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Publication numberUS2995905 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1961
Filing dateAug 25, 1952
Priority dateAug 25, 1952
Publication numberUS 2995905 A, US 2995905A, US-A-2995905, US2995905 A, US2995905A
InventorsAyres Russell W, Swanson Donald F
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ice cube forming machine
US 2995905 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 15, 1961 Filed Aug. 25, 1952 R. W. AYRES ETAL ICE CUBE FORMING MACHINE "'7 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Russell W Ayres Dona/d FSwanson BY W wam Aug. 15, 1961 R. w. AYRES EIAL ICE CUBE FORMING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 25, 1952 QR Q mi INVENTOR Russell 14 Ayres Donald F Swanson BY Q W 3 g? 7 A RNEY Aug. 15, 1961 R. w. AYRES ETAL ICE CUBE FORMING MACHINE 7 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Aug. 25, 1952 IN VENTOR m 55 Z 9 w WP MM n u 5 BY Q a ATT Aug. 15, 1961 R. w. AYRES ETAL 2,995,905

ICE CUBE FORMING MACHINE Filed Aug. 25, 1952 7 Sheets-Shet 4 INVENTOR Russel) W flyres Dana/d F Swansaw BY @MmQfi Aug. 15, 1961 R. w. AYRES ETA].

ICE CUBE FORMING momma 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 25, 1952 s m a m R .h mmw n I 1 & A w e @Q ,3 QR W m. mg \QN F MW d g Q ma k u a v R0 Y P i B %Q\\ 5% N Q .3 kw QR \QN RN w n b k (a HHIIFJIJWREJHH 0 Q mm I NR Q E f f b w% t Q R INVENTOR 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 R. W. AYRES EIAL ICE CUBE FORMING MACHINE Aug. 15, 1961 Filed Aug. 25, .1952

Russ e I Z W Ayres Dale/d F Swansan BY M (h Em m9 9 ATTORNEY Aug. 15, 1961 R. w. AYRES ETAL 2,995,905

ICE CUBE FORMING MACHINE Filed Aug. 25, 1952 7 Sheets-Sheet 7 UNIT 39 202 PUMP 46 193 L ,203 204 F 7Z- IN VENT OR Passe/1 I4. Ayre: Donald F Swanson BY Q w ATTORNEY Patented Aug. I5, 1961 2,995,905 ICE CUBE FORMING MACHINE Russell W. Ayres and Donald F. Swanson, St. Paul, Nlinn, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Whirlpool Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Aug. 25, 1952, Ser. No. 306,096 2 Claims. (Cl. 62-344) This invention relates to an improvement in ice cube forming machines and deals particularly with a means of producing cubes of clear ice automatically.

In our previously filed application Serial No. 150,462, filed March 18, 1950, now Patent No. 2,682,155, for Ice Cube Making Apparatus, We described in general an ice cube machine which formed a slab of ice upon an inclined plate and which allowed the slab of ice to be melted from the inclined plate and directed onto a series of resistance wires which cut the slab into cubes. The present invention is a continuation in part of the previous application and describes certain improvements not disclosed in the original application.

An object of the present invention lies in the provision of an ice cube forming apparatus which freezes water upon an inclined plate and later releases the ice so that it may slide onto the cutting wires. Water is circulated by means of a pumping unit which flows the water over the inclined surface and returns the surplus water to a reservoir. The water thus circulated is cooled through contact with the refrigerant plate and quickly freezes to produce an ice slab of a desired thickness. When the slab has been formed, means are provided to stop the flow of fluid over the plate. The reservoir is then permitted to fill and the circulated water is siphoned from the reservoir. Thus at the end of each cycle of operation the water is drained away and replaced with fresh water.

A feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a water supply which is arranged in heat transfer relation to the drain. The drain is provided with a low spot which constantly contains some of the Water drained from the reservoir. The water supply encircles this low portion of the drain and is cooled by the liquid therein.

