US 3084531 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 9, 1963 L w MATHENY 3,084,531
SELF CLOTHES-UNLOADING DEVICE FOR LAUNDRY MACHINE Filed March 17, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 3 FIG. 2 2a [/V/E/VIVR A W M0 r/new/ 5/ flrra rmers,
April 9, 1963 L w MATHENY 3,084,531
SELF CLOTHES-UNLOADING DEVICE FOR LAUNDRY MACHINE Filed March 1'7, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG? Q x, Q 56 Vi/ FIG. 4
I 54 'l\ 46 I\\/'/ z [NYE/V702: L 11 Min/arr iifak/ne rs,
April 9, 1963 L w MATHENY 3,084,531
SELF CLOTHES-UNLOADING DEVICE FQR LAUNDRY MACHINE Filed March 17, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG.|3 FIGIZ BY W,Zwm/w@% April 1953 1. w MATHENY 3,084,531
SELF CLOTHES-UNLOADING DEVICE FOR LAUNDRY MACHINE 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 17, 1960 FIG.I5 m? BY gwzw W Patented Apr. 9, 1963 3,034,531 SELF CLGTHEfi-UNLOADING DEVICE F63 LAUNDRY MACHINE L W Matheny, $926 Harrison, Brentwood, Mo. Fiied Mar. 17, 1960,5enN0. 15,594 4 Claims. ct. 68-21ti) This invention relates to an unloading arrangement for laundry machines, and in particular, relates to self-contained means mounted in a dryer, washer, or a combination washer-dryer which when actuated causes the contents of the device to be automatically ejected therefrom.
Washing machines and dryers are becoming a more common household appliance and are considered by some to be a present day necessity. In general, washers and dryers presently on the market consist of a drum which rotates about a horizontal axis. Power is supplied from a power unit and transmitted by a suitable mechanism to the drum or cylinder. The entire mechanism is placed within a suitable casing with proper controls to operate the mechanism. The casing is provided with a door which is positioned coaxially with the drum and generally is smaller in size than the drum. Clothing is introduced into and removed from the drum through the casing door.
With present washers, the clothing is placed into the drum through the relatively small hinged door. A washing soap or detergent together with bleach, etc. can be placed in a receptacle in the drum and suitable controls activated which supply water at a desired temperature and at a predetermined rate to the drum. The drum is rotated and the clothes washed, rinsed and spun to a certain degree of dryness. Thereafter, the damp heavy clothes must be manually unloaded through the small, cramped front opening.
If the laundry machine is a combination washer-dryer, a rotatable basket is provided inside of the washing drum and the manual unloading occurs after the washing and the drying cycles are completed. This unloading procedure has all of the disadvantages hereinafter ascribed to the unloading of a dryer machine.
With present dryers, a predetermined amount of wet or damp clothing is introduced into the drum through the relatively small hinged door. The door is closed and a suitable control is actuated to cause the drum to rotate with hot air being blown through the perforated cylindrical and/ or back surface thereof until the clothes are dry or damp-dry. The unit is then manually or automatically shut off. In either event, the opera-tor must open the door and manually unload the dryer.
This arrangement has numerous disadvantages, especially since the door is positioned at a very low level from the floor, usually about knee high, with the result that the operator must stoop or bend over and reach through a relatively small opening with both arms extending into a hot or warm chamber to physically remove the hot, dried clothing. In many cases, the opening is not suitably protected so that the operator may bruise an arm or catch parts of clothing such as buckles, buttons, etc. There are other disadvantages which are well known to persons who unload these laundry appliances.
One of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide an unloading arrangement for a laundry ma chine which when actuated by a suitable control mechanism automatically ejects the clothes from the device through the door opening into a previously positioned receptacle such as a wash basket or onto the open door of the laundry machine. Another object is to provide an automatic laundry appliance, such as a washer, dryer or combination washer-dryer, which can be easily loaded but which is automatically unloaded without requiring the operator to stoop or look into the lowly positioned opening or reach into the device in order to remove the clothing therefrom.
