US 2706899 A
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April 26, 1955 c, MEYER 2,706,899
LAUNDRY MACHINES Filed Dec. 4, 1950 8 Sheets-Sheet l I i 3 INVENTOR. I HENRY C. A. MEYER WI/YW HIS TTORNE-YS April 1955 H. c. A. MEYER LAUNDRY MACHINES 8 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec. 4, 1950 R R E Y VE. E m vm o, o H m T C. A Y m RY H NB E H I 5 4 76 k 2 63 74 66 I-| ii E.
April 26, 1955 H. c. A. MEYER 2,706,899
LAUNDRY MACHINES Filed Dec. 4, 1950 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 Y INVENTOR. HENRY C A. MEYER HIS TTOENEYS April 26, 1955 H. c. A. MEYER 2,706,899
LAUNDRY MACHINES Filed Dec. 4, 1950 8 Sheets$heet 5 1 I, e u k 196 2 0 #25 J Tic. E.
INVENTOR. HENRY CH. MEYER HIS HTTOENEVS April 26, 1955 H. c. A MEYER 2,705,899
LAUNDRY MACHINES Filed Dec. 4, 1950 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 INVEN HENRY C. A MET HIS HTTOPNE I H. c. A. MEYER 2,706,899
LAUNDRY MACHINES 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 MR WM N A. m M n E 1 Y m 1 /1 N H a m .1 L T w w m m 12 w w 1 m 1 1 1 w w r 0 I 1 .3 A 3 1 m k J 1 1 a w w J w a 7 J 1 H UWT| 1 4/ o 2/ 41/17 w 5% n nw nfl 0 G l\ n m 6 q 647/0 W mm 4 m 1 w m w April 26, 1955 Filed Dec. 4, 1950 United States Patent LAUNDRY MACHINES Henry C. A. Meyer, Syracuse, N. Y.
Application December 4, 1950, Serial No. 199,105
7 Claims. (Cl. 6824) This invention relates to laundry machines which both wash and extract the washing fluidfrom the load after the washing process is completed, and also to a method of cleansing fabric materials which may be practiced with such machines.
One object of my invention is to provide an improved laundry machine which performs the separate operations of washing and extracting in a single machine instead of separate machines, as conventionally required.
Another object of my invention is to provide such a laundry machine which performs the operations of washing and extracting with less supplies and less water per pound of load processed in less time than is possible with machines and processes of the present art.
Another object of my invention is to provide a method of cleansing fabric materials which may be practiced with such a machine or other machines and which achieves the process of rinsing in a superior manner, by displacement of the cleansing fluid by the rinse fluid rather than by mere dilution as in conventional practice. By the term rinsing as used here and hereinafterin the specification and claims is meant the process of freeing the material being washed from the soap, suds, detergents and/or cleansing fluid used in washing.
Another object of my invention is to provide a method of reducing wobble of a rotating container containing a compactable material, as in a laundry machine, by utilizing centrifugal force.
Still another object of my invention is to provide a new and novel type of drive mechanism for such a laundry machine for rotating the container thereof at the necessary relatively low washing speed, the higher rinsing speed, and the still higher and relatively high fluid-extracting speed.
A further object of my invention is to provide such a drive mechanism which is simple and foolproof in operation and yet insures that the speed of the container cannot drop below the rinsing speed during the shift from rinsing to fluid-extraction speeds.
Still a further object of my invention is to provide such a laundry machine including a container of such shape that the load tends to be concentrated in a single plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the container during operation so as to prevent or reduce to an irreducible minimum wobble of the container.
This last object can be achieved with various forms or shapes of rotating containers, including spheres, demispheres, cones, double cones placed base to base, rhombohedrons, pyramids, double pyramids placed base to base, or lenticular shapes, all rotated about an axis of symmetry, although not all of these shapes are equally efficacious. All such shapes when rotated about an axis of symmetry thereof tend to concentrate a contained load in a single plane perpendicular to the axis of symmetry when the container is rotated about that axis, which eliminates or reduces to an irreducible minimum those force couples which cause wobble or vibration difficulties when the container is revolved at elevated speeds with a load therein.
For purposes of illustration, I have shown and described a preferred form of my invention in which the container is of generally lenticular shape or elliptical cross-section rotatably supported on the minor axis of its cross-section by a shaft intended to be substantially horizontally-positioned in normal use, but this is by way of illustration only and I do not intend to be limited to this particular shape. This preferred form of container comprises two dished halves joined at their peripheries by a ring lying in the major axis of the elliptical crosssection or lenticular container. This ring is provided with a number of radial orifices or perforations for rea sons which will be explained hereinafter.
The reasons for making my preferred container substantially le'riticular or elliptical in cross section are multifold. This shape is symmetrical and has a cross-section wherein those adjacent opposed walls extending away from the axis of symmetry converge toward and abut at an apex lying in a plane perpendicular to the symmetrical axis. This plane, which is the plane of the major axis of the elliptical cross-section, is, of course, the single plane referred to above in which the contained load tends to be concentrated when the container is rotated so that those force couples which cause wobble or vibration difliculties are eliminated or at least reduced to an irreducible minimum.
