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Publication numberUS3246493 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 19, 1966
Filing dateDec 24, 1963
Priority dateDec 24, 1963
Publication numberUS 3246493 A, US 3246493A, US-A-3246493, US3246493 A, US3246493A
InventorsOles Joseph F
Original AssigneeHupp Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dry cleaning apparatus
US 3246493 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

6 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 24, 1963 INVENTOR JOSEPH 1-. 01.55

BY w WM ATTORNEY April 1966 J. F. OLE-s 3,246,493

DRY CLEANING APPARATUS Filed Dec 24, 1963 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 JOSEPH F OLES BY MW,%L4M

ATTORNEYS April 19, 1966 J. F. OLES DRY CLEANING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Dec. 24, 1963 INVENTOR JOSEPH F. OLES BY M 9 M ATTORNEYS April 19, 1966 J. F. OLES DRY CLEANING APPARATUS 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Dec. 24, 1963 INVENTOR JOSEPH F. OLES BY M 1 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,246,493 DRY CLEANING APPARATUS Joseph F. ()les, Richmond Heights, Ohio, assignor to Hupp Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of Virginia Filed Dec. 24, 1963, Ser. No. 333,033 7 Claims. (CI. 68-18) This invention relates to dry cleaning machines and more particularly to control apparatus for such machines and apparatus for handling the cleaning fluid, commonly called solvent, at the completion of a dry cleaning operation.

In general, automatic dry cleaning machines include tumblers, blowers, solvent condensers, heaters and the like, controlled by a sequence timer the operation of which may be initiated manually or, in commercial machines, by the deposit of. a coin.

The sequence timer then operates the apparatus automatically through the complete cycle, a portion of which includes the extraction and recovery of the solvent from the load. As is well known in the art, the solvent recovered from the load contains excessive amounts of water as well as solid impurities.

Thus, to assure efiicient operation of the apparatus it is necessary to recover the optimum amount of solvent from the load and to purify the solvent by the removal of water and solid impurities before the solvent is returned to a reservoir for use in a subsequent cleaning cycle.

The optimum time required to recover the solvent varies considerably as a function of a number of variables including the weight of the load, the absorbency of the exposed area of the load, the temperature of the work chamber and other factors. If the cycle is too long the load may be overdried and damaged. Accordingly, the length of the extraction and recovery cycle must be automatically varied to avoid either of these two undesirable results.

One proposal for effecting automatic variation of the extraction and recovery cycle is disclosed in co-pending application Serial No. 186,440, filed April 10, 1962, for Coin Operated Dry Cleaning System, now abandoned. The apparatus disclosed in that application includes a device responsive to the flow of solvent during the recovery cycle which is effective to disable the automatic timer until the solvent flow diminishes to a point which indicates that the drying and solvent recovery process has been completed at which time the fixed timing operation is continued. While experience has shown that the operation of this prior apparatus is satisfactory in principle, nevertheless, it is difficult and expensive to manufacture,

is relatively bulky and requires excessive maintenance.

It is accordingly an important object of the present invention to provide improved solvent recovery apparatus for dry cleaning machines which overcomes the above stated problems encountered with prior devices and which is of simplified, compact construction which may be manufactured and assembled at substantially reduced cost.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide improved solvent recovery apparatus which affords an extended maintenance-free service life.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide improved solvent recovery apparatus which may be disassembled and reassembled easily for cleaning, inspection or repair.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide improvedsolvent recovery apparatus in which water and particles of varying specific gravity, including those which are lighter than water and heavier than solvent, are removed and either carried to a convenient point of disposal or collected in a convenient accessible position within the apparatus.

It is also an object of the present invention to prov improved solvent recovery apparatus for dry clean machines including a control for determining the len of the recovery cycle, the control having a consideral greater sensitivity than units heretofore available.

The dry cleaning fiuid or solvent, usually perchlore ylene, is, in some instances, toxic or irritating and it accordingly necessary that precautions betaken to p vent the escape of the fluids or fumes from the appara' either during normal operation or abnormal operation.

In accordance with the present invention the S0lVt storage tank is separated from the dry cleaning apparai by one or more novel traps which prevent the escape fumes into the machine itself. The novel arrangement the storage tank system and the trap system is such tl in multiple dry cleaning machines served by a comm storage and filtration system the solvent fumes canr pass from one machine to the other.

Additional objects and advantages will become app: cut as the description proceeds in connection with t accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of a d cleaning apparatus incorporating the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an electrical diagram of the control c cuit for the apparatus of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged vertical central section of t solvent recovery apparatus shown removed from the 1 maindcr of the apparatus;

FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the apparatus FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a two-machine un FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary vertical section tak along line 6--6 of FIGURE 5; 1

FIGURE 7 illustrates a terminal block adapted to substituted for terminal block G in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 8 illustrates a terminal block adapted to substituted for terminal block H in FIGURE 2; and

FIGURE 9 is a time-operation chart graphically d picting the operational sequences of this dry cleanii apparatus. 1

As shown in FIGURE 1, the main housing of the d cleaning machine, indicated generally at l0,'encloses perforated tumbling and spinning drum 22 accessib through a door 12. Drum 22 is supported on a shaft I which may be driven at either high speed by motor-I or at low speed by motor 18.

Attached to shaft 14 is a large diameter driven pulli 20. Motor 16 drives a small pulley 24 and a larger {M14 26 while motor 18 drives a single small pulley 30. Tl sizes of the pulleys are relative, depending on motor spet and the speeds at which drum 22 is to be driven.

