|Publication number||US2975013 A|
|Publication date||Mar 14, 1961|
|Filing date||Apr 6, 1959|
|Priority date||Apr 6, 1959|
|Publication number||US 2975013 A, US 2975013A, US-A-2975013, US2975013 A, US2975013A|
|Inventors||Nevin D Nolder, James A Wallace|
|Original Assignee||Gen Motors Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (22), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
March 14, 1961 J. A. WALLACE ETAL 2,975,013
REFRIGERATOR HINGE Filed April 6, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 4 By Nevin Fig. Mw Their Affo ey REFRIGERATOR HINGE Filed April 6, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS James Awa/lace BY Nevin D. No/der Their Aff ney United States Patent REFRIGERATOR HINGE James A. Wallace and Nevin D. Nolder, Dayton, Ohio, assignors to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 6, 1959, Ser. No. 804,185
1 Claim. (Cl. S12-296) a food storage compartment therein.
It is the purpose of the present invention to correct or overcome certain problems that have presented themselves in the development of the refrigerator cabinet art. Wipingof a gasket on a door of a refrigerator cabinet against and along a wall surface of the cabinet, particularly at the hinged edge of the door while the gasket is compressed, adjacent an access opening to a food compartment in the cabinet has been and still is detrimental to properly sealing the opening and is also the major cause of a gasket becoming worn or damaged necessitating frequent replacement of such gaskets. Locating or installing a refrigerator cabinet in a corner of a room or kitchen has created a problem which in many cases has resulted in wasting valuable oor space therein. For example, when a refrigerator cabinet provided with a righthand opening door, i.e. a door hinged on the right-hand portion of the cabinet, is located in a corner with the right-hand side wall of the cabinet facing a cupboard or a wall of a room projecting beyond the front of the refrigerator, the cupboard or room wall interferes with or forms an obstruction to opening the refrigerator cabinet door to a 90 or right angle position relative to the cabinet front. If 4the refrigerator cabinet door cannot be so opened, sliding or rolling shelves provided in the food compartment of the refrigerator are prevented, by the partially opened door, from being extended outwardly of the compartment and their utility is thereby diminished. In such case, it is necessary to space the right-hand side of a refrigerator cabinet a considerable distance from the cupboard or room wall in order that the cabinet door may be swung to a 90 or full right angled position with respect to the front of the cabinet so as to permit the shelves in the food compartment to be slid outwardly thereof. This space is wasted, detracts from the continuity of fronts of cupboards and kitchen appliances adjacent thereto and it becomes unsightly since the space forms a dirt or dust collector or 'catcher which is difficult to clean. We therefore contemplate an improvement in the refrigerator cabinet art which overcomes dual problems encountered in this art.
An object of our invention is to provide a unique mounting of a door on a refrigerator cabinet which serves to accomplish a twofold purpose in the construction, installation and use of the refrigerator.
Another object of our invention is to provide a hinge mounting for a door of a refrigerator cabinet having a gasket thereon sealing an opening in a wall of the cabinet which mounting moves or shifts the door pivot point, upon swinging the door open, outwardly away from the cabinet wall so that the gasket will not rub or wipe thereagainst to prevent wearing and damagingof the gasket during opening and closing movements of the door whereby the life of the gasket is prolonged.
A further object of our invention is to provide a hinged closed; and
2,975,013 Patented Mar. 14, 1961 mounting of a door on a refrigerator cabinet which is responsive to swinging the door open for shifting the hinged edge thereof in a direction transverse to the front wall of the cabinet away from its upright side wall adjacent the hinged mounting toward the opposite cabinet side wall so as to permit the door to be swung to a 90 or full right angled position relative to the front of the cabinet when the hinged edge of the door is in close proximity to a cupboard, another kitchen appliance and/ or a wall of a kitchen projecting forwardly of the cabinet at the side thereof in the vicinity of the door mounting.
