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Publication numberUS3402477 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1968
Filing dateNov 7, 1966
Priority dateNov 7, 1966
Publication numberUS 3402477 A, US 3402477A, US-A-3402477, US3402477 A, US3402477A
InventorsJames R Hubbard
Original AssigneePhilco Ford Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dual compartment laundry apparatus
US 3402477 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 24, 1968 J. R. HUBBARD DUAL COMPARTMENT LAUNDRY APPARATUS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 7, 1966 III INVENTOR. JAMIJ" A. 67/55/180 p 1963 J. R. HUBBARD BAUEAW DUAL COMPARTMENT LAUNDRY APPARATUS Filed Nov. 7, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept. 24,1968 J. R. HUBBARD wmw DUAL COMPARTMENT LAUNDRY APPARATUS Filed Nov. 7, 1966 5 SheecsSheet 5 F76. 9. MAME) a. flawma BY W M W agi m.

United States Patent 3,402,477 DUAL COMPARTMENT LAUNDRY APPARATUS James R. Hubbard, Moorestown, N..I., assignor to Philco- Ford Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 592,427 Claims. (CI. 34-44) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A laundry dryer includes a pair of compartments for fabrics to be dried, a source of heat, means for moving air in heat exchange with the source of heat to the compartments, and air flow control means selectively operable either to effect air flow through one of the compartments while preventing air flow through the other compartment or to cause air to flow through both compartments simultaneously. One compartment comprises a vented rotatable drum for tumbling fabrics to be dried, and the other compartment is disposed adjacent the one compartment and comprises a stationary region Within which fabrics and articles may be placed to dry. The one compartment is embodied in a conventional laundry dryer and the other compartment is embodied in separately handleable cabinet structure adapted to serve as a base for the dryer.

This invention has to do with laundry apparatus, and especially to laundry dryers.

A type of laundry dryer in common use today comprises a rotatable drum in which clothes to be dried are placed, and suitable means is provided for rotating the drum and for circulating heated air through the drum in achievement of the drying operation. However not all articles or types of clothing are suited to this mode of drying, and some must be dried using a minimum of heat and no tumbling. A variety of articles and clothing fall into this category, including, for example, footwear, pillows, stuffed toys, woolen clothing, and woolen blankets, as well as delicate or ornamented fabrics.

It is therefore a general objective of the invention to enhance the utility of a conventional clothes dryer through provision of means cooperable therewith for drying articles and clothing of the aforementioned variety.

It is a more specific objective of the invention to provide an improved clothes dryer capable of drying regular fabrics as well as articles and fabrics requiring such special attention.

It is a still further and more specific objective of the invention to provide an improved auxiliary, stationary drying compartment for a conventional tumble action clothes dryer.

In achievement of the foregoing as well as other objectives, the invention contemplates the provision in a laundry dryer of a pair of compartments for fabrics to be dried, a source of heat, means for moving air in heat exchange With said source of heat and through said compartments, and air flow control means selectively operable either to effect air flow through one of the compartments while preventing air flow through the other compartment, or to effect air flow through both compartments simultaneously.

In further accordance with the invention it is contemplated that one compartment comprise a vented rotatable drum for tumbling fabrics to be dried, and the other compartment be disposed adjacent the one compartment and comprise a stationary region within which fabrics and articles may be placed to dry. In one aspect, the inven tion contemplates that the one compartment be embodied in a conventional laundry dryer, and that the other comice partment be embodied in separately handleable cabinet structure adapted to serve as a base for the dryer.

The manner in which the foregoing as well as other objectives of the invention may best be achieved will be understood from a consideration of the following description taken in light of the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective showing of laundry apparatus embodying the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view, in elevation, of apparatus seen in FIGURE 1, looking generally in the direction of arrows 22 applied thereto;

FIGURE 3 is a horizontal section of apparatus seen in FIGURES 1 and 2, looking generally in the direction of arrows 33 applied to FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a diagrammatic showing of the air flow path through apparatus seen in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a schematic view of wiring and associated controls for apparatus seen in FIGURES 2 and 3;

FIGURE 6 is a modified wiring diagram for the apparatus seen in FIGURES 2 and 3;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view, in elevation, of a modified embodiment of the invention, and illustrating an operational feature thereof;

FIGURE 8 is a somewhat enlarged view of a portion of FIGURE 7, and illustrates a constructional feature of the modified embodiment;

FIGURE 9 is a sectional view, in slightly modified form, of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 7, looking in the direction of arrows 9-9 applied thereto;

FIGURE 10 is a top plan view of apparatus seen in FIGURE 9, looking in the direction of arrows 1010 applied thereto; and

FIGURES 11 and 12 are views similar to FIGURES 9 and 10, respectively, and illustrate further structural modifications contemplated by the invention.

With more detailed reference to the drawing, and first to FIGURES 1, 2, 3 and 4, a laundry dryer 10 embodying the invention comprises a cabinet 11 provided with a rotatable drum 12 having an opening 13. The front wall of cabinet 11 is provided with an access opening 14 aligned with drum opening 13, and a hinged door 15 is disposed over opening 14. For convenience of illustration, door 15 is shown in open position in FIGURE 1, and in closed position in FIGURE 2. While none has been shown, it will be understood that the suitable latch means is pro- 'vided to hold door 15 in closed position.

Prior to further detailed consideration of the invention, a washing machine 5 of the conventional top loading type is shown alongside dryer 10 to illustrate an important advantage afforded by the invention. Such advantage stems from disposition of the access door of the elevated dryer substantially at the level of the upwardly facing access opening 6 of the Washing machine, whereby loading of the dryer from the Washing machine is facilitated.

Turning again to the detailed description, the door 15 includes a conventional gasket 19 that seals against the face of cabinet 11, and a hollow plug section 16 pro vided with a perforate panel 20 that extends into opening 14. A bottom opening 21 in plug section 16 is aligned with an air exhaust duct 22 across which extends a lint filter 23. Drum opening 13 is defined by a circular flange that extends into sliding engagement with generally circul-ar bearing means 14a supported by cabinet 11 along the periphery of access opening 14. The rear wall 24 of drum 12 is perforate, a shroud 25 supported by cabinet 11 extends over wall 24, and a circular flange 17 protrudes from Wall 24 into generally circular bearing means 18 provided on shroud 25. The bearing means 14a and 18 cooperate With the respective circular front and rear drum flanges to support drum 12 for its rotational movements. It will be understood that sealing strips may be provided, in the regions of the front and rear bearing means, to ensure against leakage of circulating air as it is caused to flow through the drum.

Shroud communicates with horizontally extending air duct 26 within which there is disposed an electrical heater 30. A blower 31, preferably of the centrifugal type, is arranged to energize the several air flow circuits hereinafter to be more fully described. Under conditions of drying in rotatable drum 12 only, and with especial reference to FIGURES 2 and 4, blower 31 withdraws air from drum 12 through its front opening 13 for flow through perforate door panel 20, lint filter 23, and duct 22, thereafter to direct such air through exhaust duct 27. Air thus withdrawn from drum 12 is replaced by air entering by way of duct 26, flowing over heater 30, through shroud 25, and through the perforate rear wall 24 of the drum. The above-described air circuit is designated generally by solid flow arrows in FIGURE 2 and in the somewhat diagrammatic FIGURE 4.

In especial accordance with the invention, and as is best seen in FIGURE 2, a compartment 32 having top, bottom, side and rear walls is disposed beneath drum 12, and is provided with a drawer 33 mounted, by known means, for slidable movements into and out of compartment 32 through the open front of the latter. The compartment is closed by the front wall of drawer 33, which wall includes a peripherally extending gasket that seals against the compartment to render it air-tight when the drawer is closed. As is also best seen in FIGURE 2, and in diagrammatic FIGURE 4, compartment 32 is arranged for selective air flow communication with duct 26 toward its one end and is in air flow communication with duct 22 and the inlet to blower 31 toward its other end. The end and side walls of the drawer are solid, and the bottom wall is perforate. A flange 37 depends from the top of compartment 32 and is engaged by the rear wall of drawer 33 in its closed position to ensure that air will flow through the compartment in the path indicated by broken line arrows.

To provide for selectivity of air flow through one or the other compartments, or through both compartments simultaneously, a damper 34 is hingedly mounted on the shroud inlet for pivotal movements between the positions shown in full broken lines in FIGURES 2 and 4. Pivotal movements of damper 34 are effected by manual operation of a selector knob 36 coupled with suitable electromechanical means that will now be more fully de scribed in connection with FIGURE 5. Such means includes a solenoid operably coupled with damper 34, as is shown somewhat diagrammatically in FIGURE 5. The construction and arrangement is such that when selector switch 57 is in the illustrated full line position, coil 55 is deenergized and damper 34 is in it illustrated full line position. When switch 57 is in the illustrated broken line position, coil 55 is energized and damper 34 is in its broken line position. For the latter position of switch 57, and as will be hereinafter described in connection with FIGURE 5, means normally operable to rotate drum 12 is decoupled, so that the drum remains stationary.

Rotation of the drum is achieved by a pulley and belt arrangement, comprising a drive pulley 43 keyed to the shaft of motor 42, drum 12, and a conventional drive belt 44 that encircles pulley 43 and drum 12. A number of known means are available for coupling and decoupling drive motor 42 from drive pulley 43. One such means which has been found suitable is designated generally by the numeral 48 and comprises a conventional wrappedspring clutch (not shown) operable by a solenoid 54 (FIGURE 5) to engage and to disengage pulley 43 from drive by the motor shaft. Since the drum drive and the blower drive motor are the same, the full output of motor 42 is directed to blower 31 with resultant improved drying eificiency when using compartment 32 alone.

Means are shown diagrammatically in FIGURE 5 for achieving selective operation of the various components required for the drying cycle. Such means comprises, basically, a high voltage circuit for the electrical heater 30, a low voltage circuit comprising the drum and blower drive motor 42, and the various operating controls, solenoid coils, indicator lights, and the like. More particularly, the illustrated circuits are energized by a high voltage source V (e.g., 230 v.) and a low voltage source V (e.g., v.). The timer 40 includes a motor 45 connected to source V in series with the timer switch contacts 46. Drive motor 42 is connected in series electrical circuit with source V timer switch contacts 46, a conventional access door actuated switch 58, and a drawer actuated switch 59. Heater 30 is connected to source V in series with the drive motor centrifugal switch 47, the high temperature limit thermostat 51, the temperature control thermostat 52, and timer switch contacts 53. In parallel circuit with one another are the drum drive disconnect solenoid 54, the damper actuating solenoid 55, and the indicator lamp 56 for compartment 32, which parallel circuit is in series electrical circuit with the drying selector switch 57, timer switch contacts 46, and source V A bias heater 61 for thermostat 52 is energized by source V through the motor centrifugal switch 47 and timer switch contacts 46 and 62. Timer 40 is of the conventional type in which the switch contacts are actuated by cam means driven by timer motor 45, and manual positioning of the cam means is provided for by a control knob 49.

In operation of the above described apparatus (FIG- URES 1 to 5), and assuming that clothing is to be dried in drum 12 only, closing of door 15 closes switch 58. Since drawer 33 is closed, its switch 59 also will be closed. Also, since compartment 32 is to be idle, knob 36 will have been turned to place switch 57 in its full line position. The control knob 49 is then rotated to close timer switch contacts 46, 53, and 62. This energizes timer motor 45, heater 30, motor 42, and bias heater 61, initiating the drying cycle. In this cycle of operation, solenoids 54 and 55 are deenergized, so that clutch 48 is conditioned for drive of pulley 43 by motor 42, and damper 34 is disposed in its full line position. The drying cycle, with air flowing as indicated by the full line arrows, will then be controlled through thermostats 51 and 52 until such time that timer 40 deenergizes the various circuits, as well as its own motor 45, to terminate the drying cycle.

Considering the operation further, and assuming the clothes, or other articles, are to be dried in auxiliary compartment 32, only selector knob 36 is moved to place switch 57 in its broken line position. The timer switch contacts 46 and 53, and 62 are then closed by turning timer knob 49. This energizes motor 42, heater 30, bias heater 61, timer motor 45, clutch solenoid 54, and damper solenoid 55. Motor 42 is thus decoupled from drive pulley 43, preventing rotation of drum 12, and damper 34 is moved to its broken line position. This prevents air flow through the drum, causing it to flow through compartment 33 only, in the flow path indicated by the broken line air-flow arrows.

With reference to FIGURE 7 there is seen an elevational view, in section, of a modified embodiment of the invention in which a conventional dryer 110, having a slightly diiferent air circulation circuit from dryer 10, can be modified to accommodate adaptation thereto of an especially provided auxiliary drying chamber 132.