In addition, this shape allows simpler means and less material to be employed for overcoming the stresses and. strains incident to centrifuging loads at high speeds.
Also, experiments have demonstrated that if the major axis/minor axis ratio of the elliptical cross-section is at least 1.32:1 there is more stability when the container is revolved at elevated speeds and the load tends to be concentrated in the plane of the major axis of the elliptical cross-section.
A further reason for utilizing this shape is that the adjacent opposed walls extending away from the axis of symmetry may be made to converge in such a manner as to compensate for the progressive increase in circumference from the symmetrical axis to the periphery of the container. Thus, going radially outward from the axis of symmetry, successive differential rings or elements of equal radial thickness are of the same volume, thereby maintaining a constant cross-sectional area through which the fluid in the container passes in its radial passage toward the peripheral orifices. This factor is important in my laundry machine since it aids in maintaining an interface between the cleansing fluid and the rinse fluid during my novel rinsing operation. In any event, the crosssectional area of radial passage of the fluid should not be allowed to increase substantially, and, alternatively, an overcompensation may be achieved, particularly near the periphery of the container, so that the cross-sectional area of radial passage of the fluid progressively decreases. Preferably, I shape my lenticular container to approximately achieve this compensation for producing the constant cross-sectional area of radial passage, at least beyond the radius R at which each discrete element of material contained in the container will be acted upon by a force of at least 1 G (1 gravity) at the predetermined speed of rotation of the container for the rinsing cycle.
Furthermore, this lenticular shape, in combination with the radial perforations, facilitates the release of the free washing liquids during the processes of washing, rinsing, and centrifuging from a narrow annulus lying substantially on the major axis of the container. By limiting the number of these perforations in relation to the flow ofwashing fluid or liquid provided, provision is made for maintaining a volume of the fluid within the container during the washing cycle while providing a continuous circulation of the fluid, if desired. While, as will be seen hereinafter, in my preferred embodiment the perforations are not valved, if a continuous circulation of the washing fluid is not desired during the washing cycle, centrifugal valves may be provided for each perforation, such valves being normally closed at the speed at which the container revolves during the washing cycle and opening automatically when a higher speed is reached, as during the rinsing and extracting cycles.
My construction also avoids the necessity and expense of providing a shell, as in some conventional washing machines, which surrounds the spinner or basket and in which the latter rotates. As will be pointed out hereinafter, this conventional construction is wasteful of both the washing fluid, the washing supplies, such as detergents or soaps, and the time required for the operations of washing and rinsing because of the time required to fill and drain this additional space of the washing fluid. My construction also avoids the double door operation required in conventional horizontal-axis cylinders, and thus avoids the attendant undesirable procedure of aligning the inner door with the outer door when the contained load is to be removed. Furthermore, my construction facilitates unloading-only one door need be openedand my construction basically reduces the reach for the extracted load by one-half over conventional home-type vertical-axis or commercial-type horizontalaxis cylindrical drum washing machines.
My invention accomplishes my objective of washing with less supplies and less water per pound of load processed in less time because of five factors. First, it eliminates the water and supplies therefor which are required to fill the annulus between the cylinder or basket and shell in conventional horizontal-axis washers. The importance of this is readily understood when it is realized that in the case of a two-inch wide annulus surrounding a 42-inch diameter cylinder with five inches of water in the cylinder, 40% of the total water is in the annulus, and 70% of this unused or inactive fluid may be considered to be hot water by normal standards when the washing fluid is water.
Secondly, my construction is more economical in that it eliminates the use of an equivalent amount of supplies, i. e., 40% for a given concentration of the supplies in the washing fluid.
Thirdly, my construction facilitates initial saturation of the load by a solution of the water and supplies rather than than the water alone, and maintains this solution absolutely uniform throughout the entire load. This is virtually impossible with conventional washers, and is important because, as is well known in the art, it is much easier to remove dirt from fabric or the like if a solution of the supplies and water is applied initially rather than the material first being wetted by the water and the supplies then added separately.
Fourthly, my construction avoids rinsing by dilution and instead effects rinsing by displacement, which is a vastly superior and quicker process. The usual steps in a conventional rinsing procedure are: (l) draining the suds; (2) refilling with clean fluid to the proper level and going through the rinsing operation; (3) draining this rinsing fluid; (4) again refilling with clean fluid to the proper level and again going through the rinsing opera.- tion; draining this second rinsing fluid; (6) still again refilling with rinsing fluid to the proper level and still again going through the rinsing process; and (7) draining this third rinsing fluid. conventionally, there are three or four such rinses in a normal rinsing cycle in a conventional washer, this filling, rinsing, and draining routine being repeated until the residual concentration of the supplies remaining in the clothes of the load is as low as desired. This conventional process is, of course. one of reducing the residual concentration by repeated dilution. repeated rinsing procedures is apparent when it is realized that a conventional washer with some 16 inches of water in a 42-inch diameter cylinder within a 46-inch diameter shell (thus providing a two-inch wide annulus around the shell) requires about 32 gallons per foot or 0.64 gallon per pound per rinsea very considerable amount of uid.
