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Publication numberUS2699683 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1955
Filing dateAug 23, 1952
Priority dateAug 23, 1952
Publication numberUS 2699683 A, US 2699683A, US-A-2699683, US2699683 A, US2699683A
InventorsCastner George P
Original AssigneeSolar Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clutch and drive mechanism for washing machines
US 2699683 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 18, 1955 G. P. CASTNER 2,699,683

CLUTCH AND DRIVE MECHANISM FOR WASHING MACHINES Filed Aug. 25, 1952 2 Sheets-$heet 1 INVENTOR 6-5086!- Casr/vez.

Jan. 18, 1955 e. P. CASTNE'R 2,699,683

CLUTCH AND DRIVE MECHANISM FOR WASHING MACHINES Filed Aug. 25, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Dew:- Aamma DRWI- Tue ATTORNEY-i United States Patent CLUTCH AND DRIVE MECHANISM FOR WASHING MACHINES George P. Castner, Webster City, Iowa, assignor to Solar Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis., a corporation of Delaware Application August 23, 1952, Serial No. 306,025

6 Claims. (Cl. 74-70) This invention relates generally to improvements in domestic clothes washing machines of the automatic variety wherein the clothes are first washed by means of an oscillating agitator operating in a rotary receptacle or spin tub, and the cleansing liquid is then expelled centrifugally by rotating the tubeat high speed. A machine of this general type is disclosed in the George P. Castner Patents No. 2,513,844 and No. 2,513,845.

In the operation of. such machines it is necessary to provide mechanism for oscillating the agitator and for spinning the tub, at proper times and for proper intervals, and in the Castner patents aforesaid such drive mechanism involves the use of separate motors for these two operations. In addition, it is necessary to gradually accelerate the spin tub so that undue gyration and vibration will not occur when the tub is started up with the load, as represented by the wet clothes, unevenly distributed about the spin axis. For thus gradually accelerating the tub the Castner patents illustrate the use of a fluid coupling connected between one motor and the tub and this coupling is so constructed and arranged that it has a high initial slippage characteristic, with the result that the tub speed is very gradually built up, and vibration is reduced to a minimum, and the starting load on the motor held Within safe limits. In order to take advantage of this high initial slippage characteristic of the Castner coupling it is further necessary that this coupling remain at rest during the washing operation and that it be started up from its idle condition each time the tub is to be rotated. Thus it is impractical with this coupling to continuously rotate the same and in the earlier patents the motor driving the coupling is started and stopped, as necessary, for this reason. It is also necessary to declutch the agitator in some fashion so that it may free-wheel with the spin tub during the spinning cycle, and in the prior patent a jaw clutch is connected I between the agitator and its motor for this purpose.

It is the primary object of this invention to improve this drive mechanism, While at the same time retaining all of its necessary and desirable characteristics, by the use of reversely arranged, overrunning or uni-directional clutches in conjunction with a single, reversible electric motor which drives both the agitator and the spin tub through the respective clutches. By the use of such overrunning clutches the motor will operate the fluid coupling, and through that coupling will gradually accelerate the spin tub, when rotating in one dirceion, but when the motor is reversed the torque flow to the fluid coupling will be broken, due to the clutch running freely at this time, and the other clutch will then transmit torque to the agitator. As a matter of fact, it will, of course, be understood that the torque through the latter clutch is transmitted to a transmission unit of conventional form which translates rotary to oscillating motion and it is this transmission unit which in turn powers the agitator.

A further object is to provide a washing machine drive mechanism of simple, practical and inexpensive construction and arrangement.

These and other more detailed and specific objects will be disclosed in the course of the following specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic side view and partial vertical section through a washing machine of the general type here in mind and illustrating one manner in which the agitator and spin tub thereof may be driven by a single,

"ice

reversible motor through reversely operating overrunning clutches.

Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view through the fluid coupling and the overrunning clutches, pulleys and other related parts of the drive mechanism per se.

Fig. 3 is a still further enlarged horizontal sectional view substantially along the line 3--3 in Fig. 2, but showing only the overrunning clutch sections of the drive mechanism to illustrate the operation thereof when rotated in opposite directions.

Fig. 4 is a sectional detail on the side of Fig. 2 showing a modification.

