US 2303541 A
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w. .J. LUCKMAN DRY CLEANING MACHINE Filed Jan. 13, 1941 IN VEN TOR m N R O n A Patented Dec. 1, 1942 DRY CLEANING MACHINE Wilbur .l. Gluckman, Akron, Ohio, assignor to Bendix Home Appliances, Inc., South Bend, Ind., a corporation of Delaware Application January 13, 1941, Serial No. 374,186
My invention relates to a dry cleaning machine and method and, more particularly, to an automatic dry cleaning machine in which garments and the like can be cleaned and from which the cleaning fluid will be extracted and filtered for re-use without any intermediate control by an attendant.
In carrying out my invention, I utilize the tumbling action, fabric distribution and extraction set forth in United States Patent No. 2,165,884 to John W. Chamberlin and Rex Earl Bassett, Jr.
My invention has for its object the combination of a fluid cleaning, fluid storage and fluid delivery mechanism with a cleaning and extracting machine in which all of the parts are sequentially controlled by a timing mechanism and a float mechanism, so that it is necessary only 1 for an attendant to insert the fabrics to be cleaned, to set the sequential control mechanism to its Start position and eventually to tributes to the appearance of my automatic,
cleaning machine, inasmuch as such a machine is primarily for use in stores and small establishments.
The cleaning and extracting machine comprises a horizontally mounted receptacle 3 supported within a tub 4 and arranged to be driven by a motor 5 through a transmission 6, a belt 1 and a pulley 8. The motor and transmission are fastened together as a unit and are supported by a pair of arms ||l pivoted on a rod II, which is supported ina frame l2, the pivotal support of the motor and transmission serving to keep the belt I tight. The transmission 6 may be of the type illustrated in the heretofore-mentioned United States Patent No. 2,165,884 or of any other suitable form, there being a solenoid l5 for controlling the transmission to cause it to rotate the receptacle at slow speed (about 59 cleaning and at high speed (300 R. P. M. or over for a diameter receptacle) for extracting.
A pump I6, driven by a motor ll, supplies cleaning fluid, which may be carbon tetrachloride, from a reservoir l9 below the level of the tub 4 through a flexible tube 20, preferably lined with Resistoflex, since this material is not affected by carbon tetrachloride, to an injection nozzle 2|, which discharges its fluid through an opening 24 in one end of the receptacle 3.
A float chamber 26 is connected with the tub 4 through a conduit 21 and contains a float 28 mechanically connected to a pair of electrical contacts 29 and 30 located in a housing 3|. The structure is such that the contacts 29 and 30 are opened when the float 28 rises to a predetermined height as a result of the rise in level of the cleaning fluid within the tub.
A pump 33, driven by a motor 34, extracts cleaning fluid from a screen chamber 38 at the bottom of the tub 4 and delivers the cleaning fluid through a pipe 31 into the top of a filter charged into the receptacle.
tank 38. In the bottom of this tank, held between screens, is a quantity of diatomaceous earth 39 or other filter material through which the cleaning fluid trickles in passing from the fllter tank 38 into the storage tank l9. A motor driven sequence switch 42 controls the circuits of the various motors 5, ll, 33 and of its own motor 43, as well as the circuit of the shifter solenoid l5.
In operation, a door in the end of the tub 4, in alignment with the opening 24 in the receptacle 3, is opened, and a quantity of fabric is The door is then closed to prevent the escape of fluid or fumes,
and a handle or knob on the sequence controller 42 is rotated in a clockwise direction until blade contacts segments 5| and 52. When the blade 50 contacts segment 52, two circuits are completed, one through the sequence controller motor 43 and the other through the main motor 5. The sequence controller motor 43 is preferably a synchronous motorfwhich now drives the blade 50 in a clockwise direction at a predetermined slow speed; for example, one revolution in twenty minutes. The completion of the contact between blade 50 and segment 5| establishes a circuit from one main line conductor 54, through float contacts 29 and 30 and pump motor. back to the other main line conductor 55. This drives the pump I6, causing cleaning fluid to flow into the tub 4 through nozzle 2|, until the level of the cleaning fluid has raised the float 28 to a R. P M- for a diameter receptacle) for predetermined height which opens the contacts ,with the bottom of the receptacle.
29 and 30. This stops the operation of the pump 16, the level oi the nozzle being above the level of the liquid in the tub, so that the cleaning fluid does not run back, through the now stationary pump, into the storage tank IS.
