Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3255606 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 14, 1966
Filing dateJan 13, 1964
Priority dateJan 13, 1964
Publication numberUS 3255606 A, US 3255606A, US-A-3255606, US3255606 A, US3255606A
InventorsHamner George F
Original AssigneeHamner George F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ice maker having a flexible freezing surface
US 3255606 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ICE MAKER HAVING A FLEXIBLE FREEZING SURFACE Filed Jan. 13, 1964 June 14, 1966 G. F. HAMMER 2 Sheets-Sheet l I INVENTOR. Geofge E Ham/1er M,

June 14, 1966 G, F, HAMMER 3,255,606

ICE MAKER HAVING A FLEXIBLE FREEZING SURFACE Filed Jan. 1s. 1964 2 sheets-sheet 2 l 3f 29 .al 48 M rZ z7 eng as L fffumww 337g sa :WENT-0K 7 e4 Geofge/-hbn/ner United States Patent O 3,255,606 ICE MAKER HAVING A FLEXIBLE FREEZING SURFACE George F. Hamner, 51 Cherokee Hills, Tuscaloosa, Ala. Filed Jan. 13, 1964, Ser. No. 337,236 13 Claims. (Cl. 62-179) This in'vention relates to a process and apparatus for producing ice and more particularly to such a process and apparatus which shall be adapted for automatic and sequential freezing of ice masses on deformable surfaces and then separating and breaking the ice into fragments upon deformation of the supporting surface.

Another object of my invention is to provide a process and apparatus for producing aked or chipped ice or flakes of other similar frozen or congealed materials of comparable properties.

Another object of my invention is to provide a process and apparatus for producing ice of the character designated which is positive in operation and requires a minimum of moving parts.

A more specific object of my invention is to provide.

a process and apparatus for producing ice of the character designated in which the refrigerant or cooling medium is in direct contact with a deformable freezing surface, thereby materially increasing the efficiency of the apparatus.

A further object of my invention is to provide apparatus for producing ice of the character designated which shall be simple of construction, economical of manufacture and one which may be operated without the use of motors and other rotary parts adjacent the freezing unit. l

Briey, my improved process comprises supplying a cooling medium to one surface of a hollow member having corrugations therein. Water is applied to the other surface of the hollow member whereby it is frozen thereon. The shapes of the corrugations on the hollow member are then changed whereby the ice is separated from l the hollow member.

Apparatus embodying features of my invention is illustrated in` the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this application, in which:

FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view through an ice making machine embodying my invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmental sectional view taken generally along the line 2 2 of FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view through the ice forming unit;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken generally along line 4 4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view, partly broken away and in section, showing a modied form of my invention;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a View taken generally .along the line 7-7 of FIG. 5 and drawn to a smaller scale; and,

vFIG. 8 is a diagrammatic view showing a modified form ofmy invention.

Referringnow to the drawings for a better understanding of my invention, I show an ice making machine generally at 10 which is provided with a reservoir 11 for receiving the ice indicated at 12. The ice receptacle 11 is provided with a sliding door 13 whereby the ice may be removed therefrom.' A'suitable compartment 14 is provided adjacent the lower portion of the ice ICC The ice making unit is mounted adjacent the upper portion of the ice machine 10, as shown in FIG. l, and comprises an elongated hollow support member 19 which is secured adjacent one endl thereof to a disc member 21 which in turn is secured to a stationary wall 22 by suitable means, such as bolts 23. One end of the hollow support member 19 is thus closed by the disc member 21. The other or free end of the hollow support member 19 is closed by a closure member 24, as shown in FIG. 3. Refrigerant is supplied to the interior of the hollow support member 19 by a conduit 26 which communicates with the refrigerant receiving tank 18. The conduit 26 is supported within the hollow member 19 by suitable transverse members 27 having passageways 28 therethrough whereby the refrigerant is adapted to move from one end of the hollow support member 19 to the other end thereof.