Referring now more particularly and by reference characters to the drawing, there has been chosen for purposes of this disclosure the showing of a so-called automatic type washing machine consisting basically of an outer stationary casing 10, which is usually of rectangular shape in plan, and which includes a horizontal partition plate 11 dividing the easing into an uppersplash tub or chamber 12 and a bottom chamber 13, as indicated in Fig. 1. Mounted for rotation about an upright axis on the splash tub 12 is a spin tub or clothes receptacle 14 having a bottom 15 and an annular side wall 16 which flares upwardly so that when this tub is rotated at high speed its liquid content may be centrifugally driven up this flaring side wall and expelled over the upper edge thereof. Further as here shown the upper edge of the spin tub 14 is provided with a heavy balancing weight 17 in a manner similar to that disclosed in the earlier Castner patents and this ring includes escape openings 18 through which the liquid may flow when the tub is rotated. The bottom chamber 13 of the casing 10 accommodates the operating parts or drive mechanism for the machine and for purposes of this disclosure there is shown in this chamber an inner frame structure, designated generally at 19, forming a part of which are superimposed, horizontal frame plates 20 and 21. The specific construction and arrangement of this inner frame 19 is immaterial to an understanding of the present invention, but however constructed the frame will support the spin tub 14 in some fashion and this entire inner assembly, including the frame and tub, may be arranged for gyration about a lower point of support, as set out in the Castner patents. Also forming part of this inner assembly is an oscillating agitator 22 located centrally within the tub 14 as seen in Fig. 1.

Turning now more particularly to details of the drive mechanism forming the present invention, it will be seen that there is provided a conventional transmission unit 23, which is bolted or otherwise secured to the bottom 15 of the tub in orderrto rotate therewith, and this transmission is of the type which translates rotary to oscillating motion such, for example, as that described in Patent No. 1,946,440. The oscillating ouput of the transmission unit 23 is through a vertical shaft 24 to which the agitator 22 is fastened, while the rotary input to the transmission is through a drive shaft 25 extending down through the aforesaid plates 20 and 21. Over the major portion of its length the drive shaft 25 rotates within a tubular spin tub driving spindle 26, forming a rigid downward extension from the transmission unit and, of course, located upon the axis of rotation of the tub. This spindle 26 is suitably rotatably supported by a hearing 27 upon the uppermost frame plate 20 and the spindle depends through the plate 20 some distance. Secured ad acent the lower end of the spindle is a large belt pulley 28. Inasmuch as it may be necessary to brake the spin tub 14 during the washing operation, there is also shown a brake drum 29 which is fastened to the lower extremity of the spindle 26 and cooperating therewith 1s a brake shoe 30 pivoted at 30a to a support 30b and which may be applied to the drum by the action of a solenoid 300 or other suitable means at the proper time. This brake is only schematically shown in Fig. l

Both the agitator and spin tub are driven by a common reversible electric motor 31 and the same is sus pended by shock absorbing bushings 32 from the lower frame plate 21 out to one side of the vertical axis of the tub. The motor shaft 33 is elongated, and extended upwardly, and mounted upon its upper extremity is a rotary fluid coupling, designated generally at 34, which is largely identical in construction and operation to that disclosed and claimed in the Castner Patent No. 2,513,- 845. Referring at this point to Fig. 2 it willb'e seen that this coupling 34 comprises as its essential elements an upwardly dished lower driven element 35 and a superimposed, downwardly dished driving element 36. These elements 3536 have marginal series of opposed radial vanes, indicated at 37 and 38 respectively, and also forming part of the coupling is an upwardly and downwardly dished housing 39 which encloses the driving element and is secured at 40 at its margin to the upper edge of the driven element 35. Provision is made for the independent rotation of the elements 3536 with respect to each other and the housing 39 forms a sealed chamber which contains fluid up to about the level designated at 41, so that when this body of fluid is at rest the upper vanes 38 have little or no driving contact therewith. In the Castner patent the driving element 36 is keyed directly to the motor shaft and when this motor is set in rotation little or no torque will be transmitted through the coupling due to the fact that the vanes 38 are above the fluid level 41. To then initiate the transmission of torque through the coupling starting vanes 42 are provided on the driving element 36 and hang down into the fluid in the lower element 35. As a result these vanes, when rotated, will gradually vortex the fluid and cause it to move upward and outward into driving contact with the vanes 37 and 38. It will be readily evident, therefore, that the coupling will have a high initial slippage characteristic, when it is started from a rest condition, and this characteristic is utilized to great advantage for the gradual acceleration of the spin tub. Connection to the tub 14 herein is made from the coupling 34 by the provision, at the lower driven element 35 thereof, of

belt pulley 43 located in horizontal alignment with the aforesaid pulley 28 and connected thereto by a V-belt 44.