A feature of the present invention lies in the provision of an inclined plate on which water is frozen and in providing at the loWer extremity of this plate a hinged deflector. This deflector extends in the path of water flowing over the plate and directs the water into a return manifold leading to the reservoir. After the freezing operation is completed and the ice slab is freed from the inclined plate, the hinged deflector is so arranged as to be swung out of the path of the ice slab by the Weight of the ice and to permit the slab to slide onto the cutting wires.

A feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a thermostatically operated switch supported above the refrigerant plate in the path of liquid flowing over the slab of ice built up thereupon. The thermostatic switch is pivotally supported above the plate so that it will be contacted by the water when the slab is of predetermined thickness. The pivotal support of the switch is so arranged that in the event the ice slab builds up slightly thicker than usual the switch may merely pivot upwardly to allow the slab to pass therebeneath. In other words, the switch cannot interfere with the sliding of the ice slab due to variations in thickness at different points of the slab or due to the formation of an unusually thick slab.

A feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a novel and effective means of supporting the ice cutting wires and in actuating the same. The wires are supported by special type of spring clips having insulation extending therethrough through which the wires extend. In order to prevent any question of injury due to the electric current running through the resistance wires, low voltage is employed therein.

A further feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a simple and effective apparatus for controlling the ice slab cutting and forming process. I provide a means for heating the thermostatic control when the ice has slid into place upon the cutting wires to insure the quick start of a new freezing cycle. By this means We prevent the freezing cycle from starting prematurely while at the same time eliminating unnecessary delay.

These and other objects and novel features of the present invention will be more clearly and fully set forth in the following specification and claims.

In the drawings forming a pat of the specification:

FIGURE 1 is a sectional view through the apparatus showing in general the arrangement of the parts therein.

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view horizontally through the upper portion of the cabinet, the position of the section being indicated by the line 22 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of the cabinet.

FIGURE 4 is a detail showing a portion of the cabinet door structure.

FIGURE 5 is a sectional view through the freezing plate, the position of the section being indicated by the line 55 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 6 is a transverse sectional view through the freezing plate, the position of the section being indicated by the line 66 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view through the thermostatic control showing the arrangement thereof.

FIGURE 8 is a side elevation view of a portion of the cutting wire supporting frame.

FIGURE 9 is a top view of a small portion of the cutting wire supporting frame.

FIGURE 10 is a sectional view through a portion of the cutting wire frame and of the thermostat heating coil actuated switch mechanism.

FIGURE 11 is a sectional view through a portion of the cutting wire frame, the position of the section being indicated by the line 1111 of FIGURE 9.

FIGURE 12 is a diagrammatic view showing the wiring of the apparatus.

The ice cube cabinet comprises a generally rectangular body including an 'angularly shaped chamber embodying a generally rectangular ice cube forming compartment 1t) and a generally rectangular ice cube receiving well 11. The well 11 is only a fraction of the width of the ice cube forming compartment 19 as is best indicated in FIGURE 1 of the drawings.

The cabinet includes generally rectangularly arranged outer walls which include side wall panels 12 and 13, a rear wall panel 14 and a front wall panel 15. The front wall panel is provided with two spaced apertures 16 and 17 extending therethrough. The bottom of the cabinet is provided with an outer bottom panel 19 which forms the bottom for the entire cabinet. The side walls, front and rear walls are provided with inturned flanges 29. A generally rectangular liner 21 is provided with an outwardiy turned marginal flange 22 at its upper extremity. The flanges 20 and 22 are connected by a breaker strip 23 extending about the margin of the liner. Insulation 24 is provided between the outer walls of the cabinet and the liner 21 thereof. The liner 21 includes a bottom panel 25 which extends across slightly more than half of the bottom of the ice cube forming compartment 16. The remainder of the lower extremity of the compartment 10 is encircled by a downwardly and inwardly inclined flange 26. The generally rectangular well 11 includes four rectangularly arranged walls comprising side walls 27 and 29, a rear wall 39, and a front wall 31, These walls are provided with outwardly flaring flanges 32 at their upper extremities, these flanges 32 being secured in heat transfer relation to the inclined flanges 26 of the compartment 10.

