupled to the cap thus to be mounted at the washing water circulating duct.

The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are respectively perspective and longitudinal sectional views showing a pulsator type washing machine to which a foreign materials filtering apparatus according to the present invention is applied;

FIG. 3 is a frontal exploded perspective view of the foreign materials filtering apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a frontal assembled perspective view of the foreign materials filtering apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a lateral longitudinal sectional view of the foreign materials filtering apparatus of FIG. 1 taken along line I-I of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of a washing water circulating duct of the is foreign materials filtering apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are rear perspective views showing embodiments of an assembled state between a cap and a handle of the foreign materials filtering apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along line II-II of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view showing another embodiment of a filter unit of the foreign materials filtering apparatus of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 11 is a schematic view showing another embodiment of an assembly method between a cap and a handle of the foreign materials filtering apparatus of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

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

Hereinafter, a foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine according to the present invention will be explained in more detail with reference to the attached drawings.

FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective and longitudinal sectional views, respectively of a pulsator type washing machine to which a foreign materials filtering apparatus according to the present invention is applied.

As shown, a washing machine 100 to which a foreign materials filtering apparatus according to the present invention is applied, comprises: a cabinet 110 that forms the appearance; a top cover 120 mounted at an upper side of the cabinet 110; and a lid 130 mounted at an upper side of the top cover 120, for opening and closing a washing tub 150 to be later explained.

A reservoir 140 for containing washing waster therein is installed in the cabinet 110, and a washing tub 150 containing laundry therein and washing the laundry while rotating is installed in the washing tub 140. A pulsator 160 for stirring laundry is installed at a lower surface of the washing tub 150, and a foreign materials filtering apparatus 200 is installed at a part on an inner wall of the washing tub 150.

A control panel 170 for controlling an operation of the washing machine is installed at one side of the top cover 120, and a detergent box 180 is inserted into an inner inclination surface of the top cover 120.

Unexplained reference numeral 190 denotes a driving unit.

The operation of the washing machine according to the present invention will be explained.

First, laundry is put into the washing tub 150, and washing conditions are inputted by pressing a course selection button, etc. mounted at the control panel 170. Then, an operation button is pressed to start a washing process, and washing water is introduced into the washing tub 150. As the washing water reaches a certain level, the pulsator 160 rotates thus to start a washing process.

As the pulsator 160 rotates, a centrifugal force is applied to the washing water. By the centrifugal force, the washing water is moved toward an inner wall of the washing tub 150, and circulates along the inner wall. As the washing tub 150 and the pulsator 160 alternately rotate with a certain time gap therebetween in opposite directions to each other, a washing process is performed while water current and laundry are mixed to each other. Here, the washing water passes through the foreign materials filtering apparatus 200 while circulating toward inside the washing tub 150. As the washing water passes through the foreign materials filtering apparatus 200, foreign materials such as nap mixed with the washing water are filtered by the foreign materials filtering apparatus 200.

FIGS. 3 to 10 are views respectively showing a foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine according to the present invention.

As shown in FIG. 3, a foreign materials filtering apparatus 200 according to the present invention comprises a washing water circulating duct 210 installed on an inner wall surface of a washing tub 150 of FIG. 1, a filter cover 220 detachably mounted at the washing water circulating duct 210, and a filter unit 230 disposed on a rear surface of the filter cover 220 for filtering foreign materials from washing water.

As shown in FIGS. 3 to 6, the washing water circulating duct 210 is formed in a rectangular plate shape approximately same as an inner all surface of the washing tub 150. At right and left sides of a rear surface of the washing water circulating duct 210, provided is a washing water guiding protrusion 211 long protruded in a vertical direction so as to form a washing water guiding passage (F) together with an inner circumferential surface of the washing tub 150. One or more washing water inlets 212 are formed inside the washing water guiding passage (F) at a nearly middle height of the washing water circulating duct 210. A cover mounting groove 213 for mounting the filter cover 220 is formed at the periphery of a front surface of the washing water inlet 212. A hook groove 214 for detachably mounting a hook protrusion 229 of a handle 222 to be later explained is formed at upper and lower sides of the cover mounting groove 213, respectively. Here, the hook protrusion may be formed at the washing water circulating duct, and the hook groove may be formed at the filter cover.

The washing water inlet 212 may be formed in the same shape regardless of the kind of the filter unit 230, and may be formed in different shapes according to the kind of the filter unit 230. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, when the filter unit 230 is formed in a rectangular box shape having a foreign materials filtering space (S) between a front filter 231 and a rear filter 232, a filter inserting groove 215 for inserting the rear filter 232 of the filter unit 230 is extendingly formed below the washing water inlet 212 in an approximately rectangular shape, thereby increasing the foreign materials filtering space (S) by a thickness of the rear filter 232.