Pulleys 24 and 20 are connected by belt '32, whi pulleys 28 and 26 are connected by belt 34. Pulley 2 incorporates an overrunning clutch (not shown arrang'r to transmit power from motor 18 to shaft and to pr vent power transmission in the reverse direction.

When only motor 18 is energized, drum 22 will I rotated at a low speed. When motor 16 is energize drum 22 will be rotated at high speed whether motor] is running, or not. The door 12, hinged at 132, is close by lock 134 having bolt 136 spring biased into engag ment with hasp 138. Lock 134 is unlocked only eithi by energization of solenoid at the end of the eye or in an emergency by a key retained by an attendai". Solenoid 140, when energized, withdraws bolt 136 fro. hasp 138 and permits door 12 to be opened. 'The circu is arranged so that solenoid 140 is energized'only aftr the cycle is completed and door 12 is kept locked throiigl out the complete machine cycle. Door switch 142 a lows the machine to be started only when door l2 closed.

Dry cleaning solvent is contained in tank 36 which ay hold 65 gallons and is pumped from tank 36 through induit 38 by pump 40 driven by motor 42 which genally runs continuously while the machine is activated r use.

Solvent is continuously circulated through conduits 44, i and 48, carbon filter unit and conduit 52 back to nk 36, the carbon filter clarifying the solvent. Coniit 46 is also connected via pressure relief valve 54 and )nduit 56 to the top of tank 36. Valve 54 is normally os'ed, but opens if pressure in line 46 becomes excessive 1d allows solvent to flow through line 56 to return to nk 36.

A conduit 58, forming an extension of conduit 44 is )nnected to a nozzle 62 extending through the front panel 1 of housing 10. When normally closed solenoid valve 0 in conduit 58 is energized, solvent will be sprayed out E nozzle 62 on to the clothes in drum 22 and will drain \t0 the bottom of housing 10, then through conduit 66 vapor trap 68, overflowing through lint screen into ase tank 72. Solvent liquid level in trap 68 is mainiined above the bottom outlet of conduit 66 by Wall 71. his vapor trap prevents travel of solvent fumes upwardfrom tank 72 into housing 10 and out door 12. As quid flows over wall 71, it drops down into screen type nt trap 70 before flowing down into tank 72. Trap 70 removably mounted inside tank 72 so accumulated lint an be cleaned therefrom.

From the bottom of tank 72, solvent is pumped through eturn conduit 74 by pump 76 driven by motor 43 through heck valve 78 and line 80 to filter 82, from which solvent ows through conduit 84 to the top of tank 36. Over- .ow conduit 86 connects the upper part of tank 36 with he interior of tank 72.

The upper interior of housing 10 is connected through creen 88 to the inlet of blower 90 driven by motor 92. The blower outlet is connected to a two-way damper 94 ontrolled by solenoid 96. When the solenoid 96 is deznergized, the output of the blower is vented to the outide atmosphere. When the solenoid is energized, damper P4 is moved from the position shown in full lines to the lotted line position where it blocks outlet 100 and permits he blower to blow air and vapor from housing 10 through :ondenser 98.

Condenser 98 is cooled by water flowing through coil [02, the flow being controlled by solenoid valve 104 vhich opens when energized. Air and uncondensed vapor eaving condenser 98 are blown through duct 106, past a :wo way damper 108 and through a heater 112. Damper [08 is normally in the position shown in full lines, in which position it closes fresh air inlet 114. When solenoid 110 is energized, damper 108 assumes the dotted line position, where it blocks flow through duct 106 but opens inlet 114 to admit fresh air to heater 112.

Air and/or vapor from the heater 112 passes through duct connected through front 64 of housing 10, through the interior of drum 22 and housing 10 to blower 90.

When condenser 98 is in operation, condensate flows into the lower portion of the condenser and drains through conduit 122 into separator 124 where water is separated and carried 011 through outlet 126. The condensed solvent flows through drain 128 to tank 72.

Water separator One of the features of the present invention is the apparatus for separating water from the returning condensed solvent and the means for continuing the solvent extraction and condensation until the clothes are entirely dry, the time required varying with the type of clothes being cleaned.

As shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, separator 124 comprises an elongated cylindrical housing member 144 welded at its bottom end to angles 147 and bottom cover plate 146 which is bolted by angles 147 to the top wall of storage tank 72 so that separator 124 can be removed from tank 72 for servicing. At its upper end, the housing member 144 is closed by a removable cover plate 148, normally held in place by the friction of an O-ring 150. The cover plate 148, which is provided with a small vent 152 to prevent any possible siphoning action, has soldered thereto cylindrical barrier tube 154 which projects downwardly into the interior of the housing member 144 in concentric relation therewith. A solvent recovery tube 156 extends through a central opening in the base plate 146 to which it is welded and is in direct communication with stub pipe 128 welded to base plate 146 and leading into the interior of the solvent storage tank 72. At its upper end, the tube 156 provides an overflow rim 158.

A tube 160 is positioned concentrically around the recovery tube 156 by a divider plate 162, the outer periphery of which is sealed against the housing member 144 by an O-ring 164. The plate 162 is welded to the tube 160 to maintain the parts in proper position. The lower end of the tube 160, which rests on the upper surface of the bottom closure plate 146, is provided with a plurality of ports 166 for a purpose to appear. The assembly is completed by a cylindrical fine mesh screen 168, the lower end of which rests by its own Weight on a sealing felt washer 170. The unit is initially primed by filling the space formed above the divider plate 162 to the level of the overflow rim 172 provided by the top of the tube 160.

