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Publication numberUS2595588 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 6, 1952
Filing dateFeb 4, 1950
Priority dateFeb 4, 1950
Publication numberUS 2595588 A, US 2595588A, US-A-2595588, US2595588 A, US2595588A
InventorsLee Aaron, Lieberman Eli
Original AssigneeLee Aaron, Lieberman Eli
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ice-making machine and method
US 2595588 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1952 A. LEE ETAL ICE-MAKING MACHINE AND METHOD 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Z JL3-Z Filed Feb. 4, 1950 lm/eniors aar'on Lee Elli Lieberman I i I llll Illl JL i YTIQ IllllilllLil lL JUPI A. LEE ET AL ICE-MAKING MACHINE AND METHOD GSheets-Sheet 5 Filed Feb. 4, 1950 "7'4 l /iz? m m mmmw n r wnmJA nm wM .I. a L a. d afl b 5 2 y 1952 A. LEE ETAL ICE-MAKING MACHINE AND METHOD 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Feb. 4, 1950 e barman Q7 Inventors aaron Lee 14. Li L42 M y 6, 1952 A. LEE ET AL 2,595,588

ICE-MAKING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed Feb. 4, 1950 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 2111 1111: 7 I I 5552-33-53: "MELT? L r v \gi-mlnn lnuen iors aaron Lee .Eli Lieberman y 6, 1952 A. LEE ET AL 2,595,588

ICE-MAKING MACHINE AND METHOD 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Feb. 4, 1950 25 In Mentors Qaron Lee 11 Lieberman BY A-VJV. 2

l atented May 6, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ICE-MAKING MACHINE AND METHOD Aaron Lee. and Eli Lieberman, Miami, Fla.

Application February' l, 1950, Serial No. 142,392

21' Claims.

This invention relates to ice producing machines cf the type ordinarily known as ice cube makers and to methods of producing ice in cubes or other small pieces, one such machine and method being shown in our prior applicationSerial No. 95,112, filed May 24, 1949.

The machine and method disclosed in that application are based upon the principle of freezing water in columns, as in vertical tubes or other molds, and thereafter freeing the columns and forcibly projecting them from the tubes against breaker plates or other devices by means of air pressure from a suitable source, such as accumulators ccmmunicably connected with the bottom ends of the tubes, to break the ice into small pieces.

The present invention utilizes the same general principle but provides a number of important practical improvements and additional features, one of which resides in the utilization of the alternate phases of a refrigeration cycle for successively freezing the ice columns and releasing them from their molds, and the provision in combination therewith of novel time, temperature and air pressure controls whereby such phases of the refrigeration cycle areemployed in properly timed sequence to perform rapidly and efficiently the freezing and defrosting functions above mentioned, and whereby the air pressure is effectively employed to cause the forcible ejection of the frozen ice columns in proper relationship to, and coordination with, such freezing. and defrosting operations. The'provision of such a coordinated system, adapted to operate continuously, automatically and smoothly, is the primary object of our invention, which resides in both the apparatus and the method hereinafter described and claimed.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a machine of this character in which a separate accumulator and an individual. air restrictor inlet thereto are employed for each freezing. tube or mold, thus obtaining independent and equally effective ejecting action in. each thereof.

A further object is to provide means for utilizing air under low pressure, preferably from the same. source as the air under high pressure which is used to eject the frozen columns, for agitating the water during the most of thefreezing' period to. cause the. ice to freeze clear, with provision for stopping suchagitation in the final stages of the freezing, thus permitting the center of the ice columns to freeze solid.

, A still further object of the invention isto prowhich thereafter regulates the functioningof the.

system until the cycle of operations is completed and the apparatus is restored to condition for the beginning, of a new cycle.

An additional object is to provide an ice binv control device whereby the continuous cycling of the machine is suspended when the ice storage bin is full and is automatically resumed when the.

ice supply therein is reduced to such a pointv that additional operation of the machine is required to maintain a proper ice volume in the bin.

Other objects andadvantages. of the invention will be apparent from the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a front-to-backv sectional. view of the machine taken substantially on thev section line l--| of Fig. 2;

Fig. 2 is a transverse sectional and. front elevational view of the machine, partly broken away for convenience inillustration;

Fig. 3 is a perspective view of. the. ice freezing. tubes and breaker mechanism of the machine, together with the. refrigeration system and compressed air supply system, both shown. diagrammatically;

Fig. 4 is an enlarged detail view of. thefreezing tubes and connecting, conduits-,two of the tubes being shown in section to illustrate the evapora-- tor construction and also the action of the air inthe water-filled tubes, thesame being shown in one tube at one stage of the freezing. operation and in another tube at a later stage Fig. 5 is a front-to-back sectional view, in frag-- mentary form, of one of the freezing tubes, showing a frozen ice column projected upwardly therefrom against one of the breaker plates by compressed air from an accumulator, which is also shown in section in this figure;

Fig. 6 is a perspectiveview of atimeclock and associated cam mechanism and switches which are used to control certain of the operations of the apparatus;

Fig. '7 is a wiring diagram and schematic view, showing the electrical hook-up of the operating elements;

Fig. 8 is a detail view of a modified form of ice breaker device; and

Fig. 9 is a similar View of an ice crusher which may be used, if desired, in place of one or more of the ice breaker plates or devices.

Referring first to Figs. 3 and 5, the freezing tubes in which the ice is formed are indicated by the reference numerals ll, l2, l3 and i4. Immediately above the top of these tubes there is an open-topped pan Hi to which water is supplied from a Water inlet pipe l6 through a control vessel I! and connecting pipe H3. Said vessel I1 is on the same level as the pan l and contains a float valve I3 for controlling the inflow of water from said pipe l3, which may be connected with the city Water supply or any other suitable source of water.

Water, when admitted to the pan l5, fills the tubes ||-|4, inclusive, and partially fills the pan l5 and vessel ll, whereupon the water supply is cut off by the fioat valve [9.

A jacket 2| is provided on each of the tubes |-|4, inclusive, and serves both as an evaporator for freezing the ice and as an enclosure for hot gases by which the ice columns are freed from the inner walls of the tube, as will be explained later.

Separate air accumulators 22 are provided, one for each of the tubes ll-M, inclusive, and are in open communication with the bottom ends of the latter through conduits 23, air being supplied to said accumulators from an air storage tank 24 connected with a compressor unit generally indicated at 25.

The refrigeration system comprises a standard compressor-condenser unit generally indicated at 2B, the customary compressor, condenser, fan motor and fan being identified by the reference numerals 21, 28, 29 and 30, respectively.

On the freezing phase of the refrigeration cycle, refrigerant gas passes from the compressor through a discharge line 3| to the condenser 28, where the gas will be condensed into liquid form. From the condenser the refrigerant liquid flows through a conduit 32 into a receiver 33 and thence through a liquid line 34 to an expansion valve 35, from which it passes through an inlet tube 36 into the lower end of the jacket 2| on the tube When a plurality of such tubes are employed as shown, and as would be the case in common practice, connecting tubes 37 are employed for connecting the several evaporators in series. The first of said connecting tubes extends from the upper end of the jacket 2| of the first freezing tube II to the lower end of the jacket 2| of the second freezing tube l2 and the succeeding connecting tubes are similarly related to the succeeding freezer tubes. It will thus be evident that the refrigerant liquid passes upwardly through the first evaporator, then downwardly into the lower part of the second evaporator, upwardly therethrough and downwardly to the bottom of the next evaporator, etc.

From the top of the last of the series of freezer tubes a suction or return line 38 leads back to the compressor-condenser unit, entering the low side of the compressor at 39.

A hot gas line 4| extends upwardl from the compressor discharge line 3| and has a solenoid valve 42 therein which is closed during the abovedescribed freezing phase of the refrigeration cycle. After the ice is frozen in the tubes ||-l4, 78

said valve 42 is opened, in manner which will be hereinafter described, and the hot gases, instead of passing to the condenser 28, will then pass upwardly through the line 4| into the first of a series of upper defrosting jackets 43, one of which is provided on'each of the freezing tubes |-|4, inclusive, near the upper end thereof.

Connecting tubes 44 are provided between said jackets 43 and a connecting line 45 extends from the last of said jackets to the first of a series of defrosting jackets 48, one of which is provided on each of the tubes ||-|4, inclusive, near the lower end thereof. Connecting tubes 41 are provided between said jackets 46 and a connecting line 48 extends from the last jacket of this series to a T 43 in the tube 35 which leads into the evaporator jacket 2| on the freezer tube H. The course of the hot gases from this point on is the same as that of the refrigerant liquid on the freezing phase of the cycle, ending in the suction line 38 leading back to the compressor 27.

Compressed air from the storage tank 24 is supplied to the accumulators 22 at the proper times and under the proper pressures through either a branch line 5| or a branch line 52, both leading to an air line 53 which in turn leads to a manifold 54 from which the air is directed into the accumulators through air restrictors 55- and conduits 56, the latter opening, respectively, into the tops of said accumulators 22. Check valves 51 are, or may be, provided in said conduits 55.

A low pressure air regulator 53, having a manually operable setting member 551 for determining the size of the air passage or aperture therein, is provided in the branch air line 5|, in which there is also a solenoid valve 6|. A similar high pressure regulator 62, with setting member 63, is provided in the branch air line 52, which likewise includes a solenoid valve 64. Said valves 6| and 64 are controlled, in manner which will be hereinafter set forth, to determine when air shall be transferred from the storage tank 24 to the accumulators 22 and whether it shall pass through the low pressure regulator 58 or the high pressure regulator 62.

The air compressor unit 25 comprises a pump 65 driven by a motor 65 having driving connection therewith through a belt 61, taking over sheaves 63 and 69 on the motor and pump shafts, respectively. The pump 65 is connected with the storage tank 24 by means of a tube 1| in which a' check valve 12 is, or may be, placed. Said tube 1| communicates with the storage tank through a T fitting 13, to which is also connected a small tube 14 leading to an air compressor control (see Fig. 7), which includes a switch (to be later described) arranged to be opened by pressure in the tube T4 when the desired pressure in the storage tank 24 has been reached.

A cold control 76 is connected by a capillary tube 11 with a thermal bulb 18 which is clamped to the jacket 2| of the freezing tube The function of this device will be explained in the,

later description of the wiring diagram of Fig. 7 and in the statement of the operation of the machine hereinafter contained. Likewise a bulb 19 is clamped to the suction line 38 and is connected by a capillary tube 8| with the expansion valve 35 to provide for the conventional thermal control of such a valve to cause the orifice thereof to open to a greater extent when there is a relatively high temperature in the line 38 than when there is a relatively low temperature therein.

' Positioned above each of the freezing tubes I I-"I 4 is an angular-breaker plate'82. As shown",v these plates are adjustablyclamped by bolts or screws 83 to the" inside of the back wall or the pan I-5. As-the ice columns, identified by the numeral 80, are forcibly projected upwardly and out of said tubes II-I4, the ice will be broken-into lengths 90, corresponding to the distance between the top of the tube and the point of contactwith the breaker plate, the transverse lineof the break being indicated by a-dash-1ine in Fig. 5. The broken-off pieces-or lumps'of' ice will be directed over a frontinclined wall 84 of the pan' I5 and into a bin 85 (see Fig". 1)- in the cabinet-inwhich the-mechanism is housed.

The cabinet justmentioned comprises an" insulating back wall 86, front wall 81, in an i-nclined upper portion of which there i's a hinged door 68. and side walls 89 (see Fig. 2), a dome 9I-, whichmay be removable if desired, beingv employed to enclose-the pan I5 and other parts at the top 'of the structure.

A machinery compartment 92 is provided in the lower frontpart of the cabinet, the same being formed by a vertical partition 93 and a horizontal partition 94, said compartment having a door or removable panel I at the front thereof; also sidewalls IBM and I00b (Fig. 2), and a floor I00c' on which the machinery is supported. The cabinet is provided at the bot tom with a flanged base member IIO.

An arcu'ate hood- 95- is provided over the pan I to direct-the broken off i'ce pieces downwardly onto a guide member 96' provided at the upper end of'a sheetmetal back wall 91 of the bin 85.

Insteadof the breaker plates 82, rotatable breaker members 98, shown in Fig. 8, might be employed at the tops of the tubes if preferred. Suchmembe'rs may comprise radial arms 99 and a hub IOI rotatably' mounted on a stub shaft I02, the arrangement being such that when the ice column strikes one of said arms a piece of iceis broken ofi' and the nextarm is brought into position to be struck by the upwardly moving column, etc.,' until the column is completely ejected and. broken into pieces of the desired length.-

Also, if desired, the ice proceeding from one or more of thetubes may be crushed or cracked by means of spiked or toothed wheels I03 (see Fig. 9) rotatably'mounted in brackets I04 at the top of the tube. the. spikesor teeth of said wheels extending into the path of the ice column so that the latter is crushed or cracked as it isejected from the tube.

In the upper part of the ice bin 65 there is a thermal bulb I04 (see Fi 1) connected by a capillary tube I05 with a bellows I06, shown in Fig; 7, of an: ice bin cold control device, said bellows being located in a control box I01 in the machinery compartment 92, diagrammatically shown in Fig. 1.

