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Publication numberUS2686703 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 17, 1954
Filing dateMay 3, 1951
Priority dateMay 3, 1951
Publication numberUS 2686703 A, US 2686703A, US-A-2686703, US2686703 A, US2686703A
InventorsJansen Robert A, Nave Alfred E
Original AssigneeAvco Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combined sectional liner and shelf structure for refrigerator doors and the like
US 2686703 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 17, 1954 A. E. NAVE ETAL 2,686,703


Aug. 17, 1954 A VE ETAL 2,686,703


to define a large shallow recess.

Patented Aug. 17, 1954 COMBINED SECTIONAL LINER AND SHELF STRUCTURE FOR REFRIGERATOR DOORS AND THE LIKE Alfred E. Nave and Robert A. Jansen, Cincinnati Ohio, assignors to Avco Manufacturing Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Dela- Ware Application May 3, 1951, Serial No. 224,362

'7 Claims.

The present invention relates to a refrigerator structure and more particularly to an improved sectional liner for the interior of a refrigerator door.

Shelves attached to the inner face of a refrigerator door have become increasingly popular during the last few years. In fact today modern refrigerator design has been leaning more and more in this direction in an effort to supply the public with refrigerators of greater economy and utility.

It is current practice to construct the inner liner for such a refrigerator door from a single large sheet of moldable material which is formed Within this recess and securedto the liner may be provided a plurality of shelves made from metal or plastic. The most advanced refrigerator designs employ shelves which are molded as units, not only to facilitate attachment to the liner but also to present a more pleasing appearance.

Despite the advances that have been made in this field, it has been perceived that limitations exist in present constructions which afford opportunity for improvement. It has been found in practice that a large sheet of paper phenolic laminate, from which the liner is usually made, can only be formed into a relatively shallow recess and that therecess must be defined by very gradual curves since the relatively limited pliability of the material does not permit formation of any deeply drawn configurations.

Another shortcoming of present constructions is that the liner can not be formed into any intricate shapes to accommodate butter conditioners, receptacles, controls, and similar attachments.

Another difficulty is that the liner material is normally different from that used in the refrigerator breaker strip, which is usually injection molded from polystyrene or similar plastic. This difference in materials makes it difficult, if not impossible, to produce a perfect match of colors between the breaker strip and the liner which is very objectionable since the advanced refrigerator designs today incorporate colored interiors.

Another shortcoming of the present structure is that the volume within the liner recess below the last shelf assembly usually can not be effectively' employed because the lower curved wall of the: recess can not be formed into a horizontal shelf surface since the liner material does not lend itself to such an extreme molding operation.

A still further limitation of the present manufacturing procedure is that a separate set of dies must be employed to form the liner for each refrigerator door of different size. Thus, although a given shelf assembly may be used on several different doors, separate liners must be provided for each size door.

Persons skilled in the art have long realized that the advantages of modern injection molding techniques could be utilized in manufacturing door liners by making the entire liner and its shelf components at one time, thus creating a one-piece injection molding of greatsize and complexity. This procedure has not been found commercially feasible because of the very large size molding presses and the concomitant large investment necessary for making such liners. Furthermore, such a molding requires dies of great complexity which would tend to preclude modification of the design from time to time as is inevitably necessary to meet the changing demands of the public. Another disadvantage of such a large molding is that the molding time is excessive. In addition, relatively heavy wall thicknesses have to be employed to assure that the mold will fill completely. This increases material costs significantly.

The present invention makes it possible to overcome all of the foregoing difiiculties and further makes possible the construction of refrigerator doors having benefits not heretofore attainable.

Thus, an important object of the present invention is to provide a domestic refrigerator door having an inner liner made in sections to facilitate the construction of liners for different size doors from a limited number of available sections.

It is also an important object of the present invention to provide a liner section having a portion of the vertical linerwall molded integrally with an associated shelf. An important related object is the provision of a molded liner section comprising a shelf and shelf rail integrally formed with a portion of the vertical rear wall of the liner.

