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Publication numberUS3289430 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 6, 1966
Filing dateMar 27, 1964
Priority dateMar 27, 1964
Publication numberUS 3289430 A, US 3289430A, US-A-3289430, US3289430 A, US3289430A
InventorsAlvin N Dedricks, Richard H Swanson
Original AssigneeManitowoc Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Spray type ice cube making machine
US 3289430 A
Abstract  available in
Images(8)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

De@ 6, 3.966 A. N. DEDRICKS ETAL. 39239943@ SPRAY TYPE ICE CUBE MAKING MACHINE 8 Sheets-5heet l Filed March 27, 1964 INVENTORS ALVIN N. DEDRICKS RlCHARD H. SWANSON De @s 1%@ A. N. Dammen@ ETAL, f@

SPRAY TYPE ICE CUBE MAKING MACHINE Filed March 27, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS ALVIN N. DEDRICKS RICHARD H. SWANSON ltr', Y i

ATTORN Dec.. E. W66 A. N. DEDRICKS ETAL.

SPRAY TYPE ICE CUBE MAKING MACHINE 8 Sheets-Sheet 4.

Filed March 27, 1964 INVENTORS ALVIN N. DEDRICKS RICHARD H. SWANSON ATTORNEY Dec., 6, w66 A. N. DEDRscKs ETAL Sgv@ SPRAY TYPE ICE CUBE MAKING MACHINE Filed March 27, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR S ALVIN N. DEDRICKS RiCHARD H. SWANSON Dec.. 6, 3965 A. N. DEDRICKS ETAL. 392%439 SPRAY TYPE ICE CUBE MAKING MACHINE 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed March 27, 1964 ALVIN N. DEDRICKS RXCHARD H. SWANSON Deu, 6, E966 A. N. @Emmons ETAL. EQZQE SPRAY TYPE ICE CUBE MAKING MACHNE Filed March L37, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet .1

INVENTOR S ALVKN N. DEDRICKS RICHARD H. SWANSON Dec. E9 196 N. DEDRKCKS ETAL. 3&29943@ SPRAY TYPE ICE CUBE MAKING MACHINE Filed March 27, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTORS ALVIN N. DEDRICKS RICHARD H. SWANSON @ATTORNEY United States Patent O This invention relates generally to a machine -or apparatus for making and storing relatively small chunks of ice of uniform shape and size, preferably of the type known generally as ice cubes.

More particularly, the present invention pertains to a machine or apparatus employing a method or process for continuously and automatically making and storing substantial quantities of high-quality ice cubes.

There is currently being formulated, by the National Sanitation Foundation, standards of cleanliness relating to automatic frozen food product making machinery or apparatus, to which manufacturers must conform in order t-o obtain a seal of approval from the foundation. Included in these standards are requirements such as the accessibility of the parts or components of the apparatus for proper and thorough cleaning and visual inspection, and the removability of the parts or components from the main apparatus Without the use of tools or with the use of only simple tools.

It is a primary object of the present invention, therefore, to provide a machine or apparatus for making ice in cube or other desired shapes that is so constituted and arranged as to conform with the requirements of the standards of the National Sanitation Foundation relative to the ease of removal and maintenance of cleanliness of component parts of automatic frozen food product machinery or apparatus.

Another primary object of this invention is to provide such a machine or apparatus having an ice cube making unit which is isolated from other portions of the apparatus and which can be completely and easily disassembled, reassembled, or replaced without the use of special tools.

A further primary object of the present invention is the provision of a machine or apparatus for making pure ice in cube or other desired shapes having an ice making section that is so constituted and arranged as to have a minimum of moving or operating parts to insure the reliable operation thereof and to require very little maintenance.

An additional primary object of this invention is to provide a machine or apparatus for making ice in cube or equivalent form having vertically aligned, parallelly inclined mold and water manifold structures wherein water is ejected upwardly in relatively low pressure solid streams into inverted cups or cells in the mold structure through relatively elongated ducts formed in the water manifold, the water being sequentially frozen in the inverted mold cups and thereafter released therefrom under the induence of gravity.

Still another primary object of this invention is to provide such a machine or apparatus for making ice in cube or equivalent form wherein the inclined manifold structure is so constituted and disposed as to function as a conveyor slide for the ice cubes moving by gravity thereon when released from the inverted cups of the mold structure.

A further primary object of the present invention is the provision of such a machine or apparatus wherein an ice cube exit assembly is so constituted and arranged as to utilize the force of gravity to convey the ice cubes from the inclined manifold to a remote storage area, and wherein a novel device is provided to prevent water from ice splashing from the mold structure into the ice cube exit assembly.

A still further primary object of this invention is the provision of a machine or apparatus which employs a novel process or method for making pure ice in relatively srnall cube or equivalent shapes in a statically fixed and inclined mold from Water discharged upwardly therein from a statically fixed and parallel water manifold, the Water being discharged in relatively low pressure solid stream form from restricted duct means in the manifold, whereby the Water in the mold is sequentially frozen and released therefrom by gravity and thereafter slidably guided on the inclined manifold to move by gravity to a remote storage area.

Yet another primary object of the invention is the provision of a machine or apparatus for making ice blocks in cube or other desired shapes wherein readily removable, statically fixed and parallelly inclined mold and water manifold structures are supported by a housing assembly which is so constituted and disposed as to direct excess Water from the mold to a readily removable, statically positioned sump for recirculation.

Another primary object of the present invention is the provision of such a machine or apparatus for making ice blocks in cube or other desired shapes wherein water is maintained at a predetermined level in the sump by a iloat controlled device, the sump also including a device for flushing only a portion of the water therein from the bottom portion thereof to remove mineral and other impurities contained in the water with only a minimum loss of the chilled water contained therein.

A further primary object of this invention is to provide in such a machine or apparatus for simultaneously making a plurality of relatively small cube-like blocks of ice, an assembly for periodically flushing therefrom a minimum amount of water with each ice cube making cycle wherein any impurities that accumulate in the water will be removed with each ilushing to secure crystalline clear ice cubes and to increase the ice cube making efficiency by conserving a maximum amount of the Water used.

An additional primary object of the present invention is to provide in =a machine or apparatus for producing crystalline clear ice cbes and having a water sump reservoir, a novel device for controlling the periodic flushing from the bottom portion of the sump or reservoir only the Water contained in the lowest part thereof which contains the Water-carried impurities if any are present, thereby to conserve and retain a maximum amount of the excess water from each cycle which was chilled, but not frozen during the ice cube making process.

Still another primary object of the instant invention is to provide a mechanism or apparatus for making pure ice in cube or equivalent form having a device which is so constructed and arranged as to utilize excess chilled Water from the ice cube -making process to precool incoming water and thus to increase the efficiency of the ice cube making process.

Yet another primary object of this invention is to provide in an ice cube making machine or apparatus, such a precooling device having a novel valve assembly to control the discharge therefrom of excess chilled water owing therein after each ice cube making process or cycle.

A still further primary object of this invention is to provide in a lmachine -or apparatus for simultaneously making a plurality lof relatively small blocks of ice in cube 0r equivalent form, a Water manifold comprising a pair of facing and parallelly disposed member, at least one of which comprises substantially shallow curved corrugations and has a plurality of uniformly spaced water discharge ducts extending through the raised portions of the corrugations thereof for simultaneous discharge of water therethrough, the manifold members having a novel gasket or sealing device therebetween and being manually releasably secured together.

Other objects, advantages, and important features of this invention will be apparent from a study of the specification following, taken with the drawings which together described, disclose, illustrate, and show certain embodiments or modifications of machinery or apparatus which define the component parts of a system which employs a novel method or process for making pure ice in cube or c-omparable shapes and what is now considered and believed to 'be the best method of practicing the procedures and principles thereof. Still other embodiments, modifications, procedures, or equivalents thereof may be suggested to those having the benefit of the teachings herein, and such other embodiments, modifications, procedures, or equivalents a're intended t-o be reserved to the a-pplicant especially as they fall within the scope and breadth of the sulbjoined claims.

In the drawing:

FIGURE 1 is `a front elevational view of the cabinet containing the machine or apparatus for makin-g ice in cube or comparable shapes, wherein a portion Iof the cabinet is broken away and illustrated in section to better show the construction of the outer wall, the lowermost drain section thereof, and the waste water drainpipe connection mounted therein;

FIGURE 2 is an end elevational view of the cabinet structure of the ice Imaking machine or apparatus viewed from the left in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along the line 3 3 of FIGURE 1 and taken through the ice cube .making section in the uppermost portion thereof to clearly show the fixed parallel arrangement and disposition of the ice cube forming components;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional view taken substan` tially along the line 4 4 of FIGURE 3 to show more clearly various details of the mold, water manifold, and sump structure of the present ice making machi-ne or apparatus;

FIGURE 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially along lline 5 5 of FIGURE 4 to clearly show details of the water supply component of the ins-tant apparatus and the control features therefor;

FIGURE 6 is an exploded perspective view of the water manifold, showing the components thereof in unassembled but aligned relationship;

FIGURE 7 is a front eleva-tional view in section of the water manif-old, showing the parts thereof in assembled relationship;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary sectional view in enlarged scale of a portion of the apparatus illustrated in FIG- URE 7, showing an end portion of the water manifold employed in the embodiment of FIGURES 3 and 4 and showing more clearl-y the preferred sealing lgasket between the peripheral end portions of the manifold sections;

FIGURES 9, 10i, 11, and 12 are enlarged fragmentary sectional views corresponding to FIGURE 8, showing modified forms of sealing gaskets between the peripheral end portions of the manifold sections and showing modified mounting means for the water manifold;

FIGURE 13 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a modified form of the water deflector assembly shown in FIGURE 3;

FIGURES 14 and 15 are enlarged fragmentary elevational views in section of modified arrangements for controlling the water level of the water sump -to effect periodic partial drainage of the sump;

FIGURE 16 is a perspective view of a tray or receptacle which can be incorporated into the ins-tant ice cube making machine or apparatus to receive excess coo-led water therein from the freezing mold for precooling incoming water passing therethrough;

FIGURE 17 is an enlarged fragmentary plan View of a control valve provided in the base of the precooling tray shown in FIGURE 16:

FIGURE 18 is a longitudinal sectional vie-w taken substantially along line 18-18 of FIGURE 17;

FIGURE 19 is a schematic rear elevational View, with4 parts broken away, of the ice cube making machine or apparatus shown in FIGURE 3, showing water being discharged from the water manifold into inverted cups or cells in the freezing mold; and

FIGURE 20 is a schematic front elevational view, with parts broken away, of a modified form of the instant ice cube making machine or apparatus, showing two functionally independent and self-contained ice making units;

FIGURE 21 is a view similar to FIGURE 13, showing another modified form of the iwater deector assem'bly shown in FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 22 is a perspective vie-w showing a further modification of the modified form of the lwater deflect-or assembly shown in FIGURE 21.

With reference now to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 an ice machine enclosure or cabinet 30 of generally rectangular shape having an upper section 32 which provides a chamber 34 in which is mounted the present ice cube making unit, mechanism or apparatus. The chamber 34 is closed by an easily removable upper closure member or cover 36. Below the upper cabinet section 32 is a lower section 3S which is shown as being of greater length than the lupper section 32, although it may be of any suitable or desirable length. The upper portion of the lower section 38 comprises an ice bin 40 which receives the ice -cubes from the ice cube making chamber 34, the front of the ice bin 40 being closed by access doors 42 for the removal of ice cubes therefrom when desired. The bottom portion of the lower cabinet section 3S comprises a drain area 44 having a suitable pipe connection 45 mounted in a side wall 48 thereof adjacent the bottom wall Si? for disposal of waste water therefrom.

If desired, the Icabinet 30 may comprise two or more functionally independent and self-contained upper ice making sections which would be vertically aligned and in overlying relationship within the cabinet 30. A cabinet 30 comprising two vertically aligned ice making sections 32 and 52 is illustrated schematically in FIGURE 20, the details of which will 'be more fully described hereinafter.

All outer wall portions of the cabinet 3f), together with its upper closure member 36 and its ice cube access doors 42, are preferably of hollow construction, comprising in each instance an inner wall 54 parallelly spaced from an outer wall 56, both of suitable sheet material of adequate strength such as aluminum, for example, with suitable insulation material 58 filling the space therebetween.

With particular reference to FIGURES 3 and 4, the ice cube making chamber 34 of the upper cabinet section 32 has fixedly mounted therein a freezing mold or platten di) disposed at an oblique angle to a horizontal plane and lengthwise of the cabinet 3d and asymmetrically thereto. The freezing mold 60 comprises a generally rectangular structure having a plurality of parallel rows of inverted or downwardly opening freezing cells or cups 62 formed therein. Each of the cells 62 preferably is rectangular in cross section with a top wall 64 lying substantially parallel to the inclined bottom wall d6 of the mold 60 and having downwardly diverging side walls 68. The mold 60 preferably is formed of a heat conducting material, such as aluminum, and refrigerant or evaporator tubes 7d are initially cast in the mold 60 or are securely fastened to the back surface thereof, the refrigerant tubes being connected by either fiexible piping or conventional disconnectible coupling means to aconventional refrigerating apparatus (not shown) which forms no part of theinstant invention.

While a specific and preferred shape of the freezing cells 62 has been described, it is to be clearly understood that any desired cell shape may be used, with the limitation only that the ice cubes formed in the cells 62 rnay freely fall therefrom by gravity when the freezing cycle is terminated and the mold is defrosted in the usual or conventional reversal refrigerant flow manner to effect a slight warming of the walls 64 and 68 of each cell 62 to free the ice cube formed therein.

Each of the upper walls 64 of the freezing cells 62 is thickened at its midsection to form an elongated ridge 72 at the upper or outer side thereof, as `shown in FIG- URE 3. Extending through this thickened portion between the ridge 72 and the center of the upper wall 64 of each cell 62 is a relatively restricted duct or channel 74 which :serves a purpose to be described hereinafter. The freezing mold 60 is insulated by suitable insulation 76 mounted on its lower portion between the freezing cells 62, on its side portions and on its upper wall portion intermediate the ridges 72. The insulation 76 on the upper wall portion preferably is of a thickness as to extend substantially flush with the elongated ridges 72 thereon to form therewith a substantially smooth inclined planar surface, as shown in FIGURE 3, for a purpose to be later explained.

The freezing rnold 60 is removably mounted and frictionally held in its fixed and obliquely inclined position in the cabinet chamber 34 by .a water discharge or spray housing 78 which is provided with a laterally extending flange portion 79 that is secured by any desired means, such as bolts 80 or the like, to angle brackets 82 welded or otherwise secured to the outer walls 56 of the cabinet section 32 (see FIGURES 3 and 4). Frictional clamping and positioning brackets 84 and 86 for the freezing mold 60 are removably secured in any suitable manner on the flange portion 79 of the spray housing 78. The spray housing lpreferably is formed of a suitable plastic material such as a polyolen, a polyamide, or a polyvinylchloride, although it may also be formed of a vsuitable metal such as aluminum.

As clearly shown in FIGURE 3, the freezing mold 60 is asytmimetrically positioned lengthwise of the cabinet section 32, with the upper or left end portion of the inclined mold 60 being disposed in close relationship to the adjacent or left side of the cabinet section 32 and the lower or right end portion of the mold 60 `being relatively widely spaced from the adjacent or right side of the cabinet section 32. The portion of the flange 79 extending around approximately three sides of the spray housing 7S underlies and supports the freezing mold 60. The lower wall 92 of the spray housing 7S, the major portion of which is inclined and parallel to the inclined freezing mold 60, is spaced a substantial distance below the ymold 60 and is integral with the upwardly extending side walls 94 of the spray housing 78 which are disposed in perpendicular relationship to the inclined plane of the mold 60.

The portion 96 of the spray housing flange 79', provided on approximately one side of the spray housing 78 as shown in FIGURE 3, is provided with a raised edge or rim 98 to form a water collecting tray T for any water flowing down from the upper surface of the freezing mold 60 for a reason to be described hereinafter. The side wall 94 of the spray housing 7S adjacent the flange portion 96 is apertured at 100 throughout it's transverse width corresponding to the width of the -mold 60. Secured in any suitable manner to the housing wall 94 adjacent the upper edge of the aperture 100 therein is a slightly transversely inclined, upwardly facing and generally U-shaped water receiving tray 102. The tray 102 extends through the aperture 100l to a point underlying a V-shaped or angular water splash deflector strip or plate 104 which is secured to the underside of the freezing mold 60 in any suitable manner. The V-shaped water splash deflector plate 104 coacts with the water receiving tray 102 in a :manner to be later described.

The spray housing 7S has suitably secured on its interior side walls 94 a series of spaced lug members 106 and 108 which removably support a water manifold or fountain field structure 110 disposed intermediate the freezing mold 60 and the lower wall 92 of the spray housing 78, the water manifold structure 110 being disposed in vertical alignment with and parallelly inclined to the freezing mold 60 As shown in FIGURES 3, 4, 6, 7, and 18, the water manifold structure 110, which is coextensive with the freezing mold 60, comprises two coextensive :and parallel, upper and lower, cupped or disked plate-like members 112 and 114, respectively, preferably of a suitable plastic material similar to that of the spray housing 78. A flexible and resilient sealing gland or gasket 116 of a suitable material, such as rubber or a plastic such as vinyl, is interposed between the plate members 112 and 114 of the manifold 110 and is in contact with t-he peripheral rim portions 117 and 119, respectively, thereof. The peripheral rim portions 117 and 119 of the manifold plates 112 and 114, respectively, are frictionally held together in sealing engagement with the sealing gasket 116 by L-shaped brackets 11S- and 120 having laterally extending legs 122 and 124, respectively. The legs 122 and 124 are maintained in tight engagement with the upper and lower manifold plates 112 and 114, respectively, by threaded bolts 126 extending through apertures therein and having wing nuts 128 threaded on the ends thereof into firm engagement with the leg 124 of each L-shaped bracket 120. The opstanding leg 130 on each lower, L- shaped bracket 120 is provided with a plate .member 132 rigidly secured thereto in any suitable manner. The plate member 132 is provided with a downwardly extending slot 134 which is adapted to receive therein the adjacent lug 108 on the spray housing 78 in order to removably mount the water manifold 110 on the spray housing 78 (see FIGURE 4).