In my construction rinsing is effected by displacement instead of dilution, since the container is continuously rotated during the rinsing cycle to force out the residual content through the perforations ahead of the displacing fresh Water provided. This effects a very substan tial reduction in both hot and cold water required with attendant economies and also. of course, reduces the time required for rinsing. This is particularly important, since each conventional rinsing routine requires about five minutes.
Fifthly, my construction eliminates both the time and labor involved in conventional washers of the type having separate extractors in the operations of removing the wet, heavy, and soggy load from the washer and placing this load into the separate extractor basket, either with or without an intermediary transporting container depending upon the relative placement of the extractor and washer in the particular installation.
In general, it may be said that my construction provides at least a 50% reduction in time required for extracting, rinsing, and washing over that of conventional washers, at least a 50% reduction in the amount of 110i The importance of avoiding, if possible, these water required and at least a 40% reduction in the amount of supplies, such as detergents or soaps, required.
Other and further advantages of my invention will be apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter, when taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 shows a partially cut-away cross-sectional side elevational view of the preferred embodiment of my laundry machine;
2 shows a front view of the extractor-washer of Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the section line III-III of Fig. 1, illustrating more clearly the tripod suspension of the container shaft bearing and the tan Fig. 4 is a cross-sectional view through the frame construction at the top of the door, taken along the plane IV-1V of Fig. 2.
Fig. 5 is a cross-sectional view showing the frame-to- ?oor seal construction, taken along the plane V-V of Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the section line VIVI of Fig. l, and illustrating particularly the belting arrangement with the three-speed drive provided and the hot and cold water and steam supply pips;
Fig. 7 is a detailed end view of thc two-speed drive portion of Fig. 6;
Fig. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the two-speed drive shown in Figs. 6 and 7;
Fig. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along plane IXIX of Fig. 8, illustrating the over-running drive construction utilized;
Fig. 10 is a view generally similar to that of Fig. 7 of an alternative unitary three-speed drive system;
Fig. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the three-speed drive system of Fig. 10; and
Fig. 12 is a developed sectional elevation of the threespeed drive system of Fig. 11.
Referring now to the drawings, it will be seen that my construction includes eight main elements: a container 20 of generally elliptical cross-section or lenticular shape provided with one or more radial peripheral orifices or perforations 21 and a side opening 22; a loading and unloading door 23 for the opening 22; a supporting A- shaped frame 24; a collecting channel 25 surrounding the major axis of container 20 and in which the perforations 21 discharge the washing fluid when the structure is revolved; a tank 26 disposed below the collecting channel 25; a pump 27 for supplying and circulating the washing fluid; and a drive mechanism 28 for rotating container 2i) and including one or more motors and a system of gearing, pulleys, and belt transmission.
While not essential, in my preferred embodiment a sheet cover 29 is provided on the front of my laundry machine joining the door frame with the collecting channel 25 and supporting the former from the latter. If desired, this cover 29 may, of course, be replaced by any suitable supporting means between collecting channel 25 and the frame of door 23, e. g., a plurality of strap members could be employed.
As shown in Fig. 1, container 20 is formed of two dished halves or heads 31 and 32 secured, as by means of rivets 33, at their peripheries to an annular member 34. The limited number of radially-disposed orifices or perforations 21 are provided as shown in this annular member 34. The front half or head 32 is provided with the central opening 22 and a stiffening ring 35 surrounds opening 22 and is preferably secured to the inner surface of dished half 32. A centrally-disposed heavy stiffening ring 36 is secured to the back dished half 31, preferably on the outer surface thereof, and is machined and finished to fit hub 37, to which it, and hence container 20, are secured by means of a plurality of stud and nut connections 38. Hub 37 is supported by and mounted on the end of shaft 39, which in turn is mounted within bearings 40 and 41, shown cut-away for clarity.
One or more ribs 45 are provided and secured to the inner periphery of container 20 for the dual purpose of adding rigidity to the lenticular structure and for assisting in lifting the load during the rotation of the container 20, as is well known by those skilled in the art. While these ribs 45 are shown as being of T-shaped crosssection in Fig. 2, this is not imperative, and any suitable shape, as for example a U-shaped member, may be utilized for this purpose.
Bearing 40, of the spherical-roller self-aligning type, is disposed within a housing 46 and allows the shaft 39, bearing 41, and container to rotate with a sutficient degree of latitude of angular oscillation about the center point 47 of bearing 40. Bearing 41, housed within chamber 48, is also of the spherical-roller self-aligning type permitting oscillation of the rotating shaft 39. Chamber 48 is supported by three helical springs 49, as shown best in Fig. 3, disposed radially in a tripod arrangement. The ends of each spring 49 are disposed in respective cavities in housing 48 and spring-supporting block 50, being held in compression between the two supporting members, and the back of each block 50 abuts an adjusting screw 51 supported by angle clips 52 secured to supporting frame 24.
