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Publication numberUS20090289536 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/307,558
PCT numberPCT/KR2007/003301
Publication dateNov 26, 2009
Filing dateJul 6, 2007
Priority dateJul 6, 2006
Also published asEP2038594A2, EP2038594A4, EP2038594B1, WO2008004841A2, WO2008004841A3
Publication number12307558, 307558, PCT/2007/3301, PCT/KR/2007/003301, PCT/KR/2007/03301, PCT/KR/7/003301, PCT/KR/7/03301, PCT/KR2007/003301, PCT/KR2007/03301, PCT/KR2007003301, PCT/KR200703301, PCT/KR7/003301, PCT/KR7/03301, PCT/KR7003301, PCT/KR703301, US 2009/0289536 A1, US 2009/289536 A1, US 20090289536 A1, US 20090289536A1, US 2009289536 A1, US 2009289536A1, US-A1-20090289536, US-A1-2009289536, US2009/0289536A1, US2009/289536A1, US20090289536 A1, US20090289536A1, US2009289536 A1, US2009289536A1
InventorsJin-woo Park, Sung-Ae LEE
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerator
US 20090289536 A1
Abstract
The present invention discloses a refrigerator including a refrigerator main body, a refrigerator door for opening and closing the refrigerator mainbody, a hinge assembly for connecting the refrigerator door to the refrigerator main body to be openable and closable, a hinge cover for covering the hinge assembly, and a multimedia device positioned inside the hinge cover. This configuration can improve the spatial efficiency of the refrigerator. In addition the multimedia device has higher stability when it is positioned outside the refrigerator than inside the refrigerator of high humidity.
Images(6)
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Claims(17)
1. A refrigerator, comprising:
a refrigerator main body;
a refrigerator door for opening and closing the refrigerator main body;
a hinge assembly for connecting the refrigerator door to the refrigerator main body to be openable and closable;
a hinge cover for covering the hinge assembly; and
a multimedia device positioned inside the hinge cover.
2. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the multimedia device is a speaker connected to a controller, for generating sound.
3. The refrigerator of claim 2, further comprising a speaker hole formed at the hinge cover, for transferring the sound generated by the speaker and resonated inside the hinge cover to the outside.
4. The refrigerator of claim 3, wherein the speaker hole is formed at at least one of the top face and the front face of the hinge cover.
5. The refrigerator of claim 2, further comprising a partition wall formed inside the hinge cover, for partitioning off the space into a hinge assembly mounting space and a speaker mounting space.
6. The refrigerator of claim 5, further comprising an electric wire mounting groove formed at the partition wall so that a wire connected to the speaker can pass therethrough.
7. The refrigerator of claim 6, wherein the electric wire is fitted into the electric wire mounting groove from the bottom end of the partition wall.
8. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the multimedia device is a connector for connecting an external device to the controller of the refrigerator.
9. The refrigerator of claim 8, further comprising:
a connector fixing portion for fixing the connector inside the hinge cover;
an electric wire fixing segment for fixing an electric wire connected to the connector; and
a through hole formed at at least one face of the hinge cover so that the external device can pass through the hinge cover and connect to the connector.
10. The refrigerator of claim 9, wherein the connector fixing portion comprises a body fixing segment for fixing a body portion of the connector, a neck fixing segment for fixing a neck portion of the connector, and an auxiliary supporting segment for auxiliarily supporting the connector.
11. The refrigerator of claim 10, wherein the body fixing segment comprises a supporting portion for supporting both side ends of the body portion of the connector, and a hooking portion closely adhered to the top face of the connector, for preventing separation.
12. The refrigerator of claim 9, wherein the electric wire fixing segment comprises a circumference supporting portion for supporting the circumference of the electric wire, and a separation preventing portion for preventing the separation of the electric wire.
13. The refrigerator of claim 9, wherein the connector fixing portion and the electric wire fixing segment are made of an elastic material.
14. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the front face of the hinge cover is hidden by the refrigerator door.
15. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the hinge cover extends to both side ends of the refrigerator main body and the refrigerator door at the upper portion thereof.
16. The refrigerator of claim 15, wherein the hinge cover is partitioned off into a hinge assembly mounting space, a multimedia device mounting space and a separate space.
17. The refrigerator of claim 15, wherein the multimedia devices are a speaker and a connector, and the hinge cover is partitioned off into a hinge assembly mounting space, a speaker mounting space and a connector mounting space.
Description
    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a refrigerator, and more particularly, to a refrigerator which includes a hinge assembly for connecting a refrigerator door to a refrigerator main body to be openable and closable, and a hinge cover for covering the hinge assembly.
  • BACKGROUND ART
  • [0002]
    In general, a refrigerator is an apparatus for storing foods freshly for an extended period of time. The refrigerator includes a freezing chamber for freezing foods, a refrigerating chamber for refrigerating foods, and a freezing cycle for cooling the freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber. A built-in controller controls the operation.
  • [0003]
    The refrigerator is the most basic widely-used core element of a kitchen space. The refrigerator has been gradually increased in size due to the increase of consumption and the influence of the western life style.
  • [0004]
    Nowadays, the kitchen space is not a simple eating space but a major living space for eating and conversation of family members. In addition to the size increase, the refrigerator which is the core element of the kitchen space needs to be functionally changed in quantity and quality so that the family members can conveniently use the refrigerator.
  • [0005]
    The multimedia tendency of electronic products has been accelerated by the rapid development of information and communication technologies. It is thus expected that an electric home appliance will perform not one or two Junctions but various functions associated with functions of a few electric home appliances.
  • [0006]
    For example, a refrigerator for allowing the user to watch TV, access a webpage and enjoy an internet will be developed by coupling a computer to a general refrigerator and installing an LCD to a refrigerator door.
  • [0007]
    The LCD provided at the refrigerator door can be configured to display the states, nutrition information and cooking information of the stored foods as well as the current temperature and operation state of the refrigerator.
  • [0008]
    As the multimedia function of the refrigerator is improved, a speaker for outputting sound data takes an important role. Normally, the speakers are provided at both sides of an LCD monitor so that the user can enjoy sound with images.
  • [0009]
    However, in the conventional refrigerator, as the LCD monitor and the speaker are provided on the side of the refrigerator door with a relatively narrow width and thin thickness, the installation space and the size of the speaker are relatively restricted. Moreover, as an installation space of an enclosure for improving tone quality by resonating the sound generated by the speaker is restricted, it is impossible to provide sound of high tone quality.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1 illustrates one example of a conventional refrigerator, and FIG. 2 illustrates one example of a hinge assembly of the conventional refrigerator.
  • [0011]
    A storage space (not shown) is defined inside a refrigerator main body 1, and partitioned off into a freezing chamber and a refrigerating chamber in the left-right direction. The freezing chamber and the refrigerating chamber are selectively opened and closed by a freezing chamber door 2 and a refrigerating chamber door 3 pivotably installed at both sides of the front face of the refrigerator main body 1, respectively.
  • [0012]
    A display portion 4 is provided at the freezing chamber door 2. The display portion 4 provides various image services and internet services. A home bar 5 is provided at the refrigerating chamber door 3 so that the user can take out an object stored inside the refrigerating chamber door 3.
  • [0013]
    Hinge assemblies 10 are provided at the upper portion of the refrigerator main body 1. The hinge assemblies 10 pivotably support the freezing chamber door 2 and the refrigerating chamber door 3 on the refrigerator main body 1.
  • [0014]
    As shown in FIG. 2, a pair of through slots 21 and 22 are formed at one side of the front end of the top face 20 of the refrigerator main body 1. The through slots 21 and 22 have a predetermined length and width.
