US 3370738 A
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Feb. 27, 1968 K. K. KESLING REFRIGERATOR TRIM Filed March '21, 1967 INVENTOR, Kama fies/my ATTORNEY United States Patent ()1 3,370,738 REFRIGERATOR TREM Keith K. Keeling, Dayton,-hio, assignor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 346,149, Feb. 20, 1964. This application Mar. 21, 1967, Ser. No. 624,999
5 Claims. (Cl. 220-9) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In the preferred form, the refrigerator cabinet has an inner wall provided near an edge with an outwardly extending offset of plastic material including a rib extending adjacent the straight outer wall forming a pocket alongside the rib between the front of the offset and the front of the outer wall. A resilient sealing gasket is compressed in the pocket to seal the insulating space between the walls. A U-shaped trim strip springs inwardly to press the walls against the gasket, In one form, a groove is provided on the opposite side of the rib receiving a projection of the trim strip which projects into it for preventing easy removal of the strip. This construction applies both to side and top walls and doors.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Serial No. 346,149 filed February 20, 1964, now Patent No. 3,338,451. This application pertains to trim arrangements at the edges of the side and top walls and the doors of refrigerator cabinets.
The trim arrangements at the edges of the side and top walls and the doors of refrigerator cabinets are important to the appearance of the cabinet and also are a considerable proportion of the cost of the cabinet.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a trim arrangement for a refrigerator cabinet which is simple, inexpensive, good in appearance and high in style, which can be economically used with either cast-in or removable slab from insulation.
It is another object of this invention to provide a simple, inexpensive, removable trim arrangement for a refrigerator cabinet which will allow the insertion and removal of substantially rigid or semi-rigid foam insulation slabs.
It is another object of this invention to provide a simple, inexpensive removable trim arrangement for a refrigerator cabinet in which all raw edges are covered and protected by a removable ornamental trim strip.
These and other objects are attained in the form shown in the drawings in which a U-shaped trim strip extends --around, covers and grips the raw edges of both the inner ribs hold the gasket seal in place prior to the foam in- 3,370,738 Patented Feb. .27, 1968 ice shape indicated in FIGURE 2. This inner wall includes a large protruding rib 57 extending around the perimeter of the door on the outer side of which is a double offset provided with the laterally and forwardly extending flange portions 59, 61 and 63. The flange portion 59 is provided with a series of slots 65 receiving a corresponding series of spaced projections 67 having the thin flanges 69 which like barbs press against the inner wall of the flange 59 to prevent removal of the gasket seal 50. On the opposite side of the flange 59 the gasket seal is provided with a set of flanges 71 which press against the outer surface of the flange 59 surrounding the aperture 65. This portion of the seal 50 is connected by a bellows type arrangement with the envelope for the magnetic material 73. The flanges 69 are tapered and relatively thin so that with the flexibility provided in the projection 67 they can be pushed through the slots 65 and spread outwardly so that they lock the seal 50 to the flange 59.
The flange 63 is provided with an outwardly extending rib or head 75 between the flange 61 and its outer edges. This rib or bead 75 cooperates with the outer wall 56 as well as the U-shaped trim member 77 to hold a resilient gasket seal 79 compressed in the space between these members 54, 56 and 77. This seal 79 assists in preventing the escape of foam insulating material 58 from the space between the walls of the door 22. The flanges 69 likewise prevent the escape of foam insulating materials through the aperture 65. The foam gasket seal material 79 may be of a natural or synthetic sponge rubber or resilient polyurethane foam or other elastic materials. The U-shaped trim strip 77 has a long leg 81 with an inwardly folded edge on the outside of the sheet 54 of the door 22. The leg of the U-shaped trim strip 77 on the opposite side is curled, or bent inwardly to form a projection 78 extending into the groove 75 on the opposite side of the flange 63. This projection 78 is bent into the groove 75 for preventing the easy removal of the trim strip 77. The strip 77 has a sufficient inward spring to cause the projection 78 to tightly engage the groove 75 so as to prevent easy removal of the trim strip 77. The space between the walls of the door may be filled with polyurethane plastic foam insulation 56 which may be cast in place between the walls thereof or there may be fitted in slabs of polyurethane insulation foam. The trim strips may not be continuous but may have one or more ends by which the trim strip 77 can be forcibly removed to change the decorative sheet 22 to one of another color or finish which may complement the other colors used in the furnishing of the room wherever the refrigerator 20 is located.
