US 3126719 A
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ICE CHIP MAKING MACHINE March 31, 1964 Filed 001;. 6, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet l 37 FIG. I
IN V EN TOR.
MICHAEL J. swnyrslcK BY W K ATTORNEY March 31, 1964 M- J. SWATSICK 3,126,719
ICE CHIP MAKING MACHINE Filed Oct. 6, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 MOTOR COMPRESSOR CONDENSER EXPANSION VALVE INVENTOR.
3 MICHAEL J. SWATSICK ATTORNEY March 31, 1964 M. J. SWATSICK 3,126,719
ICE CHIP MAKING MACHINE Filed Oct. 6, 1961 uvvzzgyfox. MICHAEL J. SWATSICK ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,126,719 ICE CHIP MAKING MACHINE Michael J. Swatsick, 1900v Nebraska Ave., St. Louis 4, Mo. Filed Oct. 6, 1961, Ser. No. 143,417 4 Claims. (Cl. 62-320) This invention relates generally to refrigeration and, more particularly, to certain new and useful improvements in an ice chip making machine.
It is an object of the persent invention to provide an ice chip making machine adapted for reliable production of ice chips which are unusually hard and clear; being discrete and well-defined, resistant to premature melting.
. It is another object of the present invention to provide an ice chip making machine incorporating adjustable novel means intimately associated with an ice conveyor for compressing and effecting chipping of freezing masses presented thereto for the production of ice chips of Varying size having the characteristics above recited.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an ice chip making machine which has a marked simplicity of parts; which is stable in operation and of uniformly efficient performance; which does not require constant attendance during operation; which is resistant to breakdown; which may be economically manufactured; and which may be produced in a most compact size for commercial or domestic usage.
These and other detailed objects are obtained by the structures illustrated in the accompanying drawings (three sheets) in which:
FIGURE 1 is a front view of an ice chip making machine constructed in accordance with, and embodying the present invention, with the lower cabinet and upper housing portions being broken away.
FIGURE 2 is a horizontal transverse view taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a vertical transverse view taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2, but showing the motor and gear box unsectioned.
FIGURE 4 is a horizontal transverse view taken on the line 44 of FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary vertical transverse view taken on the line 55 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary vertical transverse View taken on the line 6--6 of FIGURE 5.
FIGURE 7 is a front view of the top mounting plate and integral bushing.
FIGURE 8 is a diagrammatic presentation of the rerigeration system of the present invention.
Referring now by reference characters to the drawings which illustrate the preferred embodiment of the present invention, A generally designates an ice chip making machine which comprises an enclosed lower cabinet or ice receptacle 1 having insulated walls, as indicated 2; there being a hinged closure 3 in the front wall of said cabinet to provide ready access to the interior thereof for ice removal. Disposed upon the upper surface of the top wall of cabinet 1 are spaced-apart supports 4 for the base plate 5 of ice chip making apparatus B, which may be enclosed by housing 6, as of sheet metal.
As may best be seen in FIGURE 3, said ice chip making apparatus B incorporates a freezing column 7 having a relatively thin-walled, metallic, open-ended cylinder 8 disposed upright upon base plate 5 and within which is coaxially disposed a vertically presented shaft 9 carrying a helical auger blade or spiral 10 to define what may often be termed, a screw-type conveyor or auger. The cylinder 8 thus defines a freezing chamber c. Said shaft 9 at its lower end is reduced, as at 11, for journaling within a bearing block 12 supported on base plate 5 within the formed of a transparent plastic material.
3,126,719 Patented Mar. 31., 1964 lower end of cylinder 8. The helical blade 10 of shaft 9 is of such width that its outer end face is closely adjacent, but spaced from, the inner surface of cylinder 8.
Surrounding the outer face of cylinder 8 in its lower portion is a riser block 13 having a base flange 14 resting upon plate 5. Supportedly seated on the upper end edge of riser block 13 is an insulating jacket or sleeve 15 encircling cylinder 8 and having upper and lower neck portions, as at 16, 17, respectively, with an intervening major body portion of increased diameter to define with cylinder 8 an annular spacing or compartment 18 for disposition therein of evaporator cooling coils 19, spirally progressing about cylinder 8 in heat-transfer relationship thereto; there being an outer shell or liner 20 interposed between the inner face of jacket 15 and coils 19. By the diametral reduction of necks 16, 17 of jacket 15, cooling coils 19 are completely encased to promote efiicient heat-transfer. The upper end edge of shaft 9 is substantially aligned with the upper end of jacket 15 (see FIGURES 3 and 5). At its upper end, shaft 9 is axially bored, as at 21, for receiving the lower end of a drive shaft 22 extending vertically downwardly from a gear box 23 which is presented overlyingly of the upper end of freezing column 7 and being secured upon a top mounting plate 24 disposed on the upper end edge of cylinder 8; there being aligned bolt openings in mounting plate 24, riser block flange 14, and base plate 5 for receiving elongated bolts 25 for rigidifying and integrating freezing column 7. By reduction gears (not shown) located within gear box 23 drive shaft 22 is connected to a motor 26 located within a housing supported and depending from gear box 23.
