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Publication numberUS3364585 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1968
Filing dateJun 7, 1965
Priority dateJun 7, 1965
Publication numberUS 3364585 A, US 3364585A, US-A-3364585, US3364585 A, US3364585A
InventorsFish Austin D, Menk Melvin A
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dryer sprinkle system
US 3364585 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 23, 1968 A. D. F|sH ETAL 3364585 DRYER SPRINKLE SYSTEM Filed June 7, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VENTORS sn 0. F232? 2728211217 O. menk THE/R ATTORNEY Jan. 23, 1968 A. D. FlsH ETALA DRYER SPRINKLE SYSTEM 5 Sheets-Sheet Filed June 7, 1965 /NVENToRs Ousz'v'n D. Fish 272821/[22 O. mark THEIR ATTORNEY Jan. 23, 1968 A. D. FlsH ETAL DRYER SPRINKLE SYSTEM 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed June 7, 1965 wZO-FODmFmZ. mmqxzam Jan. 23, 1968 A. D. FlsH ETAL DRYER SPRINKLE SYSTEM Fild June 7, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 az ma w; WD. mm

771511? A TTORNE'Y Jan. 23, 1968 Filed June 7, 1965 A. D. FISH ETAL DRYER SPRINKLE SYSTEM ;NVENToRs 0118211?? D. Fish 'BeJv/'n O. mam? THEIR 'TORNEY United States Patent Ofifice 3354585 Patented Jan. 23, 1968 3,364,585 DRYER SPRINKLE SYSTEM Austin D. Fish, Tipp City, and Melvin A. Monk, Eugle- Wood, Ohio, assignors to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed June 7, 1965, Ser. No. 461,869 1 Claim. (Cl. 34-45) ABS'I'RACT OF TE DSCLSURE In preferred form a domestic dryer including a drum, means for distributing heated air through the drum including a perforated rear drum Wall and a ported cylindrcal drum support member, a gravity flow water supply having a nozzle fixed on the support member and including an outlet communicating with the drum interior and sealed by an annular seal member disposed between a drum extension and the drum support member and a control and sensing system including direct moisture sensing probes supported on the rear drum wall centrally thereof to directly contact articles within the drum and operative to condition control means in response to moisture in the tumbled articles to terminate a sprinlx'le cycle.

This invention relates to domestic clothes dryers and more particularly to an automatic sprinkling system for association with clothes dryers.

Present-day automatic domestic clothes dryers typically include some provision for establishing a predetermined desired dampness following the drying cycle of operation. Termination of the drying cycle of operation to o'btan clothes in a damp-dry state is desirable so long as the clothes are immediately ironed. Otherwise, there is a problem of mildewing. Many users of automatic dryers, however, are unable to iron the dried articles immediately following the drying cycle of operation, and it is, therefore, desirable to provide some provision for a sprinkle cycle of operation that can be carried out at the convenience of the user. In such cases, the regular drying cycle of operation can be operated so as to obtain relatively bone dry article processing and then when it is desired to iron the clothes, the user will operate the sprinkle cycle to dampen the clothes so that they can be ironed effectively.

One problem in prior sprinkling systems for automatic clothes dryers is the necessity for determining the size of the load to be dampened during the sprinkle cycle and then matching a predetermined amount of sprinkling water to the load size in order to assure that the clothes reach an exact degree of dampness at the end of the sprinkle cycle of operation. As long as the quantity of sprinkled water is accurately selected, the clothes have a desired degree of dampness for ironing, but because of the different types of fa'brics being sprinkled and the difficulty in accurately determining the weight of the load being processed, this method of sprinkling clothes often produces an undesirable result.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to improve clothes dryer Operations by the provision of an improved clothes sprnkler system including a sprinkle cycle termination control including a solid state control circuit with a chargeable capacitor conditioned by a clothes sensor that contacts articles within the tumbling drum to sense the moisture therein wherein means are provided to inject a Constant amount of water into the tumbling drum irrespective of the clothes weight and wherein the sensing action of the sensor member conditions the control circuit to automatically terminate the sprinkle cycle of operation.

