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Publication numberUS20080282745 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/153,187
Publication dateNov 20, 2008
Filing dateMay 14, 2008
Priority dateMay 15, 2007
Publication number12153187, 153187, US 2008/0282745 A1, US 2008/282745 A1, US 20080282745 A1, US 20080282745A1, US 2008282745 A1, US 2008282745A1, US-A1-20080282745, US-A1-2008282745, US2008/0282745A1, US2008/282745A1, US20080282745 A1, US20080282745A1, US2008282745 A1, US2008282745A1
InventorsDong Joo Han, Chul Jin Choi, Young Bok Son
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-laundry machine
US 20080282745 A1
Abstract
A laundry machine, more particularly a multi-laundry machine constructed by adding a new function to a conventional laundry machine, is disclosed. The multi-laundry machine includes a laundry machine and an auxiliary drying machine installed at one side of the laundry machine. The auxiliary drying machine includes a drawer, a module installed at one side of the drawer for generating air flow, and an air nozzle connected to the module for guiding the spray direction of the air.
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Claims(20)
1. A multi-laundry machine including a laundry machine and an auxiliary drying machine installed at one side of the laundry machine, wherein the auxiliary drying machine comprises:
a drawer;
a module installed at one side of the drawer to generate air flow; and
an air nozzle connected to the module to guide the spray direction of the air.
2. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the laundry machine includes a machine body constituting the external appearance of the laundry machine.
3. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 2, wherein the auxiliary drying machine includes a case constituting the external appearance of the auxiliary drying machine.
4. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 3, wherein the drawer is received in the case such that the drawer can be inserted into or withdrawn from the case.
5. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 3, wherein the auxiliary drying machine is installed at the top or bottom of the machine body of the laundry machine.
6. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 3, wherein the case of the auxiliary drying machine has volume and height less than those of the laundry machine.
7. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 3, wherein the auxiliary drying machine is installed, at the bottom of the machine body of the laundry machine, in the machine body.
8. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the air nozzle is curved upward such that the air nozzle can be easily inserted into shoes.
9. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the auxiliary drying machine comprises a plurality of air nozzles.
10. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein one end of the air nozzle is detachably mounted to the module.
11. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein one end of the air nozzle is connected to the module such that the other end of the air nozzle can be rotated upward and downward.
12. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the auxiliary drying machine further comprises a support installed in the drawer, such that the support is opposite to the air nozzle, for supporting an object to be dried.
13. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the auxiliary drying machine further comprises:
a first ventilation port mounted at the case such that the first ventilation port communicates with the outside;
a second ventilation port mounted at the drawer such that the second ventilation port communicates with the outside through the first ventilation port; and
a filter mounted between the first ventilation port and the second ventilation port.
14. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 13, wherein the auxiliary drying machine further comprises a blowing fan to discharge air inside the drawer to the outside through the first ventilation port and the second ventilation port.
15. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the module includes
a housing having an inlet port through which external air is introduced and an outlet port communicating with the air nozzle,
a fan to generate air flow in the housing, and
a heater to heat air in the housing.
16. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 15, wherein the module further includes an air guide mounted in the housing for uniformly distributing the air to the air nozzle, the air guide having a plurality of partitions disposed therein.
17. A multi-laundry machine including a laundry machine and an auxiliary drying machine installed at the bottom of the laundry machine for supporting the laundry machine, wherein the auxiliary drying machine comprises:
a case constituting the external appearance of the auxiliary drying machine;
a drawer received in the case such that the drawer can be inserted into or withdrawn from the case;
a module installed at one side of the drawer to generate air flow;
an air nozzle connected to the module to guide the spray direction of the air; and
a deodorizing and disinfecting unit mounted in the case to deodorize or disinfect an object to be dried.
18. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 17, wherein the deodorizing and disinfecting unit includes an ultraviolet lamp to generate ultraviolet rays to disinfect the object and/or a filter, made of an alkali-treated porous material, to adsorb matter inducing odor of the object to neutralize the matter.
19. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 17, wherein the deodorizing and disinfecting unit includes a deodorizing liquid sprayer mounted in the module to spray a liquid material to remove fatty acid inducing odor of the object.