An advantage of the invention is the provision of concealed joints for joining adjacent liner sections together, the joints being interlocking to increase both liner and shelf strength. An ancillary advantage of the invention is that the joints project from the rear of the assembled liner and aid in retaining the door insulation in place.

Another object is to provide sectional door liners for refrigerator doors in which each liner section may be injection molded from polystyrene or any equivalent plastic molding material. Further, it is an object of the present invention to each of which may have a different color, making possible the construction of refrigerators having considerably more eye-appeal than heretofore possible.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a sectional door liner made from a plurality of sections any one of which may be replaced, if necessary, because of damage incurred during manufacture or actual use. 7

Another advantage of the present invention is the provision of a door liner construction having a shelf-bearing recess of greater depth and considerably more volume than considered practical heretofore.

A still further advantage of the present invention is that the design and construction of the novel refrigerator door may be changed by the manufacturer to meet changing public demands with a minimum of new tooling and with minimum loss of parts made for refrigerator doors used on previous models.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a sectional liner assembly which is selfcentering within an opening defined by the margin of the exterior door shell.

A further important object of the present invention is to provide a door liner which makes possible the utilization of modern molding techniques in the construction of an elaborate door having a variety of relatively elaborate shelves or devices attached to its inner face.

The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims; the invention itself, however, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in


Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of a domestic refrigerator door including a plurality of shelves, the door being constructed according to the teachings of the present invention;

V Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken on plane 2-2 of Fig. 1 showing a plurality of liner sections joined to form the liner assembly of the refrigerator door;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional view similar to Fig. 2, showing a liner assembly made from fewer sections than the liner of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a partial horizontal sectional view taken on plane 44 of Fig. 1 showing the construction of the liner adjacent the margin of the door.

Fig. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken on plane 55 of Fig. 1 showing other details of the construction at the margin of the door; and

Fig. 6 is a vertical sectional view taken on the same plane as plane 22 of Fig. 1 showing a modified type of joint for uniting the sections of the door liner.

With reference to Figs. 1 and 2, a door made according to the principles of the present invention incorporates an outer shell, generally designated 1, to which is attached an inner liner assembly, generally designated 2. This liner assembly is constructed from a plurality of sec' tions indicated by reference numerals 3 through 8, inclusive. Each section is an entity which extends horizontally between the vertical sides of 4 shell I, contiguous sections being joined by interlocking joints indicated at 9. The usual thermal insulation la is provided between the liner and shell to minimize heat leakage.

As illustrated in Fig. 2 each molded section cooperates with the adjacent sections to define a recess ID within the door which may be utilized for the storage of small articles to be refrigerated. These articles may be supported by shelves i l-l5 which are associated with the various sections of the liner.

It is to be noted that shelf [5 is formed by the bottom horizontal wall of section 7 which wall also defines the lowermost extent of recess 10 within the door. Thus, the entire interior volume of the door may be effectively utilized for storage purposes, a condition which has not been attainable heretofore.

A Vertical guard or retaining rail is associated with each of the shelves. These guard rails have been indicated by reference numerals it through 28, inclusive, guard rails it through 19 being molded integrally with shelves H through [4, respectively. Guard rail 2!! is formed integrally with liner section 8 and is associated with shelf l5 of section 7. 7

As illustrated in Fig. l, the guard rails blend smoothly into a relatively fiat marginal area 2| which surrounds and defines the liner. Surrounding area 23 and held between the liner assembly and outer shell is a rubber sealing gasket 22 which cooperates with a portion of the refrigerator cabinet to seal the interior thereof and minimize heat leakage. The guard rails must blend smoothly and completely into marginal area 2| so as not to interfere with the proper seating of gasket 22.

