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Publication numberUS3358301 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 19, 1967
Filing dateOct 22, 1963
Priority dateOct 22, 1963
Publication numberUS 3358301 A, US 3358301A, US-A-3358301, US3358301 A, US3358301A
InventorsCandor James T, Candor Robert R
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry machine and method
US 3358301 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1967 R. R. CANDOR ETAL LAUNDRY MACHINE AND METHOD 3 Sheets-$heet 1 Filed Oct. 22, 1963 INVENTOR, ROBERT RCANDOR BY JAMES T-CANDOR ATTORNEYS 1957 R. R. CANDOR ETAL 3,353,301

LAUNDRY MACHINE AND METHOD 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 22

FIG78 INVENTOR. ROBERT R. CANDOR BY JAMES T. CANDOR ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,358,301 LAUNDRY MACHINE AND METHOD Robert R. Candor, Miami Township, Montgomery County, and James T. Condor, Center-ville, Ohio, assignors to Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Township, Mich, a

corporation of Delaware Filed Oct. 22, 1963, Ser. No. 318,001 18 Claims. c1. 8-159) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE This disclosure relates to a laundry machine wherein wet lanudry is disposed on one side of a foraminous drum or portion that is disposed within a substantially fluid tight containing means, an outlet nozzle means has its inlet disposed in substantially sealed relation against the other side of the foraminous portion containing the wet laundry whereby fluid under pressure is directed into the confining means to create a pressure therein greater than outside the confining means so that the fluid pressure within the confining means will flow directly through the wet laundry and foraminous portion into the sealed nozzle means to remove moisture from the wet laundry or the like.

This invention relates to a laundry machine and method.

According to this invention, a laundry machine and method are provided in which a relatively air tight casing or drum is used in combination with a foraminous portion. The laundry, either in dry or wet condition, may be placed on or supported in the foraminous portion where it will be washed and/or dried. An air pressure pump or blower is used to create a superatmospheric pressure in the casing or drum and in the foraminous portion when it is desired (a) to force the wash or rinse water out of the casing, (b) to cause a large volume of pressure air through the laundry to force or sweep the free or liquid water out of the laundry, partially to dry the laundry, (c) and/or to cause said pressure air to evaporate the dampening moisture out of the partially dried laundry completely to dry such laundry.

Hence the casing or drum, the foraminous portion, and the pressure pump or blower may be used to perform substantially all of the mechanical actions completely to wash and dry the laundry in a unitary wash and dry machine, or merely to dry Wet laundry in a drying machine.

Other elements may be added to the machine to make the casing, foraminous portion and the pressure pump or blower more effective. Also the casing and the foraminous portion may be made into a single unitary drum or casing or they may be made into two separate drums or casings. A liquid and/or moisture removing nozzlelike construction may be made integral with or separate from the casing and/or foraminous portion. Other refinements may be added, if desired, as will become apparent.

Various embodiments are disclosed herein which utilize the above described features.

Other features are apparent from this description, the appended claimed subject matter and/or the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic cross section of one embodiment of this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic cross section along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged cross section of the foraminous portion.

FIGURE 4 is a modification of the lower right hand part of FIGURE 1.

3,358,301 Patented Dec. 19, 1967 FIGURE 5 is a diagrammatic cross section of another embodiment of this invention.

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged diagrammatic cross section along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 is a diagrammatic enlarged cross section along the line 77 of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 8 is an enlarged diagrammatic cross section of the door or cover construction of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 9 is a diagrammatic cross section showing a resilient collar for maintaining a sealing connection between one end of the drum of FIGURE 5, and of its support.

FIGURE 10 is an enlarged detail view along line 1tl10 of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 11 is a diagrammatic cross section of another embodiment of this invention.

FIGURE 12 is a diagrammatic cross section along the line 1212 of FIGURE 11.

In the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 3, 2. casing or confining means 28 may be provided for receiving wet or dry laundry. If desired, this casing 29 may be a stationary cylindrical casing which may be rendered relatively air or fluid tight, when desired. The casing or confining means 2t may be provided with a foraminous portion 22 for supporting such dry or wet laundry. In the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 3, the foraminous portion 22 may be in the form of a rotatable, cylindrical drum which is substantially coaxial with the drum 2%, and which may be rotated in the drum 26 by the shaft 24. A discharge, or passage defining means may be provided operatively interconnecting the foraminous portion or drum 22 with the exterior of the confining means or drum 20. Such passage defining means may include a relatively stiif rubber like or plastic movable nozzle 26, which may be placed in the full line position under certain operating conditions, or in the upper dotted line position, for other operating conditions. The nozzle 26 may be connected to a flexible discharge pipe 28 which may have a valve 30 which may be opened and closed as desired, electrically, as by solenoid action. A timer of the type now used on automatic washing machines, not shown, may be provided to control the solenoid valve 30, as well as other elements of the machine. The pipe 28 and valve 30 may be connected to a pump or blower 32, which has its discharge portion 34 connected to another pipe 36, which may be flexible if desired, and which may discharge into the usual laundry tub or drain 38, which may be of the character usually provided in dwellings. If desired, the pipe 36 may have an upward extension 40 which may terminate in a gooseneclr or hooked portion 44 which may have an outlet above the normal water level 46 in the drum 20. An elevated laundry tub 38 may receive the discharge from the gooseneck 44. Under certain conditions, with such elevated drain or laundry tub 38, the valve 30 and pump 32 may be omitted.

