US 3129601 A
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April 21, 1964 c. FQEDWARDS WASHER DRYER DRIVE MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed Jan. 21, 1958 INVENTOR fhnesfi'awlw April 21, 1964 c. F. EDWARDS 7 3,129,601
WASHER DRYER DRIVE MECHANISM Original Filed Jan. 21, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 l5 -67 8/ m4 m 95 7 89 INVENTOR m2 CZ/mes/ flmwms R'(\\\ W United States Patent 3,129,601 WASHER DRYER DRIVE MECHANISM Charles F. Edwards, 6120 /2 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago 31, 111., assignor of three-fourths to David Tann and Herman Tann, both of Detroit, Mich, and Sadie Powers Davis, Milwaukee, Wis.
Original application Jan. 21, 1958, Ser. No. 710,296, new Patent No. 2,963,892, dated Dec. 13, 1960. Divided and this application Oct. 14, 1960, Ser. No. 64,680
4 Claims. (Ci. 74-368) This invention relates to fabric laundering machines, and more particularly to a drive mechanism for a fabric laundering machine. This application is a division of my previous application Serial Number 710,296, filed January 21, 1958, and now Patent Number 2,963,892.
One of the problems heretofore associated with the construction of large-sized washing machines for commercial use has been the provision of rotary drive means which can withstand the excessive stresses created by acceleration and deceleration of the rotating drum during transition between the washing or rinsing and centrifugal extracting portions of the cycle.
It is an object of the present invention to overcome this problem by providing a novel and improved drive mechanism for rotating the drum of the washing machine which includes means for automatically imposing a gradual accelerative effort on the drum when a transition is made from the slow to the fast portions of the cycle, thus reducing the stresses and wear on the drive mecha- IlISIl'l.
It is another object to provide an improved laundering machine of this nature in which the drive means is of relatively simple construction and uses conventional parts and materials.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the subsequent description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of a laundering machine having a rotating drum driven by the drive mechanism of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the lower rear portion of the machine with portions of the housing removed to show the clutch, pulley and belt connections of the drive mechanism;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the bearing for the drum shaft, showing the two alternate drives for the shaft; and
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 2 showing the friction clutch for the high-speed pulley of the drive mechanism as well as the clutch actuator.
In general terms, the fabric laundering machine comprises a laundry-containing basket or drum which is rotatable on a horizontal axis and is enclosed within a circular stationary tub. The tub and drum are supported by a base and support construction which includes a tubular post mounted on a rectangular base and extending upwardly therefrom, the upper end of the post carrying bearing means which support the drum shaft. In accordance with the present invention, the drive means for rotating the shaft includes high and low speed pulleys which are mounted on the shaft and are connected thereto by means of an overrunning clutch so that the low speed pulley may be continually driven while the high speed pulley is intermittently connected with the prime mover as conditions require. In order to accelerate the loaded drum with maximum efiiciency to its extraction speed, the low speed drive train is provided with a variable speed V-belt pulley in the form of two members, one of which Patented Apr. 21, 1964 is axially adjustable with respect to the other. During periods of slow speed rotation, this pulley is adjusted to its maximum width or minimum diameter, giving a relatively high reduction ratio. A friction clutch is provided between the high speed pulley and the drive shaft, and when this clutch is engaged, it simultaneously urges the variable speed pulley towards its closed or large-diameter position, thus accelerating the drum speed while the friction clutch slips due to the inertia of the loaded drum. This will aid the drum in overcoming its inertia to attain the higher speed with a minimum of wear on the friction clutch and the other parts of the drive train.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, the laundering machine is generally indicated at 11 and comprises a base generally indicated at 12, an annular tub 13 supported by the base and a rotary drum 14 disposed within the tub 13, a portion of the drum 14 being seen in FIG. 3.
The tub is provided with a front panel 23, and a rear panel 24, a door 25 being provided in the front panel.
The upper end of a post 29 supported on the base 12 is provided with a flange 33 which is surmounted by a bearing housing 34 secured thereto by bolts 35. The central portion of rear wall 24 of tub 13 is secured to a projecting portion 36 of bearing housing 34, as best seen in FIG. 3 by means of a seal 37.
Drum 14 is supported for rotation within tub 13 by means of a shaft 38 extending through bearing housing 34. More specifically, shaft 38 is supported by a pair of anti-friction bearings 39 and 41 disposed within bearing housing 34, these bearings providing both radial and thrust bearing support for the shaft. Seals 42 are provided at the end of bearing housing 34 adjacent tub 13 to prevent water leakage. A sleeve 43 is secured to the projecting end 44 of shaft 38 by means of a key 45 and a retaining bolt 46 and cap 47. Secured to sleeve 43 are a pair of spaced end walls 48 and 49 of drum 14, these walls tapering toward each other and together forming the back end wall of the drum.