The receptacle 3 is now being rotated at its cleaning speed, about 59 R. P. M. for a 20" di ameter receptacle. At this speed the fabrics are carried upwardly in the receptacle to a point near the top, from which they fall across the axis of the receptacle and plunge into the fluid which partially fills the lower part of the receptacle. A large quantity of fluid is carried upwardly with the fabrics, and this fluid cataracts down onto the fabrics which are moving along This cleaning action continues until the blade 50 of the sequence controller comes in contact with segment 51. When this happens, the circuit from conductor 54 is completed through the motor 34, causing the pump 33 to withdraw the cleaning fluid from the tub 4 and discharge it, through conduit 31, into the filter tank 38. The sizes of the pump 33 and of the conduit through which the cleaning fluid is discharged from the tub are so related to the speed of the sequence controller that all of the cleaning fluid is removed from the tub before the blade 50 contacts segment 58 of the sequence controller.
The absence of free cleaning fluid in the tub 4 permits the fabrics within the receptacle 3 to become substantially evenly distributed about the circumference of the receptacle, the centrifugal force being suflicient to hold the fabrics against the receptacle when they pass over the top when there is no free cleaning fluid in the tub. The
rotation of the receptacle ,at cleaning speed, which may increase at this time from 59 R. P. M. to 60 or 61 R. P. M. due to the removal of load on the driving motor 5 for a few seconds, in the absence of cleaning fluid, permits articles, which at first do not find lodgment against the periphery of the receptacle 3, eventually to fall into a cavity sufficiently remote from the axis of the receptacle 3 that centrifugal force then holds these articles against the periphery of the receptacle. This period is termed the distribution period, and by properly proportioning the diameter of the receptacle and the speed of rotation, as explained in the aforementioned United States Patent No. 2,165,884, substantially uniform distribution is accomplished.
When blade 50 comes in contact with segment 58 of the'sequence controller, a circuit is completed through the shifter solenoid l5, which causes the transmission 6 to drive the receptacle at gradually increasing speeds until a final speed above 300 R. P. M. is reached, During the extraction, the circuit of motor 34 remains unbroken, so that cleaning iluid centrifugally extracted from the fabrics by the high-speed rotation of the receptacle 3 is continuously withdrawn from the screen chamber 36 and is discharged into the filter chamber 38. After a predetermined period of extraction, the blade 50 passes off segments 52, 51 and 58, and the machine automatically comes to rest, after which the door in the end of the tub 4 may be opened. If it is desired to evaporate some of the cleaning fluid out of the fabrics in the receptacle before removing the fabrics from the receptacle, the door of the tub may be opened during the latter part of the extraction period, and at the same time the damper 60 may be opened, so that by centrifugal force air is drawn in through the door opening and expelled to outside atmosphere through the vent pipe 6!.
Inasmuch as the blade 50 is frictionally connected' with its drive mechanism, it may be rotated by hand, independently of the drive mechanism, and thus, if it is desired that the extraction period be continued for a considerable length of time for the purpose of driving off the remnant of cleaning fluid by the passage of air through the fabrics centrifugally, the blade 50 may be turned in a counter-clockwise direction to prolong the extraction period to any extent deemed desirable.
Although my invention is shown and described in conjunction with specific apparatus, it is to be understood that I do not desire to be unduly limited thereto, certain alternatives being possible without departing from the spirit or scope of my invention.
Apparatus for cleaning fabrics by the repeated re-use of cleaning fluid comprising a receptacle mounted for rotation upon a horizontal axis, a motor for driving said receptacle at cleaning speed and at extracting speed, a tub surrounding said receptacle, a storage tank below the level .of said tub, a filter chamber discharging into the storage tank, a pump for transferring cleaning fluid from the storage tank to the tub, a second motor for driving said'pump, means for closing the circuit of said second motor to cause said pump to transfer cleaning fluid from said storage tank to said tub, a float controlled by the level of the liquid in said tub, a pair of contacts in the circuit of said second motor controlled by said float and adapted to be opened when the level of the cleaning fluid reaches a predetermined height in said tub, whereby the admission of cleaning fluid to the tub ceases, a motor driven sequence controller, a second pump for withdrawing cleaning fluid from said tub, said second pump having conduits delivering cleaning fluid to said filter chamber, a motor for said second pump, said sequence controller closing the circuit of said motor for said second pump after a predetermined lapse of time, said sequence controller serving also to complete a circuit for causing said receptacle to rotate at high speed for extracting cleaning fluid from the fabrics therein while said second pump continues to deliver extracted fluid to said filter chamber..
WILBUR J. GLUCKMAN.