US 2527239 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 24, i950 T. T. wooDsoN I LUBRICATING SYSTEM FOR CLOTHES-WASHING MACHINES 2 Sheets-Sheet l Original Filed Aug. 25, 1944 Inventor Thomas T Woodson, by ff/f m H|S Attorney,
Oct. 24, 1950 T T WOODSON 2,527,239
LUBRICATING SYSTEM FOR CLOTHES-WASHING MACHINES Original Filed Aug. 25, 1944 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Inventor z T; V/oodson bHQA//VZHW Patented Oct. 24, 1950 LUBRICATING SYSTEM FOR CLOTHES- WASHING MAC'HIN Thomas T. Woodson, Fairfield, Conn., assignor to General Electric Co New York Original application mpany, a corporation of August 25, 1944, Serial No. 551,096. Divided and this application November 23, 1945, serial No. 630,439
1 claim. (ci. sai-'23) This application is a division of my application Serial No. 551,096, filed August 25, 1944.
The invention relates to clothes washing machines and especially to such machines wherein the operating mechanism is enclosed in asealed casing containing a supply of oil which is used for lubricating the mechanism, as operating fluid for certain parts of the mechanism or for both purposes.
The object of the invention is to provide an improved lubricating. and lubricant cooling arrangement in a machine of this type and for a consideration of what I believe to be novel and my invention, attention is directed to the following speciiication and to the claim appended thereto.
In the accompanying drawing, Fig. 1 is a sectional elevation of a washing machine embodying my invention; Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken on line 2 2, Fig. 3; Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional Y elevation of one form of driving mechanism; Fig.
4 is a sectional view on line 4 4 of Fig. 3; Fig. 5 is an enlarged view of the upper end of the agitator; Fig. 6 Vis a section taken on line 6--6 of Fig. 5; Fig. 7 is a section taken on line l-l of Fig. 5; and Fig. 8 is a detail of the pressure relief valve in the oil line.
Referring to the drawing, there is shown a washing machine having an outer casing or tub i in the upper part of which is located a spinner basket 2 having centrifugal discharge openings 3 at the region of greatest diameter which during washing are at or slightly above the liquid level. The spinner basket is non-rotatably seated in a carrier 4 having annular walls 5 surrounding the basket and serving as a balance ring and having radial arms 5 bolted to a hub l (Fig. 3) iixed by a clamp 8 (Fig. 4) to a tubular shaft 9 for supporting and driving the spinner basket. The space between the basket and the hub is sealed by a rubber sleeve la (Fig. 3) having its upper end fixed to the hub and its lower end iixed to the basket. At the upper end of the hub is a bearing I9 (Fig. 3) for the lower end of a bladed agitator II fastened by a nut I2 (Fig. 5) to the upper end of a drive shaft I3 journaled in bearings Ilia, I3b, and I3c in the spinner shaft 9. An oil retaining felt ring i3d is associated with the bearing I 3a. The shaft I3 has fixed thereto an agitator drive nut I4 tting in a complementary socket I5 in the agitator hub. A shaft seal Ida is provided between the upper ends of the spinner and agitator shafts 9 and I3.
In the agitator hub I6 at or slightLv below the wash water level in the spinner basket are drain passages I8 leading to the space between the spinner shaft 9 and the agitator hub I8. The water draining through these passages flows through the space between the shaft 9 and the agitator hub and through passages I9 in the carrier hub l to the lbottom of the outer casing I whence it is pumped onto an annular lter 2i (Fig. 1 on the rim of the spinner basket by a. circulating pump 20. The pump has its inlet connected to the lowermost part of the casing land its discharge connected to a conduit 29a having a nozzle 20h directed onto the lter. 'Ihe pump is operated during washing so the wash water is continuallywithdrawn from the spinner basket through the passages I8 and .I9 (and pos-'- sibly openings 3) and returned to the basket through the lter 2|. The continuous circulation and ltering of the water removes lint and other particles and keeps the wash water clean. The amount of wash water owing through the passages I8 and I9 automatically adjusts itself to the capacity of the pump 2D by slight variation of the wash water level. If the pump iiow should become restricted, the wash water level would fall only slightly below the lower edges of the openings I 8 which is only slightly less than theY desired water level for Washing. A suitable drain pump (not shown) may be connected with casing I.