The supporting frame structure 24 is formed of two main A-shaped elements 55 and 56 held together rigidly at the top by cross members 57 and at the bottom by inverted heavy channel base members 58 and 59. As will be seen from the drawings, various other connecting members between the A-shaped elements 55 and 56, including the motor-supporting plates, belt transmission supports, etc., add to the rigidity of the frame structure 24. Two bracing members 60 (only one is shown in Fig. 1) connect the respective legs of front A-shaped element 56 to base members 58 and 59, respectively, and also serve to add stability to the supporting structure. Corner angle posts 61 are supported at their lower ends by base members 58 and 59, and the front corner angle post 61 in turn supports a horizontally-disposed connecting frame member 62 and front plate 63. Collecting channel is supported from corner posts 61 by means of brackets 64 and 65, as indicated in dotted lines in Fig. 3, and brace 66 connects the top of collecting channel 25 to the top of the back inverted V-element 55 of frame 24.
Circumferential tough resilient rings 67 and 68 are disposed on either side of collecting channel 25, as best shown in Fig. 1, to act as splash guards. The front splash guard ring 68 may be omitted, if desired, when the front circumferentially-complete sheet cover 29 is utilized, as in this preferred embodiment. A large aperture fitted with a pipe 70 is provided in the lowermost point of collecting channel 25, and immediately below pipe 70 is disposed the open-topped tank 26, supported by frame 24, as by means of front horizontal member 62 and a corresponding back horizontally-disposed connecting frame member 72. This tank 26 is equipped with a dump valve 73 operable manually by suitable linkage (not shown) to allow the fluid contained in the tank 26 to be discharged to a drain rapidly when desired through conduit 74. An overflow 75 is also provided in tank 26 to limit the level to which the tank may be filled, any excess spilling over the upper edge of the overflow 75 and discharging through conduit 76 to a suitable drain. As best shown in Fig. 2, tank 26 is also provided with a transparent wall section 77 to facilitate viewing the liquid level within the tank and the condition of the contained liquid, this transparent wall section 77 preferably being provided with indicia 78 as shown to indicate the exact amount of contained liquid. An indicating thermometer 79 is also preferably provided to indicate the temperature of the liquid.
Supplies, such as soap, detergents, bluing, etc., required during any given cycle of the machine operation are delivered through supply chute 80 (Figs. 1 and 2) to the tank 26, where they are mixed with the washing liquid, usually a mixture of hot and cold water. The admission of this hot and cold water is controlled by means of respective valve-operated levers 81 and 82 (Fig. 2), and the admission of steam to tank 26 is controlled by valve wheel 83 (Fig. 2) when it is required in the judgment of the operator. The detail of the water and steam piping is shown in Fig. 6 and will be described more in detail in connection with the description of that figure.
The suction of pump 27 is drawn from the bottom of tank 26 by means of conduit 85, as shown in Fig. 1, or from the cold or hot water supply lines through conduits 116 and 85, as will be described more fully hereinafter in connection with the detailed description of Fig. 6. The discharge from pump 27 is directed through conduit 86 to admission chamber 87 located above door 23 and connecting with the interior of container 20 through opening 22 thereof, as shown in detail in Fig. 4.
Referring now particularly to Figs. 2 and 4, it will be noted that door frame 90 is secured to front cover 29, as by means of bolts 91. Door frame 90 is provided with a washing fluid annular admission segment 92 formed by annular bar 93 secured to frame 90. This annulus 92, conecting with and supplied from admission chamber 87, is only semi-circular and is open to the washing fluids only around the upper half of the door, this shape thus causing the discharged fluid to describe a pattern of a continuous semi-circular are over the lower interior half of the lenticularly shaped container 20. Hinges 95 (Fig. 2) are provided between door frame 90 and door 23, and a resilient sealing gasket 96 (Fig. 4) is provided between door 23 and frame 90. One or more door latches 97 are also provided, as shown in Fig. 2, between frame 90 and door 23 to hold the door tightly shut and compressing the resilient gasket 96 when the washing machine is in use. Preferably, my door 23 is formed with a transparent glass 98 held in place between members 99 and 100 but separated therefrom by means of ring gaskets 101 and 102, respectively. A circumferential sealing member 105 (as shown in Figs. 1, S and 6) of tough and resilient material surrounds door frame member 90 and is held tightly thereto by means of an iron band 106 (Figs. 1 and 5). Cooperating apertures are provided in sealing member 105 and ring 106 for the passage therethrough of admission chamber 87. Sealing member 105 lies quite firmly against the outer face of front half 32 of container 20 and is sufliciently wetted over its area of contact therewith by the washing fluid to prevent appreciable wear. The function of sealing member 105, is, of course, to seal off the space between container 20 and the door 23-door frame 90 assembly while providing a cornformable and yielding closure therebetween.