A still further and more specific object of our invention is to provide impeller means within a hinged mounting or hinging arrangement for a door of a refrigerator cabinet which acts automatically in response to swinging the door open to change its pivot point on the cabinet and thereby shift the hinged edge of the door in a plurality of directions to simultaneously and jointly carry out the foregoing objects.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a front view of a refrigerator having our invention embodied therein with the refrigerator door shown latched shut to the cabinet;
Figure 2 is an enlarged vertical fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1 vshowing one of two similar hinge mountings of the refrigerator door upon the cabinet with the door closed; y
Figure 3 is a horizontal fragmentary sectional View taken on the line 3--3 of Figure 2 showing the position of the refrigerator door pivot point when the door is Figure'4 is a broken fragmentary sectional view partly in elevation showing the refrigerator located in a corner of a room with the door pivot point moved on the cabinet and the hinged edge of the door shifted relative thereto.V
Referring -to the drawings for illustrating the present invention, we show in Figure 1 thereof a household refrigerator including a cabinet member of generally rectilinear shape provided with a plurality of insulated walls forming or defining a food storage compartment 11 therein` having an access opening in the cabinet front wall normally closed by an insulated door member or structure 12. The cabinet includes in addition to a front wall 14 a back wall 16 (see Figure 4), a top wall 17 and opposed upright side walls 18 and 19. Compartment 11 is adaptedk to be cooled by a refrigerant evaporator 2,1 of a closed refrigerating system (not shown) associated with the refrigerator cabinet which evaporator may be located in the upper part of the food compartment as is conventionalk in the art for preserving food products stored on shelves usually disposed therein. As best shown in Figures 3 v and 4 of the drawings, the refrigerator cabinet includes a metal shell forming the outer Walls thereof. The food storage compartment 11 -is formed by a metal box-like liner 24 separated from the outer shell by a nonmetallic or molded plastic breaker strip 26. Breaker strip 26 has an edge portion hooked over an outwardly bent ange Z7 on liner 24 and has its other edge portion fitting between a rolled-over, spring-like portion 28 of a rearwardly directed integral extension 29 on the cabinet front wall 14. Liner 24 is spaced from the cabinet shell or its outer walls, and the space therebetween is filled with any suitable or desirable insulating material 31. Thev access opening to food compartment 11 at the front of the cabinet is normally closed by insulated door member 12, and this door comprises an outer metal pan 32 arid an inner preferably molded plastic pan or panel 33 spaced -member 12 for air sealing food storage compartment V11 and its access opening in an airtight fashion. A latch mechanism (not shown), actuated by a button, lever, handle or the like 37, maintains the door member closed `and gasket 34 sealed against the front wall surface 14 of the cabinet member. The upright outer walls 14, 16, 18 and 19 depend below compartment 11 to form a machine compartment beneath same closed at its front by a removable or detachable cover 38 and which machine compartment usually houses the refrigerant translating device or unit of the refrigerating system associated with the refrigerator cabinet.
In order to accomplish the objects of this invention, we
provide means for mounting door member 12 on thel cabinet member for horizontal swinging movement relative `to the cabinet for opening and providing access to food storage compartment 11. As hereinbefore stated,
it is desirable to mount door 12 on the cabinet member so that its pivot point will be changed automatically in response to swinging door 12 open for a twofold purpose. Accordingly, we mount door member 12 on the cabinet member by spaced apart upper and lower hinge means. Each of the hinge mounting means -comprises a metal hinge pin element having a squared shank part 41 tted in a square extruded hole provided in the top and bottom edges of metal door pan 32 and is welded or otherwise suitably and rigidly secured to door member 12 against movement relative thereto for rotation therewith in unison with swinging thereof. The Vhinge pins include a substantially at circular head part 42, formed integral on squared part 41 thereof, which projects outwardly of door 12 and is provided with a plurality of gear teeth 43 cut therein for a purpose to be presently described. A nonmetallic preferably molded plastic glider washer 39 is slipped over the squared shank part 41 of the hinge pins prior to securing them to door 12. Each hinge mounting means also comprises a flat metal bracket or hinge wing element 46 which is adjustably secured to a portion of the cabinet member. Washer 39 interposed between door 12 and head part 42 of the hinge pins space a bracket or wing element 46 from'the door edge so as to eliminate friction therebetween upon moving the door and to protect the painted or enameled finish on pan 32. The inner end of each bracket 46 has elongated openings 47 therein receiving clamping bolts or the like 48 for adjustably and rigidly securing same to a metal frame part 49 of the refrigerator at the upper and lower portions of the cabinet (see Figure 2). The brackets 46 are, by loosening bolts 48, adjustable inwardly and outr wardly of the cabinet to insure proper alignment of door 12 with the front face of the refrigerator cabinet and to vary the compressibleness of gasket 34 therebetween for air sealing the access opening of food compartment 11. The outer end of each hinge wing or bracket element 46 is provided with an elongated aperture 51 receiving the round head part 42 of the hinge pin elements to provide a shiftable pivot point for or a movable pivoted mounting of one edge of door 12 on the front of the refrigerator cabinet member. It is to be noted that the longitudinal center of elongated apertures 51 in brackets 46 extends along the cabinet front wall 14 and is disposed at an acute angle with respect thereto for a purpose to be hereinafter described. The wall portion of elongated aperture 51 in brackets 46 is provided with a plurality of suitable rack or the like teeth 53 with which the gear teeth 43 on the hinge pins mesh. Elongated apertures 51, gear teeth 43 and rack teeth 53 provide the hinge means with an impeller or impelling Ameans which is rendered effective automatically inresponseto swinging door 12 open for accomplishing the objects of our invention.