Another object is to provide a self-unloading dryer which is safe and which does not require the operator to expose any part of his body to hot air or temperatures or to the exposed corners of an opening in the casing.
Another object is to provide a laundry machine wherein the clothes contained therein are automatically unloaded when the laundry cycle is completed. Another object is to provide a laundry machine having a reversibly rotatable drum from which clothes are automatically ejected when the direction of rotation thereof is reversed.
Another object is to provide a laundry machine which has a movable member normally positioned against an inner wall of a rotatable drum during the laundering Cycle and which member is moved toward the center of the dlum when the laundering cycle is completed to direct laundered clothes out of the drum through a door opening therein.
Another object is to provide a new laundering cycle wherein the clothes are automatically discharged from a laundry machine when its normal laundering cycle is completed. Still another object is to provide a laundering cycle wherein clothes are automatically ejected from a laundry machine by reversing the rotation of the clothes carrying drum. Still another object is to provide a novel laundering cycle wherein an extensible vane is moved in a clothes carrying drum of a laundry machine to direct laundered clothes out of the drum through a door opening therein.
These and other objects and advantages will become apparent hereinafter.
The present invention broadly comprises an arrangement for self unloading a laundry machine and in par ticular, the present invention includes a self-unloading arrangement in combination with appliances of the dryer, washer or combination washer-dryer type having a stationary casing and a rotatable drum, said self-unloading means positioned within the casing and having at least part of said means within the drum to effect axial movement of the clothing within the drum at a predetermined time.
The invention also consists in the parts and in the arrangements and combination of parts hereinafter described and claimed. In the accompanying drawings which form part of this specification wherein like numerals and symbols refer to like parts wherever they occur:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a laundry machine with the outer casing and a portion of the rotating drum partially broken away.
FIG. 2 is a partially broken side view of the laundry machine shown in FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary view of the rotating drum showing one embodiment of the present invention,
FIG. 4 is an enlarged partially broken end View of a rotating drum of the laundry machine shown in FIG. 1,
FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary end view of a laundry machine drum taken along line 55 of FIG. 3 and shows the mechanism for removing clothes from the drum in detail,
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 6-45 of FIG. 3,
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along lines 7-7 in FIG. 3,
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a bell crank lever portion of the clothes removing mechanism,
FIG. 9 is an end view of a modified form of the extensible vane mechanism,
FIG. is a sectional view taken along line 1tl10 of FIG. 9 and shows the vane in recessed position,
FIG. 11 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 10 but shows the vane in an extended position.
FIG. 12 is an end view of another modification of the extendable vane mechanism,
FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along line 1313 of FIG. 12,
FIG. 14 is an end view of a laundry machine showing a modified clothes unloading mechanism,
FIG. 15 is a top plan view of the laundry machine shown in FIG. 14, and
FIG. 16 is a sectional view taken along line 16-16 of FIG. 15 and shows one wall of the rotatable drum partial ly broken away.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, it will be seen that the embodiment of the invention which has been illustrated comprises a laundry machine 10, such as a dryer, having an outer casing 11 with suitable controls 12 thereon, a rotatable drum 13 mounted therein, a power unit 14, and a power transmission mechanism 15 which transmits the power from the power unit 14 to the drum 13. The casing 11 also houses a heating unit 16, a blower unit 17, an air inlet 18, and an air outlet 19. A lint collector is mounted in front of the fan or blower unit 17. The heating unit 16 may be operated in any desired manner, such as by electricity or gas or other heat source.
Air is drawn into the casing 11 through the air inlet 18 and passes over the heating unit 16 to the drum 13 where it contacts the clothes and captures moisture from them. The moisture laden air is passed through the lint collector 20 where any lint is removed and then exhausted by the fan 17 through the air outlet 19.
The casing 11 includes a front wall 25, a back wall 26, side walls 27, a top wall 28 and a bottom wall 29. A door 30 is pivotally fastened to the casing 11 by hinges 31 and latch means 32 to cover a door opening in the casing front wall 25.