A vertical partition wall 33 extends upwardly from the bottom panel 19 in spaced relation to the well wall 29 and joins with a horizontally extending panel 34 which extends between the front and rear walls 14 and 15 and to the side wall 13. Insulation 35 is provided between the bottom compaltment wall and the partition wall 34 and also between the well wall 29 and the partition wall 33. Insulation 35 also is provided between the various other well walls and the outer cabinet walls from which they are spaced.

The portion of the cabinet between the partition wall '33 and the side wall 13 and between the outer, front and rear wall panels 14 and 15 forms a compressor compartment 36 designed to accommodate the compressor 37, the compressor motor 39, and other necessary elements. Access to the compartment 36 is available through the front opening 17 which is normally closed by a closure panel 40. If desired suitable louvers or other openings may be provided in the walls of the compartment 36 to permit ventilation of the compressor and other parts.

A circular passage 41 extends through the bottom wall 25, the partition wall 34 and the intermediate insulation 35. This passage 41 is lined by a ring shaped sleeve 42 having an inturned flange 43 at its upper extremity. A motor hanger plate 44 and a motor hanger spacer disc 45 are provided at the upper extremity of the passage 41 and act to support a motor 46. The motor 46 includes a motor shaft 47 which extends upwardly through a sleeve 49 anchored to the spacer plate 45. An elongated impeller 59 is connected at its upper extremity to the shaft 47 and freely encircles the sleeve 49. The hub 50 supports a pump impeller 51 which is rotatable within a pump casing 52.

The pump casing 52 is provided with a pair of oppositely disposed pump outlets 53 and 54 which are connected by flexible tubes 55 to inlet pipes 56 leading to the water distributing head 57. The head 57 extends transversely across the compartment 10 and is provided with longitudinally spaced apertures 59 through which water may flow in a manner which will be later described in detail.

A water pan 60 is supported upon the bottom wall 25 of the compartment 10 encircling the pump impeller casing 52. A water inlet pipe 61 connected to a suitable source of water supply extends through a float valve 62 which regulates the height of water in the water pan. The float valve is designed to maintain a substantially constant level of liquid in the Water pan. Water is circulated from the Water pan over the freezing plate in a manner which will be later described in detail.

The ice slab freezing plate is indicated in general at 63 and is supported in an inclined position between the front and rear walls of the compartment 10. This plate 63 comprises a pair of copper sheets 64 and 65 which are marginally secured together at 66 and which are spaced apart at predetermined areas to provide channels through which the refrigerant may flow. The upper plate 64 is flat between its sealed edges and this upper plate is formed into S shape marginally as indicated at 67 to accommodate an off-set flange 69 connected to a marginal frame 70. The frame 70 is formed of stainless steel or of some other material having relatively less heat conductivity than copper and the body of the frame 70 is flush with the upper surface of the plate 64. Solder or some other bonding material is indicated at 71 at the juncture between the plate and the frame 70 so as to form a smooth upper surface.

As indicated in FIGURE 6 of the drawings, the side edges of the frame 70 are provided with upstanding flanges 72 and 73 which terminate in laterally extending flanges 74 and 75 respectively. A cover plate 76 is secured to the flanges 74 and 75 and acts to overlie the freezing plate 63 in spaced relation thereto. A downturned flange 77 is provided at the upper extremity of the cover plate 76, the flange 77 being closely adjacent to the water distributing tube 57. An upwardly extending flange 79 is provided along the lower extremity of the cover plate 76. A hinge 80 connects the cover plate flange 79 to an upwardly directed flange 81 of a deflector illustrated in general by the numeral 82. The deflector 82 includes the upwardly directed flange 81, downwardly and forwardly inclined cover portion 83, a downwardly directed deflector plate 84 and a marginal reinforcing flange 85.

A transversely extending water collecting manifold 86 is secured between opposite compartment walls of the compartment 10 by means of bolts 87 or other suitable means. This collecting manifold or water trough 86 is provided with a downwardly extending outlet drain 89 which extends into the water pan 60. The deflector 82 deflects water flowing over the freezing plate 63 into the trough 86 which returns the water to the water pan 60.