A further object of the present invention is to improve domestic clothes dryers by the provision of an improved clothes sprinkler system therein including means for injecting a predetermined quantity of water into a tumbling drum irrespective of the weight of the articles being tumbled during a sprinkle cycle of operation, a manually rotatable programmer member for presetting a desired degree of dampness following a sprinkle cycle of operation, a sprinkle cycle selector button, and control means including a sensor member contacting the clothes to sense their dampness and a chargeable capacitor conditioned by the sensor member and associated with means operative to condition the control means to terminate the sprinkle cycle of operation when the sensor contacts clothes having a predetermined dampness as preset by the programmer member.

A further object of the present invention is to improve domestic clothes dryers by the provision of an improved sprinkler system for directing a predetermined quantity of water into a tumbling drum irrespective of the weight of the articles being tumbled therein wherein the tumbling drum includes a rear wall having a sensor member supported on the inner surface thereof at a central location and means for rotatably supporting the rear wall on an outer housing and the drum further includes a front wall having a cylindrcal throat member thereon forming an access opening into the tumbling drum that is supported by an annular port plate member having a throat member disposed concentrically within the throat on the front wall of the drum wherein the sprinkler system includes a reservoir tank located adjacent the rear wall of the drum above its center line, a fiexible conduit for directing water from the reservoir to a point forwardly of the throat on the front of the drum to communicate with a nozzle supportingly received on the port plate by means for fixedly locating the nozzle to communicate with the interior of the drum without being displaced by relative movement between the concentrically arranged throat members and without reducing the effectiveness of a sealing member disposed between said throat members.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being has to the accompanying drawings Wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a view partially in section and partially in elevation of a clothes dryer including a sprinkler system of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view, partially broken away, of a nozzle connection in the embodiment of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a view in Vertical section taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a view in elevation of the control panel of the dryer of FIGURE 1;

aaa/1,585

FIGURE is an enlarged view in front elevation of a portion of the control panel of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged view in elevation of another portion of the control panel of FIGURE 4; and

FIGURE 7 is a schematic view of a control circuit suitable for use with the sprinkler system of the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings, in FIGURE 1, a domestic dryer 10 is illustrated including an outer housing 12 having a top 14, a base plate 16, side walls 18, 20, a rear wall 22 and a front wall 24. Located interiorly of the outer housing 12 is a rotatable tumbling drum 26 having a rear wall 2.8 and a front Wall 30. The rear wall 28 has a shaft 32 secured thereto directed through a rear bulkhead 34 extending from the base 16 to a point adjacent the top 14 of the machine to be supportingly, rotatably received by a bearing member 36 in the bulkhead 34.

The front wall of the drum support or 26 includes a cylindrical drum throat member 33 thereon which receives a throat member 40 on an annular port plate 42 that is supportingly received by the front Wall 24 within an opening 44 therein. The port plate 42 defines an access opening 46 that is closed by a door closure member 48 pivotally mounted on the front wall. The port plate throat member 40, as best seen in FIGURE 3, has an annular seal member 50 supported thereon of a suitable resilient material such as felt disposed to fill a space between the port throat member 40 and the drum throat member 38. At predetermined circ-untferential points around the port plate throat member 40 are located bearing 'blocks 52 that supportingly receive the front wall throat member 38 for rotation relative to the outer housing 12.

In the illustrated dryer 10 the drum 26 is driven by an electric motor 54 supported by a bracket 56 on the base plate 16. A shaft 57 from the motor 54 drives a single belt drive pulley system 58 that includes a belt 60 passed over the outer periphery of the drum 26.

