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Publication numberUS20090064725 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/213,999
Publication dateMar 12, 2009
Filing dateJun 27, 2008
Priority dateJun 29, 2007
Also published asCN101177886A, DE102008031008A1
Publication number12213999, 213999, US 2009/0064725 A1, US 2009/064725 A1, US 20090064725 A1, US 20090064725A1, US 2009064725 A1, US 2009064725A1, US-A1-20090064725, US-A1-2009064725, US2009/0064725A1, US2009/064725A1, US20090064725 A1, US20090064725A1, US2009064725 A1, US2009064725A1
InventorsHee Tae Lim, Heung Gi Kim, Jung Tae Song, Suk Yun Moon, Ig Geun KWON
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Washing machine
US 20090064725 A1
Abstract
The present invention discloses a washing machine having high reliability. The washing machine includes a housing, a tub provided in the housing for holding washing water, a drum rotatably mounted in the tub for washing laundry, a door having an outer frame and an inner frame secured to an inside of the outer frame, for opening/closing an opening in the housing such that the housing is in communication with the drum, a hinge arm joining the housing and the door, and rotatably coupled to the housing and the door respectively, and a holder provided between the outer frame and the inner frame for holding a portion of the hinge arm arranged in the door.
Images(6)
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Claims(19)
1. A washing machine comprising;
a housing;
a tub provided in the housing for holding washing water;
a drum rotatably mounted in the tub for washing laundry;
a door having an outer frame and an inner frame secured to an inside of the outer frame, the door opening and closing an opening, which is formed at the housing and is in communication with the drum;
a hinge arm connecting the housing and the door, and rotatably coupled to the housing and the door respectively; and
a holder provided between the outer frame and the inner frame and holding a portion of the hinge arm arranged in the door.
2. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the holder is comprised of a plate member extended between the outer frame and the inner frame.
3. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the inner frame and the outer frame of the door have a ring shape, and the holder has a curvature in conformity with the shape of the frames.
4. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the holder closely abuts both the outer frame and the inner frame so as to be supported by the outer frame and the inner frame.
5. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the holder is fastened to the inner frame with a fastening member.
6. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the holder encloses a rotating shaft formed at an end of the hinge arm.
7. The washing machine as claimed in claim 6, wherein the holder further encloses a portion of the hinge arm extended from the rotating shaft.
8. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the holder includes a cover for enclosing a portion of the hinge arm.
9. The washing machine as claimed in claim 8, wherein the cover has a shape matching an exterior of the hinge arm.
10. The washing machine as claimed in claim 8, wherein the cover is formed as one unit with the holder, and the cover is projected from the holder.
11. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the holder includes a damping member interposed between the outer frame and the hinge arm for preventing the outer frame from bumping into the hinge arm.
12. The washing machine as claimed in claim 11, wherein the damping member is arranged adjacent to an outer circumference of the door.
13. The washing machine as claimed in claim 11, wherein the damping member is fitted in a slit formed in the holder.
14. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outer frame includes a positioning protrusion extended toward the inner frame and the holder includes a positioning hole for receiving the positioning protrusion therein.
15. The washing machine as claimed in claim 14, wherein the inner frame includes a receiver extended toward the outer frame for receiving the positioning protrusion.
16. The washing machine as claimed in claim 15, wherein the holder is in close contact with an end of the receiver and a surface of the outer frame around the positioning protrusion.
17. The washing machine as claimed in claim 15, wherein the positioning protrusion and the receiver are fastened with a fastening member, together.
18. The washing machine as claimed in claim 15, wherein the positioning protrusion is a boss having a thread therein.
19. The washing machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the holder includes a first step portion extended in a length direction and a second step portion extended in a transverse direction.
Description
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of the Patent Korean Application No. 10-2007-0065168, filed on Jun. 29, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to washing machines, more particularly, to a door to a washing machine.
  • [0004]
    2. Discussion of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    In general, the washing machine is an appliance for washing laundry by using detergent and mechanical friction. In the washing machines, there are top loading type washing machines and a front loading type washing machines. In the top loading type washing machines, a tub that holds the laundry is upright in a housing of the washing machine, and a laundry opening is in a top portion of the tub. According to this, the laundry is introduced to the tub through an opening in a top portion of the housing in communication with the laundry opening in the tub. On the other hand, in the front loading type washing machines, a drum for holding the laundry is laid down in a cabinet, and a laundry opening of the drum faces a front of the washing machine. According to this, the laundry is introduced to the drum through an opening in a front of the housing in communication with the drum. In both of the top loading and the front loading type washing machines, the door is mounted to the housing, for opening/closing the opening in the housing.
  • [0006]
    The front loading type washing machine has a compact size compared to other types of washing machines, and does not damage the laundry. Owing to these advantages, the front loading type washing machines are used widely. For drying the laundry and improvement of a washing performance, the front loading type washing machine may have a system for supplying hot air and steam to the drum. Therefore, for preventing the hot air and the steam from leaking, the door is designed to seal the opening in the housing, and has a weight increased, accordingly.
  • [0007]
    However, if the door is used for a long time, a joining portion of the door and the housing can damage. In more detail, in general, the door is rotatably mounted to the housing with a hinge. However, the door and the joining portion of the hinge are susceptible to damage due to weight of the door and repetitive rotation, and such a damage may loosen a joint between the door and the hinge.
  • [0008]
    In this case, the door can not rotate properly, and the door can sag down due to weight of the door itself. In the same reason, perfect closure of the opening in the housing can fail, causing leaking of the washing water, the steam, or the hot air. Furthermore, the damage to the joining portion may result in partial damage to the door.
  • [0009]
    Thereby, it causes customer complaints and deteriorates product reliability.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0010]
    Accordingly, the present invention is directed to provide a washing machine.
  • [0011]
    An object of the present invention is to provide a washing machine with improved reliability.
  • [0012]
    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.
  • [0013]
    To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a washing machine includes a housing, a tub provided in the housing for holding washing water, a drum rotatably mounted in the tub for washing laundry, a door having an outer frame and an inner frame secured to an inside of the outer frame, and opening/closing an opening which is formed in the housing and is in communication with the drum, a hinge arm joining the housing and the door, and rotatably coupled to the housing and the door respectively, and a holder provided between the outer frame and the inner frame for holding a portion of the hinge arm arranged in the door.
  • [0014]
    The holder is constructed of a plate member extended between the outer frame and the inner frame. The holder closely abuts both the outer frame and the inner frame to be supported by the outer frame and the inner frame and is fastened to the inner frame with a fastening member.
  • [0015]
    The holder has a cover for enclosing a rotating shaft at an end of the hinge arm, and a portion of the hinge arm extended from the rotating shaft, additionally.
  • [0016]
    The holder includes a damping member interposed between the outer frame and the hinge arm for preventing the outer frame from bumping into the hinge arm. The damping member is arranged adjacent to an outer circumference of the door.
  • [0017]
    The outer frame includes a positioning protrusion extended toward the inner frame and the holder includes a positioning hole for receiving the positioning protrusion therein. The inner frame includes a receiver extended toward the outer frame for receiving the positioning protrusion.
  • [0018]
    Thus, in above washing machine, a joining portion of the door and the hinge arm are strengthened by the holder, thereby enhancing reliability of the washing machine.
  • [0019]
    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
  • [0020]
    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:
  • [0021]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a washing machine in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, schematically;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a holder in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a plan view of an inside of an inner frame having a holder mounted thereto;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of an outer frame having a holder mounted thereto; and
  • [0025]
    FIG. 5 illustrates a sectional view of a door in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0026]
    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.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a washing machine in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, schematically.
  • [0028]
    Basically, the washing machine includes a housing 10 which is an exterior of the washing machine, a tub (not shown) in the housing 10, and a drum (not shown) rotatably mounted in the tub. The tub holds the washing water, and the drum washes the laundry. The drum is laid down such that an opening thereof faces a front of the housing 10. The housing 10 has an opening 12 in communication with the opening in the drum. The opening 12 is opened/closed with a door 30 mounted to the housing 10.
  • [0029]
    The door 30 is connected to the housing 10 with a hinge arm 20, and the hinge arm 20 supports weight of the door 30 together with the housing 10, accordingly. In more detail, the hinge arm 20 has one end rotatably connected to an inside or an outside surface of the housing 10, the other end rotatably connected to the door 30. Accordingly, the door 30 is made rotatable with respect to the housing 10, and also is rotatable with respect to the hinge arm 20, by the hinge arm 20.