The exact arrangement of the sections which comprises the door liner may be varied as necessary to meet the particular requirements of the refrigerator with which the door is to be used. While a door liner having five shelves is shown in Fig. 2, th same structural principles may be employed to construct a door liner having three shelves as indicated in Fig. 3 or any other convenient number of shelves. In fact the individual sectional components of the liner. shown in Fig. 3 may be identical with certain of the components of the door shown in Fig. 2. Thus a given number of liner sections may be employed in various combinations and permutations to make door liners of d ifferent arrangements and sizes.

With reference to Figs. 1, 2, and 3, it will be noted that top liner section 3 has an upper inclined wall 23 which defines the upper limitof the door recess. This liner section includes an integral vertical rear wall 24 which extends downwardly to embrace the rear wall 25 of contiguous liner section 4 and also includes flat marginal walls 26 which constitute portions of marginal area 2| of the assembled liner.

Section 4 of the door liner not only includes vertical wall 25 but also has formed integrally therewith a horizontal shelf I l and integral guard rail [6. Sections 3 and 4 may be joined by an interlocking joint including a groove 21 formed in the lower projecting portion 26a of wall 24 and a tongue 21a coplanar with shelf H and formed integrally with liner section 4. Tongue 21a forms a close fit in groove 21 and constitutes a strong fluid tight joint which effectively seals the interior of the door and mutually strengthens the joined sections.

The joints between the liner sections are not assesses comeeal'e'd from. vie. but; alsm pmjectz the: rear? of. the; assembled: liner; inter insulation In; This highly beneficial since. joints aid: ire keeping the insulatiomm; place-and: prevent; sentling of the insulation within the cavity of: thee door: as it: is. repeatedly; slammed during.- use.

indicated: in Figz. studs: 28? be formed: lhtegrallwwithswallz 25 of shelf sectiorr 4:. These: studs: are: positioned: to: pass through. openings" 29$ pmnidedl the lower. portion; of wall; 2'4: of section. 3-: Spring: metal fasteners: 303 be; forced. over: studs; 28. to. hold the contiguous liner:- sections: in tight engagement.

If desired,.tlie;tonguerandsgroove:joints between: therlinerr sections may? be. cementedl to. further increases the: strengtlr ft the assembled; liner;

With; reference:- to'. Fig; 13 will be noted that wall: 25:: ofi shelf sectiom 4: blends. smoothly into. marginat walls' 31:? in; conjunction. with: marginal walls 26;. marginal: area El of thaliner: assembly;

'Ihe,:principiea of: construction: hereinbefore. d'e' scribed. may be: used; its joining; together: each. off the: contiguous liner sections. 4;. 5, 6:- and In. fact-,. if: it. is' considered. desirable; sections 4, and ldlmay beridentical". in. eyeny respect, produc ing. a liner. assembly having: shelves spaced at uniform. vertical intervals;

Ass indicate'di in Figs. 2: and: 3:: the: lowermost section. oi the. liner: (lifters somewhat from: the: other liner sections. For instance, section 1 includesintegral shelf components I4 and I5 as well as guard rail. I:9;.. 'llhese: components are joined through a vertical rear wall 32 which, is. also formedintegrally with marginal Walls 33; in at manner similar to the other liner; sections.

Guard rail which cooperates. withshelf 1.5 may be' formed" integrally with. liner section 8 which defi'nes the lower'portion of. marginal. area 21*. Atongue and groove jointrnay be usedibetween'shelf f5 and guard-rail 20" as indicated; at $4; The joint may be additionally strengthened by the provision of" gussets 35' formed integrally witlrslielf f5? of linersection l. Studs 36maybe formedintegrally-at therearof section St'o embrace a wall portion 31 depending from shelf l5 between gussets 35. Here again, spring steel fasteners 38 may be provided to hold the adjacent sections together tightly.

As illustrated in Fig. 4, each of the marginal walls of the liner sections may be provided with recesses 39 for receiving the heads of screws or similar fasteners 48 which hold the assembled liner to shell I of the door. Since each liner section is injection molded, it is very easy to provide recesses 39 in any configuration desired to accommodate the type of fasteners employed. The heads of screws may be completely disposed beneath the face of marginal area 2 I.

