US 3246481 A
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ICE MAKING MACHINE AND BREAKER Filed Oct. 24, 1963 i hi I-+ 11": "T l l g i W 2 i l i I I 1 1 i LE E I \ll\ fawarddflozzylas I l William F. ihgen.
Joseph 1? Miller Boberi' [.Pzchier United States Patent 3,246,481 7 ICE MAKING MACHINE AND BREAKER Edward 0. Douglas, 5335 W. 131st St., Crestwood, Ill.; and William F. Hagen, 1220 N. State Parkway; Joseph P. Miller, 5114 S. Wood St.; and Robert L. Richter, 3230 S. Princeton St., all of Chicago, Ill.
Filed Oct. 24, 1263, Ser. No. 318,560 2 Claims. (Cl. 62-320) This invention relates to an ice making machine and more particularly to a machine of the type described which produces ice in substantially large sheets, and means for reducing the sheets of ice into pieces or chunks of smaller dimension for domestic use.
It is an object of this invention to provide an ice making machine of the type described which operates to freeze water applied onto the surfaces of vertically disposed freezer plates to form the ice into sheets on the surfaces thereof and from which the sheets of ice can subsequently be removed for reduction into pieces of smaller dimension, and it is a related object to produce a machine of the type described which operates to remove free water and snow from inclusion with the pieces of ice thereby to provide ice which has a lesser tendency to agglomerate or form into masses from which the separate pieces are not easily separable.
These and other objects and advantages of this machine will hereinafter appear and, for purposes of illustration but not of limitation, an embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawing in which' FIG. 1 is a sectional elevational view of an ice making machine embodying the features of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the ice breaking portion which forms a part of the ice making machine; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the ice breaker portion of the machine shown in FIG. 2.
An ice breaking machine of the type employed in the practice of this invention is adapted to form sheets of ice by the flow of water over the outer surfaces of vertically .disposed freezer plates and from which the sheets of ice can be released by termination of the freezing cycle and initiation of a warming cycle wherein water below the freezing point is applied to the back side of the freezer plates to effect separation of the sheet of ice formed on the front side thereof. The sheets of ice released from the plates fall gravitationally downwardly onto an ice slide which guides the sheets into engagement with a breaking roller that operates to reduce the sheets of ice into pieces of smaller dimension. Means are employed in combination with the ice slide and sheet breaker to effect separation of free water from the sheet prior to breakage and to effect separation of snow or small chips from the pieces produced upon breakage of the ice sheets.
Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the ice machine employs one or more vertically disposed flat metal plates having an outer surface 12 over which water is i applied, as by means of a-water pan 14 having openings 16 in the bottom side through which streams of water drain into the angled surface of a deflection plate 18 having its lower end formed as a continuation with the upper U 'end of the freezer plate. Instead of applying the Water in the freezing surfaces 12 of the freezing plates 10 to reduce the temperature of the plates to below freezing. As a result, when water is caused to flow over the surfaces 12 of the plates 10, the water is cooled to a freezing state whereby an ice layer 24 of increasing thickness builds up over the outer surface of the freezing plate. Initially, while the plate is being reduced to freezing temperature and during the initial portions of the freezing cycle, only a slush will be formed on the freezing surfaces but such slush is washed off by the oncoming water ultimately to present a clean surface on which a solid cake or sheet of ice can be formed.
Adjacent the back side of the freezing plate or plates 1% and extending crosswise along the upper end portion thereof, is a distributor pipe 39 having a plurality of openings or nozzles positioned to direct streams of water onto the back side of the freezing plate or plates whereby warm water is cast onto the back sides of the plates for flow downwardly over the surface to warm the plate or plates and effect separation of the ice formed on the front side thereof.
The lower end portion of the freezer plate or plates is formed with an inwardly extending portion 32 which terminates in an end that is in vertical alignment with a water trough 34 whereby free water flowing downwardly across the surface of the plate 10, including the water in excess of that reduced to a frozen state in forming the cake 24, follows the contour of the plate 32 for displacement inwardly into the trough. The water applied onto the back side of the plate 10 for warming the plate also flows downwardly for draining into the collecting trough.
The water collected in the trough will include some of the refrigeration invested in the separation and the removal of the sheet of ice and it is, therefore, desirable, from an economical standpoint, to utilize the cold water collected in the trough by recirculation pump 36 through line 38 to the distributor pan 14.
In operation, the refrigerant cycle is first initiated to circulate refrigerant through the coils 22. The plate 10 is thereby reduced in temperature to below 32 F. for freezing water. Water from the distributor pan 14 or from the spray pipe 20 is applied onto the deflection plate 18 for flow in uniform distribution over the freezing surface 12 of the freezing plate 10. Slush at first forms on the surfaces but the slush is washed off as the ice begins to plate out on the freezing surface of the freezing plate. The cycle'is continued for a length of time until an ice layer 24 of the desired thickness is built up on the surface of the plate. In operation, water in excess of that capable of being plated out on the freezing surface is applied for flow across the plate. The excess Water flows downwardly over the plate to the lower end portion where surface tension operates to deflect the flow inwardly along the plate 32 for drainage of the excess water into the trough 34. f
When an ice layer of the desired thickness has been built up on the surface of the freezing plates, the refrigeration cycle is stopped and the ice removal cycle is initiated by the flow of water into the distributor pipe 30 whereby a warming water is thrown onto the back side of the freezer plate 10. When the plate is warmed sufliciently to reduce the ice at the interface to a molten or liquid state, the sheet of-ice will be released to fall downthe released sheet of ice can fall gravitationally straight downwardly clear of the trough and onto the ice slide 40 which extends angularly downwardly across the path of the sheet of ice falling from the freezer plate to guide the sheet across the top side of the slide towards the ice bin 41.
The slide is formed with a breaker bar 44 which extends crosswise of the slide immediately beneath a breaker device 46 in the form of a horizontally disposed cylindrical member 48 mounted for rotational movement about a horizontal axis with the cylindrical member being provided with a plurality of circumferentially and laterally spaced apart rigid fingers 50 extending outwardly from the 'cylinder by an amount to provide a spaced relationship between the ends of the fingers and the breaker plate 44 which is less than the thickness of the ice sheet adapted to be displaced therebetween. Thus the fingers brought into contact with the ice sheet operate to effect breakage of the sheet into ice chunks of smaller dimension. The cylindrical member 48 is rotated by means of motor driven belts operating about sheaves 52 and the fingers are preferably angled in the direction of rotation to advance the sheet of ice and effect displacement of the crushed pieces for continued passage over the slide into the bin 42.
Since a certain amount of free water remains on the surfaces of the ice sheets, it is desirable to effect removal of such free water before displacement of the crushed ice into the storage bin, otherwise the free Water may become congealed to cause agglomeration of the pieces of ice into large cakes or other mass which would interfere with the free flow of the broken ice for use. The free water can be removed before or after crushing but it is preferred to effect removal before the ice sheet is advanced to between the crusher plate and the crushing cylinder. For this purpose, the portion of the slide immediately in advance of the crushing plate is formed with openings, preferably in the form of a honeycomb section 54, with the openings of the honeycomb extending vertically to communicate the upper surface with an open channel 56 below the slide for the drainage of water from the sheet of ice through the openings into the channel.
The crushing operation usually produces some snow or small chips which it is desirable to remove to efiect separation from the chunks delivered as a product to the bin since the snow or chips are undesirable as a part of the final product and since they often lead to the formation of pieces of ice into a solid mass in the bin. of the ice chips and snow is effected by providing the portion of the ice slide following the crusher bar with openings through which the chips and snow are able to fall into the channel section 56 beneath the slide. Such open portion can be formed of a structurally strong section, such as a honeycomb section 58 formed of metal in which the honeycomb openings extend through from the top side of the slide to the bottom side for communication with the channel section.
As illustrated in FIG. 2, a water pipe 60 communicates with the channel section 56 at one end for intermittent or continuous flow of water therethrough to flush the snow and ice chips from the channel section.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that we have provided an ice making machine which is adapted economically and efliciently to produce small chunks and pieces of ice which will remain capable of free flow during storage for domestic use.
.It will be understood that changes may be made in the Removal details of construction, arrangement and operation without departing from the spirit of the invention, especially as defined in the following claims.
1. In an ice making machine having vertically disposed freezer plates on which a sheet of ice is formed and from which the sheet is released to fall downwardly gravitationally, means for breaking up the sheet of ice into segments of smaller dimension including an ice slide extending angularly downwardly continuously in one direction across the path of the sheet of ice falling from the freezer plate, means in an intermediate portion of the ice slide for crushing the sheet of ice into smaller segments, said ice slide having a section immediately in advance of the crushing means having openings extending therethrough for the drainage of free water from the ice sheet which passes thereover and a section immediately following the crushing means having openings extending therethrough for the separation of snow and ice chips from the crushed segments of ice which pass thereover, a receiver on the underside of the ice slide in communication with openings in the section in advance of the crushing means and the openings in the section following the crushing means, and means for flowing a stream of water through the receiver to flush the snow and ice therefrom.
2. In an ice making machine having a vertically disposed freezer plate on which a sheet of ice is formed and from which the sheet of ice is released to fall downwardly gravitationally, means for breaking up the sheet of ice into segments of smaller dimension including an ice slide extending angularly downwardly continuously in one direction across the path of travel of the sheet of ice falling from the freezer plate, a crushing means including a stationary crusher bar fixed to an intermediate portion of the ice slide to extend crosswise thereof and a crushing member in the form of a cylindrical member mounted for rotational movement about an axis parallel with the face of the slide and in vertical alignment with the crushing bar, crushing fingers extending radially outwardly from the periphery of the cylinder for a distance short of the crusher bar but spaced from the crusher bar by an amount less than the thickness of the ice sheet whereby the ice sheet is broken into segments of smaller dimension during passage therebetween, and a section immediately in advance of the crusher bar having openings extending therethrough for drainage of free water from the ice sheet prior to crushing and over which the ice passes, and a section immediately following the crusher bar having openings extending therethrough for the removal of snow and small chips of ice from the product delivered from 'the crusher bar a receiver on the underside of the ice slide in communication with the openings for receiving the free water, ice and chips passing through the openings and means for passing a stream of water through the receiver to flush the snow and ice therefrom.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT A, OLEARY, Primary Examiner.