In Fig. 6 is shown the detail of the hot and cold water and steam supply piping. Operating levers 81 and 82 (Fig. 2) are respectively connected by suitable linkage (not shown) to conventional metering shut-off valve 110 in the hot water line 111 and similar valve 112 in the cold Water line 113. A butterfly valve 114 is placed at the junction of the cold and hot water lines from valves 110 and 112 and this butterfly valve 114 directs the mixed water either into tank 26 through a line 115 or into suction conduit 85 of pump 27 through line 116. When the predetermined amount of water has been admitted to tank 26 or to pump 27, valves 110 and 112 close and operating levers 81 and 82 (Fig. 2) are re turned to their off position. The admission of steam to tank 26 is controlled by means of valve 117 in the steam admission line 118, perforated pipe 119 being provided within tank 26 as shown in Figs. 1 and 6 to distribute the steam. As pointed out above, valve wheel 83 (Fig. 2 controls steam valve 117. A second valve wheel 120' is also provided on the front of the machine as shown in Fig. 2 and operates butterfly valve 114. Suitable shutoff valves 121' and 122 are also provided in hot and cold lines 111 and 113, respectively, as indicated diagrammatically in Fig. 6.
In Fig. 6 is also shown in detail the drive mechanism 28 and this will now be described in connection with that figure as well as Figs. 7, 8 and 9. Multiple V-belt pulley 1220 (Figs. 1 and 6) is mounted upon shaft 39 for rotating the container 20 at thevarious speeds required during the separate operations or procedures (washing, rinsing, and extraction) of the complete washing routine. Note particularly in Fig. 1 that the center of the triple V-belt assembly shown is located directly above and over the oscillating point 47 disposed within the center of bearing 40. The drive mechanism 28 shown in detail in Figs. 6-8, as well as a side view thereof in Fig. 1, is believed new and novel and is particularly adapted for use in this preferred embodiment of my invention. It allows the container 20 to be driven with one set of belting at three separate speeds, i. e., one for washing, a different speed for rinsing, and still a third speed for extracting, without the use of a clutch. Further, this may be accomplished with either one or two motors, the embodiment of Figs. 1-9 utilizing two motors, and an alternative embodiment, shown in Figs. 10-12, utilizing one motor.
As shown in Fig. 1, three V-belts 121 pass over driven pulley 120 on shaft 39, over a driver pulley 122, and over a second driver pulley 123. Driver pulley 122 is mounted on shaft 124 of motor 125, which is secured to A-shaped frame '56, as shown in Fig. 6. Pulley 122 is the driver pulley for the extracting cycle and during the washing and rinsing cycles this pulley merely acts as an idler. Driver pulley 123 is the driver pulley for the washing or slow speed cycle, and still a third driver pulley 126 is provided for the rinsing cycle, driver pulley 126 being adapted to be moved into the position occupied in the showing of Fig. 6 by means presently to be described. As best shown in Fig. 8, driver pulley 123 is mounted on and keyed to shaft 127 with gear 128, shaft 127 being supported in frame 129. Gear 128 meshes with gear 130 rotatably mounted in frame leg 131 and driven through a flexible coupling 132 by electric motor 133, which preferably is equipped with an integral speed reducer 134. Gear 130 is also in mesh with gear 135, gears 134) and 135 being of equal size and smaller than gear 128. Shaft 127 gear 128, and driver pulley 123 therefore rotate more slowly than driver pulley 126.
Frame 129 is mounted on and secured to supporting shaft 138, which is rotatably supported adjacent one end within frame leg 139 and rotatably supported at its other end within gear 130, which is journaled in frame leg 131. Frame 129 is journaled on shaft 138 as shown and may thus be revolved so as to place either driver pulley 123 or driver pulley 126 in engagement with belts 121. this movement of frame 129 being controlled by means of gear 140 keyed to shaft 138. Gear segment 141 meshes with gear segment 140, as best seen in Fig. 7, and is supported at its center by shaft 142. Shaft 142 is su ported in bearing 143 mounted atop plate 144, which joins frame legs 131 and 139, as shown in Fig. 8. A pin 145 is secured in gear segment 141 for movement of this gear segment. While not shown, suitable linkage is, of course, provided and connected to pin 145 so that either a manual or mechanical (as by a hydraulic or air piston) force may be applied to rotate gear segment 141 and gear 140 to reverse the positions of driver gears 123 and 126 from that shown in Figs. 7 and 8 when it is desired to proceed from the washing to rinsing cycles, or vice versa.
Pulley 126 is mounted on two anti-friction bearings 1511 rotating on shaft 151. Between bearings 150 is disposed sleeve 153 keyed to shaft 151, as best shown in Fig. 9. Driver pulley 126 is provided with a uni-directional or over-running drive relative to sleeve 153 by means of the ball, spring, and adjusting machine screw assemblies 154. each disposed in a slot 155 (Fig. 9). Thus gear 130 (Fig. 8), driven by motor 133, can drive V-belts 121 through gear 135, sleeve 153, driver pulley 126, and the over-running drive therebetween, and yet pulley 126 can be rotated faster than the speed at which sleeve 153 rotates when desired, 'as during the extraction cycle presently to be described.
Operation As pointed out above, the process of laundering or cleaning fabrics or the like is divided into three mayor operations or stages: washing, rinsing. and extracting.