  • [0030]
    The door 30 includes an outer frame 50 which forms a front of the door 30 and an inner frame 40 secured to an inside of the outer frame 50. As shown in FIG. 1, the outer and inner frames 50 and 40 may have a ring shape formed of plastic by injection molding. The door 30 may include a door glass 90 placed between the ring shaped outer and inner frames 50 and 40.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a holder in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 3 illustrates a plan view of an inside of an inner frame having a holder mounted thereto, and FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of an outer frame having a holder mounted thereto. In FIG. 3, the outer frame 50 is omitted, while joining portions between the holder 60, the inner frame 40, and the hinge arm 20 are shown. In FIG. 4, the inner frame is omitted, while only a joining portion between the holder 60 and the outer frame 50 are shown.
  • [0032]
    Referring to FIG. 3, the hinge arm 20 may have at least one rotating shaft 22, and the door 30 can rotate around the rotating shaft 22. Moreover, as shown in the drawings, the door 30 may have, preferably a plurality of, and at least two, hinge arms and rotating shafts 22. In this case, the hinge arms 20 and the door 30 are joined rigidly, and because a surface increases, through which a load of the door 30 is transmitted to the hinge arms 20, the hinge arms 20 can support the door 30, securely. Moreover, it is preferable that center lines of the plurality of rotating shafts 22 are positioned on a straight line for smooth rotation of the door 30.
  • [0033]
    As described before, the heavy weight and repetitive rotation of the door 30 is liable to result in damage or breakage of the joining portion between the hinge arm 20 and the door 30. Due to the reason, the holder 60 is provided between the outer frame 50 and the inner frame 40.
  • [0034]
    Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the holder 60 holds a portion of the hinge arm 30 arranged in the door 30. As shown in FIG. 3, the hinge arm 20 has an end portion arranged in the door 30 for rotatable joining of the hinge arm 20 with the door 30, and the end portion includes the rotating shaft 22 and an extension 24 of the hinge arm 20 extended from the rotating shaft 22. Accordingly, the holder 60 covers, not only the rotating shaft 22, but also the extension 24 from the rotating shaft 22.
  • [0035]
    In more detail, the holder 60 has a cover 70 which covers a portion of the hinge arm 20, i.e., the rotating shaft 22 and the extension 24 therefrom. While the cover 70 covers a portion of each of the rotating shaft 22 and the extension 24, the inner frame 40 covers the other portion of each of the rotating shaft 22 and the extension 24. However, the inner frame 40 is formed to permit movement of the extension 24. That is, as shown in FIG. 3, the inner frame 40 includes a cut-away portion 40 a, and the extension 24 is arranged in the cut-away portion 40 a. Therefore, while the rotating shaft 22 is enclosed with the holder 60 and the inner frame 40 on the whole, the extension 24 can move beyond the inner frame 40 through the cut-away portion 40 a. Owing to this reason, even though the cover 70 covers the extension 22 partially, the door 30 can rotate freely with respect to the hinge arm 20.
  • [0036]
    As described before, because the holder 60 covers the hinge arm 20 with the cover 70 partially, the holder 60 strengthens the joining portion of the hinge arm 20 and the door 30, basically. Moreover, if the holder 60 is formed of metal preferably, the joining portion can be strengthened further. In order to strengthen the joining portion of the hinge arm 20 and the door 30, instead of the holder 60, supporting structures may be formed on the inner and the outer frames 40 and 50. However, the supporting structures will have a complicate shape, formation of the supporting structures on the outer frame 50 and the inner frame 40, both of which are formed by injection molding, are difficult, actually. Therefore, in a case if the door 30 has a separate holder 60 as the embodiment, the holder 60 can be formed of a material stronger than the outer frame 50 and the inner frame 40 of plastic, and can be formed to have a desired supporting structure easier than formation of the same structures on the frames 40 and 50.
  • [0037]
    Moreover, referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the cover 70 may have a shape in conformity with an exterior of a portion of the hinge arm 20. With the cover 70, he holder 60 can holder a portion of the hinge arm 20 more rigidly. Moreover, if the cover 70 is formed to project from the holder 60, the cover 70 can hold a greater portion of the hinge arm 20. Therefore, the projected cover 70 is favorable for the rigid holding of the hinge arm 20. Moreover, formation of the cover 70 as a unit with the body 61 is favorable in view of production.
  • [0038]
    The holder 60 has a body 61 of a plate type member extended between the outer frame and the inner frame 50 and 40, actually. The holder 60 does not increase an overall volume of the door 30 owing to a thin thickness even if the holder 60 is mounted between the frames 50 and 40. Moreover, the holder 60 of an extended plate type member can abut closely both inside surfaces of the frames 40 and 50. In this case, owing to an extended length of the holder 60, there can be substantially large contact surfaces formed between the holder 60 and the frames. According to this, the weight of the door 30 does not concentrate on the joining portion of the hinge arm 20 and the door 30, but can be spread. Moreover, the holder 60 can be supported with the frames 40 and 50 securely owing to the large contact surfaces, and strength of the holder 60 itself can also be relatively strengthened, accordingly. By those reasons, the holder 60 of an extended plate type member is very favorable for strengthening the joining portion between the door 30 and the hinge arm 20. Moreover, preferably, the holder 60 may have a predetermined curvature. Such a curved holder 60 does not project beyond the ring shaped frames 40 and 50.
  • [0039]
    The holder 60 has at least one fastening hole 68. As shown in FIG. 3, the holder 60 is fastened to the inner frame 40 with the fastening hole 68 and the first fastening member 69. In general, since various accessories are attached to the outer frame 50, the outer frame 50 has a weight greater than the inner frame 40. Therefore, if the holder 60 is secured, not to the outer frame 50, but to the inner frame 40, an overall weight of the door 30 can be balanced. A balanced weight of the door 30 can be applied to the hinge arm uniformly, thereby preventing the joining portion of the door and the hinge arm from breaking caused by an unbalanced weight.
  • [0040]
    Preferably, the holder 60 may include stepped portions for strengthening. In more detail, as shown in FIG. 2, the holder 60 may include a first stepped portion 64 extended in a length direction of the holder 60, and a second stepped portion 62 extended in a transverse direction of the holder 60. The stepped portions 62 and 64 may be formed to match with inside shapes of the outer frame 50 and the inner frame 40 opposite to the stepped portions 62 and 64, respectively. In this case, the holder 60 can be in close contact with the frames 40 and 50.
  • [0041]
    In the meantime, as shown in dashed lines in FIG. 4, in a case the hinge arm 20 rotates around the rotating shaft 22, the hinge arm 20, i.e., the extension 22, can bump into a portion of the outer frame 50, i.e., A portion. The bumping may result in breakage of the outer frame which is relatively weak. Therefore, in order to prevent the bumping between the outer frame 50 and the hinge arm 20, the holder 60 has damping members 80.
  • [0042]
    Basically, the damping member 80 is formed of material having an elasticity, such as rubber, and interposed between the hinge arm 20 (dashed line) and the outer frame 50 for prevention of the bumping. Moreover, as shown, since the hinge arm 20 bumps into an outer circumference (A portion) of the outer frame 50, the damping member 80 is arranged adjacent to the outer circumference of the outer frame 50. As shown in FIG. 2, the damping member 80 is inserted onto a cut-away portion 63 in the holder body 61. In more detail, the body 61 has an extension 72 from an edge of the cut-away portion, and the damping member 80 has a slit 82 in conformity with the extension 72. By inserting the extension 72 into the slit 82, the damping member 80 can be secured to the holder 60, firmly.
  • [0043]
    Referring to FIG. 4, the outer frame 50 has a positioning protrusion 52 extended from an inside surface thereof toward the inner frame 40. The holder 60 has a positioning hole 66 in conformity with the positioning protrusion 52. If the positioning protrusion 52 is placed in the positioning hole 66, the holder 60 can be positioned exactly with respect, not only to the outer frame 50, but also to the inner frame 40. Therefore, the positioning structure enables easy assembly of the holder 60. It is preferable that a diameter of the positioning protrusion 52 is slightly smaller than a diameter of the positioning hole 66, taking an assembly tolerance into account.
  • [0044]
    Referring to FIG. 3, the inner frame 40 has a receiver 42 in an inside surface extended toward the outer frame 50 in conformity with the positioning protrusion 52. Accordingly, the positioning protrusion 52 passes through the positioning hole 66 in the holder 60, and placed in the receiver 42 in the inner frame 40. This joining relation is best shown in FIG. 5 in more detail.
