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Publication numberUS2717456 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 13, 1955
Filing dateDec 3, 1951
Priority dateDec 3, 1951
Publication numberUS 2717456 A, US 2717456A, US-A-2717456, US2717456 A, US2717456A
InventorsSmith Thomas R
Original AssigneeMaytag Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clothes drier
US 2717456 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

CLOTHES DRIER Filed Dec. 3, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR.

United States Patent 2,717,456 CLOTHES DRIER Thomas R. Smith, Newton, Iowa, assignor to The Maytag Company, Newton, Iowa, a corporation of Delaware Application December 3, 1951, Serial No. 259,580 17 Claims. (CI. 3475) This invention relates to driers and more particularly to tumbler type clothes driers.

Among the disadvantages of the many different tumbler type clothes driers now on the market is the disposal of the lint and the heated moist air emanating from the drier into the ambient atmosphere. With regard to the lint problem, lint traps have been utilized; however, these do not eliminate the problem entirely because of the tendency for the operator to forget to clean the lint trap and even if cleaned regularly the duct work for directing the lint and vapor will eventually become clogged with lint. At best, an arrangement of this type merely filters out the larger particles of air-borne lint, while the finer lint and heated moisture laden air is discharged into the ambient atmosphere.

Still other driers have been proposed which incorporate a heating element in the drying chamber for evaporating the moisture in the clothing and in which the vapor leaving the drying chamber is condensed by means of a water spray or other cool surfaces. While a construction of this type is fairly successful with respect to preventing the dis- 2,717,456 Patented Sept. 13, 1955 It is yet another object of the invention to provide a tumbler type clothes drier with a container having relatively smooth walls in which a portion of one of the walls is heated to evaporate the moisture in the clothing and another portion of the walls is cooled by a relatively constant flowing stream of water for condensing the evaporated moisture. I

It is another object of the invention to provide a tumbler type clothes drier with an improved moisture condensing and lint dispensing means which is simple in construction and requires a minimum number of moving parts. I

It is still another object of the invention to provide a ice tumbler with a container having a relatively smooth wall charge of heated moisture laden air into the ambient air,

the lint problem, although not initially apparent to the operator, is an important factor because it tends to collect on the internal walls of the drying chamber. This is a serious disadvantage for several reasons: One, eventually a portion of the accumulated lint will contact the heating element with the resultant danger of an internal fire spreading throughout the drier; and, two, if the lint is kept moist to avoid the first hazards, bacterial action will take place sooner or later which will result in objectionable odors and unsanitary drying conditions.

In accordance with the invention a substantially imperforate container having a relatively smooth interior completely surrounds a rotatable clothes receiving tumbler type drum and a portion of a wall of the container is heated which in turn heats the clothing in the tumbler to evaporate the moisture therein.

Another portion or section of the container is directly cooled by means of a stream of cool water flowing over the interior surface of that section. Since this area is kept cool and moist by a constant flow of cooling water, the vapor emanating from the tumbling clothing flows toward the coolest portion of the container, and upon contact with the cool wet surface the vapor condenses and flows downwardly with the water to a trap provided in the bottom of the container which in turn leads to a drain opening. As the vapor moves toward and contacts the coolest area in the container, it carries with it the lint coming from the clothing and in view of the fact this area has a continuous stream of water flowing over the interior-surface, the collected lint is washed downwardly into the trough for eventual discharge to drain along with the cooling water and condensed vapor.

Since the heating and cooling surfaces are both smooth and the direction of flow of vapor and lint will always be in the direction of the coolest surface, the tendency for the lint to collect on and tenaciously adhere to the dry, warmer and hotter surfaces is for all practical purposes eliminated.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a tumbler type clothes drier with a container having relatively smooth walls in which a portion of one of the walls is heated to evaporate the moisture in the clothing and another portion of the walls is cooled to condense the evaporated moisture.

in which a portion of the wall is heated externally to evaporate the moisture in the clothing and another portion of the wall is thermally insulated from the remainder and cooled internally to condense the evaporated moisture.