The means for rotating drum 14 comprises an electric motor 52 mounted on base 12 and partially visible in FIG. 2. However, it will be understood that other rotary driving means could be used as the prime mover within the principles of the invention. Motor 52 may be controlled either manually or automatically, the illustrated embodiment including a partial showing of a conventional automatic electrical control circuit which may be connected to the machine. The controls for this circuit may be enclosed in a housing 53 surmounting tub 13 as shown in FIG. 1, the controls being connected to motor 52 through electrical conduits and a terminal box. For example, control housing 53 is shown as having a panel 57 with a machine-on light 58 which stays on during the complete cycle, a soap light 59 which is illuminated to indicate that soap should be added, and an extract light 61 lighted during extraction. FIGURE 1 also illustrates a soap chute 62 on tub 13 and a portion of the water inlet 63, it being understood that the abovedescribed parts in themselves do not formpart of the present invention.
As seen best in FIGURE 2, a pulley 74 driven directly by the motor 52 is connected by a belt 64 to a pulley 65 mounted at one end of a jack shaft 66 which is supported adjacent the opposite end of base 12. The means for supporting jack shaft 66 is seen best in FIGURE 4. A pair of standards 67 and 68 are secured to base 12 and extend upwardly therefrom, bearings 69 and '71 being mounted at the upper ends of these standards. Jack shaft 66 is rotatably supported by these bearings, being prevented from axial movement by collars 72 and 73 adjacent the bearings. As illustrated, the ratio of diameters piston rod 102.
between pulley 74 on the shaft of motor 52 and pulley 65 is such that jack shaft 66 will rotate at a fraction of the speed of the shaft of motor 52.
Means are provided for rotating drum 14 at two different speeds, a relatively slow speed used during the washing and rinsing portions of the cycle and a relatively high speed for extraction purposes. The low speed is so selected as to create a tumbling action of the laundry Within drum 14. The high speed, on the other hand, is such that the laundry will be forced to the perforated outer wall of drum 14 forcing the water outwardly through the perforations and into the annular space between the drum and tub 13 from where it is drained through a drain pipe 76.
As part of the novel drive means of this invention, the slow speed drive comprises an adjustable diameter V-belt pulley generally indicated at 77 mounted on the end of Jack shaft 66 remote from pulley 65. Pulley 77 comprises two sides 78 and 79 having facing flared surfaces for the reception of a belt 81. Pulley side 78 is fixed to shaft 66 by means of a set screw 82 and carries a plurality of axially extending pins 83 extending through apertures in pulley side 79, as best seen in FIGURE 4. Side 79 is slid'ably mounted on shaft 66 by means of a sleeve 84 for movement toward and away from side 78, both pulley sides being connected for common rotation by pins 83. It is to be noted that when side 79 approaches side 78, belt 81 will ride to a larger diameter on the facing flared pulley walls, thus increasing the belt speed so as to drive the drum at an intermediate speed. When side 79 is retracted from side 78, the belt speed will be correspondingly reduced so that drum 14 rotates at a slow speed. Movement of side 79 toward side 78 is limited by engagement of the two sides.
Pulley side 79 also carries one element 85 of a friction clutch generally indicated at 86, the other element of this clutch comprising a surface 87 of friction material mounted on a plate 88 which is secured to a high speed pulley 89. More specifically, pulley 89 is rotatably mounted on shaft 66 by means of a bearing sleeve 91, hub 92 of pulley 89 surrounding this sleeve. A connect ing sleeve 93 extends between pulley 89 and clutch element 8%, being secured to these two members. Provision is made for axial sliding movement of pulley 89 together with clutch element 88 toward and away from clutch element 85. A coil compression spring 94 is provided within sleeve 93, one end of this spring engaging hub 92 of pulley 89 while the other end engages the hub of pulley side 79. Spring 94 urges pulley 89 and clutch element 88 in a direction away from clutch element 85, a position in which shaft 66 will not drive pulley 89, as seen in FIGURE 4.