In the present instance the motor shaft 33 is not directly fastened to the driving element 36 of the coupling but instead turns freely within a centrally located adapter 45, which is itself secured to said driving element and has a bore 46 to rotatably accommodate the upper part of the motor shaft. Below the pulley 43 the adapter 45 is diametrically enlarged at 47 and formed with an annular flange or shell 48. A tubular hub 49 is then secured by a set screw 50, or equivalent, to the motor shaft within the shell 48 and operatively arranged between the hub and shell is an overrunning or one-way clutch, designated generally at 51. While there are various commercially available clutches which may be used at this point the one here disclosed is known as the Formsprag and as best shown in Fig. 3 the same consists of a series of sprags or buttons 52 which are loosely mounted upon flexible circular cores, one of which appears at 53. The sprags 52 are angularly arranged with respect to radii emanating from the axis of rotation and when the driving element, in this case the hub 50, rotates in one direction the sprags will bind between this element and surrounding shell 48 to transmit torque therebetween. In the opposite direction of rotation, however, the sprags 52 will ride free and no torque will be transmitted, as should be clearly apparent. Thus the construction to this point is such that the spin tub 16 will be rotated when the motor 31 turns in one direction, as indicated by the arrow in Fig. 3, with the torque transmitted through the overrunning clutch 51 and through the fluid coupling 34. When the motor 31 is reversed, however, the torque flow to the coupling 34 will be disabled due to the overrunning action of the clutch 51 and the tub and the fluid coupling will remain at rest under these conditions.

The drive shaft 25 for the transmission 23 extends beyond the lower end of the spindle 26 and is fitted below the brake drum 2,9 with a belt pulley 54 which is connected by a V-belt 55 with a pulley 56 secured at 57 on the motor shaft 33. As seen in Fig. 2 the pulley 54 also has a depending annular shell 58 and the shaft 25 is provided with a tubular hub 59 secured thereto at 60. Here again an overrunning clutch, designated at 61, is providcd between the shell 58 and hub 59 and as seen in Fig. 3 this clutch is of the same type as that disclosed at 51 consisting of the sprags 62 and flexible annular cores 53. Here, however, the sprags 62 angle in such a direction that they will bind only when a pulley 54 is rotated the direction of the arrow in Fig. 2 through its driving belt 55. This direction of rotation obviously corresponds to a direction of rotation of the motor 31 opposite to that required for driving the spin tub 16 and thus torque will be transmitted to the agitation transmission 23 only when the motor 31 is operated in the one direction. It thus becomes possible through the use of these overrunning clutches, and by merely reversing the motor 31, to drive either the spin tub or the agitator selectively, as will be readily appreciated. During the washing operation when the agitator 22 is oscillating the tub 14 is held against rotation by means of the brake 2930 or equivalent structure.

As seen in Fig. 4 the two overrunning clutches 51 and 61 may both be arranged upon the motor shaft 33 if so desired and in such case the clutch 51 operates between the hub 49 and adapter shell. 48 exactly as previously described, Here, however, hub 49 is vertically elongated and the belt pulley 56 is provided with an upwardly extending annular shell or flange 64 between which, and the lower end of the hub, the other clutch 61 operates. The action will be obvious and of course in this instance the pulley 54 on the shaft 25 will be secured directly thereto.

It is understood that suitable modifications may be made in the structure as disclosed, provided such modifications come within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. Having now therefore fully illustrated and described my invention, what I claim to be new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:

1. For use in a washing machine, a first member to be oscillated and a transmission device connected thereto and of the type converting'rotary to oscillating motion, a second member to be rotated, a reversible motor, a first drive connection between the motor and said transmission device and including a first overrunning clutch operative to drive the transmission device upon operation of the motor in one direction, a second drive connection between the motor and the second member and including a second and reversely operating overrunning clutch operative to drive said second member uponoperation of the motor in the opposite direction, and a brakefor the said second member for braking the same when the first drive connection is operating.

2. For use in a washing machine, a first-member to be oscillated and a transmission device connected thereto and of the type converting rotary to oscillating. motion, a second member to be rotated, a reversible motor, a first drive connection between the motor and said transmission device and including a first overrunning clutch operative to drive the transmission device upon opera tion of the motor in one direction, a fluid coupling having vaned driving and driven elements and of a type characterized by having a high initial slippage factor, a second drive connection connecting the motor through said fluid coupling to the second member and including a second overrunning clutch operative to drive the second member upon operation of the motor in the opposite direction, and a brake operative to brake the second member against rotation when the first member is in operation.

3. Drive mechanism for the rotary tub and oscillating agitator of a clothes washing machine, comprising in combination, a reversible electric motor having .a shaft, a rotary fluid coupling mounted on the motor shaft and having cooperating vaned driving and driven elements, a pulley on the driven element for transmitting torque to the tub, an overrunning clutch connecting the motor shaft and driving element of 'the coupling for transmitting torque from the motor to said driving element when the shaft rotates in one direction only, a transmission device for converting rotary to oscillating motion and connected to drive the agitator, and a pulley on the motor shaft connected to drive the said transmission device. I

4. Drive mechanism for the rotary tub and oscillating agitator of a clothes washing machine, comprising in combination, a reversible electric motor having a shaft, a rotary fluid coupling mounted on the motor shaft and having cooperating vaned driving and driven elements, a pulley on the driven element for transmitting torque to the tub, an overrunning clutch connecting the m tor shaft and driving element of the coupling for transmitting torque from the motor to said driving element when the shaft rotates in one direction only, a transmission device for converting rotary to oscillating motion and connected to drive the agitator, a pulley on the motor shaft connected to drive the said transmission device, and a brake effective to brake the tub except when torque is transmitted thereto through the overrunning clutch and coupling.

