US 2357909 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
S p 12,-..1sM4. M. RIDGE 2,351,909,
APPARATUS FOR CLEANSING FABRICS AND THE LIKE Filed June 1, 1940 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 4422 ATTORNf- Sept. 12, 1944. J RlDGE 2,357,909
APPARATUS FOR CLEANSING FABRICS AND THE LIKE Fild June 1, 1940 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 LI Y Y MINUTES R ?"?"P f llllllll 35H mm TIMER & MA /IV MOTOR ---fl WATER VALVE 59 l SPIN IB /1041' 55 .SW/TCH FIE}; 3
WITNESSES: v I INVENTOR' PAY-MONO 'J. P1065 a I BY I I ATTORN Z Patented Sept. 12, 1944 Raymond J. Ridge, Lansdowne, Pa., assignor to Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, East Pittsburgh, Pa.,
Pennsylvania a. corporation of Application June 1, 1940, Serial No. 338,336
My invention relates to the cleaning of fabrics or the like and has for an object to provide an improved apparatus for cleaning materials of this character.
It is a further object of the invention to provide improved washing and rinsing actions in a V laundry machine of the horizontal, rotatable cylinder type.
A' further object of the invention is to provide an improved cleaning machine of the type wherein cleansing of fabrics and centrifuging cleaning fluid therefrom is accomplished in a single container rotatable about a. substantially horizontal axis.
A still further object of the invention is to provide substantially uniform distribution of the fabrics in a rotatable container of the type set forth, prior to acceleration of the container to its centrifuging speed, whereby vibration of the apparatus is reduced to a minimum.
These and other objects are eifected by my in- I vention as will be apparent from the following V description and claims taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, forming apart of this ap lication in which:
for elevating the fabrics from the body offiuid during rotation of the drum. The speed at which the drum is rotated atthis time is so related to the diameter of the drum that the fabrics elevated from the fluid by the vanes are maintained centrifugally in contact with the inher surface of the drum as it rotates. The speed is such that, if unobstructed, the fabrics would continue their excursion within the drum in a circular path and would be returned to the body of fluid in contact with the drum. As is well understood to those skilled in the art, a cleaning action having maximum .efliciency is obtained in a drum of this type if the fabrics are dropped or plunged into the fluid-after being elevated therefrom. The greatest efliciency is obtained Fig. 1 is a vertical sectional view of a 'cleanins machine constructed in accordance with the invention;
Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the machine shown in Fig. 1 and taken along the line- II-lI thereof; and
Fig. 3 is a diagram of the electrical connections between the various electrical translating and control devices employed by the machine shown in Figs. 1 and 2. Y
In practicing my invention, I provide a perforate drum or basket structure which is rotatawhere the fabrics are carried to the uppermost part of the drum and then' dropped clear. of and across the drum into the body of fluid.
In order to effect the latter operation, I pro- .vide means for disengaging the fabrics from the inner surface of the drum adjacent the uppermost portion thereof and for directing the fabrics generally diametrically of the drum into the body of fluid. Preferably, this disengagement of the fabrics is' effected by. directing one or more jets of the cleaning fluid inwardly of the drum and into engagement with the fabrics as'they approach the uppermost region thereof. The jets of fluid reduce the peripheral speed of the portion of the rotating bundle of fabrics adjacent the top of the drum while directing them in-- wardly of the drum, whereby gravity overcomes centrifugal force and effects a movement ofthe fabrics across the drum into the body of cleaning fluid. In other words, the kinetic energy of the jets imparts a centripetal force to the body of fabrics for moving the same diametrically of the drum and into the body of fluid.
Cleaning of the fabrics is expedited also by the jets of fluid which are directed at high velocity into engagement with and in part throughthe fabrics, which operation is efiectivein loosening and removing the soils from the fabrics.
After thecleaning operation is completed, the body of fluid is removed from the drum and the disengaging action effected by the jets of fluid is tefminated. Rotation of the drum is continued at substantially the same speed so thatthe fabrics are carried within the drum in a circular pathand in engagement with the walls of the drum.
Substantial uniform distribution of the fabrics within the drum is effected at this time. After portion of the fluid contained in the fabrics is centrifugally extracted therefrom.