The peripheral rim portions 117 and 119 of the manifold plates 112 and 114, respectively, are also disposed in channels 13S and 140 in U-shaped retaining plates 142 and 144, respectively (see FIGURE 6). The retaining plate 142 is provided with brackets 146 rigidly mounted thereon in any suitable manner and provided with apertures 148 in which the mounting lugs 106 of the spray housing 78 are received (see FIGURES 3 and 4). The opposite retaining plate 144 has plate members 150 rigidly mounted thereon in any suitable manner whi-ch are provided with lower, upwardly curved sections 152 which serve a purpose to be described hereinafter.

The preferred resilient sealing gasket 116, used in the manifold 110 shown in FIGURES 3, 4, 6, and 7, is shown in enlarged scale in FIGURE 8. The gasket 116, which is endless throughout the entire peripheral extent of the manifold 11G, is of a generally T-shaped section with a transverse flange portion 154 thereof in abutting contact engagement with the outer peripheral edges 156 and 158 of the manifold plate rim portions 117 and 119, respectively. The laterally extending leg 160 of the gasket 106 extends between and in sealing engagement with the parallel surfaces 162 and 164 of the manifold plate rim portions 117 and 119, respectively, and terminates in a solid, generally circular or bulbous section 166 which is in firm engagement with the inclined surfaces 168 and 170 of the manifold plates 112 and 114.

The sealing gasket 116 may be of various sectional configurations and the rim portions 117 and 119 of the manifold plates 112 and 114, respectively, may be mounted on the side walls 94 of the spray housing 73 in an alternate manner, as illustrated, for example, in FIGURES 9, l0, ll, and l2. In all of these figures, the peripheral rim portions 117 and 119 of the manifold plates 112 and 114, respectively, are frictionally held together in sealing engagement against the modified sealing glands shown therein by the reinforced legs of U-shaped, resilient spring clamp members 172. The spring clamp members 172 are welded or otherwise suitably secured to strap-like members 173 which are suitably apertured at the upper ends thereof (not shown) to slidably engage the mounting lugs 106 and 103 of the spray housing 73. This moditied mounting arrangement of the water manifold 111i on spray housing 78 may also be utilized with the preferred sealing gland or gasket 116 shown in FIGURES 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8, and the preferred mounting arrangment for the water manifold 119 shown in these latter v figures may be used with the modied sealing gaskets shown in FIGURES 9 through 12,

The modified sealing gasket 416 shown in FIGURE 9 is similar to the preferred sealing gasket 116 in that it comprises a transverse end frange portion 454 and a leg 460 extending inwardly therefrom. The leg 4611 terminates in a generally triangular, hollow, and inflated section 466, the sides of which bear against the inclined surfaces 168 and`170 of the manifold plate members 112 and 114, respectively. In FIGURE l0, the second modified sealing gasket 516 has a leg 561i which terminates at its outer edge substantially ush or in alignment with the outer peripheral edges 156 and 15S of the plate rim portions 117 and 119, respectively, while the inner edge of the leg 560 terminates in a bifurcated portion 566 having wing sections which are flared outwardly into contact with the inclined plate surfaces 168 and 171B. The third modified gasket 616 of FIGURE 11 is generally similar to the second modified gasket of FIGURE 10, except that the inner edge portion thereof is solid and enlarged at 666 and terminates in a vertically extending, flat inner face 668. FIGURE l2 illustrates a fourth modified sealing gasket 716 which is similar to the preferred gasket 116 in that the leg 760 thereof terminates in an inner solid bulbous section 767 in engagement with the inclined plate surfaces 168 and 170. The outer edge of the leg 760, however, terminates substantially flush with the outer peripheral edges 156 and 158 of the manifold rim portions 117 and 119, respectively.

The upper, relatively thick plate-like member 112 of the water manifold 110, as clearly shown in FIGURES 4 and 7, is generally corrugated in section and is provided with raised, curved portions 174 and at, depressed portions 176. The raised curved portions 17d are disposed in vertical alignment with the parallel rows of freezing cells 62 in the Imold 61B. Each raised portion 174 has a plurality of equally spaced water ejection ducts 178 therein which, owing to the thickness of the plate member 112, a-re relatively elongated in section. Each of the water ducts 178 is disposed in alignment with each of the mold cups or cells 62 so that the latter will receive water ejected from the ducts 178.

The bottom plate-like member 114 of the manifold 110 is formed at the lower end thereof (the right end as seen in FIGURE 3) with a locally depressed basin or well 180 to which extends a water supply pipe 182 that is slidably and detachably connected thereto by a suitable, easily removable rubber sleeve or bushing 184. The water supply pipe 182 extends downwardly through an enlarged aligned opening 186 in a depressed drain basin or well 188 in the bottom wall 92 of the spray housing 78.

Disposed directly below the enlarged opening 186 in the spray housing well 188 is a flat-bottomed water sump or reservoir 190 of relatively small transverse area relative to the cabinet chamber 34, as is apparent from FIGURES 3, 4, and 5. The sump 190 preferably is formed of a suitable plastic material similar to that of the spray housing 78. Removably mounted in the sump 1911 is a unitary pump and motor unit 192 comprising a pump 194, vertically spaced from the bottom of the sump 198 on legs 196 and a motor 198, preferably of the electric type, which is positioned directly over the pump 194 and suitably connected in driving relation thereto. The motor 198 is thermostatically responsive, by means not shown, to the tem- 3 perature of the water in the freezing mold cells 62, in a manner to be described hereinafter.

The water supply pipe 182 connects at the lower end thereof with the water discharge end 200 of the water pump 194. A water feed pipe or conduit 202 enters the cabinet chamber 34 at 20d and connects with the sump 190 through a valve 206 which is controlled by a pivoted arm 208 having a float 210 adjustably mounted thereon at its free end disposed within the sump 190. The valve 286 is readily disconnectible from the water feed pipe 202 and is removably supported on the upper portion of one side of the sump 19t) by a horizontally positioned plate member 212 thereon having a vertical pin 214 slidably and snugly received in a stirrup bracket 216 xedly secured on the sump 19() (see FIGURE 3).

As clearly shown in FIGURE 4, a vertically positioned, L-shaped overflow pipe 21S having a top edge 220 is connected to the sump 19t) adjacent its bottom wall portion 222 and is held rigidly in position by a brace member 224 attached to the side wall 226 of the sump 190. An overow opening 228 is provided in the side wall 230 of the sump 191B near the upper portion thereof and is spaced a predetermined, but relatively short, distance above the top edge 220 of the overflow pipe 218 for a reason which will be apparent from the description hereinafter.

The chamber 34 of the upper cabinet section 32, which is positioned directly over the ice bin 40 of the lower cabinet section 38, has a bottom hollow or double-walled structure forming a partition 232 between the two cabinet sections 32 and 38 (see FIGURES 3 and 4). The upper portion of the partition 232 has a flat, substantially horizontal peripheral wall portion 234 on which is supported the sump 190, and a major depressed central drain area 236 having a lower wall 238 sloping downwardly towards one end thereof, The drain area 236 has a well or depression 248 therein to which is connected a sewer drain connection 242. At one end of the partition 232 (the right end as shown in FIGURE 3), an elevated or raised horizontal section 244 is provided which connects the peripheral 234 of the partition 232 with the central depressed drain area 236. The horizontal section 244 of the partition 232 is provided with a vertical opening 246 which serves a purpose to be later described. The sump 190 is removably supported on and frictionally held in position on the fiat peripheral wall 234 of the partition 232 solely by its own weight and the weight of its contents, such as the pump and mot-or unit 192 and the water contained therein.

Secured to one end of the water spray housing 78 is a downwardly extending, vertically disposed ice cube exit chute structure 248 (see FIGURE 3) having an upper, elongated entry port 248 of a width corresponding to the width of the freezing mold 6d. The exit chute structure 243-8 is rigidly secured in any suitable manner, such as by an angle bracket or brackets 252, to the spray housing 78 in a manner to align the entry port 250 thereof with the adjacent end opening in the spray housing 78. The lower end 254 of the ice cube chute structure 248 has an adapted sleeve 256 secured thereon which is snugly received in the vertical lopening 246 of the raised horizontal section 244 of the partition 232. .The outer wall portion 258 of the lower ice chute end 254 is extended to the lower end of the adapter sleeve 256 and is bent inwardly to form an ice cube detiector surface 260. The lower wall portion 262 of the bottom, double-walled partition 232 of charnber 34 is generally horizontally flat and seats on the upper edges of the side walls of the lower cabinet section 38 forming the ice bin 49. An opening 264 formed in the lower wall portion 262 snugly receives fthe lower end of the adapter sleeve 256 therethrough, the latter being flanged at 266 and secured to the lower wall porti-on 262 in any suitable manner.

As shown in FIGURE 3, a drain tube 268 connects to the water collecting tray T formed on the upper portion 96 of the spray housing 78 to conduct any water therein 9 to the central drain area 236 in the lower portion of the cabinet section 82` and alongside of the sump 190.

Also illustrated in FIGURE 3 is a bridging wire grid 269 which extends across and is removably and frictionally secured in any suitable manner, such as on the curved plate sections 152 (FIGURE 6), between the lower end of the manifold 110 and the lower edge of the end opening 180 in the spray housing 78 to form a connecting path or support structure therebetween which serves a purpose to be described hereinafter.

FIGURE 16 shows a water regenerative or precooling receptacle or tray 270 formed of a suitable heat conducting plastic or metallic material, which may be utilized with the instant ice cube making machine or apparatus in its preferred or modified forms. The regenerative tray 270 could, for example, be positioned or mounted in any suitable manner in the depression 240 of the drain area 236 beneath the drain opening 186 in the basin 188 of the spray housing 78 to receive excess unfrozen, but cooled water falling from the freezing mold 60 and running along the water manifold 118 onto the bottom wall 92 of the housing 78. Alternatively, the regenerative tray 270 could be rigidly secured to or integrally formed with the bottom wall 92 from the spray housing 78 in the area of the drain opening 186 thereof to receive excess cooled water therefrom.

The tray 270 comprises a base 272 in which there is disposed a cooling coil 274, one end of which is connected to the water feed pipe 282 entering the chamber 34 at 204 and the other end of which preferably is connected to the balance of the water feed pipe 202 extending to the float-controlled valve 286. A raised wall 276 surrounds the tray 270 to retain therein the excess cooled water entering the tray from the spray housing 78. This cooled water functions to precool the incoming water in the water feed pipe 282 as itpasses through the cooling coil 274 in the base 272 of the tray 270, thereby increasing the eciency of the instant ice cube making mechanism or apparatus.

As shown in FIGURES 16 through 18, the regenerative tray 270 preferably is provided with a drain valve 278 which allows the excess cooled water to gradually drain from the tray 270 into a conduit 280 preferably leading to the sump 190 at a rate which will maintain the level of the excess water in the tray 270 below the upper surface of the raised wall 276 to prevent overflowing and to allow for a fresh supply of cooled water from the spray housing 78. The drain valve 278 comprises an externally threaded, generally cylindrical hollow valve member 282 which is threaded into an opening 284 in the base 272 of the tray 270 which is in communication with a bore 286 leading to the drain conduit 280. The interior surface 288 of the valve member 282 is radially relieved or enlarged at spaced intervals therearound to form drain channels 298 therein. A solid, generally circular plug 292 is disposed within the valve member 282 and is in frictional engagement with the interior surface 288 thereof, the bottom 294 of the plug 292 being disposed above the termination of the drain channels 290 adjacent the bottom portion of the valve member 282. The excess, cooled water in the tray 270 may thus drain through the channels 290 in the valve member 282 past the plug 292 and into the conduit 288 leading to the sump 190 at a predetermined rate determined by the depth of the plug 292 in the valve member 282. i

While the regenerative tray 278 has been disclosed herein as a modification of the instant ice cube making mechanism or apparatus disclosed specifically in FIG- URES 3 and 4, for the purpose of simplifying these figures, it is noted that the regenerative tray 270 is considered to be a preferred modication of the instant apparatus, since it results in the increased efcency thereof. It is also noted that the tray 278 may be mounted in any suitable location on the instant apparatus, the only limitations being that the tray should be disposed to receive 1.8 the excess cooled water therein from the spray housing 78 and to intercept the water feed pipe 282 to cool the incoming water therein, and the drain conduit 280 thereof preferably should extend into the sump 19110` to conserve the excess, cooled water draining from the tray 270.

Before describing the operation of the instant apparatus, it will be assumed that initially the sump is filled with water to a level corresponding to that of the top edge 220 of its overflow pipe 218 (see FIGURE 4). The float 210y is initially adjusted along its pivoted arm 208 so that the arm 208 will close the valve 206 to end the ilow of Water into the sump 190 from the water feed pipe 202 when the level of the float 218 corresponds to the level of the upper edge 220 of the overflow pipe 218. It will also `be assumed that the mold cells 62 are emptied of ice cubes and that the thermostatically responsive pump motor 198 is thereby energized to actuate the pump 194 in a conventional manner, and also that refrigerant for freezing water entering the mold cells 62 is flowing in the tubes 78 extending through the mold 68.

In operation, the actuation of the pump 194 by its motor 198 forces the water contained in the sump 190 to enter the pump inlet spaced above the bottom of the sump 198v for discharge under pressure from the outlet 208 of the pump 194 through the water supply pipe 182 and then into the fixed and inclined water manifold 110. When the water is under a predetermined pressure within the manifold 110, it is ejected upwardly 'through the elongated ejection ducts 178 in the raised portions 172 of the manifold plate 112 in the form of small, relatively low pressure and low velocity streams S, as shown schematically in FIGURE 19. Each of these small water streams S impinges within an aligned freezing mold cell 62 to force air trapped therein up through the mold cell air vent apertures 74. Any water from the ejection ducts 178 which tends to splash toward the ice cube chute 248 is prevented from entering the chute yby impinging against the downwardly and outwardly extending angular deflector plate or strip 184. The water is then deflected from the plate 104 into the water receiving tray 102 which empties at one end into the spray housing 78, the water then escaping into the sump 190 via the -opening 186 in the basin 188 of the spray housing 78.

Since the freezing mold 60 is stationarily inclined, as disclosed, any water which escapes through the mold cell air vent apertures 74, along with the air forced therethrough flows down the upper surface ridges 72 and insulation 76 of the mold 70. From the upper surface of the freezing mold 70, the water drains into the water collecting tray T, the drain tube 268, and then down onto the sloping lower wall 238 of the partition 232 at the bottom of the cabinet section 32 which guides the water via the well 240 to the sewer drain connection 242.

Since the flow of water from the elongated discharge ducts 178 of the water manifold 110 into the mold cup or cells 62 is of relatively low pressure and `therefore gentle and solid in character, it readily freezes in the cell 62 by the freez-ing action of the refrigerant flowing through the evaporator pipes 78 in the mold 68. Since this freezing of the water in the mold cells 62 progressively develops inwardly from the inner surfaces of the side walls 68 thereof, any minute particles of mineral salts or other impurities suspended in the water flowing into the cells 62 tends to move toward the center thereof and thus is flushed away by the water being gently discharged into the cells 62 from the water manifold 110.

Any water that is ejected from the elongated manifold ducts 178 land not frozen in the mold cells 62, is chilled and prevented from freezing on the remaining exposed portions of the mold structure 60 by reason of the insulation 76 -thereof and flows down onto the lower surface or wall 92 of the spray housing 78. This chilled water on the lower housing wall 92 is conducted into the depressed drain basin area 188 and escapes through the opening 186 therein into the sump 190i. It is noted again that, instead of draining directly into the sump 190, the excess, chilled water from the freezing mold 60 could be conveyed from the spray housing 78 into the Iregenerative tray 270 shown in FIGURE 16 to thus precool the incoming water passing through the cooling coil 274 of the tray 270 and increase the eiiiciency of the instant apparatus.

Any mineral or other impurities in the water, as above referred to, which are returned to or contained in the sump 190, tend to settle to the bottom 222 thereof, above which the pump intake is spaced. Since the excess chilled water thus returned to the sump 190, either directly from the spray Ihousing '7S or through the regenerative tr-ay 270, is in excess of that admitted to the sump 190 by the water inlet valve 206, under control of its governor float 210, the water level in the sump 190 thereby is caused to rise above the top edge 220 of the overflow pipe 218 to the level of the overflow opening 228 in the side wall 230 of the sump 190. When this rise in the water level occurs, the water from the bottom portion of the sump 190, along with any impurities contained therein, is -removed therefrom through the overiiow pipe 218 and then down onto the lower surface 238 of the partition 232 to the sewer drain connection 242.

It will be readily seen, therefore, that such impurities, if present, are prevented from being continually recirculated over the ice cubes as they are being frozen in the mold cells 62. As t-he water level in the sump 190 lowers to the level of the top edge 220 of the overiiow pipe 218, the water flow therethrough to the sewer drain connection 242 ends. Accordingly, only a small volume'of Water, as determined by the difference in height between the top edge 220 of the overiiow pipe 218 and the sump overflow opening 223, drains from the sump 190 -at a given time. It is apparent that this minimizes chilled water wastage and thereby further increases the efliciency of the instant ice cube making apparatus.