The condensed solvent collected from the bottom of' the condenser 98 passes by gravity through conduit 122 into the annular space between the housing 144 and the barrier tube 154, thence around the bottom of the barrier tube and through the screen 168, displacing solvent over the overflow rim 172 for passage through the ports 166 into the annular air bell formed in the space between the plates 146 and 162 and tubes 144 and 160.

Since the specific gravity of water is considerably less than that of a solvent, any water (which is extracted from the load and from the atmosphere) collects at the 40 top of the solvent outwardly of the barrier tube 154.

When sufl'icient water has been collected in this area, it passes outwardly from the apparatus through the water outlet tube 126 to any convenient point of disposal. Solvent entering the air bell through the ports 166 will be 45 delivered to the solvent storage tank 72 at a controlled 50 the pressure therein increases.

rate through an orifice 174 in the bottom closure plate 146, the rate of delivery being a function of the orifice diameter and the pressure head at the upstream side of the orifice. As solvent continues to flow into the air bell,

This pressure is communicated through a pipe 176 and a flexible hose 178, to a switch operator 180 having an actuator plunger 181 moved by a diaphragm 182. When the pressure in the air bell reaches a predetermined level, the diaphragm 182 55 and the plunger 181 will be displaced upwardly to open contact 184a of switch 184 and to close contact 18412 of switch 184 which, as described below, modifies the operating cycle of the dry cleaning apparatus.

As the condensate flow rate diminishes, indicating 0 completion of the drying and solvent recovery cycle, the

pressure developed in the air bell will diminish to a level which will permit the diaphragm 182 to return to its normal position to reclose contact 184a of the switch 184 to permit continuation of the programmed 65 cycle and to re-open contact 1841).

In normal operation, the condensate flow rate, particularly during the initial portions of the recovery cycle, will be great enough to require an additional flow passage. This is provided by the solvent recovery tube 156 7 which has an overflow rim 158 higher than the primary overflow rim 172 and directs the excess solvent into the storage tank 72. It is to be noted that any dirt or other impurities which are lighter than water will be carried off through the water disposal pipe 126. Impurities which 7 are heavier than the solvent will be prevented from passing to the orifice 174, or to the storage tank 72, by the fine mesh screen 168 and will gradually collect on the upper surface of the divider plate 162. I

The construction of the separator apparatus is such that it may be easily cleaned at desired intervals. When the top cover plate 148 is axially removed from housing member 144, it carries the barrier tube 154 with it, exposing the screen 168 which may be removed for cleaning. Removal of the screen permits access to the upper end of the tube 160 which may be lifted out of the apparatus carrying the divider plate 162 and washer 170 with it to permit removal of any impurities collected on its upper surface. After cleaning, the parts may be quickly and easily reassembled.

General operation The overall operation of the machine is depicted graphically in FIGURE 9.

The operation of the machine is controlled primarily by a series of single pole double throw micro switches 209-216 operated by a series of cams mounted on a shaft driven by a timer motor 204. Since the cams and shaft are conventional they have been omitted. Each micro-switch has a terminal A and contacts B and C to which terminal A is alternately connected as required to energize the elements of the mechanism in proper sequence to perform the required cycle of operations. Terminal block H1 (FIGURE 8) adds two additional timer controlled switches 207 and 208.

The machine is loaded with clothes through door 12, the door is closed and the machine put into operation by inserting coins in coin box 202 to start timer motor 204. Tumbling by motor 18 starts immediately, followed a few seconds later by a four minute spray of' solvent through nozzle 62 at approximately seven gallons per minute. A short tumble and drain period is followed by a two minute spin by motor 16 at approximately 265 rpm. At the end of the spin period, blower 90, condenser water in coil 102, the heater 116 are turned on; blower 90 circulates about 175 c.f.m. through the load; and 2.6 g.p.m. of water flows through condenser 98.

This starts drying of the clothes and condensation of the solvent which causes switch contact 1840 to open as previously explained. At the end of 3% minutes timer motor 204 stops until drying is completed, the reduced rate of condensation causing switch contact 1840 to reclose which restarts the timer motor. Drying then continues for an additional two minutes. Following is a two minute deodorizing period during which fresh air is blown through the clothes and out of the vent. Tumbling is continued throughout the drying and deodorizing periods.

Electrical circuits and operation of controls A three-wire supply circuit has a potential of 230 volts across outside line L1 and L3 and 115 volts from center line L2 to either outside line L1 or L3.

When the apparatus is completely shut down, it is in the condition shown in FIGURE 2.

Terminal block G (FIGURE 2) may also take the form of block G1 (FIGURE 7). Terminal block H (FIGURE 2) may also be of the form of block H1 (FIGURE 8).

When block G is used, manually closing switches 218 and 219 drives circulating pumps 40 and 76 by energizing motors 42 and 43 since terminals T2 and 23 are internally connected to T4. It is often desirable to keep pump 76 in operation to filter the solvent even when the dry cleaning machine is not running.

Block G1 may be used in place of block G to provide more sensitive control of the machine after switches 218 and 219 are manually closed and to control the level of solvent in tank 72.

If the solvent is too high, rising float 312 (pivoted to the wall of 72) opens contact 314a (FIGURE 7) in float switch 311 to stop pump 40 by de-energizing motor 1 by breaking the circuit between terminals T2 and T4.

If the solvent level is too low, falling float 312 ope contact 315a to stop pump 76 by de-energizing motor 1 5 by breaking the circuit between terminals T3 and T This prevents air from being drawn into filter pump and may also serve as a warning of either a low solve level in the machine or clogging of filter 82.

Switches 314 and 315 may be operated by separa cams to control each switch individually or by a lost m tion linkage so a wide variation in level is permitted l: fore switch contact 314a or 315a is opened so that be pumps will usually be in operation. When solvent level within proper limits, both switch contacts 314a and 31: are closed.

If tank 36 is filled with solvent 35 to the top of ovr flow pipe 86 during continuous operation to return t solvent to tank 72, pump 76 will remain in operation filter the solvent to provide clean filtered solvent for t next cleaning operation even when the dry cleaning m chine is not running through a timed cleaning cycle.

Mechanism associated with block G1 also maintai the solvent at a given temperature. The temperatu of the solvent in tank 36 is preferably kept within t1 7078 F. range. When 78 F. is reached, a temper ture sensitive element 301 closes contact 302a of swit 302 to energize solenoid 304 opening a valve 305 permit cooling water to circulate through coil 306 tank 36. After the solvent has been cooled sufficiet ly, contact 30211 opens, and cooling water circulatit stops. If the solvent temperature exceeds 80 B, el ment 301 opens a normally closed contact 303a of swit 303 to prevent damage to clothes in drum 22 by deent gizing motor 42 so that pump 40 cannot deliver any mo solvent through nozzle 62 to the clothes until this COItt tion is corrected.

When door 12 is opened to load drum 22 with cloth blower 90 draws fresh air through opendoor 12 a1 blows it out exhaust outlet 100. More specifically ope ing door 12 energizes blower 90 by closing door swit con-tact 142a to complete a circuit from line L1 throu; line 230, closed contacts 228b and 228a of fail-safe rel. 228, line 234, door switch contact 142a, line 238, blow motor relay coil 240 to close its normally open con'ta 240a, blower motor 92, and line 242 to line L2. D energized solenoid 96 positions damper 94 in its sol line position.

When the door is closed after the machine has be loaded, contact 142a is opened and contact 142b is C1051 to energize relay 268 by forming a circuit from line 1 to line 234, contact 142b, line 283, closed contact 21 of switch 216, line 272, relay coil 268 and line 270 line L2.

Energizing relay coil 268 closes its normally opt contact 268b to energize door latch solenoid coil 140 l closing a circuit from line L1 to contact 142b and th through line 283, line 282, normally closed contact 26 of relay 264, line 265, door solenoid coil 140, line 26 normally open contact 268b, now closed by its encrgiz relay coil 268, and line 270 to line L2. Energized do latch solenoid coil 140 holds bolt 136 out of engag ment with hasp 138 so that the door can be open by the operator at any time until the machine is starte After the operator finishes loading the clothes in drum 22 and closes door 12, the operator inserts the i quired coins in coin switch box 202. This action en gizes start relay coil 264, energizes timer motor 204 provide the timing action for the cleaning cycle, forms holding circuit to maintain start relay coil 264 energizt after the coin-actuated switch opens, and starts drum 3 to rotate to tumble the clothes therein.

More specifically, closing contact 202a of coin box 2 energizes start relay coil 264 by forming a circuit fro line L1 to door switch contact 142k, and thenthrom 75 line 283, line 280, closed contact 2020, line 278, re]:

7 )il 264, line 266, closed contact 26812 and line 270 to ne L2.

Energizing start relay coil 264 closes relay contacts 64c and 264e to energize timer motor 204 and a olding circuit for relay 264.

Timer motor circuit is formed from line L1 through :lay 228, contact 142/), and then through line 276, norially open relay contact 264a closed by its energized :lay coil 264, line 262, normally closed timer contact 10h, line 250, timer motor 204 and line 254 to line L2.

The holding circuit is formed to keep start relay coil 64 energized before coin-actuated switchcontact 202a pens. Closing relay contacts 26 1c and 264e forms the olding circuit from line L1 to door switch contact 426 and then through line 283, line 282, normally open :lay contact 2640 closed by its energized relay coil 264, losed relay contact 264e, line 276, relay coil 264, line 66, closed relay contact 268b, and line 270 to line L2.

Tumble motor 18 is energized by either of the circuits rom line L1 to closed contact 2640 of relay 264 and 1811 through line 262, line 256, line 258, motor 18 and ne 260 -to line L2. Energization of motor 18 rotates rum 22 to tumble the clothes therein.

The timer now moves switch 215 from contact C to ontact B to energize damper solenoid 96 to close exaust 100 and to de-energize damper solenoid 110 to close xhaust 114 by damper 109.

A few seconds later, timer motor 204 moves switch 16 from contact 216C to contact 216B and switch 211 rom contact 2118 to contact 211C.

Opening contact 216C de-energizes relay coil 268 to en normally open relay contact 268b to de-energize .oor latch solenoid 140 to lock door 12 and to break he holding circuit de-energize relay coil 264 to open conacts 264C and 264e and close normally closed contacts i641! and 264i. Relay contact 264e is also opened but notors 204 and 18 remain energized by a circuit decribed below.

Timing motor 204 is kept energized by closed conact 2168 forming a holding circuit from line L1 through :ontact 22% and 2282 of relay 228 to line 283 and then hrough closed contact 2168, line 256, closed contact 1108, line 250, timer motor 204 and line 254 to line L2.

Tumble motor 18 is kept inoperation by closed conact 2168 forming a holding circuit from line L1 to :losed contact 216B and then through line 258, motor 18 ll'ld line 260 to line L2.

Solenoid valve 60 is opened to spray solvent on the :lothes through nozzle 62 when timer motor 204 closes :ontact 211C to form a circuit from lineLl to line 256 ind then through closed contact 211C, line 284, sole- 101d valve 60 and line 286 to line L2 to energize and )pen solenoid valve 60.

Now a solvent drain period occurs. After four min- JiCS of spray by nozzle 62, timer motor 204 causes ;witch 211 to open contact 211C to stop solvent spray .hrough nozzle 62. Then, solvent drains from the clothes is they are tumbled by motor 18 for about one half ninute following cutoff of spray through nozzle 62.

Followingx the drain period, solvent extraction begins. Now, timer motor 204 energizes spin relay 226 to ener gize spin motor 16 to spin drum 22 at 265 r.p.m. to ex- ;ract solvent from the clothes by centrifugal force.

Spin relay 226 is energized by timer motor 204 opening contact 21213 and closing contact 212C. Closing :ontact 212C forms a circuit from line L1 to line 256, :loscd contact 212C, line 288. spin motor relay coil 226 ll'ltl line 290 to line L2. This energizes spin motor relay 226 and closes its relay contact 226a. Closing relay :ontact 2261! energizes spin motor 16 by forming a circuit From line Ll through line 225, contact 226a and motor 16 to line L2.

After two minutes of spinning. spinning stops and solvent recovery begins. At this time timer motor 204 closes contacts 212B, 213C and 314C and opens contacts 8 212C, 2138 and 2148 to dc-energize spin motor 16 to discontinue spinning; to energize solenoid 104 to cause water to flow through condenser coil 102; to energize relay coil 118 to energize heating coil 116; and to energize blower motor 92 to circulate air and solvent vapor by blower 90 for drying the clothes in drum 22 and recovering the solvent vapor. However, tumbling continues because tumble motor 18 has remained energized throughout the spin period.

Closing contact 213C forms a circuit from line L1 to line 256, contact 213C, line 292, and parallel circuits to line L2 through normally closed thermostat 117 and heater relay 118 and through condenser water solenoid 104. Energizing relay coil 118 closes contacts 118a and 1186 to energize by 230 volts heating coil 116 from line L1 through normally open contact 1811 (back contact of the starter for motor 18) closed when motor 18 is energized, normally open relay contact 1180 now closed by its energized relay coil 118, heating coil 116, normally open relay contact 118]) now closed by its energized relay coil 118, and normally closed thermal overheat switch 119 to line L3. Heater 112 incorporates heating coil 116 controlled by thermostat 117 to maintain air leaving blower at 150 F. when heater 112 is on. Overheat switch 119 disconnects coil 116 when heater 112 exceeds 255 F. Back contact 18a of motor 18 assures that heating coil 116 will not be on to heat damage the clothes if tumble motor 18 is not running.

Closing contact 214C forms a circuit from line L1 to line 256, contact 214C, blower motor relay coil 240 to close its normally open contact 240a, blower motor 92 and line 242 to line L2. Now, blower 90 circulates air and solvent vapor from housing 10 through condenser 98, where most of the solvent is condensed; and circulates air and uncondensed vapor through duct 106 and heating coil 116 so that heated gases are returned to the inside of drum 22 through nozzle 120 for recirculation through the clothes in drum 22 to absorb more vapor therefrom before re-entry into blower 90.

Solvent recovery now takes place. Solvent condensate flows from condenser 98 through conduit 122 and separator 124 to tank 72, as previously explained. Solvent recovery takes place in two different periods: (1) a timed solvent recovery period controlled by timer motor 204 and (2) a variable time solvent recovery period controlled, independently of timer motor 204, by the solvent recovery rate acting on pressure sensitive switch 184.

During variable solvent recovery, the machine is controlled by switch 184 with either the terminal block H in FIGURE 2 or the block H1 in FIGURE 8. Block H will be used for the remainder of this description, and the use of block H1 will be described hereafter under the heading Safety Features.

During the timed recovery period, solvent recovery test contact 209C is momentarily closed by timer motor 204 to determine whether or not solvent recovery is taking place properly to guard against failure of the apparatus by such causes as lack of circulation of cooling water through condenser 98 or failure of blower 90 to operate. The electrical controls and timer circuits are so arranged that normally closed flow switch contact 184a must be opened or tripped within a predetermined time after drying and solvent recovery starts to indicate proper operation of the solvent recovery and drying systems. If solvent recovery is not taking place properly, the flow switch contact 184a is not opened or tripped within this time period, an electrical pulse energizes fail-safe relay 228, the machine is shut down, and alarm signal 235 is actuated.

If the solvent recovery is taking place properly, the machine proceeds into the variable time solvent recovery period. Then, when switch 184a closes, it indicates that solvent recovery is complete so that control of the machine cycle is then again returned to timer motor 204 to start the next operation.

The operation of test contact 209C will now be considered in more detail. If solvent condensation and recovery is proceeding normally, switch 184 will open contact 184a. After three minutes of this timed solvent recovery period, timer motor 204 momentarily closes solvent recovery test contact 209C. Then, either of the following two modes of operation will occur.

First, if contact 184a has not opened, this action would indicate that alarm signal 235 should be sounded and the machine shut down because solvent recovery was not taking place properly. This would occur if there were no water flowing through condenser coil 102 or if blower 90 failed to operate. Then. when switch 209 closes contact 209C, fail-safe relay 228 is energized by forming a circuit from line L1 through line 230, normally closed contact 228b, line 244, terminal T6, closed contact 1840. terminal T7, line 246, contact 209C, line 229, fail-safe relay coil 228, line 231, and normally closed push button switch 233 to line 1.2.

Now, the machine shut down and alarm circuitsequence starts. Energizing relay coil 228 opens contacts 228k and 228e of relay 228 to break circuits through line 234 to de-energize damper solenoid 96, timing motor 204, tumble motor 18, water solenoid 104, heater relay 118 and blower motor 92. De-energizing heater relay 118 de-energizes heating coil 116 and the machine is shut down.

Energizing relay coil 228 also closes contact 228d of relay 228. Closing contact 228d holds relay coil 228 energized and energizes alarm signal 235 byforming a holding circuit from line L1 through line 230, closed contact 228d, relay coil 228, line 231 and switch 233 to line L2 to keep relay coil 228 energized after contact 22812 is opened. A circuit is also completed from line L] through line 230, contact 228d, line 229, terminals T8 and T9, line 237 and alarm signal light 235 to line L2 to cause signal 235 to be energized.

To restore operation, the operator must: open contact 209C by rotating timer motor out of test fire position and manually open push button switch 233 momentarily to deenergize fail-safe relay coil 228 and to de-energize alarm signal 235 by opening contact 2281!. Then, contacts 228!) and 2282 return to their normal closed position to remake any necessary circuits to continue the operation of the machine from the new timer setting. This is the end of the machine-shut-down-and-alarm-circuit-sequence.

If condensate recovery is proceeding normally, the rate of flow of the condensed solvent will open switch contact 184a. Then, closing of test contact 209C momentarily will not affect the operation of the machine.

At the end of the timed solvent recovery period, drying is usually not complete and the solvent flow will normally maintain contact 184a open. Now, the machine enter the variable time solvent recovery period. At this time, timer motor 204 opens contact 2108 and closes contact 210C. Opening contact 2108 de-energizes and stops timer motor 204. Switch 184 controls the machines cycle during the variable time solvent recovery period. Hence, timer motor 204 is stopped until drying is complete and contact 184a closes in response to the decrease in solvent recovery flow to indicate that the clothes are substantially dry and that solvent recovery is substantially complete.

Closing contact 184a energizes timer motor 204 by forming a circuit from line L1 through line 230,'contact 228b, line 244, terminal T6, contact 184a, terminal T7, line 246, contact 2093, line 248, contact 210C, line 250,

timer motor 204 and line 254 to line L2. As timer motor resumes, heating coil 116 is de-energized and water throt condenser coil 102 is shut off since solvent recover complete. The clothes are deodorized by energizing St noid 110 and de-energizing solenoid 96 to allow damp 108 and 94, respectively, to open ports 114 and 100 exhausting air and vapor from housing 10 and drum 22 the clothes continue to be tumbled by energized tumbl motor 18.

To accomplish this, timer motor 204 opens conta 213C and 2158 and closes contacts 215C and 213B. Op ing contact 213C de-energizes and closes solenoid va 104 and de-energizes relay coil 118 to open norm: open contacts 118a and 1181) to de-energize heating 116. Opening contact 21513 de-energizes damper S( noid 96, and closing contact 215C energizes damper S( noid 110.

After two minutes of the deodorizing operation, cycle is completed and the machine is stopped. Nt timer motor 204 and tumbling motor 18 are de-energi; and stopped, door latch solenoid 140 is energized so t1 door 12 can be opened, and blower motor 92 is restar to exhaust any fumes from drum 22 during the unload and loading operations.

This is accomplished when timer motor 204 opens Ct tact 216B, closes contact 216C, opens contact 214C a closes contact 2148. Opening contact 2168 de-energi 'and stops timer motor 204, de-energizes motor 18 a stops the tumbling operation, and de-energizes dam solenoid 110 to close port 114 with damper 109 in full line position. Opening contact 214C de-energi blower motor 92.

Closing timer switch contact 2160 re-energizes re, 268 to close contact 268b to re-energize door latch sc noid 140, as described at the beginning of the cycle, retract bolt 136 from hasp 138 so that door 12 can opened. When door 12 is opened, switch 142 opens Ct tact l42b and closes contact 142a to re-energize blov motor 92 so that blower will suck air through a door opening and exhaust through open port a solvent fumes from within machine housing 10 during 1 clothes loading and unloading operation because solent 96 is de-energized at open contact 2163.

The machine has now completed a cycle, and is rea for reloading and restarting by insertion of coins in Ct box 202.

Safety features additional and desirable safety features.

These safety features, including use of test contact 209 operate on the assumption that at the conclusion of a dry cleaning cycle, the load should be dry and free solvent. This eliminates any health hazard to users of t machine by inhaling solvent fumes either from esca of solvent from the open door or from solvent still clothes after removal from the machine if the solvent a not completely removed because of an operating failt of some component essential to complete solvent recove; These safety features also operate on the assumption tl a reliable indication that the operation is progressing sat factorily to this end may be ascertained from the r: of solvent recovery condensate flow, the speed and te: perature of the air flow in duct 106, the temperature the water in condenser coil 102, and the speed of ro tion of drum 22. If the rate of condensate flow is sufficient to open pressure switch contact 184a when t1 contact 209C closes or if one of the last-mentioned spe or temperature indications occur, this serves as a warni that, at the close of the cycle, the load would be fou saturated with solvent. The fail-safe relay coil 228 energized in any of the manners mentioned hereafter a door 12 remains locked except by an attendant using :y, after he sees signal alarm 235. Even if the electricity lllS, deenergized door latch solenoid 140 will keep door 2 locked.

Since test contact 209C described heretofore checks te operation of the machine only momentarily and in nly one portion of the machine cycle, it is desirable to heck the operation of the machine more frequently so a to get safer operation. This is done by the circuits rovided by block H1.

Each safety feature will be first described as to how energizes fail-safe relay coil 228 and then all of the afety features will be described as they go into the iachine-shut-down-and-alarm-circuit-sequence earlier decribed. if test contact 209C does not energize fail-safe elay 228, solvent recovery must be proceeding at a tormal rate, switch contact 184a must be open, and switch ontact l84b must be closed. If at any time during olvent recovery the temperature of the water in conlenser coil 102 rises to an unsafe level or the temperature tf the air in conduit 106 rises to an unsafe level, it ndicates that the condensing action is not occurring proprly. These temperatures will respectively close contact l23a of switch 323 or contact 326a of switch 326.

Switch contact 323a closes in response to rise in water emperature in condenser coil 102 if water fails to flow hrough the condenser coil or if the temperature of the :ooling water is too high. Closing switch 323 energizes 'ail-safe relay coil 228 by forming a circuit from line ,1 through line 230, normally closed contact 228b, line 244, terminal T6, contact 184b, line 321, closed contact 3230, line 325, terminal T8, line 229, fail-safe relay coil 228, line 231 and switch 233 to line L2.

Switch contact 326a may close in response to rise in ill temperature for any of many reasons, including a )locked screen in the air flow path, excessive air leakage "rom conduit 106, etc. Switch contact 326a is set to :lose when a suitable upper air temperature limit, such is 110 F.-, is reached. Closing switch 326a forms a :ircuit from line Ll along the circuit just described except ihrough closed contact 326a and line 327 instead of ;hrough closed contact 323a and line 325.

If drum 22 fails to be rotated properly during the nachine cycle, the clothes may remain in a wad so as to be neither properly cleaned nor properly dried but nay be laden with solvent when door 12 is opened. To guard against this type of failure, the machine has a tumble speed sensing switch 330 such as a centrifugally actuated switch, designed to close contact 330a if shaft 14 is either stationary or rotating at a too low speed. Timer switch 207 operated by motor 204 has its contact 207C closed shortly after switch contact 216B is closed and is opened shortly before contact 216B is opened to monitor operation of tumble motor 18 by switch contact 216B. If switch contact 330a closes while switch contact 2070 is closed, the fail-safe relay coil 228 is energized by a circuit from line L1 to line 256 and then through terminal T10, line 256a, contact 207C, contact 330a, line 335, terminal T8, line 229, fail-safe relay coil 228, line 231, and closed switch 233 to line L2.

lf blower 90 does not operate properly during solvent recovery, the clothes will be inadequately dried and laden with solvent to cause an unsafe condition when door 12 is opened. To guard against this problem, air flow sensing switch 332 is provided. This switch is in series with contact 208C which is closed by motor 204 shortly after contact 2140 is closed and opened shortly before contact 214C is opened. If air flow does not exist or is below a predetermined minimum while switch contact 208C is closed, switch contact 332a will close to form a circuit along the same path as that for switch 330 except through closed switch contacts 208C and 332a instead of closed contacts 207C and 330a.

After fail-safe relay coil 228 is energized as above described, the earlier described machine-shut-down-andalarm-circuit-sequence occurs to shut down the machine.

After repair of the defect has been made, operation may be restored by following the steps earlier described in this aforementioned sequence to restore operation.

Multiple units Coin operated machines are preferably installed in multiples as shown in FIGURE 5. A single solvent storage and filtration system, including only one base tank 72, storage tank 36, filters 50 and 82, and pumps 44 and 76 is provided for a pair of cleaning machines M1 and M2, each machine having its own coin switch box 202 and controls as previously described.

As shown in FIGURE 6, a single base tank 72 is located beneath machines M1 and M2. Machine Ml incorporates separator 1248, which discharges into tank 72 through drain 1288, and conduit 663 which discharges into tank 72 through air trap 68B and lint trap 70B. Machine M2 incorporates separator 124C, which discharges into tank 72 through drain 128C and conduit 66C, which discharges into tank 72 through air trap 68C and lint trap 70C.

Since the two machines may be started at different times and may be at different parts of their respective cycles at any given time, it is important that solvent vapor not be transferred from one machine to the other. The provision of liquid traps 68B and 68C prevents such transfer without need for valves. The traps 68B and 68C, lint traps 70B and 70C, etc. correspond in structure and mode of operation to corresponding parts shown and described in FIGURE l.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. For use in dry cleaning apparatus including a receptacle for clothes and a circuit for recirculating dry cleaning solvent through said receptacle, solvent recovery and control apparatus in said circuit comprising: a vertically extending container with an inlet adjacent its upper end for receiving solvent from said receptacle and a bottom outlet for returning solvent to said receptacle, means in said container forming a trap for retaining liquid at a level between said outlet and said inlet, means forming a control chamber below said trap, means for conducting excess liquid from said trap into said control chamber, means forming a restricted passage connecting the bottom of said control chamber to said outlet whereby said liquid entering the control chamber from said trap passes to said outlet through said restricted passage thus providing a variable liquid level in said control chamber, the liquid in said control chamber exerting pressure on the gas above said liquid, said pressure being dependent on the relative rate of flow of liquid into and out of said chamber, and means responsive to the pressure in said control chamber for generating a signal to modify the operation of said dry cleaning apparatus.

2. The combination according to claim 1 together with a wall depending from the top of said container and extending downwardly below the level of the top of said trap to form with said container a water chamber, and means providing a water outlet from said trap.

3. For use in dry cleaning apparatus including a receptacle for clothes and a circuit for re-circulating a dry cleaning solvent through said receptacle; solvent recovery apparatus in said circuit comprising a cylindrical containerhaving an inlet adjacent its upper end for receiving solvent from said receptacle and an outlet positioned centrally of its lower end for returning solvent to said receptacle, a top cover plate removably closing the upper end of said container, a first tube rigid with said top cover plate and extending downwardly therefrom toward the bottom of said container, a second tube positioned within said first tube and extending from the bottom of said container upwardly within said first tube toward the top of said container, a plate carried by said second tube and dividing said container into an upper separating section and a lower control section, said second tube being in communication with said control chamber, a third tube positioned within said second tube and having its lower end in communication with said outlet and its upper end in communication with said separating chamber. an orifice connecting said control chamber to said outlet whereby solvent delivered to said container through said inlet will flow around the bottom of said first tube and over the top of said second tube into said control chamber to generate a variable pressure control signal in said control chamber and additional solvent will flow over the top of said third tube for passage to said outlet, and means responsive to said control signal to modify the operation of said dry cleaning apparatus.

4. For use in dry cleaning apparatus including a receptacle for clothes and a circuit for re-circulating a dry cleaning solvent through said receptacle; solvent recovery apparatus in said circuit comprising a vertically extending cylindrical container having a side inlet adjacent its upper end for receiving solvent from said reoeptacle, a bottom end plate for said container having a central outlet for returning solvent to said receptacle, a top cover plate removably closing the upper end of said container, a first tube rigid with said top cover plate and extending downwardly therefrom toward said bottom end plate, a second tube positioned within said first tube and having its lower end resting on said bottom end plate, a plate carried by said second tube and dividing said container into an upper separating section and a lower control section, the lower end of said second tube being in communication with said control chamber, a third tube positioned within said first and second tubes and having its lower end connected to said outlet and sealed from said control chamber and its upper end in communication with said separating chamber, and an orifice connecting said control chamber to said outlet whereby solvent delivered to said container through said inlet will flow around the bottom of said first tube and over the top of said second tube into said control chamher to generate a variable pressure control signal in said circuit including a storage tank: a conduit in said circt through which solvent flows from said housing into sa storage tank by gravity, the lower end of said condt being disposed above the normal liquid solvent level said storage tank, and a small receptacle in said stora; tank surrounding the lower end of said conduit, wherel liquid solvent from said conduit fills said receptacle at overflows into said tank, the body of fluid within sa receptacle forming a trap to prevent the escape of fum into said housing.

6. The combination according to claim 5 together wi a filter removably mounted in said storage tank and inte posed in the path of said solvent overflowing from sa receptacle into said storage tank.

7. In a dry cleaning apparatus including at least t dry cleaning machines, each having a housing containir a receptacle for clothes and a circuit for re-circulatir solvent through said receptacle, said circuits including common storage tank positioned below said housings, conduit in one of said circuits through which solve] flows from one of said housings into said tank by gravit a second conduit in the other circuit through whic solvent flows from the other housing into said tank b gravity, the lower ends of said conduits being dispose above the normal level of the solvent in said tank, an small receptacles in said tank surrounding the respecth lower ends of said conduits whereby solvent from sai conduits fills said receptacles and overflows into sai tank, the body of fluid in said receptacles forming a tra to prevent the escape of fumes from said storage tan into either of said housings.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 612,791 10/1898 Winkel 210-30 681,477 7/1901 Franke 210-30 1,290,820 1/1919 Winkel 210-300 I 2,310,680 2/1943 Dinley 34-7 2,539,407 1/1951 Dinley 34-7 2,729,961 1/1956 Shields 68-1 2,844,213 7/1958 Wilson 137-17 3,085,415 4/1963 Gosnell 68-1 3,103,112 9/1963 Behrens et a1. 68-1 3,110,544 11/1963 Moulthrop. 3,122,908 3/1964 Stanulis et al. 68-1 3,172,276 3/1965 Moore 68-18.2 1

WALTER A. SCHEEL, Primary Examiner. WILLIAM B, PENN, Examiner. WILLIAM I. PRICE, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3285038 *Nov 27, 1964Nov 15, 1966Ametek IncLaundry machines
US3323336 *May 7, 1965Jun 6, 1967Mc Graw Edison CoDrying system for dry cleaning apparatus
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US7739891Oct 1, 2004Jun 22, 2010Whirlpool CorporationFabric laundering apparatus adapted for using a select rinse fluid
US7837741Apr 12, 2005Nov 23, 2010Whirlpool CorporationDomestic treating of fabric articles with a working cyclosiloxane dry cleaning solvent to remove contaminants from the articles;the working cyclosiloxane solvent is contacted and mixed with a solidifying catalyst in case of an increased temperature event; very suitable for in-home use; safety
US7966684May 23, 2005Jun 28, 2011Whirlpool CorporationMethods and apparatus to accelerate the drying of aqueous working fluids
US8042285 *Aug 21, 2008Oct 25, 2011Miele & Cie. KgLaundry dryer with a holding device
US8262741Nov 19, 2008Sep 11, 2012Whirlpool CorporationNon-aqueous washing apparatus and method
US8615895 *Mar 3, 2011Dec 31, 2013Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Clothes dryer
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U.S. Classification68/18.00R, 210/114, 68/12.16, 68/12.8, 210/306, 137/172, 68/12.3, 68/27
International ClassificationD06F43/00, D06F43/08
Cooperative ClassificationD06F43/08
European ClassificationD06F43/08