Surrounding the elongated hollow support member 19 is a corrugated member 29 having a plurality of corrugations 31 therein, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The corrugations 3'1 extend generally transversely of the longitudinal axis of the hollow member 19. However, it will be apparent that the corrugations could extend in other directions, such as in spiral paths about 'the hollow support member 19. While I have shown the corrugat'ions as being uniform in size and shape it will be apparent that they may be of various shapes and sizes, so long as they do not prevent removal of the ice therefrom. The end of the corrugated member 29 adjacent the disc member 21 is anchored in place by a suitable ange 32 whereby a fluid-tight joint is provided. The other or free end of the corrugated member 29 is sealed by a closure member 33.

A plurality of passageways 34 are provided through" the hollow support member 19 whereby the refrigerant or cooling medium within the hollow member 19 passes into the chambers defined between the corrugations 31 and the outer surface of the hollow member 19. The corrugated member 29 engages the outer surface of the hollow support member 19 with a sliding t whereby the free end thereof carrying the closure member 33 is adapted to move outwardly to thus extend the corrugated member. Preferably, the elongated hollow support member 19 and the corrugated member 29 are both generally cylindrical in shape, as shown in FllG. 4.

Communicating with the hollow member 19 adjacent the dis'c member 21 is a suction line 36 which communicates with the accumulator 37 which is adapted to receive any liquid which is carried over with the gases exhausted from the freezing unit. The accumulator 37 communicates with the low pressure side of the compressor 16 by a conduit 38 whereby the gases are compressed and recycled in a manner well understood in the art. It will be'noted that the discharge end of the conduit 26 is at the opposite end of the hollow member 19 from the line 36.

To move the free end of the corrugated member 29 outwardly to extend the corrugations 31, I introduce refrigerant discharge gas through a conduit 39 into the space denedbetween the-closure member 24 and the closure member 33. As shown in FIG. 3,' the closure member 24 is provided with an outwardly projecting annular flange 41 which holds the closure member 33 slightly spaced from the closure member 24. Also, the outer or free end of the corrugated member 29 is provided with a generally cylindrical portion 42 'which is adapted to slide relative to the outer surface of the hollow member 19 and thus form a Huid-tight seal therewith. Fluid is introduced into the conduit 39 periodically at timed intervals by means of a solenoid control valve indicated generally at 43. The solenoid of the valve 43 is operatively connected to a suitable timing device 44 by electrical leads 46. To return the closure member 33 to its original position against the annular flange 41, a compression spring 47 is interposed between the closure member 33 and a stationary support member 48 which is carried by the ice making machine 10. Preferably, an annular flange 49 is provided on the face of the member 48 to retain the spring 47 in proper position at all times. Small passageways 35 are provided in the closure member 24 for returning uid to the hollow member 19 upon inward movement of the closure member 33.

The flow -of liquid refrigerant into the hollow member 19 is controlled by a suitable control valve 51 which is operatively connected yby a line 50 to a suitable temperature sensing means 52, which in turn is connected to Ithe return suction line 36. In view of the fact that the control valve 51 is a conventional component for controlling the ow of refrigerant from a high pressure area to a low pressure area, no further description thereof is deemed necessary. That is, the metering device is employed in a conventional manner to provide :a maximum of refrigerant liquid within the freezing unit and at the same time prevent the passage of liquid through the conduit 36 to Ithe accumulator 37. Several conventional means, such as capillary refrigerant ow controllers, floats, and the like, may be employed to control the flow of refrigerant through line 26 to the ice making unit.

Water is sprayed onto the exterio-r surface of the corrugated member 29 by suit-able means such as longitudinally extending spray heads 53 which in turn communicate with a control valve 54. Water is supplied to the control valve 54 from a supply tank 56 by a conduit 57 having a pump 58 therein. Water is supplied to the supply tank 56 by a `suitable conduit 59 having a level control valve 59a therein. The control valve 54 is connected to the timing device 44 by suitable electrical leads 61 whereby water is spr-ayed onto the corrugated member 29 fat timed intervals and prior to actuation of the solenoid control valve 43.

