US 2591352 A
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A 511! 1, 952' c. HARBISON ADJUSTABLE DOOR BRACE CONSTRUCTION Filed Oct. 20, 1948 inventor: George C. Harbison,
z/ 315% His Attorng ment. 'ing the doors 2 and 3 respectively. The door Patented Apr. 1 1 952 ADJUSTABLE DOOR BRACE CONSTRUCTION George C. Harbiso'n, Erie, Pa., assignor "to General EleetricCompany, a corporation of New York Application October 20, 1948, SerialNo. 55,503
(c1. ail- 32) 4 Claims. 1
My invention relates to door braces and more particularly to an adjustable door brace construction for permitting adjustment to alter the shape of the door.
In the building of refrigerator cabinets and the like on a mass production basis the plane of the door in the completed cabinet is sometimes not entirely parallel to the plane of the face of the cabinet. Such a condition may prevent the proper sealing of the door. Provision may be made by the use of adjustable diagonal door braces for varying the plane of the door to bring it into coincidence with the plane of the However, when this adjustment is accomplished by merely utilizing adface of the cabinet.
justabledoor braces, there is no assurance that tension will be present on either of the braces after adjustment and hence the door may tend tolack rigidity and may not retain its adjusted shape under operating conditions.
'It is an object of my invention to provide an adjustable door brace construction in which tension on each brace is insured.
Itis a further object of my invention to provide-a door brace construction including pro- I vision for adjusting the door into sealing relation ship with the-face of the cabinet and including provision for insuring rigidity of the door and maintenance of its adjusted position.
Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize my invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.
For a better understanding of my invention reference may be had to the accompanying drawing in which Fig. 1 is a front elevation view of a refrigerator incorporating my invention; Fig. 2 is" a sectional elevation View of a door illustrating the door brace construction, and Fig. 3: is a sectional plan View taken along the line 33 of Fig-g2.
Referring now to Fig. 1, there is shown a refrigerator I' having two doors 2 and 3. The door 2 is provided for closing the access opening of a fresh food compartment and the door 3 closes the access opening of a frozen food compart- Handles 4 and 5 are provided for open- 3 is provided with an adjustable door brace construction illustrated in dotted lines this door brace arrangement is shown in detail in Figs. 2
and; 3. While the-bracing struction' has-"been shown and applied only to the upper'door 3, it
"in the adjustablefelement 2 will be apparent that it could be applied equally well to'tli'e lower door 2.
Referring now to Figs. 2 and 3, the door 3 includes 'an outer shell 6 of dished or pan-like shape. The outer door is usually formed of relatively thin sheet metal. A spaced inner panel 1 of a relatively poor heat-conducting material, such as a suitable plastic composition, is provided. The space between the outer shell 6 and the inrlerpan'el 1 is filled with a suitable heatinsulating material (not shown.) A gasket 8 is secured to the outer shell by a retaining strip 9,-an'd the gasket is adapted to engage the face H1 of the refrigerator cabinet H to seal the access opening of the frozen food compartment [2. A portion of the gasket overlies the edge of the inner panel.
A plurality of corner braces, or gusset elementsI-IB, l4, l5 and IE, are secured diagonally acrossthe corners of the outer shell. The ends of each-of the corner braces are welded, as indicated at H, to a flanged portion 18 of the outer shell.
During manufacture of the refrigerator there may be some variation in the shape of the cabmet or theshape of the door so that the plane of the door, and particularly the plane of the sealing surface of the gasket 8, and the plane of the' face) of the cabinet are not parallel. This introduces the possibility of sealing surface of the of the cabinet at some point. vide for adjustment to bring the plane of the 'door and the plane of the face of the cabinet into coincidence, cross braces I 5) and 20 are employed. Gpenings 2|, 22, 23, and 24 are provided in the corner braces l3, l4, l5, and I6 respectively for receiving the ends of the cross braces.
The cross brace it includes two rods 25 and 25, one end of therod 25 being bent to hook into the opening 2| and one end of the rod 26 being bent to hook within the opening 23. The adjacent ends of the rods 25 and 26 are con- In order to pro-- 1 nected by a turnbuckle 21, which is utilized for adjusting the tension on the cross braces and varying the shape of the door.
The cross brace 20'includes a rod 28,. a compressionspring 29 and an adjustable element 30.. The adjustable element 39 is secured to the corner brace 16 by a bolt 3E and a nut 32 or any other suitable fastening device. The bolt 3| passes through'an elongated opening on slot 33 30, the slot 33 being inclined at an angle to the direction of the cross a gap between the gasket and the face l8 brace 20. This slot permits adjustment of the end of the cross brace to vary the initial compression of the spring 29. While an elongated slot has been provided in the adjustable element 30, and a circular opening 24 in the corner brace I6, it will be apparent that the elongated slot could alternatively be formed in the corner brace It. The adjustable element includes a second elongated opening or slot 34 which extends in the line of the cross brace 20. A generally U-shaped hook 35 is received within the slot 34 and is adapted to hook over one end of the spring 29. The hook 35 includes two return bent portions 36 and 31 for engaging one end of the spring. A similar U-shaped hook 38 including return bent portions 39 and 40 extends internally through the spring in a plane at right angles to that of the hook 35 and engages the opposite end of the spring 29. One end of the rod 28 engages the opening 22 in the corner brace 14 and the opposite end engages the U-shaped hook 33 to complete the cross brace. Although it is preferred to use the corner braces 13, i i, I5, and I6 because a relatively thin metal is usually employed for the outer shell, the cross braces may, if desired, be connected directly to the flanged portion 18 of the door near the corners of the door.
In assembling the door the adjustable element 30 is adjusted by the use of the inclined slot 33 to place a predetermined compression on the spring 29. The compression of the spring 29 results in a tension of a predetermined amount on the cross brace 20 tending to pull the corner braces l4 and 16 toward each other, and this may bow the door to some extent. By way of example, the adjustable element 30 may be shifted so as to place a tension of 100 pounds on the cross brace 20, and the compression spring may be compressed to within A3 of its minimum length.
After the assembly of the door has been completed and the door has also been assembled on the cabinet, it may be found that, because of variataions in either the cabinet or the door, the plane of the door does not correspond exactly to the plane of the face of the cabinet. This condition can be corrected by the turnbuckle 21. An opening 4! is provided near the center of the inner door to permit access to the turnbuckle after the door has been completely assembled. The turnbuckle may be turned in either direction to obtain the necessary adjustment. Thus, if the turnbuckle is moved to shortenthe length of the cross brace l9 there will be a tendency to bow inwardly the corners of the door in line with this cross brace. Conversely, the turnbuckle may be moved in the opposite direction to allow the corners of the door in line with the cross brace [9 to move farther apart, the corners in line with the cross brace 20 being moved inwardly by the spring 29 in the cross brace 20. After the adjustment has been completed the opening M may be covered by a removable thermometer 42, removable plug, or other suitable covering element.
It can be seen that the use of the spring 29 to apply an initial tension on the cross brace 20 insures a tension on the cross braces l9 and 20 after the completion of the adjustment. This tension on the cross braces contributes to the rigidity of the adjusted door and also minimizes any tendency to drift from the adjusted position. In the absence of the spring such a door may lack rigidity and may fail to remain in its adjusted position during usage.
A tension spring may be employed, if desired, in lieu of the compression spring 29 illustrated in the drawing. However, the compression spring is preferred since it has the advantage of limiting the amount which the door can be twisted out of its plane. Thus, as mentioned earlier in this specification, the compression spring may be initially adjusted to within about of its minimum length or, expressed differently, its solid height when the turnbuckle is turned in a direction which tends to lengthen the cross brace 20 by compressing the spring 29, and the solid height of the spring prevents excessive twistin of the door which might otherwise damage some other part of the assembly.
While I have shown and described a specific embodiment of my invention, I do not desire my invention to be limited to the particular construction shown and I intend, by the appended claims, to cover all modifications within the spirit and scope of my invention.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:.
1. In a door for refrigerators or the like which comprises an outer shell of pan-like shape and diagonal braces connected to said shell adjacent the corners thereof, the improvement which comprises providing in one of said braces a, stressed spring for applying at all times a tension on said one of said braces, and providing means for adjusting the other of said braces to vary the shape of said door.
2. In a door for refrigerators or the like comprising an outer shell of pan-like shape, a corner brace secured to said outer shell at each corner thereof, and two diagonal cross braces, one of said cross braces having its ends in engagement with two diagonally opposite corner braces, and the other of said cross braces having its ends in engagement with the remaining two diagonally opposite corner braces, the improvement which comprises providing a stressed spring in one of said cross braces for applying at all times a tension on said one of said cross braces, said one of said cross braces including in one end thereof a slot for affording adjustment relative tothe corresponding engaged corner brace, said one end of said one of said cross braces bein adjustable along said slot for varying the stress on said spring to vary the tension applied to said one of said cross braces, and means for adjusting said other of said cross braces to vary the shape of said door.
3. In a door for refrigerators or the like comprising an outer shell of pan-like shape and diagonal braces connected to said shell adjacent the corners thereof, the improvement which comprises providing a compression spring in one of said braces, said spring being compressed for applying a tension at all times on said one of said braces, and means for adjusting the other of said braces to vary the shape of said door, the fully compressed position of said spring limiting the amount of possible variation in the shape of said door by said adjusting means.
4. In a door for refrigerators or the like comprising an outer shell of pan-like shape, a corner brace secured to said outer shell at each corner thereof and diagonal braces extending between said corner braces, the improvement which comprises forming one of said diagonal braces to include a compression spring, a rod engaging one of said corner braces and one end of said spring, and an element engaging the corner brace diagonally opposite said one of said corner braces and connected to the opposite end of said spring, said spring being compressed for applying at all times a tension on said rod, providing a second rod engaging a third corner brace and a third rod engaging a corner brace diagonally opposite 5 REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
6 UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Number Name Date Hollister Oct. 26, 1897 Goeller Dec. 24, 1901 Nelson July 31, 1917 Larson Dec. 3, 1918 Scullen Dec. 14, 1943 Drake Apr. 18, 1944 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date France Dec. 19, 1936