20. The multi-laundry machine according to claim 17, wherein the deodorizing and disinfecting unit includes an ozone sprayer mounted in the module to spray ozone into the object.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2007-0047125, filed on May 15, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety as if fully set forth herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a laundry machine, and more particularly, to a multi-laundry machine constructed by adding a new function to a conventional laundry machine.
  • [0004]
    2. Discussion of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    Generally, laundry machines are apparatuses that are capable of washing and/or drying laundry. The respective laundry machines may perform a washing operation, a drying operation, or a washing-and-drying operation. Recently, there has been increasingly used a laundry machine, including a steam supply unit, which is capable of performing a refreshing operation to remove wrinkles, smells, and static electricity from laundry.
  • [0006]
    Based on the direction in which laundry is removed, the conventional laundry machines may be classified into a front loading type laundry machine and a top loading type laundry machine. Based on the laundry method, on the other hand, the conventional laundry machines may be classified into a vertical-shaft type laundry machine constructed in a structure in which a pulsator or a laundry tub is rotated and a horizontal type laundry machine constructed in a structure in which a drum is rotated. A representative example of the front loading horizontal type laundry machine is a drum type washing machine or a drum type drying machine.
  • [0007]
    There is a washing machine having no drying function among the conventional laundry machines. In this case, it is required for a user to have an additional drying machine, when the user wishes to dry laundry. Alternatively, it is required for the user to have a washing machine including a drying function. With an increase of consumers' demand and a rise in the standard of living in recent years, the sizes of laundry machines having washing and drying functions have been largely increased.
  • [0008]
    In particular, shoes are constructed in a complicated structure, including shoe laces, soles, heels, inside skins and outside skins, as compared to common clothes. For this reason, the shoes are difficult to wash, with the result that exclusive laundries for shoes have come into existence.
  • [0009]
    The conventional laundry machines have the following problems.
  • [0010]
    First, the sizes of the laundry machines have been largely increased, and therefore, large-sized laundry machines having a washing or drying functions are driven even to dry or refresh a relatively small amount of clothes, with the result that energy is wasted and electric charges increases.
  • [0011]
    Second, when shoes are dried using the conventional laundry machine having a drying function, the insides of the shoes may not be dried, although the outsides of the shoes are dried, due to the complicated structure of the shoes. When the shoes are not dried for a sufficient period of time, therefore, the shoes may make a user unpleasant when the user wears the shoes. In addition, shoes are small but relatively heavy. Consequently, when the shoes are washed or dried using a general washing machine or a general drying machine, excessive noise or vibration is generated, with the result that the laundry machine may be damaged.
  • [0012]
    Third, shoes are difficult to wash. For this reason, user's inconvenience increases if both washing and drying processes are carried out using the convention laundry machine to deodorize the shoes whenever the shoes are wetted by rain or snow. Furthermore, shoes are difficult to effectively wash or dry due to the structure of the shoes. In particular, shoes may be manufactured with leather or rubber. Consequently, when such shoes are dried using a general drying machine, the materials of the shoes may be easily deformed or damaged.
  • [0013]
    Fourth, shoes support the body of a user while the shoes are in continuous contact with the ground, unlike common clothes used for keeping warmth or serving as fashion items. As a result, the shoes are soaked with a large amount of sweat, and are ill ventilated. Consequently, although the shoes are washed or dried using the conventional laundry machine having a drying function, the shoes may emit odor, and bacteria may greatly increase in the shoes, with the result that users may have athlete's foot or catch other various diseases.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0014]
    Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a multi-laundry machine that substantially obviates one or more problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.
  • [0015]
    An object of the present invention is to provide a laundry machine including an auxiliary drying machine that is capable of treating a small amount of clothes without driving a relatively large-sized laundry machine, thereby achieving convenience of use and saving energy.
  • [0016]
    Another object of the present invention is to provide a laundry machine that is capable of improving drying efficiency of shoes to easily dry and refresh the insides of the shoes.
  • [0017]
    Another object of the present invention is to provide a laundry machine that is capable of drying or deodorizing wet shoes, without washing of the shoes, and removing bad smells, such as odor of the shoes, or deodorizing the shoes when drying the shoes.
  • [0018]
    A further object of the present invention is to provide a multi-laundry machine installed together with a general laundry machine to easily treat an object difficult to wash or dry using the laundry machine.
  • [0019]
    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.
  • [0020]
    To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a multi-laundry machine includes a laundry machine and an auxiliary drying machine installed at one side of the laundry machine, and the auxiliary drying machine includes a drawer, a module installed at one side of the drawer for generating air flow, and an air nozzle connected to the module for guiding the spray direction of the air.
  • [0021]
    Preferably, the laundry machine includes a machine body constituting the external appearance of the laundry machine, and the auxiliary drying machine includes a case constituting the external appearance of the auxiliary drying machine.
  • [0022]
    Preferably, the drawer is received in the case such that the drawer can be inserted into or withdrawn from the case.
  • [0023]
    Preferably, the auxiliary drying machine is installed at the top or bottom of the machine body of the laundry machine, and the case of the auxiliary drying machine has volume and height less than those of the laundry machine. When the auxiliary drying machine is installed at the bottom of the machine body of the laundry machine, the auxiliary drying machine may be constructed to support the laundry machine.
  • [0024]
    Preferably, the auxiliary drying machine is installed, at the bottom of the machine body of the laundry machine, in the machine body. That is, the auxiliary drying machine may be located in the machine body of the laundry machine for performing a function different from the laundry machine.
  • [0025]
    Preferably, the air nozzle is curved upward such that the air nozzle can be easily inserted into shoes. The auxiliary drying machine may include a plurality of air nozzles.
  • [0026]
    Preferably, one end of the air nozzle is detachably mounted to the module. Here, the air nozzle is configured to intensively supply air to a specific part, and therefore, the air nozzle is suitable for drying shoes. However, the air nozzle may not be suitable for drying a small amount of clothes. Consequently, the air nozzle is preferably constructed in a separable structure.
  • [0027]
    On the other hand, one end of the air nozzle may be connected to the module such that the other end of the air nozzle can be rotated upward and downward. That is, the other end of the air nozzle is located in the shoes while the other end of the air nozzle is rotated upward, and then the other end of the air nozzle rotates downward by its own weight, with the result that the other end of the air nozzle returns to its original position. Here, the other end of the air nozzle may be rotated to a position higher than the top opening of the drawer. Consequently, it is possible for a user to withdraw the drawer and more easily fit shoes on the air nozzle.
  • [0028]
    Preferably, the auxiliary drying machine further comprises a support installed in the drawer, such that the support is opposite to the air nozzle, for supporting an object to be dried. Here, the support may be disposed horizontally or inclined at a predetermined angle. That is, the support preferably has various inclination angles depending upon kinds of objects to be dried.
  • [0029]
    Preferably, the auxiliary drying machine further includes a first ventilation port mounted at the case such that the first ventilation port communicates with the outside, a second ventilation port mounted at the drawer such that the second ventilation port communicates with the outside through the first ventilation port, and a filter mounted between the first ventilation port and the second ventilation port. Also, the auxiliary drying machine further includes a blowing fan for discharging air inside the drawer to the outside through the first ventilation port and the second ventilation port.
  • [0030]
    Preferably, the module includes a housing having an inlet port through which external air is introduced and an outlet port communicating with the air nozzle, a fan for generating air flow in the housing, and a heater for heating air in the housing. Also, the module further includes an air guide mounted in the housing for uniformly distributing the air to the air nozzle, the air guide having a plurality of partitions disposed therein.
  • [0031]
    In another aspect of the present invention, the multi-laundry machine further includes a deodorizing and disinfecting unit for deodorizing or disinfecting an object to be dried. Here, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit means a unit configured to deodorize and/or disinfect the object.
  • [0032]
    More specifically, a multi-laundry machine including a laundry machine and an auxiliary drying machine installed at the bottom of the laundry machine for supporting the laundry machine, and the auxiliary drying machine includes a case constituting the external appearance of the auxiliary drying machine, a drawer received in the case such that the drawer can be inserted into or withdrawn from the case, a module installed at one side of the drawer for generating air flow, an air nozzle connected to the module for guiding the spray direction of the air, and a deodorizing and disinfecting unit mounted in the case for deodorizing or disinfecting an object to be dried.
  • [0033]
    Preferably, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit includes an ultraviolet lamp for generating ultraviolet rays to disinfect the object and/or a filter, made of an alkali-treated porous material, for adsorbing matter inducing odor of the object to neutralize the matter.
