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Publication numberUS2892335 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 30, 1959
Filing dateApr 19, 1956
Priority dateApr 19, 1956
Publication numberUS 2892335 A, US 2892335A, US-A-2892335, US2892335 A, US2892335A
InventorsGray Jr Walter E
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry machine with forced air circulation system
US 2892335 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 30, 1959 w. E. GRAY, JR

2,892,335 LAUNDRY MACHINE WITH FORCED AIR CIRCULATION SYSTEM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 19, 1956 FIG.

0 O O O O O O 0 INVENTOR WALTER E. 6RAY,JR

.f-W LZ HIS ATTORNEY June 30, 1959 w. E. GRAY, JR 2,892,335

LAUNDRY MACHINE WITH FORCED AIR CIRCULATION SYSTEM Filed April 19, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.3

l I a 43 42 6 5| I 28 26 g FIG. 4

INVENTOR.

WALTER E. GRAY, JR.

HIS ATTORNEY LAUNDRY MACHINE WITH FORCED CIRCULATION SYSTEM Walter E. Gray, Jr., Erie, Pa, assignor to General Elem tric Company, a corporation of New York Application April 19, 1956, Serial No. 579,310

10 Claims. (Cl. fis -16) My invention relates to domestic laundry machines having a forced air circulation system for blowing a stream of heated air through the clothes basket for drying the clothes therein, and more particularly it relates to combination clothes washing and drying machines including such a system for use during the drying operation.

It is an object of my invention to provide a new and improved, particularly compact and efiicient construction for laundry machines of the type having a forced air circulation system, in which construction the entire air circulating system including the blower, the heater, and the condensing means is mounted within the same outer casing or tub as the rotating clothes basket.

Another object of my invention is to provide a combination washer-dryer of this type in which the outer casing is divided into a front compartment and a rear compartment with the rotating clothes basket being positioned in the front compartment and withrthe elements of the air circulating system being positioned in the rear compartment.

A further object of my invention is to providea combination washer-dryer having a compartmented casing, in'which the wash and rinse. water for the washing operation is introduced into the rear compartment and then flows therefrom into the front compartment, with the water being so introduced into the rear compartment that it is effective to wash down and remove thelint collecting therein during the drying operation.

Another object of my invention is to provide acornbination washer-dryer having a forced aircirculation system, in which a single heater assembly serves both as an air heater during the drying operation and as an immersion type Water heater during the Washing operation.

Still a further object of my invention is to provide a combination washer-dryer having a compartmented casing, in which a single temperature sensing element is mounted in the rearcompartment in a manner ,so that it is efiective to provide temperature control duringboth the washing operation and the air drying operation.

In carrying out my invention in one form thereof, 1 provide a combinationclothes washing and drying machine havingan imperforate casing which is divided .into front and. rear compartments by vertically extending wall. A perforate clothes basket is mounted for rotation in the front-.compartment, and air circulating means including a blower, a heater, and moisture condensing means aremounted in'the rear-compartment. Theawall between the compartments gincludes openings for introducing hot, dry .airafromthe rear compartment'into-the front compartment and 'for exhausting moist air from the'front compartment-into the rear compartment. The air circulating means provides for circulating airthrough these openings and the two compartments'in a closed path, thereby-to dry the clothes in the 'clothes'basket. The moist air leaving the front compartment'is passed through the moisture condensing means. and then over the heater all within the rear compartment, whereby a Patented June 30, 1959 continuous supply of hot, dry air is introducedvinto the front compartment for drying.

In one form of my invention the wash and rinse water used during the washing operation of the machine is introduced into the machine through the rear compartment. The water is introduced in such a manner that it washes down and removes the lint collected on the pass ageways in the rear compartment during the drying operation. From the rear compartment the water then passes into the front compartment through suitable openings in the vertically extending wall. Also, in one form of, my invention. the heater which acts as an air heating means during the drying operation also serves as an immersion type water heater during the washing operation. To effect this result the heater is positioned in the bottom portion of the, rear compartment whereby it lies under the water level when the machine is filled during the washing operation.

The. subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of, this specification. My invention, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages there of, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig; 1 is a side elevational view of a combination clothes washing and drying machine embodying my invention, the view being partially broken away and sec.- tionalizedin order to illustrate details;

Fig. 2 is a rear elevational view of the machine of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a rear elevational view withthe rear wall of the imperforate outer casing removed; and

Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4-4 ,of Fig. 3.