  • [0015]
    A pair of through holes 23 and 24 and three fastening holes 25, 26 and 27 are formed at one side of the top face 20 to be adjacent to the through slots 21 and 22. Fastening protrusions 35 and 36 explained later pass through the through holes 23 and 24. The fastening holes 25, 26 and 27 are formed not to overlap with a hinge plate 40 explained later,
  • [0016]
    Meanwhile, a fastening bracket 30 is provided inside the refrigerator main body 1. First and second fastening ribs 31 and 33 are provided at the listening bracket 30. The fastening ribs 31 and 33 pass through the through slots 21 and 22, respectively, and protrude in the upward direction of the top face 20 by a predetermined height.
  • [0017]
    The first fastening rib 31 passes through the through slot 21 relatively adjacent to the front end of the top face 20. A hooked protrusion 32 is provided at the top end of the first fastening rib 31. As the top end of the first fastening rib 31 extends to both sides, the hooked protrusion 32 is wholly formed in a T shape.
  • [0018]
    The second fastening rib 33 passes through the through slot 22 relatively adjacent to the rear end of the top face 20. A seating end 34 is provided at the top end of the second fastening rib 33. As a part of the top end of the second fastening rib 33 is cut by a predetermined size, the seating end 34 is wholly formed in an L shape.
  • [0019]
    A pair of fastening protrusions 35 and 36 are provided at the fastening bracket 30. The fastening protrusions 35 and 36 pass through the through holes 23 and 24, respectively, and protrude in the upward direction of the top face 20 by a predetermined height. Three fastening holes 37, 38 and 39 are formed at the fastening bracket 30 to correspond to the fastening holes 25, 26 and 27 of the top face 20, respectively.
  • [0020]
    In the meantime, a hinge plate 40 is fastened to the fastening bracket 30. A pair of through openings 41 and 42 through which the fastening ribs 31 and 33 passing through the through holes 21 and 22 pass, respectively, are formed at the hinge plate 40. An insertion slot 43 and an insertion hole 44 into which the fastening protrusions 35 and 36 passing through the through holes 23 and 24 are inserted, respectively, are formed at the hinge plate 40.
  • [0021]
    A hinge pin 47 for pivotably installing the door 2 or 3 for selectively opening and closing the storage space (not shown) is provided at one side of the hinge plate 40. The hinge pin 47 is provided at the front end of the hinge plate 40 to protrude in the downward direction by a predetermined length.
  • [0022]
    In addition, a fixing lever 50 is provided to fix the hinge plate 40 to the fastening bracket 30. The fixing lever 50 includes a fixing portion 51 and a supporting portion 55. Both sides of the fixing portion 51 are closely adhered to the top face of the hinge plate 40, and the center portion thereof is closely adhered to the bottom end of the hooked protrusion 32 of the fastening rib 31.
  • [0023]
    The fixing portion 51 includes a rotation hole 52 having a diameter equivalent to the width of the first fastening rib 31, and a slit 53 having a width equivalent to the thickness of the first fastening rib 31 and communicating with the rotation hole 52. The slit 53 serves as an insertion inlet for the first fastening rib 31.
  • [0024]
    The supporting portion 55 extends from one side of the fixing portion 51 which is the opposite side to the slit 53 by a predetermined length. In a state where the first fastening rib 31 is inserted through the slit 53 and positioned inside the rotation hole 52, as the fixing lever 50 is rotated, the supporting portion 55 is seated at the seating end 34 of the second fastening rib 33.
  • [0025]
    A hinge cover 60 is provided to shield the fastening bracket 30, the hinge plate 40 and the fixing lever 50 from the outside. A fastening boss 61 is provided at the hinge cover 60, and a fastening hole 63 is formed at the leading end of the fastening boss 61.
  • [0026]
    The process of installing the hinge assembly at the conventional refrigerator will now be described.
  • [0027]
    The fastening bracket 30 is positioned inside the refrigerator main body 1 so that the fastening ribs 31 and 33 and the fastening protrusions 35 and 36 can pass through the through slots 21 and 22 and the through holes 23 and 24, respectively. Fastening screws Sa and Sb passing through the fastening holes 25 and 26 of the top lace 20 are fastened to the fastening holes 37 and 38 of the fastening bracket 30, for fixing the fastening bracket 30.