As indicated in the drawings, the water distributing manifold 57 extends transversely across the freezing plate near the upper extremity thereof. The upper margin of the frame 70 is provided with an upwardly extending flange 90 which extends above the distributing manifold 57. The connections 56 extend across the manifold 57 and are closed at their upper extremities. Notches 91 in these connectors 56 within the manifold 57 permit the incoming water to flow into the manifold 57 to be distributed over the plate 63 by the spaced openings 59.

With reference now to FIGURE 7 of the drawings, it will be noted that bracket means 92 is secured to the cover plate 76. A channel shaped arm 93 is pivotally secured at 94 to the bracket means 92. An adjustment bolt 95 extends through the arm 93 and engages the upper surface of the closure plate 76 to limit the pivotal movement of the arm 93 in one direction. A semi-circular hood 96 is secured to the undersurface of the arm 93 to extend through a flanged opening 97 in the cover plate 76. A thermostatic element 99 is supported by the arm 93 within the hood 96.

The thermostatic element 99 includes a pair of concave discs 100 and 101 marginally connected together at 102. A gasket 103 is interposed between the plates 100 and 10-1 and acts as a seal therefor. A capillary tube 104 is connected to an expandable and contractable element 105 which is expanded by heat and contracted by cold. The heating element 106 is positioned adjacent to the expandable and contractable element 105 for a purpose which will be later described. The capillary tube 104 as well as a pair of wires 107 and 109 leading to the heating element 106 extend along the arm 93 and are supported thereby.

The surface of the bottom housing member 100 of the thermostatic element 109 is held in substantially parallel spaced relation to the freezing plate 63 by the adjustment bolt 95. In the event an ice slab of unusually thick dimensions is built up upon the freezing plate 63, the thermostatic element may hinge upwardly about the pivot 94 and thus will not prevent the movement of the slab of ice when it has been loosened from the freezing plate.

A siphon tube 110 extends into the water pan 60 and is connected by a flexible tube 111 to the drain pipe 112. The drain pipe 112 drains downwardly along a corner of the well 11 to a point adjacent to the bottom thereof. A drain enclosing member 113 encloses the drain pipe 112 and prevents injury thereto by ice cubes falling downwardly into the well.

A false bottom panel 114 is provided with downturned marginal edges such as 1-15 to rest upon the well bottom 116 to hold the ice cubes spaced above the floor panel. As indicated in FIGURE 4 of the drawings, this false bottom 114 is provided with an upwardly inclined forward edge 117 which terminates in a downturned flange 119. A bracket 120 extends inwardly from the breaker strip 121 encircling the opening 16 in the front wall of the cabinet and supports a hinge plate 122 and brackets 123 over which the flange 119 may engage. The false bottom thus terminates substantially flush with the lower surface of the door opening 16.

A closure panel 124 is secured to a hinge plate 125 hingedly connected to the plate 122. The closure panel or ice bin door inclines upwardly and outwardly at its upper edge as indicated at 126 and then is bent at 127 to incline downwardly and rearwardly as indicated at 129. The forwardly turned flange 130 of the part 129 connects over the inner panel 131 of the ice bin door and forms a handle by means of which the door may be hinged. The door is connected along opposite edges to a pair of wings 132 shaped as indicated in FIGURE 3 to provide an arcuate door wing edge. The arcuate edge 133 of each wing 132 is provided with a pair of spaced abutments 134 and 135 at opposite ends of the arcuate surface. These abutments are designed to selectively engage a corresponding stop pin 136 which limits the angular movement of the door in each direction.

As shown in FIGURES 2 and 3 of the drawings an insulated door 137 is hingedly connected at 139 to the cabinet front panel and this door 13-7 is provided with a latch 140 for holding the door normally closed. This door may be swung into open position to gain access to the ice bin and the bin door may be swung forwardly to remove the ice cubes. The forwardly inclining bin door prevents the spilling of ice cubes when the cabinet door is open and also assists in preventing the spilling of cold air from the storage compartment.

As indicated in FIGURE 1 of the drawings, a pair of wing guards 141 lie inwardly of the wings 132 and in spaced relation to the side walls 27 and 29 of the well 11. These guards enclose the wings and prevent interference with the movement of the wings by ice cubes stored within the well.