As was the case with the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGURES 1 through 4, the dryer cabinet 11 is provided with a rotatable drum 112 having a front opening 113. The front wall of cabinet 111 is provided with an access opening 114 aligned with the drum opening 113, and a hinged door 115 is disposed over the opening 114. Door 115 includes a hollow plugged section 116 provided with a perforate panel 120 that extends into opening 114. A bottom opening 121 in the plug section is aligned with an air exhaust duct 122 across which extends a lint filter 123. The rear wall 124 of drum 112 is perforate, and a shroud 125 extends over wall 124 and further communicates with a vertically extending duct 126 having an electrical heater 130 therein. A blower 131 is arranged to withdraw air from drum 112 for flow through lint filter 123 through duct 127 from which it is discharged. Air withdrawn from drum 112 is replaced by air drawn from the ambient atmosphere and caused to flow through the duct 126 over heater 130, thence through the shroud 125 and into drum 112.

A drawer 133 is positioned to extend into a separately handleable auxiliary drying compartment 132 provided with a pair of openings in its top wall. A separately handleable damper housing 70 is disposed on the bottom of cabinet 111, one end of which housing is connected to exhaust duct 127 while the other end is ported to the atmosphere through a duct 71. Housing 70 includes two sections 72 and 73 separated by a pivotal damper 134 movable between the illustrated generally vertical position, an intermediate position indicated by broken lines and a generally horizontal position also indicated by broken lines. Sections 72 and 73 are provided with respective downwardly extending ducts 74 and 75 that extend through corresponding openings in the bottom of cabinet 111 and in the top of compartment 132. When moved to its generally vertical position, damper 134 prevents air from being discharged straight through duct 71 and forces it to flow downwardly through duct 74 into drawer 133, thence through the bottom of the drawer, and out of duct 75 for flow through duct 71 to the atmosphere. A pivotal exhaust valve 78 permits flow of exhaust air from compartment 132, while preventing retrograde flow when the compartment is not in use.

Pivotal movements of damper 134 are effected by manual operation of a knob 136. The manually operable knob 136 projects from the front wall of cabinet 11, and, as best seen in FIGURE 6, is connected to switch 157 and to a linkage 77, such, for example, as a flexible cable coupled at its other end with damper 134. Manual operation of knob 136 to preselected positions causes the switch 157 and damper 134 to be pivoted, jointly, to one of their illustrated full line and broken line positions.

When moved to its lower, generally horizontal position, damper 134 prevents air flow through compartment 132, causing it to flow only through drum 112 as it is rotated. When moved to its intermediate position, damper 134 permits air flow through both compartment 132 and drum 112, as the latter is rotated. Due to sealing engagement between the flange 137 and the rear wall of the drawer, air entering compartment 132 is forced to flow downwardly through the perforate drawer bottom, thence outwardly of the upper open portion of the drawer.

Circuitry is shown in FIGURE 6 for achieving selective operation of the various components required for the drying function in apparatus illustrated in FIGURES 7 and 8. As is the case in FIGURE 5, the diagram comprises basically the same high voltage circuit for the electrical heater and the same low voltage circuit comprising the drum and blower drive motor and timer motor. In view of this identity, elements of FIGURE 6 corresponding to elements shown in FIGURE 5 are designated by like numerals with the prefix 1. Thus, for example, motor 42 (FIGURE 5) becomes motor 142 (FIGURE 6). The various operating solenoid coils and indicator light circuit elements, as well as some features of operation, differ slightly from that shown in FIGURE 5. In FIGURE 6, for example, the drying selector switch 157 provides, selectively, for drying in rotatable drum 112 only, for drying in both the drum and chamber 132, or for drying in static drying chamber 132 only. The drying selector switch 157 and the damper positioning cable 77 are operable by the same knob 136, as is shown in FIGURE 6.

A further understanding of the invention will be had from considering operation of the apparatus illustrated in FIGURES 6, 7 and 8. Assuming first that it is desired to dry clothes in the drum only, knob 136 is turned to the left to place switch 157 its full line position. Concurrently, damper 134 is moved to its full line position. Timer knob 149 is then turned to close timer switch contacts 146, 153, and 162. Motor 142 and heater 130 are then energized, to turn the drum and to direct heated air through the drum in accordance with the air flow path designated by solid line arrows.