Initially, door 22 is opened and the load of fabrics or the like to be washed placed inside container 20. Door 22 is then closed, dump valve 73 of tank 26 is closed, and soap and/ or detergents in the proper amount for the type and size of the load dumped into tank 26 through chute 80. Hot and cold water are next added in the proper amount to tank 26 my manipulation of levers 81 and 82 (Fig. 2). If the temperature of the water mixture is lower than that desired, steam may be added bv manual operation of valve Wheel 83 (Fig. 2). Pump 27 and motor 133 are then started, driver pulley 123 being moved into engagement with V-belts 121. as shown in Figs. 1 and 68. if the drive mechanism 28 is not already in this washing speed position. The soap and/or deter ent laden heated water is thus discharged into rotating container 20 by way of conduit 86, admission chamber 87, and semi-circular annulus 92 disposed about the upper half of door 22. This discharge into the container is quite forceful and the fluid is added to the container at a rate faster than it returns to tank 26 by way of orifices 21, channel 25 and pipe 70. Tank 26 is referably but not necessarily dimensioned and initially filled such that when it is emptied the active and desired washing level within the container 20 will have been obtained. Should a hi her level of fluid or more supplies appear necessary as viewed through the transparent glass 98 (Fig. 4) of door 22. additional water or soap and/or detergents may be added to tank 26 in the necessary amount to be pumped for discharge within container 20. More soap or detergent may be added at any time as desired in the manner described above. thus refortifying the washing solution, and when the initial washing or sudsing operation is ready to be terminated, dump valve 73 (Fig. 3) is opened and the spent material directed to a suitable drain through conduit 74. If desired, a second sudsing or washing may be provided by thereafter closing dump valve 73 and repeating the operation above described.
At the conclusion of the last desired sudsing or washing operation dump valve 73 is left open, hot water valve lever 81 is operated to open the valve in hot water line 111, and butterfly valve 114 is set to direct the water into suction conduit 85 of pump 27 through line 116. At the same time, gear (Figs. 7 and 8) is rotated 180 by suitable movement of pin and gear segment 141, thus placing driver pulley 126 in engagement with V- belts 121 and driver pulley 123 out of engagement therewith. Container 20 thus now rotates at rinsing speed, which is higher than the sudsing or Washing speed and is such that the rinse water entering the washer through semicircular annular segment 92'is permitted to discharge evenly over the rotating load without being obstructed by falling or tumbling pieces of the load. This speed is determined by the size of the container 20 and is at least equal to the speed at which free pieces of the load falling within a radius sluightly larger than the radius of the liquid admission annular segment 92 may remain discrete until they fall into a space outside the radius stated, whereupon centrifugal force holds them in place against the mass of the load held by centrifugal force against the inside of container 20. The centrifugal action now forces out the spent rinse or washing water through the orifices 21 ahead of the displacing fresh rinse water and this is continued for a predetermined time until the desired residual concentration of the supplies in the load has been reached. Dump valve 73 is then closed and bleaching and bluing supplies added in the desired amount to tank 26 through chute 80. Fresh water is admitted to the correct level and the bleaching and bluing are circulated until they have been thoroughly diffused in the load. This latter operation may be effected with the container 20 rotating at either the washing or rinsing speed.
Dump valve 73 is next again opened and motor 125 energized, with driver pulley 126 (Figs. 6-8) still in engagement with V-belts 121. Motor 125 and pulley 122 driven thereby are proportioned such that when motor 125 is energized container 21) is rotated at a high speed, higher than that at which the container is driven by means of motor 133 driving through pulley 126. This high-speed operation is possible in spite of driver pulley 126 still being in engagement with the V-belts 121 because of the over-running drive between driver pulley 126 and its enclosed driving sleeve 153 (Figs. 8 and 9), as above described. The high-speed rotation of container 20 is continued until the excess water is removed from the load. In my embodiment operation at this top speed for two or three minutes will reduce the load to approximately of its dry weight. fter the desired amount of excess water has been removed, power to high-speed motor 125 is shut off and motor 133, which has been idling although connected to the power source, again takes up the load and rotates container 20 at the rinsing speed. Gear 140 (Figs. 7 and 8) is next rotated back by means of suitable movement of pin 145 and gear segaent 141 to place driver pulley 123 in engagement with V-belts 121 and driver pulley 126 out of engagement therewith. Container 20 is then rotated at this slow washing or sudsing speed for a short time in order to loosen or free the load which has been packed out against the inner periphery of container 20 during the extraction cycle. Motor 133 and pump 27 are then stopped and door 22 opened, whereupon the washing load may be removed.
It is to be noted that since motor 133 is energized continuously even when high-speed motor 125 is placed into operation, no deceleration of speed is possible while shifting over to the high extraction speed. This is important because a deceleration at this point would permit the load placed in its position by centrifugal influence during the rinsing cycle to shift to a position causing unbalance and producing undesirable vibration.
it is also to be noted that because of the relative disposition of driver pulleys 123 and 126 and the construction provided, no deceleration of speed is possible while shifting over from the washing cycle to the rinsing cycle. This feature, however, is not as important.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that I provide a novel laundry machine which is well adapted to be operated in a new and novel manner, as described above, to effect a method of cleansing fabric materials wherein rinsing is achieved by displacement rather than by dilution as in the prior art. The force acting upon each particle of the fabric material being cleansed and also, of course, upon each particle of the cleansing fluid in the container is given by the formula:
F: 0.00034O84WRN where F=centrifugal force in lbs.,
W =weight of the revolving body in lbs,
R=radius of the circle in which the body revolves, in
N =revolutions per minute.