The clothes may be subsequently rinsed in the same drum by the admission of clear rinsing fluid thereto; the agitation of the fabrics, distribution and centrifuging of the same being similar to the steps describedin connection with the cleaning program. -A highly efflcient rinse is obtained in accordance with this invention, by the high velocity jets of fluid which are directed into engagement with and through the fabrics. It is unnecessary for the operator to handle the clothes being cleaned except for the admission and removal of the fabrics from the drum. As the fabrics are evenly distributed within the drum to the uppermost portion -of the drum during.
the washing and distributing periods, the speed in revolutions per minute of the drum should be in excess of J 2933 dr in radius in feet The speed of the drum.- in revolutions per minute should be slightly in excess of the speed derived in accordance with the foregoing formula, but should not greatly exceed this value as the energy required to disengage the fabrics from the drum is opposition to the centrifugal force would necessarily have to be increased. The speed which is optimum is that which will carry the fabrics to the top of the drum, at which point the centrifugal force of the fabrics is lust slightly in excess of gravity. When operating under these conditions the amount of energy required to direct the fabrics radially of the drum is maintained at a minimum.
Reference will now be had to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, wherein I have chosen to show my invention applied to a laundry machine, although, in this -connection, it will be understood that the invention maybe applied equally well to other forms of cleaning and centrifuging apparatus such as, for example, dry cleaning machines. The apparatus which I have illustrated is particularly adaptable for carrying my improved method into effect, but it will be under-' stood that means other than that shown may be employed for effecting the various steps in the washing, distributing and spinning program.
The laundry machine which I have shown includes asubstantially cylindrical tub member I.
having an' access opening H formed in one end substantially horizontal and about which rota-,
tion of the drum- I3 is effected. An opening ll is provided in an end wall of the drum l3 and aso'moe which are spaced axially of the drum I 3. Further reference to the openings I9 is made hereinafter.
The drum I3 is also provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced inwardly extending protuberances or vanes 20 which engage the fabricsfor providing a scrubbing action and also assist in elevating the fabrics from the water as the drum is rotated. Rotation of the drum I3 is effected by a motor 2|, suitably carried by an underportion of the tub Ill and belted, as shown at 22, to a two-speed mechanism, generally indicated by the reference numeral 23. As the specific construction of the two-speed mechanism 23 forms no part of the present invention, it has not been shown in detail for the sake of brevity, but it will be understood that any suitable mechanism having provisions for effecting low and high speed rota- 7 shown in dotted lines to effect high speed operaregisters substantially. with the opening H in the tub Ill. The drum l3 includes a substantially at Ill. The drum 13 may alsobe provided with a series of perforations is which are circumferentially. spaced around the sidewall I! in groups tion of the member [1. Movement of the lever 23 is effected, by an electro-magnet 25 which, when energized, moves the lever 24 to the position shown in dotted lines.
In accordance with my invention, fresh water is admitted to the tub l0 from a suitable source, defined by the conduit 26, under control of an electrically-operated valve 21, the latter normally being closed, and movable to its open position by an electro-magnet or solenoid 28, when energized.
The downstream side of the valve 21 is connected by means of a conduit 29 to a water passage 3! formed in the tub structure and terminating at itsupper end in a manifold 32. The manifold 32 is provided with a plurality of water nozzles 33 which are spaced apart and disposed,
respectively, in the planes of the axially-spaced groups of openings I9. The operation of the Jets of water issuing from the nozzles 33 will be described hereinafter.
The level of fluid in the tub l0 during the cleaning operation is indicated by the dotted lineA. A conventional float switch structure 34 is employed for controlling the amount of water admitted to the tube and actuates a switch 35 to its open position when the proper amount of water has been admitted to the tub. When the tub I3 is substantially devoid of water, the floatactuated switch 35 is moved to the closed position. The switch 35 is connected in'series with the solenoid 28, as shown in Fig. 3, further referenceto which will be made hereinafter.
During the washing operation, the cleanin8.-
valve 33, when disposed in the position shown in- Fig. 1, conveys the fluid withdrawn from .the tub II to the conduit 23 and thence through themssage 3| to the nozzles 33. An electro-magnet 4| is employed for rotating the two-way valve structure 33 to its other position wherein the water translated through the conduit 38 i passed to a conduit 42- which connects with a suitable drain.
Operation of the motor 2| and the electro-magnets 2', 23, and I may be hand or automatically and 6|.
tor, which then functions to drive th timer bare vention is particularly adaptable for automatic operation, I have elected to show an automatic 2,357,909 controlled by a series of switches. Since my incontrol system for eflecting the various steps in a I cleaning program. The control system'as shown in Fig. 3 includes a timer, generally indicated at 45, suitably carried on'the front of the. tub structure l wherein it is convenient to the operator. The timer 45 includes an insulating barrel 46 which is rotated by a motor 41 of the type commonly employed for driving clocks, through a speed-reducing mechanism 48. The barrel 46 is shown in development, and when driven by the motor 41 is actuated in the direction of the arrow.
A knob 49 is provided for manually adjusting the barrel 46 when-initiating operation of the apparatus. A clutch, generally indicated at 6|, is interposed between the barrel 46 and the speed reducing mechanism 48 in order to permit rotation of the barrel 46 relative to the two-speed mechanism 48 when the former is manually a'dlusted, and which functions to drive the barrel 46 at other times.
The barrel 46 carries a plurality of electricallyconnected segments 52 to 58, inclusive, which are engageable with a, plurality of stationary fingers force of the fabrics is sufiicient to overcome grav-.
69 to 63, inclusive. The source of power for the magnets 28 and through the float switch 85.
The contact finger 60 is connected to the opposite terminals of the motors 2| and 41 and the fingers 6|, 62, and 63 are respectively connected to the opposite terminals of the electro-magnets 28, 4|, and 25, respectively.
' Operation At the beginning of,a cleaning cycle, the fabrics to be treated and a detergent are placed within 7 the drum l3 and the closure I2 is moved to its closed position. The timer 15 is then advanced manually by the knob 49 until the segments 52, 53, and 54 engage their respective fingers 59, 60,
This operation energizes the timer morel 46, and the main motor 2| is energized for rotating the drum I3 at the relatively low or washins speed, it being understood that the two-speed mechanism 23 is adjusted at this time for lowspeed operation, its magnet 25 being deenergized. Engagement of the segment 64 and its finger 6| energizes the electro-magnet 28 to admit water to .the conduit 29. At this time the magnet 4|, is deenergized so that the two-way valve 39 is in the position shown in the drawings.
Water conveyed to the conduit 29 throughthe valve 27 enters a passage 3| and is discharged through the nozzles 33 into the drum through the circumferentially spaced openings Hi. When the proper amount of water has been admitted to the tub, as indicated by the dotted line, the
' float switch 35 isactuated to its open position with the inner surface of the sidewall II to the uppermost region of the drum or basket IS. The
speed is such that, n unobstructed 'the-fahfics would be rotated around the drum in'engage ment;
with the side wall. In other words, centrifugal ity at all times and, under the conditions stated, they would be carried in an annular bundle around and around within the drum. The minimum speed in revolutions per minute which-would 7 efiect this operation is. equal-to .n I drum radius in feet It is wellunderstood that in a machine of the 'type employing a drum rotatable about a horizontal axis, the best efiiciency ,is obtained when the fabrics are .elevated to the uppermost region of the drum and are than projected substantially the full diameter of the drum downwardly into the body of cleaning fluid. s
In accordance with my invention, the jets of washing fluid are employed for disengaging the fabrics from the drum in the uppermost region thereof and directing them substantially diametrically-across the drum into thebody of,c1eaning fluid. The kinetic energy of' the jets retards movement of that portion of the bundle of fabrics v which is adjacent the uppermost part of the drum |3 so that the centrifugal force of this portion of the bundle is reduced. Accordingly,- this portion of the bundle moves downwardly diametrically across the drum by gravity. The jets are also so disposed that they impart an inward or centripetal force to the portions of the fabrics which are engaged by the jets.
' The movement of the fabric is best shown in Fig. 1, and it will be apparent that I obtain a the fabrics.
The sp ed at which the drum i3 is rotated at this time should be just, in excess of the value derived in accordance with the formula set forth heretofore in order that the amount of energy required or the jets is maintained at a minimum. In other words, a speed should be employed which is effective to impart'just enough centrifugal force to the fabrics that gravity would be overcome at all times. Another feature of this "washing action resides in the prevention of-balling or knotting of the fabrics within the druml3, It is believed apparent that, when actuatedas described heretofore, rolling or balling of the fabvrics within the side wall l5 of the drum is Dre eluded. In other words, when agitated as do scribed, the fabrics are maintained in a free or loose condition at all times. 7
wherein the magnet 28 is deenergized and the valve 21 is closed. At this time the pump 3Lfunctlons to withdrawwater from the tub and convey it through the conduit 38, the two-way valve 29, and eventually to the nozzles 33 where it is projected at high velocity through the opening I9 into the drum.
The speed of the drum I3 at this time and the diameter of the drum |3 are so related that the The cleaning operation continues for aprede- V termined time determined by the position to which the timer is initially moved by the op'er- 1 ator. The cleaning operation is terminated when the segment 56 engages the finger 62. This operation energizesthe magnet 4| which actuates the two-way valve 38 to its position whefeinjthe water discharged byth'e'pumpt'l is passedto-the fabrics elevated from the washing water by the vanes 20 are carried centrifugally in enga ement I are not subjected to the disengaging action afforded by the jets. Therefore. the fabrics move around and around within the drum centrifugally in engagement with the side wall l thereof during and after the discharge of water from the tub l0. r
Engagement of the segment 55 and the flnger 6! sets up a' circuit, including the inlet valve Q8, which circuit is completed when the float switch 35 is closed. Completion of this circuit energizes the inlet valve solenoid 28 for the admission of rinse water to the nozzles 33. Preferably, the two-way valve 39 is maintained in its drain position for a short period of time during which the water admitted through the nozzles 33 is employed-for flushing away soap scum and lint, which are immediately discharged through the .drain 42.
overlapping of the contacts 56 and 55 on the barrel 46. At the end of the flushing operation, the
minated by the float switch 35, as described heretofore. The operation during the rinse period is the same as described izf connection with the cleaning portion of the cycle, except that this time any detergent remaining in the fabrics is dissolved in the rinse water. the fabrics within the drum i3, is, however, the same as described in connection with the cleaning cycle.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that a very effective rinse is provided by my invention, as the clear rinse water passing through the nozzles 33 is in part driven through the fabrics for dissolving and removing any particles of lint or the detergent employed.
The agitating rinse is terminated by engagement of the segment 51 and finger 62 which energizes the magnet 4i and moves the two-way valve 39 to its drain position, wherein water conveyed by the pump 31 isdischarged to the drain conduit 42. In the absence of the jets of water issuing. from the nozzles, the fabrics are rotated around the drum in engagement with the side wall #5 and are distributed in a substantially uniform manner circumferentially of the Y basket. Acceleration of the drum to a relatively high speed is initiated upon engagement of the segment 58 and the finger 63 and the resultin energization of the magnet and the two-speed mechanism 23. Preferably the circuit including the magnet 25 is controlled by the float switch 35 so that acceleration is not initiated until substantially all of the water has been drained from the tub l0.
Inaccordance with this invention, vibration of the washing and spinning structure, because of an unbalanced load within the drum i3, is minimized by the uniform distribution of the fabrics within the basket prior to acceleration. Rotation of the drum ii at relatively high speed effectively centrifuges a substantial portion of the The movement of This operation is obtained by slight ,upon as are parent that I have provided an improved cleaning machine wherein fabrics are effectively cleaned, distributed and centrifuged in a single drum or basket structure which is rotated in a single direction about a substantially horizontal axis. While I have described the axis as horizontal it will be understood that my invention may be applied to a machine having its axis slightly inclined fromthe horizontal provided the inclination is not so great as to interfere with the washing action described herein.
While I have shown my invention in but one I form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it' is not so limited, but is susceptible of various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof, and I desire, therefore, that only such limitations shall be placed therespeciflcally set forth in the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. In apparatus for cleaning fabrics, the combination of a substantially cylindrical drum for containing a body of cleaning fluid and the speed in revolutions per minute in excess of 2933 drum radius in feet rotating said drum about'a substantially horizontal axis with the bottom of the drum immersed in a body of cleaning fluid and at such speed that the fabricsare elevated from the body of fluid and carried centrifugally to the uppermost region 01' the drum, and means for projecta second operation. In this connection, both the 1B ing cleaning fluid into engagement with the fabrics in said upper region of the drum for directing the fabrics inwardly of the drum and into the body of fluid of the bottom of the drum.
3. In apparatus for cleaning fabrics, the comb nation of a basket for containing a body of cleaning fluid and the fabrics to be treated, means for rotating the basket during cleaning periods about a substantially horizontal axis at such speed that the fabrics are carried centrifugally to an upper region of the basket, means for projecting fluid into engagement with the fabrics in said upper region of the basket for directing the fabrics inwardly of the basket and into the body of fluid, and means for translating fluid from within the basket to said projecting means.-
4. In apparatus for cleaning fabrics, the combination of a basket for containing a body of cleaning fluid and the fabrics to be cleaned means for rotating the basket during cleaning periods about a substantially horizontal axis at such speed that the fabrics are carried centrif- I ugally to an upper region'of the basket, means ass'moo i oi cleaningfluima generally-cylindrical. perfofor projecting fluid into engssement with the fabrics in said upper region of thebasket for directing the fabrics inwardly 'of the basket and tively connecting the outlet port'oi' the pump to 10' .said flrst and second conduits and means for admitting fresh cleaning fluid'to said fluid projectingmeans.
5. In apparatus for cleaning fabrics, the combination of a basket for containing a body of is cleaning fluid and the fabrics to be cleaned,
' means forrotating the basket during cleaning periods about. a substantially horizontal axis at such speed that the fabrics are carried centrifugally to an 'upper region of the basket, means no for deflecting the fabrics from the upper region of the basket and for directing the same inwardly of andacross the basket into the body of clean- "ing fluid, means for dralningthe body of fluid from the'basket, means for rendering said de- ,5 fleeting means inactive whereby the fabrics are rotated in engagement with the basket and distribute therewithin, and means for accelerating the basket toa relativelyhigh speed for centrifuglng fluid from the fabrics. 80
f 6. In-apparatus for cleaning fabrics, the combination of a basket. for containing a body of cleaning fluid and the fabrics to be cclaned. means for rotating the basket during cleaning periods about a' substantially horizontal axis at as suchspeed that the-fabrics are carried centrifugally to'an upper region of the basket, meansfor projecting fluid at relatively high velocity into' engagement with the fabrics in said upper region -'of the basket for disengaging the fabrics from 40 the basket and for directing the same across thev basket into the body of cleaning fluid, means for draining the body of fluid from the basket and for terminating operation of the fluid-projecting ratebasketdisposedwithinthetubandrotatable about a substantially horizontal axis with its bottom portion immersed in the cleaning fluid, said basket enclosing thefabrics' to be,
treated, means for rotating the basket duringcleaning periods at such speed that the fabrics are carried centrifugally to an upper region of ths'basket, means disposed within the tubrfor projecting fluid at relatively high velocitythrough the perforate basket and into engagement with the fabrics in said upper region of the basket whereby the fabrics are directed inwardly of the basket and'into the body of cleaning fluid,
a pump for translating fluid from the tub to said fluid-projecting means, means for draining the body of cleaning fluid from the tub and for fterminating operation .of the fluid-projecting means, whereby the fabrics are rotated fo'r distribution within the basket, and means for accelerating the basket to a relatively highspeed for centrifugally extracting cleaning'fluid from the fabrics. W I
8. In apparatus for cleaning fabrics, the combination of a tub structure for containing a body of washing water, a generally cylindrical basket for containins the fabrics tobe treated and disposed within thetub structure, said basket being rotatable about a substantially horizontal axis,- agitating means for circulating the fabrics in said body of washing water, whereby the fabrics are cleaned, means for draining the body of washing water from the tub structure at the conclusion 'of the washing operation, means for rotating the basket, subsequent to the drainage of washing water from the tub structure, at such speed that the fabrics are carried centrifugalLv in engagement withth'e basket to an upper region thereof, means eflective after the washing water is drained away for projecting rinse water into engagement with the fabrics in said upper region of the basket for disengaging the fabrics from the basket and for directing the fabrics inwardly of and across the basket, means for terminating means, whereby the fabric r tat t i t I operation of the water-projecting means wherebasket and v are distributed therewithin, and means for accelerating the basket to a relatively high speed-for the extraction of fluid from the fabrics.
7. In apparatus for cleaning fabrics, the coniv binationof avtub structure for containing a body bythe fabrics are rotated with the basket 'for' distribution therein, and means for accelerating the basket to a relatively high speed for cantrifuging rinse water from-the fabrics.
., a i RAYMOND J. RIDGE;