Additionally, the system includes an electrically energizable heater element 62 located between the rear bulkhead 34' and the rear drum Wall 28 Within a space 64 therebetween in part formed by an annular seal member 66 supported on the rear bulkhead 34 and directed forwardly thereof into sliding, sealing engagement with the rear wall 28 adjacent the outer periphery thereof. During the drying cycles of operation of the dryer 10 a blower 68 is driven by the motor 54 through a shaft 70 to cause air to be circulated from exteriorly of the outer housing 12 through an opening 72 in the rear wall 22, thence through openings 74 in the rear bulkhead 34 into the space 64 and across the heating element 62 through openings 76 in the rear drum wall 28. The heated air is then passed through the interior 78 of the tum'blin-g drum to remove moisture from articles being tumbled therein thence through the access opening 46 in the port plate 42 and through circumferentially located peripheral openings 80 therein that communicate with a space 82 in part formed by a sealing member 84 disposed between the outer surface of the port plate 42 and a duct member 86 spaced inwardly of the front wall 24. From the space 82 air is passed through a port 88 in the duct member 86 thence through a fiexible conduit 90 to the inlet 92 of the blower 68 from whence the circulated heated moist air is passed through an outlet 94 of the blower 68 and through a fiexible conduit 96 to a point exteriorly of the housing 12.

The operation of the drive motor 54 and the heater element 62 is automatically determined by a controller 98 supported within a control panel 100 located rearwardly of the outer housing 12 and including an escutcheon 102 facing forwardly of the machine and including a manually rotatable dryness programmer member 104 and a plurality of -drynes scycle selector buttons 106, 108, 110, 112, 114, 116 thereon. Additionally, the escutcheon 102 includes a -pivotal door member 118 thereon that is movable to open and close an opening 120 in one side of the escutcheon 102.

Referring now to FIGURE 6, the manually rotatable programmer member 104 is seen to include a rotatable knob portion 105 having an index line 107 thereon for indicating the 'condition at which a clothes drying cycle of operation is to be terminated. More particularly, in the illustrated arrangement, the knob 105 is moved relative to damp, normal and extra dry control regions and a dryness scale on a collar 109 to preset a final clothes condition within a range from a bone-dry state to a damp-` ness of approximately 35% depending upon the desires of the user. The collar 109 is fixedly secured to the escutcheon against rotation With respect thereto.

Referring now more particularly to FIGURE 5, the buttons 106 through 116 are more specifically designated by indicia on the escutcheon 102 as being a start button 106, a Wash and wear cycle button 108, a regular heavy cycle button 110, a delicate-sprinkle cycle button 112, a no-heat cycle button 114- and a cancel button 116. When the door 118 is opened a sprinkler instruction plate portion of the escutcheon 102 is exposed and includes indicia thereon indicating the operative steps of a sprinkle cycle of operation of the present invention including the step of pouring water through the opening 120'.

Water poured through the opening 120 is passed through a chute 122 into a sprinkler tank 124 located adjacent the rear wall 28 of the tumbling drum above the center line of the tumbling drum. Water is drained from the tank 124 through an outlet fitting 127 thereon through a fiexible conduit 128 located on one side of the tumbling drum 26 to extend to a point forwardly of the throat member 38 on the front wall 30, as best seen in FIG- URES 1 and 2, where it is connected to one end of a sprinkler nozzle 130 held by a bracket 132 on the port plate throat 40 so as to locate the opposite end of the nozzle in communication with the interior 78 of the drum 26.

More specifically, the bracket 132 is secured by rivets 134 to the outer periphery of the port plate throat member 40 and includes a first bent portion 136 located outwardly and forwardly of the space between the throat members 38, 40 and a second bent portion 138 that is disposed in the space between the members 38, 40 and in spaced relationship to the member 40, as best seen in FIGURE 3. The portion 136 receives a first straight tube portion 140 of the nozzle 130 and the second bracket portion 138 fixedly receives a second straight portion 142 of the nozzle 130 that is joined to the first portion 140 by a bend 144. An equivalent arrangement is obtained by silver soldering the tube portion 142 to the throat member 40. In this case the bracket 132 is eliminated.