A pump or blower 52 may be a means operatively interconuected by the pipe 54 to the casing or confining means 20 for creating a fluid or air pressure in the confining means or casing 20 greater than in the passage defining means 26, 28, 30, etc., and greater than atmospheric pressure outside of the confining means 20, so that there is a tendency to force a large volume of fluid from the confining means 29 through the wet laundry or accumulation of clothes 56 and from the foramino-us means or drum 22 into the passage defining means 26, 28 and 32, when the nozzle 26 is in its upper or dotted line position.

At the time that the pressure pump or blower 52 is operating, the vacuum or suction blower or pump 32 may also operate, so that a particularly effective flow of may be hermetically or substantially hermetically sealed a have their supporting shaft on the stationary drum 2i),

and which support the cantilever end 69 to which the member forming opening 58may be attached to prevent undue stress on the shaft 24.

The nozzle 26 may be a generally oblong slightly flexible nozzle which is adapted to engage the lower portion of the rotatable drum 22 when the nozzle is in the upper dotted line position of FIGURE 1. This nozzle may be connected to a flexible bellows or funnel structure 70, which has its edge 72 secured to a lower opening edge 74 of the casing 20. The bellows or funnel 70 may have an outward extension 76, which forms a general continuation of the circular form of the casing 20, when the nozzle 26 is in its lower full line position, and which can move upwardly with the nozzle 26 to the dotted line position 76' when the nozzle 26 is moved upwardly.

For the purpose of moving the nozzle 26 up and down, a yoke 78 may be secured to the flexible bellows 70. The yoke 78 may include a forked construction 39 to be operated by a solenoid or the like 82. The solenoid 82 may place the nozzle 26 either in the full line position, or in the dotted line position. The pumps or blowers 34 and 52 and the shaft 24 may be operated by a motor 84 which may have power transmissions S6, 88 and 90 respectively to the pumps or blowers 32 and 52, and to the shaft 24. Also, if desired, manually or electrically or otherwise actuated clutches 92, 94 and 96 may be provided in the transmissions 86, 88 and 99 respectively to cause the motor or motors 84 to actuate the blowers or pumps 32 and 52, and the shaft 24. The washing machine timer may control these clutches, if desired.

7 The accumulation of clothes 56 may have a more or less level surface 56 when the foraminous drum 22 is stationary and may have the slanting surface 56 when the drum 22 is rotating, for example, along the direction of the arrow 98.

Heating means 100 may be provided in the casing 20, and this may be controlled by the solenoid switch 102 under the control of the timer. Also, if desired, the heating means may be controlled by the thermostatic switch 104, which may have a thermostatic bulb 106, to maintain the interior of the casing 20 at a desired temperature, when the heating means 100 has been energized by the solenoid switch 102.

Wash water and rinse water may be introduced into the casing 20 at the pipe 108. Any suitable control for this wash water both as to temperautre, and/ or as to rate of flow may be provided. For example, a hot water pipe 110 may be connected to a thermostatically controlled water heater and a cold water pipe 112 may be connected to any suitable cold water supply. These pipes may be respectively controlled by solenoid valves 114 and 116, which discharge into a thermostatic mixing construction 118. This mixing construction 118 may discharge into a constant flow controller 12% which. causes a constant rate of flow at the'nozzle 168. This construction of members 116 through 123 is Well known, per se,

and may be operated by a timer, so that water of the desired temperature may be introduced at 108 for a predetermined length of time, to produce the water level 46, after which the water supply may be turned Off by the timer.

If desired, a vapor condensing action may be produced within the drum 20 when it is desired to remove the dampening moisture in the laundry. This condensing action may be produced by a means which produces a water film flow along the surface 122, with water of low temperature, so that the vapor which is withdrawn from the damp clot-hes condenses on this cold water film. The water film may be produced by a flat nozzle 124 which is supplied with cold water by the pipe 126' under the control of a solenoid valve 128 and a constant flow control valve or flexible diaphragm 13%). The timer may control the valve 128.

A typical opertaion for the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 3 may be as follows. Laundry, such as clothes and the like, with or without detergent, may be introduced through the openings '58 and 60, after which the door 52 is closed and sealed by the latch 64. Initially the clothese have the generally flat surface 55. All of the electrical controls and the like may be controlled by a suitable timer of the type now used for controlling automatic washing machines. The timer causes the controls to fill the tub or casing 26 to the water level 46, it being understood that suitable detergent may be introduced into the tub along with the laundry or may be introduced in the water entering the nozzle 168, as is self-evident. Either while the tub is being filled, or immediately after the clothes have been introduced into the casing 20, the motor 84 is started, and the clutch constructions are so actuated by the timer that the shaft 24 is rotated at a speed to cause the clothes to be lifted by the bafiles 132 and to be dropped downwardly into the body of water. At this time, the valve 30 may be closed, the nozzle 26 may be in its lower position and the blowers 34 and 52 may be idle. The valve 30 may be closed, if necessary. The drum 22 is rotated by the shaft 24- for the desired length of time to produce aninitial washing action of the clothes. Thereafter, the timer opens the valve 3%, if necessary, and the pumps 32 and/ or 52 are also operated, if necessary, while the nozzle 26 is in its lower position, to empty the stationary tub or casing 20. At this time a liquid water removing action may be produced on the clothes, to remove excess water, as will be later described, or this may be omitted at this time, and the tub 29 may be refilled with rinse water through the pipe 108 at any desired temperature, as determined by the timer operation, and at which time the valve 30 is closed, and the blowers 32 and/ or 52 are stopped and remain idle, if necessary. After a suitable rinsing action in which the clothes are tumbled by the bafiies 132, the stationary casing or tub 26 may be emptied as previously described, with the nozzle 26 in its lower position. Any number of rinsing actions may be produced in this manner, after which time the excess of liquid may be removed from the clothes by a non-evaporative type of dryingaction.