When the freezing of the ice cubes in the mold cells 62 is completed, the thermostatically responsive pump motor 198 and thus the discharge of water from the pump 194 are automatically stopped. The water t-hen standing in the water manifold 1110 drains -back down through the Water supply pipe 132 into the pump housing via its discharge outlet 200 and then into the sump 190 via the pump inlet (not shown) spaced from the bottom 222 of the sump. The ow of refrigerant in the evaporator pipes 70 wit-hin t-he mold 60 is then reversed for a predetermined period, by conventional means not illustrated, to temporarily warm the mold cells 62 and to effect a slight melting of the mold-contacting surfaces of the ice cubes formed therein to free them by gravity from the mold cell 62. Ey reason of the ducts or air vent apertures 74 air pressure is let into the respective mold cells 62 so that :any vacuum effect which may be created therein is broken so that the newly formed ice cubes then fall from the mold cells 62 by gravity onto the inclined curved and flat portions 174 and 176, respectively, of the upper plate 112 of the freezing mold 60 and are guided thereby to slide downwardly therealong, 'also by gravity, over the wire grid 269 and through the opening 100 in the spray housing 78 into the ice chute 248. The ice cubes then pass by gravity down through the chute 248 and through the `adapter sleeve 256 into the ice cube storage bin 40. Meanwhile, as soon as the mold cells o2 are emptied of the formed ice cubes, the iiow of refrigerant pipes 70 is autom-atically returned to normal, by conventional control means (not shown), to again effect freezing of the water entering the mold cells 62. The thermostatically responsive pump motor 198 is likewise again energized to repeat the mold cell lling and freezing cycle just described.

As has heretofore been emphasized, it is important that -all of the various ceomponent elements of the instant ice cube making -apparatus Ibe readily accessible and easily removable from the cabinet section 32 by hand or without the need of special tools for cleaning or for any other purpose. This is exceedingly important since normally special solutions are required, for example, in cleaning the sump pump 194 and motor 198 thereof. By having the pump and motor unit 192 so easily removable, such solutions are prevented from being circulated throughout the entire ice cube making system of the instant apparatus. Under these conditions, it is thus unnecessary to remove the ice cubes from the storage bin 40 when the pump 194 and motor 198 are to be cleaned.

Moreover, because of the sole utilization of gravity, through the novel stationary arrangement of the freezing mold 60, the manifold 10 and ice cube exit chute 248, to effect the transfer of the ice cubes to the storage bin 40, the use of moving parts and costs of operation are maintained at a minimum to thus aid in attaining maximum eiiiciency.

When it is desired to remove the freezing mold structure 60 from the chamber 34 for cleaning or any other reason, the cover 36 is first removed from the upper cabinet section 32. Since the mold 60 is only frictionally held in place on the liange 79 of the spray housing 78 by the brackets 84 and 86, it may be easily lifted manually out of the cabinet section 32 if the evaporator pipes 70 of the mold 60 are iiexible in character. If the pipes 70 are not flexible, their conventional coupling members would be easily disconnectible by use of a conventional wrench or similar simple tool.

To similarly remove the water manifold from the spray housing 78 merely requires the manifold 110 to be manually lifted at the right end thereof as seen in FIG- URE 3 to free its plate members 132 from the lugs 10S on the spray housing 78. The manifold 110 is then manually pulled to the right as seen in FIGURE 3, to slide the brackets 146 on the retaining plate 140 from the lugs 106 on the spray housing 78. The subsequent manual lifting of the right end of the manifold 110 frees the bridging wire grid 269 from the side of the spray housing 7S and, simultaneously, frees the upper end of the water supply pipe 182 from its rubber sleeve 184 mounted on the depressed basin section 18S of the spray housing 78. The manifold 110 is then free for lifting out of the chamber 34 of the cabinet section 32.

To remove the pump Vand motor unit 192 from the sump 1&0 merely requires the manual removal of the slidably mounted control valve 206 from its readily disconnectible slidable mounting on the stirrup bracket 216 on the side of the sump 190. The pump and motor unit 192 then is readily manually liftable out of the sump 190 after the spray housing securing bolts 30 are unscrewed and the spray housing 78 has been lifted out of the cabinet section 32. With removal of the spray housing 78 and the pump and motor unit 192, it is obvious that the pump `may be readily manually lifted from the cabinet section 32, since it is only frictionally held in its ope-rative position by its own weight and the weight of its contents. The reassembly of the ice cube making components of the instant apparatus within the chamber 34 requires merely a -reversal of the steps of disassembly described above.

In FIGURE 14, there is illustrated a modified form of control mechanism for controlling the periodic limited discharge of water and settled impurities contained therein from the bottom of the sump 190, usable in lieu of the overflow pipe 218 of the above described preferred embodiment of FIGURES 3 and 4. The modified control mechanism of FIGURE 10 comprises a vertically positioned, U-shaped bracket member 294 suitably secured on the side of the sump 190 and having vertically aligned aperttures 296 and 29S in the respective end flanges 300 and 302 thereof which underlie and overlie, respectively, the sump 190. The valve rod 304 having a suitable valve member 306 secured thereto near its lower end is slidable in the liange apertures 296 and 298, the valve member 306 being adapted to seat over and close the discharge aperture 308 in the bottom of the sump 190. A iioat 310 is secured above the valve member 306 on a portion of the valve rod 304 disposed within the sump 190. The position of the float 310 on the rod 304 is such that the valve member 306 maintains the discharge aperture 308 closed when the sump 190 is normally filled by the floatcontrolled water supply valve 206 to the predetermined water level described with respect to FIGURE 4, but opens the sump discharge aperture 308 by lifting the valve member 306 when the water level approaches the overflow opening 228 in the side wall 230 of the sump 190, as illustrated in FIGURE 4.

FIGURE 15 illustrates another arrangement for controlling the periodic discharge of a portion of the water and such impurities as may be contained therein from the bottom portion of a slightly modified sump 312, the flat bottom portion 314 of which has a shallow well or depression 316 at one end thereof. A U-shaped, Siphon tube overflow pipe 318 is supported on mounting sleeve 320 extending through an overflow aperture in the upper portion of the end wall 322 of the sump 312 adjacent the well 316 and at a level corresponding to the overflow aperture 228 in FIGURE 4. The lower end 324 of the siphon pipe 318 within the sump 312 terminates closely adjacent the bottom of the well 316. A small aperture 326 is provided in the siphon pipe 318 in the upper portion thereof within the sump 312.

The lower horizontal brokenline C in FIGURE 15 is indicative of the normal water in the sump as determined by the float-controlled valve 206 shown in FIG- URES 3 and 5. The uppermost point 328 of the siphon pipe 318 is indicative of the overflow height of Water at which the Siphon pipe 318 begins to function to siphon water out of the sump 312. The upper broken line B is indicative of the level of the water at which the Siphoning action of the siphon pipe 318 is stopped because of the uncovering of the aperture 326 therein as the water level lowers, permitting the entrance of air into the upper portion of the Siphon pipe 318 to interrupt its siphoning action. The lower end of the siphon pipe 318 exteriorly of the sump 312 conducts the overflow discharge into the lower portion of the cabinet section 32 and into the sewer drain connection 242 as shown in FIGURE 3.

When the arrangement of FIGURE 15 is substituted in the instant ice cube making apparatus in the manner described above, the water draining back down into the sump 312 from the water manifold 110 via the water supply pipe 182 and the pump inlet (not shown), which now becomes a drain outlet from the manifold 110, raises the water level in the sump 312. As the water level rises above the siphon pipe aperture 326, the water in the sump 312 flows through the aperture 326 to fill the portion of the siphon pipe 318 thereabove. Should the water level in the sump 312 reach a level corresponding to the uppermost point 328 of the Siphon pipe 318, the siphoning function of the pipe 318 automatically starts and quickly begins to lower the water level by conducting water with such impurities as may be suspended therein from the lower portion of the sump and the well 316 thereof until it again uncovers the siphon pipe aperture 326 at the level D, thereby automatically interrupting the siphoning function of the pipe 318.

FIGURE 13 illustrates a modified arrangement which may be substituted for the water receiving tray 102 shown in FIGURE 3 for preventing excess water flowing from the manifold ejection ducts 178 to the lower row of mold cells 62 from splashing into the ice cube exit chute 248. An automatically operable splash preventing door or gate structure 330 is pivoted intermediate its end portions on a horizontal shaft 332 extending transversely across the cabinet chamber 34 through the upper portion of the ice cube chute 24S. The transverse width of the gate structure 330 is such that it extends laterally beyond both sides of the upper end of the chute 248. One end 334 of the gate structure 330 extends within the spray housing 78 through the end opening 100 therein and overlies the wire grid 269. The gate end 334 has formed thereon a U-shaped channel 336 with a web or tab member 338 at each end thereof substantially closing, but providing a restricted Water flow passage 340 therefrom at each end thereof between the end of the tab member 338 and the adjacent side of the gate structure 330. At its opposite end lying within the ice cube chute 248, the gate structure 330 is provided with a counterweight member 342 which, when substantially no water is in the gate channel 336, maintains the gate structure 330 in its horizontal or open position shown in solid lines in FIGURE 13, with the gate channel 336 positioned beneath the water deflector strip 104.

When water splashes from the lower row of mold cells 62 adjacent the ice chute 248 towards the top portion of the ice chute, it strikes the deflector strip 104 and is deflected thereby to fall into the channel 336 of the gate structure 330. When sufficient water collects in the gate channel 336, thereby increasing the weight of the gate end 334 to overcome the counterweight 342, it causes the gate structure 330 to pivot counter-clockwise about its pivot shaft 332 into closing position relative to the ice chute 248, as shown in broken lines in FIGURE 13, whereby the gate end 334 seats on the bridging wire grid structure 269. The water splashing onto the now inclined gate structure 330 is thereby retained within the spray housing 78 and flowsdown through the bridging wire grid 269 to the depressed basin portion 188 of the spray housing 78 and then through the opening 186 therein to the sump 190. When the water pump 194 is automatically stopped at the end of a freezing cycle, the Water contained in the gate channel 336 slowly drains therefrom through the restricted water flow passages 340 to thus permit the counterweight 342 to return the gate structure 330 to its open position when the channel 336 is substantially empty. Accordingly, when the ice cubes are released from the mold cups 62, the gate structure 330 does not interfer with their passage over the wire grid 269 to the aperture of the spray housing 7 8 and into the ice cube chute 248.

FIGURE 21 illustrates another modified arrangement which may be substituted for ythe water receiving tray 102 shown in FIGURE 3 for preventing excess water flowing from the manifold ejection ducts 178 to the lower row of mold cells 62 from splashing into the ice cube exit chute 248. In this arrangement, the angular water splash deflector plate 104 has a plate 796 removably secured to the lower port-ion thereof by a nut and bolt connection or in any other suitable manner. The plate 796 comprises a hooked portion 798 in which a flexible water dellcctor device 800 is removably disposed. The water deflector device 800 comprises a rod 801 formed of any suitable material which rests in the hooked portion 798 of plate 796. Integrally connected flexible sheets 802 and 803 of a suitable plastic or other water repellent material extend over the rod 801 and extend downwardly from the hooked portion 798 of plate 796 a sufficient distance to shield the entry opening 250 of the ice cube exit Chute 248. It is noted `that the flexible sheets 802 and 803 need not be integrally lconnected and, alternatively, they may be formed separately and thus they may be separately secured to or mounted on the rod 801 in any .suitable manner. In order to increase the flexibility of the sheets 802 and 803, each is provided with a plurality of longitudinally staggered slits 805 extending upwardly therein from the bottom portion thereof (see FIGURE 22). The plates 104, 796 and the flexible sheets 802, 803, therefore, function to deflect water splashing from the lower row of mold cells 62 towards the wire grid 269 and into the spray housing 78, thus preventing splashed water from entering the ice cube exit chute 248.

FIGURE 22 illustrates a water deflector arrangement which is substantially the same as that of FIGURE 21, except that a single deflector plate 804 is utilized instead l of the separate plates 104 and 7% of FlGURE 21. The decctor plate 504 could be secured to the underside of the freezing mold 60 in any suitable manner.

While in the preferred embodiment of the instant invention, `the Water manifold is inclined to guide and slide thereon ice cubes falling from the freezing mold, it is noted that, alternatively, the water manifold could be disposed in a substantially horizontal position and an inclined wire screen (not shown) could be disposed between the freezing mold and the rwater manifold to guide ice cubes from the freezing mold to the ice cube exit chute. The wire screen would, of course, be so constructed and disposed as to all-ow the discharge of water from the water manifold to the freezing mold cells.

From the above description, it is believed that it is readily apparent that the herein disclosed ice cub making apparatus provides an apparatus having substantially no moving parts, other than the water pump 194 and the motor 198 -driving it, and possesses durability, maintained effectiveness, and operating eiciency. It also provides a construction which Iconforms to the requirements of the National Sanitation Foundation with respect to standards of cleanliness relating to automatic frozen product making machinery or apparatus, as regards the manner in which it can readily and easily be disassembled and reassembled, and in View of the ease with Iwhich the various component parts thereof can be removed by hand or with the use of simple conventional tools for the purpose of olea-ning or replacing such parts, as above explained.

While the invention has been described and disclosed in terms of several embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in actual practice, the scope of the invention should not be deemed to be limited by the precise embodiments or modifications as herein shown, illustrated, described, and disclosed, and it is to be understood that still other such embodiments or modifications are intended to be reserved, especially as they fall within lthe scope of the claims herein subjoined.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for making blocks of ice of a predetermined shape, comprising:

a cabinet having an upper ice block making section and a lower ice block storage section,

a freezing mold manually releasably mounted in a xed horizontally inclined position in said upper cabinet section and having evaporator tubes therein which are adapted for connection to `a refrigerating apparatus,

said freezing mold having parallel rows of downwardly opening freezing cells therein of a shape corresponding to said predetermined ice block shape,

a IWater manifold manually releasably mounted in a fixed horizontally inclined position in said upper cabinet section directly below said freezing mold and in parallel relationship relative thereto,

said water manifold comprising:

a pair of upper and lower, substantially parallel, relatively shallow cup-like plate members disposed in fac-ing relationship relative to each other to define a Water receiving chamber therebetween,

said plate members having flat peripheral rim portions,

an endless sealing gasket interposed between said peripheral rim portions, of the plate members and clamping plates removably mounted on said peripheral rim portions of the plate members to press said rim portions into sealing engagement with said sealing gasket and to firmly secure said plate members together,

the upper of 4said plate members being provided with alternate raised curved portions and depressed flat portions disposed in substantially parallel relationship to each other and extendi-ng throughout substantially the Ientire width of said upper plate member,

Said. raised Curved portions of said upper plate member lb being disposed in vertical alignment with said parallel rows of freezing cells in the freezing mold and having relatively elongate water ejection ducts therein which are in vertical alignment with each of said freezing cells and in communication with said water receiving chamber in said water manifold,

the lower of said plate members being substantially Hat and having a well adjacent one end portion thereof with a water intake aperture therein.

2. The apparatus as set forth in claim l., together with an inclined spray housing removably mounted in said cabinet, said housing compris-ing:

an upper flange portion extending in generally parallel relationship to said freezing nrold and upon which said freezing mold is manually releasably mounted,

side walls disposed in substantially perpendicular relation to and enclosing said Water manifold and having inwardly extending logs secured thereto Iupon which said water manifold is manually removably mounted,

' the side walls of said spray housing adjacent the lower end portions thereof -being provided with a frozen pro-duct exit opening, and

a bottom wall haivin-g the .greater portion thereof disposed in substantially parallel relation to said water manifold and harving a basin in the lower portion thereof with an excess water drain ope-ning the-rein.

`3. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 further comprisintg:

a Water regenerative tray connected to said water conduit and so constituted and disposed as lto receive excess cooled water therein from said excess water drain opening in said spray housing,

said regenerative tray serving to precool the incoming water in said water conduit as it flows therethrough to said sump.

4. The apparatus as recited 4in claim 2 further comprising:

an elongate frozen product exit chute having the upper portion thereof removably mounted on said lower side wall of said spray housing :and having an entry aperture therein adjacent to and in alignment with said spray 'housing frozen product exit openin said exit chute being removably mounted on the cabinet and extending downwardly to a storage section thereof,

said water manifold being inclined downwardly to- Wards said exit chute to slidably convey frozen product falling thereon `from said freezing mold toward said exit chute, and

an linclined wire grid extending downwardly from the lower end portion of said water manifold to form a continuation thereof and having the ends thereof removably mounted on said lower end portion of said water manifold and on sai-d exit chute adjacent the lower portion of said exit chute entry aperture, respectively,

said wire grid serving to slidably convey frozen products from said water manifold to said exit chute.

5. The apparatus as recited in claim 1 further comprising:

a water receiving tray mounted in said cabinet and extending therethrough to a location beneath the lower end portion of said freezing mold, and

a water deflecto-r plate mounted on said lower end portion of said freezing mold to deflect water ejected from said water manifold and splashing from said freezing -mold into said water receiving tray.

6. The apparatus as recited Iin claim 5 Ifurther cornprising:

a sump manually releasably mounted Ion the bottom portion of said upper cabinet section and disposed beneath said excess water drain opening of said spray housing,

a pump manually releasably mounted on the bottom portion of said sump and having an intake which is disposed above said bottom sump portion,

a water supply pipe removably connected iat the upper end thereof to said lower manifold plate well and in communication with said water intake aperture therein,

said. water supply pipe extending downwardly through said excess water drain opening of said spray housing and Iinto said sump wherein the lower end thereof is connected to the discharge portion of said pump, and

a water feed pipe adapted for releasable connection to a water supply source and extending into said sump.

7. Ihe apparatus of claim 6 further comprising:

`a valve in said feed pipe Ifor automatically maint-aining the water in said sump at a predetermined level, said valve being manually `releasably mounted on said sump,

a float for controlling said valve being disposed within said sump and having an arm connected to said valve whereby said valve is closed :by said iloat when the water in said sump reaches said predeter-mined level, and

an overow pipe having an upper, substantially verticalportion secured to the side portion of said sump and having a substantially horizontal lower portion in conununica-tion with the bottom portion of said sump to flush water and any impurities which may be contained ltherein irom said bottom sump portion when the level of Water in said sump is Iabove the top edge of said upper vertical ovenow pipe portion.

8. The apparatus las recited in claim 7 wherein:

said cabinet is formed of inner and outer metal walls with insulation therebetween,

said freezing mold is ionmed of a heat conducting material,

said water manifold is formed of a plastic material,

said spray housing is .formed of a plastic material,

said exit chu-te is `fonmed of a plastic material, and said sum-p is formed of .a plastic material;

9. In an apparatus for making ice cubes, the combination of:

a cabinet,

a freezing mold mounted in -a horizont-ally inclined position in said cab-inet and adapted for connection to a freezing refrigerant,

said freezing mold having downwandly opening freez ing cells therein lof .a shape corresponding to that of said ice cubes,

a water manifold mounted in a horizontally inclined position in said cabinet directly below said freezing mold and in parallel relation thereto,

said water manifold in turn comprising:

a pair 'of Iupper and lower cup-Like piate members disposed in facing relation to de-ne a water receiving chamber therebetween,

an endless sealing gasket intenposed between said plate members, and

clamping devices mounted on said plate members to press them into sealing engagement with said sealing gasket and to iirmly secure said plate members together,

the upper of said plate members being provided with relatively elongated water ejection ducts therein which .are in vertical alignment with each of said freezing cells `and in communication Iwith said water receiving chamber -in said 'water manifold,

the lower of said plate members having a water intake aperture therein;

a horizontally inclined spray housing mounted on said cabinet and in lturn comprising:

an upper dange portion extending in parallel relationship to said freezing mold land upon which said direc-zing mold is mounted,

side walls enclosing said water manifold and having devices secured thereto upon which said water manilfold clamping devices are mounted,

the side wall of said spray housing at the lower end thereof being provided with an ice cube exit opening, and

a bottom wall htaving an excess water drain opening therein;

ran ice cube exit chute mounted 4on said spray Ihousing and in communication with said ice cube exit opening thereof,

said exit chute extending downwardly .through said cabinet to an ice cube storage area,

said wate-r manifold being inclined downwardly towards said exit chute to slidably convey by 'gravity ice cubes falling thereon from said freezing mold towards said exit chute,

an ,assembly mounted on the lower portion of said freezing mold and on said exi't chute for preventing excess water ejected from said manifold onto said lower lfreezing mold portion from entering said exit chute,

a sump mounted within said cabinet and disposed beneath said excess water drain opening of said spray housing,

a pump mounted within said sump and having an intake which is `disposed above the bottom portion of said sump,

-a water supply ypipe having one end connected rto said lower :manifold plate and in communication with said water intake aperture therein,

said water supply pipe having the other end thereof connected to the discharge portion of said pump,

a water conduit adapted for connection 'to a water supply source Iand extending into said sump,

a valve in said water conduit for automatically maintaining water in said sump at a predetermined level,

a device connected to said valve for closing said valve when the water in said sump is Iat sa-id predetermined level, and

.an overow device in communication with bottom portion of said sump to flush water Iand any impurities which may be contained therein from said sump bottom portion when the level of water in said sump is above said predetermined level.

10. The apparatus as recited in claim 3 wherein said regenerative .ti-ay comprises:

a cooling coil connected to said water conduit so that the incoming water therein ows through s-aid coil, and

a drain valve in the bottom portion of said tray yfor constantly draining the excess cooled water in said tray at ia predetermined rate.

11. 4In apparatus tor making a frozen product of predetermined shape, the combination of z a cabinet,

Ia freezing mold mounted in said cabinet and adapted for connection to a refrigeration system,

said freezing mold having at least one Igenerally downwardly opening freezing cell therein of a configura tion corresponding -to said predetermined shape, and

1a liquid manifold mounted 4in said cabinet below said freezing mold,

said liquid manifold comprisin ya pair of upper and lower plate-like members disposed in Ifacing Irelationship relative to each other to deline a liquid receiving chamber therebetween,

a sealing gasket interposed between said plate-like members,

at least one clamping device mounted on. said platlike members to place them into sealing engagement with said sealing gasket and to irmly secure said plate-like members together,

19 the upper of said .plate-like niembersihaving Iat least one liquid discharge duct .therein which is generally 'in alignment with :t'he downwardly facing freezing cell of the freezing mold and in communication with the liquid receiving chamber of the liquid manifold, and at least yone of said plate-like members having a liquid intake aperture therein. 12. The apparatus as set forth in claim 111 together with manually releasable devices :for securing the freezing mold and the liquid manifold to the cab-inet. 13. The `apparatus as set forth in claim 11 together with devices for disposing the freezing mold 4and the liquid manifold in substantially parallel relationship relative to each other. 14. The .apparatus as set forth :in claim .11 together with devices for disposing the freezing mold and the liquid manifold in positions which are inclined relative toI a generally horizontally extending plane. 15. The apparatus as set forth in claim 11 wherein: said freezing mold comprises a plurality of spaced,

generally downwardly facing freezing cells each having a shape corresponding to said predetermined shape, and said liquid manifold has a plurality of liquid discharge ducts in a portion thereof facing said freezing cells, each of said liquid discharge ducts being aligned with a respective one of said downwardly facing freezing cells. 16. The apparatus as set forth in claim 15 wherein: the plate-like member which is disposed adjacent said freezing lmold comprises alternate raised curved portions and depressed flat .portions intermediate said peripheral flanges thereof, and said discharge ducts are disposed in said raised curved portions. 17. In an ice cube making machine: -a mold structure having a plurality of downwardly opening, :spaced apart, ice cube freezing cells therein, manually releasable devices comprising bracket-like structures for securing said mold in an oblique position inclined to a horizontal plane, a water manifold, an assembly comprising resilient members for manually releasably securing said water manifold in an oblique position below and generally parallel to said freezing mold, a device for connecting sa-id water manifold to a supply of water, said manifold having a plurality of relatively elongate ducts in a portion thereof, said ducts being aligned with said freezing mold cells for projecting water therein to be frozen into ice cubes, whereby when said mold releases the ice cubes formed therein land they fall on-to said water manifold under the force of gravity, said oblique water manifold thereafter serves as a lslide for said ice cubes thereon to conduct them under the force of gravity to a remote storage area. 18. The machine :as recited in claim 17 wherein: said water manifold comprises a pair of substantially parallel, relatively shallow plate-like members having peripheral flanges and disposed in facing relationship relative to each other to define a water receiving chamber therebetweeen, a 'sealing gasket interposed betweeen said peripheral flanges of said plate-like members, and manually releasable clamping devices mounted on said peripheral flanges to secure said plate-like members together in sealing relation.

19. The machine as set forth in claim 18 wherein said Ila|st mentioned manually releasable clamping devices comprise:

a pair of angle plates defining 1a channel therebetweeen in which said :peripheral flanges of said plate-like members `and said sealing gasket are disposed,

threaded bolts extending through said angle plates, said peripheral flanges and said sealing gasket, and

wing nuts threaded on said bolts to clamp the peripheral flanges of said pl-ate-like members together against said sealing gasket to form a liquid-tight seal therebetween.

20. The machine as set forth in claim 18 wherein said last mentioned manually releasable clamping devices comprise:

a generally U-shaped resilient channel member having Ilegs in tight frictional engagement with said peripheral flanges of said plate-like members.

21. A water manifold for use in combination with a mold having a plurality of freezing cells, said water manifold comprising:

a pair of relatively shallow co-extensive and substantially parallel, dished, plate-like members disposed in facing relationship relative to each other to define a water receiving chamber therebetween,

each of said plate-like members having a peripheral flange thereon,

a sealing gasket interposed between said peripheral flanges,

an assembly for clamping said peripheral flanges together into sealin-g Contact with said sealing gasket,

one of said plate-like members being releasably connected to a supply of water, and

the other of said plate-like members having a plurality of spaced apart water discharge ducts extending therethrough with said discharge ducts being in alignment with the freezing cells of the mold and in communication with said water receiving chamber of the water manifold.

22. The wa-ter manifold as recited in claim 21 where- 1n:

said other of `said plate-like members comprises a uniformly and relatively thick wall,

the portion of said thi-ck wall intermediate said peripheral flanges comprising alternate ra-ised and depressed elongated portions,

said spaced water discharge ducts extending through said alternate raised elongated portions.

23. The water manifold as recited in claim 21 where- 1n:

both of said plate-like members comprise uniformly relatively thick walls,

said other of said platealike members intermediate said peripheral flanges thereof comprising alternate raised curved and depressed flat elongate portions,

said water discharge ducts extending through said alternate raised curved elongate portions and disposed in substantially parallel and generally equally spaced relationship,

said one of said plate-like members having a relatively small depressed larea -at one end thereof to which said supply of water is releasably connected.

24. The Water manifold as recited in claim 21 wheresaid assembly comprises:

a pair of angle plates which are so disposed as to define a channel therebetween in which said peripheral flanges and said sealing gasket are disposed,

a manually releasable locking device for maintaining said angle plates in tight engagement with said peripheral flanges to press them into sealing contact with said sealing gasket, and

a device mounted on one of said angle plates for manually releasably securing said water manifold 2l in la predetermined position on a support assembly therefor.

25. The water manifold as recited in claim 21 wheresaid assembly c-omprises:

a U-shaped resilient channel member having legs which are in tight frictional engagement with said peripheral flanges to maintain them in sealing engagement with said sealing gasket, and

a device rigidly mounted to said channel member for manually releasably securing said water manifold in a predetermined position on a support assembly therefor.

26. A water manifold -for use in combination with a mold of anice making machine, comprising:

a pair of relatively shallow plate-like members of generally equal plan area having peripheral and substantially parallel edge flan-ges disposed in adjacent facing relationship relative to each other to define a water receiving chamber therebetween,

one of said members being structurally adapted to rey ceiVe water therethrough into said Water receiving chamber,

the other of said plate-like members being adapted to discharge water therethrough from said water receiving chamber, and

an endless gasket interposed between said peripheral flanges and extending throughout the entire peripheral length thereof,

said endless gasket having a relatively narrow portion disposed in sealing cont-act with said peripheral flanges and a widened inner end portion disposed within said water receiving chamber in sealing contact with said plate-like members.

27. The water manifold as recited in claim 26 further comprising:

manually releasable clamping devices for maintaining said peripheral flanges in sealing engagement with said sealing gasket.

28. A water manifold as recited in claim 26 wherein:

said widened inner end portion of said sealin-g gasket is solid and bulbous in shape,

and the outer end of said sealing gasket is provided with a transverse flange in engagement with the outer edges of said peripheral flanges of said plate-like members.

29. The water manifold as recited in claim 26 wheresaid widened inner end portion of said sealing gasket is hollow and of generally triangular shape, and

the outer end of said sealing gasket is provided with a transverse ange in engagement with the -outer edges of said peripheral anges of said plate-like members.

30. A Water manifold as recited in claim 26 wherein:

said widened inner end portion of said sealing gasket is .generally V-shaped and comprise-s outwardly iiared wing rsections in sealing engagement with said platelike members, and

the outer end portion of said rsealing gasket terminates substantially in alignment with the outer edges of said peripheral flanges of said plate-like members.

31. The water maniold as recited in claim 26 wheresaid widened inner end portion of said Isealing gasket is solid and of generally triangular shape, and

the outer end portion of said sealing gasket terminates substantially in alignment with the outer edges of said peripheral flanges of said plate-like members.

32. A water manifold Ias recited in claim 26 wherein:

said widened inner end portion of said sealing gasket is solid and bulbous in shape, and

the outer end portion of -said sealing gasket terminates substantially in alignment with the outer edges of said peripheral flanges of said plate-like members.

33. In a machine for making frozen products wherein 22 an inclined freezing mold is provided with a plurality of downwardly -facing cells into which a liquid is projected generally upwardly from a plurality of aligned ducts in a substantially parallelly inclined manifold disposed beneath said freezing mold and receiving liquid from a remote pressure source, the combination therewith of:

a spray housing releasably supporting said freezing mold thereon,

said manifold being releasably supported in spaced relation below said freezing mold and enclosed within said spray housing,

the bottom pontion of said spray housing having a drain opening therein lof the discharge for the excess cooled, but unfrozen liquid falling downwardly from said freezing mold,

a conduit for feeding liquid to said remote pressure source,

a receptacle disposed beneath said drain opening of said spray housing to receive said excess cooled liquid therefrom,

said liquid feed conduit passing through said receptacle whereby the incoming liquid therein is precooled by said excess cooled liquid in said receptacle prior to the passage of said incoming liquid t-o said remote pressure source,

said receptacle having a drain aperture therein, and

valvintg disposed in the drain aperture of the receptacle for constantly draining said excess cooled liquid therefrom at a predetermined rate,

said valving comprising,

a hallow valve member secured to the receptacle and disposed in the drain aperture thereof,

the interior surface of the valve member having spaced apart generally longitudinally extending drain channels therein,

a plug member disposed within the valve member in er1- gagement with the interior surface thereof whereby excess cooled liquid in the receptacle will constantly drain at a predetermined rate through the aperture by passing through the drain channels and past the plug member.

34. The machine of claim 33 wherein said plug member is frictionally mounted within said valve member so that the rate of discharge of said excess cooled liquid from said receptacle through said drain opening may be readily controlled.

35. A fluid spray mani-fold comprising:

a pair of platealike members which are so constructed and disposed as to dene a liuid receiving chamber therebetween,

said plate-like members each being provided with peripheral edge flanges di-sposed in adjacent facing relationship relative to each other,

one of said members being structural-ly adapted to receive Huid therethrough into said fluid receiving chamber,

with the other plate-like member having alternate raised and depressed elongate portions and spaced apart fluid discharge ducts in communication with the fluid receiving chamber extending through the alternate fjaised elongate portions of the other plate-like mema sealing gasket interposed between the peripheral flanges of said plate-like members with the sealing gasket extending throughout the full peripheral extent thereof, and

a clamping assembly for clamping the peripheral flanges of the plate-like members into sealing Contact with the sealing gasket.

36. The spray manifold as recited in claim 35' wherein said clamping assembly comprises:

a pair of angle plates which are so disposed as to dene a channel therebetween in which said peripheral plate-like member portions and said sealing gasket are disposed, and

-a manually releasable locking device for maintaining said angle plates in tight engagement with said pe- -ripheral portions to press them into sealing contact with said sealing gasket.

37. The -spray manifold as recited in claim 35 further comprising 1a device structurally operatively associated with said clamping assembly for manually releasably securing said spray manifold in a predetermined position on a support a-ssembly therefor.

38. The manifold as recited in claim 35 wherein:

said gasket has a relatively narrow portion disposed in sealing contact with said peripheral portions of the plate-like members and a widened inner end portion disposed within said uid receiving Chamber in sealing contact with said plate-like members.

39. The manifold as recited in `claim 38 further comprising manually releasable clamping devices for maintaining said peripheral flanges in sealing engagement with said gasket,

40. The manifold as recited in claim 38 wherein said widened inner end portion of said sealing gasket is solid and bulbous in shape, and

the outer end of said sealing gasket is provided with a transverse ange in engagement with the -outer edges of ysaid peripheral flanges of said plate-like members.

41. The manifold as recited in claim 38 wherein said widened inner end portion of said sealing gasket is hollow yand of generally triangular shape, and

the outer end of said sealing gasket is -proivded with a transverse flange in engagement with the outer edges of said peripheral antges.

42. The manifold as recited in claim 38 wherein said widened inner end portion of said sealing gasket is generally V-shaped and comprises outwardly flared wing sections in sealing engagement with lsaid plate-like members, and

the outer end portion of said sealing gasket terminates `substantially in alignment with the outer edges of said peripheral flanges.

43. The manifold as recited in claim 38 wherein said widened inner end por-tion of sealing gasket is solid and of generally triangular shape, and

the outer end portion of said sealing gasket terminates substantially in alignment with the outer edge-s of said peripheral flanges.

44. The manifold as recited in claim 38 wherein said widened inner portion of said sealing gasket is solid and bulbous in shape, and

the outer end portion of said sealing gasket terminates substantially in alignment with the outer edges of said peripheral flanges of said plate-like members.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,982,538 11/1934 needy 239-559X 2,061,987 11/1936 Sorensen 239-567 X 2,319,523 5/1943 Trigg 62,-74 2,387,921 10/1945 MacDonald 62-74 2,551,096 5/1951 Chiaiok 239-567 X 2,608,833 9/1952 Woodruff 62-348 2,656,686 10/1953 Bayston 62-347 2,663,178 12/1953 Schwartz.

2,677,249 5/1954 Meson 62-348 X 2,874,001 2/1959 webb 239-559 X 2,921,447 1/1960 Gottschalk 62-348 X 2,985,381 5/1961 Cadena 239-559 X 3,012,417 12/1961 Horte 62-347 3,035,777 5/1962 Boden et a1 239-559 X 3,040,545 6/1962 Bouefer 62-347 X 3,040,546 6/1962 De vincent 62-347 3,045,443 7/1962 McGrath et o1 62-347X 3,058,319 10/1962 Lees 62-348 ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.

W. E. WAYNER, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/188, 62/348, 62/300, 62/347, 239/567
International ClassificationF25C1/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/045, F25C2500/06
European ClassificationF25C1/04B