US 2644246 A
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July 7, 1953 J, ROBINSON 2,644,246
CLOTHES DRIER LINT TRAP Filed Dec. 27, 1951 a Fag-l v 4 Inv enter John H. Rob'lflson,
His Attorney Patented July 7, 1953 2,644,246 CLOTHES DRIER LINT TRAP John H. Robinson, Louisville, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application December 27, 1951, Serial No. 263,594
This invention relates to means for removing lint from clothes dryers of the air circulating type, and more particularly to an improved lint trap for use in such dryers.
In most of the currently popular domestic clothes dryers, the clothes are tumbled in a motor driven drum which rotates within an enclosing casing. The air within the casing is heated by a suitable heater and an air circulating sys tem is provided to induce or force air flow in the vicinity of the heater, usually by means of a motor driven fan. The dryer casing is customarily provided with an intake and an outflow passage to complete the air circulating system, and the heated air, after it has been in contact with the clothes, may discharge into the room in which the dryer is located. Consequently, a screen or other trap is commonly employed to prevent discharge of lint with the air and vapors, but these screens, after several operations of the dryer, collect sufiicient lint to impede the free flow of air, thereby materially reducing the drying eificiency. Frequently the operator continues to neglect to clean the screen and the abnormal turbulence resulting from faulty air circulation may then cause some of the lint to settle on the heater or its shielding means. Even though a thermostat is provided to disconnect the power source when the temperature reaches a predetermined level,
this thermostat may fail and the air temperature a in the casing, particularly in the vicinity of the heater, would increase sufiiciently to cause ignition of the accumulated lint.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide means for automatically bypassing the lint trap and simultaneously removing the lint from the screen upon a predetermined accumulation, so that the flow of air through the discharge outlet will not be impeded.
It is another object of this invention to pro vide a lint trap arrangement including means for de-energizing the heater and motor upon a predetermined accumulation of lint on the collecting screen.
In carrying out my invention in a presently preferred form, I provide a lint trap for the discharge outlet of a clothes dryer in which the primary lint collecting screen is pivotally mounted at opposite sides of the outlet duct. The pivotal support is located below the longitudinal center line of the dryer, as predetermined by suitable positioning means. position of the pivots relative to the center of the screen are carefully calculated so that the force necessary to overcome its inertia can be accurately predetermined. The air flow tothe outlet of the dryer is not suincient to tilt the screen forward unless either-the rate of flow is abnormal or considerable lint has accumulated on the screen. When the latter occurs, the lint screen offers suiiicient resistance to the passage of air through the outlet duct that it is tilted forward to asubstantially horizontal position, in which position the accumulated lint will be blown off its surface. If desired, this lint can-be permitted to blow upon the floor in the room where the dryer is located thereby serving as a Warning to the housewife that too much lint was permitted to accumulate, or, instead, a secondary screen can be added to restrain it. In the latter event, it may be desirable to provide an electrical switch in circuit with the heating and driving means so For a better understanding of this invention,
attention is now directed to the following description and the accompanying drawings and also to the appended claims in which the features of the invention believed to be novel are particularly pointed out. In the drawings, Fig. 1 is a side sectional elevation of a clothes dryer in which my invention is shown; Fig. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the lint trap of Fig. 1 with the secondary lint strainer shown disassembled from the remainder of the trap; and Fig. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the primary lint screen and switch arrangement with the lint screen, in its horizontal position. i
Referring now to Fig. l of the drawings, there is shown a clothes dryer of the domestic air circulating type having an outer shell consisting of a front panel 5, a rear panel 2 provided with louvers 3, and a cover member 4. Suitable side panels, not shown, complete the outer shell. The
front panel has an opening to permit insertion and removal of clothes and is provided with a door 5 and a suitable gasket to substantially seal The weight of the screenand 3 the opening when the door is in its closed position as illustrated. An inner casing located within the outer shell is provided, consisting of insulated front and rear walls 6 and l, which are usually of an inverted U-shape, and an insulated side wall and cover panel 8 wrapped thereabout to form a generally horse-shoe-shaped chamber. The front w'a1I"6 -"i"s provided with an opening in alignment with the opening in the shell panel 5' to provide entry to the interior of the casing. Within the casing is a non-vertical foraminated tumbler drum 9 suitably supported on a rear. wardly extending shaft I9 journaled inj'an aperbe predetermined by a careful choice of the weight of the screen and the position of the pins I7 relative to the longitudinal center line of the screen, as well as by control of the frictional force necessary to turn the screen on its pivots. By careful adjustment at the factory, the screen can be installed so that, upon a predetermined accumulation of lint on its inner surface, a sufficientresistance to the flow of air will result that it will tilt to the position shown in Fig. 3. In
this position, the general flow of air across the ture provided for that purpose in'the rear wall.
7. The tumbler is provided with an opening. substantially concentric with its horizontal so that, when the door 5 is opened, clothesv can be readily loaded into or removed dismissal-am by the operator.