As shown in FIG. 3, the filter cover 220 includes a cap 221 for covering the washing water inlet 212 of the washing water circulating duct 210, and a handle 222 coupled to the cap 221 thus to be detachably mounted at the washing water circulating duct 210.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, the cap 221 having a disc shape is provided with a plurality of minute holes 223 at an upper portion thereof in a radius direction along an circumferential direction, and is provided with a plurality of drain holes 224 at a lower portion thereof in a radius direction along an circumferential direction. A handle fixing rib 225 for insertion fixing the handle 222 is formed at the edge of a rear surface of the cap 221. A hook inserting groove 221 a for inserting a hook protrusion 229 of the handle 222 is formed at upper and lower ends of the rear surface of the cap 221, respectively. And, a handle locking protrusion 221 b for locking the handle 222 is formed at both sides of an inner surface of the hook inserting groove 221 a, respectively.

As shown in FIG. 7, the handle fixing rib 225 may be protrudingly formed in a circumferential direction at fixed intervals therebetween with a rectangular or arc shaped section so as to be forcibly inserted into a fixing recess 228 b of the handle 222. As shown in FIG. 8, the handle fixing rib 225 may also be disposed inside and outside the handle 222 as two in a circular or arc shape so as to fix the handle 222 therebetween.

As shown in FIG. 9, at the end of the handle fixing rib 225, may be formed a stopping protrusion 225 a extended with a wedge shape for preventing the handle fixing rib 225 inserted into a fixing recess 228 b of the handle 222 from being detached therefrom.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, the handle 222 includes a handle body 228 having a circular belt shape, and a hook protrusion 229 formed at upper and lower sides of the handle body 229 and inserted into the hook groove 214 of the washing water circulating duct 210. An extension portion 228 a is formed at a part of the handle body 228, and a fixing recess 228 b for insertion-fixing the handle fixing rib 225 of the cap 221 is formed at the extension portion 228 a. The handle 222 may be formed of the same material as the cap 221. However, preferably, the handle 222 may be formed of a material softer than the cap 221 so as to enhance a coupling force with the cap 221 by being elastically restored when repeatedly detachably mounted. For instance, the cap 221 may be formed of a hard PC material, and the handle 222 may be formed of a soft POM material.

As shown in FIG. 3, the filter unit 230 may be composed of a front filter 231 and a rear filter 232 thus to be coupled to the handle 222. As shown in FIG. 10, the filter unit 230 may be composed of a frame 235 and a filtering net 236 thus to be coupled to the cap 221. As shown in FIG. 3, when the filter unit 230 is composed of a front filter 231 having a mesh net 231 a and a rear filter 232, the front filter 231 and the rear filter 232 are rotatably coupled to each other under a structure that an upper side is opened, whereas right, left, and lower sides are closed. Also, a filter fixing recess 231 b for concavely coupling a filter fixing is protrusion 222 a of the handle body 222 is formed at both sides on an outer surface of the front filter 231 (or the rear filter 232). However, as shown in FIG. 3, when the filter unit 230 is composed of a frame 235 and a filtering net 236, the frame 235 is detachably coupled to a filter fixing rib 226 mounted on a rear surface of the cap 220.

Unexplained reference numeral 216 denotes a duct fixing protrusion.

Hereinafter, processes for assembling the foreign materials filtering apparatus according to the present invention will be explained.

First, the fixing recess 228 b of the handle 222 is fitted into the handle fixing rib 225 of the cap 221, and the hook protrusion 229 of the handle 222 is inserted into the hook inserting groove 221 a of the cap 221, thereby coupling the handle 222 to the cap 221. Here, the handle locking protrusion 221 b is protrudingly formed at right and left sides of the hook inserting groove 221 a in a circumferential direction, thereby supporting upper and lower sides of the handle 222 by locking an extended portion between the handle body 228 of the body 222 and the hook protrusion 229.

Then, the filter fixing protrusion 222 a of the front filter 231 is concavely coupled to the filter fixing recess 231 b of the handle 222, thereby detachably mounting the filter unit 230 and the filter cover 220 to the washing water circulating duct 210 as on unit. In the case that the filter unit 230 is a net filter, the frame 235 of the net filter is insertion-coupled to the filter fixing rib 226 of the cap 221 of the filter cover 220.

