US 2771749 A
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Nov. 27, 1956 A. a MILLER ICE MAKING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 7, 1953 INVENT OR ATTORNEYS Nov. 27, 1956 A. R. MILLER ICE MAKING APPARATUS Filed July '7, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR mfr-Q57@ BY W ATTORNEYS United States atent O ICE MAKING APPARATUS Albert R. Miller, Miami Beach, Fla., assigner of one-half to Fay G. `lohnsou, Jacksonville, Fla.
Application July 7, 1953, Serial No. 366,603
ClailIlS. (Cl. 62-7) invention relates toa device for freezing successive charges of liquid and dispensing the frozen charges and more particularly to ya device for freezing and dispensing ice cubes for domestic use.
Many efforts have been made to provide automatic ice cube dispensing units for home refrigerators; however, most attempts have resulted in a rather bulky and cumbersome unit which not only takes up much room in a refrigerator but also is rather costly. It is therefore the primary object of the present invention to provide an improved cube-'freezing and automatic dispensing assembly which not only is of a durable construction and can be economically produced but also consists of a minimum number of parts thereby taking up a minimum amount of space in a refrigerator and a minimum amount of installation time.
Some attention has been given to automatic cube dispensing units in which a warm refrigerant is passed over an ice tray to free the cubes. Although these assemblies have enjoyed some success, they have proved disadvantageous not only because of the additional cost but also because of the space consumed by the extra lines and valves needed to carry and control the warm refrigerant. It is another object of the present invention therefore to alleviate these prior art shortcomings by providing freezing trays formed of a heat-conductive material and disposed in heat-transferring contact with one another so that the heat from a new charge of liquid will be transferred through the trays and melt the tray contacting portions `of a charge of liquid which has already been frozen.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a pair of trays Which are mounted in a generally hor-izontal plane and have a common bottom disposed therebetween, and a means for automatically rotating the trays 180 about their -transverse horizontal axes upon a charge of liquid being frozen in the uppermost tray so that the other tray is rotated into a filling position while the frozen charge is being discharged from the first mentioned tray.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a cube-storage container which allows the cube forming and discharge unit to operate continuously, however, with means to stop the dispensing and freezing assemblies when the storage container is filled to a predetermined level.
Other objects and advantages will be 'apparent from the following more detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
`Figure 1 is a vertical sectional view through the freezing compartment of a refrigerator showing a freezing container and ice cube receiving receptacle in elevation;
Figure 2 is a vertical sectional view taken on line 2-2 of Figure l;
Figure 3 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of Figure l;
Figure 4 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 4--4 of Figure l;
Figure 5 is a wiring diagram, and
Figure 6 is an enlarged detail of the connection between the supply valve and the oat.
In order to facilitate an understanding of the present invention, reference is now made in more detail to the drawings. An ordinary refrigerator is designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The refrigerator can be of any conventional type and has a top wall 11, a rear wall 12, and 4a front and bottom wall not illustrated. The freezing compartment of the present invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 13, and has a bottom Wall 14, a lfront wall 15 and a rear and top walls in common with the Iwalls 12 and 11 of the reffrigerator. It should be understood of course that the freezing compartment can be positioned within the refrigerator at any suitable place. The temperature within the freezing compartment is controlled by any conventional refrigerating system .and since it forms no part of the present invention is not illustrated herein.
As can best be seen in Figure 1, a shaft 16 is supported in the rear wall 12 of the refrigerator and extends therefrom in a generally horizontall direction. Shaft 16 is rotatably supported in 'the rear wall of the refrigerator by means of bearings or other suitable means. The freezing container of the present invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 17. The preferred embodiment of the freezing container comprises an upper tray portion 18 and a lower tray portion 19. The upper tray has side walls 20 and 21 while the lower tray has 'side walls 20' and 21'. As `can best be seen in Figure 5, side walls 20 and 21' are longer than side walls 20' and :21 so that the common bottom wall 22 which is disposed between the -upper and lower trays is slanted at a slight langle for purposes hereinafter referred to. rlhe upper and lower trays also have slanted partitions 23 and 23 for purposes hereinafter described.
The freezing container is `supported on shaft 16 with the shaft extending substantially through the center of the common bottom 22 and extending substantially the length of the freezing container. The liquid which is to be frozen `is supplied to the uppermost portion of the container by means lof a pipe 24 which is connected to a -water supply tank 25. -Pipe 24 extends through and is supported in 1an opening 26 in the rear wall 12 of the refrigerator and is connected to the bottom wall 2'8 of the supply tank 25 with its opening in registry with the opening 27 `formed in the bottom wall of the tank. Water is supplied to the supply tank 25 by means of a water line 29 which has one end connected to a valve hou-sing 30 connected to the ordinary house water supply. Valve housing 30 has a second opening in registry with an opening 31 formed in the lower wall of the tank. The flow of water into the supply tank is controlled in any conventional manner with' an ordinary oat control being illustrated herein. A valve 30 ordinarily is seated in the valve housing lto prevent the flow of Water into the tank. Valve 30 has a stem 32 extending upwardly therefrom which is pivotally connected at 33 to a horizontal rod member l34. Rod member 34 pivots about pin 35 which is txed to a wall of the tank. A lost motion link 36 has a vertical portion 36 which is pivotally connected to the free end of rod 34 by means of a pivot pin 37.
Link 36 has a horizontal arm 38 extending from the-free A rod 40 lies in the same plane as vertical portion 36 of the lost motion link 36 and terminates in a horizontal arm portion 41 which lies directly above arm 38. Arm
41 has an aperture 41' through which the vertical arm 39 freely extends. Rod 40 extends through an opening 44 in horizontal :arm 43 and is pivotally connected at its upper end to an arm 45 by means of a pivot pin 46. Arm 45 `is pivoted at a point-intermediate its ends about the pin 47 which is xed to the tank. A float 48 is connected to the free end ofarm- 45 andvoats on the surface of Ythe water. l
It is readily. seen therefore that asfthelevel of water in rthetank goes down, `the oat causes the arm 45 to pivot aroundpoint 47, thereby movingirod jmember 40 upwardly` Rod Mii-moves:` freelyupwardly. through-the opening 44 in `horizontal arrn- 43 untilthe horizontall arm 41 extending fromY rod 40 -strikesr the l horizontal arm 43 of link 36 atwhichtime link 36-is-moved upwardly. Movement `of link `36 -upwardly causes the end of rod member 34 vwhich is remote from the' valve Ystem 3 2 to Lmove f upwardly, causingtherodtopivot aboutits pivotable point 35 -therebyfforcing valve-stem 32` down-' wardlyand'vvalvevmemberf downwardlyto an' unseating position.N Water caninow'V ow into the tank thereby causing the Yfloat to rise andas it rises thereverse procedure is eifected,-that' is, arm-.45` pivotslabout its pivotal point 47 causing-rod' member 40 lto move -downwardly until its horizontal arm-'portion 41 Vstrikes horizontal arm portion 38'of link-36 thereby forcing-vlink' downwardly and valve stem 32- upwardly. Valve 30 again seats itself and closes off--anysupply'of water.
As can be seen best inFigure 1, shaft 16 -has a portion 49 which eXtends-rearwardlyfrom the yback walll 12 of the refrigerator. A-discSO-is integrally secured to the extended Vportion149 of the'shaft and has diametrically opposite portions cutV awayso lasto forrn shoulders 51. A locking arm S2 is urgedfby aspring 53 towardand into'engagem'ent-with the disc 50. Since-as aforementioned the common bottom member 22 is slanted at a slight angle, the weight ofthe liquid charge. inthe right-hand-side of Ythe upper tray -as viewed-in Figure 4 Ibeing .greater than 'the' weight to theleft of the shaft 16, the freezing container tends-t pivot around shaft member 16 in a clockwise direction (counter-clock-` wise'as viewed from'the rear in Figure 3). ItI isapparent therefore thatshoulder 51 will abutstop-52V 'and preventthe freezing Icontainenfrom pivoting.,
A second rotarydisc member'54r=is-sccured-to the= outermost end of extension 49 of the shaft andfcarries shoulders 55 on diametrically'opposite-'sides thereof for'Y purposes hereinafter described@ An auxiliary housing..
having Aside walls 95, top-,wall 96,backwall 97, andiY bottom wall'98 is connected'to'the back portion' of -the14 refrigerator to house the shaft? extension as' wellV as thel Supply tank; The bottom -wall :98 is formediwithan opening 99 formed therein.' An'inletf pipe 100 is 'con-v nected to the Vbottom wall'havingits opening eincregistryl'v with the opening 99. The'warmairwhich 'is conven-I tionally channeled from the compressor'unit of theirefrigerator isvlet througli'the inletpipe :100 into :the 'auxil- Viary housing.,` The heated lair-"therebyiraisesthe tern-l perature of the water `in theL supply "tank ffor-fpurpo'se'shereinafter describedz- Small openings 101' are formed-' in the top wall196` and lact as-rvents.
is placed therein to freeze.
adjacent'thel rear wall 12 fofvthe freezing unit.- Thesef65 brackets 56v and 56 terminate in horizontal :portions '5T and 57' which'are` bent to form eyes'58 and 5S" respec tively.' Plungers" S9'Sand'l59' are supportedwith'ini-the-'l eyes k58 and 58" fo'r"verticalreciprocatingf=rnovement therein.' The lower end of theplungers 59 `and"59"`have" an enlarged `portionr60` andE 605 whileA the otherA ends- A bracket 62' thereof havecontact means '61 and 61".
is mounted 'on' the' rear wall'llZ 'of .the freezing unit Aand i terminates" in' two'contac't'lpoints '63 and 64.` Thesecontactpointsarewired/'as can b seen yin Figure' 5 'di` 4.', rectly to the solenoid 65 which is integrally connected tothe stop'mernbe 52. Th'eel'ar'ged portion 60 of the uppermost plunger normally rests on the top of the uppermost portion 18 of the freezing container. It is readily understood, therefore, that as the liquid in the upper tray of the freezing container freezes, it expands and as it expands it fcrcesrplunger 59 upwardly, thereby causing contact'l to make contact with the contact points 63 and'-t.I The'circuit'is thereby-completed and the solenoid 65 energized. As the solenoid 65 is ener gized it retracts stop member 52^and because, as before mentioned, the weight is not evenly distributed over shaft 16,` the fezing'container will pivot' about the shaft. As the freezing container begins its pivoting movement, contact is broken between contact points 61, and 63 and 64, thereby breaking the circuit, deenergizing solenoid 65, and allowing spring 53 to urge stop` 52V towardvthefdisc-S. It is apparent therefore that after the disc-has rotatedstop`.52` will engage the'next shoulder. 51 to-stop 'pivotal movementof-the container. v
As the-shaft rotates the: disc-'54 rotatestherewith and protrusion SSV-engages a roller 66* on thelower'endof-a 1inkv66. The roller 66v rides up over protrusion'y 55 thereby forcinglink- 66 upwardly. Link -66-isl sup-i ported for verticalreciprocating movement by the br'ack.
ets 67 and 63-which are mountedonthe rear wall"12 of the freezingiunit;l Link 66-is Vpivotally connected 'to a horizontal rod 69 intermediate'the ends thereof by means of epm-70. Rod-69-is pivotally connected at71'to a bracket 172 twhich-is securedto the side-wallt95vofrfthezf auxiliary hofusi11g.:vvl1ileV the other-endofrod 69 "tere" minates in a loop 73. A chain 74 has1-.oneend 'con'-V nested-to the loop-73 and'its other endy connected to'ia horizontal y movement' thereof.
The -rotationvfof-theA freezing container from-thevpo=1 sition' shown in-the'drawingsf-'toitsrinverted positionf 180 removed therefrom takes place in a very sh'cirtf-t` time:V Thus,by the-time the watcrilowsxfrorn'thetank 25 through -the lines- 24 the'lowermost-tray of fthe' freez-r ing Lcontainer visswung-liuto `the-placeI previously 'occu-" piedbyy theeupper 'tray' asshown in the drawings to 'there-f' by .receive a new 'chargeA ofliquid.V Asr the freezing container rotates,- plunger 59- will -strike` againstv `a 'guide '81?- which -is fixed to bracket' 62- and thereby forceth'eplun'ge'r-l downwardly to its-normal position 'resting on'top' ofthe" freezing-.tray 19. Valve' 78 isY ofthe Iconventionalifluslh typef valve, being 4buoyant enough -to remain' raised from its seatingI position -due to fthe pressure of'the water. from'` below andV therebydoes'noteclose until'the"tankaiszemp-2` tied. Thetloat48is so adjusted that the tank'rcontainsi thepredetermined :amount of water that is f ynecessary fto lill one freezingptrayiv motion linkage can be so regulated'sofas tofallow sub-4 stantially all'of the water: to `110W froi'lr'the` supply tank before valve 30' is opened tti-allow more water' to'flow'W into thesupplytank;`
Withtthefreezing container'now in an inverted'po'sition from that shown in the drawings, and the waterow inginto the tray- .19,'fthe' heatfrom the water entering compartment 19 will be transferred byv conduction t throughfthe common bottom member-:22. Because thc partitions 2,3 are positioned at a slant, the surface "82e at which the frozen liquid contacts the common bottoni Itis readily seenzthat thevdistance r between-the horizontal'arms 58;,` 41'and 43' of th'ezlo'stf member 22 is very small. ecause of this small contacting surface and the fact that the water has been heated to a temperature substantially above room temperature, it takes but an instant to free the ice along the portion 82 from the common bottom 22.
A basket 83 is supported on the bottom wall 14 of the freezing unit to collect the ice which falls from the freezing trays. A guide member 84 is secured to the rear wall of the freezing compartment and is positioned at a slant to help guide the falling ice into the basket. The basket is mounted on a plate S5 which has downwardly extending anges 86. The plate 85 is pivotally supported adjacent its rearward end by means of pivot pins 87 passing through the flanges 8-6 and secured in brackets 88 which are fixed to the bottom wall 14 of the freezing unit. A spring 91 has one end secured to the bottom wall 14 of the freezing unit yand has its other end bearing against the under surface of plate 85 as at 90. Plate 85 terminates at its outer end in an upturned lip 89 which prevents the basket from sliding outwardly.
Adjacent the rearward end of plate 85 there is provided downwardly extending flanges 92 having contact surfaces 93. Contacts 93 are normally in contact with a contact 94 provided in the circuit leading from the freezing container to the solenoid. It is apparent therefore that when a predetermined amount of ice is deposited in the basket 83, thebasket will overcome the upward force of the springs 91 and thereby compress the springs causing the basket to pivot about its pivotal point 89. As the basket continues to move downwardly at its outer end, the contact surfaces of the depending flanges 92, 93 of the bracket supporting the basket, slide along the contact 94 which is xed in the electrical circuit until the contact 93 slides past the contact 94 thereby breaking circuit. When a plunger 59 or 59' is now forced upwardly by the expanding ice in the uppermost freezing tray to have its contact 61 or 61 contact the contact points 63 and 64 in the electrical circuit, it is readily seen that the solenoids will not be energized t-o retract the stop member 52 since the circuit will have been broken. It is apparent, therefore, that the freezing container will be locked in position until such a time as enough ice is removed from the basket to allow the spring 91 to force the outer end of the basket upwardly thereby pivoting the rearward end of the basket downwardly and bringing the contact 93 into contact with contact member 94 to thereby complete the circuit. Once again, since the circuit is now completed the cycle begins all over with the solenoid 53 retracting :the stop 52 thus allowing the freezing container to pivo-t about its axis 16.
The automatic freezing and discharging device as illustrated and described above is by Way of example only, and any changes which might occur to one skilled in the art are contemplated by the present invention, within the scope of the following claims,
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A device for producing automatically successive units `of frozen liquid, comprising a supply of liquid, a compartment, having front, back, side, top and bottom walls, which is subject to below freezing temperature, a generally horizontal shaft mounted for turning in one of said compartment walls, a pair of freezing containers formed of heat-conductive material and having a common bottom disposed therebetween, said freezing containers being mounted on said shaft with said shaft extending longitudinally through substantially the midpoint of said common bottom, each said container being formed with a greater volumetric capacity on one diametric side of said shaft than on the other, whereby the contents of said container willi be acted upon by gravity to pivot the container about the axis of said shaft, means for holding said containers against pivotal movement, means for transferring a charge of liquid from said supply to the uppermost of said containers whereby said charge is frozen to a solid state Within the container, means for withdrawing said holding means whereby said containers are gravitationally pivoted to bring the empty container to the uppermost position, means for transferring a charge ot' liquid to the empty container whereby the heat from `the new charge is transferred through the walls of the containers to incipiently melt the container contacting portion of said charge and loosen it for discharge from said first container.
2. A device for producing automatically successive units of frozen liquid .as set forth in claim l in which said shaft has a portion extending rearwardly from said one of said compartment wallls and said holding means comprises a disc mounted adjacent the end of the shaft extension and a stop member abutting said disc to prevent rotation of the same.
3. A device for producing automatically successive units of frozen liquid as set forth in claim 2 in which said means for withdrawing said holding means comprises a bracket mounted on said shaft, a plunger reciprocatingly mounted in said bracket, one end thereof normally resting on the upper surface of said uppermost container and the other end having Contact means for contacting a means for withdrawing the stop member from disc abutting relation.
4. A device for producing automatically successive units of frozen liquid as set forth in claim 3 in which said last mentioned means comprises contacts mounted for contacting engagement by said plunger contacts, and a solenoid wired to said mounted contacts and being connected to said stop member.
5. A device for producing automatically successive units of frozen liquid as set forth in claim l and in addition thereto means for collecting and storing said discharged frozen charge, said last mentioned means having means for rendering inoperative said means for withdrawing said holding means upon said oollecting and storing means being filled to a predetermined level.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,083,782 Vin Radich Ian. 6, 1914 1,475,841 McNeill Nov. 27, 1923 2,226,271 Vose Dec. 24, 1940 2,364,559 Storer Dec. 5, 1944 2,407,058 Clum Sept. 3, 1946 2,545,558 Russell Mar. 20, 1951 2,559,414 Erickson July 3, 1951 2,569,113 Munshower Sept. 25, 1951 2,586,588 Weseman Feb. 19, 1952