The nozzle 130 thereby is rigidly secured to the port plate 42 against relative movement with respect thereto. By virtue of this construction, the nozzle end in communication with the interior of the drum 26 is fixed against movement with respect to portions of the seal member 50 that are in abutting, sealing engagement with the curved portion 138 of the bracket 132, as seen in FIGURE 3. As a result, the eifectiveness of the seal member 50 at this location is continually maintained irrespective of the relative rotation of the throat members 38, 40. Additionally, the fluid connection of the sprinkler tank 124 to the interior of the drum 26 is maintained fluid tight without any undesirable leakage at the fluid joints therein even though the tumbling drum 26 is rotated at relatively high speeds that might otherwise loosen the joints to cause undesirable leakage therefrom.

Another feature of the illustrated water supply in the sprinkler system is that it eliminates the need for directing water through the rear wall of the tumbling drum as shown in United States Patent No. 2,958,954, issued Nov. 8, 1960. In the illustrated arrangement such a connection is blocked by a senor member 146 that is secured to the interior surface of the rear wall 28 concentrically of the axis of the shaft 32 connected thereon. The sensor member 146 is of the type that contacts wet tumblng articles in the interior 78 to control charging of a capacitor in the control Circuit 98. The sensor is, more particularly, set forth in the copending application of Miller, Ser. No. 457,435, now Patent No. 3333345, filed May 20, 1965. As disclosed in the Miller arrangement, the sensor 146 is connected through a Conductor 148 to the Controller 98 that includes a wiring Circuit of the type shown in FIGURE 7.

The Circuit of FIGURE 7 again is more specifically set forth in the Miller application and is merely representative of a suitable system for association with the present invention. For purposes of this description, it can be generally described as including a heater Circuit 150 connected between wires L1, L2 of a three-Wire, 110/ 220` volt power supply for selectively energizing the heater element 62. The Circuit further includes a motor energization network 152 for selectively energizing the drive motor 54. Additonally, the Circuit of FIGURE 7 includes a solid state control 154 including a chargeable capacitor that is electrically connected to the sensor member 146 by the conductor 148. The heater energization Circuit 150 and motor energization Circuit 152 are electrically connected across the power source by a door switch 156, a Cancel switch 158 and a start switch 160 actuated by the Start button 106. The heater energization Circuit 150 has a variable heat output that is determined by pressing the Wash and wear cycle button 108, the regular heavy cycle 110 or the delicate sprinkle cycle 112 to close contacts 162, 164, 166, respectively, to produce the varying heat output from the heater 62.

The Circuit also includes a relay controlled contact 168 for terminating heat output under the control of the solid state Controller 154 and a relay controlled contact 170 for likewise terminating tumblng action lby de-energizing the motor 54. The Circuit further includes a relay controlled contact 172 for completing a holding Circuit for the solid state Controller 154 during the operative cycle of the machine. In each case, the relay control contacts 168, 170, 172 are positioned -by energization of a relay coil 174 controlled by the solid state Controller 154.

The circuit also includes a bimetallic contact 176 for producing a predetermined cool-off period following a drying cycle of operation and an alarm 178 for indicating the termination of a drying cycle. The above-described Circuit is merely representative of one Circuit that includes a solid state Capacitive controlled network associated with a Clothes contacting sensor member for regulating the dryer operation. For a more detailed description of the above-described Circuit, reference can be made to the above cited Miller application wherein the detailed operation of the circuit is set forth.

The operation of the sprnkler system described above is as follows. Articles to be sprinkled are placed in the tumblng drum interior and the door 48 is closed to close the door switch 156. Then, the dryness control knob 104 is positioned to extra dry whereby the solid state control network 154 is conditioned to close the relay Contacts 168, 170, 172 when the start button 106 and delicate sprinkle cycle button 112 are pushed to close contact 160 and the contact 166. At this time the heater energization Circuit and motor energization Circuit are Closed to cause circulated heated air to be distributed through the tumblng drum and rotation of the tumblng drum. Then the user pours a predetermined Constant amount of water into the sprnkler opening 120 irrespective of the size of the Clothes load. The predetermined amount of water is selected to produce a sufiicient injection of water to give a final Clothes dampness within the dampness ranges established by the Programmer member 104. The water immediately drains through the nozzle 130 into the interior of the drum and is distributed through the Clothes by the tumblng action of the drum. Following injection of the water the member 104 is reset to a preferred dampness control position depending upon the desres of the particular user. The sprinkle cycle of operation then is determined by the random contact of the sensor 146 with the wet tumblng articles, which, as discussed in the Miller application, when the tumbled articles reach a state of dampness as preselected by the dryness programmer member 104, eventually will allow Charging of the capacitor to cause the solid state controller 154 to de-energize the coil 174 to de-energize the dryer control circuit and open the motor control relay switch 170. Motor energization then depends upon the position of the cool-olf bimetallic switch 176 which, following a predetermined cool-down period, will open to terminate tumblng action of the drum 26 and sound the alarm 178.