A downwardly inclined screen 62 is provided beneath the freezing unit, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, whereby the ice 12 is deflected downwardly into the receiving chamber 11i. Any water' which falls on the screen passes downwardly into the water supply tank 56.

From the foregoing description, `the operation of the apparatus shown in FIGS. 1-4 will 4be readily understood. The timing mechanism 44 is set whereby water is sprayed onto the exterior surface of the corrugated mem-ber 29 for a predetermined length of time. That is, the timing device is so set that the water is sprayed onto the corrugated member 29 until a predetermined thickness of ice is obtained thereon. The control valve 54 is then actuated whereby the supply of water through the spray heads 53 is cut off. Immediately upon cutting off the spray heads 53, the ice thus formed is sub-cooled whereby it tends to expand and crack. Accordingly, by providing a generally cylindrical corrugated member 29, the subcooled Aice tends to expand and leave the surface. At this point, the timing mechanism 44 actuates the control valve 43 whereby fluid under pressure is introduced through the conduit 39 into the yspace defined between the closure members 24 :and 33, thus forcing the closure member 33 outwardly. It will be apparent that the refrigerant liquid from the receiving tank 18 could be employed in conduit 39, instead of the refrigerant discharge gas, to move the closure member 33. The corrugated member 29 is thus extended whereby the shapes of the corrugations 31 are changed to thereby cause separation of the ice from the corrugated member. After a predetermined length of time, the timing device 44 closes the solenoid actuated valve 43 whereupon the compression spring 47 urges the closure member 33 toward the closure member 24. The fluid located between the closure members 24 and 33 is then forced inwardly of the hollow member 19 through the relatively small passageways 35..y

After the closure member 33 returns to its original position against -the -annular flange 41, the timing mechanism 44 again actuates the control valve 54 whereupon the water is again sprayed upon the corrugated member 29 to commence another cycle of operation of the apparatus. It will be understood that the temperature of the cooling medium adjacent the inner surface of the corrugated member 29 is low enough to freeze the water applied to the corrugated member..

Referring now to FIGS. 5-7, I show a modified form of my invention in which an elongated support member 19a' is mounted adjacent one end thereof to a disc member 21a which in turn is secured to a stationdary part of the ice machine, as described hereinabove. Positioned within the hollow support member 19a inwardly of the ends thereof, as shown in FIG. 5, are transverse partition members 27a. The refrigerant or cooling medium is supplied to the hollow member 19a forwardly of. the forwardmost partition member 27a by a conduit 268 Surrounding the hollow support member 19a is a corrugated member 298' having corrugations 31a. The end of the corrugated member 29 adjacent the disc member 21a is anchored in place `by an inturned flange 32a. The opposite end of the corrugated member 29a is provided with a cylindrical portion 42EL which is adapted to slidably engage the exterior surface of the hollow member 19"#L to form a seal therewith. The end of the corrugated member 29a is closed by a closure member 33a. Extending longitudinally of the outer surface of the hollow member 19a are a series `of angularly spaced passageways or grooves 34a. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, a plurality of angularly spaced openings 34b are provided in the hollow member 19a forwardly of the forwardmost partition member 27a whereby the refrigerant or cooling medium is introduced into the longitudinally extending gro-oves 34a to thereby fill the space between the outer surface of the hollow member 19'f1 and the inner surface of the corrugated member 29BJ with the cooling medium. The cooling medium thus passes through the longitudinally extending grooves 34a whereupon it enters the hollow member 19a through a series of angul-arly spaced openings 34c provided inwardly of the innermost partition member 27a adjacent the disc-like member 21a. Accordingly, the cooling medium is circulated continuously adjacent the inner surface of the corrugated mem- -ber 29a. A compression spring 478l is interposed hetween the closure member 33a and a stationary member 48a, as shown in FIG. 5, whereby the free end of the corrugated member 29a is urged inwardly toward the disclike member 21a.. The refrigerant gases are discharged through a conduit 36al into a suitable accumulator, such as accumulator 37 described hereinabove. l

