US 2751773 A
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June 26, 1956 T. T. wooDsoN DRIVE MECHANISM FOR CLOTHES WASHING MACHINE AND THE LIKE 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed July 18, 1952 Inventor-z Thomas TWoodson, b5
June 26,1956 T. T. wooDsoN DRIVE MECHANISM FOR CLOTHES WASHING MACHINE AND THE LIKE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 18, 1952 Zla FifgS.
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nited States Patent MECHAISM FOR CLDTHES WASHING MACHINE AND THE LIKE Application July 1s, 1952, serial No. 299,555
z claims. (C1. 5s-z3) DRIVE The present invention relates to driving mechanisms for clothes washing machines and the like wherein washing iseffected by oscillation of a washing means positioned in a spin basket and the washing liquid is removed by rotating the spin basket at relatively high speed. It has to do more particularly with an improved electric motor drive construction and arrangement wherein a reversing means such as a reversing motor is utilized, the reversing means when operating in one direction effecting oscillation of the washing means and when operating in the other direction effecting the spinning operation. The invention is well adapted for use in a washing machine wherein there is provided a spin basket with an agitator therein, the basket being held stationary and the agitator oscillated for washing and the basket and agitator being rotated as a unit for extracting the washing liquid from the clothes; and it is in connection with this type of machine that I have elected to illustrate my invention. It isto be understood, however, that the invention inits broader aspects is not limited necessarily to this specic type of washing machine. The object of the invention is to provide an improved driving mechanism which is simple in structure, reliable in operation and capable of being manufactured and serviced at low cost, and for a consideration of what I believe to be novel and my invention, attention is directed to the following specification and to the claims appended thereto.
According to my invention, I provide clutch means in the form of two coiled clutch springs, the motor when rotating in one direction effecting oscillation of the washing means through one of the clutch springs and when rotating in the other direction effecting'spinning of the tub to extract the washing liquid through the other of the clutch springs. A In the drawing, Fig. 1 is a side elevation partly in section of a clothes washing machine embodying my invention; Fig. 2 is a detail sectional view on a larger scale showing certain of the driving parts; Fig. 3 is a perspective View of a clutch spring. Fig. 4 is a perspective View of a second clutch spring, and Fig. 5 is a sectional view showing a modification.
Referring to the drawing, the washing machine comprises an outer casing 1 having a rigid base frame 2 and a tub 3 suitably secured within the casing as by a clamping band 4 and having an upper ange 5 fastened to the upper periphery of the casing. As illustrated, the tub is molded fromrubber or the like and is flexible; this is by way of example only, and is without importance as respectsthe instant invention. The cover 6 and removable -lid 7 .complete .the casing structure. Fixed to a transverse frame member (not shown) extending between and secured to opposite walls of the base frame 2, is a mounting structure 9Vvwhich includes an angular support member v10 iixedto a resiliently mounted pedestal 11. An overhanging end of member 1t) carries a drive motor 12. The member 10 supports a gear casing 14 by any suitable means; for example, by directly axing the extremity of 2,751,773 Patented June 26, 1956 the member 10 to a base plate of the casing 14 and employing studs or equivalent spacer means 15. -The mounting structure may be similar to that disclosed and claimed in the C. L. Reitz et al. application, Serial No.y 164,382, filed May 26, 1950, and assigned to my present assignee, now Patent 2,667,269, issued January 26, 1954.
The gear casing 14 extends into the tub 3 by passage through a neck 16 thereof. Neck 16 is suitably fastened to the cylindrical wall of casing 14 by suitable clamping means 16a which insure against leakage from the tub. The motor 12 is drivingly associated with a pump 17 having an inlet clamped within a depending drain neck 18 of the tub. Said pump is unidirectionaland when rotated in proper direction will discharge the contents of the tub 3 through an outow 18a connected to any suitable disposal conduit (not shown).
Journaled in a bearing 19 in the top wall of casing 14 is a tubular shaft 20 which is fixed at its lower end to a gear frame 21 having a hub 21a journaled in a bearing hub 22 in the casing base plate 23. Fixed to shaft 20 is a collar 24 to which is axed a spin basket 25 within which the clothes are washed and dried. Independently rotatable within the tubular shaft 20 is a shaft 26 carrying at its upper end a washing device or agitator 27. Shaft 26 carries at its lower end a pinion 28 which is in mesh with a gear train 3i) driven by a pinion 29 aiiixed to the end of a drive shaft 31. Gear train 30 includes a known arrangement of eccentrically mounted sector gear 30a to cause oscillation of the Washing device 27 when shaft 31 rotates the gearing.