The concentric, spinner and agitator drive shafts 9 andY I 3 are driven by mechanism enclosed within a sealed casing 22 having its upper end projecting through opening 23 in the bottom plate 24 of the outer casing. The space between the casing 22 and the plate 29 is sealed by a flexible annular rub er ring 25 having its inner edge clamped to the casing 22 and its outer edge clamped to the plate 2i. The ring 25 is exible to prevent the transmission of vibration to the outer casing. The upper end of the casing 22, which is above the maximum water level in the outer casing I, is provided with a reduced hub 2l (Fig. 3) which projects within a skirt 28 at the lower end of the hub I and is provided with a seal 29 and a sleeve bearing 39 for the spinner shaft 9. During both washing and centrifugal drying the upper part of the gear casing 22 is cooled by the Wash water. During washing, the wash water falls onto the upper end of the gear casing from the passages I9. During centrifugal drying, the wash water discharged through the centrifugal discharge openings 3 falls into the bottom of the outer casing and partially submerges the upper end of the gear casing.
The driving motor 3Ia for the machine is 3 carried in a frame 3| bolted to the under side of a flange 26 at the lower edge of the gear casing 22 and enclosed by a shell 32 (also bolted to the flange 25) which forms the motor cover. The motor shaft 33 is journaled at its upper end in the lower half 34 of a rotatable frame 34a.' The lower half 34 of the frame is journaled in a bearing 35 in the motor frame 3l. The'upper half 35 is 'fixed to the spinner shaft 5. The weight of the spinner basket and contents and of the frame .34a is carried on a thrust washer 35a at the upper end of the bearing 35. The lower end of the motor shaft 33 is Journaled in a bearing 31 in the frame 3|. The lower end of the bearing 31 is provided with an eccentric bore 38 closed by a plate 33 and forming the housing of a vane type rotary oil pump. The oil pump housing is connected with a sump at the bottom of the shell 32 by a suction intake 40 and is provided with a pressure discharge passage 4I. The rotor of the pump consists of the extreme lower end of the motor shaft 33 which is slottedl to receive vanes 42 which are held by centrifugal force against the bore 38. Integral with the upper end of the motor shaft 33 is a pinion 43 meshing with a gear 44 shrunk ona hub 45 of a crank shaft 45 journaled in bearings 41 and 48 in the lower and upper parts 34, 35 of the rotatable frame 34a. The crank arm 49 of the crank shaft is connected by a connecting rod 50 to a pin 5| fixed between the forked ends 52 of an arm 53 pinned on the lower end of the agitator shaft I3.
During washing, the frame 34a is held stationary by a conical brake surface 54 on a cup-shaped member 55 surrounding the motor shaft, which surface 54 is urged against a complementary brake surface 56 on the motor frame 3| by a coil spring 51 surrounding a cup 58 bolted to the lower frame member 34. The member 55 loosely surrounds the cup 58 so as to permit alignment of the brake surfaces 54 and 55, and the axial movement thereof is limited by a flange 59 on the cup 58. The lowerend of the spring 51 is seated on the bottom of the member 55 and the upper end of the spring is seated on a thrust washer 50 clamped between the cup 58 and the lower frame member 34. The thrust is transmitted to the frame 3| through a thrust washer 50aat the lower end of the bearing 35. The braking or accelerating torque is transmitted through a structure comprising a hub i riveted to the washer 50 and the cup 58 and having curved axially flexible radially extending spring arms 52 fixed to the member 55. When the brake surfaces are in engagement, the frame 34a (and the spinner basket 2 which is fixed thereto) is brought to rest and the relative rotation of the motor shaft 33 with respect to the frame 34a causes oscillation of the agitator at a speed of the order of 350 loscillations per minute and through an arc of the order of 60 degrees in the present construction where the motor is a 6pole induction motor having a full load speed of about 1150 R. P. M. The speed and stroke of the agitator obviously depend upon the motor speed and the oscillating mechanism carried in the frame.