Formed in the upper end of shaft 9 on diametrally opposite sides of bore 21 are upwardly opening slots or recesses 28, 28 for receiving the ends of a transverse pin 29, carried in the lower end of drive shaft 22 axially perpendicular thereto for effecting coupling engagement between said drive shaft 22 and shaft 9 and for maintaining same in axially aligned relation. Mounting plate 24 is integrally formed with a depending central bushing portion 30 through which said drive shaft 22 projects. The lower or under face of said bushing 30 terminates spacedly above the upper end edge of shaft 9 and is beveled or downwardly inclined from the upper edge of a discharge opening 31 provided in the wall of cylinder 8, above the upper end of shaft 9; the lower edge of said opening 31 being substanitally aligned with the upper end edge of screw shaft 9. Said under face of bushing 30 is also upwardly concave, as may best be seen in FIGURE 7.
Suitably fixed within discharge opening 31 is a downwardly and outwardly inclined tubular chute or passageway 32 which may, if desired, for inspection purposes, be Said chute 32 communicates with the upper end of a vertically presented ice delivery column 33, which may also be made of transparent plastic material, and which connects at its lower end with a cooperating cylindrical member 34 extending through aligned openings in base plate 5 and the upper wall of cabinet 1 so that ice chips received within said column 33 will, through gravity, descend into cabinet 1 for storage preparatory to usage.
The refrigerating system of the present invention comprises a motor-compressor 35 connected by a conduit 36 to a condenser 37 which latter is connected by a pipe 38 through an expansion valve to the lowermost of the cooling coils 19, presented diagrammatically in FIGURE 8 as a series of reverse turns; there being a return conduit 4%) from the uppermost cooling coil 19 to motor-compressor 35. Thus, the refrigerant is compressed and delivered to condenser 37 for reduction to gaseous form and in such state is delivered to the cooling coils 19,
traveling upwardly therethrough for drawing heat from within freezing chamber 0, so as to lower the temperature to substantially freezing level of liquids admitted within said chamber c. The spent refrigerant is returned through conduit 40, leading from the upper most cooling coil 19 to motor-compressor 35 for recycling. By means of insulated jacket or sleeve 15 undesirable heat-transfer between cooling coils 19 and the ambient atmosphere is prevented, so that markedly high efficiency of condensation of the liquid within cylinder 8 is obtained.
Provided adjacent the exterior of jacket 15 and elevated above base plate 5 for gravity-flow purposes is a float-controlled water reservoir 41 having an inlet passage 42 from a suitable source of water and being provided at its lower portion with an outlet pipe 43, which extends through aligned openings in riser block 13 and cylinder 8 for delivery of water to the lower end portion of freezing chamber c. Water so delivered is forced upwardly by the helical blade as well as by the force of the incoming water and subjected to the cooling action of coils 19 so that as it ascends freezing chamber 0 it will be increasingly condensed so that upon arrival at the upper portion of chamber 0 a wet freezing mass will be presented.
It is to be recognized that the refrigerating coils may be replaced by a single open jacket of the flooding type, since the means for effecting heat transfer can be in accordance with any well known devices and need not be necessarily restricted to the particular device shown in the drawing. Furthermore, as is well known, the expansion valve may be replaced by a metering tube, if desired.
The uppermost portion of helical blade or spiral 10 terminates spacedly from the upper end edge of shaft 9, as at 44, shown in FIGURES 3, 4, and 5. Mounted upon the outer face of shaft 9 at its upper end, in specific relation to the terminal portion of helical blade 10, as will be described, is a plurality of peripherally spaced apart compression and crushing blocks 45, which for purposes of illustration are shown as three, but which may be of a greater number if desired. Also, as will be described, the extent of spacing between adjacent blocks 45 will be a matter of choice, dependent upon size of the ice chips to be produced. Each of said blocks 45 is mounted as by an integral screw portion 48 extending from its inner face for reception within a respective tapped opening 49, in shaft 9; which screw portion 48 is axially normal to the main axis of shaft 9. By means of said screw portions 48 the angular relationship of the related block 45 to the vertical may be adjusted. Each block 45 has a thickness or depth substantially equal to the width of helical blade 16 whereby they are spaced from, but in immediate adjacency to, the confronting inner face of cylinder 8. The clearance requisite for adjustment of screw portion 48 is most limited, being in practice about of an inch. One of the blocks 45, as indicated at 45 is disposed spacedly from the end surface 44 of the helical blade 10 and is presented within the normal extension of the path defined by said blade 10 to thus provide an obstruction to any material traveling therealong. The other blocks 45 are located above the upper end portion of helical blade 10, with the spacing therebetween varying directly with the distance of the particular blade to the end surface 44 of helical blade 10. In each configuration, block 45 comprises a pair of parallel sides 50, 50', a top side 51 perpendicular to said parallel sides 50, 50', and lower or bottom sides 52, 52' which are downwardly and convergingly inclined. By means of their mountings, each block 45 may be independently swung about the axis of the related screw 48 in desired attitude for controlling the distance between any such block and those adjacent, and for presenting their inclined lower faces for ice guidance, for purposes presently appearing.
As the freezing mass, moving upwardly in chamber 0 along helical blade 10, approaches the end of said blade 10, the said mass will be subjected to a first compressive or squeezing action between said blade 10 and the adjacent portions of the overlying block 45 which thus coact with the confronting portions of blade 10 to define a constricted spiral passageway. Block 45', which effectively closes said passageway, serves to cause the theretofore spirally proceeding mass to be obstructed, and to be deflected along a path or paths substatnially axially parallel to shaft 9, as the mass is thus forced upwardly through the passages formed by adjacent blocks 45, as indicated at a and b, which thus divide the freezing mass into two segments, in the present instance. But it is recognized that the number of such segments is a function of the number of blocks 45 utilized. Each segment of the mass is compressed between the passage-defining blocks for further condensation as well as being simultaneously crushed or broken by such action into discrete particles or chips. The convergingly inclined or tapered lower ends of the blocks 45 serve as deflective surfaces for assisting the flow of the ice into the passages.
The upwardly traveling hard-frozen chips will be directed against the beveled under-face of bushing 30 and caused to be further compressed thereby as well as forced laterally outwardly through opening 31 into discharge chute 32 for ultimate delivery to storage cabinet 1.
By adjustment of blocks 45, as indicated, the intervening spacing may be controlled so that the passages a, 12, thereby defined, may be of varying width, whereby within such limits the fineness of the ice chips may be regulated, since the narrower the passageway the greater the compressive and crushing action upon the frozen material, and the firmer the chips produced. The unique coaction between the said blocks 45 and the upper, adjacent portion of helical blade 10, becomes clearly apparent since the interrelationship is critical for reducing the frozen mass into chips of the unexcelled character provided by the present invention. Ice chips produced by machine A maintain their superb qualities during storage, and do not tend to coalesce, but, rather, retain their relatively dry, discrete form.
As is apparent from the foregoing, machine A has a marked simplicity of parts which are highly resistant to breakdown. The said machine operates automatically and does not require constant attendance and hence, has proved most economical in operation. It is quite apparent that well-known means may be utilized for turning the machine off after the receptacle has been filled to a certain point, such as, by a thermocouple, or the like.
It is understood that changes and modifications in the form, construction, arrangement, and combination of the several parts of the ice chip making machine may be made and substituted for those herein shown and described Without departing from the nature and principle of the present invention.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. An ice chip making machine comprising means defining a freezing chamber for ice formation, means defining a ice discharge compartment communicating with said freezing chamber, means for introducing water to be frozen into said freezing chamber, a shaft mounted in said freezing chamber, means for rotating said shaft, a helical auger blade provided on said shaft for conveying the mass of freezing water through said chamber and into said ice discharge compartment, and a plurality of ice compressing and crushing members mounted in spacedapart relation on the peripheral face of said shaft, for rotation therewith, adjacent the said ice discharge compartment, each of said members being pivotally mounted, and means for maintaining said members in their individually selected adjusted position.
2. An ice chip making machine as defined in claim 1 and further characterized by said helical auger blade terminating spacedly from the upper end edge of said shaft, one of said ice compressing and crushing members being mounted for extension across the path of flow from the end of said blade, in flow-obstructing relationship thereto.
. 5 6 3. An ice chip making machine as defined in claim 2 a bottom wall having downwardly and inwardly convergand further characterized by the remaining ice coming portions.
pressing and crushing members being disposed above the References Cited in the file of this patent upper portion of said auger blade.
4. An ice chip making machine as defined in claim 1 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS and further characterized by each of said ice compressing 2,825,209 Nelson Mar. 4, 1958 and crushing memberrs being of general block form hav- 2,877,632 Chaplik Mar. 17, 1959 ing a thickness proximate the width of the auger blade, 2,962,877 Chaplik Dec. 6, 1960 each such member further having parallel side walls, and 2,962,878 Keller Dec. 6, 1960