It is to be noted that the margintl walls of each liner section may be provided within inwardly projecting flange 4| which cooperates with channel 42, surrounding the inner edge of shell I, in centering the assembled liner and greatly facilitates the insertion of screws 40 so that the door may be completely and easily assembled without the use of any fixtures.

It may be considered desirable to provide slots at the rear of each shelf to facilitate cleaning and permit drainage and air circulation between the adjacent liner sections. A structure including this feature has been illustrated in Fig. 6 in which is shown a part of a liner section 4'. This section includes an integral rear wall 25' joined to a shelf portion H. As in the preserves the: same. purpose:- as. slots 43%. must be It eaten; forwardly adjacentthe: guardi rail; to pen mit drainage from the lower part of the": litter. assembly;

Fig. 52 shows the structural. arrangement oli the: marginak area. where the guard rails: join:

the marginal; walls. As -indicated this figure; guardrail Mi. which is: typical: or the other guard? rails-blends: smoothly ihtmmarginal: Walter; The. end: of. the. guard razi=1,. which is shown. cross: section, is; proyidectwith upper. and lowera'tongues 44 and 45, respectively, which: are-i tightly ensgage'd. grooves 46: and. 41, respectively, formed; in. the. lower portion. of. wall 33;. A; stud 48s with springfastenenuiis-also provided to ai 1 in: holding: the tongue: and. groove. joints in: tight engagement.

It willi be= appreciated by those skilled in the. art that: the: before described construction: facile tates the use: ofi color. om the interior offa re frigerator: door; For instance; each of the mi jacent; door: sections could. be made: at difierent' color-plastics which biendltoaforma harmonious entity;

Furthermorea it Willi beh recognized that any section of: the linerrca'n belreadilyreplaced shouldi the sectiom be. damaged at timei It. will; alsm be appreciated that the: liner sections; are, in: effect. building blocks which may" be. joined various combinations to produce different? shelf spacing: and to form door liners: ofi different overall dimensions; For instance, by adopting: as. constant: width door for all si'zes of refrigerators manufactured; it would be possible? to: make: a: wide variety of door liners simply by increasing or: decreasing. the number 0t" section's used.

It is to be emphasized that each section of the liner may be very easily molded by presently known and available injection molding equipment and techniques. Furthermore, the sections can be molded without the use of expensive dies that would militate against changes of design of the door liner as required to meet changing public taste.

In molding the individual sections, intricate designs and configurations could readily be incorporated in the liner to accommodate butter conditioners and similar attachments. Furthermore, the recess defined with the door by the assembled sections can be made deeper so as to include a greater volume than heretofore. In addition, the volume can be increased by virtue of the smaller curvature of the surfaces bounding the recess made possible by injection molding the sections.

It is to be noted that each liner section can be readily withdrawn from its mold. No re-entrant surfaces are involved; and a liner section including guard rail, shelf, and rear wall can easily be made in a simple two-piece mold.

Having described a preferred embodiment of our invention, we claim:

1. A sectional refrigerator door liner comprising a plurality of separate horizontally disposed liner sections, each section including a rear wall formed integrally with marginal walls, said marginal walls of adjacent sections forming a common smooth marginal area, and interlockin joints between adjacent sections.

2. A refrigerator door liner comprising a plurality of sections certain sections comprising a rear walL-a shelf formed integrally with said rear wall, a guard rail formed integrally with said shelf, and marginal walls formed integrally with said rear wall, said marginal walls and the ends of said guard rail blending into a common marginal area.

3. A section of a liner assembly for a refrigerator door comprising a vertically disposed wall, an integral outstanding horizontal shelf extending outwardly from the top of said rear wall, an

integral guard rail extending vertically from said shelf and parallel to said rear wall, marginal walls integral with said rear wall and the ends of said guard rail, and joining means formed integrally with said rear wall.