  • [0028]
    In this state, the hinge plate 40 is moved so that the fastening ribs 31 and 33 passing through the through slots 21 and 22 can pass through the through openings 41 and 42. Here, the fastening protrusions 35 and 36 passing through the through holes 23 and 24 are inserted into the insertion slot 43 and the insertion hole 44, respectively.
  • [0029]
    Thereafter, the fixing lever 50 is moved so that the first fastening rib 31 can be inserted through the slit 53 and positioned inside the rotation hole 52.
  • [0030]
    In this state, the fixing lever 50 is rotated at a predetermined angle so that the supporting portion 51 can be seated at the seating end 34 of the second fastening rib 33.
  • [0031]
    After the fastening bracket 30, the hinge plate 40 and the fixing lever 50 are installed, the hinge cover 60 shields the resulting structure. A fastening screw Sc passing through the fastening hole 63 at one side of the hinge cover 60 and the fastening hole 27 at the top lace 20 is fastened to the fastening hole 39 of the fastening bracket 30, to thereby fix the hinge cover 60.
  • DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION Technical Problem
  • [0032]
    An object of the present invention is to provide a refrigerator which can improve the spatial efficiency without deforming the outward appearance thereof, by installing a multimedia device inside a hinge cover for covering a hinge to connect a refrigerator door with a refrigerator main body.
  • [0033]
    Another object of the present invention is to provide a refrigerator which can supply sound of high tone quality without requiring a special enclosure or installation space, by enabling a hinge cover for covering a hinge to function as an enclosure.
  • [0034]
    Yet another object of the present invention is to electrically connect an external electronic recording medium to a controller of a refrigerator by a connector provided inside a hinge cover.
  • [0035]
    Yet another object of the present invention is to fix a connector inside a hinge cover.
  • Technical Solution
  • [0036]
    There is provided a refrigerator, including: a refrigerator main body; a refrigerator door for opening and closing the refrigerator main body; a hinge assembly for connecting the refrigerator door to the refrigerator main body to be openable and closable; a hinge cover for covering the hinge assembly; and a multimedia device positioned inside the hinge cover. This configuration can improve the spatial efficiency of the refrigerator. In addition, the multimedia device has higher stability when it is positioned outside the refrigerator than inside the refrigerator of high humidity.
  • [0037]
    In another aspect of the present invention, the multimedia device is a speaker connected to a controller, for generating sound. In this configuration, the refrigerator can provide a multimedia function including sound data.
  • [0038]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the refrigerator further includes a speaker hole formed at the hinge cover, for transferring the sound generated by the speaker and resonated inside the hinge cover to the outside.
  • [0039]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the speaker hole is formed at at least one of the top lace and the front face of the hinge cover.
  • [0040]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the refrigerator further includes a partition wall formed inside the hinge cover, for partitioning off the space into a hinge assembly mounting space and a speaker mounting space. In this configuration, the sound generated by the speaker can be resonated merely in the speaker mounting space, and thus uniformly transferred to the outside.
  • [0041]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the refrigerator further includes an electric wire mounting groove formed at the partition wall so that a wire connected to the speaker can pass therethrough. In this configuration, the electric wire connected to the speaker can be easily arranged.
  • [0042]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the electric wire is fitted into the electric wire mounting groove from the bottom end of the partition wall.
  • [0043]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the multimedia device is a connector for connecting an external device to the controller of the refrigerator. In this configuration, external multimedia information, for example, photographs photographed by the user with a digital camera can be inputted through the connector and displayed through a display panel installed at the refrigerator.
  • [0044]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the refrigerator further includes; a connector fixing portion for fixing the connector inside the hinge cover an electric wire fixing segment for fixing an electric wire connected to the connector and a through hole formed on at least one face of the hinge cover so that the external device can pass through the hinge cover and connect to the connector.
  • [0045]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the connector fixing portion includes a body fixing segment for fixing a body portion of the connector, a neck fixing segment for fixing a neck portion of the connector, and an auxiliary supporting segment for auxiliarily supporting the connector.
  • [0046]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the body fixing segment includes a supporting portion for supporting both side ends of the body portion of the connector, and a hooking portion closely adhered to the top face of the connector, for preventing separation.
  • [0047]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the electric wire fixing segment includes a circumference supporting portion for supporting the circumference of the electric wire, and a separation preventing portion for preventing the separation of the electric wire.
  • [0048]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the connector fixing portion and the electric wire fixing segment are made of an elastic material.
  • [0049]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the front face of the hinge cover is hidden by the refrigerator door.
  • [0050]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the hinge cover extends to both side ends of the refrigerator main body and the refrigerator door at the upper portions thereof.
  • [0051]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the hinge cover is partitioned off into a hinge assembly mounting space, a multimedia device mounting space and a separate space.
  • [0052]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, the multimedia devices are a speaker and a connector, and the hinge cover is partitioned off into a hinge assembly mounting space, a speaker mounting space and a connector mounting space.
  • Advantageous Effects
  • [0053]
    In accordance with the present invention, in the sound device of the refrigerator, the speaker holes are formed at the hinge covers for hinge-connecting the freezing chamber door and the refrigerating chamber door to the refrigerator main body, and the speakers are installed inside the hinge covers. Therefore, the hinge covers can be used as speaker installation spaces and sound resonating spaces, to thereby improve the spatial efficiency. A plurality of speakers can be installed in various spaces, for uniformly supplying sound of high tone quality.
  • [0054]
    A relative connector connected to an electronic recording medium for storing image information such as family photographs is connected to the connector provided inside the hinge cover. Accordingly, the data stored in the electronic recording medium are transmitted to the controller of the refrigerator by the connector of the hinge cover, so that the user can display desired image information on the display portion. That is, the using effect of the display portion can be improved.
  • [0055]
    In addition, the connector and the electric wire provided inside the hinge cover are fixed to the hinge cover by the connector fixing portion and the electric wire fixing segment. As a result, the connector can be fixed inside the hinge cover and easily connected to the relative connector connected to the electronic recording medium, to thereby improve the using convenience.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0056]
    FIG. 1 illustrates one example of a conventional refrigerator;
  • [0057]
    FIG. 2 illustrates one example of a hinge assembly of the conventional refrigerator;
  • [0058]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a refrigerator in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0059]
    FIGS. 4 and 5 respectively illustrate top and bottom faces of a hinge cover with a speaker installed therein at the refrigerator in accordance with the present invention;
  • [0060]
    FIGS. 6 and 7 respectively illustrate one example of a hinge cover with a connector installed therein at the refrigerator in accordance with the present invention;
  • [0061]
    FIG. 8 illustrates a part of a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0062]
    FIG. 9 illustrates a part of a refrigerator in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention.
  • MODE FOR THE INVENTION
  • [0063]
    A refrigerator in accordance with preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • [0064]
    FIG. 3 is a front view illustrating a refrigerator in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, and FIGS. 4 and 5 are perspective views illustrating top and bottom faces of a sound device in accordance with the present invention.
  • [0065]
    In the refrigerator according to the present invention, referring to FIGS. 3 to 5, a freezing chamber door 102 and a refrigerating chamber door 104 are hinge-connected to a refrigerator main body 1000 partitioned off into a freezing chamber and a refrigerating chamber in the left-right direction.
  • [0066]
    An ice supply device 106 for supplying ice or cold water and a display 108 for displaying the operation state of the refrigerator and controlling the operation of the refrigerator are provided at the freezing chamber door 102. An LCD monitor 110 for providing TV or internet services is provided at the refrigerating chamber door 104.
  • [0067]
    A freezing cycle (not shown) including a compressor, a condenser, a capillary tube or an electronic expansion valve, and an evaporator is built in one side of the refrigerator main body 1000. A cool air circulation fan (not shown) is built into supply the cool air heat-exchanged at the evaporator side to the freezing chamber or the refrigerating chamber. A controller (not shown) operates the whole components to control the operation of the refrigerator.