An ice slab cutting device is supported between the front and rear walls of the chamber 10. This device is constructed as best illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 8 through 11 of the drawings. The ice cube cutting device is designated in general by the numeral 142 and includes a marginal frame which is generally channel shaped in cross section and rectangular in plan formation. The frame includes an upright wall 143 which is rectangular in shape and is connected at its upper edge to an outwardly turned flange 144 and is connected along its lower edge to an out-turned flange 145. Downwardly and upwardly extending opposed flanges 146 and 147 extend along the outer edges of the flanges 144 and 145. Brackets 149 extend upwardly from the front and rear sides of the frame to provide a means of supporting the frame to the front and rear walls of the cabinet A series of spaced openings 150 are provided in the frame wall 143. Insulating blocks 148 of plastic or other suitable material are supported outwardly of each wall 143 and each insulating block 148 is provided with a projecting boss 151 which extends through an aperture 150. The plastic blocks are provided with openings 152 which extend therethrough and are axially aligned with the boss 151 of the block. A U-shaped flat spring 153 is provided with a notch 154 designed to straddle the aperture 152 and is provided with an angularly extending end 155 which extends into a corresponding groove in the plastic block 148. The spring overlies the outer surface of the plastic block and is bent at 156 to provide a spring arm 157 parallel to the surface of the plastic block. The arm 157 is bifurcated as indicated at 159 and the bifurcated ends are grooved as indicated at 16% to accommodate a transversely extending pin 161 to which the cutting wires or heating element wires 162 are anchored. The cutting wires are thus supported under tension of the spring arms 157 so that each individual wire is at all times held taut.

As indicated in FIGURE 10 of the drawings, the openings in the frame walls 143 which form the upper and lower ends of the cutting wire frame 142, are positioned closer to the upper edge of the frame wall than to the lower edge thereof. Accordingly the wires which extend transversely of the frame from the receiving end to the opposite end are relatively high. The springs 153 which support these wires are arranged with their bent ends 156 directed downwardly. These clips 153 support parallel cutting wires 163 which extend longitudinally of the direction of travel of the ice slab. As indicated in FIGURE 11 of the drawings, the spring clips 153 which support the cutting wires extending from the front to the rear of the frame of the cutting unit 142 are supported to extend through apertures 150 which are relatively near the lower edge of the frame wall 143 and the springs are arranged with their bent ends 156 directed upwardly. As a result the cutting wires 163 which are parallel to the direction of movement of the ice slab in sliding onto the cutting wires are substantially above the level of the second set of cutting wires 162. This spacing between the wires is preferably slightly greater than the slab of ice which may be formed on the ice forming plate 63. As a result the slab of ice is below the level of the wires 163 when resting upon the second set of cutting wires 162.

A shield or bumper plate 164 is positioned along the lower edge of the cutting wire frame. This bumper or deflector 164 is provided with a forwardly rounded edge 165 terminating in a flange 166 which is substantially parallel to the plane of the cutting wires. A channel shaped bracket 167 is secured to the upper surface of the frame flange 144 and acts to support the bumper and deflector plate 164 which is by means of metal screws 169 or other suitable means.

A spring 170 has an end 171 which extends down into contact with the bracket 167 and is secured to a switch housing 172 by means of one of the mounting bolts 173 which secure the switch housing 172 to the bumper member 164. The spring 1711 is provided with an upwardly angled loop 174 designed to increase the flexibility of the spring and is provided with an inwardly directed rounded portion 175 which is designed for engagement with the switch plunger 176. The spring 170 is bowed outwardly at 177 to avoid contact with the rounded portion 165 of the bumper 164 and terminates in an actuating end 179 which extends into the path of movement of a slab of ice on the cutting wires 163. The spring 170 is thus so arranged that upon movement of a slab of ice against the operating arm 179 the switch plunger 176 will be operated to close a circuit which will be later described in detail.

