US 3197886 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 3, 1965 G. R. BRAME ET AL 3,197,886
CLOTHES DRYER WITH OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL DRYING MEANS Filed June 14. 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG] J INVENTORS GLENN R. CHAFEE TR eoaooN R BRAME w WM THEIR ATTORNEY 3, 1955 G. R. BRAME ET AL 3,197,886
CLOTHES DRYER WITH OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL DRYING MEANS Filed June 14, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 \4 4 L I g I f =l a i Sl 56 i l y 2s 14 INVENTORS GLENN R. CHAF'EE J'R.
&GoRooN R. BRAME THE\R ATTORNEY g- 1965 G. R. BRAME ET AL 3,197,836
CLOTHES DRYER WITH OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL DRYING MEANS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed June 14, 1962 f .w a B G 8 8 6 Fl 7 O 27 1 n 3 7 9 8 2 z u R as Y m? & mg w VA 3 vi. 0 W w m 0 A W m i :H. G a T no N United States Patent 3,197,886 CLUTHES DRYER WITH OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL DRYING MEANS Gordon R. Brame, Valley Station, and Glenn R. Chafee,
En, Louisville, Ky., assignors to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed June 14, 1962, Ser. No. 202,419 9 Claims. (Cl. 34-90) This invention relates to clothes dryers of the type having means for permitting the use of an optional additional drying chamber, such as aflexible bag, and more particularly to a dryer structure in which a conventional air flow path is provided and cannot be tampered with except by use of the optional equipment.
It is an object of our invention to provide a clothes dryer of the type having a blower which passes warm air into and out of a clothes chamber, with modifying means so that the blower may also force the air toward an optional external drying chamber.
A further more specific object of our invention is to provide such an arrangement wherein the duct system of the dryer is provided with a door which may be opened to permit the passage of air to the optional equipment,
but which can be opened only by engagement with the end of the conduit leading to the optional equipment.
In carrying out our invention in one form thereof, we provide a fabric dryer which has the conventional elements of a fabric chamber together with duct means for guiding air into and out of the chamber, blower means for passing air through the duct means, and heating means for heating air before it is passed into the chamber. Downstream of both the blower means and the heating means, the duct means has an opening which is normally closed by a closure member biased to its closed position and latched so as to be locked in that position. Together with this structure of the dryer, we provide a removable conduit which is adapted to lead air to a second fabric chamber external to the dryer. The end portion of this conduit is formed so as to join with the opening to form a connection therewith. This end portion includes unlocking means which is engagable with the latch means when the end portion is moved to a first position adjacent the opening, and as a resultis effective to disable the latch means. Then, when the end portion is moved closer to the opening, another part thereof is effective to open and to retain open the closure member. And, when the end portion is moved to its final'desired position, it is controlled by means releasably retaining it in that position. The subject matter whch we regard as'our invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. Our invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereoflmay best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings, FIGURE 1 is a view in perspective of a clothes dryer having attached thereto the additional optional drying chamber previously referred to;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of theclothes dryer incorporating my structure, the View being partly broken away and partly sectionalized in order to illustrate details; l
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged plan view showing a. portion of the ducting system of the dryer together with the connection which may be made into that ducting system for the external drying chamber; i l a FIGURE 4 is a view along line 44' in FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a view along'line 5-6 ill-FIGURE 3 3,197,886 Patented Aug. 3, 1965 when the dryer is disconnected from the external drying chamber;
FIGURE 6 is a view along line 6-6 in FIGURE 5; and
FIGURE 7 is an end view of the external conduit which is connected to the ducting system of the dryer.
Referring now to FIGURE 1, there is shown therein a domestic clothes dryer generally indicated by the numeral 1. Dryer 1 is provided in the usual way with a cabinet 2, the cabinet having a front door 3 to provide access to the interior of the cabinet for loading and unloading clothes. Provided on the top wall 4 of the cabinet 2 is a control panel 5 which includes any suitable manual controls 6 which may be needed for presetting the machine so that it will automatically proceed through a cycle of operation.
As will be more fully described hereinbelow in particular connection with our invention, the end 7 of a conduit 8 may be inserted into an opening near the base of the front of the cabinet 2. Conduit 8 leads to an enclosure or chamber 9 which is preferably formed of a suitable flexible material such as polyethylene. The top of bag 9 is provided with openings such as 10 to permit the egress from bag 9 of air which enters it through conduit 8. The bag may be supported by any suitable means: in the present case, hook members 11 permit bag 9 to be hung over the horizontal portion 12 of a rod 13 which is secured to the cabinet 2.