This non-evaporative drying action may be produced by causing the timer to move the nozzle 26. to its upper position. The foraminous drum 22 may be temporarily stopped by the timer while the nozzle 26 is in the upper position, and then the pressure blower 52 may be operated by the timer. This causes air under pressure to be forced through the wet laundry with a high volume of air, which forces liquid water down through the nozzle 26 and out through the pipes 28, 36, and 40, and any excess water which is carried along by the rush of air may be deposited in the drain or laundry tub 38. It is to be noted that certain types of washin machines need not be provided with the valve 30 or the pump 32, in which case the pressure of the air from the blower 52 may be used to produce all of the water emptying actions as well as this liquid water removal from the clothes. Alternatively, the drum 22 may be rotated while this liquid water is being removed, in which case the nozzle 26 is made lightly to engage the surface of the drum 22. If the drum 22 is being intermittently rotated and stopped, it may then be rotated while the nozzle 22 is lowered, to reposition the clothes in the accumulation 56, and the drum may again be stopped with the nozzle moved upwardly to produce a second, third, fourth, etc., liquid water removal actions from the repeatedly redistributed clothes. After a suitable number of redistributions have been provided either by continuous action, or by repeated stopping actions of the drum 22, the nozzle 22 may be lowered or maintained in its lower position. The heater 1% may then be energized, and the blower 52 may be maintained in operation at the same or reduced speed as desired. During this time the drum 22 is rotated to tumble the clothes while air is thus forced through the clothes or circulated through the clothes. The air may be slightly heated, and the air so distributed will gradually pass through the nozzle 26 and the pipes 23, 34 and 4t} carrying with it the vapor which has been evaporated from the clothes.

Under certain conditions, when the outside air is sufi'iciently high in temperature and low in relative humidity, this air drying action may be performed Without the use of the heater 109, if desired. After a suitable evaporative drying action has been performed, the machine may be stopped, and the dried clothes may be removed through the openings 58 and 60.

It is to be noted that the perforated drum 22 may be rotated at a sufficiently slow speed so an accumulation of clothes 56 is maintained completely to cover the nozzle 26. This insures that the large volume of air is forced under pressure through the accumulation 56 and into the nozzle 26 which is against the drum 22 at that time.

It is to be noted that the openings 134 may be made sufficiently small, so that no damage may be produced to the clothes, when the construction is such that the openings are relatively small, as indicated at 134, in FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 4 shows a difierent embodiment of air and water discharge for the embodiment of FIGURES 13. The lower right hand corner of FIGURE 1 has been modified as shown in FIGURE 4. The remainder of FIG- URE 1 remains the same.

The nozzle 26 of FIGURE 1 has been moved upward along the lower right side of FIGURE 4 and has been indicated as 26A. All of the parts which cooperate with nozzle 26 of FIGURE 1 have likewise been moved rightwardly up along FIGURE 4 and have been indicated by reference numerals similar to those used in FIGURE 1 except that the suffix A has been added. It is understood that the members of FIGURE 4 which have been indicated by such reference numerals with the sufiix A operate substantially the same as the previously described corresponding members of FIGURE 1.

The nozzle 26A has been moved rightwardly up on FIGURE 4 in order that it will be more centrally located with respect to the accumulation of clothes 56A which tends to accumulate slightly on the upside of the rotating drum 22A. Hence the nozzle 26A is more advantageously located with respect to such accumulation 56A.

Description of the operation of the members with such suflix A is not repeated, since their operation is obvious from the previous description of the corresponding parts of FIGURE 1 which do not have the sufiix A.

A wash water and rinse water emptying outlet pipe 135 is provided which is provided with a solenoid valve 136, and which pipe 135 is connected to the inlet of a pump 137. The pump 137 may be operated by the motor 84A by means of a transmission 138 and a clutch 139.

The pump 137 discharges into pipe 140, which in turn discharges into pipe 40A and then into drain or laundry tub 38A.

The embodiment of FIGURE 4 is provided with a pressure blower, not shown, corresponding to blower 52 of FIGURE 1. Such blower may operate substantially as previously described with respect to FIGURES 1 and 3.

The pumps 32A and 137 of FIGURE 4 may be omitted, if desired, and the pressure of the pressure blower 52 may be used to force water and/ or air through the pipes 28A and into the drain 38A under the control of valves 136 and 30A.

In the operation of the embodiment of FIGURE 4, the drum NA is emptied of water by the operation of pressure blower 52, not shown, with or without pump 137. The valve 136 is opened and the valve 30A is closed. This causes the air pressure of the blower 52, not shown, to force the water into pipes 135, 14% and 40A into drain 38A.

When it is desired to remove the liquid water from the laundry 56A, the valve 136 is closed by the timer and the valve 30A is opened by the timer. The air pressure from blower 52, not shown, causes air to be forced through laundry accumulation 56A to sweep liquid water along with it into nozzle 26, which is then held against drum 22A. The air and water then flow into the laundry tub or drain 38A. The dampening moisture may likewise be removed from the laundry.

The pumps 137 and 32A may be omitted or used, as desired. They merely enhance the action of the pressure blower 52, not shown.

The drum 22A may be rotated continuously while the nozzle 26A is against the drum 22A.