While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.

What is claimed is as follows:

1. In a domestic Clothes dryer sprinkling system, the combination of, an outer housing including a control panel having an escutcheon across the front thereof, a manually actuatable member thereon serving as a programmable dryness control selector, a plurality of manually operable buttons on said escutcheon operable to select predetermined cycles of dryer operation, a fill opening in said escutcheon, a tumblng drum located within said outer housing including a rear wall and a front wall having a cylindrical throat member therein forming an access opening into the interior of said drum, means including a drum drive shaft secured Centrally of said rear wall for rotatably supportng the rear end of said drum on said outer housing, means including a port plate having exhaust ports therein and a cylindrcally shaped port plate throat member located concentrically within and axially of said drum throat member for rotatably supportng the front end of said drum on said outer housing, means including a heater for circulating heated air through said rear wall interiorly of said drum and outwardly of the access opening thereto thence through said exhaust ports in said throat plate for drying articles tumbled Within said drum, drive means for driving said rotatable drum, a sprnkler tank located adjacent said rear drum wall above the center line of said drum, a chute located rearwardly of said escutcheon opening for 'directing water poured therethrou'gh interiorly of said tank, a fiexible Conduit for directing Water from said sprnkler tank to a point forwardly of said rum throat member, an annular seal member disposed between said drum and port plate throat members for sealing against the escape of moisture from interiorly of said tumblng drum, a sprnkler nozzle having an inlet end an outlet end, said nozzle inlet end communicating with said flexible conduit, said nozzle having a portion thereon between said inlet and outlet ends fixedly connected to said port plate throat member to locate said nozzle Outlet in communication with the interior of said drum for injecting Water from said tank interiorly of said drum, said seal member overlying and engaging said nozzle to prevent leakage exteriorly of said drum along said nozzle, control Circuit means for selectively connecting said heater and said drum drive means to a source of power including a chargeable capacitor and a sensor member located interiorly of said drum on said rear wall in line with the axis of said drum drive shaft for contacting damp articles tumbled within said drum, means in said Control circuit means responsive to adjustment of said control selector for varying the charge to said capacitor, said sensor member including electrical conductors for completing a grounding Circuit to control charging of said capacitor in accordance with the dampness of articles tumbled in said drum, one of said control buttons conditioning said control circut means for a sprinkle cycle of dryer operation, said tank, fiexible Conduit and nozzle directing a predetermined quantity of water into said 7 8 drum irrespe'ctive of the clothes load being tumbled dur- References Cited ing the sprinkle cycle of operation, said control circuit UNITED STATES ATENTS means including means for concurrently energizing said heater and said drive means during the sprinkle cycle 21846'776 8/1958 Clark 'r 34"-60 X operation for distributing said predetermined quantity of 5 21958254 11/1960 Lolgenecker 2,4 60 X water, said sensor means contacting said tumbled articles 319801-52 3/1963 Friler et al 6`8 207 X 3,l97,884 8/1965 Smith 34-45 and sensing the moisture therein to condition said chargeable capacitor to terminate said sprinkle cycle of I v operation When the moisture in said articles reaches the FREDERICK L' MATESON, JR Pnmary Exammer' predetermined setting on said programmable control sew JOHN CAMBY, Examiner.

lector for terminating the sprinkle cycle of operation.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification34/527, 34/60
International ClassificationD06F58/20, D06F58/28
Cooperative ClassificationD06F58/203, D06F58/28
European ClassificationD06F58/20B, D06F58/28