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Publication numberUS3157306 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 17, 1964
Filing dateMar 6, 1961
Priority dateMar 6, 1961
Publication numberUS 3157306 A, US 3157306A, US-A-3157306, US3157306 A, US3157306A
InventorsIber C Courson
Original AssigneePhilco Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cabinet structure
US 3157306 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 17, 1964 l. c. coURsoN CABINET STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-'Sheet l Filed March 6. 1961 Novi. 11, 1964 c. couRso CABINET STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Y Filed March 6. 1961 INVENTOR /ER C. COJN United States Patent O 3,157,306 CABINET STRUCTURE Iber C. Courson, Glenside, Pa., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Philco' Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 6, 1961, Ser. No. 93,662 2 Claims. (Cl. 220-9) This invention relates to cabinet structure, and more particularly to thermally insulated cabinet structureprovided with refrigerating means adapted to cool the interior thereof.

Considering refrigerated cabinet structure, and by `way of example domestic refrigerators, it is normally the practice to provide unitary structure housing both the refrigerated storage compartment and the machine compartment, the latter being adapted to receive the condensing unit. It has been the practice in structure of this type thermally to insulate the storage compartment to the exclusion of the machine compartment. With the advent of foamed insulation which is installed by foaming of constituents directly in the region of an assembly to be insulated, for example in the region between the assembled outer shell and inner liner comprising the storage compartment, it has been pro-posed that the insulating operation be carried out automatically, which operation involves handling the cabinet outer shell and inner liner assembly by automatic machinery. When foaming the insulation in place, relatively high pressures are developed within the confines of the space being insulated, which pressures create forces tending to bulge the liner and shell walls. To counter this tendency, fixtures are provided for bracing the walls, which procedure makes it highly desirable to isolate the storage compartment undergoing insulation from the non-insulated machine compartment which requires its own assembly operations quite part from those operations performed on the storage compartment. Also it is desirable to minimize the number of assembly operations following the insulation operation, for example operations involved in mounting of doors, latches, trim, and the like.

It is therefore an objective of the invention to provide improved refrigerator cabinet structure comprising component parts readily adapted for handling and assembly by automatic machinery.

It is another and more specific objective of the invention to provide thermally insulated cabinet structure having improved heat-leakage characteristics.

It is another object of the invention to provide irnproved cooperative positioning of elements of refrigerator cabinet structure facilitating assembly and construction thereof.

It is still another object of the invention to provide improved methods facilitating assembly and construction of refrigerator cabinet structure.

In the achievement of the foregoing and other objectives, the invention contemplates provision of separately handleable insulated storage compartment and condensing unit compartment elements adapted for assembly into a single, complete refrigerated cabinet. The invention further contemplates that the storage compartment comprise a separately handleable element for the insulating operation, apart from the compartment for the condensing unit, and structure for attaching the condensing unit compartment to the storage compartment. The invention additionally comprises thermal breaker strip structure characterized in that it is formed integrally with the cabinet liner and is disposed for cooperative sealing engagement with door gasket means to seal the compartment.

The manner in which the foregoing as Well as other objects and advantages may best be achieved will be ICC understood more fully from a consideration of the following description, taken in light of the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIGURE l is a perspective view of a refrigerator cabinet made in accordance with the present invention, with shelving and receptacles removed, and with the doors opened.

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view, with parts broken away, taken along line 2-2 as applied to the cabinet seen in FIGURE 1, but with the doors closed.

FIGURE 3 is an exploded view, in perspective, of the refrigerator cabinet seen in FIGURE l, and with the insulation shown as attached to lthe inner shell. As will be clear from what follows, this attachment is shown in the interest of illustration only. In actuality insulationV is foamed after assembly, and adheres to both the inner and the outer shells.

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the cabinet seen in FIGURE 1 and showing the upper door hinging arrangement.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional View, With parts removed, looking in the direction of arrows 5-5 applied to FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary elevational showing of the between-doors hinging arrangement, and

FIGURE 7 is a diagrammatic showing of a refrigerating system suitable for use in the present invention.

With more particular reference to the drawings, and first to FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 thereof, there is illustrated a'refrigerator cabinet 10, of the household type,rhaving outer shell structure comprising separately handleable upper and lower sections 11 and 12, respectively which are adapted to be fitted and secured together, in accordance with novel features of the present invention, to form rigid unitary outer shell structure. The shell structure is shown in the drawings both prior to (FIGURE 3) and after (FIGURES l, 2, and 4 to 6) assembly. It will be further noted that the lower shell section 12 comprises both the mounting base for the cabinet 10 and the housing for the compressor and condenser assembly (FIG- URE 7).