During centrifugal drying, the spinner basket 2 is clutched directly tothe motor shaft 33 by a conical clutch member 53 slidably surroundingthe motor shaft and fixed to the upper end of a bellows 54 surrounding the motor shaft and Vkeyed to the rotor 55 of the motor 3Ia by projections 55a on the bellows fitting in sockets 55 4 in the rotor. The bellows is biased to the collapsed position by a coil spring 51 arranged between the clutch member 53 and a washer Il on the motor shaft.
The bellows is extended to move the clutch member 53 against a complementary clutch surface 69 on the member 55 (and to lift the member 55 clear of the brake surface 55) by oil pressure admitted through passages in the motor shaft and through a port 1I in the plate 33. The port 1I is normally closed by a spring biased plunger 12 of a solenoid valve`|3 mounted on the under side of the plate 33. Oil from the pump discharge 4I is conducted through a port 14 in the plate 39 to a chamber formed between a dished member and the under side of the plate 39. When the solenoid valve is energized, the plunger 12 is moved downward, opening the port 1I and admitting oil under pressure through the passages 10 to the interior of the bellows and raising the clutch member 53 into engagement with the clutch surface 59 (disengaging brake surfaces 54 and 55) an'd establishing a friction drive from the motor through the spring arms 52 and the frame 34a to the spinner basket. While the spinner basket isA being accelerated the clutch surfaces slip and there is relative rotation between the motor shaft 33 and the frame 34a which causes oscillation of the agitator at a decreasing rate as the spinner basket, approaches the motor shaft speed. As the clutch slippage approaches zero, the coefficient of friction increases and the clutch surfaces lock, placing a transient load on the motor which slightly lessens the motor speed. Thereafter the spinner basket runs at motor shaft speed which increases surfaces are disengaged. To prevent expansion of the bellows until the motor is up to speed, a centrifugal valve 15a is provided which is moved outward by centrifugal force to close a bleeder opening 15b large enough to prevent the buildingup of a bellows operating pressure until the motor is up to speed. The valve is gravity-biased to the open position.
In addition to supplying the hydraulic control for the washing and drying operations, the oil pressure is used to pressure lubricate the bearings and the oil from the bearings heated by friction losses in the mechanismv and by the losses in the motor is thrown from the bearings over the inside of the casing for cooling purposes. The lower shaft bearing 31 is fed from one end of a passage 11, the other end of which is connected through passages 18 and 19 to the bearings 35, 35a for the lower frame member 34. A pressure relief valve 11a (Fig. 8) may be used if desired to limit the oil pressure. Leading from an annular groove 8U in the frame member 34 is a vertical passage 8| having its lower end closed and its upper end connected to a transverse passage 82 leading between the upper motor shaft bearing and the lower crank shaft bearing 41. Drilled passages 83 in the crank shaft feed the upper crank shaft bearing 48 and through branch passages 83a (Fig. 2) also feed the bearingsfat each end of s the connecting rod 50. Oil for cooling purposes is sprayed from a fitting 83h at the upper end of the passage 83. Throughout the interior of the casing there is during rotation of the motor an oil mist which settles on the inner surface of the casing of the motor and other parts oi' the mechanism. The oil trickles through suitable drain passages (not shown in detail) to the bottom of the casing. Oil settling on the rotor Bt is thrown outward by centrifugal force so there 1s only an oil mist in the air gap of the motor. A dam 66a is provided on the stator 65h which holds oil in contact with the stator windings 65e which trickles through the stator Winding slots (not shown). From the upper crank shaft bearing M a passage 84 conducts oil to the agitator shaft bearings l3a, 13b, and I 3c and to the spinner shaft bearing 30.