It is yet another object of the invention to mount a tumbler type clothes drier holding drum within a substantially imperforate and smooth container which is provided with exterior heating means for evaporating the moisture in the clothing and internal cooling means for condensing the evaporated moisture and for disposing of the lint.

It is another object of the invention to mount a tumbler type clothes drier within a substantially imperforate container having a relatively smooth interior whereina complete drying operation is completed within the chamber without discharging lint and heated vapor into the ambient atmosphere.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a drier in which the rate of drying does not depend upon humid ity conditions of the ambient atmosphere.

Other objects, features, capabilities and advantages are comprehended by the invention, as will later appear and' as are inherently possessed thereby.

Referring to the drawings:

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic transverse vertical sectional view of one form of the improved clothes drier showing an arrangement for the heating and cooling means;

Figure 2 is a partial vertical sectional view taken gen-,

erally along the line 22 of Figure l and showing the liquid supply means for the condensing surface;

Figure 3 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view of the drier taken along the line 33 of Figure 1; and

Figure 4 is a detailed sectional view of the container at the cooling section taken along the line 44 of Figure 1.

Referring now more in detail to the drawing for a description of one form of clothes drier to which the improved arrangement is applicable, there is generally shown at 10 a tumbler type clothes drier, having a horizontally mounted rotatable drum 11 enveloped or encompassed by a substantially imperforate stationary sheet metal casing or container 12 which provides a drying chamber 14 in which the drum rotates. Both the drum 11 and container 12 may be supported on a base frame 15 'in any suitable manner (not shown) and the entire assembly'is surrounded by a cabinet 16 to provide a pleasing appearance.

The drum 11 includes an outer perforate cylindrical wall 17, a front wall 18, having an access opening 19 therein through which the clothing to be dried is inserted and removed, and a substantially imperforate rear wall 21 to which is attached or secured a concentric horizontal shaft 22 for rotating the drum. The rear wall 21 may be further provided with a strengthening web 23 whose central portion terminates in a boss 24 for engaging the shaft 22 to aid in rigidly holding the drum with respect to the shaft. Elevating vanes 26 are preferably mounted within the drum to provide the means for agitating the clothing in a tumbling manner when the drum is rotated.

The drum shaft 22 extends axially outwardly from the 29 mounted on the frame 15. In addition, the drum shaft is preferably journalled in a bearing 31 formed as part of a suitable housing construction 32 secured to the rear portion of the container 12. It is to be understood any suitable supporting and driving means may be provided for the rotatable drum 11. From the foregoing, it is obvious that when the motor 29 is energized, the drum 11 is rotated about its horizontal axis to elevate and agitate the clothing in a tumbling manner.

The container or casing 12 surrounding the drum 11 has a substantially imperforate outer cylindrical wall 33 with a water collecting trap or basin 34 at its lowermost portion extending axially across substantially its entire length, a rear wall 36 having an opening37 therein through which the drum shaft 22 extends, and a front wall 38 having an access opening 39 in line with the access opening 19 in the drum.

The cabinet 16, completely enclosing the container 12, base frame construction 15, drive mechanism 29 and other auxiliary equipment, has an access opening 41 in its front wall 42 in line with the access openings in the container and rotatable drum, and the cabinet opening 41 is provided with a hinged door or closure 43 which, in this instance, carries a suitable gasket 44 to seal about the access opening in the cabinet to prevent the escape of vapor therethrough.

In order to evaporate the moisture in the clothing, heat from a suitable gas or electric source must be supplied to the drying chamber 14. In the modification shown, there is disclosed by way of example, a standard type heating element 46 which, in this instance, is mounted on or about the upper portion or sector of the cylindrical wall 33 of the container 12. This heating element is adapted to lay in close contact on the outer periphery of the cylindrical portion 33 of the container 12 so the heat entering the drum must radiate through the imperforate wall of the container into the chamber. With a construction of this type, a relatively large area of the container is heated by thermo-conduction of heat through the sheet metal and it is maintained at a higher than normal temperature. Of course, the major portion of the heat radiating into the chamber will be in the area directly in front of and adjacent to the heating means 56. By spreading the heating means over a relatively large area the over-all temperature of the drum is reduced considerably; therefore, the danger of starting an internal fire is for all practical purposes eliminated. It is to be understood that other types of heating means and different locations may be utilized to heat the drying chamber.

Since the container 12 is not equipped with a vapor outlet, as such, means must be provided to dispose of the vapor evapoarted from the clothing being dried. In the preferred form the vapor is condensed by having it directly contact a portion or sector 47 of the cylindrical wall of the container which is directly cooled by a stream of cooling water flowing over its inner peripheral surface. The portion or sector of the container defining the cooling or condensing surface is preferably provided with a thermal break with respect to the remainder of the container to confine the cooling to one definite sector or zone and at the same time prevent or restrict the transfer of heat in the remainder of the container walls to the cooling section. In the construction shown the portion of the cylindrical wall of the casing defining the condensing surface is provided with inturned flanges 48 adjacent the front and rear walls 38 and 36 and thermal insulatingmaterial 49 is placed between the two to provide the thermal break along this area. At the same time, the inturned flanges 4S define the outer boundary of a trough 51 for guiding the cooling water to the bottom of the casing.

The lower end of the cooling section is recessed to ill provide the catch basin or trap 34 for collecting the liquid and this trap opens into a drain outlet 52 which in turn directs the cooling water to the inlet of a pump 53 for discharge to any suitable drain connection. It is to be understood, of course, that under some conditions wherein a suitable drain is normally lower than the level of the trap 34 the pump would not be necessary.

Adjacent the trap 34 and opposite to the cooling wall a longitudinal thermal break is provided in the cylindrical wall 33 by inserting insulating material 54 between outturned flanges 56 on the adjacent sections.

While approximately one-half of the lower portion of the cylindrical wall 33 is utilized for the cooling zone and is thermally insulated from the rest of the container by means of the insulating material 49 and 54, the upper portion of this sector is provided with a longitudinal slot or passage 57 extending across the length of the cylindrical wall 33 slightly above the axis of the drum which acts as a thermal barrier and at the same time provides an opening through which the cooling or condensing water enters the interior of the casing.

The cooling water may be supplied to the interior of the container through a horizontal pipe or conduit 53 with suitable openings or orifices relatively closely spaced therealong which direct a multiplicity of jets or streams of water 59 downwardly to substantially cover the entire inner periphery of the cooling surface with a fine stream or film of water. The supply of water may be under control of any suitable valve means 61 which is preferably automatically controlled by suitable control means or mechanism, not shown. It is to be noted the water supply conduit is disposed above the upper edge 62 of the cooling sector to provide for a vacuum break and that the water flowing past the slot acts as means to entrain vapor tending to escape at this point.

In order to maintain maximum efficiency, the major portion of the container is preferably insulated with suitable heat insulating material 63 to reduce to a minimum the heat radiated or conducted to the ambient atmosphere.

Since a thermal barrier has been provided between the hot and cold sections of the container, relatively sharp temperature difference areas have been defined. Therefore, the movement of the vapor and lint will be more positive to the cold wet section or wall rather than to the dry warm walls. If the temperature gradient were gradual, some of the lint would tend to collect and accumulate on the area surrounding the cooler area with the result a build-up of lint at that location takes place. Also, by utilizing a trough to confine and conduct the cooling water and condensate to the trap 34 the tendency for the water to extend beyond the cooling zone has been eliminated for all practical purposes. Therefore, any small quantity of lint which may settle adjacent the trough will not tend to absorb water which in turn would result in collecting additional quantities of lint.

In the operation of a clothes drier of the type disclosed, the operator opens the door 43 and inserts the damp clothing to be dried into the rotatable drum 11 through the aligned access openings, after which the door is closed to seal the interior of the container 12 at this point.

Next the operator adjusts or actuates suitable control mechanism (not shown) to initiate the drying operation. This control mechanism acts to cause energization of the heating element 46 to supply heat radially through portions of the walls 33, 36 and 38 of the container, start the motor 29 to rotate the drum 11 about its horizontal axis to tumble and agitate the clothes and at the same time open the valve 61 to permit the fiow of water through vapor builds up in the chamber. With the drum 11 rotating in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in Figure l, the vapor is circulated around the inner periphery of the container and in doing so a portion of the vapor contacts the cool wet sector or zone 47 of the container and is condensed. This condensation of the vapor develops a slightly reduced pressure at this zone and results in a flow of vapor in the direction of the cool surface whereat it is condensed. As the cooling water and condensate reach the bottom of the chamber it flows into a trap 34 and is directed by gravity to the opening 52 which leads to the inlet of the pump 53 for discharge to drain.

As the vapor moves toward the cool section of the chamber to be condensed, the fine air-borne lint will be carried by the vapor and it will likewise contact the cool Y wet wall and absorb enough moisture to settle thereon. However, since a continuous supply of cooling water is flowing over the wall, the lint will be washed downwardly by the water into the trap and be discharged to drain along with the water and condensate. heavier lint falling out of the drum on the cooling side of the chamber is washed to the trap along with the other lint and the heavier lint falling from the opposite side of the drum will tend to roll downwardly into the trap 34 for discharge also.

At the end of the drying operation when the moisture in the clothing has been reduced to the desired value, suitable control means is actuated to de-energize the heating element and motor and close the valve supplying the cooling water. The operator need but open the door and remove the dried clothing from the drum and the drier is then ready for the next drying operation.

With a drier construction of the type disclosed it is obvious the operator is not required to remember to check the lint trap, that relatively large quantities of moist heated air are not discharged into the ambient atmosphere and the efiicient drying is accomplished regardless of the humidity conditions of the ambient atmosphere.

From the foregoing, it can be seen that a relatively simple drier construction has been provided which has no 1 lint trap, does not require the circulation of ambient air therethrough and wherein both the heating and cooling or condensing operations are confined to definite areas in a single chamber which also houses the rotatable drum for agitating the fabrics.

While I have herein described and upon the drawings shown an illustrative embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited thereto, but may comprehend other constructions, arrangements of parts, details and features Without departing from the spirit of the invention.

It is claimed:

1. A drier for damp clothing comprising a rotatable drum for tumbling the clothing to be dried about a horizontal axis, a substantially imperforate container having cooperating walls openly facing said drum and defining a drying chamber therein, means for heating the exterior of a portion of the walls of said container to heat said chamber to evaporate the moisture in said clothing, means for cooling another portion of said walls for condensing the vapor evaporated from the clothing, said means including a supply for cooling liquid to flow over the interior of said last-named portion of the wall in said chamber in a relatively wide and thin film to directly contact the vapor to condense the same and collect the lint thereon, and means for conducting the cooling liquid, condensate and lint to drain.

2. A drier for damp clothing, comprising means for agitating the clothing, a substantially imperforate casing having cooperating walls openly facing said agitating means and defining a chamber, means for heating said chamber through a portion of said walls to evaporate the moisture in the clothing, means for supplying cooling liquid to the interior of said casing to flow over another portion of said walls in a relatively thin film to provide a Likewise, the

condensing surface for the vapor evaporated from the clothing, and means for conducting the cooling liquid and condensate to drain.

3. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a substantially imperforate casing defining achamber and having an access opening therein, a closure for said opening, a tumbler in said chamber for agitating the clothing, said casing comprising walls openly facing said tumbler, means for heating said chamber through a portion of said walls to evaporate the moisture in said clothing, means for conducting cooling water for discharge to flow over the interior of another portion of said walls in a relatively wide and thin film to condense the evaporated vapor, and means for directing the cooling water and condensate to drain. a

4. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a tumbler mounted to rotate about a horizontal axis to agitate the clothing, a casing having a cylindrical wall and end walls surrounding said tumbler and defining a drying chamber, one of said end walls having an access opening therein, a closure for said access opening, means for heating a portion of said cylindrical wall to heat said chamber through said wall'to evaporate the moisture in the clothing, means for supplying cooling liquid to another portion of said cylindrical wall to condense the evaporated moisture by direct contact with said liquid, means for providing a thermal break at said last named portion to restrict the conduction of heat thereto, and means for conducting the liquid and condensate to drain.

5. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a tumbler mounted to rotate about a horizontal axis to receive and agitate the clothing, a substantially imperforate casing having a cylindrical wall and end walls to define a chamber for said tumbler and with one of said walls having an access opening therein for the insertion and removal of clothing, a closure for sealing said access opening, said cylindrical wall having a portion thereof thermally insulated from the remainder of said casing, heating means disposed exteriorly of said casing to heat said chamber through said casing to evaporate the moisture in said clothing, means for supplying cooling water to the interior of said casing at said thermally insulated portion of said cylindrical wall to condense the evaporated moisture and to collect lint thereat, and means adjacent the bottom of said chamber for conducting the cooling water, condensate and lint to drain.

6. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a tumbler mounted to rotate about a horizontal axis for receiving and agitating the clothing, a substantially imperforate casing having a cylindrical wall and end walls to define a chamber for said tumbler and with one of said end walls having an access opening therein for the insertion and removal of clothing, a closure for said access opening, said cylindrical wall having a lower portion thermally insulated from the remainder of said casing, heating means disposed on the exterior of an upper portion of said cylindrical wall of said casing to heat said chamber through said wall to evaporate the moisture in the clothing, a longitudinal slot disposed across the upper portion of said insulated section, a conduit disposed exteriorly of said chamber above said slot for directing cooling water therefrom through said slot and against the interior surface of said insulated section to provide a condensing surface for the vapor evaporated from said clothing and to collect lint thereon, and means for conducting the cooling water, condensate and lint to drain.

7. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a rotatable drum for tumbling the clothing to be dried about a horizontal axis, a substantially imperforate container having a longitudinally extending intermediate wall and cooperating end walls openly facing said drum and defining a drying chamber therein, means for heating said chamber to evaporate the moisture in said clothing, means for cooling a portion of said longitudinally extending intermediate wall for condensing the vapor evaporated from the clothing, said means including a supply for cooling liquid to flow over the interior of said last-named portion of the wall in said chamber in a relatively thin and wide film to directly contact the vapor to condense the same and collect the lint thereon, and means for conducting the cool ing liquid, condensate and lint to drain.

8. A drier for damp clothing, comprising means for agitating the clothing, a substantially imperforate casing comprising cooperating Walls openly facing said agitating means and defining a chamber, means for heating said chamber to evaporate the moisture in the clothing, means for flowing cooling liquid over a portion of the interior of said walls in a relatively thin film to provide a condensing surface for the vapor evaporated from the clothing, and means for conducting the cooling liquid and condensate to drain.

9. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a substantially imperforate casing defining a chamber and having an access opening therein, a closure for said opening, a tumbler in said chamber for agitating the clothing, said casing comprising walls openly facing said tumbler, means for heating said chamber to evaporate the moisture in the clothing, means for conducting cooling water in a relatively thin and wide film over the interior of a portion of said walls to condense the evaporated vapor, and means for directing the cooling water and condensate to drain.

10. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a tumbler mounted to rotate about a horizontal axis to agitate the clothing, a casing having a cylindrical Wall and end walls surrounding said tumbler and defining a drying chamber, one of said end walls having an access opening therein, a closure for said access opening, means for heating said chamber to evaporate the moisture in the clothing, means for flowing cooling water over a portion of said cylindrical wall to condense the evaporated moisture by direct contact with said water, means for providing a thermal break at said last named portion to restrict the conduction of heat thereto, and means for conducting the liquid and condensate to drain.

11. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a tumbler mounted to rotate about a horizontal axis to receive and agitate the clothing, a substantially imperforate casing M having a cylindrical wall and end walls to define a chamber for said tumbler and with one of said Walls having an access opening therein for the insertion and removal of clothing, a closure for sealing said access opening, said cylindrical wall having a portion thereof thermally insulated from the remainder of said casing, heating means for evaporating the moisture in said clothing, means for supplying cooling water to the interior of said casing to flow over said thermally insulated portion of said cylindrical wall in a thin sheet to condense the evaporated moisture and to collect lint thereat, and means adjacent the bottom of said chamber for conducting the cooling water condensate and lint to drain. 7

12. A drier for damp clothing, comprising means for agitating the clothing, a substantially imperforate casing defining a drying chamber enclosing said means, said casing comprising cooperating walls openly facing said agitating means, heating means for evaporating the moisture in the clothing, means for flowing cooling water in a relatively wide and thin film over a portion of the inner surface of said walls to condense within the casing the vapor evaporated from the clothing and collect the lint removed therefrom by direct contact with the water, said last-named portion of the Walls providing an open channel for the cooling water facing said agitating means, and means for discharging the cooling water, condensate and lint to drain.

13. A drier for damp clothing, comprising means for agitating the clothing, a substantially imperforate casing including walls and defining a drying chamber enclosing said means, heating means for said chamber to evaporate the moisture in said clothing, a cooling water inlet provided in a wall of said casing for admitting cooling water to the interior thereof, an open channel facing said agitating means and formed in' a Wall of said casing over which the cooling liquid flows downwardly by gravity in a relatively wide and thin stream to the bottom of said casing to condense within the same by direct contact the vapor evaporated from the clothing, means including a barrier on opposite sides of said channel for restricting the influence of the cooling water to the remaining portion of said casing, and a conduit for conducting the cooling water and condensate to drain.

14-. A drier for damp clothing, comprising a tumbler for agitating the clothing, a substantially imperforate cas ing including end walls and an intermediate Wall enclosing and openly facing said tumbler and defining a drying chamber, heating means for evaporating the moisture in said clothing, a cooling water inlet provided in said intermediate wall for admitting cooling water to the interior of said casing, an open channel facing said tumbler and formed as part of said intermediate wall over which the cooiing water flows in a relatively wide and thin stream to the bottom of said casing to condense thereat the evaporated vapor, means for restricting the thermal-conductivity from said channel to the remainder of said casing to maintain a temperature difference therebetween, and means for conducting the cooling water and condensate to drain. 4

15. In a clothes drier, a perforate tumbler for receiving and agitating fabrics to be dried, a casing enclosing said tumbler to define a drying chamber for said fabrics, said casing including a wall portion openly facing said tumbler, means for heating said fabrics to evaporate moisture therefrom, an outlet port in said casing, and means including an inlet port for flowing a film of condensing fluid through said drying chamber between said wall portion and said tumbler toward said outlet port to condense evaporated moisture from fabrics on said film.

16. In a clothes drier, a drum for receiving and agitating damp fabrics to be dried, a casing enclosing said drum, means for heating said fabrics to evaporate moisture therefrom, a perforate wall in said drum providing an exit for evaporated moisture in said drum, said casing inciuding an imperforate wall openly facing said perforate wall in said drum, an outlet port in said casing, and means including an inlet port for flowing a film of condensing fluid between said perforate and imperforate walls toward said outlet port to condense evaporated moisture from said fabrics on said fiim.

17. In a clothes drier, a drum for receiving and agitating damp fabrics to be dried, a casing enclosing said drum, means for heating said fabrics to evaporate moisture therefrom, a perforate wall in said drum providing an exit for evaporated moisture in said drum, said casing including an imperforate Wall openly facing said drum, an outlet port in said casing, and means including an inlet port for flowing a film of condensing fluid between said drum and said imperforate wall toward said outlet port to condense evaporated moisture from said fabrics on said film.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2833056 *Mar 23, 1953May 6, 1958Maytag CoMeans for treating fabrics
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US7421865Dec 16, 2004Sep 9, 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Washing machine with drying function and method of controlling the same
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Classifications
U.S. Classification34/75
International ClassificationD06F58/24, D06F58/20
Cooperative ClassificationD06F58/24
European ClassificationD06F58/24