US 3273361 A
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Sept. 20, 1966 B. G. SMITH 3,273,361
CLOTHES WASHER MACHINE WITH A PROGRAMMED REBALANCING CYCLE Filed Sept. 9, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 J-L .LL
Inventor A ttornev Sept. 20, 1966 a. G. SMITH 3,273,361
CLOTHES WASHER MACHINE WITH A PROGRAMMED REBALANCING CYCLE Filed Sept. 9, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 $1 &
Q QQ\ h I nvenlor United States Patent O 3,273,361 CLOTHES WASHER MACHINE WITH A PRO- GRAMMED REBALANCIN G CYCLE Bernard G. Smith, Saint-Cloud, France, assignor to Genral Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 9, 1964, Ser. No. 395,264 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Sept. 19, 1963, 36,901/ 63 1 Claim. (Cl. 6812) This invention relates to washer machines, and more particularly to clothes washer machines having a tub rotatable for washing and spinning, and mounted so as to be oscillatable relative to the frame of the machine.
A washer machine, according to the invention, has a rotatable tub mounted so as to be oscillatable relative to the frame of the machine and a device which is responsive to oscillation of the tub during spinning owing to the imbalance of the contents of the tub to stop spin drive to the tub and, after a predetermined interval, to initiate drive of the tub at wash speed.
The invention is of particular utility in machines in which the wash is effected by successive reversals of the direction of rotation of the tub.
It is preferred that, during the wash speed rotation of the tub initiated in response to oscillation of the tub, the direction of rotation includes a reverser to redistribute the clothes in the tub.
The device can be mounted on the tub or on the frame and can be arranged to be actuated by an abutment on the frame or the tub, respectively.
Preferably, the device is a switch which is restored to its previous condition after, actuation in response to oscillation, under the control of a dash-pot or like time-delay mechanism.
One form of clothes washer machine according to the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic side elevation of a clothes washer machine according to the invention; and
FIGURE 2 is a diagram of part of a control circuit for the machine shown in FIGURE 1.
The clothes washer machine (FIGURE 1) includes a frame in which a water container 12 is oscillatably mounted on hanger arms .14. The water container 12 contains a tub 16 rotatable about a horizontal axis 18 and is drivable by a reversible motor 20 mounted on the container 12 either at spin speed through pulley 22, belt 30, pulleys 24, 26, belt 32 and pulley 28 or at lower wash speed through pulley 22, belt 30, pulleys 24, 34, belt 38 and pulley 36.
There is a clutch (not shown) between pulley 24 and pulleys 26 and 34, on a common shaft 42, by which the spin or wash drive can respectively be selected. The clutch is operable by a solenoid 40 (FIGURE 2).
The container 12 carries an unbalance detection device in the form of a two-position switch 50 operable from one position to the other when its plunger 52 engages an abutment in the form of a screw 53 carried by a bumper arm 54 pivoted on the frame 10 and connected to a return tension spring 56. Engagement of the plunger 52 with the screw 53 on bumper arm 54 occurs during spin rotation of the tub 16 if the clothes in the tub are so unevenly distributed as to produce a sufliciently large imbalance and consequent large oscillation of the container 12. The screw 53 can be adjusted to ensure correct operation of the switch 50. The switch 50 is so controlled by a time-delay mechanism in the form of a dashpot (not shown) that, after inward compression of plunger 52 by screw 53 from its normal position shown in FIGURE 2, there is a delay before the plunger 52 returns to its normal position. The purpose of this arrangement is explained below.
FIGURE 2 shows the control circuit diagram for the washer machine. In FIGURE 2 all switches and movable contacts are shown in their non-operated positions and it will now be referred to so as to explain the operation of the machine following excessive oscillation of the container 12 due .to clothes imbalance during spinning.
The circuit includes power supply lines L1 and L2. The main drive motor 20 has a main winding 60 one end of which is connected by a lead 62 to the line L2 and, by a lead 64, to commoned fixed contacts 66, 68 of a double-pole, double-throw motor-operated reverser switch 70 having movable ganged contacts 72. The drive motor 20 has an auxiliary start-winding 74 connected, in series with a centrifugal cut-out switch 76 and a capacitor 78 between, the movable contacts 72 of the switch 70. The other pair of commoned fixed contacts 66, 68 of the switch 70 are connected by a lead 80 to one fixed contact 82 of the switch 50. The contact 82 is also connected by a lead 84 to the other end of the main winding 60 of the motor 20. The other fixed contact 86 of the switch 50 is connected by a lead 88 to the timer motor 90 of the reverser switch 70 and thence to the line L2. The movable contact 92 of the switch 50 is connected by a lead 94, motor overload protector 96 and lead 98 to a timer-controlled switch 100.
One end of the solenoid 40 is connected to the line L2 and the other end to a timer controlled switch 102 and thence to the line L1. The same end of the solenoid 40 is also connected to the fixed contact 86 of the switch 50 and also to a fixed cont-act 104 associated with a movable contact 166 operable by the timer mot-or 90 and forming part of the reverser switch 70. The movable contact 106 is connected to the line L1. The reverser switch 70 also includes a movable contact 108 operable by the motor 90 and connected to the timer switch 100. The contact 108 is associated with a fixed contact 1 10 connected to the line L1.
In the reverser switch 70, the timer motor 90 drives a shaft 112 on which are mounted three cams. One 114 operates the ganged contacts 72; the: next 116 operates the contact 108; and the third, 118 operates the contact 106.
The normal operation of the machine is as follows. During washing the main drive motor 20 is connected by the clutch through the pulleys 24, 3 4 and 36 to drive the tub 16 at a moderate speed. The clutch solenoid 40 is energised because timer switch 102 is closed. Also, the main motor 20 is periodically reversed, under the control of the reverser switch 70 so as periodically to reverse the rotation of the tub 16. The timer motor 90 is energised through lead 88 and closed timer switch 102 and drives the cam shaft 112. As a result, the main drive motor 20 is periodically energised for rotation in one sense, de-energised, and then re-energised for rotation in the opposite sense by the action of the reverser contacts 72 and the de-energiser contact 108. The main winding 60 of the main drive motor 20 is energised from line L1 through the contact 108, closed timer switch 100, lead 98, overload protector 96, lead 94 contacts 92 and 82 of the two position switch 50, lead 84 and finally lead 62 to line L2.
During washing, the opening and closing of contact 106 on contact 104 of the reverser switch 70 has no effect because the timer switch 102 is closed.
Spinning is initiated by the opening of the timer switch 102, and the circuit arrangement is such that the main drive motor 20 is energised to drive the tub 16 at spin speed, only when the tub 16 is rotating at wash speed in the direction of spin rotation. Thus, if when the timer switch 102 opens, the reverser contacts 72 are in position to energise the main drive motor 20 at wash speed in the spin direction, the arrangement of the cams 114 and 118 ensures that when contact 106 opens, the drum 16 will have completed rotation at wash speed in the spin direction sufiiciently to ensure even distribution of the clothes in the tub 16 and opening of contacts 106 de-energises the clutch solenoid 40 so that high-speed spin drive to the tub 16 is engaged through the pulleys 24, 26 and 28. Also, opening of the contact 106 deenergises the timer motor 90 so that the cam-shaft 112 stops and the tub 16 spins until the timer switch 100 opens.
If, however, when the timer switch 102 opens to initiate spin, the reverser contacts are in position to energise the motor 20 at wash speed in a direction opposite to spin direction, the arrangement of the cams 114 and 118 ensures that the contact 106 will remain closed, thus keeping the clutch solenoid 40 and timer motor 90 energised, until the rotation opposite to spin is completed and the wash rotation is reversed and maintained long enough to distribute the clothes evenly. By then the cam 118 will have rotated sufiiciently to open contact 106 to cause engagement of spin drive as already explained.
Thus the circuit arrangement just described ensures that spin normally occurs only when the clothes have become evenly distributed by wash rotation in the same direction as spin. However, in certain cases the wash rotation immediately preceding spinning may not succeed in distributing the clothes evenly; and when spinning follows, imbalance forces may cause sufiicient oscillation of the tub 16 and water container 12 on the arms 14 to cause the plunger 52 of the two-position switch 50 to engage the screw 53 on the bumper arm 54 so as to cause the contact 92 (FIGURE 2) to move from fixed contact 82 to fixed contact 86.
This de-energises the main drive motor 20 and reenergises both the clutch solenoid 40 and the timer motor 90, both being energised in parallel from L2 through contacts 86, 92 of switch 50, lead 94, overload protector 96, lead 98, closed timer switch 100 and closed contact 108 of the reverser switch to the line L1. When spin was initiated, the timer motor 90 was stopped when contact 106 opened and, as can be seen from FIGURE 2, when contact 108 was closed.
Thus, the drive connection between the main motor 20 and the tub 16 is changed back to that for wash rotation and the energisation of the timer motor 90 causes the contact 106 to close. After ten seconds the dash-pot in the switch 50 allows the contact 92 to move back to the fixed contact 82. The clutch solenoid 40 and the timer motor 90 remain energised through closed contact 106 and the main winding 60 of the main motor 20 is re-energised from L1 through closed contact 108 of the reverser switch 70, closed timer switch 100, lead 98, overload protector 96, lead 94 contacts 32 and 92 of switch 50 and leads 84 and 62.
The motor 20 now drives the tub 16 at wash speed in the same direction as spin until motion of the cam 116 opens contact 108 to stop the motor 20. Then the contacts 72 change over to the contacts 66 and the motor 20 drives the tub 16 at wash speed in the opposite direction until the motor 20 is again reversed by the contacts 72 as just explained. These three wash periods involving two reversals re-distribute the clothes in the tub 16. The motor 20 then drives the tub 16 again at wash speed in the same direction as spin until the contact 106 is opened by the cam 118. This de-energises the solenoid 40 so that the clutch is changed over to connect spin drive to the tub 16. The timer motor is also de-energised. The tub 16 thus rotates again at spin speed in the same direction as the immediately preceding rotation at wash speed. If imbalance should persist such as to cause a second operation of the switch 50, the same sequence of events will again follow as explained above. In exceptional cases the switch 50 may be operated several times.
A clothes washer machine comprising a frame, a container and tub assembly mounted on said frame so as to be oscillatable within limits relative thereto, said tub being rotatable for the Washing and the spin-drying of clothes therein, a reversible motor for rotating said tub in wash and spin operations, electric control devices for effecting sequential wash and spin operations of said tub, and an unbalance detector system responsive to oscillations of said assembly beyond a predeteremined limit due to clothes unbalance during said spin operation to actuate said electric control devices in a programmed rebalancing cycle so as to stop tub rotation, and then in sequence eiTect wash rotation in the direction of spin, wash rotation in the direction opposite to spin, wash rotation in the direction of spin, and finally a re-initiation of spin, said system including clutch means operable for selecting the wash or spin operation of said tub by controlling the speed at which said motor rotates said tub, timer motor means connected to said electric control devices for actuating same and an unbalance switch responsive to oscillations of said assembly beyond a predetermined limit due to clothes unbalance, said unbalance switch having a normal position in power supply relationship to said motor and an unbalance position interrupting power supply to said motor and in power supply relationship to said clutch means and said timer motor means to initiate said programmed rebalancing cycle.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,311,545 2/1943 Hurley et a1 68-24 X 3,005,328 10/1961 Gehrig 68--24 X FOREIGN PATENTS 829,292 3/ 1960 Great Britain. 881,271 11/ 1961 Great Britain.
WILLIAM 1. PRICE, Primary Examiner.