US 2676864 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 27, 1 4 R. s. TOWNSEND 2,676,864
SPRING CONTROLLED INNER DOOR FOR CABINETS Filed NOV. 7, 1947 2 She ets-Sheet 1 2Z9 INVENTOR.
ATTO/PIVEY April 27, 1954 R. s. TOWNSEND SPRING CONTROLLED INNER DOOR FOR CABINETS v, m m 5 e m w m f W Mi. W a N a a 7 A hi 1 1 7 d v. vnwwi m I} W 7/ n 3 6 M F %5 5 MM M Patented Apr. 27, I954 H W UNITED STATES SPRING CONTROLLED INNER noon FOR CABINETS Russell s Townsend, Evansville, Ind., 'assignor to Servel, Inc., New York, N. Y., a corporation of Delaware Application November 7, 1947, Serial No. 784,537
This invention relates to door structures for cabinets and particularly to an inner doorstruc ture for domestic refrigerator cabinets. f
"In modern domestic refrigerators the'cabinet is usually provided with two or more separate *compartments which are cooled to difierent temperatures. In a refrigerator cabinet, for example, wherein a low-temperature or'freezing' compartment is insulated from a higher temperature or food storage compartment, it is often necessary and desirable that the low-temperature compart ment be provided Witha door separate'from and in addition to the conventional outer door of the cabinet. This separate or inner door may .be a single door that traverses the entire width of the cabinet and mounted for rotary movement about a horizontal axis, or this inner door may be made up of several members mounted for rotary movement about vertical axes. In either case it is highly desirable that the inner door be arranged so as not to interfere with the closing of the outer door should the outer door be accidentally closed while the inner door is in open position. In accordance with my invention I provide a refrigerator cabinet wherein the inner door which closes the low-temperature compartment, when at rest, is always in a position such that the outer door may be closed, whether deliberately of accidentally, while the inner door is open.- Also in accordance with my invention I provide a door mounting such that the inner door is biased toward closed position and when deliberately moved beyond a certain point in opening the door the opening movement is cushioned by the same means that holds the door in closed position.
The invention together with its object and advantages will be more clearly understood. from the following detailed description taken in connection. with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the upper portion of a refrigerator cabinet incorporating myinvention; 7 I 1 Fig. 2 is a front elevational view of the cabinet illustratedinFig. 1; 1 r I Fig. 3 is a detail vertical sectional view taken substantially on line 3-3 of Fig.
Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken on the line 4-1-4 of Fig. 2 and Fig. 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken on line 55 of Fig. 4.
Referring now to Figs. 1 and 4 of the drawings, for purpose of illustration, I have incorporated my invention in a refrigerator cabinet indicated generally by reference character III. This refrigerator includes a low-temperature compartment II traversing the upper part of the cabinet and a food storage compartment l2 located below the low-temperature compartment. An outer door I 3 is mounted on the cabinet for closing the entire cabinet, and an inner door I4 is provided to close and insulate the low-temperature compartment I I from the high temperature or food storage com- I 4 Claims. (Cl. 312291) partment I2. The cabinet includes an outer shell I5 and an inner shell I6 held in spaced relation by a'woodenfram'e member I I. The space between the outer and inner shell is provided with a suitable insulating material, not shown. A combined breaker strip and closure member I3 encompasses the front of the low-temperature compartment I I, which closure member may be made of plastic or other suitable material and may be attachedto the wooden frame I! as by double headed nails I9. The closure member is preferably made of one piece and provided with a'horizontal portion 20 which is in alignment with the bottom II a of the low-temperature compartment I I. The low-temperature compartment II, which may be cooled in any suitable manner, not shown, is separated from the high-temperature compartment I2 by an insulated partition 2| which partition may also act a a drip tray below the cooling element which cools the low-temperature compartment. The drip tray 2| traverses the entire depth and width of the cabinet and is provided with a decorative handle 22, which handle also serves as a barrier to the flow of air immediately under the low-temperature compartment I I.
In accordance with my invention the refrigerator cabinet is provided with an inner door I4 which door may be made of glass or other transparent material and which is mounted for rotary movement on a. horizontal axis from the full-line position to the dotted-line position shown in Fig. 4, in either of which positions thi inner door is substantially parallel with the front of the refrigerator cabinet.
Closure member I8 is provided with a boss 23 at each side which receives a hinge member generally indicated' at 24. This hinge memberincludes a slotted pivot post 25 rigidly attached to each of the bosses 23. A U-shape channel member 26 is attached to the lower portion of the glass panel 27, as by means of a cement or an uncured rubbercotton fiber which swells and sets when oil is applied thereto, which cement or rubber-cotton composition is indicated at 28. The channel member 26 is mounted for rotary movement upon the pivot posts 25 by means of eye members 29 attached to each end of the channel member. A pair of helical torque springs as is attached at one end as by screws 3| to the channel member 26 and the opposite end of these torque springs is looped and projects into slots 32 of the pivot posts 25. The bottom of the inner door I4 is provided with a decorative channel member 33 which may be attached in any suitable manner as by spot welding to the channel member 26. A decorative handle 34 is attached to the upper middle portion of the glass panel in the same manner as the channel member 26 is attached to the lower portion of this panel, that is, by means of a cement or a rubber-cotton fiber composition 28. The upper corners of the glass panel 21 are provided with protecting clips or tabs 35, which tabs consist'of 3 U-shape-channel members made of stainless steel or other polished material.
In operation, as shown in Fig. 4, the inner door M is mounted for rotation in a manner such that when in closed position, this door tends to rotate inwardly of the cabinet and this action together with the biasing effect of the torque springs holds the door in closed position. However, when it is desired to open the inner door, the handle 34 is grasped and the door is rotated outwardly of the cabinet. The torque springs offer sufficient resistance to rotation that a slight outward force must be applied to the handle until the door is rotated through an angle of approximately 30, otherwise, unless held, the door will return to its closed position. After the 30 point has been reached the door will rotate outward and down.- ward due to itsown weight. The resisting torque offered by the torque springs is such that downward rotation of the door due to its own weight cushioned and the door comes to rest in its lowermost substantially vertical position as shown in broken lines in Fig. 4. With this arrangement, the inner door always comes to rest in a plane substantially parallel to the front of the cabinet, and since the inner door, whether fully closed or fully open, is always within the confines of the cabinet, the-outer door may be closed, whether accidentally or deliberately, without interference from or damage to the inner door.
Having thus described my invention, I wish it to be understood that I do not desire to be limited to the exact details of construction shown and described, for obvious modifications may occur to a person skilled in the art.
What is claimed is:
1. A cabinet having a compartment therein, a door for closing said compartment, hinge means pivotally mounting a lower portion of said door on the cabinet for rotary movement outward, downward and inward of the compartment from closed to open position, and torque producing means attached to the lower portion of said door and to an adjacent portion of the cabinet for biasing said door toward closed position, said door being mounted in offset relation to the axis-of the hinge means and said torque producing means also affording a cushioning effect to the door, whereby as the door is opened beyond a certain point it falls by gravity to a fully open position and the torque developed by the weight of the door is resisted by an opposite torque developed in the torque producing means.
2. A cabinet having a compartment therein, .a door for closing said compartment, hinge means mounting a lower portion of said door on the cabinet for downward rotary movement through approximately 180 from an upwardly projecting closed position to a downwardly projecting open position, said hinge means including a pintle mounted on each side of the cabinet adjacent the lower portion of the door, a member attached to the lower portion of the door at each side thereof, said members being rotatably mounted on said hinge pintles and each having an offset portion mounting said door, whereby the door is offset relative to the longitudinal axis of the hinges, a .pair of oppositely wound torque springs each having one end thereof attached to the lower portion of said door and each having its opposite end attached to said pintles in a manner that the axis of such torque springs substantially coincides with the longitudinal axis of the hinge means, whereby a rotary force is applied to said door in the direction of closing. the construction and ar- 4 rangement being such that as thedoor is initially moved toward open position it tends to return to closed position, whereas, as the door is opened beyond a certain point it falls of its own weight to fully open position, which fall is cushioned by the torque springs.
3. ,A refrigerator cabinet including a freezing compartment and a food storage compartment, an outer door for closing said cabinet, an inner door for closing said freezing compartment, hinge means mounting said inner door at a lower portion thereof on said cabinet for rotary movement through approximately from a closed to a fully open position, in each of which posi tions the center ,of gravity of the inner .door is offset relative to the axis of the hinge .means and the inner door .is entirely within the cabinet, and torque producing means attached ,to the lower portion of said inner door and to an .adjacent portion of said cabinet for biasing said inner door toward closed position, said inner door being mounted on said cabinet and said torque producing means being mounted on said inner door and said cabinet in a manner such that as the inner door is initially moved toward open .positionsaid door tends to return to closed position, whereas, as said inner door is opened beyond a certain point itmoves of its own weight to its fully open position, which latter movement iscushioned by the torque producing means, the construction and arrangement being such that the inner door always comes to rest within the cabinet proper so that the outer door may be closed while the inner door is open without interference from the inner door.
4. A cabinet having a plurality of compartments, an outerdoor for closing said cabinet, an inner door for closing at least one of said compartments, hinge means mounting said inner door at a lower portion thereof on said cabinet for downward rotary movement about a horizontal axis through approximately 180 from a closed to a fully open position, a pair of torque springs attached to a lower portion of said inner door and to an adjacent portion of said cabinet at each side threof, said torque springs being oppositely wound and attached to said inner door and to said cabinet in a manner and the axis of rotation of the inner door relative to the plane of such door being such that said door is biased toward closed position when closed and when deliberately opened is cushioned in its downward movement, the construction and arrangement being such that the inner door always comes to rest in a substantially vertical position whether closed or fully open so that the outer door may be closed at any time that the inner door is at rest without interference from the inner door.
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