Alternatively, the drum 22A may be rotated only While the nozzle 26A is withdrawn from the drum 22A, and may be stopped when the nozzle 26A is caused to engage the drum 22A. When the laundry is to be washed and/ or rinsed, the nozzle 2A will be held away from the drum 22A and such drum is rotated to tumble the laundry into and out of the water. During this time the blower 52, not shown, is not operated and the valves 136 and 39A are closed. When the water is to be emptied, the drum 22A may rotate or stop, as desired, and the valve 136 is opened and valve 39A is closed. This forces the water from drum 20A into pipes 135, I44 40A and into the drain. When the liquid Water is to be removed from the laundry, the valve 136 is closed and valve 30A is opened and pressure blower 52 is operated. The drum 22 is stopped and nozzle 26A is moved against the drum 22A which causes air to pass through the accumulation of laundry 56 and out to the drain 38A. The nozzle 26A may then be moved away from the drum 22A which then may be rotated to redistribute the laundry at 56. The drum may then be stopped again and the nozzle moved against the drum 22A to cause air to pass through the laundry and sweep Water into drain 38A. This alternate stopping and rotating of drum 22A with movement of nozzle 25A as described may be depeated as often as desired until the liquid water is removed from the clothes. The dampening moisture may then be removed from the clothes by operating the pressure blower 52, not shown, with or without the energization of the electric heater 100, not shown. The nozzle 26A may be removed from the drum 22A while the drum 22A is rotated to tumble the laundry. The valve 30A may be fully or partially opened during this time to cause the heated air to circulate out through nozzle 26A. The valve 137 is maintained closed during this time.

In the embodiment of FIGURES 5 through 9 a rotatable drum may begenerally circular in transverse cross section and may be rotated by the shaft 152. The drum 159 may be a confining means for receiving laundry. The side walls of the drum 150 may be made to converge outwardly towards an apex of greater diameter 7 i portion 154. The slanting walls 156, when they are rotating near the bottom of their cycle, cause the laundry to accumulate adjacent the apex 154, so that the laundry "maybe effectively acted upon by the foraminous poradjacent the apex 154 so that a large volume of air sweeps through the laundry and the foraminous portions 158, as they move in lower part of rotating cycle where the laundry is subjected to themoisture removing or liquid removing action, as shown in FIGURE 10.

A plurality of inwardly directed baffles 160 are preferably placed along the trailing parts of the perforated portions 158. These battles 160 cause a concentration or accumulation of laundry or clothes 162, FIGURE 10,

to be gathered over the perforated portions 158 and to be lifted upwardly as the drum 150 rotates in a counterclockwise direction, in FIGURE 10, where the arrow 164 indicates the direction of rotation.

The drum 150 may have a front transverse wall 166 which may have an opening produced by the circular edge 163 of wall 166. Theopening 168 may be used for inserting and removing laundry into and out of the casing 'or drum 150. A cover 170 may be removably secured to the front wall 166 in a manner to produce a substantially sealed condition. For example, a plurality of manually rotatable latch members 172 may be fulcrumed at 174 to the cover 170, FIGURE 8, so that their cam shaped extensions 176 engage the inward flange 178 of a circular angularly cross sectioned ring 180' which is secured to the front wall 166 of the drum 150. By this construction, the latch members 172 may be manually turned about the fulcrums 174, to engage or disengage the cam extensions 17 6 against the flange 178 and thus substantially hermetically seal the cover 170 to the front wall 166 of the drum 150. If desired, a resilient seal ring 182 may be provided in a groove in the cover 170, to insure a substantial seal against the wall 66.

The front slanting side wall 156 of the drum 150 may be supported by one or more pulleys 184, which support the ring or flange 186 which is secured to the outside of the slanting wall 156.

The shaft 152 may be supported on a stationary bearing member or wall 188. The shaft 152 may be provided with a relatively large V-belt pulley 194 which may be driven by the belt 192 and by the small pulley 1%4, which may be driven by the motor 196. The motor 196 may be mounted on the support bearing wall .188, or on any other part of a cabinet 198 which may have a lower supporting wall 200 and a front wall 202. The front cabinet wall 202 may have an opening to accommodate the angle ring 180, and also may support the pulley or pulleys 184, as is evident.

A plurality of channel shaped passageways 204 may be secured to the outside of the drum 150 around the openings 266 of the perforated portion 158. The channels 264 may be connected to pipes or channels 268 which extend backwardly along the side wall of the drum 151! and radially inward to connect with passages in a rotatable valve or disc member 210. The pipes 268 are connected to the axially directed openings 212 in the disc 219. These openings 212 rotate with the drum 150 and become aligned with the are shaped grooves 214 and 216 of FIGURE 7. The groove 214 allows the pressure air to be discharged from the casing 150 through the pipes 218 and 220, which pipes are connected to the openings respectively 222 and 224 in the groove 214. If desired,

however, only pipe 220 need be used and this may discharge directly into a drain or laundry tub in the same manner as pipe 46 and drain or tub 38 of FIGURE 1. However, if both pipes 218 and 220 are used, these may be connected respectively with a liquid pump 226 and 8 air blower or vacuum blower 228. The pipes 218 and 220 may have respectively solenoid valves 230 and 232, and may discharge into or over a'drain or laundry tub or the like.

The groove 216 may be connected to the pipes 234,

236, and/or 238 by openings 233, 235 and 237 in the groove 216. These pipes respectively may be connected to a pressure air pump 240, to a water mixing valve 242 and to a vacuum pump 244 with or without the solenoid valves respectively 246, 248 and 250. The water mixing valve 242 may have a hot water line connection 252 and V a cold water line connection 254.

The disc 210 and the supporting wall 188 may be held together tightly to form a seal atthe surfaces 256 and 258 respectively, as shown in FIGURE 9. For example, a ring or nut 260 may be threaded on the shaft 152 to urge a resilient ring 262 against a loose washer 264 which in turn engages the ball race 266. The ball race 266 engages the support member 188. The construction is such that a rightward bias is imparted to the shaft 152 by the resilient ring 262 tightly to urge the surfaces 256 and 258 together to provide a substantial rotary seal.

The disc 210 is keyed against relative rotation between the shaft 152 and the disc 210 by the key 268. In addition, a screw 270 is threaded into the shaft 152 and has a large hexagonal head 272 which holds the disc 210 against leftward movement after the disc 210 has engaged the head 272.

A typical operation of the embodiment of FIGURES 5 through 10 is as follows:

Dry or wet laundry may be introduced into the drum 159 through the opening 168, and then the cover 170 may be sealed to the front wall 166 of the drum 150. Detergent may be added along with the laundry, or it may be introduced with water through the automatic mixing valve 242, which receives hot and/ or cold water from the pipes 252 and 254, and which feeds this water at a constant rate for a selected time governed by an automatic timer of the character provided with washing machines. The timer may also start the motor 196, which rotates the drum at a desired rate of rotation, so that the clothes or laundry are lifted by the baffles and dropped back into the body of wash water at the lower part of the drum 150. At this time the air pump 240 is not operated so that no differential air pressure is produced between the drum 150 and the outside of the drum, so that no tendency is produced for water to be pumped out of the drum 15% The solenoid valves 230, 232, 246, 248 and' 156 and the exterior of the drum. For example, the

pressure pump 240 is actuated by the timer to produce a superatmospheric pressure in the drum 150. At this time all of the solenoid valves are closed except solenoid valves 246 and 232 if only the pipe 220 is used. When the pump 240 is actuated, superatmospheric air enters through the pipe 234 and groove 216 and the pipes 208 in the upper part of the rotation cycle and into the body of the drum 150. Water is forced downwardly through the clothes 162 and into the channels 204 which are in the lower part of the rotation cycle, as in FIGURE 10, and into the lower pipes 208 and into the groove 214, FIGURE 7, from whence the water flows through the openings 224 and pipe 220 into the drain or laundry tub with or without the aid of a pump 226. Substantially all of the wash water may be removed from the interior of the drum 150 in this manner, and if desired, a certain amount of liquid water may also be removed and swept the tub, which rinse water, like the wash water, may enter from the automatic water valve 242 through the pipe 236 into the groove 216 and from thence into the passageways and pipes 208 and 204 which are in the upper part of the rotation cycle of the drum, so that the water is introduced into the interior of the drum 159. Since there is no high air presure in the drum 150' at this time, the water is not forced out of the drum.

The drum 150 and the laundry and rinse water may become operative to rinse the clothes by rotation of the drum 150 without any differential air pressure in the drum as previously described in connection with the first detergent laden wash" water. At the desired time, the rinse water may be removed from the drum 1% by starting the air pressure pump 240 which then forces the rinse water out through the openings 2% when they are at the bottom of the rotational cycle and out through the pipes 208 and on out and on to the groove 214 and pipe 220 to the drain or laundry tub as previously described.

Any number of rinsing operations may be produced in the casing 150 with the emptyings of the rinse water as used. Thereafter, the liquid water held in the clothes may be removed to the desired extent by causing rotation of the drum 150 with the operation or" the pressure pump 240, which causes a large volume of air to be forced through the laundry 162, FIGURE 10, and through the openings 206 during that portion of the rotation of the drum 15d which corresponds to the are 214 of FIGURE 7. During that time the accumulations 162 of the clothes against the baffles 160 and against the foraminous portion 158 causes the large volume of air to flow through the clothes and sweep the liquid water into the passageways 204 which are traveling in to arc corresponding to the arc of groove 214, so that such air and water travels through the pipe 220 to the drain or laundry tub. Continued rotation of the casing 150 will remove all of the liquid water out of the laundry and after a sufiicient length of time, the dampening moisture will start to be removed by the continued air flow from the partially dried laundry. If the temperature of the outside air is sufliciently high, and its relative humidity is sufficiently low, no additional heat than that available in the air need be used to remove the dampening moisture from the clothes. However, if such is not the case, then an electric heater 272 may be energized by the solenoid switch 274 and by the timer, which introduces heat into the air flowing from the pressure pump 24% through the heater chamber 276, and through the pipe 234 and into the drum 15 This rotation of the drum 150, with the addition of heat from the heater casing 276 will completely dry the laundry by evaporating the dampening moisture out of the partially dried laundry. Thereafter, the laundry machine may be stopped, the cover 179 may be removed, and the completely washed and dried laundry may be removed.

The vacuum pump 226 and the vacuum blower 228, if used, may enhance the pressure differential in the casing 150 if desired to produce a greater flow of air through the clothes. Also, if desired, a vacuum may be produced in the casing 150 during the washing action by causing the vacuum pump 244 to operate, when all of the other pipes 218, 220, 234 and 236 are all closed, so that the clothes may be washed, rinsed, under a vacuum action.

However, the embodiment of FIGURES 5-10 may be used in its most simple form, with only the pressure pump 24%, the water valve 242, the heater 276, and the discharge pipe 220, with or without solenoid valve 232. These elements alone need be used for causing the feeding of air and/or water, and the extraction of liquid from the drum 150 and liquid water and dampening moisture from the clothes. In this simple form, the solenoid valves 230, 24s, 248, 250 may be omitted. Also, the pumps or blowers 226, 228 and 244 may be omitted together with their connecting pipes 218 and 238. This It) is a very simple construction, with a small number of parts.

In the efiective and simple embodiment of FIGURES l2 and 13, a casing or drum or confining means 280 may be in the form of a substantially circular drum having a front wall 282 with a suitable opening 284, which may be circular. A cover 2% may be attached to the front wall 282 substantially in the same manner as described in connection with FIGURES 5 through 10. The drum 2% may have a rear wall 288 which substantially seals the casing 28%, except for the air connections, water connections, etc. The drum 2853 may have a foraminous portion 299 provided with openings 292 substantially of the character heretofore described in connection with the previous figures. A channel shaped member 294 may be secured to the casing or drum 2%, so that it is movable therewith, such as by welding or the like. The member 294 encloses all of the openings 292. The bottom portion 295' of the member 294 may slope toward the opening 2%, so that there is a gravitational drainage, if desired. The opening 2% may "be connected to a flexible outlet pipe 298 which may be connected to a drain or laundry tub 309. If desired, a solenoid valve 3132 may be controlled by the timer, so that it is closed to prevent splashing of the water outward during oscillation of the drum 289, or drainage of water outward, if the drain 3% is below the Water level of the drum 289. This valve 3% is made effective by the timer at any time when it is desired to maintain the water in the tub.

A plurality of generally radial baffles 363 and 395 may be provided in the lower part of the drum 280 to provide agitation in the laundry, during the washing and rinsing action, as well as during the extraction of liquid water and dampening moisture from the clothes, as will become apparent.

The drum 289 may be supported on pulleys or wheels 3il4, which are supported on shafts 3% which are held by any suitable support. These Wheels 304, at both ends of the drum, may ride in track grooves 3% which are attached to each end of the drum 289.

The drum 2% may be oscillated back and forth on the wheels 304. For example, a crank 310 may be power driven by the shaft 312, by the motor of the machine and under control of the timer, if desired. The eccentric 314 of the crank 310 may be connected to the connector rod 316, which in turn is connected to the pin 318, or the like, which is rigidly secured to the drum 28d. Rotation of crank 311? causes oscillation back and forth of the drum 280 on pulleys 304.

An air pressure pump or blower 32%, which may be operated by the motor of the machine under control of the timer, as is obvious, may be connected to the interior of the drum 280 by a flexible pipe 322. The pipe 322 discharges at 324 into the interior of the casing or drum 280. An electric heater 326 may be energized under the control of a solenoid switch 328, which also may be controlled by the timer of the machine. A thermostatic switch 32? with a thermostatic bulb 339 may regulate the heater 326 to maintain the desired temperature in the drum 280. A protective foraminous cover 331 may be provided to prevent burning of the laundry by the heater 326, if the heater is located in the drum. However, the heater may be located anywhere outside the drum in the path of the air flow from blower 321), as desired.

Wash water with or Without detergent, as desired, may be introduced into the drum 280 through the automatic water mixing valve 332 which discharges into the flexible pipe 334 having an outlet 33d inside of the drum 280. The pipe 334 may pass through the seal 333 in wall 288 or elsewhere. Hot and cold water pipes respectively 340 342 may be connected to valve 332 so that water of the desired temperature, and of the desired depth in the casing 280, may be introduced under the control of the timer. It is understood that the valve 332, as well as the valve 392, crank 310, blower 320, etc., as herein referred to may be timer controlled. The valve 332 may be similar to any of the well known automatic mixing valves which are controlled by solenoids by a timer, so that the desired hot and/or cold water may be introduced. The valve 332 may also be provided with a constant flow controller, so that the valve may be opened for the desired length of time to introduce water at a constant rate and for a selected interval of time to produce the desired depth of water in the drum 280.

It is thus to be seen that an extremely simple and effective washing machine and/ or dryer has been provided in the embodiment of FIGURES 11 and 12.

A typical operation of the embodiment of FIGURES 11 and 12 may be as follows.

Wet or dry laundry and/or detergent may be introduced through the opening 284, and then the cover 282 may then be sealed to the drum 289. Water with or without detergent may be introduced under the control of the timer through the water inlet 336 at the desired temperature and to the desired depth. Either during or after the introduction of water, the drum 280 may be oscillated by the crank 310, so that the laundry is agitated by the bafi'les 303 and 395. At this time, the valve 302 is maintained closed, or else the outlet 344 of the part 298 is maintained above the desired level of water in the casing 280. The drum 280 is agitated back and forth without the operation of the blower 320, which permits the laundry to be agitated and washed the desired length of time in the detergent laden wash water. After the desired length of time, the timer causes the blower 320 to be operated, whereupon the water in the drum 280 is forced out through the pipe 293 and past the valve 302 which, if used, has been opened at this time by the timer, so that the water is discharged into the drain 300, so substantially all of the wash water is pumped or removed from the drum 280. Continued action of the blower 320 is optional at this time, as its operation may be continued sufliciently to remove some of the liquid wash water that may be held by the absorbing power of the clothes. Thereafter, hot and/or cold rinse water may be introduced into the drum 280 in a manner similar to the operation for the Wash water, so that one or more rinsings may be produced substantially in the same manner. After the final rinse water has been emptied, the operation of blower 326 may continue, so that it forces a large amount of air through the laundry and through the openings 292 and into the channel 294, which large volume of air is discharged through the outlet 344, andany water carried thereby will be discharged into the drain 300. Continued operation in this manner will remove the liquid water from the clothes.