In FIGURE 2 the internal structure of dryer 1 is more specifically shown and will be described so that a full understanding of our invention may be obtained. Within cabinet 2 there is provided a clothes tumbling container or drum 14 mounted for rotation on a substantially horizontal axis. Drum 14 is substantially cylindrical in shape, having a first cylindrical outer wall portion 15, second and third outer wall portions 16 and 17 located respectively adjacent the ends of the drum, a front wall 18, and a back wall 19. Outer wall portions 15, 16 and 17 are imperforate over their entire length so that the entire outer shell of the basket is imperforate. On the interior surface of central portion 14 there is provided a plurality of clothes tumbling ribs 20.
The front of drum 15 is rotatably supported within outer casing 2 by a pair of idler wheels, one of which is shown by the numeral 21. These wheels are rotatably secured to the top of an upwardly extending member 22 secured at its bottom 23 to the base 24 of the machine by any desired means, such as welding for instance. The rollers 21 are disposed beneath the drum in contact with the portion 16 thereof so as to support portion 16 on each side to provide a stable support.
The rear end of the drum 14 receives its support by means of a stub shaft 25 extending from the center of wall 19. Shaft 25 is secured within a bearing 26 formed in a baflle 27 which in turn is rigidly secured to the back wall 23 of cabinet 2 by any suitable means such as, for instance, welding at a number of points 29. By the arrangement shown, the basket may rotate on a horizontal axis with the rollers 21 providing the front support and the stub shaft 25 within bearing 26 providing the rear support. In order to provide for the flow of a stream of drying air throughthe clothes drum, the drum is provided with a central aperture 30 inits front wall 18 and with an opening in the form of a plurality of perforations 31 in its rearwall 19, the perforations in the present case being formed to extend around the rear wall in an annulus.
As has been stated, the battle member 27 is rigidly secured to the rear wall 28 of cabinet 2. Bafile member 27 also serves to support heating means, such as electric heating elements 32, appropriately insulated from the is exhausted from themachine 1.
bathe member. Heating elements 32 may be annular in shape so as to be generally coextensive with perforations 31 and drum 14. A bathe member 33 is rigidly secured to the back wall 13 of the drum outside the ring of perforations 31 and within the stationary baffle 27 so that an annular air inlet 34 is inelfect formed by the baffles 27 and 33. In this manner, a passage is formed for air to enter annular inlet opening 34 between the baffles, pass over the heating elements 32, and then pass through openings 35 in baffie 33, through the perforations 31, and into the interior of the drum 14.
The front opening 30 of the drum is substantially closed by means of a stationary bulkhead generally indicated by the numeral 36. Bulkhead 36 is made up of a number of adjacent members including the inner surface 37 of access door 3, a stationary frame 38 for the door formed as a flange of front wall 39 of the cabinet, the inner surface member 46 of an exhaust duct which is formed by the cooperation of member 4% with the front wall 39 of the cabinet, and an annular flange 41 mounted on the frame 38 and on the duct wall. It will be noted that a suitable clearance is provided between the inner edge of the drum opening 30 and the edge of bulkhead 36 so that there is no rubbing between the drum and the bulkhead during rotation of the drum. In order to prevent any substantial air leakage through opening 39 between the interior and the exterior of the drum, a suitable ring seal 42, preferably formed of felt-like material, is secured to flange 41 in sealing relationship with the exterior surface of drum wall 18. I
Front opening 30, in addition to serving as part of the air flow path through the drum, also serves as a means whereby clothes may be loaded into and unloaded from the drum. Door 3, whose inner surface forms part of outer flat imperforate section 43 and an inwardly extending hollow section 44 mounted on the flat outer section. Hollow section 44 extends into the door frame 38 when thedoor is closed, and the door surface 37 which comprises part of the combination bulkhead 36 is actually the inner wall of the hollow section. The air outlet from the basket is provided by a perforated opening 45 formed in the inner wall 37 of hollow door section 44. The bottom wall section of door 3 and the adjacent wall of door frame 38 are provided with aligned openings 46 and 47, opening 47 providing the entrance to the duct 48 formed by the cooperation of member 40 with front wall 39. As shown, a lint trap 49, which may comprise a fine mesh bag, is preferably positioned in exhaust duct 48 at opening 47, the bag being supported by the door frame 38.