  • [0034]
    Preferably, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit includes a deodorizing liquid sprayer mounted in the module for spraying a liquid material to remove fatty acid inducing odor of the object.
  • [0035]
    Preferably, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit includes an ozone sprayer mounted in the module for spraying ozone into the object.
  • [0036]
    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
  • [0037]
    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:
  • [0038]
    FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view schematically illustrating a multi-laundry machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an auxiliary drying machine shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 3 is a partially exploded perspective view of the auxiliary drying machine shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0041]
    FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along line I-I′ of FIG. 2;
  • [0042]
    FIG. 5 is a partial plan view of a module and an air nozzle shown in FIG. 4; and
  • [0043]
    FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a filter structure shown in FIG. 3.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0044]
    Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 1 an exploded perspective view schematically illustrating a multi-laundry machine according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0046]
    As shown in FIG. 1, the multi-laundry machine according to this embodiment includes a laundry machine and an auxiliary drying machine 20 installed at one side of the laundry machine. Here, the laundry machine may be a general washing machine or a general drying machine. The auxiliary drying machine may be a single drying machine manufactured separately from the laundry machine. Alternatively, the auxiliary drying machine may be located at the top or bottom of the laundry machine. That is, the auxiliary drying machine is preferably located at the top or bottom of a machine body 10 of the laundry machine to constitute a multi-laundry machine.
  • [0047]
    When the auxiliary drying machine is installed at the bottom of the machine body of the laundry machine, the auxiliary drying machine serves to support the machine body of the laundry machine. On the other hand, when the auxiliary drying machine is installed at the top of the machine body of the laundry machine, a user needs not bend his/her back when using the auxiliary drying machine, thereby improving convenience of use. However, it is more preferred to install the auxiliary drying machine at the bottom of the machine body of the laundry machine when the use frequency of the laundry machine is high. This is because the auxiliary drying machine has the effect of increasing the height of the laundry machine, and therefore, a user needs not bend his/her back when using the laundry machine.
  • [0048]
    The auxiliary drying machine 20 may include a control unit, a power unit, and a display unit (not shown), which are separated from a control unit, a power unit, and a display unit (not shown) of the laundry machine. The auxiliary drying machine 20 may be installed and used separately from the machine body 10 of the laundry machine. However, when the auxiliary drying machine 20 is coupled to the machine body 10 of the laundry machine, spatial utilization is improved. Therefore, it is preferred to couple the auxiliary drying machine 20 to the machine body 10 of the laundry machine. To this end, the auxiliary drying machine 20 may be mounted in the machine body 10 of the laundry machine. Of course, the auxiliary drying machine 20 may be mounted in the machine body 10, at the bottom of the machine body 10 of the laundry machine.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an auxiliary drying machine according to an embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 3 is a partially exploded perspective view of the auxiliary drying machine according to the embodiment of the present invention. The front part of an air nozzle 210 in a drawer is omitted from FIG. 3.
  • [0050]
    The auxiliary drying machine 20 may include a case 300 constructed in the form of a rectangular parallelepiped open at the front thereof. The case 300 constitutes the external appearance of the auxiliary drying machine 20. In this case, the case 300 may be manufactured separately from the machine body of the laundry machine. The case 300 of the auxiliary drying machine 20 preferably has volume and height less than those of the laundry machine. This is because it is necessary to prevent the increase of the installation space, particularly left-to-right width and front-to-rear width, due to the auxiliary drying machine. This is also because it is possible to stably support the laundry machine. When the auxiliary drying machine 20 is installed in the machine body at one side of the machine body of the laundry machine, however, the case of the auxiliary drying machine 20 may be omitted.
  • [0051]
    In addition, the auxiliary drying machine 20 includes a drawer 200 constructed to be withdrawn frontward. At the inside rear of the drawer 200 is mounted a module 220 for suctioning air outside the case 300 to generate air flow. At one side of the module 220 is mounted an air nozzle 210 for spraying air to an object to be dried.
  • [0052]
    Here, the drawer 200 is constructed to be inserted into the case and withdrawn from the case, and therefore, it is possible for a user to easily put the object in the drawer 200.
  • [0053]
    At the front part of the air nozzle 210, i.e., at the inner front of the drawer 200, is installed a support 230 for assisting the object to be held in position while drying the object. Also, a lid may be installed at the top of the drawer 200 for hermetically isolating the inside of the drawer 200 from the outside of the drawer 200.
  • [0054]
    Hereinafter, the case 300 will be described in more detail.
  • [0055]
    At the upper rear of the case 300 is mounted a first ventilation port 302 through which air inside the case 300 is discharged outside the case 300. At the lower rear of the case 300 is mounted a first inlet port 304 through which air outside the case 300 is introduced into the case 300.
  • [0056]
    Preferably, the first ventilation port 302 and the first inlet port 304 include a plurality of small-sized through-holes.
  • [0057]
    At the first ventilation port 302 is mounted a filter 306 for deodorizing an object to be dried while the object is dried in the auxiliary drying machine 20. The filter 306 may be mounted at a second ventilation port 202 formed at the drawer 200, which will be described in the following. That is, the filter 306 is preferably mounted between the first ventilation port 302 and the second ventilation port 202. The structure and operation of the filter 306 will be described below in detail with reference to FIG. 6.
  • [0058]
    Hereinafter, the drawer 200 will be described in more detail.
  • [0059]
    At the drawer 200 is mounted a second ventilation port 202 through which air inside the drawer 200 is discharged outside the case 300. The second ventilation port 202 communicates with the first ventilation port 302 mounted at the case 300. Preferably, the second ventilation port 202 is mounted at the upper part of the module 220, i.e., the upper part of a rear wall of the drawer 200.
  • [0060]
    Here, the second ventilation port 202 may be mounted at a side wall of the drawer 200, instead of the rear wall of the drawer 200. In this case, however, it is preferred to mount the first ventilation port 302 at a corresponding side wall of the case 300.
  • [0061]
    At the drawer 200 may also be mounted a blowing fan (not shown) communicating with the second ventilation port 202 for discharging air inside the drawer 200 outside the drawer 200. The blowing fan (not shown) is preferably mounted at the inside rear of the drawer 200. Of course, the blowing fan (not shown) may be mounted to communicate with the second ventilation port 202. In addition, the blowing fan (not shown) may be mounted at one side of the case 300 such that the blowing fan communicates with the first ventilation port 302.
  • [0062]
    At the lower rear of the drawer 200 is also preferably mounted a second inlet port 204 communicating with the first inlet port 304 of the case 300 for allowing air outside the case 300 to be introduced into the drawer 200 therethrough. Preferably, the second ventilation port 202 and the second inlet port 204 include a plurality of small-sized through-holes.
  • [0063]
    In the drawer 200 may be mounted a longitudinal partition 250 for dividing the lower space of the drawer 200. One end of the partition 250 is located at the inner front of the drawer 200, and the other end of the partition 250 is located at the front of the module 220. The space where the air nozzle 210 and the support 230 are installed may be used to dry shoes, and the other side space divided by the partition 250 may be used to dry general clothes.
  • [0064]
    Also, the air nozzle 210, the support 230, and the partition 250 may be removed, and only the module 220 is mounted in the drawer 200 such that the entire inner space of the drawer is used to dry clothes.
  • [0065]
    Hereinafter, the module and components of the module will be described in detail.
  • [0066]
    The module 220 includes a housing 225 constituting the external appearance of the module 220. In the housing 225, at one side of the housing 225, is mounted a fan 222 for suctioning external air to generate air flow in the module 220. At one end of the fan 222 is mounted an air guide 224 for uniformly distributing the air flow to the air nozzle 210. In the air guide 224, at one end of the air guide 224, is mounted a deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229. At one end of the air guide 224 is mounted a heater 226 for heating the air flowing along the air guide 224 to temperature higher than room temperature. In this case, the air passes through the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229, and then flows toward the heater 226.
  • [0067]
    Alternatively, the heater 226 may be mounted at the coupling region between the air guide 224 and the fan 222. In this case, the air passes through the heater 226, and then passes through the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229.
  • [0068]
    At one side of the housing 225 is mounted an inlet port 221 through which air outside the case is introduced to the fan 222. The inlet port 221 communicates with the first inlet port 304 and the second inlet port 204.
  • [0069]
    At the other side of the housing 225 is formed a protrusion 228. In the protrusion 228 is formed an outlet port 227 communicating with the air module 210. Consequently, air suctioned into the module 220 is transmitted to the air nozzle 210 through the outlet port 227. Preferably, the outlet port 227 of the housing 225 has a polygonal or elliptical section.