As best indicated in FIGURES l and 2 of the drawings, a drain 180 is provided in the bottom panel 116 of the ice cube well 11 and a drain tube 131 extends downwardly therefrom. The drain pipe then turns at a right angular elbow at 132 and extends horizontally near the bottom panel 19 as indicated at 183. The drain then inclines upwardly as indicated at 184 to terminate in a horizontally extending portion 185 leading to a suitable outlet coupling 186.

The water inlet pipe 167 enters the cabinet at a suitable coupling 189 and extends horizontally to the portion of the drain which is below the level of both the inlet and the outlet thereof. At this point the water pipe 187 is coiled about the drain pipe as indicated at 190 and is secured in heat transfer relation thereto. Any liquid draining from the ice cubes well drains into the lowermost portion of the drain tube and acts to cool the incoming water supply.

The wiring diagram of the apparatus is indicated in FIGURE 12 of the drawings. The line wires 191 and 192 are connected to the primary of a transformer 193, the secondary of which is connected to low voltage current supply wires 194 and 195. The transformer 193 thus steps down the line voltage to a low voltage suitable for use in heating the cutting wires with no danger of injury or shock to. those operating the apparatus. The line wire 194 is connected to a center point of the transversely extending cutting wires 162 and to the center point of the longitudinally extending cutting wires 163. The line wire 195 is connected near the ends of the transverse cutting wires 162 and longitudinal cutting wires 163 thus forming a multiple circuit. Obviously the reduced voltage potential between the line terminals acts to heat the resistance wires 162 and 163 sufi-iciently to cut through the slab of ice.

The line wire 194 is also connected to a switch 196 which is the switch encased within the switch housing 172. When the switch 196 is closed the low voltage current is supplied to the heating coil 197 which forms a part of the thermostatic element and is indicated in FIG- URE 7 at 106. Thus when the switch 196 is closed the heating element 197 is energized to quickly heat the expandable and contractable member 105 which forms a part of a thermostatic element and actuates the thermostatic switch 199 illustrated in general diagrammatically in FIGURE 12. A resistance shunt 200 across the switch 196 maintains a low current in the coil 197 which is greatly increased when the switch 196 is closed.

The line wire 191 is connected through conductor 201 to the pump motor 46 to energize the pump. A line wire 191 is also connected by conductor 202 to the compressor motor 39. This line wire 191 is also connected to one terminal of a solenoid valve 203 through a conductor 204. The solenoid valve 203 controls the hot gas line 205 connected to the top of the refrigerant system condenser. When the valve 203 is energized, hot refrigerant gas may pass through the coil 205 which is arranged in heat transfer relation to the frame 70 encircling the freezing plate 63. When the valve 203 is closed the hot gas can not escape and the refrigerant is forced through the usual evaporator coil connected to the passages 206 forming a part of the freezing plate 63.

The line wire 192 is connected by a conductor 207 to a thermostatic switch 209 which is controlled by a thermostatic element 210 extending into the ice cube well as indicated in FIGURE 1. This thermostatic switch 209 is normally closed and opens only when the ice cubes within the Well actually contact the element 210. In

other words, the refrigerant compressor 37 continues to function until stopped by the breaking of the circuit through the thermostatic switch 209.

The thermostatically controlled switch 199 includes a center pole 211 which is selectively connected either to the switch contact 212 or to the contact 213. The coni tact 212 is connected by a conductor 214 to the pump motor 46 to close the circuit thereto. The contact 213 is connected by conductor 215 to the solenoid to close the circuit thereto. Thus in the operation of the apparatus, either the pump motor 46 is in operation or the solenoid 203 is energized to cause circulation of hot refrigerant gases through the hot gas line 205.

The operation of the apparatus will now be described. When the apparatus is plugged into a suitable source of current supply the pump motor and the motor 39 of the refrigerator unit are energized. The refrigerator unit tends to circulate refrigerant through the freezing plate 63 andthe pumping unit acts to pump water through the manifold 57 allowing the water to drain over the upper surface of the plate 63. As the water flows and as the plate becomes colder, the water will freeze gradually building up a slab of ice upon the freezing plate. 7 This operation continues until the water flowing over the slab of ice contacts the thermostatic element 99. Actual contact of the water and the casing of the thermostatic ated. Actuation of the switch 199 opens the circuit to the pump motor Y46 and closes the circuit to the sole noid 203.

