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Publication numberUS3273353 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1966
Filing dateMar 4, 1965
Priority dateMar 4, 1965
Publication numberUS 3273353 A, US 3273353A, US-A-3273353, US3273353 A, US3273353A
InventorsGrimm Bernard J, Horvay Julius B
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flexible tray type ice maker
US 3273353 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 1956 J. B. HORVAY ET 3,273,353

FLEXIBLE TRAY TYPE ICE MAKER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 4. 1965 M v MYM E 0& N va R m 0 vm T m I M 5A E M H L R T UE IB & Y B

p 20, 1966 J. B. HORVAY ETAL 3,273,353

FLEXIBLE TRAY TYPE ICE MAKER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 4. 1965 INVENTORS M. R M Q m HI .T an m m $.N R u a w flm a Y B United States Patent i 3,273,353 FLEXIBLE TRAY TYPE IEE MAKER Julius B. Horvay and Bernard J. Grimm, Louisville, Ky., assignors to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 4, 1965, Ser. No. 437,236 4 Claims. (Cl. 62-353} The present invention relates to an ice maker and is particularly concerned with an ice maker of the type including a tray from which ice pieces are discharged by partially inverting and flexing the tray longitudinally to break the bond between the ice pieces and the tray walls.

A primary object of the invention is to provide simple, low cost manually operable means for effecting rotation of an ice tray from its normal freezing position to its partially inverted discharge position.

Another object of the invention is to provide a low cost semiautomatic ice maker particularly adapted to be mounted within the freezer compartment of a household refrigerator and including manually operable means for harvesting ice pieces.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description and the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an ice maker comprising a flexible ice tray and support means including front and rear brackets adapted to support the tray within the freezer compartment of a household refrigerator. The front and rear ends of the tray are respectively pivotally supported on the front and rear brackets for rotational movement of the tray about its longitudinal axis between a normal upright freezing position and a partially inverted discharge position. Means for manually rotating the tray about its longitudinal axis comprises a transverse slot in a front portion of the tray to one side of the longitudinal tray axis and an arcuate slot in the front bracket opposite to and in intersecting relationship with the transverse slot. An operating lever pivotally supported at one end includes an end portion extending through the arcuate slot and the transverse slot whereby movement of the end portion along the arcuate slot causes rotational movement of the tray about its longitudinal axis. In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention, there is also provided means for automatically supplying a charge of water to the tray when it is returned from its inverted or discharge position to its normal or freezing position.

For a better understanding of the invention reference may be had to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational View partly in section of a household refrigerator including a freezer compartment containing the ice maker of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the ice maker illustrated in FIGURE 1 taken generally along line 22 of FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 3 is a front View of the ice maker of FIG- URE 1 taken generally along lines 3-3 of FIGURE 1.

With reference to the drawing, there is shown a household refrigerator including a freezer compartment 1 having an access opening at the front thereof closed by a door 2. It will be understood that means are also provided for maintaining the contents of the freezer compartment 1 at below freezing temperatures, such means including an evaporator forming part of the usual refrigeration system for such refrigerators.

The ice maker of the present invention is mounted within the compartment 1 by support means including a front bracket 3 and a rear bracket 4 secured in spaced relationship to the top wall 5 of the compartment 1. A

3,273,353 Patented Sept. 20, 1966 flexible ice tray 6 including a plurality of ice pockets 7 is supported on the front bracket 3 by means of a pivot pin 8 extending through the front bracket 3 and on the rear bracket 4 by means of a pivot 10 extending through a keyhole pivot slot 11 in the rear bracket 4. The pivots 8 and 10 at opposite ends of the tray 6' provide means for pivotally supporting the tray for rotational movement about its longitudinal axis between a normal or upright freezing position as illustrated in FIGURE 1 of the drawing to an inverted or discharge portion as illustrated in FIGURE 3 of the drawing. An ice receptacle 12 positioned within the compartment 1 below the tray 6 is provided for receiving the ice pieces discharged from the individual molds or pockets 7.

The tray 6 is preferably formed of a flexible plastic material such as a high impact polyethylene although if desired it may be formed of aluminum or similar metallic material.

For the purpose of filling the tray with water after harvesting of the ice pieces, there is provided a spout or water supply line 14 which extends through the top wall 5 of the compartment 1 and is connected to a water supply through a water supply valve (not shown). The operation of this valve is controlled by switch means 15 employing control circuitry well known in the ice maker art, the switch 15 being adapted to open the water supply valve to supply a charge of water to the tray whenever the rear end of the tray is in a raised position in which the pivot pin extends upwardly into the slot portion 16 of the keyhole slot 11 and to close the valve when the tray, due to the Weight of water contained therein, drops to a position where the extension 18 of the pivot pin presses the switch arm 19 downwardly against the upward biasing action of a spring (not shown). With reference to FIGURE 2 it will be noted that the portion of the rear pivot extending through the keyhole slot 11 is flattened in a vertical plane and is of such dimensions that it can move upwardly into the upper slot portion 16 only when the tray is in a horizontal or freezing position as illustrated in FIGURE 2.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided means for manually discharging ice pieces from the tray 6 into the receptacle 12. A forward portion of the tray 6 as for example a depending flange 21 provided on the forward end of the tray includes a transverse slot 22 disposed to one side of the pivot 8 while the front bracket 3 includes an arcuate slot 23 overlapping or intersecting the slot 22 and adapted to receive a horizontally extending end portion 24 of a lever 25 having the fixed or pivot end 26 thereof secured, for example, to the side wall 28 of the compartment 1 by means of a bearing bracket 29.

The free end portion 24 of the lever 25 extends through and is adapted to slide in both the transverse slot 22 in the end portion of the tray 6 and the arcuate slot 23 in the bracket 3. When the tray is in its normal or freezing position, the end portion 24 of the lever 25 extends through the outer end portions of both of the slots 22 and 23, that is, it is in its most removed position from the longitudinal axis of the tray. When it is desired to harvest ice from the tray, the lever 25 is manually moved as by means of a grip or knob 30 along the arcuate slot 23 which serves to guide and limit the movement of the free end of the lever 25. During the movement of the end portion 24 of the lever 25 from the outer to the inner end of the slot 23, the end portion 24 is initially moving inwardly along slot 22, causes the contacted portion of the tray 6 to move downwardly relative to the longitudinal axis of the tray. The slot 22 is so designed that before the lever end portion 24 reaches the inner end of the transverse slot 22, it reverses its travel due to the path prescribed by the arcuate slot 23 so that the end portion 24 finally returns to the outer end of the slot 22 when the 3 tray has been rotated to a partially inverted discharge position as illustrated in FIGURE 3 of the drawing.

As the tray during its rotational movement approaches the discharge position illustrated in FIGURE 3, the rear end of the tray contacts a stop 32 which is designed to stop further rotation of the rear end of the tray relative to the front end and thereby impart to the tray a twisting or flexing action suflicient to break the bond between the ice pieces contained in the pockets or molds 7 so that these pieces will fall by gravity from the tray into the storage receptacle 12.

Return of the lever 25 to its substantially vertical position as illustrated in FIGURE 2 of the drawing reverses the tray movement and returns the tray 6 to its normal or freezing position. A spring 33 may be provided to bias the lever to its vertical position. As the tray is empty upon such return, the pivot 10 will move upwardly into the slot 16 thereby actuating the switch to energize the water supply valve so that a charge of water is introduced into the tray. When the tray is filled with water, the weight thereof causes the rear pivot to drop within the keyhole slot and the flow of water is shut off.

While there has been shown and described What is presently considered to be a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be obvious that various changes and modifications may be made therein and it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

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

1. An ice maker comprising a flexible ice tray, said tray including a front portion having a transverse slot therein, support means for supporting said tray for rotation from a normal position about its longitudinal axis to a partially inverted discharge position,

said support means having an arcuate slot therein registering with said transverse slot,

pivoted operating means for manually effecting rotation of said tray to its discharge position comprising a pivoted lever, including a movable portion extending through both of said slots whereby movement of said movable portion along said arcuate slot effects rotation of said tray.

2. An ice maker comprising a flexible ice tray, said tray including a front edge portion having a transverse slot therein, support means including a front bracket for supporting said tray for rotation from a normal position about its longitudinal axis to a partially inverted discharge position,

said bracket having an arcuate slot therein registering with said transverse slot,

operating means for manually effecting rotation of said tray to its discharge position comprising a pivoted lever having an end portion extending through both of said slots whereby pivotal movement of said lever along said arcuate slot effects rotation of said tray.

3. An ice maker comprising:

a flexible ice tray,

front and rear support brackets,

means for pivotally supporting the opposite ends of said tray on said brackets for rotational movement of said tray about its longitudinal axis between a normal upright freezing position and a partially inverted discharge position,

said tray including a front flange having a transverse slot therein to one side of the longitudinal tray axis,

said front bracket having an arcuate slot therein intersecting said transverse slot,

pivoted operating means including a portion slidably received in said arcuate slot and in said transverse slot,

movement of said portion within said arcuate slot effecting rotation of said tray about its longitudinal axis.

4. An ice maker comprising:

a flexible ice tray,

front and rear support brackets,

means for pivotally supporting the opposite ends of said tray on said brackets for rotational movement of said tray about its longitudinal axis between a normal upright freezing position and a partially inverted discharge position,

said tray including a front flange having a transverse slot therein to one side of the longitudinal tray axis,

said front bracket having an arcuate slot therein intersecting said transverse slot,

an operating lever including at the free end thereof a portion received in said arcuate slot and in said transverse slot,

means for pivotally supporting the other end of said lever for free movement of said portion along said arcuate slot,

movement of said portion Within said arcuate slot causing said portion to move along said transverse slot and effect rotation of said tray about its longitudinal axis.

10/1949 Copeman. 2,969,654 1/ 1961 Harle. 3,056,271 10/ 1962 DeTurk.

ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.

N. R. WILSON, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2484017 *Apr 11, 1944Oct 11, 1949Copeman Lab CoApparatus for dispensing ice cubes
US2931194 *May 14, 1958Apr 5, 1960Gen Motors CorpIce block harvesting device
US2969654 *Jul 17, 1958Jan 31, 1961Gen ElectricAutomatic ice maker
US3056271 *May 20, 1960Oct 2, 1962Philco CorpIce makers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4306423 *Oct 9, 1980Dec 22, 1981General Electric CompanyFlexible tray type ice maker
US4354384 *Sep 2, 1980Oct 19, 1982General Electric CompanyVisual device for ice cube trays
US6481235 *Aug 6, 2001Nov 19, 2002Lg Electronics Inc.Ice making device of refrigerator
US7428820 *Feb 13, 2008Sep 30, 2008Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7490474May 6, 2008Feb 17, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7490475May 6, 2008Feb 17, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7520138May 22, 2008Apr 21, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7520139May 22, 2008Apr 21, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7552597May 22, 2008Jun 30, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7624591May 22, 2008Dec 1, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7631514May 8, 2008Dec 15, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7637119May 8, 2008Dec 29, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7673470May 22, 2008Mar 9, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7677055May 22, 2008Mar 16, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7762098May 22, 2008Jul 27, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US7918105 *Sep 7, 2007Apr 5, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Ice making device and refrigerator having the same
US8146379Jan 30, 2009Apr 3, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/353, 62/356, 249/70
International ClassificationF25C5/00, F25C5/06
Cooperative ClassificationF25C5/06
European ClassificationF25C5/06