Gear frame 21 is supported on a thrust ballbearing 32. Shaft 31 is journaled at its upper end in a sleeve bearing 33 (Fig. 2) pressed into a liner 34 which is fixed in hub 21a by suitable means such as the pin 35, the upper end of bearing 33 providing a thrust collar 36 against which the lower end o f pinion 29 rests. Atrits lower end shaft 31 is journaled in a ball bearing 37 held in position in hub 22 by a retaining washer 38 iixed in place by studs 39. Fixed on the lower end of shaft 31 is a driving sheave or pulley 40, the hub of which is indicated at 41. VPositioned between hub 41 and washer 38 is a suitable spring pressed sealing ring 42. Y
The structure so far described is a known one.Y When gear frame 21 is held stationary, thus holding tub 25 stationary, and shaft 31 is rotated, oscillating motion is imparted through the gearing to agitator 27. When the gear frame is not held stationary rotation of shaft 31 imparts torque to the gear frame, the gearing, tub 25 and agitator 27 due to the reaction forces.
My invention has to do particularly with an improved clutch construction and arrangement whereby when shaft 31 rotates in one direction, gear frame 21 is held stationary and agitator 27 is oscillated and when shaft 31 rotates in the other direction the gear frame and gearing is rotated as a unit to rotate tub 25. Y
Referring particularly to Fig. 2, hub 21ais counterbored to provide an inner surface 43 which in conjunction with the adjacent outer surface 44 of liner 34 defines a recess in which are positioned the upper ends of two helically wound springs 45 and 46. Surface 43 is in alignment with a surface 47 of bearing hub 22. Surface 44 is in alignment with the outer surface 484V of acollar 49 fixed on shaft 31. The upper end of spring 45 has an outturned end 50 positioned in an opening 51V in hub 21a and lies against aligned surfaces-43 and 47. Spring 45 is wound right hand and is formed fromr'ecl tangular wire. It is prewound tight and is of a' diameter such that in normal quiet position it'contacts firmlyV with surfaces 43 and 47. The upper end of spring 46lia's'fan inturned end 52 positioned in an opening'53 in liner 34 and lies against aligned surfaces 44 and 48. Spring 46 is wound left hand and is formed from rectangular wire.
It Ais prewutltl tight and is 9i a stagista .S9914 that in normal or quiet position it contacts iirmly with surfaces 44 and 48.
With the foregoing spring clutch arrangement when shaft -31 turns in a counterclockwise direction when viewed from the bottom, i. e. in thedirecti-on indicated by arrow A, hub 49 which is keyed to and turns with shaft 31- overrides spring 46 which is wound left hand and shaft 31 rotates pinion 29 and through gearing 30 effects oscillation of agitator 27. During this time any counterclockwise torque developed tending to turn gear frame 21 is opposed by the braking or snubbing action of spring 45 against the surface 47 of hub 22 since the counterclockwise torque developed through spring end 50 is in a direction to unwind or open up spring 43'causing it to tighten against surface 47. In other words, counterclockwise t rotation of shaft 31 has a tendency to unwind spring 46 permitting the shaft and collar 49 to turn freely and at the same time to unwind spring 45 to cause it to clamp gear frame hub'21a to stationary bearing hub 22 thus holding the gear frame from turning. On the other hand, when shaft 31 turns in a clockwise direction, when viewed from the bottom, i.,e. in the direction indicated Vby arrow S, the tendency of collar 49 to turn relatively to spring 46 is in a direction which serves to Wrap the lower end of spring 46 tight around the collar thus locking the collar and shaft 31 to gear frame 21 to effect rotation of the gear frame, the gearing carried by it and the spin basket as a unit. The rotation of hub 21a is in a direction such that it tends to wind up or tighten the turns of spring 45 so its diameter isreduced slightly and its lower end no longer grips against surface 47. Thus the parts are permitted to spin freely.
This reversing transmission clutch mechanism has the Vadvantage that it is simple in structure, reliable in operation and not likely to get out of order. But should it fail at any time it is capable of being replaced readily and at low cost. v
Shaft 31 may be rotated in the onedirection for oscillating agitator 27 and in the other direction for rotating spin basket by any suitable means. In the present instance reversing Vmotor 12 is shown as being connected to shaft 31 by a belt 54 (Fig. l) positioned over sheave 40 and over a sheave 55 driven from the motor shaft. Such connection may include a bi-directional centrifugal clutch 56 of suitable construction driven by the motor shaft which functions to connect the motor Ashaft to sheave 55 when the motor when rotated in either direction reaches a predetermined high speed. Any suitable centrifugal clutch structure may be used. It is indicated in outline only, as lui-directional clutches suitable for this use are known'and the specific clutch structure forms no part of my present invention.
Spring 45 may have relatively heavy duty since in functioning to hold gear frame 21 stationary during a Washing operation it must absorb the reversing impact load on the spin basket which occurs during reversal of the'agitator. On the other hand spring 46 may have only relatively light duty because the inertias ofthe Vrotated parts are relatively low. Accordingly in the drawing the two springs'are shown as being formed from a heavier and a lighter spring material.
An important advantage of my invention resides in the fact that it requires only a single-driving pulley for the agitator and spin operations, a thing especially adyantageous in that it simplifies the drive mechanism and adapts itself for incorporation in a Washing machine having automatic controlV in a reliable and simple manner.
, In Fig. 5 is showna form of the invention wherein the helical springs, instead of being arranged bothrin a recessin the gear* frame hub are arranged on opposite sides of-such hub and bear against opposedfaces of the ff 2,751,7rs Y -Y hah fslsal Spring 60, Corresponding t9 hslisal ,Spring 45 of Figs. 1 to 4, has its upper end positioned in a recess 61 in hub 62 and its lower end positioned in a recess 63 in bearing hub 64, and the upper end of helical spring 65, corresponding to helical spring 46 of Figs. 1 to 4, has its upper end positioned in a recess 66 between drive shaft 67 and liner 68 and its lower end positioned in a recess 69. Otherwise the construction shown in Fig. 5 is similar to that shown in Figs. 1 to 4 and its operation is similar and will be readily understood from the description of operation given in connection Ywith Figs. 1 to 4.
What I claim as new and desire toA secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. In a clothes washing machine, a spin basket, an
agitator therein, a gear casing provided with an annularVV hub, a gear cage in the gear casing connected to the spin basket and provided with a gear cage hub rotatably mounted in said annular hub, gearing carried by the gearY cage connected to the agitator, a drive shaft, a pinion on the drive shaft for turning said gearing, and two helically wound springs connected to said gear cage hub and en- 1 gaging surfaces of said gear cage hub with said drive shaft and said annular hub respectively which upon rotation of said drive shaft in one direction are unwound to loosen the engagement between the one spring and said drive shaft and tighten the engagement between Vthe other spring and said annular hub to thereby hold said gear cage stationary and effect operation of said agitator, and upon rotation of said drive shaft in the other direction are wound to tighten the engagement between said one spring and said drive shaft and loosen the engagement between the other spring and said annular hub to thereby release the gear cage for rotation by the drive shaft to effect rotation of said spin basket.
2. In a clothes washing machine, a spin basket, an agitator therein, a gear casing provided with an annular hub, a gear cage in the gear casing connected to the spin basket provided with a gear cage hub rotatably mounted in said annular hub, gearing carried by the gear cage connected to the agitator,.a drive shaft, a pinion on-the drive shaft for turning said gearing, walls defining an annular recess insaid gear cage hub the inner surface of which is in alignment with a surface of said drive shaft and the outer surface of which is in alignment with a surface of said annular hub, and two helically wound springs y the upper portions of which are positioned in said annular recess with their ends attached to the walls thereof and the lower portions of which engage the aligned surfaces of said drive shaft and said annular hub respectively, and which upon rotation of said drive shaft in one direction are unwound to loosen the engagementV between the one spring and said drive shaft and tighten the engagement between the other spring and said annularV hub to thereby hold said gear cage stationary and effect operation of said agitator, and upon rotation of said drive shaft in the other direction are wound to tighten the engagement between said one spring and said drive shaft and loosen the engagement between the other spring and said annular hub to thereby release the gear cage for rotation by the drive shaft to effect rotation of said spin basket.
YReferences Cited in the tile of this patent Castner Jan. 18, 1955