  • [0070]
    The fan 222 suctions air outside the case 300 to generate air flow in the module 220.
  • [0071]
    The air guide 224 preferably has a plurality of partitions disposed therein such that a single large-sized duct is divided into a plurality of small-sized ducts by the partitions.
  • [0072]
    When the direction of air flow (first air flow) 223 a introduced into the air guide 224 is different from that of air flow (second air flow) 223 b discharged from the air guide 224 to the air nozzle 210, the first air flow is not uniformly distributed to the entire surface of the heater 226 but concentrates on one side of the heater 226. Consequently, when the first air flow 223 a is divided into a plurality of small air flows using the partitions of the air guide 224, the air flow is uniformly distributed to the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 or the entire surface of the heater 226, whereby drying and deodorizing efficiencies of the auxiliary drying machine are improved.
  • [0073]
    In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the direction of the first air flow 223 a is different from that of the second air flow 223 b. If the direction of the first air flow 223 a is identical to that of the second air flow 223 b, i.e., the air flows in a linear type flow fashion, unlike the curved type flow according to the this embodiment, it is preferred to remove the air guide 224 from the module 220 or modify each partition of the air guide 224 into a “|” shape, not a “” shape. For the “|”-shaped embodiment, the fan 222 is preferably implemented by an axial fan.
  • [0074]
    Hereinafter, the air nozzle will be described in more detail.
  • [0075]
    The air nozzle 210 is inserted into an object to be dried for spraying air and deodorant into the object.
  • [0076]
    One end of the air nozzle 210 is configured as a hinge 212. The hinge 212 is mounted in the protrusion 228 of the module 220 by tight fitting. That is, the sectional area of the inlet port 213 formed at one end of the air nozzle 210 is preferably greater than that of the outlet port 227 of the housing 225.
  • [0077]
    FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along line I-I′ of FIG. 2, illustrating an embodiment in which one end of the air nozzle 210 is inserted into shoes. Specifically, FIG. 4 illustrates one of the spaces partitioned by the partition 250 disposed in the auxiliary drying machine, i.e., the space in which the support 230 and the air nozzle 210 are installed.
  • [0078]
    When viewing the case 300 from the rear of the case 300, the rear of the drawer 20 is located frontward, and the module 220 is installed at the front-side rear of the drawer 200. The air nozzle 210 is installed at one end of the module 220, and the support 230 is installed in front of the air nozzle 210.
  • [0079]
    When one end of the air nozzle 210 is inserted into shoes, the end of the air nozzle 210 may be rotated about the hinge 212 to an angle convenient to insert the end of the air nozzle 210 into the shoes, whereby user's convenience is improved.
  • [0080]
    Since the air nozzle 210 is configured to be detachably mounted to the module 220, a drying process may be carried out with the air nozzle 210 being removed from the module 220, when not shoes but general clothes are to be dried. Furthermore, another shaped air nozzle may be mounted at the module 220 depending upon the shape of shoes to be dried.
  • [0081]
    The air nozzle 210 is preferably constructed to be curved toward the top of the drawer 200 with a predetermined radius of curvature such that the air nozzle 210 can be easily inserted into shoes.
  • [0082]
    A general shoe is constructed in a structure in which the length of the shoe (i.e., the length from the heel to toes) is greater than the depth of the shoe (i.e., the length from the sole to the ankle). Also, the part of the shoe contacting the top side of the foot (i.e., the top of the shoe) is curved upward from the shoe with a predetermined radius of curvature. Consequently, when the air nozzle 210 is not formed in the shape of a linear bar but in a shape similar to that of general shoes, it is easy to insert one end of the air nozzle 210 into shoes.
  • [0083]
    In other words, it is preferred to construct the air nozzle 210 such that the length 211L of the air nozzle 210 inserted into the shoes is greater than the depth 211D of the air nozzle 210 inserted into the shoes, and, in addition, the air nozzle 210 is curved with a predetermined radius of curvature. In this case, the air nozzle 210 can be deeply inserted into the shoes, with the result that the front parts of the shoes are dried with a high drying efficiency, and the shoes are easily held in position.
  • [0084]
    At the front of the air nozzle 210 is formed a spray port through which the air introduced into the air nozzle from the module 220 is sprayed. The spray port may have one or more holes. Also, a plurality of holes may be formed at the sides of the inserted part of the air nozzle 210 to improve the drying efficiency at the sides of the shoes in the shoes.
  • [0085]
    One end of the air nozzle 210 is divided into two branches (see FIG. 2 or 4) such that the two branches of the air nozzle 210 are inserted into a pair of shoes, respectively. That is, it is possible for each branch of the air nozzle 210 to be inserted into a shoe. Alternatively, one end of the air nozzle 210 may be divided into three or more branches such that the three or more branches of the air nozzle 210 are inserted into a plurality of shoes to simultaneously dry the shoes. In other words, it is preferred to construct the air nozzle 210 such that the air nozzle 210 has a plurality of air spray ports formed at one end thereof.
  • [0086]
    Preferably, one end of the support 230, installed in front of the air nozzle 210, is located at the inside front of the drawer 200, and the other end of the support 230 is located at the bottom of the drawer 200 in the drawer 200, such that the support 230 is installed in an inclined structure.
  • [0087]
    When the support 230 is configured in the form of a plate, the inside front space of the drawer 200 is divided into upper and lower spaces. Preferably, therefore, the plate has a plurality of communication holes (not shown) through which the divided upper and lower spaces communicate with each other.
  • [0088]
    FIG. 5 is a plan view illustrating the coupling between the module and the air nozzle according to the present invention.
  • [0089]
    Air, introduced into one end of the air guide 224 through the fan mounted in the module 220, passes through the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 and the heater 226, installed at the other end of the air guide 224, and then flows to the air nozzle 210.
  • [0090]
    The deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229, installed at the other end of the air guide 224, includes a deodorizing liquid sprayer, an ozone sprayer, and an ultraviolet lamp.
  • [0091]
    Hereinafter, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 will be described in detail.
  • [0092]
    First, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 may include a deodorizing liquid sprayer for spraying a liquid material to remove fatty acid inducing odor of the shoes. The deodorizing liquid sprayer may contain a vegetable extract liquid to remove low-grade fatty acids or various liquid mixed materials used in existing deodorants. Also, an additional deodorizing liquid receiving space (not shown) may be provided at one side of the case or the drawer such that the deodorizing liquid can be supplied to the deodorizing liquid sprayer through a connection pipe (not shown).
  • [0093]
    The liquid material, i.e., the deodorizing liquid, is sprayed through a spray port (not shown) of the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 such that the deodorizing liquid is directly sprayed into the shoes together with air through the spray ports formed at the other end of the air nozzle 210 to change the fatty acids inducing odor of the shoes into other matters, thereby achieving a deodorizing effect.
  • [0094]
    Second, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 may include an ozone sprayer for spraying ozone. Generally, ozone has sterilization and disinfection, oxidation decomposition, and deodorization effects. The ozone deodorizes shoes contaminated by various kinds of bacteria generating bad smells and disinfects bacteria causing bad smells.
  • [0095]
    An ozone generator (not shown) may be located at one side of the case or the drawer. In this case, the ozone generator is connected to the ozone sprayer via a connection pipe (not shown). The ozone generator generates ozone having a concentration of 0.03 ppm or less. The generated ozone is sprayed through a spray port (not shown) of the ozone sprayer, and is then directly sprayed into the shoes through the air nozzle 210.
  • [0096]
    The deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 using the ozone sprayer may be semi-permanently used unlike a deodorizing filter, which is to be replaced by a new one after the lapse of a predetermined time.
  • [0097]
    Third, the deodorizing and disinfecting unit 229 may include an ultraviolet lamp for disinfecting an object to be dried.
  • [0098]
    Ultraviolet rays are radioactive rays having a wavelength shorter than that of visible rays, i.e., 400 nm but longer than that of X-rays, i.e., 100 nm. The disinfection principle of the ultraviolet rays is well known. Specifically, when the ultraviolet rays are irradiated, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in cells of bacteria and mold changes, with the result that metabolism of the bacteria and mold becomes abnormal, whereby the reproduction ability of the bacteria and mold is lost, and therefore, the bacteria and mold become extinct. Also, the ultraviolet rays have a weak transmission force, due to the short wavelength of the ultraviolet rays, but the ultraviolet rays have strong energy. Consequently, the ultraviolet rays promote chemical reaction, oxidize organic matter, and disinfect microscopic organisms.
  • [0099]
    Light emitted from the ultraviolet lamp radiates into shoes through the air nozzle 210. In this case, a UV reflective plate is preferably mounted at the inside of the air nozzle 210 and the air guide 224 or a UV reflective film is preferably coated on the inside of the air nozzle 210 and the air guide 224 such that the ultraviolet rays can be well transmitted into the shoes.
  • [0100]
    FIG. 6 is a view schematically illustrating the filter structure.
  • [0101]
    The filter 306 is mounted at the first ventilation port 302 of the case or the second ventilation port 202 of the drawer to perform a deodorizing operation.
  • [0102]
    Hereinafter, the structure and the deodorizing operation of the filter will be described.
  • [0103]
    The principal mechanism to generate odor of shoes is that bacteria increase in the shoes due to sweat generated from user's feet while the user wears the shoes, the bacteria responds to a horny layer of the feet, with the result that odor of the shoes is generated. Ingredients inducing the odor of the shoes include valeric acid, butyric acid, and propionic acid, which are low-grade fatty acids. Even very small amounts (ppb unit) of such acids smell bad. Also, the ingredients inducing the odor of the shoes have chemical characteristics in that the ingredients exhibit acidity.
  • [0104]
    Consequently, an alkali treatment is carried out to coat porous materials 306 a and 306 b, such as active carbon, mainly used as a smell adsorbent with an alkali material 401. Ingredients inducing the odor of the shoes, which are acid materials, are physically adsorbed to the porous materials 306 a and 306 b, as the smell adsorbent, and the acid materials react with the alkali material 401, whereby the acid materials are neutralized. As a result, the acid materials change into basic materials, which do not generate bad smells. In this way, the deodorizing operation is carried out.
  • [0105]
    The porous materials may be implemented in the form of a filter 306 a manufactured by molding a porous material (for example, active carbon) or a net type filter 306 b to the surface of which an alkali material is applied.
  • [0106]
    Of course, a filter exhibiting acidity or neutrality may be used to remove other smell ingredients, in addition to the filter 306 which is partially alkali-treated. Also, the filter may be constructed in a multi-layer structure. Furthermore, a plurality of alkali-treated filters formed in the shape of a sphere or a cylinder may be mounted in a specific box-shaped frame (not shown).
  • [0107]
    As apparent from the above description, the present invention fundamentally solves the problems caused by the conventional laundry machines.
  • [0108]
    More specifically, the present invention provides a laundry machine including an auxiliary drying machine that is capable of treating a small amount of clothes without driving a relatively large-sized laundry machine, thereby achieving convenience of use and saving energy.
  • [0109]
    Also, the present invention provides a laundry machine that is capable of improving drying efficiency of shoes to easily dry and refresh the insides of the shoes.
  • [0110]
    Also, the present invention provides a laundry machine that is capable of drying or deodorizing wet shoes, without washing the shoes, and removing bad smells, such as odor of the shoes, or deodorizing the shoes when drying the shoes.
  • [0111]
    Also, the present invention provides a multi-laundry machine installed together with a general laundry machine to easily treat an object difficult to wash or dry using the laundry machine.
  • [0112]
    Consequently, it is possible for a user to effectively treat an object using a single multi-laundry machine, without his/her unnecessary movement, according to the kind of the object, the amount of the object, and the treatment purpose of the object.
  • [0113]
    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 inventions. 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.
Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7913419 *Dec 30, 2005Mar 29, 2011Whirlpool CorporationNon-tumble clothes dryer
US7946054 *Jan 26, 2006May 24, 2011Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhFront assembly for a tumble dryer
US8250885Apr 29, 2009Aug 28, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine
US8297082Apr 29, 2009Oct 30, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine
US8307567 *Apr 29, 2009Nov 13, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine
US8387419Apr 29, 2009Mar 5, 2013Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine
US8677785Apr 29, 2009Mar 25, 2014Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/20
International ClassificationD06F29/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/125, D06F58/10, D06F58/203, D06F29/00
European ClassificationD06F29/00, D06F58/10, D06F58/20B, D06F39/12B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 25, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HAN, DONG JOO;CHOI, CHUL JIN;SON, YOUNG BOK;REEL/FRAME:021313/0862
Effective date: 20080707