  • [0045]
    Referring to FIG. 5, between the inner and outer frames 40 and 50 joined together, the holder 60 is supported on an end of the receiver 42. The holder 60 is also supported on a surface of the outer frame around the positioning protrusion 52. That is, the holder 60 is in close contact both with the end of the receiver 42 and the surface of the outer frame of the positioning protrusion 52. By such a closely abutting relationship, the holder 60 is held by the frames 40 and 50, securely. If the holder 60 is fastened only to the inner frame 40 with the first fastening member 69, the weight of the door 30 will be transmitted to the holder 60 only through such a fastening portion, and therefrom to the hinge arm 20. In this case, because the weight of the door 30 is concentrated on the fastening portion of the holder 60 and the inner frame 40, there is high possibility of deformation or breakage.
  • [0046]
    However, as described before, if the holder 60 is in contact with the inner and outer frames 40 and 50 at the receiver 42 and the protrusion 52 substantially, the weight of the door 30 can also be transmitted to the holder 60 through such contact surfaces. At the end, the positioning protrusion 52 and the receiver 42 increase surfaces the door weight is transmitted thereto substantially to prevent the deformation caused by concentration of weight.
  • [0047]
    Moreover, the receiver 42 and the positioning protrusion 52 can be utilized in joining the inner and outer frames 40 and 50 together. In more detail, the positioning protrusion 52 is a boss having a thread therein substantially, and the receiver 42 has a pass through hole in a bottom. A separate second fastening member 44 is fastened to the positioning protrusion through the pass through hole. Therefore, the receiver 42 and the positioning protrusion 52 are fastened together, and by the fastening of the receiver 42 and the positioning protrusion 52, the inner and outer frames 40 and 50 are also fastened together.
  • [0048]
    A process for assembling the door 30 and the holder 60 will be described.
  • [0049]
    At first, the extension 72 from the holder 60 is placed in the slit 82 in the damping member 80, to secure the damping member 80 to the holder 60.
  • [0050]
    Then, the hinge arm 20 is coupled to the inner frame 40. In more detail, the rotation shaft 22 of the hinge arm 20 is rotatably coupled to the inner frame 40, enabling the door 20 to rotate with respect to the hinge arm 20.
  • [0051]
    The cover 70 of the holder 60 is arranged to cover the rotating shaft 22 of the hinge arm 20 and the extension 24 thereof. The holder 60 is fastened to the inner frame 40 with the first fastening member 69 passed through the fastening hole 68.
  • [0052]
    Then, the outer frame 50 is mounted to the inner frame 40 having the holder 60 fixedly secured thereto. In the mounting, the positioning protrusion 52 of the outer frame 50 is placed in the receiver 42 in the inner frame 40 through the pass through hole 66 in the holder 60.
  • [0053]
    Thereafter, by fastening the receiver 42 and the protrusion 52 with the second fastening member 44, assembly of the holder 60 and the frames 40 and 50 is finished.
  • [0054]
    As has been described, by covering the joining portion of the door 30 and the hinge arm 20, the holder 60 strengthens the joining portion, primarily. At the same time with this, the holder 60 serves the load of the door 30, not to concentrate on a particular portion, but spread. Owing to those reasons, the joining portion of the door 30 and the hinge arm 20 is not vulnerable to damage or breakage even by the weight, and the repetitive rotation, of the door, thereby enhancing reliability, not only of the door, but also of the washing machine itself.
  • [0055]
    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
US7997006 *Oct 31, 2007Aug 16, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine and control method thereof
US8424220Jun 11, 2007Apr 23, 2013Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry dryer and method for controlling the same
US8931186Feb 15, 2007Jan 13, 2015Lg Electronics Inc.Drying machine and method for controlling the same
US8936331Feb 21, 2012Jan 20, 2015General Electric CompanyHinge for an appliance
US8959960 *Aug 3, 2010Feb 24, 2015Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Appliance door prop mechanism
US9206542Jul 21, 2009Dec 8, 2015Lg Electronics Inc.Drying machine and method for controlling the same
US20080000098 *Feb 15, 2007Jan 3, 2008Choi Chul JDrying machine and method for controlling the same
US20080168679 *Oct 31, 2007Jul 17, 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry machine and control method thereof
US20090265953 *Jun 11, 2007Oct 29, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry dryer and method for controlling the same
US20090277035 *Jul 21, 2009Nov 12, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Drying machine and method for controlling the same
US20120032569 *Aug 3, 2010Feb 9, 2012Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Appliance Door Prop Mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/139
International ClassificationD06F37/18
Cooperative ClassificationD06F37/18
European ClassificationD06F37/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 12, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LIM, HEE TAE;KIM, HEUNG GI;SONG, JUNG TAE;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:021860/0381
Effective date: 20081008