4. A sectional liner assembly for a refrigerator door comprising a plurality of integrally molded horizontally disposedplastic sections; the uppermost of ,said sections including an integral marginal wall and vertical rear wall; the lowermost of said sections including an integral guard rail and a marginal wall; the sections intermediate said uppermost and lowermost sections each including an integrally molded guard rail, shelf, rear wall, and marginal walls; the marginal walls of all of said sections cooperating to define a flat marginal area; and means for securely joining adjacent sections of said liner, the rear walls of said liner sections cooperating to define a recess centrally within the liner assembly.

5. A liner assembly for a refrigerator door comprising a plurality of horizontally disposed separate sections, means for joining together adjacent sections to form the liner assembly, certain of said sections having recessed rear walls, each of said sections including marginal walls correspondingly positioned to form a coplanar flat marginal area on the assembled liner, certain of said sections including integrally formed wall, and an inclined wall defining the upper:

limit of the recess in the assembled liner; the lowermost of said sections including a marginal wall and a guard rail formed integrally therewith; the intermediate sections including a' recessed rear wall, at least one outstanding shelf, and marginal walls formed integrally therewith.

'7. In a refrigerator door liner assembly having a planar marginal area surrounding a centrally disposed recess in which is positioned a plurality of horizontally disposed article retaining shelves, a plurality of separately molded liner sections, each of said sections including a portion of said marginal area, certain of said sections includingintegrally molded article supporting shelves, and all of said sections containing cooperating interfitting concealed means for securely joining said sections together to form the liner assembly.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 850,060 Schulte Apr. 9, 1907 937,659 Todd Oct. 19, 1909 1,604,509 Caldwell Oct. 26, 1926 1,627,084 Fritz May 3, 1927 1,686,831 Matchette Oct. 29, 1928 2,044,881 Hartbauer June 23, 1936 2,061,453 Crosley Nov. 17, 1936 2,276,742 Schmidt May 17, 1942 2,532,600 Broersma Dec. 5, 1950 2,562,056 Norberg' July 24, 1951

Patent Citations
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US850060 *May 12, 1906Apr 9, 1907August K SchulteCooker.
US937659 *Mar 9, 1909Oct 19, 1909Floyd F ToddAssorting-cabinet.
US1604509 *Feb 4, 1924Oct 26, 1926Caldwell William MDisplay rack
US1627084 *Sep 6, 1924May 3, 1927George FritzSectional bin
US1686831 *May 13, 1927Oct 9, 1928Servidor CompanyService cabinet
US2044881 *Nov 27, 1931Jun 23, 1936Louis Hartbauer August WilliamWeather strip retainer
US2061453 *Apr 5, 1935Nov 17, 1936Crosley Radio CorpShelf unit for refrigerator doors
US2276742 *May 2, 1938Mar 17, 1942Philco CorpRefrigerator
US2532600 *Jan 19, 1948Dec 5, 1950Henry T ParkerDisplay rack
US2562056 *Nov 30, 1948Jul 24, 1951Avco Mfg CorpRefrigerator cabinet construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2784044 *Jun 28, 1954Mar 5, 1957Gen ElectricRefrigerator door construction
US2976098 *Mar 17, 1958Mar 21, 1961Whirlpool CoShelving arrangement for a refrigerator door
US4361368 *Aug 22, 1980Nov 30, 1982Daniels Phillip DStorage unit
US6890044 *Aug 1, 2001May 10, 2005Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.Door device for vending machine
US7168285Jan 13, 2005Jan 30, 2007Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.Door device for vending machine
US20050120540 *Jan 13, 2005Jun 9, 2005Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.Door device for vending machine
US20070176526 *Dec 8, 2004Aug 2, 2007Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgerate GmbhBuilt-in refrigerating unit
U.S. Classification108/152, 312/242, 211/119.7, 312/321.5, 312/405.1, 62/377, 312/248, 49/475.1, 211/90.1, 312/351
International ClassificationF25D23/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25D23/04
European ClassificationF25D23/04