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Publication numberUS2471635 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 31, 1949
Filing dateJul 27, 1944
Priority dateJul 27, 1944
Publication numberUS 2471635 A, US 2471635A, US-A-2471635, US2471635 A, US2471635A
InventorsVennice E Mark, Lloyd L Anderson
Original AssigneeWinters & Crampton Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetic door closure and seal
US 2471635 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


2 Shets-Sheet 1 Filed July 27, 1944 lnuenfors Lloqd LAnderson Pmornegg May 31, 1949. v. E. MARK EI'AL MAGNETIC DOOR CLOSURE AND SEAL Filed Jui 27, 1944 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig lnuenfors I Llougd L.(-\no\zrson (\ffornegg Patented May 31, 1949 MAGNETIC DOOR CLOSURE AND SEAL Vennice E. Mark and Lloyd L. Anderson, Grand Rapids, Mich., assignors to Winters & Crampton Corporation, Grandville, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Application July 27, 1944, Serial No. 546,889


This invention relates to door closures and seals therefor and is more particularly directed to the closing and sealing of doors such as refrigerator doors through magnetic attraction with the release of the door and its opening through magnetic repulsion.

It is important in connection with refrigerators that the doors which are at times momentarily opened for access to its contents shall when closed be snugly and tightly sealed entirely around the door to prevent the entrance of heat from the outside to thereby minimize the cost of refrigeration and the wear upon the refrigerating machinery consequently increasing efllciency. The manufacture of doors and of the casings for refrigerators so as to produce an accurate seal in connection with hand operated closing latches for the doors requires close tolerances in order that the sealing gasket which is used between the door and refrigerator case shall be as uniformly pressed upon at all points as possible and not have a part of the gasket over compressed and other parts thereof compressed to a much less degree. The present invention provides an effective seal and closure for a refrigerator door even though the surfaces of the door and of the front edges of the casing against which the door engages, and between which and the door the sealing gasket is located, are not manufactured with as close tolerances as heretofore required though the provision of a novel door sealing gasket of a. flexible nature which carries magnetic means for attacting armatures mounted on the door toward said magnetic means, thereby drawing the door into close sealing engagement with the gasket, the sealing being immediately between the outer side of the flexible gasket and the adjacent contacting surfaces at the inner side of the door, this irrespective of the degree of compression and forcing inward of the body of the gasket which may vary in accordance with the surface to which the gasket is attached and the complementary surface on the door engagin against the outer side of the gasket.

It is a primary object and purpose of the present invention to provide a magnetically operated door closure and sealing construction, particularly adapted for refrigerators and to further provide a practical, simple effective and economical means for releasing the door closure for opening whenever required to cause a magnetic repulsion between the parts which normally are magnetically attracted, and with parts of the elements which are thus magnetically attracted or repulsed flexibly and movably mounted in connection with a sealing gasket so as to conform to irregularities of surface against which they are in contact engagement when the doors are in closed position; thereby providing a sure and effective seal entirely around the door or similar closure.

An understanding of the invention may b had from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings. in which,

Fig. 1 is a. front elevation of a conventional refrigerator with the door in open position illustrating the place ofapplication of my invention.

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged horizontal section through an edge of the door and the adjacent portion of the refrigerator casing with the door in closed position.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged vertical section substantially on the plane of line 3-3 of Fig. 2, and

Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic view illustrative of the armatures which in practice are carried on the refrigerator casing and which by closing the elec tric circuit become the cores of electromagnets in opening. the door closure by magnetic repulsion.

Like reference characters refer to like parts in the different figures of the drawings.

The refrigerator i has an opening at the front through which the placing or removal of the con-' tents of the refrigerator is made, said opening being closed by a door 2 hinged at one vertical edge at the usual and conventional manner. In the form of my invention as illustrated the door 2 has an outside sheet metal member 3 at the inner side of which, at least adjacent the upper and lower side edges of the door, is a plate 4 of non-magnetic material. The specific construction of the door, its heat insulation and the like forming no part of the present invention, are not shown and described.

Upon the inner non-magnetic member 4 a flexible gasket 5 of rubber or similar elastic sealing material is secured by means of screws or equivalent fastenings. The gasket 5 extends entirely around the inner face of the door adjacent its edges and said gasket between its side edges has-a central thin flexible portion spaced away from the plate 4 and providing a continuous elongated chamber within which a plurality of permanent magnets i are located in succession around the outer edge portions of the door being secured within an integral inner covering 1 of the same material as and molded with the gasket 5. While in practice the plurality of magnets are preferably approximately six inches in length, such specific length of the magnets is not any essential feature of the invention as the lengths may be varied. The magnets are U-shaped in cross section, the spaced legs thereof providing opposite poles, as indicated in Fig. 2, one being indicated as the north and the other the south pole by the respective characters N and S. The outer edges or said legs of the magnet are against the inner side of the thin flexible central portion of the gasket as shown.