  • [0068]
    Particularly, in order to connect the freezing chamber door 102 and the refrigerating chamber door 104, hinge assemblies are installed at both ends of the top face of the refrigerator main body 1000. Hinge covers H1 are installed to cover the hinge assemblies, respectively. Speaker holes 120 h are formed at the hinge covers H1 and speakers 120 are installed inside the hinge covers H1.
  • [0069]
    A partition wall 122 for partitioning off the inside space of the hinge cover H1 into a hinge assembly mounting space A and a speaker mounting space B is formed inside the hinge cover H1, so that the hinge cover H1 efficiently functions as an enclosure for the sound generated by the speaker 120. The hinge assembly mounting space A is formed over the top feces of the freezing chamber door 102 or the refrigerating chamber door 104 and the refrigerator main body 1000, but the speaker mounting space B is formed only on the top face of the refrigerator main body 1000.
  • [0070]
    Preferably, the speaker holes 120 h are formed at the top face of the hinge cover H1 with a relatively large area. If the top space of the refrigerator is blocked as in a built-in type refrigerator, the speaker holes 120 h can be formed at the front face of the hinge cover H1.
  • [0071]
    In addition, the speaker 120 is connected to the controller through an electric wire (not shown) so that the operation of the speaker 120 can be controlled by the controller. A volume level of the speaker 120 can be controlled by a selection means 130 provided on the side of the LCD monitor 110.
  • [0072]
    Here, as the speaker 120 is installed at the top face of the refrigerator main body 1000 and the controller is built in the freezing chamber door 102 or the refrigerating chamber door 104, the electric wire extended from the speaker 120 to the controller is laid on a hinge shaft on the side of the freezing chamber door 102 or the refrigerating chamber door 104. To this end, an electric wire mounting groove 122 h is formed at the partition wall 122 so that the electric wire extending from the speaker 120 can pass through the partition wall 122. In addition, the electric wire mounting groove 122 h serves to fix and arrange the electric wire connected to the speaker 120.
  • [0073]
    As described above, the speakers 120 built in the hinge covers H1 are installed at both sides of the top face of the refrigerator main body 1000. Therefore, the sound generated by the speakers 120 is resonated inside the hinge covers H1, and uniformly transferred with high tone quality to the refrigerator installed space through the speaker holes 120 h.
  • [0074]
    When the speakers are installed on the side of the LCD monitor 110 as in the prior art, the speakers 120 can be further installed on the side of the binge covers H1. In this case, the speakers can be divided into middle/low tone speakers and high tone speakers and installed at the upper and lower portions, to thereby provide sound of high tone quality.
  • [0075]
    FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a desirable example of the hinge cover in accordance with the present invention.
  • [0076]
    As illustrated in FIG. 6, a hinge cover 70 is formed in an almost rectangular shape. The hinge cover 70 serves to protect an outward appearance of a hinge assembly. The frame of the hinge cover 70 is defined by a cover main body 71 corresponding in shape to a hinge plate 40. The cover main body 71 is formed in an almost rectangular shape with one open face. The hinge plate 40 is positioned in an inside space 73. A fastening boss 75 is provided at the inside space 73 of the cover main body 71. A fastening screw (not shown) is fastened to the fastening boss 75, for fixing the cover main body 71 to a top face of a refrigerator.
  • [0077]
    A connector 77 (refer to FIG. 7) is installed in the cover main body 71. One end of the connector 77 is connected to a controller (not shown) of a refrigerator main body through an electric wire 79, and the other end thereof is connected to a relative connector connected to an external electronic recording medium installed outside the refrigerator. The controller transmits the data from the external electronic recording medium to a display portion, or uses the data to upgrade an inside program. If the data transferred by the controller are image information, the image information is displayed through the display portion.
