US 3162032 A
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Dec. 22, 1964 c. E. BEHRENS 3,
DRY CLEANING MACHINE Filed Oct. 3, 1961 17 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR:
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DRY CLEANING MACHINE,
Filed Oct. 3, 1961 17 Sheets-Sheet s INV EN TOR.
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DRY CLEANING MACHINE Filed Oct. 3, 1961 17 Sheets-Sheet l3 INVENTOR.
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United States Patent 3,162,032 DRY QLEANENG MAtIHWE Curtis E. Behrens, Efingham, Elk, assignor to Borg- Warner Qnrporation, (Ihicago, iii, a corporation of Illinois Filed Oct. 3, E61, Ser. No. 142,633 20 Ciaims. (Ci. 68-18} This invention relates to dry cleaning machines and more particularly to a new and improved cleaning fluid supply system for such machines.
An object of the invention is to provide a new and improved cleaning fluid supply system for a dry cleaning machine characterized by gravitational flow of the fluid to the machine at a rate of flow determined by means providing a fixed head of fluid and by fixed flow restrictions.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved cleaning fluid supply system for a dry cleaning machine having a closed fluid circuit for flow of fluid into the machine and having means controlling the rate of flow at a low pressure by a fixed head of fluid.
Another object of the invention is to provide a fluid supply system for a plurality of dry cleaning machines characterized by a common cleaning fluid supply and filtering system with each machine having its individual control system for supplying cleaning fluid to each machine independently of the other machines.
Another object of the inventibn is to provide a plurality of dry cleaning machines having a new and improved cleaning fluid supply system characterized by gravitational flow of cleaning fluid to and from all of the machines and having provision for effectively metering correct and equal quantities of fluid to the individual machines for insuring proper cleaning of the fabrics contained within the machines.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved fluid supply system for a plurality of serially connected dry cleaning machines in which flow of the cleaning fluid to the machines is under low pressure due to fluid flow solely by gravity to the machines and having conduit means, a common fluid supply formed to provide a constantly metered flow of fluid serially to each of the machines the conduit means being also connected to storage base tanks of the machines so that clean fluid flows through the base tanks to be mixed with soiled cleaning fluid from each operating machine, the soil in the mixed fluids subsequently being filtered for return of clean fluid to the machines.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a closed circuit fluid supply system for dry cleaning machines in which a common source of filtered clean fluid flows into a manifold connected to each of the machines for supplying the fluid selectively into fabric-receiving receptacles of the machines, the machines having fluid storage base tanks connected serially for fluid flow through all of the tanks, means including a standpipe receiving fluid from the manifold and providing a flow of fluid at a predetermined head into the receptacles, with the major amount of filtered fluid normally flowing through the standpipe into an overflow pipe connected to the serially first base tank and the tanks serially connected thereto.
A specific object of the invention is to provide a closed circuit fluid supply system for dry cleaning machines each having a fabric-receiving container for cleaning the fabrics and a storage base tank beneath the container and receiving soiled fluid constantly flowing into the tub and overflowing from the tub, clean fluid being selectively directed into the tubs by gravity flow from a manifold pipe having a fluid supply end connected to a filter and its other end connected to the lower end of a standpipe, the upper end of the standpipe being connected to an over- BJflZfiEZ Patented Dec. 22, 1964 flow pipe providing fluid serially to the base tanks, the standpipes upper end having a vent to introduce air at substantially atmospheric pressure to provide a fluid-air interface inside the pipe at its top establishing a level of the fluid determining the head of fluid feeding the machines, which head is substantially the same throughout the manifold pipe being slightly higher at the supply end of the manifold pipe to provide a slight variation in head which represents the amount of pressure drop through the manifold pipe due to its inherent internal restriction so that, as the head in the manifold pipe can be referred to as the apparent depth of the fluid in this pipe, the variation in the head at different points in the manifold pipe represents the slope of the fluid that causes constant flow through this pipe, the system thus being characterized by a gravity flow standpipe and fixed head arrangement providing a metered flow of cleaning fluid into the machines, with the further advantage that, when supply exceeds demand, the surplus fluid flows into the overflow pipe to the base tanks of the machine, but, when the supply is such that no surplus fluid flows into the overflow pipe, there is still assured a constant flow of the amount of available fluid equally proportioned among the operating machines.
Another specific object of the invention is to provide a closed circuit fluid supply system for dry cleaning machines in which volatile fluid in the system continually flows, and embodying a venting arrangement insuring each component in the circuit being vented to another component but at no place in the circuit is the air, confined within the circuit, intentionally vented to the atmosphere, the fluid supply system being characterized by any change in the volume of fluid in any component in the flow path from one place in the system to another, being immediately and automatically compensated by an equal volume of air movement in the opposite direction to replace the volume of displaced fluid, this advantageous feature providing a vapor-tight system in which no outside air is intentionally introduced into the system and no vaporladen air is intentionally expelled from the system, thus insuring economical solvent fluid usage.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly from the following specification in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the dry cleaning system embodying the invention, including two combination cleaning and drying machines;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the system illustrating the fluid supply arrangement and including a filter;
FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic perspective View of the systern shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic rear view of the system, certain parts of the system being shown in changed position from that of FIGS. 1-3 to more clearly illustrate a feature thereof;
FIG. 4A is a sectional view of a portion of the fluid supply system and also showing details of a fluid level device;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of one of the machines shown in FIG. 1, said section being taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 1, and illustrating interior parts of the machine including a fluid-containing receptacle, 2. fabric-receiving basket, and an air-circulating fan, and means for rotatably mounting the basket and fan on the receptacle;
FIG. 6 is a rear elevational view of the machine shown in FIG. 5, illustrating the drive mechanism for basket and fan rotation and including a transmission providing different speeds of rotation of the basket;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view of the receptacle, basket and fan and mounting means therefor of FIG. 5,
said section being taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 6, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 8 is a greatly enlarged sectional view of the basket and fan mounting means shown in FIGS. and 7, said sectionbeing taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 6, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the transmission shown in FIG. 6, said section being taken on line 9-? of FIG. 6;
FIG. 9A is a front elevation of the electric drive motor unit including drive pulleys and clutch, said view being taken on line A9A of FIG. 6 and being partly in section to more clearly illustrate the structure thereof;
PK 10 is a side elevational view of the lower half of the machine including a cleaning fluid storage tank, said view partly being in section to more clearly illustrate the structure thereof;
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the fluid storage tank, taken on line 1l11 of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is an end view, partly in section, of the fluid storage tank;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary top plan view of the control valve arrangement mounted on the top of the fluid storage tank;
FIG. 13A is a view illustrating an air-venting vacuumbrcaker valve shown in F 1G. 13;
FIG. 14 is a side elevation of one of the control valves, 7
taken on line l t-1140f FIG. 15; 7
FIG. 15 is an end View partly in section, of the valve of it}. 14, said view being taken on line l5-l5 of EEG. 14;
PEG. 16 is a fragmentary sectional view of the valve of FIGS. 14 and 15, said section being taken on line 16-46 of FIG. 15; I
FIG. 17 is a diagrammatic view of the control valve arrangement shown in FIG. 1 3;
FIG. 18 is a sectional view of a separating device for different fluids, said section being taken on line 18-18 of FIG. 13;
FIG. 19 is a side elevational view of the filter shown in FIG. 2, said view being partly in section to illustrate the filter tube and screen assemblies;
FIG. 20 is a top view of the filter shown in FIG. 19, said view being partly in section to illustrate the tube and screen assemblies;
FIG. 21 is a greatly enlarged vertical sectional view of one of the filter tube and screen assemblies shown in FIGS. 19 and 20;
FIG. 22 is a horizontal sectional view of the filter, said section being taken on line 22-22 of FIG. 19, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 23 is a greatly enlarged vertical sectional view of one of the tube and screen assemblies of the filter, and llustrating a fluid-filtering agent coating and accumulation of soil and lint particles, forming a film on the coating, during filtering of the cleaning fluid;
FIG. 24 is a view of the tube and screen assembly of the filter, similar to 1 16.23 but illustrating the coating and film breaking away from the screen during a backwash operation.
FIGS. 25 and 26 are vertical sectional views of one of.
be two identical air shutters, in the form or" poppet valves, shown in PEG. 6 and provided for removal of :leaning fluid fumes from and about the machine at the :onclusion of the drying cycle of the dry cleaning ma- :hine, FIG. 25 illustrating the closed position of the valve and FIG. 26 illustrating the open position of the valve;
FIG. 27 is a rear view of a portion of the door and the door-mounting front panel of the machine shown in FIG. 5 and illustrating the door-locking mechanism and control means therefor;
FIG. 27A is a horizontal section view of a switch-actusting arrangement associated with the door lock mechanism controls, said section being taken on line 27A27A of FIG. 27; i
FIG. 28 is a horizontal sectional view of the door-lockd ing mechanism of FIG. 27, said section being taken on line 2% 28 of FIG. 27;
FIG. 29 is a diagrammatic view of the electrical control arrangement of the dry cleaning machine of FIGS. 5-28, inclusive, and including sequentiall -controlled carnoperated switches;
FIG. 3% is a cam sequence chart illustrating the cleaning and drying cycles of the dry cleaning machine of FIGS. 5-28, inclusive.
Referring now to the drawings, F105. 1, 2, 3, and 4 illustrate an improved dry cleaning arrangement particularly, but not necessarily, adapted for a plurality of combination fabric-cleaning and drying machines, two of which are shown and generally identified as I and H.
The cleaning fluid supply system utilized with the machines has been designed to provide a constant flow of clean, filtered cleaning fluid or solvent, such as perchlorethylene, to each machine during the fabric-cleaning cycle, each machine having an overflow arrangement to expel the soiled solvent from the machine to a solvent storage base tank of the machine for flow of the solvent to a pump and then to a filter for removing soil and other impurities from the solvent and for recirculation of the cleaned solvent. The filtered solvent is supplied to each machine by a manifold providing a metered quantity of cleaning solvent to each machine with a proper solvent level or height being constantly maintained in the machines by the location of the solvent overt-low pipe in the machine. This feature is important as each machine includes a fabric-containing basket rotatable about a horizontal axis and designed to permit the fabric to he picked up from the solvent, lifted above the solvent and dropped back a maximum distance into the solvent to provide the best flushing action of the solvent through the fabric and greater dispersion and elimination of the soil from the fabric.
Prior to describing the fluid supply system, reference is made to FIGS. 1 to 4, inclusive, illustrating machines I and 11. As each of these machines are identical in construction and operation, it is believed the description of one of the machines (machine I) will be adequate to an understanding of each machine structure and operation. Identical structural parts of machine ll are designated with the same numeral as machine I but the suffix a. The structure of machine I is illustrated in FiGS. 5-17, and 25-28, inclusive, and referring first to FIGS. 5 and 6, the machine comprises a cabinet 18 receiving a cleaning fluid-containing receptacle in the form of an imperforate cylindrical casing or tub ll having a front wall 12 and a rear wall 13. The tub 11 is I supported by a suspension system of the inverted pendulum type generally indicated at A mounted on a base structure B, the suspension system A comprising pivots C and D attaching the tub to the base structure B for operating movement of the tub, the pivots C and B being directly below the center line 'of the tub and being connected to the bottom of the tub by a pair of front and rear brackets, one of which is shown at E. Control springs (not shown) can be located on opposite sides of the tub, and these springs, in conjunction with an hydraulic damper assembly are eifective to control the tub movement during rotation of a cylindrical fabric-containbasket or drum 1% at high speed with an unbalanced load of fabric, such as clothes, in the basket. The sus- .pension system arrangement of the tub is more partic- I the receptionof fabric to be cleaned and dried and the basket is supported by means of a spider 19, forming a portion of the rear wall of the drum, on a sleeve shaft 21) rotatably mounted on the rear wall 13 of the tub 11 for rotation of the drum 18. A pulley 21, fixedly secured to the shaft 25 is adapted to be rotated by a belt 22 in driven relation to a driving pulley 23 connected to the driven shaft of a two-speed transmission T driven by an electric motor M. Briefly described, the two-speed transmission is controlled by clutches, one of which is self-energizing and the other clutch is solenoid-controlled to provide low speed for slow rotation of the basket or high speed for rapidly rotating or spinning the basket. When the solenoid is deenergized, its clutch is ineffective and power flow is through the self-energizing clutch to provide low speed to tumble the basket during a portion of a cleaning operation and during the drying operation, and when the solenoid is energized, its clutch is operative and the self-energizing clutch becomes inoperative, so that the transmission is conditioned to provide a relatively high speed to rotate the basket, for example, during the extraction of the cleaning fiuid from the fabric.
More particularly, and referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the tub 11 has the radially inner edge of its rear wall 13 connected to two annular support housings 24, 24 by screws 25, the housings 24, 24 having radially inner ends overlapping and confining therebetwecn an outer race 2% of a ball bearing assembly, with the inner race 27 fixed to the sleeve shaft 20 for rotatably supporting the shaft 20. The front end of the shaft 2t? is connected to a hub of the basket provided by the radially inner edge of the rear wall of the basket and two retaining rings 28, 23 connected by screws 29 so that rotation of the shaft 20, by pulley 21 keyed as at 3% to the rear end of the shaft, will rotate the basket.
A blower fan 32 is supported for rotation by the sleeve shaft 28 including a shaft 33 extending through and mounted on needle bearings between the shafts, the front end of the shaft 33 being connected to the hub 34 of the fan 32 by a bolt 35 threaded into tie hub and engaging the shaft 33. The rearward end of the shaft 33 extends outwardly of the shaft 26 and receives the hub 36 of a pulley 37 for rotating the fan independently of the basket, the pulley hub 56 being connected to the shaft 33 by a bolt 38 threaded into the hub and engaging the shaft 33.
The basket and fan shaft mounting assemblies also comprise grease seals and thrust washers as clearly evident from an inspection of FIG. 8.
Referring now specifically to FIGS. 6 and 9 for the structure and operation of the drive mechanism including the transmission T, the transmission comprises an input sleeve shaft 49 having a pulley 41 connected by a belt 42 to a pulley 43 driven by the electric motor M. The shaft 4% has an input pinion t4 meshing with a gear 45 fixed to a countershaft 46. A gear 37 is rotatably supported on the countershaft 46 and may be coupled to the countershaft for rotation therewith by a self-energizing clutch spring 48 of well known type, surrounding the countershaft between gears Q5 and 47. The countershaft gear 47 meshes with a gear 49 fixed to the output shaft 50. A clutch spring 51 surrounds the input shaft 4'9 and is positioned between the gear 49 and pinion 4 the clutch spring having a tab 52 at one end of its helically wound coil engageable with a plunger 53 actuated by a solenoid 54.
In operaion, the basket may be slowly rotated to tumble the fabric in the cleaning fluid in the tub. As the solenoid is deenergized, its plunger 53 engages the tab 52 of the clutch spring 51 to prevent operation of the clutch spring 51 to couple the gear 49 and spring 51, and the hub of the gear 49 turns freely within the clutch spring 51. Power flow from the motor is transmitted pinion 44. Pinion 44 rotates gear 45 on the countershaft ti and gear 49, keyed to the output shaft 50, to drive pulley 23 to rotate the basket at slow speed.
During the fluid-extraction period of the cleaning cycle, the basket rotates rapidly to centrifuge the fluid from the fabric. For this purpose, the solenoid 54 is energized to remove its plunger 53 from the tab 52. of the clutch spring 51 so that power flow will be from the input shaft 40, input pinion 44, and, as the clutch spring 51 is effective at this time to couple the input pinion 44 and gear 49, gear 49 will be rotated to drive the output shaft to rotate the basket at high speed. It will be apparent, due to the sizes of the input pinion 44 and gearsv 45, 47, and 49, that the gear 49 will drive the gear 47 at such high speed that the clutch spring 48 will overrun to prevent power flow through the countershaft and gear 45 to the gear 44.
Referring to FIG. 5, the cylindrical wall of the basket 18 is perforated having a plurality of openings 55 therein. The basket front Wall is provided with an opening 56 spaced from the access opening in the front Wall 12 of the tub 11. An annular ring 57 is suitably attached to the front wall 12 of the tub 11, a second annular ring 58 is attached to the ring 57 and spaced therefrom by pins or rivets 59. The rear wall of the basket 18 is provided with a pocket P formed by the legs of the spider 19 merging with the cylindrical portion of the basket extending about the rotational axis of the basket, the pocket P having a plurality of openings 60 defined by the legs of the spider 19. The front of the basket 18 has a cylindrical flange 61 defining the opening 56, and the front wall 12 of the casing 11 has a pair of bearing rollers 62 secured thereto to support the front of the basket.
Air circulating means, in the form of the suction type blower fan 32, is rotatably mounted in a pocket P in the rear wall of the basket 18. The fan 32 has a plurality of curved blades and, as previously described, is driven by a belt and pulley arrangement, the pulley being indicated at 37 and the belt being indicated at 63 to be driven by the pulley 64 of the electric motor M. Referring to FIGS. 6 and 9A, operation of the fan is controlled by a clutch generally indicated at 65 and including a clutch spring, surrounding the motor drive shaft 66 and located within a housing 67, the spring having an end tab 68 seated within a recess in the housing, and the housing having an outwardly projecting finger 69 engageable with the end of a plunger 70 of a solenoid 71 so that, when the solenoid is energized to move its plunger from the spring tab 68, the clutch spring is effective to couple the pulley 64 to the drive shaft 66 to effect drive of the pulley, and thereby the fan, by the motor. The solenoid 71 is mounted on a bracket 72 fixed to the motor casing which is mountedon a plate secured to the tub, as shown in FIG. 6. The solenoid is energized to effect rotation of the fan during the drying operation.
In FIGS. .5 and 6, an annular heater assembly 73 is fixedly secured to the front wall 12 of the tub 11 and includes an aluminum body having embedded annular Calrod type heating coils 74 and 75 suitably connected to a supply of electric current controllable to energize one or the other, or both, heating coils of the heater assembly during the drying operation of the machine. During this drying operation, the basket is rotated slowly to tumble the fabric and the fan is effective to cause the heated air to circulate and flow between the tub and basket and around the basket and through the perforations in the basket to dry the clothes in the basket. The heated air is then drawn through a perforated plate 76 and lint screen S by the fan and through the pocket P of the basket and through the openings 60 defined by the spokes of the basket rear wall spider 19 and into the space between the basket and the rear wall 13 of the tub to be recirculated in the machine. As it is contemplated the machine will be used with a dry cleaning solvent, such as perchlorethylene, vaporizable during the drying operation, a condenser, generally indicated at 77, is posi-