Around the opening in the refrigerator which is closed by said door the refrigerator casing is provided with channel shaped supports of nonmagnetic material having an inner web 8 and spaced parallel sides :9 which are turned outwardly in flanges I!) as shown. Said channels are inserted in the refrigerator casing at the top, bottom and sides of the opening which is closed by the door, and are secured to the adjacent parts of the refrigerator I by screws or other suitable connections. The outer open sides of the channels are closed by thin plates ll also of nonmagnetic material. When the door is closed the central flexible portions of the gasket 5 entirely around the door at its inner side come against the thin flexible non-magnetic plates H approximately midway between the sides 9 of the channels described.

Within the channel supports a plurality of armatures I! are mounted in spaced relation to each other, each being bent into an approximately U-shape and with the free ends elongated and extended from the central U -shaped portion in both directions therefrom as shown at I3 in placed opposite the poles of electromagnet 6, and with the current directed in the proper direction so that like poles of said electromagnets just made and of the permanent magnet G'oppose each other, there is a magnetic repulsion which not only releases the seal but releases and repels the door for opening. As soon as the switch at I8 is released so that the circuit is interrupted the bars l3 at the ends of the armatures l2 become again simply armatures which are attracted by the magnets 6 when the door is closed so as to move them within the range of the fields of attraction of said magnets.

The switch at l8 for example may be a push button switch automatically released upon pressure being removed therefrom. To obtain repulsion between the magnets and the electromagnets thus momentarily produced it is necessary to pass direct current or a uni-directional pulsating current through the circuit and windings thereof. The source of electrical energy, indicated at l'l, which might be a battery but in general would be taken from the electric wiring Fig. 3 providing in effect bars, the surfaces of which are directly opposite the poles of {the permanent magnets 6. With the lengths of the magnets approximating six inches the total over all lengths of the bar portions I3 will likewise be approximately six inches to conform with magnets B with which they are associated. The several armatures described are held in place by suitable fastenings, for example, screws l4 passing through the sides 9 of the channel supports therefor.

It is evident that said armatures made of soft iron or other equivalent magnetic material will be attracted by the magnet 6 when the refrigerator door is shut causing the door to be held shut securely throughout the entire length of the seal and thus insure an air tight condition around the peripheral portions of the door. Any imperfection of fit in the door or hinges does not affect the secure operation of the seal as the seal is governed wholly by magnetic force instead of the conventional mechanical force of the door being held in place as by a latch. The flexibility of the seal insures a true and substantially perfect sealing contact.

The armatures at l'2 may be converted into cores of electromagnets. windings l5 around the intermediate portions of the armatures l2 connected in series by circuit wires l6, with said circuit wires connected with a source of electric current, conventionally indicated at ll, provide a construction such that when electric current is passed through the circuit and through said windings, cause said armatures to become the cores of electromagnets, the opposite end bars 13 being opposite poles of said magnets. Normally the circuit at It is open but may be closed by a switch interposed in the circuit diagrammatically indicated at l8. When the switch is closed and an electric current flows through the circuit and magnet windings included therein, the terminal bars I3 01 the armatures I2 being of the house where the refrigerator is located, if not of this direct or uni-directional pulsating current required, that is, if it was alternating current as ordinarily found in the household, is changed to direct or uni-directional pulsating current by using a rectifier, well known for such purposes.

The invention described is practical, econom ical and effective. It is very desirable in connection with the reduction of cost in the manu facture of the door and of the parts of the refrigerator between which and the door the sealing gasket is placed, getting away from the close and, therefore, necessarily costly tolerances previously required for the production of a substantially uniform sealing. While the gasket carrying the magnet is mounted upon the door and the armatures which may be at will transformed into the cores of electromagnets are mounted on the refrigerator casing, it is to be understood that a reversing of such positions is within the scope of my invention. Other changes in position, reversal of parts or equivalents are to be understood as comprehended by my invention as defined in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. The combination, members including a door and a casing having a door opening which the door is to close, one of said members carrying a flexible gasket of a shape to surround said door opening securely attached to said member, said gasket being provided with magnets therein and movable therewith in the flexing of said gasket, the other of said members being provided with armatures having end portions to lie in opposition to the poles of said magnets when the door is closed and be attracted thereto, windings connected around said armatures in an electric circuit, a source of electric current connected with said circuit, and a switch in said circuit whereby closing the circuit will change said armatures into cores of electromagnets having poles in conjunction with the poles of the magnets carried by said gasket to create repulsion to release the door and casing from each other.

2. The combination including a door and a door jamb therefor, said door carrying a flexible gasket adapted to be brought into engagement with and pressed against the door jamb, said gasket being provided with a magnet lengthwise thereon and said door jamb being provided with side of which the an electromagnet having a core,'the end portions of which are in the field of magnetic at.

traction of said magnet when the gasket is repulsion between it and the permanent magnet carried by said gasket.

4. In combination, a door having a flexible readily yieldable sealing gasket at its inner side adjacent its peripheral edges, a casing having an opening surrounded by door lambs against the surfaces of which said gasket is brought when the door is closed, magnetic means carried by said casing adjacent the surfaces of said door jambs against which the gasket bears and cooperating magnetic means carried by said gasket for creating magnetic attraction to press said gasket against said door jamb surfaces, and electric. means for breaking said magnetic attraction and creating repulsion to release the door and repel it from said door jambs.

5. A case having an opening therein closed by a door, a door for closing the opening movably mounted on the case, a fiexible gasket carried by the door to surround said opening and bear against said case around the opening when the door is closed, a plurality of permanent magnets located in the length of and within the gasket and movable therewith, a plurality of armatures having end portions formed into bars which parallel the poles of said permanent magnets and are in close proximity thereto when the door is closed,

said armatures being of soft ferrous material attreated by said magnets, and an electrical means for converting all of said armatures into impermanent magnets-having poles directly opposite like poles of the permanent magnets carried by said gasket, as specified.

6. A construction having the elements in combination defined in claim 5, and supporting means of elongated channel form mounted at said casing around the door opening therein having the open sides of the channels presented outwardly, means for supporting said armatures within said channel supports, and covering members of nonmagnetic material secured to and over the open sides of said channel supports against the inner located.

'7. In a construction of the class described, a sealing gasket for application to doors comprising an elongated member of flexible compressible non-magnetic material, means at the longitudinal edge portions of said gasket for securing it to a door, the intermediate longitudinal portion of said gasket being of thin section and providing a continuous longitudinal enclosed chamber heends of said armatures are tween it and the surface of the door to which attached, an elongated permanent magnet, substantially'U-shape in cross section, located within said chamber longitudinally thereof, and a covering and holding envelope for said magnet of the same material as and integrally formed with the gasket, as specified.

8. A sealing gasket for refrigerator doors com prising, an elongated member of flexible, compressible, non-magnetic plastic material provided with edge portions at its sides adapted to be located against and secured to the face of a door, and with an integral thin arched elongated intermediate portion between said attaching edge portions, a plurality of permanent magnets located in end to end relation at the inner side of said intermediate portion of the gasket, said permanent magnets being substantially U-shape in cross section, and with the ends of the legs thereof bearing against the inner sides of the gasket to thereby present their poles toward the outer side of the gasket, and means of non-magnetic material securing said magnets to said gasket.

9. In a construction of the class described, a support of non-magnetic material having spaced apart sides adapted to be secured at the front of and inserted into a door jamb, a covering of nonmagnetic material between said sides of the support at the face of said door jamb, a plurality of cores of soft iron substantially U-shaped in form located between and mounted upon said sides oi the support, the legs of said cores extending toward said plate and terminating in bars substantially paralleling each other having their outer faces in substantially contacting engagement with the inner side of said plate, and electric circuit windings around the cores at an intermediate portion thereof adapted to be connected with an electric circuit for controlled passage of electric current through the windings, as specified.

10. The combination of a door member and a door jamb member for the door member, each of said members being provided with magnets one of which is an electric magnet, said magnets having pole faces brought into adjacent relationship when the door is closed, and adapted when the door is closed to attract each other and hold the door closed, means for mounting and supporting one of said magnets, said means providing a seal between the door member and jamb member when said members are brought together, and means for selectively energizing said electromagnet to cause the ends of the core thereof to have a like polarity with those of the other magnet to repel the door member from said jamb member.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATHITS Marks et al. Aug. 3, 1948

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2619693 *Feb 26, 1952Dec 2, 1952Gen ElectricMagnetic gasket section
US2629142 *Feb 7, 1952Feb 24, 1953Rifkin MichaelWindow construction
US2650738 *Nov 12, 1952Sep 1, 1953Graver Tank & Mfg Co IncFloating roof
US2659114 *Mar 23, 1950Nov 17, 1953Jervis CorpMagnetic door seal
US2659115 *Mar 27, 1950Nov 17, 1953Jervis CorpMagnetic door seal
US2659116 *Jul 17, 1951Nov 17, 1953Jervis CorpMagnetic door seal
US2659118 *Jun 26, 1952Nov 17, 1953Jervis CorpMagnetic door seal
US2733092 *Apr 12, 1952Jan 31, 1956 Magnetic door catch
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U.S. Classification49/478.1, 211/DIG.100, 277/921, 312/296, 49/499.1, 73/431, 109/63.5, 206/818, 43/57.1, 292/DIG.710, 220/849, 335/290, 292/251.5, 277/629, 335/302, 277/634, 7/901, 361/147
International ClassificationF16J15/53, E05C19/16
Cooperative ClassificationY10S277/921, E05C19/161, Y10S206/818, Y10S211/01, Y10S292/71, Y10S7/901
European ClassificationE05C19/16B