Then, the hook protrusion 229 of the handle 222 being held by a user's thumb and index finger is pressed, and then is released when mounted at the hook groove 214 of the washing water circulating duct 210. Accordingly, the hook protrusion 229 is elastically restored to the original shape, thus to be fitted into the hook groove 214. As a result, the filter unit 230 is positioned between the washing water circulating duct 210 and the filter cover 220.

Hereinafter, processes for filtering foreign materials from the washing machine to which the foreign materials filtering apparatus is applied will be explained.

First, once the pulsator 160 rotates to generate a water current, washing water is moved toward an inner wall surface of the washing tub 150 by a centrifugal force due to the water current. The washing water rises along the washing water circulating duct 210 mounted on the inner wall surface of the washing tub 150, and then is introduced into the foreign materials filtering apparatus 200 through the washing water inlet 212 formed at an intermediate height of the washing water circulating duct 210.

Then, the washing water introduced into the foreign materials filtering apparatus 200 is guided to a space between the front filter 231 and the rear filter 232. Here, foreign materials of the washing water are filtered by the mesh net 231 a of the front filter 231, and the washing water is introduced into the washing tub 150 through the mesh net 231 a and the drain holes 224 of the cap 221 thus to circulate.

The foreign materials filtering apparatus 200 is disassembled in a reverse order to the aforementioned assembling order, thereby separating the filter unit 230 therefrom 200 and removing foreign materials from the filter unit 230. Then, the foreign materials filtering apparatus 200 is assembled again to perform a washing process.

Hereinafter, another embodiment of the filter cover of the foreign materials filtering apparatus according to the present invention will be explained.

According to the aforementioned embodiment, the handle 222 of the filter cover 220 is detachably mounted at the cap 221 of the filter cover 220. However, according to another embodiment, the handle 222 is fixedly coupled to the cap 221. For instance, as shown in FIG. 11, under a state that the fixing recess 228 b of the handle 222 or the handle body 228 is inserted into the handle fixing rib 225 of the cap 221, a melted resin is poured into a coupled part therebetween thus to fix the coupled part in an insert molding manner (M).

The shape and material of the cap 221 and the handle 222 of another embodiment are similar to those of the aforementioned embodiment, and thus its detailed explanation will be omitted except the following. When the cap 221 and the handle 222 are formed of different materials and an inserting molding method is applied thereto, the cap 221 and the handle 222 are integrally coupled to each other. Accordingly, degrading of a washing function or exposing of the filter unit 230 due to detachment of the handle 222 from the cap 221 can be prevented.

In the foreign materials filtering apparatus for a washing machine, the filter unit is not exposed to inside of the washing tub thus not to directly come in contact with laundry. Accordingly, the filter unit and laundry are prevented from being damaged, and the entire appearance may be enhanced. Additionally, the foreign materials filtering apparatus is modularized to facilitate a detachable mounting, thereby enhancing the user's convenience.

The foregoing embodiments and advantages are merely exemplary and are not to be construed as limiting the present invention. The present teachings can be readily applied to other types of apparatuses. This description is intended to be illustrative, and not to limit the scope of the claims. Many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The features, structures, methods, and other characteristics of the exemplary embodiments described herein may be combined in various ways to obtain additional and/or alternative exemplary embodiments.

As the present features may be embodied in several forms without departing from the characteristics thereof, it should also be understood that the above-described embodiments are not limited by any of the details of the foregoing description, unless otherwise specified, but rather should be construed broadly within its scope as defined in the appended claims, and therefore all changes and modifications that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims, or equivalents of such metes and bounds are therefore intended to be embraced by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7882715 *Mar 4, 2008Feb 8, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Method for cleaning foreign materials filtering apparatus
US7926310Mar 4, 2008Apr 19, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Foreign materials filtering apparatus and washing machine having the same
US8020413Mar 4, 2008Sep 20, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Foreign materials filtering apparatus and washing machine having the same
US8033144Mar 4, 2008Oct 11, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Foreign materials filtering apparatus and washing machine having the same
US8037721Mar 4, 2008Oct 18, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Foreign materials filtering apparatus and washing machine having the same
US8601836 *Jul 30, 2010Dec 10, 2013Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry treatment machine and the method of the same
US20100218563 *Feb 25, 2010Sep 2, 2010Plata Amarillas Santiago AlonsoHigh energy efficiency washing system
US20110047714 *Jul 30, 2010Mar 3, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry treatment machine and the method of the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/212
International ClassificationD06F39/10
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/10
European ClassificationD06F39/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 23, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:YOO, SANG-HEE;BAE, JONG-DEUK;CHANG, BO-YOUNG;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020992/0393
Effective date: 20080227