Continued operation of the blower 32%) will then cause the large volume of air passing through the clothes and the openings 292 to remove the dampening moisture out of the clothes and up through the pipe 298 to the outlet 344. If the temperature of the surrounding air is suiiiciently high, and its relative humidity is sufficiently low, no additional heat need be added to the air as it passes through the clothes. However, if such conditions do not prevail, then some heat may be introduced by the electric heater 3%, which may be energized by the timer which can operate the solenoid electric switch 28 to energize the elec ric heater 326. This will introduce sufficient heat to the air passing through the clothes so that the clothes will be substantially completely dried. During all of this time, the drum 289 may be oscillated back and forth to maintain the clothes in a fiuifed condition during all of the washing, rinsing, liquid water extracting and dampening moisture extracting operations without change of rate of oscillation, the baffles 35 3 aiding this finding condition. However, it it should be desired, the rate of oscillation may be varied by a variable transmission or the like under control of the timer to produce different oscillations during the Washing and rinsing actions as compared to the liquid water extractions and/ or the dampening moisture extraction operations.

t should be noted that the openings 22 provide a forarninous portion in the casing 280 at their inner ends,

Further, a suction pump could be placed in line 298 to V be utilized in combination with the pump 326, if desired, or in lieu of the pump 320, ifdesired.

' It is contemplated that all of the embodiments of this invention may be used either for domestic laundry machines, commercial laundry machines, dry cleaning for clothes or any other materials or for the treating or": other materials of a character substantially the same as laundry, as will be evident. Also such embodiments may be used for the washing operations only, for the liquid Water extractions only, or for the dampening moisture extractions only, if desired.

For convenience and brevity in description words such as laundry, Washing, rinsing, ever, it is understood that many of the features herein disclosed may be used to treat other materials. Also words indicating direction, relative position, or relative motion are also used for brevity and convenience in description. It is also understood that such words are used in connection with the specific showings of the drawings, and that the define water or the like which is held in suspension or by other action in the laundry. This is the type of water which ordinarily is extracted from the clothes by centrifugal action, or wringer action in previous constructions but which is extracted by the movement of a large volume of air through the clothes or laundry by this invention.

The words dampening" moisture are used herein to define the type of moisture which is held in the laundry after the previou centrifugal action or wringer action have been applied to the laundry. This dampening moisture is removed from the laundry, according to this invention, by the flow of drying air through the laundry after the liquid water has been swept out of the laundry by the large flow of air through the laundry.

Under certain conditions in this invention, the removal of liquid water and dampening moisture constitute one continuous action.

The drum 235 in FIGURES 11 and 12 may be oscillated back and forth equal distances from the position of FIG- URE 12 if desired.

The valve 48 and pipe 50, of FIGURE 1, may be added, if desired, it the gooseneck 44 is to be extended down below the level of the water in the tub. The valve 48 may be opened so pipe 50 can break the syphoning action at the gooseneck 44. The valve 48 and pipe 56 may be omitted when the gooseneck has its discharge opening above the water level of the tub.

In FIGURES l1 and 12, an air restriction means, such as a flow restricting orifice, automatic pressure reducing valve, etc., may be placed at or near the opening 324, with or without the pump 32%. A vacuum producing pump or blower may be added to pipe 29-8 on the outlet side of valve 392. With this construction the liquid water and/ or the dampening evaporation may be produced under vacuum conditions. The pump 320, if used would not be operated at this time.

It is thus to be seen that a new, useful and unobvious laundry machine and/ or method have bee provided by this invention.

While the form of the invention now preferred has been disclosed as required by the statutes, other forms may be used, all coming within the scope of the claims which follow.

etc., are used. How- What is claimed is:

1. In a laundry machine, a substantially fluid tight confining means for receiving wet laundry, said confining means having a foraminous portion for supporting wet laundry in said confining means on one side of said foraminous portion, passage defining means having inlet means disposed in substantially sealed relation against the other side of said foraminous portion and operatively interconnecting said foraminous portion with the exterior of said confining means, and means operatively interconnected to said confining means for creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than in said passage defining means and greater than outside said confining means so that there is a tendency to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said Wet laundry and said foraminous portion into said passage defining means when said wet laundry is in aligned relation with said inlet means of said passage defining means and on said one side of said foraminous portion.

2. In a laundry machine as set forth in claim 1, said last-named means comprises a fluid pump.

3. In a laundry machine as set forth in claim 1, suction means are interconnected to said passage defining means between said inlet and outlet thereof.

4. In a laundry machine, a substantially fluid tight confining means for receiving laundry, means for introducing a body of water in said confining means for washing said laundry, means for removing said body of water from said confining means to leave wet laundry in said confining means, said confining means having a foraminous portion for supporting said wet laundry in said confining means on one side of said foraminous portion, passage defining means having inlet means disposed in substantially sealed relation against the other side of said foraminous portion and operatively interconnecting said foraminous portion with the exterior of said confining means, and means operatively interconnected to said confining means for creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than in said passage defining means and greater than outside said confining means so that there is a tendency to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said wet laundry and said foraminous portion into said passage defining means when said wet laundry is in aligned relation with said inlet means of said passage defining means and on said one side of said foraminous portion.

5. In a laundry machine, a substantially fluid tight confining means, a forarninous carriage disposed in said confining means and being adapted to receive wet laundry and support the same on one side of said foraminous carriage, passage defining means having an inlet between said forarninous carriage and said confining means and an outlet outside said confining means, said inlet being in substantially sealed relation with the other side of said foraminous carriage, and means operatively interconnected to said confining means for creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than in said passage defining means and greater than outside said confining means so that there is a tendency to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said Wet laundry and said foraminous carriage into said passage defining means when said Wet laundry is in aligned relation with said inlet of said passage defining means and on one side of said foraminous carriage.

6. In a laundry machine as set forth in claim 5, means to move said foraminous carriage relative to said inlet of said passage defining means.

7. In a laundry machine as set forth in claim 5, means to intermittently stop movement of said carriage relative to said inlet of said passage defining means to provide prolonged periods of fluid flow through said Wet laundry while said wet laundry is in one position relative to said inlet.

8. In a laundry machine, a substantially fluid tight confining means, a foraminous carriage disposed in said confining means and being adapted to receive laundry and support the same on one side of said foraminous carriage, means to introduce a body of water into said confining means to at least partially submerge said laundry :for washing purposes, means to remove said body of water from said confining means to leave wet laundry in said foraminous carriage, passage defining means having an inlet between said foraminous carriage and said confining means and an outlet outside said confining means, said inlet being in substantially sealed relation with the other side of said foraminous carriage, and means operatively interconnected to said confining means for creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than in said passage defining means and greater than outside said confining means so that there is a tendency to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said wet laundry and said foraminous carriage into said passage defining means when said wet laundry is in aligned relation with said inlet of said passage defining means and on said one side of said toraminous carriage.

9. In a laundry machine as set forth in claim 8, means to move said foraminous carriage relative to said confining means.

10. A method for drying wet laundry comprising the steps of disposing said Wet laundry on one side of a foraminous portion of a substantially fluid tight laundry confining means, and creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than outside said confining means to tend to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said wet laundry and said foraminons portion into inlet means of passage defining means operatively interconnecting said foraminous portion with the exterior of said confining means and being in substantially sealed relation with the other side of said foraminous portion when said wet laundry is aligned with said inlet means.

11. A method as set forth in claim 10 and including the step of changing the position of said wet laundry on said foraminous portion.

12. A method as set forth in claim 10 and including the step of moving said foraminous portion relative to said passage defining means.

13. A method for washing and drying laundry comprising the steps of disposing said laundry in a substantially fluid tight laundry confining means, introducing a body of water in said confining means to wash said laundry, removing said body of water from said confining means to leave wet laundry on one side of a foraminous portion of said confining means, and creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than outside said confining means to tend to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said wet laundry and said foraminous portion into inlet means of passage defining means operatively interconnecting said foraminous portion with the exterior of said confining means and being in substantially sealed relation with the other side of said foraminous portion when said wet laundry is aligned with said inlet means.

14. A method for drying wet laundry comprising the steps of disposing said wet laundry on one side of a foraminous carriage mounted inside a substantially fluid tight laundry confining means, disposing an inlet of a passage defining means between said foraminons carriage and said confining means with the outlet thereof outside said confining means, and creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than outside said confining means to tend to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said wet laundry and said foraminous carriage into said inlet of said passage defining means while said inlet is in substantially sealed relation with the other side of said foraminous carriage and while said wet laundry is aligned with said inlet.

15. A method as set forth in claim 14 and including 15 the step of moving said foraminous carriage relative to said inlet of said passage defining means.

16. A method as set forth in claim 15 and including the step of intermittently stopping the movement of said forarninous carriage relative to said inlet of said passage defining means to provide prolonged periods of fluid flow through said wet laundry while said wet laundry is in one position relative to said inlet.

-17. A method for washing and drying laundry comprising the steps of disposing said laundry on one side of a foraminous carriage mounted in a substantially fluid tight laundry confining means, introducing a body of Water in said confining means to at least partially submerge said laundry for washing purposes, removing said body of Water from said confining means to leave wet laundry on said foraminous carriage, disposing an inlet of a passage defining means between said foraminous carriage and said confining means with the outlet thereof outside said confining means, and creating a fluid pressure in said confining means greater than outside said confining means to tend to force a large volume of fluid from said confining means directly through said wet laundry and said foraminous carriage into said inlet of said passage defining means while said inlet is in substantially sealed relation with the other side of said foraminous carriage While said wet laundry is aligned with said inlet.

18. A method as set forth in claim 17 and including the step of moving said foraminous carriage relative to said confining means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,410,236 3/1922 Wagner 68.l8 X 2,126,426 8/ 1938 Traube 68-20 X 3,231,909 2/1966 Candor 6*8--l9 X WILLIAM 1. PRICE, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
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US3425137 *Mar 20, 1968Feb 4, 1969Lambert Chandley WVacuum rug dryer
US5050259 *Oct 11, 1990Sep 24, 1991Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaDrum type washing apparatus and method of processing the wash using said apparatus
US5085064 *Jun 14, 1990Feb 4, 1992Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaDrum type washing and dehydrating machine
US5107606 *May 10, 1991Apr 28, 1992Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaDrum type washing apparatus and method of processing the wash using said apparatus
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US5289703 *Jul 13, 1992Mar 1, 1994Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaDrum type washing machine
US7658015 *Feb 9, 2010Gardell Christopher MClothes drying device
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US7735345Jul 7, 2006Jun 15, 2010Whirlpool CorporationAutomatic fabric treatment appliance with a manual fabric treatment station
US7921578 *Apr 12, 2011Whirlpool CorporationNebulizer system for a fabric treatment appliance
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US8844160Sep 29, 2010Sep 30, 2014Whirlpool CorporationModular fabric revitalizing system
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US20070163093 *Jul 7, 2006Jul 19, 2007Tremitchell WrightFabric revitalizing method uisng low absorbency pads
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Classifications
U.S. Classification8/159, 34/413, 68/20, 34/92
International ClassificationD06F25/00, D06F58/02, D06F39/08
Cooperative ClassificationD06F25/00, D06F58/02, D06F39/083
European ClassificationD06F58/02, D06F39/08D, D06F25/00