Duct 48 leads downwardly to an opening 50 formed in the member 22 which supports the rollers 21-. Opening 56 constitutes the inlet for a blower member 51 contained within a housing 52 and directly driven by an electric motor 53. Opening 50 provides the air inlet from duct 48 to blower 51 so that the blower may draw air in over the heaters 32, then through the basket, then through the door 3 and the duct 48 and into the blower. From the blower, the air passes through the outlet 54 from housing 52 (shown in FIGURE 6) and into an outlet duct 55 which leads out of the cabinet 2 in the conventional manner so that the air which has been passed over the clothes In addition to driving blower 51, motor 53 drives a small pulley 56. A belt 57 extends around pulley 56 and also, as shown in FIGURE. 2, entirely around cylindrical wall 15 of drum 14. The relative circumferences of pulley 56 and of wall 15 cause the drum to be driven by the motor at a speed suitable to effect tumbling of fabrics therein. In order to provide proper tensioning of the belt 57 there may be provided a suitable idler assembly accessible means.
58 secured on the same support 59 as is used to eifect partial support of one end of the motor 53.
Thus, the air is pulled through the drum and at the same time the fabrics in drum 114 are tumbled. When the air is heated by heating elements 32, the heated air passing through the drum causes vaporization of moisture from the clothes; the vapor is carried off with the air as it passes out of the machine through duct 55.
Still referring to FIGURE 2, it can be seen that member 39 is bent inwardly at its base, as shown by the numeral 66 so. as to join with member 22. As can also been seen from FIGURE 1, this then forms a toeboard type structure wherein member 22 extends down to the base of the machine from the base of member 39. A plate 66a (FIGURE 6) is secured to member 22 so as to be, in effect, a part thereof, and an opening 61 is formed in plate 6 substantially at the outlet 54 of blower 51. A hinge pin 62 is retained at the edge of opening 61 by retaining tabs formed in plate 630. and a door or closure member 64 is pivotally mounted on pin 62. As can be seen in FIGURE 6, door 64 is shaped so as to close substantially completely the opening 61. A spring member 65 positioned on the pin has a portion 66 (FIGURE 3) biased against the plate 6% and a portion 67 which acts on the closure member 64 so as to bias it to the closed position shown. Door 64 may be prevented by any suitable and conventional means from going past this position; for instance, as shown in FIGURE 6, the door may be made slightly wider than the opening 61 so that it will not move past the full closure position.
A member 68 is rigidly secured to the toeboard assembly portion of member 22 (FIGURE 2) so as to extend out in a plane generally parallel to base 68 of member 39 and slightly spaced therebelow. In addition, the length of member 68 is such that it does not extend beyond the front of member 39; thus, in its preferred form, it is substantially concealed from the operators sight during normal operation, but the end thereof is readilyvisible if the operator should stoop down slightly. As shown in FIGURE 3, member 68 is provided with a slot 69 and an opening 73. Rigidly secured to the surface of member 68 by any suitable means such as a screw 7ll, is a leaf spring member 72. Formed at right angles to the main part of spring 72, so as to extend downwardly therefrom (FIGURE 4), is a flange portion 73 of the leaf spring, the flange portion including a camming surface 74 and a latching portion 75. :In the normal position of the structure, shown in FIGURE 2, these two parts 74 and 75 extend down through opening 69 so as to extend below the lower surface of the member 68.
The door 64 has an outwardly extending flange 76 formed at the top thereof which extends forwardly from the dryer, below and substantially parallel to the member 68 in closely spaced relation thereto. A tab 77 is raised up out of the plane of flange 76 so as to extend above the bottom of latch 75 formed on spring 72 when the spring lies flat along the top of member 68. With this relationship, it can readily be seen that the latch 75 prevents the door from being pushed inwardly about hinge pin 62, this effect being prevented by the immediate interference of latch 75 with tab 77 when such movement of the door is attempted. Thus, under ordinary circumstances, the door 64 is maintained closed. In addition, as. can readily be seen from the relationship of flange 76 and member 68 with respect to each other and with respect to the bottom portion 60 of member 33, this locking relationship of the parts so as to prevent opening of the door cannot readily be changed by any normally With the door closed, then, the ducting relationship previously described prevails, and air coming from the blower 51 is ducted out of the machine through duct 55 in an effective manner because the door 64 forms an effective closure.
i In order to effect the drying of clothes which the operator does not wish to have tumbled and wishes to have held stationary, in a hanging position for instance, the previously mentioned plastic bag 9 may be provided. As for conventional storage bags of this general type, access to the interior of the bag may be provided through a suitable opening such as zippered opening 77a, with the interior of the bag 9 being arranged in any desired fashion (not shown) so as to provide for the appropriate hanging of clothes therein.
When it is desired to utilize bag 9, duct 8 which, as previously mentioned, leads to the base of bag 9, is put into connection with opening 61 through end portion 7 of the conduit. As can best be seen by reference to FIG URE 7, the end conduit position 7 is substantially rectangular in cross section, with the end of it being formed on a bias (FIGURE 3), so that when the end of section 7 is in position the conduit will extend out at an angle (as shown best in FIGURE 1). This facilitates the reaching of the bag 9 by the conduit 8 without undue stretching or twisting of the conduit.
At its top portion, the conduit is formed with upwardly extending parts 78 each having an inwardly extending flange 79 formed thereon so that, in effect, between flanges 79 and top 80 of conduit end 7 there are formed tracks or guides 81. By use of these guides, the conduit end 7 may readily be made to approach the opening 61 from a predetermined direction at all times. This is effected by so positioning the conduit end 7 that as it is moved toward the opening 61 the tracks 81 receive the member 68. Member 68 then guides the conduit end 7 smoothly so that it slides along in a predetermined relation to member 68.
The front edge of conduit end 7 is provided with a projecting tab 82 which, with the member 7 being guided by member 66 as described, is substantially aligned with the downwardly extending part 73 of spring 72. As a result, as the conduit section 7 is pushed toward opening 61, the tab 82 strikes the camming member 74 and cams it upwardly. Because member 74 and latch 75 are both on the same spring arm, the latch 75'is moved up to the position shown in FIGURE 4 by the passage of tab 82 into engagement and then beneath the camming member 74. At this point, with the latch 75 raised, the door 64, although biased to the closed position by spring 65, is no longer locked in that position. Consequently, as the movement of conduit section 7 toward the opening 61 is continued, the door 64 starts to be opened by the engagement of the front edge of flange 7 6 with a downwardly formed tab 83 formed at the front end of the conduit section 7. This engagement causes the door 64 to pivot about hinge pin 62 as the forward movement of section '7 toward opening 61 continues.
The conduit section 7 is provided with a leaf spring 84 (FIGURES 3 and 4) secured at one end by a member 85 to the top 80 of the conduit section, and which has an upwardly extending latching portion 86 projecting through an opening 87 in the top 80. Spring 84 is best seen in FIGURE 4 which shows the latch member 86 extending up through the opening 87. In addition, latch member 86 has enough height so that when the conduit section 7 has been moved far enough toward opening 61 so that latch part 86 becomes aligned with opening 76, it will extend up through opening 76 and serve to latch the conduit section 7 in place. the conduit section 7 is so latched, its front substantially abuts plate 69a of part 22 around opening '61 to form a connection with the interior of the ducting system of the dryer. The structure is retained in this position against the bias of spring 65 by the latching action of member 86 within opening 70.
With the parts thus arranged then, it can be seen that, connected to the outlet 54 of blower 51, there is a passage for air to pass through opening 61 and then through the conduit 6. From conduit 8, the air passes up through the bag 9 to dry clothes therein, finally exhausting through openings at the top of the bag. It will further be As shown in FIGURE 3, when noted that in the preferred structure, as contemplated by our invention, the door 64, when in the position to which it is forced by tab 83 of the conduit section, forms a substantial block across the outlet passage 55. Thus, downstream of the opening 61, there is provided a barrier to substantial fiow of air out through conduit 55. As a result, the major part of the air flow will be through the conduit 8. i
To release the conduit section 7 so that it may be freed from the member 68 by moving it back away from opening 61, it is merely necessary to press a button 88. As best shown in FIGURE 4, button 88 is rigidly secured to spring 84. The depression of button 88 moves latch member 86 down far enough so that it no longer extends up into engagement with the member 68, and thus, with the button 88 depressed, the conduit end 7 may be withdrawn from engagement with member 68 without inter ference. As soon as this is done, the bias of spring causes door 64 to move back to its closed position. Tab 32 keeps latch member raised until conduit section 7 is almost fully withdrawn and door 64 has closed; then, after this, spring 72 moves latchmember 75 back to its position of engagement with tab 77 to lock door 64 closed. Tab 77 thus returns to its original position where it has a locking engagement with latch 75 to prevent opening of door 64.
Thus, the dryer 1 may be used either with or without the extra container 9. The provision of bag 9, together with conduit 8 and end 7 thereof, permits the ready attachment of the bag so that the warm air from the dryer is directed through bag 9 when desired, with the attachment being made simply by moving the conduit end 7 into the appropriate position relative to opening 61, and with the securernent then being automatic. In addition, the door through which the connection is made is locked in closed position when not in use, and does not open except as a result of a particular cooperative relationship with the conduit end 7. Also, when the door is opened, it acts as :a barrier, helping to guide the air into the conduit 3 and preventing it escaping past the conduit 3 into conduit 55.
While in accordance with the Patent Statutes we have described what at present is considered to be the preferred embodiment of our invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention, and it is therefore aimed in the appended claims to cover all such equivalent variations as fall within the true spirit and scope of our invention.
, What we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A fabric dryer comprising a first fabric chamber, duct means for guiding air into and out of said chamber, blower means arranged to pass air into and out of said chamber through said duct means, heating means for heating air passed into said chamber, said duct means having an opening formed therein downstream of said blower means and said heating means, a closure member biased to a closed position blocking said opening, and latch means for locking said closure member in closed position; a drying chamber external to said dryer; a conduit connected to said second fabric chamber and removably engageable with said duct means opening, said conduit having an end portion formed to join with said opening and form a connection therewith, said end portion including unlocking means engageable with said latch means when said end portion is moved to a first position adjacent said opening so as to disable said latch means, said end portion including opening means effective to open and retain open said closure member as movement of said end portion toward said opening is continued, and means for releasably retaining said end portion in connection with said opening.
2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said first fabric chamber is formed as a generally cylindrical member rotatable on a non-vertical axis, and means are pro- 3. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said means for releasably retaining'said end portion includes second latch means for latching said end portion with its end substantially'around said opening, and manually operable meansare provided for releasing said second latch means. 3. A fabric dryer comprising a cabinet, a first fabric chamber positioned within said cabinet, duct means within said cabinet for guiding air into and out of said chamber,- blower means within said cabinet arranged to pass air into and out of said chamber through said duct means, heating means in said cabinet for heating air passed into said chamber, said duct means having an opening formed therein to the exterior of said cabinet downstream of said blower means and said heating-means, a closure member on said cabinet biased to a closed position blocking said opening therein, and latch means for locking said closure member in closed position, said latch means including a camrning surface formed thereon; a drying chamber external to said dryer; a conduit connected to said drying chamber and having an end removably engageable with said duct means opening, said conduit having an end portion formed to join with said opening and form a connection therewith, said end portion including cammin'g means formed thereon engageable with said latch means when said end portion is moved to a first position adjacent said opening so as to earn said latch means to an inoperative position, said end portion including a member formed to engage said closure m mber and move said closure member to open position as movement of said end portion towards said opening is continued, and means for releasably retaining said end portion in connection with said opening.
5. The apparatus defined in claim 4 wherein said cabinet has means formed thereon engageable with said conduit end portion to guide'said conduit end port-ion along a predetermined path toward said opening.
6. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said blower means is downstream of said first fabric chamber.
'7. The apparatus defined in claim 4 wherein said duct means downstream of said blower means extends adjacent the front bottom part of said cabinet and said opening is formed at the front bottom part of said cabinet opening directly into said duct means.
8. The apparatus defined in claim it wherein said closure member is formed so that in its open position it substantially blocks said duct means downstream of said opening.
9. A fabric dryer comprising a cabinet having a front wall with a recessed bottom portion, said front Wall in- CTL eluding a generally horizontal portion extending out from said recessed bottom portion, a first fabric chamber positioned within said cabinet, duct means withintsaid cabinet for guiding air into and out of said chamber, blower means Within said cabinet arranged to'pass air into and out of said chamber through said duct means, heating means in said cabinet for heating air passed into saidchamber, said duct means having an .openingformed therein to the exterior of said cabinet through said bottom portion of said front wall downstream of said blower means and said heating means, a closure member on said bottom portion of said front wall biased to a closed position so as to block said opening, said closure member including a flange portion extending generally horizontally in closely spaced relation to said horizontal portion of said cabinet front wall, and latch means for locking said closure member in said closed position positioned between said flange of said closure member and said horizontal portion of said front wall, said latch means including a camming surface formed thereon; a drying chamber external to said dryer; a conduit connected to said drying chamber and removably engageable with said duct means opening, said conduit having an end portion formed to connect with said opening through said bottom portion of said front wall, said end portion having a part formed to pass betweensaid flange and said horizontal portion of said front wall, said part of said end portion including means formed thereon engageabie with said camming surface of said latch means when said end portion is moved to a first position adjacent said bottom portion so as to cam saidlatch means to an inoperative position, said end portion including a member formed to engage said closure member and move said closure member to open position as movement of said end portion toward said bottom portion is continued, and means for releasably retaining said end portion in connection with said opening.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,597,215 5/52 Wright.
2,799,948 7/57 Morrison 349O 2,827,276 3/58 Racheter 34-9O X 2,983,050 5/61 Alaback 34-90 3,064,360 11/62 Sholin u 3499 WELLIAM F. ODEA, Acting Primary Examiner.
NORMAN YUDKOFF, Examiner.