Washing is started by closing the motor circuit. Centrifugal drying is started by closing the solenoid valve circuit in addition and is stopped by opening both the motor and solenoid valve circuits. Because the shift to centrifugal drying depends upon oil pressure, the motor must be up to speed before the mechanism can be shifted to centrifugal drying. This prevents heavy starting loads on the motor. Because the mechanism and control are sealed within this enclosing casing 22, 92, a lifetime supply of oil issealed within the casing so that further attention is unnecessary.
To prevent objectionable vibration during eX- tracting, resilient mountlngs are provided which permit the basket to rotate about its center of mass and which damp the high amplitude gyrations associated with the critical speed.
In the resilient mounting shown in Fig. 1 the spinner basket and driving mechanism are supported by a plurality of coil springs 85 arranged between the under side of a flange 8E on the lower half 32 ofthe casing 22 and an inwardly extending ange l at the lower end of a cylindrical supporting member 88 supported by the bottom Aplate 2t of the outer casing and depending through the opening 23. The springs have a stiffness such that the critical speed is of the order of 100 R. P. or slightly above the water emptying speed of the spinner basket-the speed at which the free Water in the basket (the water not absorbed in the clothes) is centrifugally discharged. Sullicient clearance is provided to permit a lateral movement of the casing 22 without striking the support 88 or the iiange 81. l
By my invention I provide in a washing machine. of the character described afsealed sel!- contained unitary operating mechanism comprising a pump which supplies oil for both operating and lubricating purposes whenever the oil is effectively cooled to remove heat from the mechanism by means of a cleaning liquid utilized in the normal operation of the machine.
In accordance with the provisions of the patent statutes, I have described the principle of operation of my invention, together with the apparatus which I now consider to represent the best embodiment thereof, but I desire to have it understood that the apparatus shown is only illustrative and that the invention may be carried out by other means.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
' In a clothes washing machine having a tub, a sealed casing at the bottom of the tub and having a substantial surface area within the tub, a combined washing and drying basket within the tub above the sealed casing, said basket being imperforate except above the normal washing liquid level, means for rotating said basket, oscillatable agitating means in said basket above said casing, said agitating means including a tubular hub extending upwardly within said tub to above said liquid level, and a motor and driving mechanism within said casing for actuating said basket and said agitator, means for eiecting heat transfer from said motor and mechanism to said washing liquid, including pressure lubrication means for circulating lubricating oil over the motor and driving mechanism within said casing, a portion of the lubricant therein being continually directed against a wall of the casing portion within the tub to transmit to said casing portion the heat absorbed by the lubricant from the mechanism, and means for causing water to flow from said basket into contact with saidv portion to absorb heat therefrom, comprising inlet openings through the wall of said tubular agitator hub below the normal liquid level within the tub, a conduit for conducting water flowing through said openings through the bottom of the basket and into the tub space immediately above the casing, and a pump communicating with said tub and discharging into said basket for recirculating water from the tub to the basket.
THOMAS T. WooDsoN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the ille of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,842,154 Dunham Jan. 19, 1932 2,002,916 Mendenhall et al. May 28, 1935 2,130,862 Steenstrup Sept. 20, 1938 2,223,998 Martin et al Dec. 3, 1940 2,279,878 Suits et al. Apr. 14, 1942 2,292,566 Jordan Aug. 11, 1942 2,346,152 Clark Apr. 11, 1944 @Certicate of Correction Patent No. 2,527 ,239 October 24:, 1950 THOMAS T. WOODSON It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction as follows:
Column 6, line 33, after the Word said insert casing;
and that the said Letters Patent should be read as corrected above, so that the same may conform to the record of the ease in the Patent Office.
Signed and sealed this 24th day of April, A. D. 1951.
THOMAS F. MURPHY,
Assistant Commissioner of Patents.