Referring now to Fig. l, I haveshown therein a combination clothes washing and drying machine 1 having an imperforatecasing or tub 2 within which the washing. and drying operations ,are conducted. The tub Zincludes a cylindrical side wall?) and front and rear walls 4 and 5. The casing or tub is supported from the base 6 of. the machine by, means of a plurality ,of arms 7 which are attached to the tub by brackets .8 and to the .base by means of upstanding. plates. 9 ,(Fig. 3) The base 6 also serves to support anouter appearance cabinet 10 which surroundsthe tub 2.

Within the imperforate, casing or tub 2 there is provided a vertically extendingwall or partition 1-1 which divides thecasing into a front chamber or compartment 12 and a rear chamber or compartment 13. This dividing of the casing into separate compartments provides for mounting an air circulating system within the casing.

is mounted by the partition 11 and the rear wall 5 of.

the tub, By mounting the bearing 16 in this manner a stablesupport for the-basket is providedwithout any reinforcing framebeiug required either within or withoutthe casing, Thebearing 16 may be attachedto the partition and the rear. wall in any'suitable manner. as by sta iusto bol in {For the insertion and removal of clothes from the machine the basket 14 is provided with a front loading opening which is aligned with openings provided respectively in the front walls of the casing 3 and the appearance cabinet 10. .A hingedly mounted door 17 closes the opening in the appearance cabinet and seals ofi the tub during the operation of the machine.

The basket 14 is driven during the operation of the machine by means of an electric motor 18 which is mounted on the base 6. The motor drives the basket through a multi-speed gear transmission 19 which is also mounted on the base. The motor is directly connected to the transmission 19 and the transmission in turn drives the basket through a belt 20 which extends between an output pulley of the transmission and a pulley 21 mounted on the basket drive shaft 15. The transmission 19 is shiftable between two different gear ratios by solenoid actuating means (not shown) so that the basket can be driven at two diiferent speeds. The lower of these two speeds is used to tumble the clothes during the washing, the rinsing, and the air drying operations, and the higher speed is used to extract water centrifugally from the clothes. The lower or tumbling speed may for example comprise 45 r.p.m. and the higher or centrifugal extraction speed 200 rpm.

The wash and rinse .water used during the washing operation and the hot air used for drying during the drying operation are both introduced into the front compartment 12 of the tub and thus into the basket 14 from the rear compartment 13 of the tub. To explain first the air circulating means: in order to continuously circulate hot, dry air into the front compartment during the drying operation, the rear compartment is provided with an air circulating system including a blower 22, a heater 23, and moisture condensing means 24 (see Fig. 3). The blower 22 comprises a centrifugal type blower, the heater 23 is a sheathed type resistance unit and the condensing means 24 comprises a water spray nozzle. The nozzle 24, as explained below, emits a spray of cold water for cooling the air to condense moisture therefrom.

The rear compartment is so arranged that the air withdrawn from the front compartment 12 during the air drying operation passes first past the moisture condensing means, then through the blower and next over the heater and back into the front compartment and the drum. Thus the moisture is first condensed from the air before it enters the blower, and the blower then passes the dry air over he heater so that hot, dry air is introduced back into the front compartment. The air is withdrawn from the front compartment through an opening or aperture 25 in the partition 11. This aperture 25 is in the bottom left hand portion of the partition as viewed in Fig. 3. From the opening 25 the air then passes upwardly toward the condensing spray nozzle 24 through a duct 26 which is formed by the side wall 3 of the casing and interior scroll or wall means 27 formed within the rear compartment. This duct 26 formed between the side wall 3 and the wall means 27 extends around the outer edge of the rear chamber from the aperture 25 past the condensing means to the top of the chamber.

Depending on air flow velocity and water particle size from the spray nozzle, it may be desirable to include bafiling means in the duct for removal of moisture particles entrained in the air. In the illustrated embodiment such baffling means are provided at the top of the rear compartment, and specifically they comprise a plurality of bafiles 28 which extend into the duct or passageway 26 from both sides thereof so as to form a serpentine section therein. The air flowing in the duct from one side of the baffles to the other side thus flows through a more or less serpentine path in order to get through the region including the baflles. On the other side of the bafides from the spray means the curved duct or passage 26 extends downwardly to the intake 22a of the blower 22. At that point the duct 26 is. terminated by means of an outward extension 29 of the wall means 27. Thus the only way that the air can leave the duct 26 is through the blower 22 itself.

The blower 22 discharges the air from the duct 26 over the heater 23 which, as shown, is mounted at the bottom right hand portion of the rear chamber (as viewed in Fig. 3). After passing the heater the air then flows upwardly through a passage 30 to the center portion 31 of the compartment 13 which is surrounded by the wall means 27. From this center chamber 31 the air then passes into the front compartment of the tub through a plurality of slots or openings 32 formed in the partition 11.

It will be noted that the wall means 27 for the greater portion of its length comprises a pair of spaced apart walls 27a and 27b. This double walled construction with a dead air space between the walls impedes heat transfer between the moist air flowing in the duct 26 and the hot air flowing into and through the chamber 31. In the region adjacent the heater 23 the wall 27a is extended or bulged outwardly further than usual from the wall 27b in order to confine the air leaving the blower to a path whereby it will flow over the heater 23.

During the air drying operation of the machine 1, both the drive motor 33 (Fig. 2) of the blower and the heater 23 are energized. The drum drive motor 18 is, of course, also energized and the transmission 19 is adjusted so as to drive the drum 14 at tumble speed. As a result of the operation of the blower 22 moist air is drawn inwardly from the rotating drum through the opening 25. The moist air then passes upwardly past the spray nozzle 24 and the spray nozzle projects a thin mist or spray of cold water into the moist air as it flows by. The spray nozzle is supplied with the cold water from a water inlet line 34 through a solenoid actuated valve 35 and a connecting tube 36. The spray of water emanating from the nozzle 24 cools the air and scrubs it so as to remove the moisture therefrom. Further, after the air passes through the spray any additional moisture which might remain in it is removed from it during its passage through the serpentine way formed by the bafiles 28. The reversals in direction which the air must make in order to get past the baflies tends to remove any moisture which might be left after the air passes the spray nozzle 24.

From the baflle 24 the air then passes down the right hand side of the duct 26 (as seen in Fig. 3) to the blower 22. The blower takes in the dry air and passes it downwardly over the heater 23 whereby it is heated to a suitable temperature for absorbing moisture from the clothes in the tumbling drum. From the heater the air passes upwardly into the chamber 31 and then into the front chamber or compartment 12 through the openings 32 in the partition. Having once entered the front chamber the air then passes into and through the drum 14, the rear wall of the drum being perforated in order to allow the entry of the dry air into the drum. The hot air as it passes through the drum absorbs moisture from the clothes. After picking up the moisture the air then passes out of the drum through the perforations in its side wall and is returned to the rear compartment 13 of the tub through the opening 25 whereupon the moisture removing and heating process is again carried out. In this manner, a constant circulation of air through the front chamber and the tumbling drum is effected during the air drying operation. Hot, dry air is continuously supplied to the drum and the moist air is continuously removed therefrom, whereby an eificient drying operation is provided for completely or fluif drying the clothes.

In order to prevent the hot dry air entering the front compartment 12 from flowing directly from the inlet openings 32 to the outlet opening 25 across the back of the compartment without passing through the drum, i.e. to prevent the air from short circuiting the drum, there is preferably provided an annular bafile or sealing memher 37 (Fig. l) which is mounted on the front side of the partition 11. various forms, for exam-pla inmy preferred embodiment it may beformed ofi a flexible water resistant material, such as r'ubber. The member 37 encircl'es the inlet openings 3'2 but is positioned inwardly of the outlet opening 25, and it may be and preferably is spring biased outwardly so that its outer end engages or lies in juxtaposition to the rear wall of the drum 14. The annular mem ber 37 thusforms a barrier preventing the air from flowing directly. from the inlet openings 32 to the outlet 25. Rather itposit'ively causes the air to pass from the openings 32 into the drum through the apertures in the drum rear wall.

During the air'drying operation a quantity of lint is drawn into the duct26 along with the moist air. The air tends to entrain lint as it flows through drum 14 and it carries the lint with it as it passes through the opening 25 in partition-11. The greater proportion of this lint is removedfrom theair'due to the action of the spray nozzle 24. The spray projected from the nozzle wets the lint and 'precipitates'most of it from the air stream at the same time as the moisture iscondensed out. However, some'of the lint rather than being removed by the spray may collect on the walls of the duct itself. Also, there may be a tendency for lint to collect in the serpentine passage formed by the baffles 28. As the air twists past these bafiies, the lint. not removed by the spray tends to be caught by the bafiies and retained thereby.