The corrugated member 29EL is ex-tended by la mechanically operated unit indicated generally at 63. That is, instead of employing uid under pressure to urge the free end of the corrugated member 29 outwardly to extend the corrugations 31a, a mechanical unit may be employed. The unit 63 comprises a yoke member 64 which is pivotally connected to opposite sides of the cylindrical .portion 42ad lby suitable lpivot pins 66. The yoke member 66 is provided with an outwardly extending arm 67 which is pivotally connected by a pivot pin 68 to a support bracket 69. The upper end of the arm 67 `is actuated by `a cam member 71 which is mounted on a suitable shaft 72.

The shaft 72 is rotated by suitable means which is operatively connected to the timing mechanism 44 described hereinabove whereby the corrugated member 298' is extended after the ice is formed thereon, as described hereinabove. It will be apparent that the freezing unit disclosed in FIGS. 5 and 6 may be actuated by fluid under pressure in the same manner Ias the freezing unit shown in FIGS. 1-4. Also, other suitable means may be employed to move the free end of the corrugated member 31a outwardly to thus extend the corrugations 31B whereby the shapes thereof are changed to separate the ic thus formed from the corrugated member.

While I have shown the ice making unit, including the corrugated member 29, as extending in a horizontal plane, it will be apparent that it could extend in a vertical plane or in any other desired direction. v

While I have shown the solenoid ac-tuated valve 43 as being actuated by the timing mechanism 44, it will be apparent that a suitable pressure switch may also be associated therewith so as to open the valve 43 upon a predetermined decrease in pressure within lthe conduit 38 which is connected to the suction side of the compressor 16. This embodiment of my invention is shown in FIG. 8. The pressure switch indicated generally at 73 communicates with the suction -line 38 by a conduit 74 whereby the differential within the line 38 actuates the pressure switch. Current is supplied to one side of theswitch 73 lby a lead 76. The other side of the switch 73 is provided with two spaced apart cont-act points 77 and 78. The contact point 77 is adapted to engage a contact point 79 which lis connected by a lead 82 to one side of vactuated valve 43 by a line 86. A-suitable spring 85 is p-rovided in the lswitch unit 73 for moving the contact points 77 -and 78 in response to a decrease in pressure Within the conduit 74.

In FIG. 8, I show the ice making unit as extending in a vertical plane rather than in a horizontal plane. That is, the corrugated member 29 extends in a vertical direction whereby it -is supported from the upper end thereof. The lower end lof the corrugated member 29 is yadapted to engage the stationary support member 48 as described hereinabove whereby the corrugated member 29 cannot be extended beyond a predetermined point.

The Water supply conduit 57 communicates with annular spray heads 87 which are spaced from each other, as shown in FIG. 8, whereby the water is sprayed at longitudinally spa-ced intervals along the corrugated member29.

In the operation of the apparatus shown in FIG. 8, the refrigerant liquid is supplied to the ice making unit through the conduit 26. In this embodiment of the invention, the control means 51 is in the form of a capillary tube. With the switch 73 in the position shown in FIG. 8, t-he contact points 77 and 79 are in contact with each other whereby current is supplied to the motor 81 to propel the pump 58. Accordingly, water is sprayed onto the exterior surface of the corrugated member 29 whereupon it is tfrozen. As the water freezes, and the temperature in the freezing unit is lowered, the pressure within the suction line 38 is decreased due to the continuous operation of the compressor 16 whereupon the spring 85 moves the contact point 77 out of engagement with the contact point 79, thus deenergizing the motor 81 and the pump 58. As the temperature decreases lfurther the ice is sub-cooled and the pressure in the conduit 74 decreases further, whereby the Contact point 78 engages the contact point 83 whereupon the solenoidactuated valve 43 is energized to thus introduce gas through the conduit 39 into the chamber defined between the closure members 24 and 33, as described hereinabove.

