US 3316741 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M 2, 1967 w. E. HARLOW ET AL 3,316,741
ADDITIVE DISPENSER Filed Feb. 8, 1965 ZUz'ZZzL5EHarZ0zu anal foeri fi -Bea re United States Patent Office 3,316,741 ADDITIVE DISPENSER Willis E. Harlow and Robert B. Beare, Herrin, 111., as-
signors to Borg-Warner Corporation, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Feb. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 431,042 4 Claims. (Cl. 68207) Described and claimed in a copending application of .Tessie Cartwright filed Feb. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 431,144, is a new and inventive additive dispenser. It has been found that the latter effects uniform introduction of additive to wash water and assures that additive, such as bleach, does not directly contact articles being washed which would damage them. However, it has been found that if the dispenser is formed of certain materials having an oily or non-wettable surface such as polypropylene, instead of passing through the small openings in the reservoir bottom, the additive may form globules which cling to the surface about the discharge end of the openings. The surface tension forms a meniscus which, if not broken by the column of additive pressing downwardly blocks the uniform discharge of liquid additive. Thus, the additive either does not flow through the openings or else it flows intermittently at a non-uniform rate.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved additive dispenser for use in washers and the like which can 'be manufactured of materials having an oily or non-wettable surface, yet which includes means for discharging the additive fluid through relatively small openings at a uniform rate and assures that additive does not damage articles being washed.
It is a more detailed object of the present invention in accordance with the above to provide openings leading from a reservoir portion of the dispenser which are located to utilize centrifugal force and wicking action to facilitate discharge of additives from the reservoir portion of the dispenser.
It is an overall object of the present invention in accordance with the above to provide an additive dispenser which is economical to manufacture and easy to install permitting use of readily available materials such as polypropylene even though such materials may have oily surfaces.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevation of the portion of an automatic washer, partially in section, embodying the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional elevation showing the details of a fluid additive dispenser shown in FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the dispenser shown in FIGURES 1 and 2; and
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged section showing the inventive means for discharging fluid from the dispenser.
Turning now to the drawings and FIGURE 1, thereshown is a partial sectional elevation of an automatic washer described in detail in copending application of Carl Knerr, filed June 1, 1964, and having United States Ser. No. 371,245, in which is embodied the present invention. Describing the machine 10 generally, an outer cabinet 11 encloses a tub 12 opening upwardly. Coaxially mounted within the tub 12 for relative rotation with respect thereto is a perforate basket 14. A centrally located shaft 15, positioned along the common axis of the tub and basket, carries an agitator 16 with three equally spaced vanes, one of which 16a is shown. The latter is oscillated during predetermined periods in a wash cycle 33%,741 Patented May 2, 1967 via drive transmitted by shaft 15 from a power source (not shown) such as a transmission driven by an electric motor. Access to the tub and basket is through a top 1opening 17 in the cabinet 11 selectively closed by a hinged Articles to be washed are placed in the basket and water is fed therein through a flume 19. Because the basket is perforate, the water seeks the same level both inside and outside the basket. The tub serves as a water-tight container.
As is explained in detail in the aforementioned Knerr application, in a typical cycle of washer operation, as a firs-t step, the tub is filled with water to a desired level. Next, the agitator 16 is operated to and fro to wash the clothes. Subsequently, the wash water is drained and the basket is spun, through a drive train (not shown) to remove sudsy water from the articles. Thereafter, rinse water is added and the remaining suds in the articles is taken out. Finally, the rinse water is drained and the basket is rotated to spin dry the clothes.
As best shown in FIGURE 2, an additive dispenser 50 includes a mounting assembly 51 adapted to engage a top portion 54 of the agitator 16. In the preferred embodiment, the mounting assembly 51 includes both a frustoconical portion 52 telescoped over the complementarily shaped agitator top end portion and a depending cylin drical extension 55. The latter is formed with a plurality of tabs 58, 59, and 60 for snapping into engagement with structure on the agitator. To this end, the top portion of the agitator is provided with a radially extending shelf 56. The lower ends of the tabs have respective projections 58a, 59a, and 60a which extend inwardly and are adapted to slip under the shelf 56 when the dispenser 50 is pressed down over the agitator top end. In the illustrative embodiment, a nut 61 is threaded on an upwardly extending portion 62 of the agitator drive shaft 15. Though in the present instance the nut 61, when tightened, engages the top of the frusto-conical portion 52 of the dispenser 50 holding down the latter, the tabs 58, 59, 60 can effectively hold the dispenser in place.
For receiving and storing the additive while it is being introduced into the wash liquid, a reservoir portion 63 is provided at the top of the dispenser 50. In the present instance, the reservoir is of annular shape and has an inside wall 64 defined by the frusto-conical portion 62, a generally cylindrical outside wall 65, and a bottom or floor 66 joining the respective inside and outside walls.
In the illustrative embodiment of the dispenser, two different means, either of which is effective by itself, are shown for preventing relative movement between the agitator and dispenser, thus assuring that the additive is sloshed about within the reservoir 63. A washer 67 prevents relative rotation. Also, a notched construction of the cylindrical extension, by providing tabs, is adapted to receive and fit the agitator vanes, exemplified by vane 16a. Thus, the dispenser must move with the agitator.
In accordance with the present invention, the improved "additive dispenser 50 is provided with discharge means which assure that additive flows out of the reservoir 63 even if the dispenser is constructed of materials that present an oily or non-wettable surface. In the illustrative embodiment, the bottom portion or floor of the reservoir is provided with a pair of openings 68, 69 positioned in diametrically opposed relationship adjacent the outside Wall 65. A portion of wall 65 extends downwardly below the reservoir floor and has an inside surface 70 which communicates with the respective openings 68, 69. The communication between the wall surface and the openings effects a wicking action which assures that the fluid additive will trickle through the openings. Explaining, a blocking globule of liquid cannot form at the respective bottom ends 68a, 69a of the openings because the wall surface 70 permits only a one-sided globule to form. Such a globule has non-uniform surface tension and the meniscus is easily broken by pressure from the additive being forced out of the reservoir. Thus, the additive discharges through the openings even though the material surrounding and defining the bottom ends of the openings is non-wettable or oily tending ordinarily to form globules to block passage of fluid through the openings. In a simpler form, the present invention can be practiced by providing a projection instead of a large surface such as a side wall 70 to communicate with a discharge opening. This effects the explained wicking action.
It is to be noted that the structure herein illustrated also utilizes centrifugal force to aid in forcing the additive out of the reservoir. With the openings 68, 69 located adjacent the outside walls, the fluid is forced outwardly as the agitator is oscillated or rotated.
To assure that articles do not move under the openings from which the additive is flowing, a skirt 71 is formed as an integral extension of the upper reservoir outside wall 65. The skirt 71 is of generally frusto-conical shape flaring down and outwardly to form in conjunction with the agitator top an isolated area for the additive and wash liquid to mix under the reservoir openings. The size of the skirt can be changed to adjust for washers with different distances between the water level and the top of the agitator. The distance the skirt depends is also useful to define a load line to which the basket is to be filled with dry clothes.
In operation, using bleach as an example, after the tub is filled with water, to the desired level and preferably after agitation has begun, a housewife places a predetermined quantity of bleach into the reservoir 63. During agitation water is sloshed by action of the agitator 16 and splashed under the skirt 71, mixing into solution the additive dripped through the respective reservoir openings 68, 69. The wicking action, in the present instance effected by having the side wall surface 70 adjacent the bottom end of the openings 68, 69, assures that a meniscus or surface tension does not form there, especially where the dispenser is constructed of materials presenting an oily surface, for example, molded polypropylene. Thus, the bleach, selected as an exemplary additive, trickles into the water to be properly mixed.
While this invention has been described in connection with a certain specific embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that this is by Way of illustration and not by way of limitation; and the scope of this invention is defined solely by the appended claims which should be construed as broadly as the prior art will permit.
1. In an additive dispenser adapted to be mounted atop an agitator in an article washer or the like, comprising in combination, mounting means adapted to engage the agitator top, a reservoir portion having a bottom portion carried by said mounting means for receiving and holding an additive being introduced into the wash liquid, said bottom portion formed of material presenting an oily surface and having at least one discharge opening therein for permitting said additive to flow therethrough, and surface establishing means communicating with said opening effective to prevent formation of a meniscus capable of blocking said discharge opening to the flow of additive where said bottom portion is constructed of said material presenting an oily surface.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the reservoir has an outside wall with at least one bottom portion opening positioned adjacent thereto so as to utilize centrifugal force in propelling additive through said discharge openings.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said surface establishing means is a projection extending downwardly from said discharge openings and sufiiciently close to inhibit formation of a fluid globule with uniform surface tension at the bottom end of said discharge opening.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said mounting means includes a plurality of tabs in a generally cylindrical downwardly extending wall.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,821,848 2/1958 Becker 68-17 3,086,380 4/1963 Gerhardt et al 6817 3,091,108 5/1963 Martin et al. 6817 3,112,632 12/1963 Walton 6854 3,132,500 5/1964 Bullock 6817 IRVING BUNEVICH, Primary Examiner.