5. Drive mechanism for the rotary tub and oscillating agitator of a clothes washing machine, comprising in combination, a reversible electric motor having a shaft, a rotary fluid coupling mounted on the motor shaft and having cooperating vaned driving and driven elements, a pulley on the driven element of the coupling for driving the tub, a transmission for converting rotary to oscillating motion and connected to drive the agitator, a second pulley on the motor shaft for driving the transmission, a hub secured to the motor shaft, a first overrunning clutch connecting the hub to the driving element of the coupling for rotating the same on rotatiton of the shaft in one direction, and a second and reversely operating overrunning clutch connecting the hub and said second pulley for driving the transmission when the motor is reversed.

6. Drive mechanism for the rotary tub and oscillating agitator of a clothes washing machine, comprising in combination, a reversible electric motor having a shaft, a rotary fluid coupling mounted on the motor shaft and having cooperating vaned driving and driven elements, a pulley on the driven element of the coupling for driving the tub, a transmission for converting rotary to oscillating motion and connected to drive the agitator, a second pulley on the motor shaft for driving the transmission, a hub secured to the motor shaft, a first overrunning clutch connecting the hub to the driving element of the coupling for rotating the same on rotation of the shaft in one direction, a second and reversely operating overrunning clutch connecting the hub and said second pulley for driving the transmission when the motor is reversed, and brake means effective to hold the tub against rotation when the second overrunning clutch is driving the transmission.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,380,595 Hertrick July 31, 1945 2,441,926 Zahn May 18, 1948 2,513,844 Castner July 4, 1950 2,538,246 Helm-Hansen Jan. 16, 1951 2,588,721 Heller Mar. 11, 1952 2,625,244 Castner Jan. 13, 1953

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2380595 *Jan 16, 1941Jul 31, 1945Western States Machine CoCentrifugal machine and driving system therefor
US2441926 *Jul 13, 1946May 18, 1948Otto E ZahnCombination washing and drying machine
US2513844 *Aug 14, 1946Jul 4, 1950Solar CorpWashing machine with centrifugal extractor and stabilizer therefor
US2538246 *Oct 21, 1944Jan 16, 1951Osmund Holm-HansenWashing machine
US2588721 *May 11, 1949Mar 11, 1952Julius HellerPower take-off device for wheeled tractors
US2625244 *Nov 24, 1947Jan 13, 1953Solar CorpWashing machine drive mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2751773 *Jul 18, 1952Jun 26, 1956Gen ElectricDrive mechanism for clothes washing machine and the like
US2826055 *Jul 8, 1952Mar 11, 1958Borg WarnerWashing machine drive mechanism
US2846037 *Nov 2, 1954Aug 5, 1958Fletcher Works IncDrive and control mechanism for washer-extractors
US2869699 *Dec 12, 1956Jan 20, 1959Gen ElectricTwo speed drive
US2921459 *Feb 23, 1955Jan 19, 1960Gen Motors CorpCombined clothes washer and extractor
US2974542 *May 28, 1958Mar 14, 1961Gen Motors CorpMultiple speed transmission
US2987904 *May 28, 1958Jun 13, 1961Gen Motors CorpDomestic appliance
US3029624 *Jun 25, 1959Apr 17, 1962Gen Motors CorpWashing machine having a pivotally mounted prime moving system with belt tension adjusting means
US3090472 *Jun 27, 1961May 21, 1963Gen ElectricDrive mechanism for washing machine
US3186104 *May 26, 1955Jun 1, 1965Hupp CorpClothes drier with variable speed centrifuge and heat supply
US4584890 *Oct 27, 1983Apr 29, 1986Societe D'applications GeneralesDevice for rotating, at will and step by step, a shaft driven from a driving shaft
US4803855 *Aug 10, 1987Feb 14, 1989Whirlpool CorporationSingle shaft agitate and spin drive for automatic washer
US4822442 *Mar 27, 1987Apr 18, 1989International Business Machines CorporationFlexible article application apparatus
US5690207 *Mar 26, 1996Nov 25, 1997Grimes Aerospace CompanyWindshield wiper clutch assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification74/70, 68/23.7, 192/48.92, 192/3.23, 74/368, 192/3.25
International ClassificationD06F13/00, D06F13/02
Cooperative ClassificationD06F13/02
European ClassificationD06F13/02