6 Accordingly, the corrugated member 29 is expanded to thus remove the ice therefrom.

Immediately upon introduction of the gas through the conduit 39 into the space between the closure members 24 4and 33, the gas bleeds :through the passageways 35 into the hollow member 19 whereupon the gas flows through the conduit 36 to the `suction line 38 to the compressor 16 to thereby increase the pressure in the conduit 74. This increase in the pressure in conduit 74 'causes the switch lelement 73 to be actuated whereby the contact 78 leaves the contact 83 to thereby deenergize the solenoid valve 43 and close the contacts 77-79 to thereby complete the circuit to the pump motor 81.. The cycle of operation is thus started again.

From the rforegoing, it will be seen that I have devised an improved Iprocess and apparatus for making ice. By providing an extensible member having corrugations therein, together with means for forming the ice on the corru-gations and then extending the extensible member, I provide an ice making unit which is trouble-free in operation and onewhich requires no rotatin-gparts in the vicinity -of-the yfreezing unit. Also, by changing the shapes of the corrugations immediately after the ice is su-b4cooled, the ice -is removed with a minimum of effort and with a of required power. Furthermore, by providing ice :making apparatus which automatically operates to repeat the cycle of operation, the apparatus is adapted to produce ice continuously while at the same time the cooling medium is in direct Contact with the surface on which the ice is formed.

While I have shown my invention in several forms, it will ibe obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but is susceptible of various other changesand modifications without departing from the spirit thereof and I desi-re, therefore, that only such limitations shall be placed thereupon as are specifically set forth in the appended claims.

Wh-at I claim is:

1. Apparatus for producing ice comprising:

(fa) an elongated support member,

(b) an elongated, corrugated member surrounding said support member and 'adapted for longitudinal sliding movement relative thereto to dene chambers therebetween for receiving a cooling medium,

(c) means to supply a cooling medium to said chambers adjacent the inner .surface of said corrugated member,

(d) means to apply water t-o the outer surface of said corrugated member for predetermined timed interv-als whereby it is frozen thereon and immediately upon termination of each of said timed intervals the ice is sub-cooled, and

(e) means to change the effective length of said corrngated member immediately upon termination of each of said timed intervals whereby it moves relative to said support member to change the shapes olf the corrugations in said corrugated member and thereby remove the sub-cooled ice from said corrugated member.

2. Apparatus for producing ice as defined in claim 1 in which the means to change the eiective length of said corrugated member comprises:

(a) a first closure member for one end of said corrugated member,

(b) a second closure member for said elongated support member adjacent said first closure member, and

(c) means to introduce fluid under pressure between said iirst closure member and said second closure member whereby said first closure member moves relative to said second closure member t-o extend said corrugated member. A

3. Apparatus for producing -ice as defined in claimV 1 in which a plurality of passageways are provided through said elongated support member in position to introduce the cooling medium adjacent the inner surface of said corrugated member.

4. Apparatus for producing ice as defined in claim 1 in which the cooling medium is supplied adjacent the inner surface of said corrugated member by a plurality of passagew-ays extending longitudinally of the outer surface of said support member.

5. Apparatus for producing ice as defined in claim 1 in which the means to applywater to the outer surface of the corrugated member operates alternately with the means to change the effective length of the corrugated member whereby the rapparatus operates -continuously for cyclic production of ice.

6. Apparatus for producing ice comprising:

(a) an elongated hollow support member,

(b) a first closure member adjacent one end of said hollow support member,

(c) a second closure member adjacent the other end of said hollow support member,

(d) an elongated corrugated `member surrounding said hollow support member and adapted for longitudinal sliding move-ment relative thereto to define chambers therebetween for receiving a cooling medium,

(e) means to supply a cooling medium to said chambers adjacent the inner surface of said corrugated member,

(f) means to supply water to the outer surface of said corrugated member for predetermined timed intervals whereby it is frozen thereon and immediately upon termination of each of said timed intervals the ice iis sub-cooled,

(g) means to anchor one end of said corrugated member against longitudinal movement relative to said support memfber, and

(h) means to move the other end of said corrugated member relative to said support member immediately upon termination of each of said timed intervals whereby the `shape of the corrugations thereon are changed to separate the sub-cooled ice formed thereon from 'said corrugated member.

7. Apparatus for lproducing ice -as defined in claim 6 in which said other end of the corrugated member is moved `outwardly after ice is formed on said corrugated member to extend said corrugated member and remove ice therefrom and spring means iis operatively connected to said other end `of the corrugated member to urge it inwardly after the ice is removed.

8. Apparatus for producing ice as defined in claim 6 in which a third closure member is carried by sai-d other end of the corrugated member adjacent said secondv closure member, and means is provided to introduce fluid under pressure between said second closure member and said third closure member.

9. Apparatus for producing ice as defined in claim 8 in which a compression spring is interposed between said third closure member and a stationary support whereby said third yclosure member is urged inwardly.

10. Apparatus forv producing ice as defined inv claim 9 in which relatively small passageways extend through said second closure member to `communicate said hollow support member with the space between said second closure `member and said third closure member, whereby fluid passes from said space into said hollow support member as said third closure member is urged toward said second closure member by said spring.

11. Apparatus for producing ice as defined in claim 8 in which stop means is mounted outwardly of said third closure member in position to engage and limit outward movement of said other end of the corrugated member.

12. Apparatus rfor producing ice as defined in claim 6 in which the means to apply water to the outer surface of the corrugated member comprises at least one spray head `extending longitudinally of said corrugated member.

13. Apparatus for producing ice as defined in claim 6 in which said means to supply water and said means tol move the other end of said corrugated member are operatively lconnected to a pressure actuated switch which is operatively connected to Iand is actuated in response to variations in pressure in said means to supply a cooling medium.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,451,901 4/1923 Field 62-72 1,878,759 9/1932 Copeman 62-72 2,190,280 2/1940 Banigan et al. 62-72 X 2,582,250 1/ 1952 Hershberg `et al 62-72 X 2,613,511 10/1952 Walsh 62-72 2,683,359 7/1954 Green 62-72 X ROBERT A. OLEARY, Pri-mary Examiner.

W. E. WAYNER, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1451901 *Jul 30, 1918Apr 17, 1923Chemical Machinery CorpApparatus for transferring heat
US1878759 *Aug 18, 1930Sep 20, 1932Copeman Lab CoMethod and apparatus for freezing liquids
US2190280 *Feb 11, 1938Feb 13, 1940Du PontRecovery of glauber's salt
US2582250 *Oct 6, 1947Jan 15, 1952Schering CorpCondenser and method of condensing
US2613511 *Apr 14, 1948Oct 14, 1952Flakice CorpIce-making machine
US2683359 *Aug 25, 1950Jul 13, 1954Francis Wm TaylorIce-making method and apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3318106 *Oct 29, 1965May 9, 1967Litman Alan LBellows type liquid solidifying apparatus
US3404543 *Feb 16, 1967Oct 8, 1968Vernon J. DiblickFlexible bellows ice maker
US3470709 *Nov 22, 1967Oct 7, 1969Sanyo Electric CoIce cube making apparatus
US5297731 *Dec 24, 1990Mar 29, 1994Alfio BucceriSnow making apparatus
US6582124Mar 14, 2001Jun 24, 2003California Innovations Inc.Insulated container and liner
US20030198408 *Jun 5, 2003Oct 23, 2003California Innovations Inc.Insulated container and liner
USRE34210 *May 3, 1989Apr 6, 1993 Linear release ice machine and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/179, 62/353, 62/72
International ClassificationF25C5/06, F25C5/00, F25C1/12
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/125, F25C5/06
European ClassificationF25C5/06, F25C1/12B