The hot gas line 205 is connected to the upper portion of the condenser while the refrigerant line is connected to the lower extremity thereof to receive the liquid refrigerant. When the hot gas line 205 is closed by the solenoid valve 203, the refrigerant is forced in the usual manner through the refrigerant coil. However, when the solenoid valve 203 is opened the resistance to the flow of the gaseous refrigerant is decreased and is considerably less than the resistance to the flow of liquid refrigerant. Accordingly the hot gas will circulate through the coil 205 which is connected to the evaporator coil at its extremity. The flow of the heated refrigerant gas through the coil 205 heats the marginal edges of the freezing plate and particularly the portion 70 which is made of material which possesses relatively low heat conductivity. The heated refrigerant also passes through the evaporator coil and heats the freezing plate 63 to a sufticient extent to permit the slab of ice to slide out of contact therewith.

When the ice slab is freed from the freezing plate 63 it slides downwardly pressing against the flange 84 of the deflector 82 and hinging this deflector upwardly out of its path. The slab slides over the marginal edge of the wire supporting frame 142 and onto the cutting wires 163. These wires extend longitudinally of the direction of travel of the ice slab so that they do not interfere with the sliding movement of the slab.

As the slab reaches its lowermost position, it engages the lower extremity 179 of the switch operating arm 170, closing the switch 172. The closing of the switch 172 actuates the contact arm 196 which closes the circuit to the heating element 197 located adjoining the thermostatic unit of the thermostatic element 99. This heating element then tends to quickly raise the temperature of the expandable and contractable element 106 which controls the thermostatic switch 199. As a result soon after the ice slab has reached the lower extremity of the wire cutting frame, the thermostatic switch 199 is actuated. Actuation of the switch 199 opens the circuit to the solenoid 203 and closes the circuit to the pump motor 46. Accordingly the water begins to flow over the freezing plate and liquid refrigerant is pumped toward the evaporating coil forming a part thereof.

As long as the slab of ice is against the switch operating arm 170, the heating element 197 remains connected and the thermostat will not actuate the switch 199 to again direct hot refrigerant gases about the freezing plate 63. However, as soon as the upper cutting wires 163 out the slab into longitudinally extending strips of ice, the switch arm is released and the heating element 197 is de-energized. The wires are sufficiently spaced apart so that after the slab has been cut into strips by the upper wires, another slab of ice can slide thereupon without striking the ice strips resting upon the lower cutting wires 162.

When the pump motor 46 ceases its operation the water containing tank 60 fills up to such an extent that it completely fills the outlet 110. As a result water starts to drain from the tank 60 and continues to drain until the tank is empty, the outlet acting as a siphon. The water is drained beneath the level of the stored ice and flows through the drain 181. As previously described this water which is at substantially freezing temperature flows through the lowered portion 183 of the drain which is in heat transfer relation to the coil forming a part of the water inlet. The tank 60 is refilled by the water inlet, but the outlet flows faster than the inlet so that the water may drain from the tank before any considerable amount of additional water is added thereto. The level of water in the tank is usually below the level required to actuate the outlet siphon.

When a sufficient quantity of ice cubes have been built up within the well 11, the ice comes in contact with, or close proximity to, the thermostatic element 210 controlling the thermostatic switch 209. When the switch 209 opens the circuit the entire system ceases to function with the exception of the cutting wires. Thus the cutting wires will complete their cutting operation upon any slab of ice which is partially formed or partially cut, but the circuits to the refrigerating unit to the pump motor and other solenoid 203 are open. The ice cubes are usually removed by opening the hinged door 137 and swinging forwardly the inner closure door 124. The door 124 swings forwardly throughout the extent of the angular segment of the wings 132, the inner closure panel acting to prevent the ice cubes from falling through the opening when the closure is open.