Also located. in said control box I0! is a time clock (see Figs. 6' and 7') comprising a motor I08 arranged to drive a shaft I09 carrying cam members III and H2 adapted to coact' with arms '3 and H4, respectively, mounted on switch housings II5 and H6 and normally held in raised positions by springs I I3 and I I4. The cam II 3 is connected to operate a three-pole switch IIT in the electric circuit shown in Fig. '7 of the drawings, and the cam H4 is similarly connected to operate a two-pole switch H8 in said circuit.

In sa d wiring diagram of said Fig. 7f, a starting switch N9, arranged in practice in" a can with the bellows I06 of theice bin cold control hereinabove mentioned.

A spring-closed two-pole switch I22 is shown inoperative relation to a'bellows I23 of the air pump control-15,. and a two-pole switch I24 isshown in positionto be operated by abellows I25 of the cold control I6.

The air pressor unit 25 and the refrigera tion unit 26 are also shown in this diagram, as are the hot gas solenoid valve- 42 andair pressure' control valves eland 64, both of which" are solenoid-operated as previously mentioned The operation or the machine will now briefly described. H

Upon closing" or the main line switch I la, the

refrigeration unit 26 win begin to operate, assum ing a warm temperature in the ice bin and com sequently theprior automatic closing of the switch I2I under the control of the thermal bulb I04 in said bin and bellows I06 which" is con nected therewith bythe thermal fluid conduit I05. Simultaneously-the air compressor unit 25 will be set into operation since it will then be connected to the line through the normally closed switch I22. 7

if the system is not already filled with water (due to previous operation), a cut-off valve (not shown) in the intake pipe IE will be opened at the appropriate time and water will flow through the vessel i1 and pan I5 into the tubes II-I4 until the latter are filled and the normal water level in said pan I 5 (see Fig. 5) and vessel IT has been reached, at which time the inflow will be cut off by the float valve I9 in said vessel I'I. Air under pressure in the accumulators 22 will support the columns of water in the tubes II-I4 so that the bottom of such columns will be about at the point indicated in Figs. 4 and 5.

The hot gas solenoid valve 42 will be closed at this time and therefore the operation of the refrigeration unit will cause refrigerant gas to condenser 28 where it will be condensed intoa liquid in the well known manner. The refrigerant liquid flows from the condenser into the receiver 33 from which it flows through the pipe 34 to the expansion valve 35. From the latter it flows through the pipe 36 into the lower end of the jacket 2I on the freezing tube II', asbest shown'in Fig. 4'. The refrigerant liquid flows upwardly in the space between the inner wall of said jacket and the outer wall of the said tube II. These elements thus forman evaporator for the purpose of freezing the water within the tube II. The refrigerant liquid passes from the top of the jacket 2I on said tube II downwardly to the bottom of the jacket 2I on the tube I2, thence upwardly through the jacket of the latter tube. In like manner it passes through the evaporators for the third and fourth tubes, if four tubes be used as in the embodiment of the invention shown in the drawings. It will be understood that any desired number of freezing tubes may be employed according to the capacity desired. Furthermore, it might be that for certain uses, such as a domestic use, only one freezing tube would be required, in which case the plural terminology used herein and in the claims would be understood to be in the singular.

From the last of the four freezing. tubes shown the" refrigerant gas passes into the suctionline be pumped from the compressor 21 into the 38 and returns through it to the compressor 21, entering the latter on the low side thereof at the point indicated by the reference numeral 39. The freezing cycle continues, with the refrigerant following this course, until the water in the tubes II-I4 is completely frozen.

During the freezing cycle some air from the storage tank 24 will flow through the low pressure regulator 588 and solenoid valve 6|, which will be open at this time, and thence through the air line 53, manifold 54, restrictors 55, pipes 55 and check valves into the accumulators 22. The check valves prevent the air from flowing backward out of the accumulators and thus make the action in each tube entirely independent of the others. While use of the check valves will probably ordinarily be desired the slow flow of air through the restrictors 55 may be found to afford suificient check in some instances.

.As previously noted, each accumulator is in open communication with the bottom of its associated freezing tube. When pressure of the air has been built up to slightly more than atmospheric pressure air will rise upwardly through the water in the freezing tubes H44 and the pan I5 in bubbles, indicated by the numeral I 26 in Fig. 4. This will displace some of the Water from said tubes into the pan, but gravity and atmospheric pressure on the water in the pan will cause a like amount of displaced water to fall back down the freezing tubes. This action is continuous and very rapid, thus creating a turbulent condition which will result in the water freezing clear.

