US 3100978 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A118? 1953 :.'J.. HOWLETT WASHING MACHINES 7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 15, 1961 In venfor EDWARD HOW/.1577
Aug. 20, 1963 E. J. HOWLETT WASHING MACHINES 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 15, 1961 F/GLZ.
- E. J. HOWLETT f Aug. 20, 1963 WASHING MACHINES Fil ed Aug. 15, 1961 .7 Sheets-Sheet 3 lh venfor EDWARD HOWLETT y mm @W' Afm neya E. J. HOWLETT WASHING MACHINES Filed Aug. 15, 1961 In ven'for EDWARD HOWLETT By mm 1% Aug; 20, 1963 E. J. HOWLETT WASHING MACHINES '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Aug. 15, 1961 In van for ED WARD HOWLETT by W E. J. HOWLETT WASHING MACHINES Aug. 20, 1963 Filed Aug. 15. 1961 QIIIIIJ '7 Sheets-Sheet 6 /n V6 n for EDWARD Hon L577 Aug. 20, 1963 E. J. HOWLETT WASHING MACHINES 'r sheetssheet 7 Filed Aug. 15. 1961 lnvon for 53 EDWARD HOWLETT Atomavs Claims priority,
United States Patent groved means for mounting and driving the internal cylin- It is known to provide trunnions at the ends of the internal cylinder, but such mounting means make the load-.
ing and unloading of the internal cylinder difiicult. It is also known to mount the cylinder on a shaft which is rotatably mounted. The shaft is secured to one end of the cylinder leaving the other end available for the insertion and removal of clothes.
The present invention provides a washing machine comprising a liouid container, a perforated cylinder, means for gaining access to the interior of said cylinder, mounting means for said cylinder comprising at least two endless flexible elements supporting said cylinder within said container, and means for driving said endless flexible elements to rotate said cylinder.
These flexible elements or belts may be fitted around the ends of the cylinder itself, or they may engage rims extending from the ends thereof. The cylinder is thus mounted in a cradle formed by. the two flexible endless members which are preferably in the form of belts running around pulleys, one set of pulleys being on a shaft driven by amotor. The pulleys themselves are within the container while a part of the shaft on which they are mounted and the means for driving said shaft are outside the container. A liquid seal is provided where the shaft enters the container to prevent any ingress of liquor from the washing container to the bearings for the shaft.
The cylinder and the container have means for gaining access to the interior of the cylinder and such means are preferably provided at both ends thereof but'may be at one end only. Said means may include an opening in the end of the said cylinder and an opening at the end of the container .and a door for closing said opening. It will be appreciated that the cylinder rotates within the container and the door therefore seals onto an appropriate liquid seal formed on the exterior of the container.
.Means are also provided for allowing water such as hot and cold water to enter the container and an inlet is also provided for free steam to increase the temperature of the Washing liquor within the container. Means are provided for the admission of washing and other reagents to its interior of the machine. Drainage is also provided to enable the washing liquor to be removed from the container and for other Washing operations to be performed as for example a rinsing operation. The cylinder is pe= forated around its exterior surface to allow liquor Within the container to enter the cylinder, and preferably axial ribs are secured to the interior peripheral surface of the cylinder, which ribs are them-selves perforated and are of substantailly U-shaped in cross section with the open mouth of the U in contact with the interior peripheral wall of the cylinder. Said ribs serve to lift the clothes and to cause greater relative movement of the washing liquor and clothes thus assisting in the removal of the dirt and soil content from clothes inserted in the cylinder and thus ensuring a better washing action.
In order that the present invention may be more readily understood reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate one specific embodiment only of the present invention in which:
FIGURE 1 is a front view of a washing machine according :to the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a front view of a washing machine show ing the drive means for the cylinder only and;
FIGURE 3 is a front view of a washing machine showing the liquid inlet and outlet pipes to the container only;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional side elevation showing in greater detail part ofthe drive means for rotation of the cylinder;
FIGURE 5 is a cross sectional view showing in greater detail the drive means for the cylinder;
FIGURE 6 is a side View of a cylinder according to the present invention;
FIGURE 7 is a cross sectional detailed view thereof;
FIGURES 8 and 9 are detailed views of movement limit-ing means for the cylinder according to the present invention;
FIGURE 10 is a perspective view of a belt and drive pulley for use with the present invention.
in the figures a casing 1 forms a container 43 in which is mounted a perforated cylinder 3. The cylinder 3 is mounted within the container 43 by being supported upon two flexible endless belts 22. which are themselves supported on pulleys 23 and 26 mounted respectively on shafts 58 and 39. The cylinder 3 has an open mouth t8 at each end, defined by a cowl 46. Within the cylinder 3 are three battens in the form of U-shaped members 45 which are themselves perforated. Thebattens 45 are secured by brackets 49 to the end walls 50 of the cylinder as illustrated in cross section in FIGURE 7. The container 43 is formed within the casing '1 by Wall members 47 and is curved at its lower end and substantially flat at the top. A flange 57 secured to the outer surface of each wall member 47 defines the shape of the container and serves to secure with liquid-tight seals the container 43 to the casing 51. ,The flange 57 defines an opening to the container and the cylinder is so mounted within the to a substantially vertical shaft 11. The shaft '11 is itself secured in a bearing 13 to a bracket '14 secured to the exterior walls of the container. A handle 8 enables the door to be looked relative to a locking plate 9 secured to the exterior of the casing 1. A glass panel 6 is secured in the front wall of the casing 1 adjacent the front thereof to enable the liquid level within the container to be determined from the exterior thereof and without having to open the door 4. A hopper 7 is also provided on one face of the casing 1 to enable chemicals and other materials for the washing cycle to be fed to the container.
Liquid inlet valves '16 and .17 are connected to pipes 29 and 30 respectively and to a union 31 which enables hot and cold water to be fed to the interior of the container. An inlet connection 18 is connected by a pipe 27 to an elbow 28 for the admission of steam to the interior of the container to heat the liquid in the container.
A sump 36 is located at the bottom of the container, discharge of washing and rinsing elfluent from the machine being controlled by a valve indicated at 24, the effluent passing through an outlet 32 to a pipe 33 having a flange 34 for connecting to a drain. A gauge 15' is provided for indication of the temperature of the liquid inside the container. The belts 22 are mounted one adjacent each end of the cylinder so that the cylinder is supported on the pulleys 23 and 26 carried on parallel shafts.
The shaft 39 carrying the pulleys 26 has its pulleycarrying ends extending into the container 43. The middle portion of the shaft 39 is however outside the connular ring 42 in which is located a resilient sealing member 60 held in contact with the outer surface of the shaft'3'9 by a spring 44.
The belts 22 may be of any convenient type but it has been found in practice that belts known as Power Grip having steel cable tension members 51 and with nylon facing bars 53 for contacting with facing bars 2 on the pulleys 26 are especially suitable. When a washing machine according to the present invention is used in hospitals it is desirable that the door of the machine through which soiled or infected linen is inserted into the machine should be in a different room from the door through which the clean linen is withdrawn. A Wall of thecasing may be taken to and removed from the machine in' wheeled containers and buffers 2 are secured adjacent either side of the machine to prevent the wheeled oontainers from accidentally damaging the machine.
To eliminate as much as possible any lateral and/or axial movement of the container when being rotated, movement limiting means are preferably provided. Movement limiting means for axial movement are illustrated in FIGURE 8. Movement limiting means for lateral movement are illustrated in FIGURE 9. Rings 54 are mounted'near each end of the exterior peripheral surface of the cylinder 3. :In addition to acting as belt guides these rings operate in conjunction with stops 55 and 5 9.
The part section on the horizontal center line of the cylinder, FIGURE 9, shows one of four stops 55 made from, for example, nylon or a laminated phenolic resin, secured by bolts 56 to the wall of the container 43, so that if the cylinder swings on its supporting belts in a lateral direction the ring 54 contacts the stops 55 on the side towardswhich it swings.
The part section on the vertical center line of the cylinder, FIGURE 8, shows one of two stops 59 at each end of the cylinder, secured to the walls 1 by bolts '58, and which restrict axial movement of the cylinder.
In use the invention has particular application for the washing and laundering of linen in hospitals but also has application as a commercial laundering machine. The features of the invention which enable the linen to be inserted and removed from both sides of the machine or alternatively have one side as a loading station and one side as an unloading station has special advantages. The mounting of the cylinder on the endless flexible elements provides a simple and convenient support for the cylinder and obviates the inherent difficulties of mounting a rotating cylinder on cantilevers on a shaft. A machine in accordance with the invention also occupies much less space than machines of conventional types.
What I claim is:
1. A washing machine comprising a liquid container having parallel end walls, each wall having a large opening therein, a hinged 'door carried by each end wall to provide fluid-tight closures for said openings, a perforated rotatable drum with open ends positioned in said container in axial alignment with said openings, two endless flexible elements in the form of closed loops supporting said drum wholly within the areas defined by said loops and means including pulleys for carrying and driving the flexible elements with the drum supported by said elements.
2.. The washing machine of claim 1, in which the carrying and driving means comprises a shaft with a pulley on each end thereof.
3. The washing machine of claim 2, in which the pulley-carrying ends of the shaft are inside the container while the middle portion of the shaft is outside the container.
4. The washing machine of claim 3, in which the middle portion of theshaft is supported by bearings carried on top of the container.
5. The washing machine of claim 4, in which a fluidtight seal is provided near each end of the shaft between the pulley and the adjacent bearing.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS