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Publication numberUS3269606 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 30, 1966
Filing dateMar 3, 1964
Priority dateMar 3, 1964
Publication numberUS 3269606 A, US 3269606A, US-A-3269606, US3269606 A, US3269606A
InventorsAlfred Armstrong
Original AssigneeCrathco Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Liquid chiller and dispenser
US 3269606 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 30, 1966 A. ARMSTRONG 3,259,605

LIQUID CHILLER AND DISPENSER Filed March 5, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 I I4 K I INVENTOR- |6 52 ALFRED ARMSTRONG fl%,7 m 3 Wm ATTORNFYS Aug. 30, 1966 A. ARMSTRONG LIQUID CHILLER AND, DISPENSER 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 5, 1964 INVENTOR.

ALFRED ARMSTRONG flzmdwa 2 WM ATTORNEYS Aug. 30, 1966 A. ARMSTRONG LIQUID CHILLER AND DISPENSER 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 5, 1964 INVENTOR.

ALFRED ARMSTRONG ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,269,606 LIQUID CHILLER AND DISPENSER Alfred Armstrong, Norwood, Mass., assignor to Crathco, Inc., Canton, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Mar. 3, 1964, Ser. No. 348,937 16 Claims. (Cl. 222146) The present invention relates to improvements in the conditioning, storage and dispensing of liquids and, in one particular aspect, to novel and improved apparatus of uncomplicated construction which efliciently chills and dispenses liquids and which may be easily maintained and used.

Beverage dispensers are known in a variety of forms lending themselves to attractive counter-top display of their contents for merchandising to customers in stores, restaurants, soda fountains, and the like. Self-contained apparatus of this type which is employed for the vending of cool beverages commonly incorporates an electricallypowered miniaturized refrigeration system which chills the continuously-circulated contents of an exposed transparent storage tank. It has been found particularly effective, both from aerating and aesthetic standpoints, to develop a continuous fountain-like spray of the stored liquid Within the dispenser tank, and the necessary pumping for this purpose has been advantageously induced by an impeller magnetically coupled with an electric drive motor which remains mechanically isolated from the stored liquid.

Efiiciency of cooling has required that relatively large heat-exchange areas be in contact with the liquid, and, in the past, the exposed or jacketed refrigerating coils have occupied undesirably large volumes in the storage tanks, have cooled with diminished efficiency when stored liquid level became low, and have complicated cleaning operations. Another difficulty has been that of avoiding stagnation areas where liquid might not be well circulated, and where certain amounts of the liquid, particularly those within a tap site, may not be fully chilled when dispensed to the consumer. In the latter connection, prior efforts have been directed to the high-velocity circulation of cooled liquid through the tap mechanisms, for example, although this approach involves complex valving and circulation structure, and tends to develop unwanted high liquid velocities and pressures at the tap. Disadvantages of the aforesaid character are overcome in accordance with the present teachings by chilling and recirculating the stored beverage through use of a simple and yet highly eificient and compact unit which simultaneously functions to cool and pump the beverage, and which is confined to the very bottom of the storage tank where it occupies little space and ope-rates efliciently upon whatever volume of beverage is present. In cooperation with this assembly, an improved form of gravityactuated lift valve of low-cost construction serves to release from circulated storage only such amounts of the beverage as are intended to be dispensed and, in addition, is automatically maintained well cooled throughout.

It is one of the objects of the present invention, therefore, to provide novel and improved liquid conditioning and dispensing apparatus of economical uncomplicated construction possessing mechanical niceties promoting etficient circulation of stored liquid and facilitating maintenance and sterilizing.

Another object is to provide improved beverage dispensers wherein unique and efficient pumping and heatexchange effects are developed simultaneously by mechanisms which occupy little space, are readily accessible for periodic cleaning, and operate very effectively on small as well as large volumes of stored beverage.

A further object is to provide a novel chilled beverage dispenser of simple form wherein efliciently cooled and "ice circulated beverage is continuously available for precise dispensing.

Still further, it is an object to provide improved cooling and pumping in small self-contained beverage display and dispensing apparatus of relatively high storage capacity which well lends itself to dismantling and re-assembly for cleaning and maintenance purposes, and in which improved gravity-actuated valving promotes non-drip and non-splashing cold dispensing of beverages.