In accordance with the patent statutes, the principles of construction and operation of the ice cube forming apparatus have been described, and while it has been endeavored to set forth the best embodiments thereof, it is desired to have it understood that these are only illustrative thereof and that obvious changes may be made within the scope of the following claims without departing from the spirit of our invention.

We claim:

1. An ice cube forming device including an ice cube receiving well including insulated side walls and an insulated bottom wall, an ice forming means including re frigerated surfaces, a means for refrigerating said surfaces, and means for circulating water over said surfaces, a drain beneath said ice cube Well and within said insulated bottom wall, said drain having a horizontally extending intermediate portion arranged at a level below the level of the inlet and outlet of the drain, an upwardly inclined outlet connected to said intermediate portion, and a water supply pipe in heat transfer relation with said intermediate portion of said drain.

2. An ice cube forming device including an ice cube receiving well including insulated side walls and an insulated bottom wall, an ice forming means including refrigerated surfaces, a means for refrigerating said surfaces, means associated with said refrigerated surfaces for forming ice thereon, a drain beneath said ice cube well and within said insulated bottom wall, said drain including an angular inlet portion communicating with the interior of said well at the bottom thereof, a substantially horizontally extending intermediate portion connected to said angular inlet portion, an upwardly inclined portion connected to said intermediate portion, and a generally horizontal outlet portion connected to the upper end of said upwardly inclined portions and being positioned above the level of the intermediate portion, and a water supply pipe in heat transfer relation with said intermediate portion of said drain.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 162,397 Martin Apr. 20, 1875 706,510 Barrath Aug. 12, 1902 807,521 Walker Dec. 19, 1905 1,217,673 Weaver Feb. 27, 1917 1,931,347 Gay Oct. 17, 1933 1,963,842 Gay June 19, 1934 2,105,460 Gaugler Jan. 11, 1938 2,145,775 Mufiiy Jan. 31, 1939 2,216,604 Schwimmer Oct. 1, 1940 2,226,413 Schwimrner Dec. 24, 1940 2,282,546 Schwimmer May 12, 1942 2,364,559 Storer Dec. 5, 1944 2,418,572 Brennan Apr. 8, 1947 2,526,262 Munshower Oct. 17, 1950 2,561,437 Cobb July 24, 1951 2,575,892 Roberts Nov. 20, 1951 2,586,588 Weseman Feb. 19, 1952 2,623,149 Amar Dec. 23, 1952 2,646,494 Fegan July 21, 1953 2,648,956 Fletcher Aug. 18, 1953 2,656,686 Bayston Oct. 27, 1953 2,657,547 Heuser Nov. 3, 1953 2,672,016 Mufl'ly Mar. 16, 1954 2,691,275 Andrews Oct. 12, 1954 OTHER REFERENCES Frigidaire Service Tech. Talk, volume H, Number 12, December 1951, 20 pages.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration News, page 11, Feb. 25, 1952.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3127486 *Mar 6, 1961Mar 31, 1964Siegler CorpElectric switch having object sensing operating means
US3217508 *Oct 23, 1962Nov 16, 1965Gen Motors CorpAutomatic ice maker of the flexible tray type
US3220207 *Jul 13, 1964Nov 30, 1965Star Cooler CorpIce cube maker with slush preventing means
US3230736 *Nov 13, 1963Jan 25, 1966Whirlpool CoPlate type evaporator for ice slabs
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US4706466 *Sep 3, 1986Nov 17, 1987Mile High Equipment CompanyUnder the counter ice making machine
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US5291752 *Dec 18, 1992Mar 8, 1994Alvarez Robert JIntegrally formed, modular ice cuber having a stainless steel evaporator and a microcontroller
EP0513793A2 *May 14, 1992Nov 19, 1992Mile High Equipment CompanyIntegrally formed, modular ice cuber having a stainless steel evaporator and a microcontroller
EP0766052A2 *Sep 23, 1996Apr 2, 1997Mile High Equipment CompanyModular ice cube maker and method of manufacture
WO2008130714A1 *Apr 23, 2008Oct 30, 2008Michael AndresenIce machine with removable liner
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/344, 62/139, 62/460
International ClassificationF25C1/12
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/12
European ClassificationF25C1/12