As the ice freezes from the outside in, the air continues to pass through the central opening, as shown in the righthand tube in Fig. 4

When the refrigerating action has proceeded to the point that the water in the tubes is nearly all frozen and a predetermined low temperature has been reached the fluid in the thermal bulb I8 on the jacket 2| of the tube I i will cause the bellows I25 of the cold control to close the switch I24. As shown in Fig. 7,this will start operation of the motor I08 of the time clock illustrated in this figure and in Fig. 6.

When the time clock shaft I68 has been rotated to the point that the cam III thereon contacts and depresses the switch lever II3, the switch II! will be actuated. This will open a circuit comprising wires I 21 and I28 and will close a circuit comprising said wire I28 and a wire I- 29.- The result of this operation will be to bypass the cold control I6 and deenergize the solenoid of the low pressure air valve 6L; thereby closing this valve and thus stopping all air from entering the accumulators 22. Shortly thereafter the flow of air bubbles through the center openings of the ice columns will cease and the water in such openings will freeze, thus making solid columns of ice in the tubes II-I4.

Continued rotation of the time clock shaft H39 will bring the cam II2 into contact with the switch arm II4 todepress the same and cause the switch II8 to "be closed. This completes a circuit comprising the wire I28 and a wire I3l, in which circuit the solenoids of the hot gas valve 42 and the high pressure air valve 64 are included. These two valves will thereupon be opened.-

The opening of the hot gas valve 42 will cause the hot refrigerant gas to by-pass the condenser 28 and, following the path of least resistance, now upwardly through the conduit 4I which 8 opens into the upper defrosting jacket 43 on the freezing tube II. From this jacket the hot gas flows through the first connecting pipe 44 and thence through the remaining defrosting jackets 43 and connecting pipes 44. From the last of the defrosting jackets 43 the hot gas is conducted through the line 45 to the first of the lower defrosting jackets 46. It travels through these jackets and the connecting tubes 41 in the obvious course andfrom the last of said jackets 46 it is conveyed by the pipe 48 to the T 49 in the pipe 36. By-passing the expansion valve 35, it passes into the lower end of the first jacket 2| and then follows the same course as P g the refrigerant gas on the freezing cycle, finally entering the suction line 38 and returning to the compressor 21, after which the cycle is repeated. The hot gases will thus first free the upper projecting ends of the ice columns, then the lower projecting ends thereof and finally the main body of the columns, from the walls of the tubes II-I4.

During the defrosting cycle the rise in the temperature will cause the bulb I8 and bellows I25 to open the switch I24 of the cold control I6; but this control will still be by-passed and the motor I08 of the time clock will continue to operate.

It will be recalled that the high pressure air valve 64 was opened simultaneously with the opening of the hot gas valve 42. Flow of air through the high pressure regulator 62 and said valve 64 will cause a relatively high pressure to ;build up in the accumulators 22 since after the ice columns are completely frozen (which will have occurred before the high pressure air valve 64 is opened) the ice will obstruct the passage of the air through the freezing tubes I I-I 4 and it cannot back out because of the check valves 51 (or would do so only very slowly through the restrictors 55 if the check valves were not employed).

As soon as the ice columns are freed from the walls of the tubes I I-I4, they will be forcibly projected upwardly by the pressure of the air in the accumulators 22, the upper ends of the columns striking the breaker plates 82 (or the breaker device 98 or crushers I03 as the case may be), and the action continuing until the columns are completely broken up into pieces of predetermined small size. The broken off pieces will be directed into the storage bin by the hood and guide 96 previously described.

The operation of the shaft I09 and cams II I and I I2 thereon is so timed that shortly after the freezing and ejection of the ice columns is completed the switch lever I I4 is released by the cam I I2, restoring the switch I I8 to its initial position. The opening of said switch III! will permit the hot gas solenoid valve 42 and the high pressure solenoid valve 64 to close.

The closing of said valve 42 will stop the flow of hot gas therethrough and cause such gas to be directed into the condenser 28, thus again starting the freezing cycle.

Upon the closing of the high pressure air valve 64, the flow of air into the accumulators 22, and thence into the freezing tubes II-I4, will be cut off and the pressure in the said tubes will be so reduced that water can flow from the pan I5 into the tubes to fill the same. Lowering of the water level in said pan will cause a corresponding lowering of the level in the vessel II, with consequent opening of the float valve I9. When the system has filled with. water to the desired extent the inflow will becut offby the action of said. float valve .19.