As pointed out above, if the centrifugal force is just equal to the weight of the body or, in other words, is at least equal to 1 G (l gravity), tumbling or falling of the body within the rotating container will be prevented and, assuming that the container is rotated on an horizontal axis, all flow of the contained fluid must be outward from the axis of rotation and this contained fluid will be forced outward through the peripheral orifices with a force of 2 G at the lowermost point of the container. By dimensioning the container relative to the contained load such that all the load lies outside the radius R1 (at which F=1 G), centrifugal force tends to force out the fluid from the wetted fabric material. Furthermore, when the fresh or rinse fluid is added within the container, it assists in forcing out the spent fluid in the wetted material by displacement. The value for R1 can, of course, be determined by equating W and F in the above formula,
which may be simplified to:
While my method of rinsing canbe utilized with containers of the various shapes referred to above, it is not as eflicacious in those where the cross-sectional area along the outward passage of the fluid is not approximately constant or progressively decreasing, but instead increases from the axis of rotation to the periphery of the container. As pointed out previously, with such a progressive increase of the cross-sectional area of the fluid flow, the desired interfaces will not be as sharply defined or maintained between successive portions of the fluid. This is one of the reasons I prefer to utilize my preferred shape of container, i. e., lenticular or elliptical in cross-section, wherein the shape at least beyond the radius R1 is such that the adjacent opposed walls extending away from the axis of symmetry converge in such manner as approximately to compensate for the progressive increase in circumference from the symmetrical axis to the periphery of the container. For exact compensation each of the adjacent opposed converging walls would be straight beyond the radius R1, since the desired constant cross-sectional area is the product of the radius and the separation of the walls. For practical purposes, slight curvature of these walls is provided, giving an elliptical cross-section container and providing some degree of over-compensation. This curvature is increased adjacent the periphery of the container for closing the latter within practical limits.
In Figs. 1012 is shown an alternative form of threespeed driving mechanism for use with my extractorwashcr. This driving mechanism has the advantage that it utilizes only a single motor instead of the two driving motors 125 and 133 of the embodiment just described. Referring now particularly to Fig. 12, which is a developed sectional elevational view, driving gear 160 is keyed to shaft 161 of motor 162, the latter replacing motor 133. Gear 160 meshes with gear 163 keyed to shaft 164, which is rotatably supported in anti-friction bearings 165 mounted in circular disc frame 166 (see Fig. 10). Gear 167 and V-belt pulley 168 are also keyed to shaft 164, the relative sizes of gears 160 and 163 determining the speed of rotating driving pulley 168 for driving my extractor-washer at the desired high extraction speed. A series of step-down gearing is employed between gear 167 and the next lower speed driving pulley 169, i. e., the rinsing speed driving pulley. In one particular embodiment, three stages of speed reduction gears were employed as shown, gears and 171 being fixed together and rotating on a common fixed pin shaft 172 secured to frame 166 with gear 170 meshing with gear 167. Gear 173 and rinsing speed driving pulley 169 are keyed to shaft 174 which is rotatably supported by anti-friction bearings 175 and 176 in circular disc frame 166. Meshing with gear 173 is gear 177 which is fixed to gear 178, gears 177 and 178 rotating on fixed pin shaft 179 also secured in disc frame 166. Idler gear 180 meshing between gears 177 and 178 completes the three-stage speed reduction between driver pulley 168 and driver pulley 169, and rotates upon fixed pin shaft 181 secured in disc frame 166. Idler gear 180 isincluded solely to obtain the proper rotational direction of rinsing driver pulley 169. A two-stage gear reduction is provided between rinsing driver pulley 169 and the third or washer driver pulley 183. Gears 184 and 185 are fixed together and rotate on fixed pin shaft 186 secured to disc frame 166. Gear 184 meshes with gear 173 and gear 185 meshes with gear 187 which is keyed to shaft 183. The third driver pulley 183 is also keyed to shaft 188, which is rotatably supported in disc frame 166 by means of anti-friction bearings 189 and 190.
Referring now particularly to Figs. 10 and 11, it will be seen that this disc frame 166 is provided with a groove or channel around its entire circumference. This groove or channel 195 serves as a means of supporting the frame by means of rollers 196, four of which are shown in Fig. 10. Each roller 196 is rotatably supported on a shaft 197 which is affixed to frame 198. A ring gear 200 is secured to disc frame 166 and meshes with pinion 201. Pinion 201 is mounted upon and keyed to shaft 202 (Figs. 10 and 12) which is supported in turn in bearing 203 (Fig. 12) also affixed to frame 198. Rotation of shaft 202 causes disc frame 166 to rotate about its geometric center, the three driving pulleys 168, 169 and 183 thereby also revolving until the desired driver pulley is in engagement with the V-belts 121 and the other two driver pulleys are out of engagement therewith. In Fig. 10 the lowest speed or washer cycle driver pulley 183 is shown in this position, in engagement with belt 121, driver pulleys 168 and 169 being out of engagement therewith.
To change the speed of movement of belts 121, shaft 202 is rotated rapidly by any suitable means, which may for example be by a hand crank through suitable gearing or by an electric motor. This rotation of disc frame 166 is preferably done rapidly in order to reduce the time and amount of slippage between the V-belts 121 and the two adjacent pulleys between which the speed change is being eflected at any instant.
Note that, as in the two-motor driving mechanism described previously, no deceleration of speed is possible while shifting over from the washing cycle to the rinsing cycle, or from the rinsing cycle to the extraction cycle. This is because of the relative positioning of the driving pulleys 168, 169 and 183 and the construction provided. Of course, as described previously, it is only in the shift from the rinsing cycle to the extraction cycle that this factor is important in my laundry machine.
While I have described a particular embodiment of my invention as required by the patent statutes, the principles of my invention are of broader application in ways which will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The scope of my invention is defined in the following claims.
What is claimed is: I
1. A laundry machine comprising: a symmetrical container mounted for rotation upon a horizontal axis of symmetry thereof and having those adjacent opposed walls thereof extending away from said axis converging toward and abutting in a plane perpendicular to said axis, an opening axially of said container for inserting therein and removing therefrom material to be washed, means for introducing washing fluid to said opening continuously during rotation of the container, orifices in the container along the line of abutment of its opposed walls for permitting the fluid to escape centrifugally from said container continuously during rotation thereof, the orifices being of such restricted size that a substantial volume of fluid may be maintained within the container during rotation as a result of the fluid introduced through the opening.
2. A laundry machine including a container having an axis and walls which are spaced apart from each other on said axis and extend radially fromsaid axis and towards each other so as to form a peripheral space radially spaced farther from said axis than is the balance of the interior of said container, means for mounting said container for rotation about its said axis, and means for injecting the cleaning liquid into said container, said container having a peripheral series of outlet passages formed therethrough in substantial registration with said peripheral space, and said container otherwise being substantially liquid-tight.
3. A laundry machine including a container having a horizontal axisand dished walls which are spaced apart from each other on said axis and extend radially from said axis and towards each other so as to form a peripheral space radially spaced farther from said axis than is the balance of the interior of said container, said container having an opening through which the material to be laundered may be passed and means for closing said opening, means for mounting said container for rotation about said axis, and means for injecting cleansing liquid into said container, said container having a peripheral series of outlet passages formed therethrough in substantial registration with said peripheral space, and said container otherwise being substantially liquid-tight, said passages being of such restricted size that a substantial volume of fiuid may be retained within the container during the rotation thereof as a result of the fluid introduced to the container.
4. The laundry machine of claim 2 wherein the container is of substantially elliptical cross section.
5. A laundry machine including a container having an axis and walls which are spaced apart from each other on said axis and extend radially from said axis and towards each other so as to form a peripheral space radially spaced farther from said axis than is the balance of the interior of said container, said container having an opening through which the material to be laundered may be passed and means for closing said opening, means for mounting said container for rotation about its said axis, a tank for cleansing liquid, said container being arranged exteriorly of said tank, and means for injecting liquid from said tank into said container, said container having a peripheral series of outlet passages formed therethrough in substantial registration with said peripheral space and said container otherwise being substantially liquid-tight, and said passages being of such restricted size that a substantial volume of fluid may be contained within the container during the rotation thereof as a result of the fluid introduced into said container.
6. A laundry machine including a substantially lenticular container having an axis and walls which are spaced apart from each other on said axis and extend radially from said axis and towards each other without increase in the cross-sectional area of the container in the direction outwardly from the axis thereof so as to form a peripheral space radially spaced farther from said axis than is the balance ofzthe interior of said container, said container having an opening through which the material to be laundered may be passed and means forclosing said opening, means for mounting said container for rotation about said axis, and means for injecting cleansing liquid into said container, said container having a peripheral series of outlet passages therethrough in substantial registration with said peripheral space and said container otherwise being substantially.liquid-tight.
7. A laundry machine including a substantially lenticular container having an axis and walls which are spaced apart from each other on said axis and extend radially from said axis and towards each other without increase in the cross-sectional area of the container in the direction outwardly from the axis thereof so as to form peripheral space radially spaced farther from said axis than is the balance of the interior of said container, said container having an opening through which the material to be laundered may be passed and means for closing said opening, means for mounting said co tainer for rotation about said axis, and means for injecti ng cleansing liquid into said container, said containef having a peripheral series of outlet passages therethrough in substantial registration with said peripheral space, said container otherwise being substantially liquid-tight, and means for rotating said container at a relatively low speed during cleansing periods, at a higher speed during rinsing periods to force the spent rinse and cleansing fluid from the material by displacement by fresh rinse water, and at a still higher speed during fluid extracting periods.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS