US 2679944 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 1, 1954 E. T. MORTON 2,579,944
REFRIGERATOR BREAKER STRIP Filed June 15. 1949 5 sheets-sheet 1 R N D J a? E o m M H E E z\ j L June 1, 1954 E. 'r. MORTON REFRIGERATOR BREAKER STRIP 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 15, 1949 /G. 4 INVENTOR. EVA/Y5 7. MORTON June 1, 1954 E. T. MORTON REFRIGERATOR BREAKER STRIP 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed June 15, 1949 INVENTOR. EVA/V5 T. MORTON June 1, 1954 E}. T. MORTON REFRIGERATOR BREAKER STRIP 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed June 15, 1949 "lip-l... I I I I I I i I INVENTOR. l44/V5 Z MORTON June 1, 1954 E. T. MORTON REFRIGERATOR BREAKER STRIP Filed June 15. 1949 5 Shee ts-Sheet 5 25 .F 8 v. 8 B
Patented June 1, 1954 REFRIGERATOR BREAKER STRIP Evans T. Morton,
Ill., assignor to Admiral Corporation, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Delaware Application June 15, 1949, Serial No. 99,293
all possible. For this reason, a breaker strip of some low heat conducting material, generally one of the plastics, is used at the doorway to separate the inner metallic food compartment liner and the outer shell. This strip provides a low heat conductance surface which is hard enough to provide a surface on which a rubber gasket, usually carried by the door, can seat to provide a tight wall to prevent heat loss by leakage of warm air into or cold air out of the refrigerator.
The usual means of holding this strip in place consisted of a series of screws or clips through the breaker strip and threaded into flanges in the outer shell and th inner compartment liner. This method required an accurate alignment of holes in the breaker strip and the metal parts. 7
Furthermore, the plastic material frequently took a set and formed slight gaps in the spaces between the screws.
By my invention, I eliminate many of these disadvantages, while at the same time producing a device more easy to assemble than prior devices. In its broadest aspects, my invention comprises a breaker strip which is formed at the edges thereof so that it will engage the inner and outer compartments of the refrigerator cabinet and hold itself in place by its formation and resilience. To that end I also provide some clip devices which make my invention additionally useful since they make possible an adjustment which will overcome the effects of slight deformities encountered in either the cabinet or the strip because of manufacturing methods. These adjustments are made without a local stressing of the breaker strip such as would be necessary in the prior forms of manufacture with the consequent danger of breakage or tearing of the breaker strip. In addition, since the strip is continuously supported at its edges, it will be pulled into close contact with the compartments of the cabinet. The plastic material is subject to what is known as cold flow so that after being held in this position for a short while, the strip assumes a permanent set in the shape in which it is held, thus giving the appearance and usefulness of a perfect fit regardless of small deformities encountered in manufacture.
The details of my invention and the invention itself will become more apparent from reference to the following figures and description which form a part of this specification.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a front view of a refrigerator cabinet showing my invention in use.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged sectional view along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional view along line 3-3 of Fig. 1 showing one form of the breaker strip.
Fig. 4 is a sectional view similar to Fig. 3 showing an alternate form of strip and its mode of attachment to the cabinet.
Fig. 5 is a view similar to Fig. 3 of a second alternate form of strip;
Fig. 6 is another view similar to Fig. 3 showing a third alternative form' of strip;
Fig. 7 is a sectional view of a strip similar to that of Fig. 6 showing an alternative form of attaching means;
Fig. 8 is a side plan View of the tongued clip of this alternative attachment means;
Fig. 9 is a bottom view of the tongued clip;
Fig. 10 is an end view of an alternative form of tongued clip;
Fig. 11 is an isometric view of a portion of the corrugated strip used in this last mentioned mode of attachment;
Fig. 12 is a plan View of a breaker strip according to my invention for a top corner of a refrigerator;
Fig. 13 is a sectional view along line l3|3 of Fig. 12.
Fig. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of the breaker strip alone at the region adjacent the corner; and
Fig. 15 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of the breaker strip shown in Fig. 14, installed.
A refrigerator cabinet, as shown in Fig. 1, generally comprises an outer shell H Within which is disposed an inner food liner [2. These two walls, which may be formed of sheet metal, terminate at the front leaving a gap between them which is normally closed by a breaker frame which may be composed of several strips [3. In prior built refrigerators, these strips were customarily straight pieces for the bottom-and sides and a molded piece for the top and were joined at the corners by a joining strip. However, I prefer to mold the strips around the corner, thus providing a surface at the corner which is easier to clean. All joints l5, with one possible exception, are
- the controls 2!.
then made on the sides of the cabinet. This novel construction is made possible by my new mode of fastening the breaker strips l3 to the inner compartment l2 and the outer shell H as described hereinafter.
The joints between sections of the breaker frame are best shown in Fig. 2. These joints are formed by. providing one of thestrips, preferably the upper one i3 of the two, with an offset portion I6 which overlaps the edge ll of the lower strip i3. The edge a? may be tapered somewhat to provide a less noticeable joint.
As stated above, all the jointsiin'c-thebreaker frame are made on the side of the cabinet with one exception. The top 19. of the frame includes an escutcheon 20 which surrounds the refrigerator controls 21. In some cases, the controls are supported by a metal escutcheonwhich also forms a joining strip for two halves ofv the :top piece. is possible to mold the ornamental escutcheon in thetop piece to provide amounting boss for The overlapping joint if desired can then be made at one side "of the escutcheon 2B or the other. I prefer to make. the joint along the right side as shown at 23, in Fig. 1
because then the door 2d need not be sprung open in order to removethe portion .of breaker frame containing the controls. "This is, however, a matter of preference and it is quite obvious that-the jointcould as readily be made along the other edge of the-escutcheon or that there is no necessity that there be any joint at all, and that the strip could be made in one piece.
-As previously stated, I provide a novel means of attaching my break-erstrips which. insulate I the innerliner from the shell. j Several variations have been devised, of which thesimplest comprises merelya strip withforked edges adapted to engage the edges of the liner and theshell.
Ettore-specifically and referring particularly to Fig. 3, the simplestform is there shown made of a metal strip. This metal is"pr,eferably a poor heat conductor; such as stainless steel, or
In this configurait may be a plastic -material. tion, the edges of the outer shell H- and theinner liner l2 are-stiffened by bending themetal back upon itself and then at" right angles-to form fianges 25 and 26 on'the shell and liner-respectively. There may also be aportion of the edge bent away from the metal to-formsupporting ledges 2'1 and 28 for installation. The breaker strip 29 is'formed with a fairly wide flat surface 39. Inward of this fiat 30, the. strip; 29 bends away from the door in a long curve-32. A forked formation is formed at the outeredge "33 of' the strip by bending the metal back upon itself and then away to form the channel 34 which straddles the flange 25. A similar'formation" is, used at the inner edgeiito form. a
channel 3% straddling the flange 26. It will be obvious that a similar formation could be made of plastic material.
However, by use of my construction, it'
the edge in a form similar to that shown in the figure or any other form which allows the edge of the strip to form a hook arrangement dd. This arrangement causes the resilience of the strip to press the rounded part 35 of the strip firmly against the crosspiece 39. I prefer the forma- .:tionshown.sinoe it provides a fiat surface 46 whichawilliengage the outer leg 38 of the Z-shape over a fairly wide area to resist the spreading of s the strip.
The assembly of this device is very similar to that previously described except that here the clip arrangement d6 must beput in place first and the outer channel 41 sprung into place .over the outer flange 25.
' A modification of this type of breaker stripds necessary in order to use a plastic materiaL. One such modification is shown in Fig. 5. wherethe strip is shown in section having a forkedend El and body 33 the same. as previously described. The clip arrangement of the prior device is ,re placed in this embodiment by a substantially rectangular slot. 5!). "This, slot has an. action simion the liner.
lar to the clip arrangement .of the priordevice in thatit holds the strip .to the .inner liner and resists the springing action-of the strip.
An opening 55 through the ,greaterportion. of one side 52 of the slot allowsthestrip .to.. be placed over the outer legtfl of the Zformation This leg 38 then abutsthe side 53 to resist movement of the strip inward. This side 53, along with the partial side 52,.forms a hook device around the edge ofthe liner .12 which causes the end 54 of the side 55 to press against thecross piece 39 to form a tight seal.
How this is accomplished is shown in Fig. 5 by the dashed lines. These linesshow the strip in a position just prior tobeing sprung into place. It will be noted that the rectangular slot. 50 is turned at a' considerable angle to its final. position. As the forked end 4? is pushed downward (Fig. 5), this. slot formation '56 is rotated. through that angle; and the end 54 is pressedagainst the cross piece 39 which is the desired result.
Releasingthe end iii to engage the flange 25 is not sufficient release to relieve this pressure com pletely, and the breaker frame is held springably in this position until by the gradual cold flow process, the material, acquires a permanentset and the strip becomes, in effect, a.custom built strip fitting all the irregularities. of the shell H and the liner l2.
An alternate configuration which avoidsqthe expensive rectangular slot is shown in Fig. 6. In this configuration,.theinnerend of the stripis formed with a simple bead 51. A strip 58 of metal formed to clip over the outer leg 38 of the Z-shaped edgehas a hook. 59 at its inner edge which, grasps the head 5! and holds it firmly against the liner 12. The strip 58 is formed from metal to substantially the cross sectional shape and to keep the hook 59 securely pressed in place thereon.
The assembly of this device is similar to all the others in that it is sprung into place and holds itself by its resilience when first installed. It is to the liner by adjustable means which comprises a set of clips. The first of the set of clips comprises a corrugated strip 66 (Fig. 11) which is preferably of equal length to the breaker strip. This strip has a series of small corrugations 61 running longitudinally whose lower surfaces lie in a plane with the lower surface of the fiat portion of the strip 66. One edge of the strip is turned up to form a hook 68 which is of such size that it will enclose the bead 51 of the breaker strip.
The second clip device comprises a channel shaped clip 69 having a tongue Ill extending from one end and bent downward in spaced relationship with the edges of the sides 12 of the channel. This formation provides a slot I3 between the tongue and the sides of the channel which embraces the leg 38 of the Z-shaped flange. The ends 14 of the sides 12 of the channel are serrated to approximately match the corrugations on the strip 66.
Holding the tongued clip 69 in place on the inner wall is accomplished by providing a U- shaped clip 15 which may be the same width as the tongued clip 69 and is formed from spring steel. One leg 16 of this clip bears on the bottom of the channel of the tongued clip, and the other leg 11 bears on the cross piece 39 of the Z-shaped flange. Thus it holds the tongued clip 69 in firm contact with the corrugated strip 66.
To assemble my device, the tongued clips 69 are placed over the outer leg 38 of the Z-shaped flange on the inner liner [2. The first corrugation of the strip 66 is placed under the serrated edge of the clip 69. The spring clips 15 are then placed over the tongued clip to hold the whole assembly in place. The forked end 41 of the breaker strip is then placed over the flange 25 and the head brought into engagement with the hook portion 68 of the corrugated strip 66. This may require either slightly springing the breaker strip or the movement of the corrugated strip. The corrugated strip can now be pressed so that it slides under the serrated edges of the clip 69 until it firmly engages the bead 51 thereby holding the breaker strip in place.
An alternative form of the tongued clip of this embodiment of my invention is shown in Fig. 10. In this configuration I provide a U-shaped clip 19 in place of the channel shaped clip 69. This U-shaped clip has a tongue 80 struck from one leg of the U and in parallel spaced relationship thereto forming a slot 8! similar to that on the previously described clip 69. The action of this clip is also similar to that of the clip 69. In the U-shaped clip 19, the tip 82 of the leg of the U opposite the tongue serves to engage the corrugations of the strip to retain it in place in a manner similar to the action of the serrated edges of the clip 69.
Since it is impractical to use any of the devices at the corner, and because of the additional stillness of the strip there, it is necessary to use a somewhat diiferent formation of breaker strip at these points (Figs. 12 and 13) The outer edge 84 may be the same around the corner as it is along the length of the strip. However, the inner edge where the clips of the latter described embodiments are used must be somewhat different. As previously described, the strip extends completely around the corner 85 with the joints being made at the sides of the cabinet. In order to anchor the ends of the top and bottom strips, therefore, I provide a short space 86, of the same section as described previously so that the clips may be used to hold the ends of the breaker strip. Between this section and the corner 85, I provide a notch 89 which cuts away the bead 51 (Fig. 7). This weakens the strip sufliciently at this section to allow the strip to adjust itself properly to the conformation of the flange 39 in accordance with the urging of the clips.
Around the corner the head is somewhat thicker and is formed with a section shown in Fig. 13. As shown there, the bead is formed with a ridge 89 extending downward from a lateral extending section 90. This ridge 89 is adapted to press on the flange 39 to maintain a seal around the corner.
The notch 88, as best shown in Figs. 14 and 15, is formed to provide a smooth continuous appearance when the corrugated strip 66 is in place. For the purpose, the notch 88 is formed by cutting away the entire bead 51 for a short space 92'. Then the lateral extending section 98 is formed on the inside but having no ridge 89. The hook 68 on the strip 66 extends beyond the flange 51 and because of its thickness hides the space 92 and extends beneath the section for the space of the notch 88. This overlapping arrangement forms a neat, easily cleaned joint with no gaps or spaces. At the top beyond a corresponding notch 88, the strip again takes the section shown in Fig. 7 although the total width of the strip may be somewhat greater.
Thus it is apparent that I have provided in several embodiments a breaker frame which is not only easier to clean, more tight sealing and, in effect, selectively fitted, but, in addition, it can be easily removed. This may be of considerable importance especially in the modern construction of household refrigerators where the refrigerant tubes run immediately behind the breaker frame rather than up the rear of the cabinet. Thus, if repairs are required, my strips may be readily removed merely by springing them out of engagement with the clips or flange dependent on the embodiment used.
Having thus described my invention in several embodiments, I am aware that numerous and extensive departures may be made therefrom without departing from the spirit or scope of my invention.
In a refrigerator cabinet construction, the combination of spaced inner and outer shells forming a compartment open at its front, said outer shell having marginal portions along the open front of the compartment provided with an inwardly extending stiffening flange having a free side edge, said inner shell also having marginal portions along the open front of the compartment provided with a stiffening flange extending toward the outer shell and terminating in a forwardly extending laterally disposed lip spaced from the flange of said outer shell and offset rear- 7 .rwardlyyfromltheaiplane .ofmhe zsaid, flange oi'zsaid souternshell .a-nd: a;.breaker.*stripiformedmf wrinsulating materialwand xClOSiIlgz the; gap :between the -.i-nner and 'outerwshellsa'around the open front, said breaker strip comprising an elongated striofiatMthroughout the=major portion 'of its widthiromoneside .edgeaand being then arcuate :tr-ansversely andmergingdnto a second fiat side edge portion disposed laterally of the first side Uportion -thesfirstmentioned side edge of said Astripbeing thiekened. ra-nd-.-formed with. a longitudinally extendingsgroove-into-Which the free side edgehof the .stifieningfiange of said outer .shelLfits, and a webeintegraliy united-with the .second mentioned fiat-sidesedge portion of the str-inamd extending laterally therefrom towards Ii the .outeimshell..andcarrying a flange extending .rearwar'dly therefrom across the lip of the stiffeningLflange, of..the. inner sheliand terminating ,,in,an-.-inwar'dly extendinglip overlapping the rear side. face-of the. said. stifiening flange of the, inner. shell vandl firmly holding .the breaker strip-in placawithithepfront side face of the the said second side edge of the breaker-strip,
:and -':said: flange :or the web: in faoe-to-face engagement with the forwardly extending lip "of the said stiffening. flange :of .the inner sh'ell.
' References Citedin'the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date hMIunters June 13,1939 Nauert Jan. 20, .1942
Lenning Apr. 7,1942 Daily. "Nov.- 3, 1942 Philipp Sept. 14, -1943 Goulooze Sept. 21,1943 Drake Mar. 7, 1-944 Howard Nov. 28, 1944 Yoxsimer May,15,'1945 vRandell Aug. .19, 1947 ,Krucket a1 Dec; 7, 1948 Palmer .Mar. 15, 1949 Caldwell, Jr. .Apr. 18,19 0