The means for moving pulley 89 and clutch element 88 toward clutch element 85 comprises a forked lever 95 which is pivotally supported at its mid-portion by a bolt 96 secured to standard 68, a spring 97 being disposed between the head of bolt 96 and lever 95 to provide a transversely yieldable type of pivot. Lever 95 is vertically disposed and of bowed or bent shape so that it may rock about its mid-portion which engages standard 68 at bolt 96. The upper end 98 of lever 95 is forked and engages a plate 99 secured to hub 92 of pulley 89. The lower end of lever 95 is apertured at 101 and receives a piston rod 102 which is secured to a piston 103 disposed within a cylinder 104. This cylinder is mounted on a bracket 105 disposed between standards 67 and 68, and encloses a spring 106 which engages piston 103 to urge piston rod 102 to the right as seen in FIGURE 4. A spring 107 is mounted at the outer end of piston rod 102 and engages lever 95 at one end, the other end of spring 107 engaging a collar 108 secured to the end of A fluid conduit 109 is connected to the end of cylinder 104 remote from spring 106, so that pressurization of conduit 109 will cause leftward movement of piston 102, thus rocking lever 95 clockwise, as seen arm 119 pivoted on the base.
in FIGURE 4. This will cause pulley 89 and clutch element 83 to move toward clutch element 85. When friction surface 87 engages clutch element 85, further clockwise rocking of lever will result in rightward movement of pulley side 79 toward pulley side 78, thus causing belt 81 to assume a larger diameter on pulley 77 when the parts are rotated. The spacing of the coils of spring 94 is of course such that friction surface 87 will engage clutch element 35 before the spring is fully collapsed, thus maintaining firm engagement of the clutch element while belt 81 is being adjusted to its larger diameter. Pressurization of conduit 169 may be accomplished by suitable medium such as air or water pressure, the control of pressure and exhaust of line 109 being accomplished by any conventional manual or automatic means. A solenoid or a manual control could also be substituted for cylinder 104 within the principles of the invention. When fluid is exhausted from line 109, spring 106 will cause rightward shifting of piston rod 102, and spring 94 will thus cause leftward shifting of pulley 89 and clutch element 88. With the parts rotating, belt 81 will thus assume a smaller diameter on pulley 7'7 and clutch 86 will become disengaged.
Both low speed pulley 77 and high speed pulley 89 are connected to shaft 38 for rotation of drum 14. More specifically, belt 81 drives a pulley 111 mounted on a shaft 112, as seen in FIGURE 2, this shaft being rotatably supported on base 12 by a bracket 113. A sprocket 114 of smaller diameter than pulley 111 is also mounted on shaft 112 and drives a chain 115 which is connected to a large diameter sprocket 116 mounted on drum shaft 38. An idler pulley 117 is mounted on base 12 and is urged by a spring 118 against belt 81, as best seen in FIGURE 2, to take up the belt slack. Pulley 117 is mounted on an High speed pulley 89 drives a belt 121 which is connected to a pulley 122 mounted on shaft 38 adjacent sprocket 116. Pulley 122 is secured to shaft 38 by a key 123, whereas sprocket 116 is connected to shaft 38 by an overrunning clutch generally indicated at 124. This clutch comprises a coil spring 125 surrounding a sleeve 126 which is secured to sprocket 116 and a sleeve 127 which is keyed to shaft 38, sleeve 126 being rotatably mounted on shaft 38 by a bearing sleeve 128. The arrangement is such that when belt 121 is not being driven, sprocket 116 will serve to drive shaft 38 at a relatively slow speed through clutch 124. However, when pulley 122 is being driven at its relatively high speed, it will drive shaft 38 at this higher speed without interference or drag from pulley 116 which will continue to rotate at the slower speed.
The operating mechanism of the machine may be appropriately enclosed by sheet metal plates or mesh screens as desired. FIGURE 1 shows a front plate 128 enclosing the front lower portion of the machine while FIGURE 2 shows a side plate 129 secured to uprights 19.
Operation Assuming an initial condition in which drum 14 has been loaded with laundry and door 25 closed, manual or automatic means will be utilized to energize motor 52 and cause hot or warm water to flow into tub 13 through connection 63, soap being added through chute 62. Assuming that it is initially desired to rotate drum 14 at a relatively slow speed for a washing or rinsing operation, cylinder 104 will be depressurized, so that spring 94 will move pulley 89 and clutch element 88 to the left in FIGURE 4, disengaging clutch 86. Motor 52 will thus cause rotation of pulley 77 while pulley 89 is not driven. Side 79 of pulley 77 will move axially away from pulley side 78, the limiting position of side 79 being established by its engagement with a collar 131 mounted on shaft 66. Belt 81 will drive intermediate sprocket 111 which in turn will cause rotation of sprocket 116 through sprocket 114 and chain 115. Drum shaft 38 will thus be driven through overrunning clutch 124, causing slow speed rotation of drum 14.
When it is desired to rotate drum 14 at a relatively high speed to extract water from the laundry therein, cylinder 104 will be pressurized to shift piston rod 102 to the left in FIGURE 4. This will rock lever 95 clockwise in this figure, shifting pulley 89 and clutch element 88 to the right to engage clutch 86. Due to the inertia of drum 14 which carries the laundry and water, clutch 86 will initially slip. Continued pressure on clutch element 88, however, will cause side 79 of pulley 77, together with pulley 89 and the clutch elements, to shift to the right in FIGURE 4, narrowing the gap between the sides of pulley 77. This will cause belt 81 to assume a larger diameter on pulley 77, increasing thes peed of belt 81 and thus the speed of drum shaft 38. This progressive acceleration of drum 14 will aid clutch 86 in assuming a solidly engaged condition and will greatly decrease wear on friction surface 87. The drum will thus attain its higher speed more quickly than would be the case if clutch 86 were used to accelerate the drum and its contents, the transition nevertheless being smooth and uninterrupted. Pulley 122 on shaft 38 will drive the shaft directly without interference from the relatively slow sprocket 116 because of the presence of overrunning clutch 124.
When it is desired to again rotate drum 14 at a slower speed, cylinder 104 will be depressurized, permitting spring 106 to move piston rod 102 to the right in FIGURE 4. Spring 94 will thus cause withdrawal of pulley 89 and clutch element 88 from clutch element 85. As this occurs, moving belt 81 will force its way down between sides 78 and 79 of pulley 77, thus assuming a smaller diameter on this pulley so that drum 14 will be again driven at its slower speed.
While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiment of the invention disclosed is well calculated to fulfill the objects above stated, it will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a fabric laundering machine, a frame, a jack shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, prime mover means for rotating said jack shaft, a driven shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, overrunning clutch means operatively connected to said driven shaft, a low speed drive train operatively connecting said jack shaft to said overrunning clutch means, said low speed drive train including a variable speed element movable between low speed and intermediate speed positions, a high speed drive train rotatably connected to said jack shaft and drivingly connected to said driven shaft, clutch means movable between a first position disengaging said high speed drive train and a second position engaging said high speed drive train with said low speed drive train, and means responsive to movement of said clutch means from its first to its second positions for moving said variable speed element from its low speed position to its intermediate speed position.
2. In a fabric laundering machine, a frame, a driven shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, a jack shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, prime mover means for rotatably driving said jack shaft, a low speed pulley fixed on said jack shaft, said low speed pulley being of an adjustable diameter type and having one side axially movable toward the other side, a high speed pulley rotatably mounted on said jack shaft, a friction clutch for drivingly engaging and disengaging said high speed pulley with said one side of said low speed pulley, and means for moving said clutch between its engaged and disengaged positions, the movement of the clutch to its engaged position causing closing movement of said low speed pulley, a pulley fixed on said drive shaft, an overrunning clutch operatively connected to said driven shaft, belt means drivingly connecting said low speed pulley to said overrunning clutch, and belt means drivingly connecting said high speed pulley directly to the pulley fixed on said driven shaft.
3. In a fabric laundering machine, a frame, a driven shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, a jack shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, prime mover means for rotating said jack shaft, an adjustable diameter pulley fixed to said jack shaft, one side of said pulley being movable toward and away from the other side thereof to adjust the diameter of the low speed pulley, a clutch element secured to said one side of the low speed pulley, a second clutch element rotatably mounted on said jack shaft and movable toward and away from said first clutch element, a high speed pulley secured to said second clutch element, a spring urging said second clutch element and high speed pulley away from said first clutch element, means for forcing said high speed pulley and second clutch element toward said first clutch element to drivingly engage the clutch elements and increase the diameter of said low speed pulley, a pulley fixed on said driven shaft an overrunning clutch operatively connected to said driven shaft, belt means for drivingly connecting said low speed pulley to said overrunning clutch, and belt means drivingly connecting said high speed pulley directly to the pulley fixed on said driven shaft.
4. In a fabric laundering machine, a frame, a driven shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, an overrunning clutch operatively connected to said shaft, low speed drive means drivingly connected to said overrunning clutch, high speed drive means drivingly connected to said driven shaft, means for driving said low speed drive means, and means for selectively engaging and disengaging said driving means with said high speed drive means, said last mentioned means including friction clutch means movable between engaged and disengaged positions, and means for increasing the speed of said low-speed drive means in response to the movement of said friction clutch means from its disengaged to its engaged position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,913,226 Adams June 6, 1933 2,209,736 Livingston July 30, 1940 2,337,586 Bowen Dec. 28, 1943 2,389,774 Habersturnp Nov. 27, 1945 2,807,963 Osterhus et al Oct. 1, 1957 2,910,890 Mellinger Nov. 3, 1959 2,932,219 Hubbard et al Apr. 12, 1960 2,974,544 Miner Mar. 14, 1961 2,999,574 Dodge Sept. 12, 1961