  • [0078]
    The connector 77 includes a body portion 77 b and a neck portion 77 n. A terminal 77 t connected to the external electronic recording medium is provided at one end of the body portion 77 b. The neck portion 77 n is connected to the electric wire 79 with its width narrowed toward the electric wire 79.
  • [0079]
    A connector fixing portion 80 is provided in the inside space 73 of the cover main body 71. The connector fixing portion 80 serves to fix the connector 77. Body fixing segments 81 are provided at the seating point of the body portion 77 b of the connector 77 in the inside space 73. The body fixing segments 81 for fixing the body portion 77 b of the connector 77 are provided to correspond to both sides of the body portion 77 b, respectively.
  • [0080]
    Supporting portions 81 s protruding in the upward direction from the bottom face of the inside space 73 of the cover main body 71 are provided at the body fixing segments 81. The supporting portions 81 s are adhered to both sides of the leading end of the connector 77, for supporting both sides of the body portion 77 b of the connector 77. Hooking portions 81 f protruding toward the connector 77 in the orthogonal directions to the protruding directions of the supporting portions 81 s are provided at the leading ends of the supporting portions 81 s. When the connector 77 is seated between the body fixing segments 81, the hooking portions 81 f fix the connector 77 by compressing the top lace of the connector 77.
  • [0081]
    Neck fixing segments 83 are provided at the seating point of the neck portion 77 n of the connector 77 in the connector fixing portion 80. The neck fixing segments 83 support the neck portion 77 n of the connector 77 to prevent the movement of the connector 77. The neck fixing segments 83 are provided to correspond to both sides of the neck portion 77 n. In order to fix both side faces of the neck portion 77 n of the connector 77, the neck fixing segments 83 correspond in shape to the neck portion 77 n. The body fixing segments 81 are made of an elastic material.
  • [0082]
    An auxiliary supporting segment 85 is provided between the body fixing segments 81 and the neck fixing segments 83. The auxiliary supporting segment 85 protrudes from the inside space 73 in the upward direction to contact one side face of the connector 77. The auxiliary supporting segment 85 auxiliarily supports the connector 77 by supporting the one face of the connector 77,
  • [0083]
    Electric wire fixing segments 90 are provided at the seating point of the electric wire 79 in the inside space 73. The electric wire fixing segments 90 for supporting the electric wire 79 are provided to correspond to both sides of the electric wire 79. Circumference supporting portions 91 protruding from the inside space 73 in the upward direction are provided at the electric wire fixing segments 90. In order to support the circumference of the electric wire 79, the middle ends of the circumference supporting portions 91 are bent to correspond to the curved surface of the electric wire 79. Accordingly, the width between the circumference supporting portions 91 is equivalent to the width of the electric wire 79. Separation preventing portions 93 are formed at the leading ends of the circumference supporting portions 91. The separation preventing portions 93 protrude from the leading ends of the circumference supporting portions 91 toward the electric wire 79.
  • [0084]
    That is, the width between the separation preventing portions 93 is relatively narrower than the width between the circumference supporting portions 91. Therefore, when the electric wire 79 is seated between the circumference supporting portions 91, as the width between the separation preventing portions 93 provided at the leading ends of the circumference supporting portions 91 is relatively narrow, the electric wire 79 does not separate from the electric wire fixing segments 90. The electric wire fixing segments 90 are also made of an elastic material.
  • [0085]
    A through hole 100 is formed to pass through the part of the cover main body 71 in which the leading end of the connector 77 is positioned. A relative connector passes through the through hole 100 and connects to the connector 77.
  • [0086]
    The operation of the hinge cover with the above configuration according to the present invention will now be explained in detail.
  • [0087]
    The connector 77 is positioned in the inside space 73 of the cover main body 71. After the body portion 77 b of the connector 77 is positioned between the body fixing segments 81, an external force is applied to the connector 77 toward the inside space 73. As the body fixing segments 81 are made of an elastic material, the body portion 77 b is elastically coupled between the body fixing segments 81. Here, the hooking portions 81 f of the body fixing segments 81 are closely adhered to the top face of the connector 77, for fixing the body portion 77 b. In addition, the neck portion 77 n is seated between the neck fixing segments 83.
  • [0088]
    After the connector 77 is seated, the electric wire 79 connected to the connector 77 is positioned between the electric wire fixing segments 90. An external force is applied to the electric wire 79 toward the inside space 73. As the electric wire fixing segments 90 are made of an elastic material, the electric wire 79 is seated between the circumference supporting portions 91 of the electric wire fixing segments 90, and elastically coupled to the electric wire fixing segments 90. Since the width between the separation preventing portions 93 of the electric wire fixing segments 90 is relatively narrower than the width between the circumference supporting portions 91, the separation of the electric wire 79 is prevented.
  • [0089]
    After the connector 77 and the electric wire 79 are fixed, the other components of the hinge assembly are coupled inside the hinge cover 70. Thereafter, the resulting structure is fixed to the top lace of the refrigerator main body 1000.
  • [0090]
    When the user intends to transmit desired data to the controller of the refrigerator, the user connects the relative connector to the connector 77 through the through hole 100 formed at the hinge cover 70. The controller senses the external electronic recording medium, so that the data stored in the external electronic recording medium are transmitted to the controller. If the data transmitted to the controller are image information, the image information is transmitted to the display portion and displayed thereon.
  • [0091]
    FIG. 8 illustrates a part of a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 9 illustrates a part of a refrigerator in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0092]
    In the refrigerator according to another embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 8, a freezing chamber door 102 and a refrigerating chamber door 104 are installed at a front face of a refrigerator main body 1000 to be openable and closable by hinge assemblies (not shown). The top ends of the front faces of the freezing chamber door 102 and the refrigerating chamber door 104 are higher than the top end of the refrigerator main body 1000, so that hinge covers H2 for covering the hinge assemblies are not shown on the front face side of the refrigerator.
  • [0093]
    Any one of a speaker (120 in FIG. 5) and a connector (77 in FIG. 7) can be installed inside the hinge cover H2. In addition, the speaker (120 in FIG. 5) and the connector (77 in FIG. 7) can be installed together inside the hinge cover H2. If the speaker (120 in FIG. 5) is installed inside the hinge cover H2, speaker holes (120 h in FIG. 4) are formed at the hinge cover H2. The detailed configuration thereof has been described above.
  • [0094]
    In the refrigerator according to yet another embodiment of the present invention, as depicted in FIG. 9, a freezing chamber door 202 and a refrigerating chamber door 204 are installed at a front face of a refrigerator main body 1000 to be openable and closableby hinge assemblies (not shown). One hinge cover H3 for covering the hinge assemblies is installed to cross the top feces of the refrigerator main body 1000, the freezing chamber door 202 and the refrigerating chamber door 204 in the lateral direction.
  • [0095]
    In the same manner, any one of a speaker (120 in FIG. 5) and a connector (77 in FIG. 7) can be installed inside the hinge cover H3. In addition, the speaker (120 in FIG. 5) and the connector (77 in FIG. 7) can be installed together inside the hinge cover H3. The detailed configuration thereof has been described above.
  • [0096]
    The hinge cover H3 can be partitioned off into each hinge assembly installation space A and each speaker installation space B by a partition wall. If only a predetermined enclosure space is needed according to capacities of the speakers, a separate space C can be defined between the speaker installation spaces B.
  • [0097]
    In this case, the hinge cover H3 can be partitioned off into A, B and C regions by the partition wall (122 in Fig, 5). The hinge assembly (not shown) can be installed in A region, the speaker (120 in FIG. 5) can be installed in B region, and the connector (77 in FIG. 7) can be installed in C region.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification312/405, 312/237
International ClassificationA47B83/00, F25D23/02
Cooperative ClassificationF25D23/028, F25D2400/40, E05Y2900/31, F25D2400/361, F25D2323/024
European ClassificationF25D23/02E
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 7, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PARK, JIN-WOO;LEE, SUNG-AE;REEL/FRAME:023069/0203
Effective date: 20090730