ln Figure 4 of the drawings, the refrigerator is shown located in a corner of a room or kitchen, indicated by the right angled room walls 54 and 55, with its back 16 and its right-hand upright cabinet side 19 substantially abutting or positioned closely adjacent the walls 54 and 55 respectively. A refrigerator cabinet provided with a door hinge mounted thereon in a conventional manner at the front right-hand corner thereof cannotordinarily be located as illustrated in Figure 4 because in the rst place the hinged edge of the door would strike room wall 55 upon attempting to swing the door open, and secondly, this wall would interfere with opening the door to a or right angled position relative to the cabinet. In such case it has, in order to swing the refrigerator cabinet door 90 open, been customary to space the right-hand side of the cabinet a considerable distance away from such an obstruction as a kitchen cabinet and/or wall 55. As before set forth, this spacing of the refrigerator from a kitchen cabinet or room wall projecting outwardly beyond the front of the cabinet at the hinged side of a door thereon is objectionable for reasons explained. Therefore, Figure 4 is intended to illustrate how a refrigerator cabinet provided with a swinging door hinged thereon as presently disclosed can be located in a room corner and the door opened to a 90 or full right angled position with respect to the cabinet without interference by a wall of the room, such as the room wall 55.
While the presently disclosed door member 12 is closed and latched shut, gasket 34 is compressed between this memlber and front wall 14 of the cabinet 'member to air seal the food compartment 11. Head 42 of the lhinge pin elements are, when door 12 is in closed position, located yin the one portion or at the end of peller means incorporated within the present hinging arrangement acts automatically in response to swinging door 12 since the hinge pin elements are rotated by movement of the door. 'thus upon initially swinging door 12, the gear teeth 43 on part 42 of the hinge pins meshing with the rack teeth 53 on the wall of elongated aperture 51 of brackets 46 rotates and drives the hinge pins lengthwise Within the aperture 51 out of the one end portion thereof to thereby change the pivot point mounting of door 12 on the refrigerator cabinet. The hinge pins and consequently door 12 and that portion of gasket 34 ythereon at the hinged edge of the door move outwardly away from front wall 14 of the cabinet member to immediately relieve the compressed gasket. By
'movement of door 12, be swung or rotated away from cabinet wall 14. In this manner, gasket 34 is prevented from rubbing or wiping, at least or particularly while being compressed, along or against the front wall surface 14 of the refrigerator cabinet (see dot-dash showing in Figure 3 of the drawings). An additional opening swinging movement of door 12, say, for example, into a 90 position with respect to the refrigerator cabinet, drives head part 42 of the hinge pins along and into the other end portion of elongated aperture 51 in the brackets 46 to further change or shift the pivot point mounting of door 12 on the refrigerator cabinet outwardly ,away from the front thereof. By changing or shifting the pivotal mounting of door 12 with respect to the refrigerator cabinet in Athis manner, the hinged or right-hand edge of the door is simultaneously moved in a direction transverse to the front of 4the refrigerator away from its upright side wall 19 toward the opposed cabinet side wall 18 as shown in Figure #l of the drawings.