Continued rotation of the time clock shaft I09 will next cause the release of the switch lever H3, with resultant restoration of the switch HT to its original position. In such position the circuit l28l29 will be opened and the circuit |2'l--I28 will be closed. This will .deenergize the motor I08 of the timeclock, stopping the operation of the latter, and will energize the solenoid of the low pressure air valve 6|, causing the latter to .open and again admit air under low pressure to the accumulators 22. Atthe same time the by-pass of the cold control 16 will be broken so that when the temperature is again sufficiently reduced in the freezing tubes H-I4, said cold control (functioning through the bulb 18 and bellows I25) may operate to energize the motor I08 :and start another cycle ,of operationof the time clock.

,Itremains only to'point .outthat when theice has accumulated in the bin 85 to the point that the temperature in the vicinity of the bulb I04 is reduced sufficiently to operate the bellows I136 of the ice bin control, the switch 12] will be opened and the operation of the machine stopped. When the temperature in the area of said bulb is again substantially raised, by removal of ice from the bin or by meltage, said switch I2l will automaticallv close and operationof the machine will be resumed.

In Fig. '7 certain legends have been used fo clarity, including indications, in connection with the solenoid valves BI and 84, of approximate accumulator airpressures which we have found suitable for the freezing stage and the electing stage, respectively, of the operation of the machine. 'It is to be understood, of course, that these are by way of example only and may be varied as the conditions of use of the machine may require or make desirable.

It will also be understood that we do not intend to be limited to the particular embodiment of the invention illustrated and herein described, but desire the appended claims to cover all other embodiments and all modifications of the machine which are within the spirit and scope of our invention.

We claim: I

-l. A mach ne for roducin ce in'sma l pieces, co pr in a n 'ral tv of freez n tubes: eans for interm ttent supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and thawing the same loose from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle. respectively: devices whereby air pressure is applied to the ice columns at one end thereof and independently of the water sup ly means to forcibly eject the same from said tubes when the freed tharefrnm a d dnvim g mm ri ing a pluralitv of air accumulator one for each freezing tube, a source of air supply that is independent of the water supply means and connections between the source of air supply and the several accumulators constructed to separatelv deliver air to the lower portions of the accumulators in timed sequences; and breaker members against which said ice columns imp n e when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

2. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means .for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle, respectively; devices whereby air pressure is applied to the ice columns at one end thereof to forcibly eject the same from said tubes when they are freed therefrom, said devices including a separate accumulator and an individual air restrictor inlet thereto for each tube, whereby independent andsubstantially equal compressed air charge is applied to each column to ,cause such ejection thereof; and breaker members against which said ice columns impinge when so ejected, suchmembers being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

3. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternatephases of the refrigeration cycle, respectively; an air compressor system and controls therefor whereby air is supplied under low pressure to said tubes to cause agitation of the water therein while the same is freezing and under high pressure after the ice columns are frozen in the tubes to forcibly eject said ice columns from the tubes when they are freed therefrom; and breaker members against which such ice columns impinge when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces .of predetermined small size.

4. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for intermittently supplying Water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration'system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle, respectively; an air compressor system and controls therefor whereby air is supplied under low pressure to said tubes to cause agitation of the Water therein while the same is freezing and under high pressure after the ice columns are frozen in the tubes to forcibly eject said ice columns from the tubes when they are freed therefrom, said system including a separate accumulator and an individual air restrictor inlet thereto for each tube, whereby an independent compressed air flow is provided therefor to cause such agitation of the water therein, and an independent and substantially equal compressed air charge is applied to each column to cause such ejection thereof; and breaker member against which such ice columns impinge when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the vice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

5. Annachine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for intermittently supplying Water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle,

' respectively; devices, including one or more receptacles for air under pressure, whereby air pressure is applied to the columns at one end thereof and independently of the water supply means to forcibly eject the same from said tubes when they are freed therefrom; and breaker members against which said ice columns impinge when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

6. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes: means for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phase of the refrigeration cycle. respectively: devices whereby air is supplied to the tubes under low pressure to cause agitation of the water while the same is freezing, and under high pressure after the ice columns are frozen and upon their being freed from the walls of the tubes to forcibly eiect the same from the tubes, said devices com rising a source of air supply. air conducting means between the source of air supply and the lower portions of the tubes, pressure control elements in the air conducting means and timing means for the pressure control means which determines the time in the cycle of operation at which the low and hi h pressures are respectively applied to the tubes: and breaker members against which the columns impinge when so eiected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereu on broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

7. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprisin a plurality of freezing tubes: means for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle, respectively: devices, including an air accumulator for each freezing tube, a source of air supply that is independent of the water supply and connections for supplying air individually and separately to the lower portions of each of the accumulators from the source of air supply whereby air pressure is applied to the columns at one end thereof to forcibly eject the same from said tubes when they are freed therefrom; and breaker members against which the columns impinge when so elected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size and being adjustably mounted whereby the size of such pieces may be varied by adjusting the position of said members.

8. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefore arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle, respectively; a source of air under pressure; control devices for causing air from said source to be admitted to the tubes to cause agitation of the water therein during the greater part of the freezing period and for causing such air supply to be cut off near the end of such period to permit the water at the center of the ice columns to freeze; means for forcibly ejecting the completely frozen ice columns from said tubes when they are freed therefrom; and breaker members against which said ice columns impinge when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

9. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle, respectively; jackets on said tubes providing a space through which refrigerant gas and warm gas may be alternately circulated to provide successive freezing and freeing of such ice columns; a valve for controlling the successive admission of said refrigerant gas and said warm gas to said space, said controls including a thermally operated device responsive to the temperature in said space when the freezing of the ice columns in the tubes has been substantially completed to cause the opening of said valve and consequent admission of hot gas to said space to thereby free said ice columns from said tubes; devices independent of the water supply whereby air pressure is applied to the ice columns at one end thereof to forcibly eject the same from said tubes when they are freed therefrom, said devices comprising a plurality of air accumulators, one for each freezing tube, a source of air supply that is independent of the water supply means and connections between the source of air supply and the several accumulators constructed to separately deliver air to the lower portion of each accumulator; and breaker members against which said ice columns impinge when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

10. A machine for producing ice in small pieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor arranged to cause freezing of columns of ice in said tubes and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle, respectively; jackets on said tubes providing a space through which refrigerant gas and warm gas may be alternately circulated to provide successive freezing and freeing of such ice columns; a valve for controlling the successive admission of said refrigerant gas and said warm gas to said space, said controls including a thermally operated device responsive to the temperature in said space when the freezing of the ice columns in the tubes has been substantially completed to cause the opening of said valve and consequent admission of hot as to said space to thereby free said ice columns from said tubes; devices independent of the water supply whereby air pressure is applied to the ice columns at one end thereof to forcibly eject the same from said tubes when they are freed therefrom, said devices comprising a plurality of air accumulators, one for each freezing tube, a source of air supply that is independent of the water supply means and connections between the source of air supply and the several accumulators constructed to separately deliver air to the lower portion of each accumulator; and breaker members against which said ice columns impinge when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces 'of predetermined small size; said controls also including a time clock mechanism arranged to be set into operation by said thermally operated deviceand to control the operations of the machine subsequent to the operation of said device, including the reconditioning of the mechanism for the next cycle of operation.

11. A machine for producing ice in smallpieces, comprising: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for intermittently supplying water to said tubes in controlled amounts as required for freezing; a refrigeration system and controls therefor, including a time clock mechanism, arranged to causefreezing of columns of ice in said tubes 'and freeing the same from the tubes on alternate phases of the refrigeration cycle. respectively; an

air compressor system and controls therefor whereby air is supplied under low'pressure to said tubes to cause agitation of the water therein while the same is freezing and under high pressure after the ice columns are frozen in the tubes to forcibly eject said ice columns from the tubes when they are freed therefrom; and breaker members against which such ice columns impinge when so ejected, such members being arranged to cause the ice to be thereupon broken into pieces of predetermined small size.

12. In an ice making machine: a plurality of freezing tubes; means for freezing ice in said tubes and freeing the same form the walls of the tubes; air pressure means for ejecting the freed ice columns from the tubes. including air accumulators and closed conduits communicably connecting said accumulators, respectively, with said tubes; and means for supplying compressed air to said accumulators, including a separate inlet for each tube in an air restrictor in the nature of a capillary tube in each of said inlets.

13. The herein described method of producing ice in small pieces, which comprises: freezing water in elongated tubes having open discharge ends, to thereby produce elongated columns of ice in said tubes; subjecting said tubes to a defrosting action adjacent their outer ends to re.- lease the outer end portions of said frozen columns from their engagement with the walls of said tubes; then subjecting the central portions of said columns to a defrosting action; and applying ejecting air pressure in an enclosed space to'the inner ends of said columns to eject the columns from said tubes.

14. The herein described method of producing ice in small pieces, which comprises: freezing Water in elongated tubes having open discharge ends, to thereby produce elongated columns of ice in said tubes; subjecting said tubes to a defrosting action adjacent their outer ends to release the outer end portions of said frozen columns from their engagement with the walls of said tubes; then subjecting the central portions of said columns to a defrosting action; applying an ejecting pressure to the inner ends of said columns to forcibly eject the columns from said tubes and directing the ejected columns endwise against surfaces shaped to laterally deflect the end portions of said columns under the momentum of such ejection.

15. The herein described method of producing ice in small pieces, which comprises: freezing water in elongatedtubes having open discharge ends, to thereby produce elongated columns of ice in said tubes; subjecting said tubes to a defrosting action adjacent their end portions to first release said end portions of the frozen columns from their engagement with the walls of ill saidtubes; thereaftersubjecting the intermediate portions of said containers to a defrosting action to effect final release of said frozen columns; applying pressure to the inner ends of said columns of such intensity as to speedily propel them from the open ends of the tubes; and effecting the successive breaking off of the ends of said columns by impinging them under their propelled movement against surfaces shaped to laterally deflect them under such impingement.

16. A machine of the character described comprising a plurality of substantially vertical open ended tubes, means for freezing water therein to provide slender columns of ice, means for defrosting the exterior of the tubes to release the columns of ice, an independent source of elastic pressure fluid supply for each tube and means for connecting the same to the bottom of its tube. said pressure supply supplying pressure in such degree and through such time as to forcibly eject the column of ice from the tube and an ice breaking means disposed in the path of the ejected ice to be engaged thereby and shaped to break the columns of ice into smaller pieces under the momentum of the ejected ice columns.

17. A machine of the character described comprising a plurality of vertical open ended tubes, means for supplying water thereto, means for freezing the Water therein into elongated columns of ice, means for defrosting the said tubes to release the ice therefrom, a source of elastic pressure fluid and means for independently introducing the same into the tubes and beneath the ice columns in such volume and at such pressure as to forcibly propel the columns of ice from the tubes and deflecting elements disposed in the path of the ejected ice against which the ice impinges as it is ejected and by which the. upper ends of the ice columns are laterally deflected to snap them into smaller masses, said deflecting elements having faces disposed obliquely of the axis of the said tubes and obliquely of the line of travel of the ejected columns of ice.

18. A machine of the character described comprising a plurality of vertical open ended tubes.

means for supplying water thereto, means for freezing the water therein, means for defrosting the said tubes to release the ice therefrom, means for forcibly propelling the columns of ice from the tubes and deflecting elements disposed in the path of the ejected ice against which the ice impinges as it is ejected and by which the upper ends of the ice columns are laterally deflected to snap them into smaller masses, said deflecting elements comprising plate like parts having surfaces which overlie the upper ends of the tubes, in spaced relation thereto, and which surfaces lie at such an angle to the axial lines of the tubes that the ends of the columns are successfully snapped off by impingement thereagainst and lateral deflection thereby.

19. The herein described method of producing ice cubes which consists of introducing water into a vertical tube which has its upper end open, subjecting the exterior of the tube to freezing action to produce an elongated column of ice, subjecting the exterior of the tube to the action of a heating medium to effect a partial defrosting action to release the column of ice from the tube, introducing an elastic pressure fluid into the tube and beneath the column of ice in such volume and at such pressure as to quickly and forcibly eject the same from the top of the tube into engagement with ice breaking means and breaking the ejected column into a multiplicity of pieces under the momentum and velocity imparted thereto by the said pressure fluid.

20. A machine of the character described comprising a plurality of vertical open ended tubes, means for supplying Water thereto, means for freezing the water therein, means for defrosting the said tubes to release the ice therefrom, a source of pressure fluid supply connected to said tubes and supplying pressure for forcibly propelling the columns of ice from the tubes and ice breaking members disposed in position to be engaged by the columns of ice as they are ejected from the tubes, said breaking members being shaped to crack ice into a multiplicity of smaller pieces under the impact of the forcibly ejected ice.

21. The herein described method which consists of freezing ice in the form of elongated columns, in open ended containers, thawing the columns only enough to release them from the container walls and then propelling the columns 16 at high velocity and momentum from the containers and against abutments to break them into a multiplicity of smaller pieces.

AARON LEE. ELI LIEBERMAN.

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

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,145,773 Mufiiy Jan. 31, 1939 2,221,212 Wussow Nov. 12, 1940 2,239,234 Kubaugh Apr. 22, 1941 2,387,899 Gruner Oct. 30, 1945 2,422,772 Bohn June 24, 1947 2,542,891 Bayston Feb. 20, 1951 2,549,747 Leescn Apr. 17, 1951

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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/73, 62/344, 62/137, 62/352, 200/38.00R, 62/188, 62/524, 62/157, 62/234, 62/320, 241/DIG.170
International ClassificationF25C1/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S241/17, F25C1/06
European ClassificationF25C1/06