In order to remove the lint. collected on the walls of duct 26 and on the baffles 28, I provide means whereby the walls'of the duct and'the baffl'es are washed down. Specifically, this means comprises the inlet water means for introducing. the wash and rinse water to the tub 3. The "water inl'etmeansfor themachine 1 by myinvention are so arranged: that they introduce-the wash and rinse water into the'tub 3through the 'region'of the 'baflles 28. In otherwofds the water inlet means pass the water into the machine between certain ones of the battles 28 in the rear compartment. In the illustrated embodiment'the water inlet means'is controlled by means of a suitable solenoid actuated'valve structure 38 which is connected to-hot'and cold-water inlet-linestnot shown). This valve Sid-passes the water from'the'inlet'lines into aconduit 39 which discharges across an air gap into a funnel 40. The air gap, of course, positively preventsany backfiowfrom the, machine baclc into the water supply. From the funne1-40-the-inlet water passes through a pair-of tubes 41,into;the-rear compartment between-the baffles 28.

Entering between the baflles 28 the wash and rinse water washesxdown almost all, if not all, of the lint collected'on the baffles during the previous air drying operation. The water carrying-thislintthen passes outwardly from-the baffles-into -the duct 26. Specifically, it flows from the bafilesinto both the right and the left hand sides oftheduct as viewe'd; in Fig. 3. The water flowing into 'the left hand side ofductfiows downwardly therethrough washing the lint offits walls andthen enters the front-chamber of*the-t11b-through the-opening 25 in the partition 11. The -water-flowinginto-the righthand side of 'the duct flows downwardly through that side'until it reaches the bafll e extension 29. The water then enters the blower inlet; 22a=and passes-through the bloweritself. The blower is inactive during the washing operation of. the machine and thereby 'thewater may flow freely through it. The water as-it-fiows. downwardly through the right hand side-of the duct and the blower also-removes any. lint which might possibly have collected on those elements, From the blower the Water drops down- Wardly-onto-the heaterZSwashinglint offit tooand then passes intothe-frontportion of the tub through an opening, 42 in-thetpartition 11;. The-opening '42 although large enoughto' 'admit' the *water freely to the=front compartmentl-Z is smallenough compared to openings 32 that it does not interfere to any appreciable extent with the This annular member 37 may take 6. air flow during the air drying operation. The opening 42 'r n'a'y even be so arranged that it is sealed by the low level or water in" the tub resulting from condensation.

The filling of the tubis controlled by a suitable water level means (not-shown-ywh-ich continues the filling operation un tdthe bottom portion of the basket is covered. Then the inlet water valves are closed. This water level it has been found is the best-level for efficient Washing; Inorder to provide this water level in the front compartmen't, 'a 'pool of equal depth is, of course, formed in the rear compartment 1-3, and this pool of water in the rear compartment cover's the heater 23 due to the positioning of the heater near the bottom of the compartment. The heater 23 thus may be used" as an immersion type heater during the washing operation. Being of the sheathed resistance type 'it may be immersed in water without any ill effects and-if it is energized during the washing operation it is eflective to heat the water over it. This heating of the water in the rear compartment also results in the heating of the water in the front compartment13. The heated water in the rear compartment heats the partition 11, and the partition in turn heats the water in the front compartment. Also there is some heating of the water inthe front compartment by convection currents through openings 25. and 42 and due to the churning action of the drum. Thus by my invention the heater is effective not'only as an air heater during the drying operation but alsoas an immersion type water heater during the washing operation.

t will be understood that the heating element like the other electrical components of the machine is controlled by a suitable timeractuated sequence control during the operation ofthemachine. Since the sequence control and circuit do not'for'm a part of thepresent invention and since any suitable control may. be used, 'no showing of a control isfimade herein.

In order to dischargethe wash and 'rinse water from the machine a sump 43i=is attached to the :tub 3 at the bottom thereof. This sump 43 communicates with the tub through an-opening i'n the. bottom of the front compartment and is connected to a pump or other suitable drain means by means of a 'flexiblehose 44. When the pump or other drain means connected to the hose 44- is placed in operation, the front compartment of the machine is quickly drainedthrough the sump 43. The rear compartment is, of course, also drained since the pool of water in it passes freely -into the front compartment through the openings 25 and 42 in the partition 11. l The drainmeans-is operated at'suitable periods during the washing and rinsingoperations in order to remove the dirty water fromthe machine. Also, it 'is placed continuously in operation during the drying operation of the machine. During the drying operation, there is, of course, a continuous spray from thenozzle-24 and'this spray'water must be removed from the machine continuouslydn-ordertoprevent a pool ofwater fromforming therein. The spray water andthe moisture and the lint which it removes from the air fall downwardly to the bottom oft'rie'duct 26 and'from'there pass through the opening 25 into the front compartment 12 of the machine. V The water is then drained from the front compartment through thesump 43; It will be obvious, of course, that the sump could be connected to the rear compartment rather than tothe frontcompartment and the tub would still drain 'efiiciently.

In order to control the heater 23 during both the washing and the drying operations, a single thermostat 45 is provided within the machine. This singlethermostat is mounted in therear-compartrnent, and specifically in the illustrated embodiment is mounted in the enlarged space 46 between the wallmembers 27a and 27b adjacent to theheatcr 23. Positioned at this-point, the'therrnostat may 'be use'd'to cycle the'heater on and ofi'both for air heating and water: heating. In other words, it: may be usedto maintain the proper air temperature during the ;7 drying operation and the proper water temperature during the washing operation. In order for a single thermostat to be used for both these purposes it is critical that it be located in the space 46 between the wall members or else in the space immediately adjacent thereto in the chamber 31. If it is located elsewhere than in that region encompassing those spaces it will not function properly to effect the proper cycling during both the operations. The use of a single thermostat to control the heater during both operations and its location so that it may accomplish that result are important since obviously a considerable cost saving is effected by the use of one thermostat rather than two.

In the operation of the machine 1 through a complete cycle including the washing operation and the drying operation, the clothes are first placed in the drum or 'basket 3 through the aligned openings in the appearance cabinet, the tub and the basket. A suitable quantity of soap is added at the same time. The door 17 is then shut and the machine placed in operation through suitable operator controls. The drive motor 18 begins to drive the basket at clothes tumbling speeds through the transmission 19, and the water valve mechanism 38 is energized so as to introduce water into the machine. The water is, of course, introduced through the hoses 41 into the rear compartment 13 and as it passes downwardly past the baffles 28 and through the duct 26 it washes down the lint collected on those elements during the previous drying operation. Also, it Washes any lint off the blower 22 and the heater 23. The water passes from the rear compartment into the front compartment 12 through the openings 25 and 42 and fills the front compartment until the desired water level is reached. The washing operation then continues with the clothes being tumbled into the Wash water for a preselected length of time. During this tumbling operation the heater 23 may be used as an immersion type heater in order to keep the wash water at a predetermined desired temperature.

At the close of the tumbling or washing operation the drain means are energized so as to drain the Wash water from the tub. Simultaneously, with or slightly after the drain means are energized the actuating solenoid of the transmission 19 is energized so as to shift the transmission to its high speed ratio. The basket is then driven at its high speed so as to extract centrifugally the wash water from the clothes in the basket 14. After the centrifugal extraction operation has proceeded for a suitable length of time, the transmission is again shifted back to its lower ratio so that the basket is again driven at tumbling speed. Rinse water is then introduced into the machine through the valve mechanism 38 and the hoses 41.

The clothes are tumbled in the clean rinse water for a length of time in order to rinse them thoroughly. At the close of the rinse period the drain means are again actuated and the basket driven at high speed again for extracting the rinse water from them. One or more rinses may be used in order to leave the clothes completely clean and free of both soil particles and soap scum.

At the conclusion of the centrifugal extraction operation following the final rinse, the basket is once more re turned to tumbling speed and the heater 23 and the blower 22 are energized. In the manner described above this provides a continuous circulation of hot, dry air through the clothes basket. The moist air is withdrawn from the basket through the opening 25 and passed upwardly through the spray projected from the nozzle 24. This spray removes the moisture from the air and also takes a considerable quantity of lint out of it. The air then passes through the serpentine path formed by the bafiles 28 wherein any remaining moisture and lint may be removed. The air next passes downwardly into the blower 22 and thence is blown across the heating element 23 being heated thereby. The hot, dry air flows from the 8 V heater into the center chamber 31, and from the chamber 31 flows through the openings 32 in the partition into the front compartment 13. The hot, dry air then enters the tumbling drum and moves through the drum absorbing moisture from the clothes. The moist air after it leaves the drum then once more passes through the opening 25 into the rear compartment. In this manner a continuous stream of hot air is passed through the clothes throughout the drying operation thereby drying them completely. At the close of the drying operation all of the electrical components of the machine are deenergized to terminate completely the operation thereof.