As best seen in FIGURE 3, the upper section 11 is formed of a single sheet of metal or other material bent to rectangular shape and provided with front and rear peripheral flanges 13 and 14, respectively. The rear flange 14 extends inwardly substantially at right angles to the plane of the sheet material, and a rear panel 15 is attached to rear flange 14 in any suitable manner, such as by welding or by screws (not shown). As best seen in FIGURES 2 and 5, the front flange 13 is disposed along the front edge of shell 11 and defines a channel having an open portion presented forwardly of the cabinet and leg portions 16 and 20 spaced one from the other between outer shell 11 and inner shell 21. The inner shell or liner 21 also is provided with a frontal flange 22 disposed along its periphery and presented toward flange 13 of the outer shell.

Thermal insulation 23 is disposed within the space separating the inner and outer shells 2l and 11, and the flange 22 of the inner shell comprises the breaker strip for the front of the cabinet. As can be seen in FIGURES 2 and 5, breaker strip trim means 24 is disposed between inner shell flange 22 and leg 20 of outer shell flange 13. Trim means 24 is mounted by a resilient portion 25 thereof disposed in the channel opening and resiliently engaging the channel leg portions 16 and 20.

The inner leg portion 16 of outer shell flange 13 is provided with a flat face portion 26 presented toward the front opening of outer shell 11. Flat face portion 26 includes a rearwardly presented flange 30 disposed at substantially right angles to the frontally facing portion 26. As will be seen in FIGURES 3 and 5, reinforcing angular members or gussets 31 are disposed in each corner of the outer shell 11 and are rigidly attached, for example by screws, to the frontally presented portion 26 of the channel.

Intermediate the respective upper and lower walls 32 and 33 of outer shell 11 (FIGURE 3) are tapping plates 34, 35 and 37 spot welded to the frontally presented .strip 26. With reference also to FIGURES 4 and 6, the

door hinge means 36, 40, and 41 are mounted to tapping plate 34 and to the upper and lower right hand gussets 31. Uppermost hinge means 36 comprises an inverted L- shaped bracket 42 having a at face portion 43 mounted against the flange 22 of cabinet liner 21 and attached by screws (not shown) to the upper right hand gusset 31. Bracket 42 further includes a horizontal portion 44, having a pin 45 that depends therefrom and into an opening 51 provided with a bearing disposed within a hinge bracket 46 carried by the upper door 47.

The between-door hinge means (FIGURES 3 and 6) comprises a pair of L-shaped brackets 51 and 52, the

upper one of which has a at base portion 53 attached by screws to tapping plate 34. Upper bracket 51 further has a horizontal portion 54 extending from base portion 53. A pin 55 is insertable through an opening 57 in portion 54 to extend upwardly and downwardly therefrom. The downwardly presented portion of pin 55 extends into an opening 60 in a pin 58, which pin extends through horizontalportion 62 of another hinge bracket 56 having a face portion 61 mounted to the face of the cabinet also by tapping plate 34.

Similarly, the lowermost hinge means 41 includes a hinge bracket 63 disposed at the bottom of the cabinet at the lower right hand corner of its face. This bracket has an upwardly presented pin 64 that pivotally engages the lower bracket (not shown) of lower door 48.

Tapping plates 35 and 37 are mounted to rearwardly extending liange 30 of face portion 26. Latch strikes 75 and 76 are mounted to respective tapping plates 35 and 37, and are disposed, respectively, for door latching engagement with latch bolts 81 and 80 (FIGURE l).

An insulative baille 65 divides liner 21 into a pair of food storage compartments 66 and 70, closed, respectively, by doors 47 and 48 mounted to the hinge brackets as hereinabove described. Insulative baflle 65 is disposed Vin close sealing engagement with the respective side and rear walls 71 and 72 of the inner shell or liner 21. The forward edge of baflle 65 is a substantially flat, vertically extending surface and is adapted for sealing engagement with horizontal portions of upper and lower door gaskets 82.

As shown diagrammatically in FIGURE 7, the refrigerating unit includes an evaporator 73 disposed in the upper compartment 66 and adapted to operate at below freezing temperatures, and an evaporator 74 disposed in the lower or above-freezing food compartment and adapted to operate between above and below freezing temperature to provide for defrosting thereof at desired intervals. While not shown for -the sake of convenience in FIGURE 7, a portion of the conduit connecting the discharge of compressor 91 tothe inlet of condenser 90 may be congured as a loop 90a (FIGURES 2 and 5) and inserted in the channel portion of tlnge 13. In this location of conduit 90a hot gaseous refrigerant owing therethrough tends to warm the cabinet outer shell in this region thereby to prevent sweating on the outer surface of the cabinet shell under high relative humidity conditions encountered in some geographical areas. It will of course be further understood that, while none has been shown, conventional thermostatic control means may be provided for the illustrated refrigerating unit in accordance with known practice.

It is a particular feature of the invention that the hinge brackets 42, 46, and 56, if desired, may be mounted upon the left side of cabinet 10 and the doors hinged thereto merely by turning them end-for-end. Also, the latch ,the rear wall of the liner.

strikes may be moved to the opposite side, in the event that hinging of the doors is reversed, merely by providing a duplicate set of tapping plates on the said opposite side prior to insulating the cabinet at the time of assembly.

The door sealing gaskets 82 are mounted thereon according to usual practice,` and are adapted to seal against the inner shell flange 22, and the front bafl'le 65, when the doors are moved to closed position.

As best seen in FIGURES 3 and 5, an additional important feature of the invention resides in structure for mounting the base 'or lower shell 12 to the upper outer shell 11. This structure comprises a forwardly presented channel 83 disposed along a lower front edge portion of theouter shell 11, the base 12 for outer shell 11 having a projection 84 receivable in channel 83 to mount the base to the cabinet. Bosses 83a are formed on the lower leg of channel 33 and serve as a bearing surface for the engaged flange 84. Final attachment means for connecting the base 12 to the outer shell 11 includes tabs 85 at the rear of the base which are attachable by screws (not shown) to the rear of the outer shell. Such screw attachment is afforded by tapping plates 36 spot-welded to the rear-panel as shown.

The front wall of base 12 has an opening 88 over which a decorative grill 89 is positioned, said grill and opening providing for Ventilating the refrigeration unit components (FIGURE 7) disposed within the base.

It will be appreciated, from the exploded showing of FIGURE 3 that 'outer and inner shells 11 and 12, breaker trim 24, and hinge mounting brackets 42, 46, 56, are all mounted or assembled to one another in a single direction, that is in a direction transverse the opening of the food compartment. This unidirectional assembly feature minimizes the number of assembly manipulations, and renders the cabinet structure particularly adaptable to assembly by automatic devices.

In assembling of the cabinet, outer and inner shells 11 and 21 are assembled together by nesting shell 21 within outer shell 11 in such manner that the front flange of the inner shell rests against the front flange of the outer shell, as best seen in FIGURE 2. The inner shell is centered from side to side so that the extreme edge of the iiange 22 is substantially aligned with leg portion 16 of the ange 13. This insures a uniform access opening for the recess formed by legs 16 and 20 of the front outer shell flange 11. With reference also to FIGURE 3 it will be noted that prior to the above described assembly the required mounting plates, as seen for example at 35, 37 and 34, have been attached to the outer shell by suitable means described elsewhere in the specication.

The outer and inner walls of the above described assembly of shells 11 and 21 are then braced by suitable means (not shown). For example, a plug device may be inserted into the liner and nested therein against its walls. The entire assembly may then be inserted into a cavity-like structure having walls disposed and adapted to embrace the walls of outer shell 11. While the assembly is thus braced, the insulation, as seen at 23, is foamed in place, in accordance with known practice, and closely adheres to surfaces of the outer and inner shell that face one another. Adherence of the insulation to the shells rigidiies the structure into a single, unitary element. Thereafter the bracing structure is removed for the next assembly operation.

In accordance with one feature of the invention, the insulation charge to be foamed in place is disposed between the rear walls of the liner and outer shell while the food compartment structure is positioned on its back with the opening facing upwardly.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, the rear panel of the outer shell may be removable and the food compartment assembly may be placed with its opening facing downwardly. The charge of insulation is then distributed both in the side wall cavities and upon The rear panel is then attached, the cabinet is suitably braced, and the insulation foamed in place. This latter technique for carrying out the insulating operation is particularly advantageous, inasmuch as it has been found that a charge of insulation when in the process of foaming will move readily, of its own accord, in a vertical direction whereas some dithculty is encountered in achieving lateral movement thereof. It will therefore be appreciated that by having a removable rear panel, and placing the cabinet on its front face with the liner in position, the insulation charges placed in each of the side, top, and bottom wall cavities need only rise vertically to ll the same. Also the charge distributed across the rear wall of the liner need only move vertically to fill the rearmost cavity. By insulating the cabinet in this manner, there is ensured uniformity of textiure of the body of insulation as well as freedom from vor s.

Preferably, inner shell 21 is of a thermally non-conductive material whereas outer shell l1 is of metal. It will of course be understood that both the inner and outer shells may consist of a thermally nonconductive material.

Keeping in mind that the insulating operation is carried out utilizing an assembly of the upper outer shell 11 and inner shell 21 only, the mounting base 12 including condenser 90 and compressor 91 is mounted to the upper assembly after insulating, and at which time refrigerant connections may be made between the condenser and evaporators. Mounting of the base 12 to cabinet 11 is achieved by relatively tilting these elements while inserting ange 84 into channel means 83 (see FIGURE 5) followed by relatively moving the opposite edges of the base and cabinet together so that tabs 35 are properly aligned with the tapping plates 86.r Tabs 85 are then attached to plates 86 by screws, thereby completing the assembly of the base to the cabinet.

Upon completion of this operation, the door hinge brackets are fastened to the front of the cabinet, by screws extending through the brackets and into the tapping plates, and at the same time doors 47 and 48 may be mounted to their brackets. Also, latch strike members 75 and 76 may be mounted to the cabinet by screws threadedly engaging tapping plates 35 and 37.

Considering that the arrangement of a particular home makes it desirable to hinge the doors from a side of the refrigerator in accordance with such arrangement, it will be appreciated that the disclosed mode of assembly and construction makes it possible, at the last stages of assembly, to select the side to which the door will be hinged. This advantage of course iiows from the symmetrical nature of the assembly afforded by the novel configuration of the elements comprising the present invention. In fact, hinging of the doors advantageously can be modified either in the home or upon purchase of the refrigerator, due to the interchangeability of the doors, hinges and latches.

It will be seen further that the base portion 12 of the outer shell includes a floor portion 17, the corners of which are provided with levelling feet 92 for cabinet 10. Also, suitable means (not shown) may be provided for attaching elements of the condensing unit to door portion 17.

It will be evident from the foregoing that structural features of the present invention aiord numerous other f reduced.

l claim:

1. A refrigerator cabinet comprising: an outer shell; inner liner disposed within and spaced from said outer shell; thermal insulation disposed within the space separating said shell from said liner, said shell and said liner having edge portions defining an access opening over which a door may be mounted; means defining a flange disposed along the periphery of said liner and presented toward the edge portion of said shell; means defining a channel extending along the edge portion of said shell, the open portion 0f said channel being presented forwardly of the cabinet, said channel including leg portions disposed between said shell and said liner flange; and trim means comprising a channel formed of exible and resilient material, one leg portion lof said trim means extending transversely of and disposed in frictional resilient engagement with opposed leg portions of said cabinet channel to retain said trim means, the other leg portion of said trim means extending from said outer shell toward said liner, over said shell channel, and onto the flange of said liner, said last recited leg and said flange being cooperatively disposed to form a substantially continuous, frontally presented frame for said cabinet opening.

2. A refrigerator cabinet comprising inner liner and outer shell elements spaced one from the other, means defining a forwardly presented channel extending along the forwardly presented edge portions of said liner and shell elements and including leg portions disposed between said shell and said liner elements, and trim means including a channel formed of llexible and resilient material, one leg portion of said trim means extending transversely of and disposed in frictional resilient engagement with opposed leg portions of said cabinet channel to retain said trim means, the other leg portion of said trim means extending from said outer shell element toward said liner element, over said iirst mentioned channel, whereby to form therewith a substantially continuous frontally presented frame for said forwardly presented edge portions.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,698,578 Bergman Jan. 8, 1929 2,135,091 Newill Nov. 1, 1938 2,537,314 Mortensen lan. 9, 1951 2,552,641 Morrison May 15, 1951 2,644,605 Palmer July 7, 1953 2,661,117 Wallenbrock Dec. 1, 1953 2,662,660 Frykdahl Dec. l5, 1953 2,807,837 Kesling Oct. 1, 1957 2,845,320 Saunders July 29, 1958 2,866,675 Kesling Dec. 30, 1958 2,958,210 Rill NOV. l, 1960 2,962,183 Rill Nov. 29, 1960

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Referenced by
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US3302820 *May 12, 1964Feb 7, 1967Gen Motors CorpRefrigerator cabinet assembly
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U.S. Classification312/405, 220/592.6, 62/277, 312/406.2, 220/592.9, 312/296, D15/87
International ClassificationF25D23/08, F25D23/06, F25D21/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2400/04, F25D23/085, F25D23/062, F25D21/04
European ClassificationF25D21/04, F25D23/06B