A driving motor 5 I is provided for rotating the tumb er. drum h ou a nsedmeduct qn. syst m minim s n elt a d. h a es.- Or he. like. Also riven. by t met H. a fan 1 or dr w n ai .v hro h the ouv s 3. a d. ntc. a. ressur bQX i3. romwh chits t r wn u ward y-th ou h n tud nal l s, n shown, n the box he s de f. the, pan m mber s. and ov r and throughthe tumbler drum. This air contacts and is eatedby n ect c h ater. is located. near the top. of, the, dryer casing, t will be undertood. o co r hat h part cu a d r. t n t n sn ta art-armyinvention andmay be of any suitable. design, such as that shown es i n tai i -myappl ca tion medeiointly with Paul L. Paulsen, Serial No. 209,280; filed: February 3, 1951, for. 8. Clothes Dryer, and assn dt the General lectr c Cempany, ass en e of the. present application,
To complete the air circulating. system. just described, an outlet duct Iii is provided for discharging the exhaust air and vapor through the front ofthe machine in thespace usuallyreferred to as the. board. area. The. duct, 55,, should. be of substantialwidth to providea minimum of obstruction to. the fiowof air therethroughand is customarilyprovided with. a, lint, trap. to, prevent the clothes. lint from being dischar'gedinto the room. In accordance. with my. invention this linttrap includesalint screen lB-pivotally mounted-to a. pair of pins, H. in the sidewallsofthe duct. i5, sothat, when in its, vertical, position, the screen it substantially covers the entrance to theoutlet duct. Thepinsi Support thescreen at, a point. below,itslongitudinal center, line. so that a greater screenarea is above. the pivots thanisbelow, them, making it unstablein its up. right position. Sincethe front openingofv the duct I5 is either open, or screened .byaremovable member, asexplained hereinafter, the .screen. it may. .be readilytilted to. its. vertical position by. the, operator, andmeans such. as a tab l8 .bent
out of the bottom of the ductmay. be used. to prevent itsbeing moved beyond a predeterminedv angle, from the vertical. For bestresults, the
screen should be substantially. vertical ortilted slightly toward the direction .oflairfiow duringits operation. Although. the .openings in the screen I6 are relatively small, the largearea or" the screen. and the number of the openings provide a'sufilciently low resistance path for the flow of air that'the inertia of the screen is not overcome .of the duct 15.
top, surface will sweep most of the lint from the screen and deposit it in the outlet duct past the screen. Ehis lint maythen be allowed to be blown into the room so that the operator will be cognizant of the need of cleaning the screen, or it may be caught by an auggiliary screen is mounted in a supporting member 20 adapted for ready re mov'al-f'and insertion into the discharge opening The screen 19 can be removed th o e tor an herefore can. easilybe cleaned. Moreover, since substantially all iw low f t e cr en It, i s nherentist self-cleaning.
th u t ne ssar er i-su ces ul u izan. of m nvl pni t-mey ome; asesbe rab e to ad xt a ai t ea re. espee. cially. e h eco dary s ree s mployed; If the operatorcontinuedto neglect the. lint trap after th screen Ifi had become. covered: with lint: and had tilted; h lint would: then be blown against thescreen. is and; although most. ofit wouldcollect along; the bottom and-ileave a com. siderable screenarea for-air flow, eventuallydint from subsequent operations. would completely. cover the secondary-screen. In-this case,,the. cir. oulation of air; would'be. interrupted, the;.temper.-. ature and pressure withinthe casing would be elevated above the desirable limits, and the. lint.
might ignite. In order to, eliminate. this. possi-.. bility, I-have provided switchinglmeans including.
a switch 2! provided withapushbutton actuator 22'.
While, I-have shown aparticular embodiment;
of m invention, it will be. understood, ofcourse, that Ido not wishto. be;limited thereto since. many modifications may be. made; and I, therefore contemplate by theappendedclaims to cover any; such modifications as fall within the; true spirit and scope.- oi my.. invention.
WhatIclaim, as. new anddesire to secure. by: Letters Patent of the Unitedstates is;
1. In a clothes dryer, an electric air heater; an
air dischargeduct, an-electricmotor, a-blower drivenv by the; motor for efiecting flow. Of -ail through said duct, 2. lint.scr-een in said duct? means pivotally mounting the screen on anaxis oifset from a central axis of the screen and tea-one side ofv the plane of the .screen whereby the screen? is biased by its weight toward-a position-acrossthe duct, a stop onawallof the ductwithwhich the screen engages to-hold the screen in such position against such biasing for ce, and an elec: tric control switch-for said heater and *inotor Theswitch ispositionedaon the bottom-of. the duct I 5. and arrangedin sucha-manner that the rim of ;the screen; i fiqwill-strike. thebuttonto positioned on a wall of said duct to be engaged by said screen when it turns on its mounting to a position where it extends longitudinally of the duct, said switch serving also as a stop to limit turning movement of the screen, whereby when said screen becomes clogged with lint it will be turned by the air flow to a position in engagement with said switch to operate the switch and permit air to pass over the screen to blow lint accumulation ofi" the screen toward'the duct outlet.
2. A clothes dryer as defined by claim 1 wherein there is provided in the duct beyond the pivoted screen as regards the direction of air flow a read- 6 ily detachable auxiliary screen for catching lint blown from the pivoted screen.
JOHN H. ROBINSON.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,136,645 Binder Apr. 20, 1915 10 1,427,580 Collins Aug. 29, 1922 1,914,667 Kolla June 20, 1933, 2,550,118 Kauffman II Apr. 24, 1951 2,577,104 Butler Dec. 4, 1951