During both the washing and the drying operations temperature control may be provided by the single thermostat 45. During the washing operation, the thermostat cycles the heater 23 on and off so as to maintain the wash water at the proper temperature. During the drying operation it likewise cycles the heater so as to maintain the circulated air at a proper temperature for clothes drying. The thermostat prevents the air temperature from ever rising to a point high enough to scorch or otherwise damage the clothes.

From the above, it will be seen that I have provided a new and improved combination washer-dryer including a particularly compact and efficient structure wherein the entire air circulation system including the blower, the heater, and the condensing means is mounted within the same outer casing or tub as the rotating clothes basket. In my preferred embodiment a single heater is used both as an immersion type water heater during the washing operation and as an air heater during the air drying operation. Also, in this preferred embodiment the inlet water for the washing operation is introduced through the rear compartment in a manner whereby any lint deposited during the previous drying operation is washed down and out by the water as it enters the machine. In other Words any lint which collects on the duct work in the rear compartment or around the heater is Washed oif those elements as the inlet water enters the machine. Further, by my invention a single thermostat is arranged so that it is elfective to serve as a heater cycling control during both the washing operation and the air drying operation.

While in accordance with the patent statutes I have described what at present is considered to be the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from my invention, and, therefore, it is aimed by the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A combination clothes washing and drying machine comprising an imperforate casing having front, side, and rear Walls, a vertically extending partition dividing said casing into front and rear compartments, a perforated clothes drum mounted for rotation in said front compartment, a rotatable shaft for mounting said clothes basket, bearing means supporting said shaft mounted by and between said partition and said casing rear wall, an air inlet opening from said rear compartment through said partition into said front compartment and an air outlet opening from said front compartment through said partition into said rear compartment, means including a blower and duct means in said rear compartment for circulating air through said openings and said compartments in a closed path during the drying operation of said machine, thereby to pass said air through said drum and dry the clothes therein, condensing means in said rear compartment for condensing moisture from the moist air leaving said front compartment, and a heater in said rear compartment positioned downstream of said condensing means for heating said air before it is returned to said front compartment, whereby hot dry air is supplied to said front compartment continuously as the 9 moist air is removed therefrom, and water inlet and drain means for filling and draining said machine during the washing operation of said machine.

2. Ina laundry machinefor producingiaclothes drying operation, an imperforate casing, a vertically extending partition dividing said casinginto frontand rear chambers, a perforated clothes drumv mounted for rotation in said front chamber, an air inlet opening 'from. said rear chamber through said partition into said front chamber and an air outlet opening from 'said front chamber through said partition into said rear chamber, means in said front chamber for guiding the air from said air inlet opening into said drum, ablower in said rear chamber for circulating air through said openings and said chambers in a closed path during said drying operation of said machine, thereby to pass. said air through said drum and dry the clothes therein, interior wall means cooperating with the side wall of said casing to form an outer curved passageway leading from said air outlet opening from said front chamber to said blower, and defining a separate central inner region connected to the discharge of said blower and in'cornmunicationwith said air inlet opening to said front 'chamber,'condensing means positioned in said duct for condensing moisture from the moist air leaving said drum, and a heaterpositioned in the passage leading from said blower tosaid central region for heating the air prior to its return to said drum whereby hot dry air is continuously introduced into said drum as moist air is removed therefrom.

'3. The combination of claim2 wherein said interior wall means comprise a plurality of-spaced walls separated by a dead air space for impeding heat transfer between the moist air leaving said front chamber and the hot, dry air entering saidfront'chamber. V 4. A combination clothes washing anddryingmachine comprising an imperforate casing, a vertically'extending partition dividing said casing into front=and rear compartments, a2 perforated clothes drum; mounted. for rota;- tion in said front compartment, water inlet*and drain means for filling. and draining said machine during the washing operation thereof, an air inlet opening from said rear compartment through said partition into'said front compartment and an air outlet openingz'fr'om said'front compartment throughtsaid partition into said rear compartment, means including a blower and duct means in said rear compartment for circulating"air through said openings and said" c ompa rt ment sf lIlTaQClQS Qd path during the drying operation of said machine thereby to pass air through 'sajd'drum and dry the cl'othes'fth'erein, condensing means in'said rear compartment forcondensing moisture from the moist'air leaving saidfront compartment, and a singlebeater assembly mounted in said rear compartment both for heating the air circulated during the drying cycle and for heating the wash water during. the washingoperationysaid partition having a port formed therein adjacent the bottorn'thereof, said heater being disposed adjacent'the bottom of said rear compartment downstream of said condensing means and being immersed in the water during the washing operation.

5. A combination clothes washing and drying machine comprising an imperforate casing, a vertically extending partition dividing said casing into front and rear chambers, a perforated clothes drum mounted for rotation in said front chamber, water inlet and drain means for filling and draining said machine during the washing operation thereof, an air inlet opening from said rear chamber through said partition into said front chamber and an air outlet opening from said front chamber through said partition into said rear chamber, means in said front chamber for guiding the air from said air inlet opening into said drum, a blower for circulating air through said openings and said chambers in a closed path during the drying operation of said machine thereby to pass said air through said drum and dry the clothes therein, interior wall means in said rear chamber coopcrating with the side wall of said casing to form an outer-curved passageway leading from said an outlet opening to said blower, and defining a separate inner region connected to the discharge of said blower and in communication with said air inlet opening to said front chamber, "a spray nozzle for discharging 'aspray of water into saidcurved passageway for condensing the moisture contained in the moist air leaving said front chamber, and a heater positioned in said rear chamber downstream ofsaid sp'ray nozzle-for heating the airprio'r to itsreturn to saidfr'o'nt chamber.

6. In a laundry machine for producing a clothes drying-operation, an. imperforate casing having front, side, and rear walls, a Wertieallyextending partition dividing said easing into front and 'rear chambers, a perforated clothes drum mounted for rotation in said-front chamber, a rotatable shaft for mounting-said clothes basket, bearing nieans supporting said' shaft mountedby and between said partition *and said casing rear wall, an air inlet opening-from said rear chamber through said partition into s'aid front chamber'and'an air outlet opening from said fiont cha'niber throug-hsaid "partition'into said rear chamber, means including a blower and duct means in said re'ar'chamber for circulating 'air through said openingsand said chambersin aclosed path thereby to pass said airthroug'h said drum and dry the clothes therein, a sp'ray nozzle for discharging a spra'y of water into said duct means'fo'r condensing the moisture contained in-the moist air leaving said front chamber, a plurality of baffles projecting into said duct means downstream of said spray anned-refining a serpentine section therein for further 'rernoving moisture from "said-airQand a'heater positibned'insaid rear chamber downstream-of said bafiles for heating-the a-irbeforeifis retumedrmm said chamber.

7-; A combination clbtlies washing and drying machine com-prising en imperrorne casing, a vertically extending partitionfdividingsaid casing into front and rear chambers, a perforated clothes drum 'mounted'for rotation in said front chamber, anair-inleb'opening fromsaid rear chamber throligh said partition into said front chamber and an an outlet opening from said front chamber through said 'partition into said rear chamber, means including a blower'and du'ct'means in said rear chamber for circulating airth'rough said openings and said chambe'rs 'inaclosedpath during the drying operation of said machine, 'thereby top'ass said airthrough said drum and 'd'rydhe clothes'thereim a spray nozzle for discharging 'a spray er "water into said} duct means for condensing moisture frointhemoist airleaving said front chamber, a plurality of ba-files'projecting into said duct means downstream of 'said spray nozzles arid, forming a serpentine 'passaget-her'ein for further removing the moisture from the air, a-heater' in said rearcompartment positioned downstream ofsa'id baffles for heating said air before its rettirn' to's'aidfront compartment, and water. inlet and drain-means for filling and draining said machine during the washing operation thereof, said means including a water supply line discharging into said duct means in said rear chamber between said baffles, whereby said water runs down said bafiies and said duct means washing the lint therefrom, and aperture means in said par tition for conducting the water from the rear chamber into the front chamber.

8. A combination clothes washing and drying machine comprising an imperforate casing, a vertically extending partition dividing said casing into front and rear compartments, a perforated clothes drum mounted for rotation in said front compartment, an air inlet opening from said rear compartment through said partition into said front compartment and an air outlet opening from said front compartment through said partition into said rear compartment, means including a blower and duct means in said rear compartment for circulating air through said openings and said compartments in a closed path during the drying operation of said machine, thereby to pass 11"- said air through said drum and dry the clothes therein, condensing means in said duct for condensing moisture from themoist air leaving said front compartment, said condensing means including a spray nozzle for discharging a spray of water into said duct means and a plurality of bafiies projecting into said duct means and forming a serpentine passage therein, a single heater assembly mounted in said rear compartment both for heating the air being circulated during the drying operation and for heating the wash water during the washing operation, said heater being disposed adjacent the bottom of said chamber downstream of said condensing means and being immersed in said wash water during the washing operation, and water inlet and drain means for filling and draining said machine during the washing operation of said machine, said means including a water supply line discharging into said duct means in said rear compartment thereby both to fill said chamber and to wash down the lint deposited in said duct means during the drying cycle, and aperture means in said partition for conducting the water from the rear compartment into the front compartment.

9. A combination clothes washing and drying machine comprising an imperforate casing, a vertically extending partition dividing said casing into front and rear chambers, a perforated clothes drum mounted for rotation in said front chamber, an air inlet opening from said rear chamber through said partition into said front chamber and an air outlet opening from said front chamber through said partition into said rear chamber, means in said front chamber for guiding the air from said air inlet opening into said drum, a blower mounted'in said rear chamber for circulating air through said openings and said chambers in a closed path during the drying operation of said machine, thereby to pass said air through said drum and dry the clothes therein, interior curved wall means cooperating with the side wall of said casing to form an outer curved duct leading from said air outlet means to said blower, and defining a separate center region connected to the discharge of said blower and in communication with said air inlet opening to said front chamber, condensing means positioned in said duct for condensing moisture from the moist air leaving said drum, said condensing means including a spray nozzle for discharging a spray of Water into said duct and a plurality of bafiles projecting into said duct downstream of said spray nozzle and forming a serpentine section in said duct, a heater positioned adjacent the bottom of said rear chamber in the passage leading from said blower to "said center region both for heating the air prior to its return to said front chamber and for heating the wash water during the washing operation of said machine, said partition having a port formed therein adjacent the bottom thereof, said heater being immersed in the wash water during the washing operation, and

water inlet and drain means for filling and draining said machine during the washing operation of said machine, said means including a water supply line discharging into said duct in said rear chamber thereby both to fill said machine and wash down the lint deposited in said duct during the drying operation.

10. A combination clothes washing and drying machine comprising an imperforate casing, a vertically extending partition dividing said easing into front and rear chambers, a perforated clothes drum mounted for rotation in said front chamber, an air inlet opening from said rear chamber through said partition into said front cham- -ber and an outlet opening from said front chamber through said partition into said rear chamber, means in said front chamber for guiding the air from said air inlet opening into said drum, a blower for circulating air through said openings and said chambers in a closed path during the drying operation of said machine thereby to pass said air through said drum. and to dry the clothes therein, interior curved wall means in said rear chamber cooperating with the side wall of said casing to form an outer curved passageway leading from said air outlet opening to said blower, and defining a center region connected to the discharge of said blower and in communication with said inlet air opening to said front chamber, condensing means positioned in said duct for condensing moisture from the moist air leaving said drum, a heater positioned in the passage leading from said blower to said center region for heating the air prior to its return to said drum and for heating the wash water during the washing operation, said partition having a port formed therein adjacent the bottom thereof, said heater being positioned to be immersed during the washing operation, water inlet and drain means for filling and draining said machine during the washing operation of said machine, and a single thermostat for controlling both the water temperature during the washing operation and the air temperature during the drying operation, said thermostat being positioned in said rear compartment adjacent said air inlet means to said front chamber and being separated from said heater by said curved wall means, said thermostat further being positioned to be immersed during the washing operation.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,077,330 Clarke NOV. 4, 1913 1,799,649 Schenck Apr. 7, 1931 1,837,798 Shipley Dec. 22, 1931 2,434,476 Wales Jan. 13, 1948 2,607,209 Constantine Aug. 19, 1952 2,652,708 Rimsha et al Sept. 22, 1953 2,724,906 Pfieider Nov. 29, 1955 2,785,557 Stillwell Mar. 19, 1957 2,797,567 Heien July 2, 1957

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Classifications
U.S. Classification68/16, 34/596, 68/20, 34/75
International ClassificationD06F58/02, D06F25/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F25/00, D06F58/02
European ClassificationD06F25/00, D06F58/02