It is to be noted that the present arrangement-of an mpeller means in the door mounting or hinging means causes, when the door is opened, the edge of door 12 at the hinged side thereof to move or be shifted in a plurality of directions relative to the refrigerator cabinet. In other words, swinging movement of door 12 moves its hinged edge outwardlyrwith respect to front wall 14 of the refrigerator cabinet and transversely therealong away from the room or cupboard wall 55 so that the door hinged edge will clear same and the cabinet front. By moving the hinged edge of door 12 away from the cabinet upright side 19, the door can be swung open to a 90 or full right angled position relative to the cabinet without interference by the room wall 55 (see Figure 4). The action of the impeller means is positive and automatic in normal opening and closing movements of door 12, and its construction is such that these normal door movements will not damage same. While we have disclosed our invention in conjunction with a right-hand opening refrigerator cabinet door, it is nevertheless equally applicable toa left-hand opening door of a refrigerator especially when such a refrigerator is located in another corner of a room with its back to room wall 54 and its left upright side adjacent a wall extending at a right angle with respect to wall 54.
It should be apparent from the foregoing that we have made an improvement in the construction of a refrigerator cabinet which solves several problems encountered in the installation and use of refrigerators. Our unique cabinet door hinging means, with impeller means built therein, provides a door which can be opened to a 90 position with respect to the front of the cabinet to thereby permit slidably or rollably mounted shelves within a compartment thereof to be extended outwardly of the compartment through its access opening. The hinging means substantially lifts the door gasket, particularly at the hinged side of the door, olf or away from the cabinet surface against which it sealingly engages to thereby prevent wear thereof. By relieving compression of the gasket at least or particularly at the time it is moved as and in accordance with our invention, the gasket does not become scratched or damaged erated food storage compartment therein' provided with an access opening in a wall of said cabinet, a door norj mally closing the compartment opening, a resilient gasket carried by and extending around said door compressed between the door and said cabinet wa'll for air sealing the compartment opening, hinge means vmountj f ing an edge of said door upon said cabinet for swinging movement relative thereto, said hinge means comprising a bracket secured to the cabinet with a flat single thickness portion projecting outwardly from said cabinet wall and a hinge pin associated with said bracket j projecting portion, said hinge pin including two integral parts in side by side relationship and concentric with one another, one part of said hinge pin being circular and the other part thereof being noncircular, said noncircular part of the hinge pin extending into the conne of said door and being rigidly secured thereto for preventing movement therebetween, said at single thickness projecting port-ion of said bracket having an elongated aperture therein with the longitudinal center of the aperture extending at an acute angle with respect to said cabinet wall, the aperture in said bracket being throughout its entire length spaced outwardly from said cabinet wall, rack teeth'formed in a wall of said aperture and extending therealong, said circular part of said hinge pin being located within said elongated aperture. f
in the same plane and flush with opposed surfacesl of said single thickness projecting portion of said bracket Y to provide a pivot point for said door, gear teeth formed Y open for impelling said hinge pin lengthwise within the aperture to shift said pivot point outwardly away from said cabinet wall and transversely therealongy for preventing wiping of said gasket thereagainst at least while the gasket is'compressed.
References Cited in the'iile of this patent I UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,539,151 Mills Jan. 23, '1951,
FOREIGN PATENTS 283,315 `Great Britain Ian. 12, 1928A K OTHER REFERENCES IBM rTechnical Disclosure Bulletin, V01. 1, No. 2', August 1958, Compensating Hinge Disclosure.
Krause n May 9,` 1944v "Y
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|WO2006120105A2 *||Apr 7, 2006||Nov 16, 2006||BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH||Hinge for pivotally moving a laterally opening door|
|WO2006120105A3 *||Apr 7, 2006||Mar 22, 2007||Bsh Bosch Siemens Hausgeraete||Hinge for pivotally moving a laterally opening door|
|U.S. Classification||312/296, 16/235, 16/354, 16/273|
|Cooperative Classification||E05D3/022, E05Y2900/31, F25D2323/024|