The drum 13 is mounted on a shaft 33 carried in a shaft housing 34 and rotates about a horizontal axis which extends from said shaft 33 through the center of the door opening 35 in the casing 11. The drum 13 includes a cylindrical side wall 37 with perforations or openings 38 therein for receiving the hot air, a straight or convex rear wall 39 which may have similar air openings, and a front wall 40 having an opening 41 therein cooperating and aligned with the door opening 35 in the casing front wall 25.
Wet clothes are introduced into the drum 13 through the door opening 35 and the drum front wall opening 41. The cylindrical wall 37 is provided with a plurality of vanes 42 which impart a tumbling and agitating action to the clothing to increase the eificiency of the drying operation. The vanes 42 have a front end 43 toward the drum opening 41 and a rear end 44 toward the drum rear wall 39. At least one of said vanes 42 has movable means (shown in more detail in FIGS. 3-8) associated therewith which can be moved inwardly away from the cylindrical wall 37 toward the center of the drum 13 to act as a guide means for the clothing when it is to be removed.
Some or all of the vanes 42 can be canted with respect to the axis of rotation of the drum 13 or they can be aligned with said axis of rotation. However, the vane 42 housing the movable guide means 45 must be canted toward the drum opening 41 with the vane rear end 44 leading the vane front end 43 as the drum 13 is rotated so that clothes are channeled toward the opening '41 and guided from the drum: interior.
As will be described more fully hereinafter, the vanes 42 can be canted with the vane front end 43 leading the vane rear end 44 as the drum 13 is rotated to direct the clothes away from the door opening 41 toward the basket rear wall 39 during the washing or drying cycle. When the direction of rotation of the basket 13 is reversed, as by reversing the drive means 14, and the means 45 are extended, the vane rear end 44 leads the vane front end 43 during continued rotation of the drum 1 3 and the clothes are directed toward and out of the drum door opening 41.
The movable means or extensible vane 45 can be moved in several diflerent ways and can be adapted to the particular arrangement of most domestic appliances on the market today. One arrangement utilizes a frustoconical member 46 having a roller engaging tapered surface 47 and mounted on the shaft 3-3 connecting the drum- 13 to the power transmission mechanism 15. A first portion or arm 48 of a bell crank member 49 is biased about the shaft 33 by a suit-able spring 50 fixed to the arm 48 and to the drum rear wall 39. This portion 48 of the lever -49 may be provided with a roller 51 or other suitable means to reduce friction with the roller engaging surface 47. The bell crank lever 49 is mounted on a fixed pivot 52 secured to a flange 53 preferably provided on the exterior of the drum '13, and has a second port-ion forming a vane 54 extending angularly from its first portion 48. The latter portion or vane 54 is positioned within the drum 13 between spaced apart vane guides 55 of a modified form of the vane 42 and is movable with respect to the cylindrical wall 37. As shown, the movable vane portion 54 moves radially inwardly from between the vane housing or guides 55 toward the axis of the drum 13. The vane housing 55 preferably is canted so that its rear end 44 intersects the rear wall 39" at a point which is not axially aligned and does not reg-- ister with the intersection of its front end 43 with the front wall 40, substantially as shown in FIG. 6. The frusto-conical member 46 is movable to two axial positions. In .a first or inactive position, the spring 50 urges the movable means 45 in its inoperative or withdrawn position against the wall 37 (FIG. 5), and in the second or operative position (shown in broken lines in FIG. 3) the member 46 positions the vane portion 54 of the bellcrank lever 49 in its inwardly extended or operative position (also shown in broken lines in FIGS. 3 and 4) for directing clothes out of the door openings 35 and 41.
The frusto-conica-l member 46 is moved toward the outer casing back wall 26 by a mechanism including an L- shaped member 58 having a leg 5? engaged in a groove 61 in the member 46 and a second leg 61 in a solenoid 62 on the shaft housing '34 (FIG. 3). When the solenoid 62 is activated, the leg 61 of the member 58 is drawn into the solenoid 62 and the leg 59 and groove 60 engagement moves the member 46 toward the outer casing back wall 26. The bell-crank lever '49 pivots about the pivot 52 with the roller 51 moving on the roller engaging surface 47 in a manner such that the first portion 48 of the lever 49 moves toward the outer casing back wall 26 and the top wall 28, and the second or vane portion 54 of the lever 49 moves from a position between the vane guides 55 having one margin adjacent to the cylindrical wall 37, to an extended or clothes directing position toward the center or axis of rotation of the drum 13. When the solenoid 62 is inactivated, the spring 50' returns the bellcrank lever 49 and the member 46 to a withdrawn position.
A modification of the movable vane mechanism is: shown in FIGS. 9- 11 and includes a stationary vane having spaced apart stationary vane guides 71 which. define an opening 72 housing an extenda ble vane 73. A suitable drive mechanism 74 is provided in the base 75 of the stationary vane 70'. The drive mechanism 74 includes extensible legs 76 connected to the movable vane 73 by a pin and slot connection 77 and pivoted at 78 to the base 75. The legs 76 include an arcuate gear rack 79 engaging a driving worm gear 80 which in turn is driven by a suitable mechanical drive unit 81, such as a small electric motor. The vane base 75 is constructed and arranged to be fixed to the cylindrical wall 37 of a rotatable drum 13 (not shown).
When it is desired to extend the vane 73 from a recessed position (FIG. 9) between the vane guides 71 adjacent the drum wall 37 to an extended clothes directing position (FIG. 11), the drive unit 81 is activated either manually or automatically by suitable controls. The drive unit 81 rotates the driving gear 80 which drives the gear racks 7-9 moving the legs 76 from a depressed position (FIG. '9) to a raised position (FIG. 11). As the legs 76 are raised, the vane 73 is moved from between the vane guides 71 toward the axis of rotation of the drum 13. When the vane 73 is fully raised (FIG. 11), the drive unit 81 is stopped. After the extended vane 76 has directed the clothes from the drum 13, suitable controls can be activated to depress the legs 76 and again recess the vane 73 in a normal position between the vane guides 71.
A further modification of the movable vane mechanism is shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, and includes a stationary vane 70 having stationary spaced apart substantially parallel vane guides 71 which define an opening 72 housing a movable vane 73. A drive mechanism 85 is housed in the base 75 of the stationary vane 70. The drive mechanism 85 includes a pair of extensible scissors 86 having legs 87 pivoted at their center 88 and connected to the extensible van 73 with pin and slot connections 89 and pivoted at 91} to pairs of housings 91. The housings 91 are geared to a driving worm gear 92 which is driven by a suitable mechanical drive unit 93 such as an electric motor. The vane base 75 is adapted to be fitted to the cylindrical wall '37 of a rotatable drum 13 (not shown).
When the drive unit 93 is activated, it rotates the drive gear 92 moving each pair of housings 91 together and thereby raising the legs 37 and extending the vane 73 from a recessed position to an extended clothes unloading position (not shown, but similar to FIG. 1 1). To lower or recess the vane 73 between the vane guides 71, the drive gear 92 is reversed thus separating the housings 91 and opening the legs 87 thereby lowering the vane 73 to a normal or clothes laundering position.
The stationary vane 70 and extensible blade 73 shown in FIGS. 9-13 are positioned adjacent a drum wall 37 in a canted position with respect to the axis of rotation of the drum .13 substantially as shown in FIGS. =1 and 6.
In operation, the hereinbefore described laundry machines are operated through a normal laundering cycle which may be a washing, drying or washing-drying combination. At the end of the normal laundering cycle, the clothes unloading operation is begun.
The operation of the extensible vane will be described as applied to the mechanism shown in FIGS. 1-8, but is eqtizglly applicable to the mechanisms shown in FIGS.
The drum or clothes containing basket 13 with a vane 4-2 canted as shown in FIG. 1 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction about the axis of rotation so that the rear end 44 of the canted vane 42 leads the front end 43 thereof. The canted vane 42 tends to sweep the clothes before it as it passes the lowest point in its arc. As it continues in its arc, it lifts the clothes and the force of gravity tends to work the clothes toward the vane front edge 43 and the door opening 41. The raised lip on the drum front wall 40 and the closed casing door 30 retain the clothes in the drum 13 during the laundering cycle.
When the clothes unloading cycle starts, a drive means is activated and the movable vane 54 moves from a laundering position housed in the vane 42 adjacent the drum wall 37 to an extended clothes unloading position toward the interior of the drum 13. The movable vane 54 cooperates with the stationary canted vane 42 to guide the clothes toward and out of the drum door opening 41 and out of the casing door opening 34 into a suitable placed clothes receptacle. When the extensible vane 54 is extended, it acts as a chute to raise the clothes over the lip on the drum front wall 40 and direct them out of the drum door opening 41.
When the drum 13 is unloaded, the vane 54 is again moved from clothes unloading position to a normal laundering position recessed against the drum wall 37.
As alternative clothes unloading system for a laundry machine is provided by canting the vane 42 so that the front end 43 leads the rear end 44 as the drum 13 is rotated (in a clockwise direction with the construction shown in FIG. 1) during the normal laundering cycle. The vane 4-2 then channels the clothes toward the drum rear wall 39. The rotation of the drum 13 must be reversed (to a counterclockwise direction with the construction shown in FIG. 1) before or after the movable vane 54 is extended to a clothes unloading position as hereinbefore described. By reversing the direction of the drum rotation, the clothes are directed toward the door opening 41 and the extended vane guides them through the door openings 41 and 35 to a suitable receptacle as hereinbefore described.
A modification of the present invention shown in FIGS. 1446 includes a laundry machine including an outer casing .11 having a front wall 25 and a back wall as and side walls 27. The front wall 25 preferably has an enlarged door opening fitted with a suitable door 1111. The outer casing 11 houses a reversible rotatable drum 13, a reversible power unit 14, a power transmission mechanism 15, a heating unit 16, a blower unit 17, an air inlet 18, an air outlet 19 and a lint collector 211. The drum 13 includes a cylindrical wall 37 having perforations 33 therein, a rear wall 39 and a front wall 40 preferably having a greatly enlarged opening 162 therein.
The greatly enlarged casing door 191 is hinged at 103 to the outer casing 11 and covers the opening 100 in the front wall 25. The inner surface of the door 161 is dish shaped and includes side walls 104 and a back wall 1115. The dish shaped portion fits within the outer casing opening 169 and cooperates with the drum opening M2 to hold the clothes in the drum during the laundering cycle. When the door 101 is open, the openings 1% and 102 define a substantially obstruct-ion free passageway from the interior of the drum 1 3.
Stationary vanes .106 having a front edge 107 and a rear edge 10% are positioned on the drum inner cylindrical wall 37 and are canted with respect to the axis of the rotation of the drum 13. When the drum 13 is rotated in the direction of arrow A during the normal laundering cycle, the door 101 is closed (solid lines in FIG. 15) and the canted vanes 106 are positioned with the front edges 107 leading the rear edges 108 so as to move the clothes away from the openings 101) and 102 toward the drum rear wall 39. When the normal laundering cycle is completed, the drum 13 is rotated in the direction of arrow B by suitable controls, either manual or automatic, and the canted vanes 106 with the rear edges @108 leading the front edges 107 then direct the clothes away from the wall 33 toward the drum front wall 40 and the enlarged openings 101) and 102. When the special door 101 is opened (broken lines in FIG. 15), again automatically or manually, the vanes 106 direct and guide the clothes through the openings 102 and 101) out of the laundry machine into a suitable receptacle. The door 101 may be hinged at the bottom and suitably supported so that when the door 101 is opened it is positioned at right angles to the front wall 25 and provides a place for receiving the clothes from the drum '13.
A further modification of the construction shown in FIGS. 14-l6 includes a conventional drum and casing door opening (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2) and a nonreversible driving means for the drum in combination with the canted vanes positioned on the drum inner surface as shown in FIGS. 14-16. When this modification is operated, the clothes are directed toward the front end of the drum and the casing door by the canted vanes and when the door is opened, either manually or automatically, the clothes are urged through the door opening into a suitably positioned receptacle. This construction is particularly useful for drying machines which can be operated through a normal drying cycle and thereafter through a clothes unloading cycle wherein the dried clothes are moved from the interior of the drum through the casing door opening into a suitably placed receptacle by the cooperative action of the canted vanes and the rotation of the drum. As hereinbefore described, the rear end of the vanes must lead the front end to direct the clothes toward and out of the casing door opening, when the direction of the drum rotation is not reversed during the laundering and/ or unloading operation.
Although the invention has been specifically shown applied to a dryer, the invention is not limited to dryers, but relates to tumbler type laundry machines in general. Furthermore, the normal laundering cycle may be a washing cycle, or a drying cycle, or a combination washing-drying cycle.
This invention further is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the examples of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure, which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A laundry machine having a laundering and clothes unloading cycle comprising an outer casing having a door opening, a rotatable drum housed in the outer casing and including a cylindrical side wall and having an opening in an end wall thereof communicating with the door opening to admit and expel clothes, a housing vane positioned against the inner cylindrical surface of the drum and canted with respect to the axis of rotation of the drum, an adjustable blade housed in the housing vane during the laundering cycle and movable toward the axis of rotation of the drum during the clothes unloading cycle to channel the clothes toward the door opening, and means housed in the outer casing exterior of the drum to extend and retract the adjustable blade.
2. A laundry machine having a laundering and clothes unloading cycle comprising an outer casing having a door opening, a reversibly rotatable drum housed in the outer casing and including a cylindrical side Wall and having an opening in an end Wall thereof communicating with the door opening to admit and expell clothes, a housing vane positioned against the inner cylindrical surface of the drum and canted with respect to the axis of rotation of the drum to direct clothes away from the drum opening when the drum is rotated during the laundering cycle, an adjustable blade in the drum normally housed in the housing vane and positioned against the cylindrical wall of the drum during the laundering cycle, said blade being movable from the vane housing toward the axis of rotation of the drum when the rotation of the drum is reversed during the clothes unloading cycle, said canted extended blade channeling the clothes through the opening in the drum, and means to extend and retract the adjustable blade.
3. A laundry machine having a laundering and clothes unloading cycle comprising an outer casing having a door opening, a rotatable drum housed in the outer casing and including a cylindrical side wall, a rear wall and a front Wall having an opening therein communicating with the door opening, a shaft housed in the outer casing carrying the drum and defining the axis of rotation thereof, drive means for the shaft, means operatively connecting the drive means and the shaft, a vane housing having a front end adjacent to the drum opening and a rear end adjacent to the drum rear wall and including spaced apart vane guides, said vane housing being positioned against the cylindrical surface of the drum and canted with respect to the aXis of rotation of the drum so that the rear end leads the front end thereof during the clothes unloading cycle, a bell-crank lever including a blade in the drum associated with the vane housing, said blade normally positioned in the vane housing between the vane guide during the laundering cycle and movable toward the axis of rotation of the drum during the clothes unloading cycle to direct the laundered clothes to- Ward the drum opening, a second portion of said bellcrank lever housed outside the drum and within the outer casing, pivot means connecting the bell-crank lever to the drum, an axially movable member carried on the shaft exteriorly of the drum, the second portion of the bell-crank lever operatively connected to the axially movable member so that the bell-crank lever pivots about the pivot means as the axially movable member is positioned along the shaft thereby retracting and extending the blade portion, and means for moving the member axially on the shaft.
4. A laundry machine comprising a fixed outer casing having a door opening, a drum housed in said outer casing and rotatable with respect thereto, said drum having a rear Wall and an opposed opening communicating With the outer casing door opening, a fixed vane positioned within said drum extending from the rear wall to said opening and canted with respect to the axis of rotation of said drum, and a member swingable about a pivot point positioned closely adjacent to the intersection of said vane and said drum rear wall, said member being movable with respect to said vane about said pivot toward the interior of said drum.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,425,618 Jorgenson Aug. 12, 1947 2,508,034 Kling May 16, 1950 2,573,103 Kling Oct. 30, 1951 2,575,673 Miller Nov. 20, 1951 2,643,463 Grantham June 30, 1953 2,757,065 Castner July 31, 1956 2,929,674 Tann Mar. 22, 1960