By way of a summary account of practice of this invention in one of its aspects, a stand incorporating a common type of miniature refrigeration system is provided near its top surface with a recessed horizontal and generally circular metal cooling plate of magnetically permeable material below which refrigeration tubing is coiled in intimate heat-exchange contact. A motorized magnetic clutch element is rotated at high speed below and centrally of the cooling plate and, in turn, through magnetic coupling, rotates a spindle-mounted centrifugal impeller which is collinearly disposed on the opposite side of the plate. Atop the plate, and in coaxially surrounding relationship to the impeller, there is fitted a shallow spirallyribbed annular pump plate, the ribbing of which abuts the cooling plate to develop a substantially closed multiturn spiral flow channel about the impeller; the spiral channelling thus formed has an upwardly-extending outlet through the pump plate near its outer periphery, and a separable vertical spray tube extends upwardly from the outlet to carry discharged liquid to a higher level. Liquid admitted to the impeller from above near the center of the pump plate is thus rotated at a high angular velocity and is caused to flow through the spiral channel, where it is brought into lengthy heat-exchange communication with the cooling plate and where its linear velocity is materially increased upon its travel radially outward from the site of the impeller. Ejection from the spray tube may thus occur with substantial force. An open-topped transparent plastic bowl of generally rectangular outline and having a circular rimmed opening through its base is set into and is mated in sealed relationship with the upper recess in the stand; the upstanding spray tube extends above the level of this bowl, into close proximity with a removable convex bowl cover. At its forward end, which over-hangs the support stand housing the refrigeration system, and which is separate from the rimmed opening, the bowl exhibits a further opening in its base, and a vertically slidable lift valve member is there supported in a guide bushing which provides a valve seat for a circular seal on the valve member. The lower outlet end of the valve member is tubular and merges with liquidadmitting openings just below the circular seal, while the upper end of the same member is in the form of a largearea mass which gravitationally depresses the valve member and is also immersed in and thus in a heat-exchange relations-hip with the beverage in the bowl. A valveoperating lever is disposed for actuation by the positioning of a beverage cup below the tubular valve outlet.

Although the aspects of this invention which are believed to be novel are set forth in the appended claims, additional details as to preferred practices of the invention and as to the further objects, advantages and features thereof may be most readily comprehended through reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a pictorial representation of a twin-bowl beverage conditioner and dispenser of the type in which the present teachings are exploited to particular advantage;

FIGURE 2 provides a cross-sectioned side view of the forward portion of 'a beverage storage tank in which the invention is practiced;

FIGURE 3 is a partly cross-sectioned side view of a combined heat-exchanger and pump assembly in association with fragments of the bowl and stand mechanisms of the apparatus shown in FIGURES l and 2;

FIGURE 4 illustrates the spirally-ribbed pump plate of the assembly in FIGURE 3, viewed from below;

FIGURE 5 is an exploded view of elements of the pump and heat-exchanger assembly portrayed in FIG- URE 3; and

FIGURE 6 is an exploded view of the tap valve appearing in the FIGURE 1 and 2 illustrations.

The liquid cooler and dispenser apparatus depicted in FIGURE 1 is of a relatively small and lightweight form intended for attractive counter-top display and service of chilled juices, syrup drinks, or other beverages. Aesthetic appeal which aids in merchandising of such beverages is promoted through use of transparent or translucent storage tanks, such as the twin plastic bowls 7 and 8, which expose their continuously-circulated liquid or liquid-solids contents, 9 and 10, to customer view. Removable plastic covers, 7a and 8a, for these storage bowls protect their contents and provide access for refilling and cleaning purposes; in the illustrated construction, these covers also serve to deflect upwardly-sprayed recirculated liquid forcefully discharged from the tops of vertical spray tubes 11 and 12 which project above the highest possible levels of liquid contained within the storage bowls. As is described later herein, the bowl and cover structures are of configurations promoting substantially continuous flow of the circulated liquid across their internal surfaces, without involving pressuretight seals, such that solids contents are continuously washed back into the stored reservoirs of liquid and unwanted surface deposits are avoided. Both tanks are of generally rectangular outline and are fitted atop a supporting enclosed stand, 13, with their forward ends 7b and 8b slightly overhanging the front 13a of the enclosure to afford unobstructed access, from below, to the tap valve outlets, 14 and 15, respectively, in their bases. These valves are of a gravity-actuated type which involve masses 14a and 15a disposed within the stored liquids for chilling purposes, and beverage is dispensed automatically and without appreciable after-drip when beverage containers are pressed lightly against the depending dispensing levers 16 and 17, respectively. Removable tray 18 conveniently collects any beverage overflow, and side louvers 19 in the enclosure permit eflicient circulation of air needed for efficient operation of a conventional type of miniaturized refrigeration system (not shown) housed within enclosure 13.

The bowl 7, and its cover 7a, are preferably fitted together without involving the use of auxiilary seals. For this purpose, the upper edge 70 of bowl 7 is simply formed to lie in one horizontal plane, and the depending flange 7d of cover 7a overhangs this edge, all as shown in FIGURE 2. Inwardly of edge 70 and flange 7d, the cover 7a possesses a downwardly-directed inner rim 72, which is laterally spaced from and extends sufliciently below the level of bowl edge 70 to avoid the possibility of leakage from the joint between the cover and bowl as the recirculated beverage courses downwardly along the inner surfaces 7 of the cover after being ejected upwardly against the top inner surfaces 7g from the spray tube 11 (FIGURE 1). Instead, the recirculated beverage drips either directly into the reservoir 9 from the bottom of rim 7e, if the bowl 7 is nearly full, or, alternatively, drips onto and thus continuously washes the inwardly- ;loping walls 7h of the bowl when the latter is not nearly Base 7i of bowl 7 is substantially flat, except that the large circular opening 7j therein is surrounded by a short downwardly-extending cylindrical rim 7k, which is intended to be mated within the upper recess of the stand where the cooling plate and shallow spiralled pumping assembly are disposed. A deformable sealing ring 20, preferably of substantially D-shaped 'cross-section, is-

tightly fitted about rim 7k. Forwardly of this, a second, smaller base opening 21 is occupied by the valve seat bushing 22 and by part of the mated lift valve member 14. Upper cylindrical recess 23 in the enclosed stand 13 is designated in FIGURE 3, where the rimmed opening in the base of bowl 7 is mated and sealed with it, and where elements of the improved chilling and pumping mecha nisms are shown in assembled relationship. Gasket 20 is preferably thick and formed of a low-durometer material, such as soft rubber, which permits it to be somewhat compressed radially and thus sealed tightly against the inner substantially cylindrical surface 24 projecting upwardly around the periphery of the generally flat and circular cooling plate 25. The D-shaped cross-section of this gasket, which is evident in the drawings, is advantageous in that it inhibits rolling and twisting of the gasket as the bowl is fitted into place on the stand by bowl manipulations involving both downward thrusts and angular oscillations. Before the bowl is so fitted, the gasket 20 is first stretched slightly and affixed dry to the dry outside of the bowl rim 7k, being originally of slightly smaller inner diameter than the outer diameter of that rim so that a tight, leakproof, and non-slipping fit will be produced between the gasket and bowl rim. Subsequently, the outside of the gasket and the interior surface 24 of the stand recess are wet with water or other non-toxic and noncontaminating liquid, to provide both lubrication and improved sealing when these surfaces are mated. The outer diameter of stretched gasket 20 is somewhat larger than the diameter of surface 24, thus insuring that essentially pure radial compresson of the soft gasket will develop tight sealing between it and surface 24.

Metal cooling plate 25 is recessed downwardly from the metal-sheathed upper surfaces of the sturdy top 26 of the enclosure 13, and it is nested with a plasti member 27 which both provides certain reinforcements and aids in enclosing and isolating the refrigeration coils 28. The latter coils are wound in a flat annular spiral array, and are soldered to the under side of cooling plate 25 to develop an optimum heat-exchange relationship with it. Centrally, the plate 25 and nested member 27 are in abutting relationship, but an annular space 29 housing the coils is formed between them at further radial distances from a central axis 3030. A foamed insulating plastic, such as an expanded polyurethane foam 31, fills the voids within the annular space 29, thereby strengthening and improving the thermal characteristics of the assembly. Fabrication of the large cylindriea'lly-rimmed thin circular cooling plate as a strong large-area fiat member is aided by the inclusion of an annular depression 32 or, alternatively, a raised annular ridge, inwardly of the annular site where the refrigeration coils are located. In the usual manner, a refrigerant is passed through coils 28, which are part of a conventional type of refrigeration system contained within the enclosed bowl stand 13. Within the same stand there is also mounted an electric motor 33 which rotates a magnetized clutch member 34 about axis 3030 and below the cooling plate 25 and the cooperating plastic member 27. The magnetic field from clutch member 34 penetrates the magnetically permeable and substantially non-conductive (electrically) material, such as stainless steel, of which the cooling plate is formed, and interacts with the magnetic or magnetized core material 35 embedded within the relatively small plastic impeller 36 located above the cooling plate. In turn, this magnetic interaction causes high-speed rotation of the impeller on a bearing sleeve 37 about the upstanding stationary central stud 38 aflixed to the center of plate 25. Centrifugal impeller 36 carries an array of blades or vanes 39 at the top, where stored beverage from above may be received and spun to assume high angular and radial components of velocity about axis 30-30.

Substantially all of the liquid acted upon by the centrifugal impeller is constrained to travel at high speed in a highly elongated spiral path in proximity with the cool ing plate 25. This has two important results: first, the pumped liquid has advantageously prolonged and highspeed contact with all cold parts of the cooling plate, so that thorough chilling is insured; and, second, the pumped liquid reaches a desirably high linear velocity before it is returned to the reservoir. Both of these effects are promoted by the separable pump member 40 which is closed at its top 40a, except for a central fluid-admitting opening 41 (FIGURE 5) and a peripheral fluid outlet 42, and which includes integral depending vertical ribbing 40b in spiral form of more than one turn. Spiral ribbing 40b commences near the central impeller and terminates near the periphery of pump member 40, at an outwardly-turned end 400 near the outlet 42. Vertical depth of the spiral channel 43 formed between turns of ribbing 40b is generally about the same as the depth of the shallow cylin drical recess above cooling plate 25; the channel is closed at the top by part 40a and substantially closed at the bottom by cooling plate 25. For the latter purpose, the lower end of ribbing 40b extends into close proximity with cooling plate 25. Near its outer periphery 40d, the pump member rests upon the interior of bowl base 7i, about the circular opening 7 and unintended escape of liquid directly back into the reservoir 9 is effectively suppressed there without use of other sealing provisions. Pump member 40 is removably held in operating position (FIGURE 3) by a lock washer member 44 having a lock ing keyway 44a which permits it to engage and secure itself to the spindle 38 about a reduced-diameter section 38:: near its upper end. Central opening 41 in the pump member is kept in free communication with the beverage reservoir by the clearance provided between legs 40l of an integral upper support web 40m which has a central guide hole 45 (FIGURE 5 for orienting the pump member properly on the spindle 38.

Arrows 46 in FIGURE 3 characterize beverage flow from the reservoir to the center of the centrifugal impeller; this liquid is rotated at high angular velocity and courses through the spiral cavity 43 at high linear speeds until finally it escapes upwardly through the short standpipe 42a surrounding outlet 42. Sufficient head is developed in this pumping to force the beverage out of the top of spray tube 11 and against the bowl cover, as designated by arrows 47. The long-distance spiral flow of the pumped beverage brings various unit volumes of beverage into prolonged high-velocity heat-exchange relationship with cooling plate 25 and thereby effects a thorough chill ing before the outlet spray returns the 'beverage to the reservoir. Pump member 40, being open at the bottom, can be readily cleaned, and other elements of the pumping and cooling assembly (bushing 37, impeller 36, lock member 44, and spray tube 11) are also easily separated and re-assembled for the same purpose.

The entire reservoir of beverage 9 is maintained Well chilled at all times as a result of the aforementioned op eration. This chilled beverage may be directly dispensed from the reservoir to the consumer without further cooling or other safeguards so long as no stagnation or undue warming can occur in the dispensing valve. FIGURES 2 and 6 provide details of the simple type of valve which is used for cold dispensing. Hollow guide bushing 22, which is exteriorly threaded and held in tightly sealed relationship with the bowl base by lock nut 48, is mated with the coaxially slidable lift valve member 14. Together, these elements close the base opening 21, through the intermediary O-ring seal 49 which is firmly fitted about the valve member 14 and seats against the conical sea-ting surface 50 of the bushing. At its upper end, valve member 14 is united with a relatively large cylindrical mass 14:: having the dual effects of gravitationally depressing valve member 14 and preserving it cool by virtue of its chilling by the cold beverage in which it is immersed. Below the level of O-ring seal 49, the valve member is hollow, to form a dispensing outlet pipe or tap, and the vertical interior passage 14b communicates with the outside of member 14 by way of one or more side openings, such as opening 51. The latter opening or openings are disposed below the level of the seal 49, such that beverage can enter and drain through the hollow outlet pipe Whenever the valve is raised. Lifting of the valve member 14 is accomplished by applying pressure backwardly against lever arm 16, in the direction of arrow 52; advantageously, this occurs automatically whenever a beverage container is positioned below the outlet tap and is pressed against the lever arm. A broad portion of arm 16 hangs somewhat vertically downwardly at a position to the rear of tap member 14, from a forwardly-extending portion 1 6:: which has an aperture 16b through which the reduced-diameter lower end 140 of tap member 14 extends. Integral later-allyextending tabs 160 at the front of lever portion 16w are hung in notches 53a of a U-shaped hinge bracket 5-3 secured to the under side of the bowl by the lock nut 48. Lever aperture 16b is only slightly larger than the reduced-diameter end 140 of the lift valve member, such that the lever is held against dislodging from the hinge notches so long as the lift valve member 14 remains in place. Backward pressure on the lever arm causes it to tilt in the hinge notches and to lift member 14 from its seat. The lever and valve member both drop back to their lowermost positions when the pressure is removed. Outlet passage 14b is substantially vertical, and short, with the result that substantially no beverage can remain trapped in the valve, and no significant after-drip can occur following any dispensing action. The valve parts remain well chilled, due largely to conduction paths involving the cooled mass 14a. As in the case of the pumping and cooling assembly, the dispensing valve operates well even with low levels of liquid in the bowl. Moreover, the beverage is discharged at only relatively low pressure and velocity, such that splashing or spraying is avoided during the dispensing operations.

-In some instances, it can be advantageous to mold elements corresponding to the guide bushing 22 and notched hinge bracket 53 integrally with the bowl, rather than to supply these as separate parts. Injection molding techniques permit the seating and guide surfaces of the bushing to be formed with the requisite precision.

Based upon the recognitions and teachings described herein, liquid-handling apparatus may be produced in different sizes and forms for a variety of applications. Accordingly, it should be understood that the specific embodiments herein disclosed are intended to be of a descriptive rather than a limiting character, and various modifications, combinations and substitutions may be effected in practice of these teachings without departing either in spirit or scope from this invention in its broader aspects.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a container for a quantity of a liquid, a heat-transfer plate having at least a substantially fiat annular portion, a centrifugal impeller mounted for rotation in close proximity with and about an axis substantially normal to one side of said heat transfer plate centrally of and coaxially with said annular portion, motive means on the other side of said heat-transfer plate coupled with and rotating said impeller, substantially flat annular refrigeration means mounted in intimate heat-exchange relationship with said other side of said annular portion of said heat-transfer plate, shallow pump means having a substantially spiral liquid flow passageway coaxially about and communicating with said impeller and exposed along one side for substantially its full length to said one side of said annular portion of said heat-transfer plate, means admitting liquid from said eontainer to said impeller near said axis, and means for discharging aceelerated liquid from said passageway into said container.

2. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a container for a quantity of a liquid, a substantially flat heat-transfer plate, a centrifugal impeller mounted for rotation in close proximity with and about an axis substantially normal to one side of said heat-transfer plate, motive means on the other side of said heat-transfer plate coupled with and rotating said impeller, a substantially flat annular array of refrigeration coils mounted in intimate heat-exchange relationship with said other side of said heat-transfer plate, shallow pump means having a substantially spiral liquid flow passageway of more than one turn coaxially about said impeller and exposed along one side for substantially its full length to said one side of said heat-transfer plate opposite said refrigeration coils, means admitting liquid from the bottom of said container to said impeller near said axis, means for discharging accelerated liquid from said passageway into said container above the level of liquid therein, and means for withdrawing chilled liquid directly from said container at a position remote from and independently of said pump means.

3. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a container in the form of a bowl having a substantially flat bottom, a cooling plate having at least a substantially flat annular portion, a centrifugal impeller mounted for rotation in close proximity with and about an axis substantially normal to one side of said cooling plate centrally of and coaxially with said annular portion, motive means on the other side of said cooling plate coupled with and rotating said impeller, substantially fiat annular refrigeration means mounted in intimate heat-exchange relationship with said other side of said annular portion of said cooling plate, shallow pump means having a substantially spiral liquid tflow passageway coaxially about and communicating with said impeller and exposed along one side for substantially its full length to said one side of said annular portion of said cooling plate, me ans admitting liquid from the bottom of the bowl to said impeller means near said axis, means for discharging accelerated liquid from said passage-way into the bowl above the level of liquid therein, and means for tapping liquid directly from the bottom of the bowl at a position remote from said admitting means.

4. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a liquid storage bowl having a relatively large opening through the bottom thereof, a support for said bowl, said support including a substantially horizontal cooling plate near the top thereof disposed to appear opposite said opening when said bowl is set on said support, said cooling plate having at least a substantially fiat annular portion, a centrifugal impeller mounted for rotation in close proximity with and about an axis substantially normal to the top of said cooling plate centrally of and coaxially with said annular portion, motive means mounted on said support below said cooling plate coupled with and rotating said impeller, substantially flat annular refrigeration means mounted in intimate heat-exchange relationship with the bottom of said annular portion of said cooling plate, shallow pump means having a substantially spiral horizontal liquid flow passageway coaxially about and communicating with said impeller and exposed along the bottom thereof for substantially its full length to the top of said annular portion of said cooling plate, means admitting liquid from said bowl to said impeller near said axis, means for discharging accelerated liquid from said passageway into the 'bowl above the level of liquid there in, and means sealing said bowl in relation to said cooling plate radially outwardly of said annular portion thereof.

5. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a liquid storage bowl having a relatively large circular opening through the bottom thereof, a support for said bowl having a substantially circular cooling plate near the top thereof exposed to said opening when said bowl is set on said support, said cooling plate having at least a substantially flat annular portion, a centrifugal impeller mounted for rotation in close proximity with and about an axis substantially normal to the top of said cooling plate centrally of and coaxially with said annular portion, motive means mounted on said support below said cooling plate, magnetic means coupling said motive means in driving relationship with said impeller through said cooling plate, a substantially fiat annular refrigeration coil mounted in intimate heat-exchange relationship with the bottom of said annular portion of said cooling plate, shallow pump means having a substantially spiral horizontal liquid flow passageway coaxially about and communicating with said impeller and exposed along the bottom thereof for substantially its full length to the top of said annular portion of said cooling plate, said passageway having an outlet at the top of said pump means near the outer periphery thereof, means admitting liquid from said bowl to said impeller near said axis, a spray tube projecting from said outlet substantially vertically through the liquid in said bowl, and means sealing the bottom of said bowl around said opening in relation to said cooling plate radially outwardly of said annular portion thereof.

6. Liquid-processing apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said cooling plate has an upstanding rim about the periphery thereof, wherein said bowl has a rim projecting downwardly about said opening which is of slightly smaller cross-section than that of said upstanding rim, and wherein said sealing means includes a radially-compressible gasket member interposed between said rims, said gasket having a transverse cross-section normally greater than the radial separation between said rims.

7. Liquid-processing apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein said downwardly-projecting rim of said bowl is substantially cylindrical, wherein said gasket is formed of elastic material and has an inner diameter normally less than the outer diameter of said bowl rim and is stretched onto said bowl rim, and wherein said gasket is normally substantially cylindrical along the inner diameter thereof and is normally convex in curvature along the outer diameter thereof.

8. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a container for a quantity of a liquid, a substantially fiat heat-transfer plate, a centrifugal impeller, motive means for rotating said impeller in close proximity with and about an axis normal to said heat-transfer plate, shallow spirally-ribbed pump means open along one side mounted with the ribbing exposed along the open side thereof disposed substantially in abutting normal relationship to one side of said heat-transfer plate and coaxially surrounding said impeller, said heat-transfer plate and pump means together forming a substantially spiral fluid passageway around said impeller wherein the liquid is in heat-transfer relationship with said plate and is accelerated to a relatively high linear velocity, means admitting liquid from said container to said impeller near the center thereof, means discharging the accelerated liquid from the spiral passageway at the outer end thereof, into said container and heatexchanger means in intimate heat-exchange relationship with the other side of said heat-transfer plate.

9. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a container for a quantity of a liquid, a substantially flat heat-transfer plate, a centrifugal impeller mounted for rotation in close proximity with and about an axis normal to said heattransfer plate, shallow spirally-ribbed pump means coaxial with said impeller and closed on one side except for a relatively small central opening and a small opening near the pheriphery thereof, said pump means being mounted with the ribbing thereof exposed on the other side substantially in abutting normal relationship to one side of said heat-transfer plate, said heat-transfer plate and pump means together forming a substantially spiral fluid passageway around said impeller wherein the liquid is in heat-transfer relationship with said plate and is accelerated to relatively high linear velocities, means admitting liquid from said container to said impeller near the center thereof through said central opening in said pump means, means discharging the accelerated liquid from said opening near the periphery of said pump means into said container, an annular array of refrigeration coils in intimate heat-exchange relationship with the other side of said heat-transfer plate opposite said spiral passage way, and motive means on said other side of said heat transfer plate coupled with and rotating said centrifugal impeller.

10. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a container for a quantity of a liquid, a substantially flat heattransfer plate, a centrifugal impeller, motive means for rotating said impeller in close proximity with and about an axis normal to said heat-transfer plate, substantially spirally-ribbed pump means in coaxial surrounding relationship with said impeller, the ribbing of said pump means being of substantially uniform height and extending substantial-1y normal to said heat-transfer plate along one side thereof for more than one turn about said axis, said pump means including portions closing the other side of the ribbing at a substantially uniform distance from said heat-transfer plate to form a substantially spiral fluid passageway coaxially around said impeller and in heat-transfer relationship with said heat-transfer plate, means admitting liquid from said container to said centrifugal impeller near said axis, means discharging liquid at relatively high linear velocity from the passageway through said pump means near the periphery thereof, and heat-exchanger means in intimate heat-exchange relationship with said heat-transfer plate on the side thereof opposite that to which the ribbing extends.

11. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a liquid storage bowl having a relatively large circular opening through the substantially flat bottom thereof, a support for said bowl having a substantially circular cooling plate of magnetically permeable metal near the top thereof exposed to said opening when said bowl is set on said support, shallow pump means atop said cooling plate including a rotatable impeller and means forming a substantially closed spiral pumping flow passageway coaxially around said impeller and directly exposed substantially fully along the bottom thereof to the top of said cooling plate, refrigeration means mounted on said support and having refrigerating coils in intimate heatexchange relationship with the bottom of said cooling plate, motive means mounted on said support below said cooling plate, magnetic means coupling said motive means in driving relationship with said impeller through said cooling plate, means admitting liquid from said bowl to said impeller near the center thereof, a substantially vertical fluid outlet tube projecting substantially vertically upwardly above the liquid level in said bowl from a position near the outer periphery of said spiral passageway in said pump means, and means sealing said cooling plate with said bowl about said opening through said bowl.

12. Liqiud-processing appartus, comprising a liquid storage bowl having a substantially flat bottom with a relatively large opening and a relatively small opening therethrough, a support mounting said bowl with a portion thereof having the relatively small opening therethrough in overhanging relationship to the front of said support, said support having a substantially circular cooling plate near the top there-of exposed to the relatively large opening when said bowl is mounted on said support, shallow pump means atop said cooling plate including a rotatable impeller and means forming a substantially closed spiral pumping flow passageway coaxially around said impeller and directly exposed substantially fully along the bottom thereof to the top of said cooling plate, refrigeration means mounted on said support and having a flat array of refrigerating coils in intimate heat-exchange relationship with the bottom of said cooling plate, motive means mounted on said support below said cooling plate and rotating said impeller, means sealing said bowl with said cooling plate about the large opening, means admitting liquid from said bowl to said impeller near the center thereof, means discharging liquid from a position near the outer periphery of said spiral passageway into said bowl, and lift valve dispensing means normally closing the relatively small opening through the bottom of said bowl, said lift valve means including means providing a hollow valve seat around said small opening, a vertically slidaible weighted valve member mated coaxially with said valve seat means for seating and sealing therewith at an upper position, said valve member having a reduced cross-sectional area below said upper position to permit drainage 'of liquid when said valve member is raised, and pivoted lever means outside of said bowl for lifting said valve member to dispense liquid from said bowl.

13. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a liquid storage bowl having a bottom with a relatively large opening and a relatively small opening therethrough, a support mounting said bowl with a portion thereof having the relatively small opening therethrough in overbanging relationship to the front of said support, said support having pumping and refrigerated cooling equipment at the top thereof exposed to the relatively large opening when said bowl is mounted on said support, means sealing said bowl with said support about the relatively large opening, means providing a hollow valve seat around said small opening, and a fluid-dispensing lift valve normally closing the relatively small opening through the bottom of said bowl, said lift valve including vertically slidab le valving means mated with and slidable coaxially within said hollow valve seat means and having valving surfaces for seating and sealing with said valve seat means at an upper position, said valving means further including an enlarged portion at the top thereof and disposed in the bowl, said enlarged portion being of relatively large mass which gravitationally depresses said valving means into seating and sealing with said valve seat means and being of relatively large surface area through which said valving means is chilled by exposure to the liquid in the bowl, and said valving means further having a reducedcross-sectional area below said valving surfaces thereof permitting drainage of liquid through said valve seat means when said valving means is raised, and pivoted llever means outside of said bowl for lifting said valving means to dispense liquid from said bowl.

14. Liquid-processing apparatus as set forth in claim 13 wherein said valving means includes a lower end projecting downwardly of the bottom of said bowl through said small opening, wherein said pivoted lever means comprises a lever member having the general shape of an inverted L, with the substantially vertical portion thereof disposed rearwardly of and below the front of the overhanging part of the front of the bowl, and with the substantially horizontal portion thereof extending forwardly thereof, and separable means hinging the front of said horizontal portion for pivotal movement about a transverse horizontal axis, said separable hinging means including bracket means fixed with the bottom of said bowl and having horizontally-aligned notches open at the front thereof, and cooperating horizontally-extending hinge means on said horizontal portion of said lever member disposed for separable engagement with said bracket means by way of the notches therein, said horizontal portion of said lever member being disposed to engage and lift said lower end of said valving means when said vertical portion is pressed rearwardly toward the front of said support.

15. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a liquid storage bowl having a relatively large circular opening and a spaced relatively small circular opening through the substantially flat bottom thereof, said bowl having a short downwardly-extending substantially cylindrical integral n'm about said relatively large opening, a support for said bowl having a substantially circular and fiat cooling plate of magnetically permeable material at the top thereof exposed to said relatively large opening when said bowl is set on said support, and mounting said portion of said bowl having the relatively small opening therethrough in overhanging relationship to the front of said support when said bowl is set on said support, said cooling plate having a short upstanding substantially cylindrical rim about the periphery thereof of inner diameter slightly greater than the outer diameter of the rim on said bowl and surrounding the latter rim when said bowl is set on said support, shallow pump means atop said cooling plate including a central rotatable impeller separable from said plate and separable means forming a substantially closed spiral fiow passageway of more than one turn coaxially around said impeller and open at the bottom to expose said passageway fully along its length to the top of said flat cooling plate, refrigeration means on said support including refrigeration coils in intimate heat-exchange relationship with the bottom of said cooling plate, motive means mounted on said support below said cooling plate, magnetic means coupling said motive means in driving relationship with said impeller through said cooling plate, means admitting liquid from said bowl to said impeller near the center thereof, a substantially vertical liquid spray outlet tube projecting upwardly above the liquid level in said bowl from a position near the outer periphery of said spiral passageway, a removable cover fitting the top of said bowl and extending above the level of said spray tube, a radially-compressible elastic gasket stretched over said rim of said bowl, said gasket having a transverse cross-section of radial thickness normally greater than the annular clearance between said rims, and lift valve dispensing means normally closing the relatively small opening through the bottom of said bowl, said lift valve means including guide bushing means providing an annular valve seat around said small opening, vertically slidable weighted valve means mated coaxially within said guide bushing means, said slidable means having a weight portion at the top disposed within the bowl for chilling by the liquid, a seal below said weight portion for seating and sealing with said annular valve seat, and a cylindrical tubular top portion mated with said bushing and open laterally below said seal to admit flow of liquid therethrough when said slidable means is raised, and valve lifting means outside said bowl and in front of said support for selectably lifting said slidable means to dispense liquid from said bowl.

16. Liquid-processing apparatus, comprising a liquid storage bowl having a bottom with a relatively large opening and a relatively small opening therethrough, a support mounting said bowl with a portion thereof having the relatively small opening therethrough in overhanging relationship to the front of said support, said support having pumping and refrigerated cooling equipment at the top thereof exposed to the relatively large opening when said bowl is mounted on said support, means sealing said bowl with said support about the relatively large opening, means providing a hollow valve seat around said opening and including means forming a tubular guide about said opening and having a valve seat portion at the top disposed at a level substantially the same as that of the inner bottom surface of said bowl and further including a subtially cylindrical guide passage portion extending downwardly therefrom, lift valve dispensing means normally closing the relatively small opening through the bottom of said bowl, said lift valve means including a vertically slidable weighted valve member having a sealing portion at an upper position disposed for seating and sealing with said valve seat means and having a cylindrical portion below said sealing portion closely mated coaxially with said cylindrical guide passage portion and slidable therein, said cylindrical portion of said valve member having a longitudinal drain opening therein merging with at least one lateral opening through the side of said cylindrical portion of said valve member below said sealing portion, said valve member having a weight portion disposed in the bowl for exposure to and chilling by the liquid therein, and pivoted lever means outside of said bowl for lifting said weighted valve member to dispense liquid from said bowl, said pivoted lever means comprising a lever member having the general shape of an inverted L with the substantially vertical portion thereof disposed rearwardly of and below the front of the overhanging part of the front of the bowl, and with the substantially horizontal portion thereof extending forwardly thereof, said horizontal portion of said lever member having an opening therein slightly larger than said cylindrical portion of said valve member and disposed with said cylindrical portion of said valve member passing therethrough, said cylindrical portion of said valve member having an enlarged shoulder disposed to be engaged and lifted by the top of said horizontal portion of said lever member when said vertical portion is pressed rearwardly toward the front of said support, and means hinging the front of said horizontal portion for pivotal movement about a transverse horizontal axis, said hinging means including notched hinge bracket means fixed with the bottom of said bowl, said front of said horizontal portion of said lever member being engaged in notches of said hinge means for said pivotal movement.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,710,707 6/1955 Persak 14l362 X 2,775,877 1/ 1957 Bruntjen. 3,060,702 10/1962 Price 62-392 ROBERT B. REEVES, Primary Examiner.

RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Examiner.

F. R. HANDREN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US3604592 *Jan 9, 1970Sep 14, 1971Spartan International CorpCombination cup and liquid dispenser
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US5209069 *May 6, 1991May 11, 1993Grindmaster CorporationCompact thermoelectrically cooled beverage dispenser
US5442996 *Sep 15, 1993Aug 22, 1995La Minerva Di Chiodini Mario S.R.L.Hamburger maker
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US6411777Feb 20, 2001Jun 25, 2002Danny J. RobersonMethod for preparing infant formula from powder with dispensing and filtering means
US6684920Sep 27, 2002Feb 3, 2004Manitowoc Foodservice Companies, Inc.Beverage dispenser and automatic shut-off valve
US6708741Aug 24, 2000Mar 23, 2004Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.Beverage dispenser
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US20120175013 *Jul 15, 2010Jul 12, 2012Luis Benayas-Perez"improved portable beverage-dispensing device for use by groups"
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/392, 222/146.1, 222/318, 222/185.1, 141/360, 366/264, 222/509, 366/144
International ClassificationF25D31/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25D31/002
European ClassificationF25D31/00C