The wall construction of the top and side walls of the cabinet includes a similar front trim arrangement. The
flat outer sheet metal side walls 26 as well as the flat outer top wall 28 extend forwardly in a straight line. The inner walls 36 enclose a refrigerated compartment 37 and extend into the notch or kerf 83. which receives the front The raw edges edges" of "the sheet 36. The kerf 83 an the rear not-" tion ofthe breaker strip- 42 which-has an-olfset flange 44' :a resilient gasket seal 47 which prevents the escape of the foam forming materials during the casting of the foam between-the walls. The opposite side of the rib 45 forms agroove. IVY a v at the front of the flange 46 and the outer Wall 26 as well as the sealinggasket 47 are enclosed oy the U-shaped trimstrip 86 having. an outer leg provided with an inwardly folded edge 87. The opposite leg' is provided with a projecting portion 89 extending into the groove between the flanges 46 and 44 to provide an interfitting spring engagement to prevent the easy removal of the trim strip 86. The trim strip 86 is provided with a lateral flange 80 extending inwardly from the projection .89 overlying the flange 44 and provided with an inwardly bent or curlededge 82. This flange 80 extends between the portion of the magnetic seal 50 containing the magnetic material 73 and the flange 44. Itis preferably made of atype of stainless steel which is magnetic so that the magnetic material 73 is attracted to it to hold the door 22 in theclosed position. The trim strip 77 likewise may be made of stainless steel .but it may be made of aluminum,
if desired. If both trim strips 77 and 86 the U-shaped portions spring inwardly so as to grip and extend around the raw edges and to squeeze the gasket seals 79 and .47 to provide the sealed edge arrangement.
As shown, the flanges 46 and 44 are provided at the front of a plastic breaker strip 42 having its rear edge provided with a kerf receiving the front of the sheet metal inner liner, 36 which encloses the refrigerated compartment 37. -However, if desired the plastic material forming the breaker strip 42 may continue rearwardly to form out of the same plastic the inner liner. The polyurethane foam plastic insulation 34 is preferably cast in between the inner and outer walls..However, if desired, rigid or semirigid polyurethane foam plastic insulation slabs. may be. substituted for the cast insulation. Such slabs. can be removed and replaced by removal of the trim strips 77 and 86. Either of these forms provide a very simple yet very attractive and durable construction which is, quite inexpensive and likewise requires only a minimum of labor.
The form shown inFIGURE 3 is generally similar to :the form of. wall and breaker strip construction shown in 2. The plastic breaker strip 241 is provided with a diverging wall portion 243 having a notch or kerf 245 at the rear receiving the front, edge of the sheet metal inner liner 247. This diverging wall portion 243 diverges as it extends forwardly to the laterally outward extending portion 249. The laterally extending portion 249 extends outwardly at an angle of about 85 and terminatesin a forwardly extending portion 251. Thisforwardly extendi'ng portion is provided with two parallelribs, one rib 253 being at the rear and theother rib 255 being at the front. These ribs extend into'contact with the inner face of the front edge of the outer. wall 257 which is of sheet metal. 1 i
The space bounded by the ribs 253 and 255 and the flange 251 and the inner face of the front edge of the outer wall 257 has compressed therein a resilient gasket seal 254 'of natural or synthetic foam rubber or plastic which in its uncompressed state is substantially largerthan' the enclosed space so that it is compressed when the ribs 253 and 255 are brought into cont-act with the inner face at the front of the outer wall 251. By this contact,"these ribs limit the compressing of the seal254'. I
The. front edge or forwardly extending portion---251-of the. breaker strip 241 and the. front of the. outer walli257 are clamped together and covered by the thin metal U-shaped trim strip 259 which may be chrome "plated metal or may be made of a suitable ornamental metal such as stainless steel, aluminum or brass. The space between the inner and outer walls 247 and 257 may be filled with polyurethane foam insulation 261 which may be either cast into place or may be in the form of removable slabs. The breaker strip is readily removable and is secure- 1y clamped in place by the removable trim strip 259 which is U-shaped in cross section. The removable trim strip 259 is formed so as tofs pring inwardly to grip the outer faces of the outer wall 'and'breaker strip. In conjunction with'the gasket seal" 254,the' arrangement mares a"well sealed connection at the front of the'break'er strip 241 and through theuse of the notch. 245 at the rear which envelops the front edge of the inner liner 247 a second well sealed connection is made. y v
The use of polyurethane foam insulation in connection with the walls and breaker strips of this type of construction reduces or eliminates the need for additional strength. Since the front edge of the outer shells or walls 26 and 257 extends straight forward without any substantial in- .ward'extension, the breaker strip, the inner wall and the insulation may be readily pulled out through thedoor opening of the cabinet merely by removing the trim strip with its -U-shaped portion. When this is desired, a releasing agent is provided on the inner face of the outer sheet metal wall s.26 and 257 to prevent adhesion between the insulation and the walls. Through this arrangement the interior of the cabinet is made more accessible. A releasing agent can also be applied to the inner surfaces of the inner and outer walls 56 and 54 of the door 22 so that the door may be likewise taken apart by removal of the U-shaped trim strip 77,
While the embodimentsof the invention as herein disclosed constitute a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is as follows:
1. In combination, a substantially fiat outer wall means terminating in edges, an inner wall means having an inner a portion extending laterally and thence forwardly a short distance from said edges of said outer wall means and terminating in a edge, wherein the improvement comprises providing said portion extending laterally and thence forwardly with a rib paralleling its edge and extending substantially into contact with the inner face of said outer wall adjacent said edges, and a trim means having a portion substantially U-shaped in cross section extending around said edges and clamping the adjacent outer surface of said outer shell means and. the inner surface of saidinner wall means adjacent said rib.
2. A combination as defined in claim 1 in which a resilient seal is provided between said rib and said U-shaped portion and said outer and inner wall means.-
. 3. A combination as defined in claim 1 in whicha second rib is provided spaced from and parallel to said first mentioned rib providing a recess between said ribs and a resilient seal is provided between said ribs and said inner and outer walls means.
4. A combination as defined=in claim 1 in which the flat outer wall means is in the form of a. rectangular sheet forming the outer face of a door and the inner wall means forms the inner wall of the door. a
5. A refrigerator cabinet including an outer'wall' means provided with a door opening at the front, said outer wall means having side and top walls with edges at the front, vaninnerwallv within said-outer wall means. having, an inner portion spacedinwardly from said outer wall means and provided with meanstat the front extending laterally substantially to said outer wall means a short distance to the rearof the edges and thencejorwardly. alongside. of and substantially in contact with said outer wall means substantially to said 'edges'of said outer wall means and provided with-"a recess paralleling saidouter wall means and a rib paralleling said recess extending substantially References Cited into contact with said outer wall means and terminating UNITED STATES PATENTS 1n edges ad acent the edges of the outer Wall means,
and a trim means having a portion substantially U-shaped 2,672,255 3/1954 Mustee 220-45 in cross section extending around and clamping together 5 2356992 10/1958 KnaPP and covering said edges and gripping a portion of the ad- 2,978,136 4/1961 Ehmnfreund 220' 9 jacent outer surface of said outer wall means and an inner surface of said means at the front adjacent said THERON CONDON Pnmary Examiner recess. 1. R. GARRETT, Assistant Examiner.