If it is desired to dry clothing in both drum 112 and compartment 132, knob 136 is rotated to turn switch 157 to its intermediate (broken line) position. Concurrently, damper 134 is moved to its intermediate position (broken line). The indicator light 76 is thereby energized, and drying cycle proceeds as before, with air flowing also through compartment 132 in accordance with the broken line flow arrows.

If it is desired to dry clothes in compartment 132 only, knob 136 is turned to move switch 157 to its full right hand, broken line position. This moves damper 134 to its generally vertical position, whereby air will be forced to flow through both the drum and compartment 132, clutch solenoid 154 will be energized to decouple drum drive pulley 143 from motor 142, and indicator light 156 will be energized to indicate such operation. The cycle is initiated then by turning tmiber knob 149 to close timer switches 146, 153, and 162, whereby the motor 142, solenoid 154, and light 156 are energized.

Further in accordance with the invention, and with reference to FIGURE 7, drawer 133 is provided with a wire rack 81 that may be adjustably positioned on support means 82. For convenience of illustration, means 82 are shown only on the rear wall. Rack 81 is adapted to support articles for drying as shown, and designated generally by the numeral 83.

As is further seen in FIGURE 7, flow of air over article 83 supported on rack 81 is ensured by a sealing strip 137 positioned on the top wall of compartment 132 and arranged to engage drawer 133 in its closed position.

Additional forms of article and clothing support are illustrated in detail in FIGURES 9, 10, 11 and 12. In FIGURES 9 and 10, for example, a cloth net 84 reinforced by tapes 85 is supported at its corners by books 86 provided in like regions of a drawer 233. Further by way of example, a sweater 87 (FIGURE 9 only) to be dried is draped over the net in such manner that the body portion is supported by the net, and the sleeves hang over its edges and rest on the perforate floor of the drawer.

In FIGURES l1 and 12, a cloth net 91 is supported along its lateral edges by upwardly extending bent wire portion 92 of a wire rack 93 removably supported in the drawer 333 on ledge portions 94 of the latter. As illustrated diagrammatically in FIGURE 11, a sweater 95 is supported on the cloth net as before, with the arms draped onto the perforate floor of the drawer.

It will be appreciated that the present invention is directed to a unique dryer construction in which an auxiliary drying compartment is joined with a conventional tumble-action dryer, with only slight modification required of the latter. Such a combination enhances the utility of a convent-oinal colthes dryer by making it possible to dry different articles under conditions best suited to their drying requirements.

While in the exemplary embodiments reference has been made primarily to the drying of clothes, it will be understood that the auxiliary compartment is suited to drying of a number of articles comprised of materials other than fabrics. It will be further understood that the drawers illustrated in either of the embodiments of the invention are useful as storage bins for wash-aid materials and the like, when not being used for drying clothes or other articles.

The combinations of control switch settings are illustrated by way of example only, and it is to be understood that other combinations are available to the user. For example knobs 49 and 149 each may be set to provide drying cycles in which respective timer contacts 62 and 162 remain open, removing respective bias heaters 61 and 161 from the circuit. For example, it is usual in the drying of regular or heavier fabrics to deenergize bias heaters 61, 161, and to energize same in the drying of wash-and-wear or delicate fabrics. The foregoing, as well as other modifications are contemplated by the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a laundry dryer: a vented rotatable drum for tumbling fabrics to be dried; motor means; power transmission means for coupling said motor means to said drum to rotate the same; a blower driven by said motor means; air flow duct means for directing air driven by said blower through said vented drum as it is rotated; a heater in said duct means for heating air prior to flow into said drum; an auxiliary drying compartment adjacent said drum and having air inlet and outlet ports; damper :means selectively positionable to direct air from said duct means for flow through said inlet and outlet ports; and means operable to condition said transmission means to prevent rotation of said drum when said damper means is positioned to establish the recited air flow through said auxiliary compartment.

2. A dryer according to claim 1, and further characterized in that said auxiliary drying compartment comprises: a generally box-shaped housing, said inlet and outlet ports being disposed in the top wall of said housing; a drawer in said housing having an upwardly facing open top, imperforate side walls, and a perforate bottom wall; and means for directing air from said inlet port downwardly into said compartment, through said perforate bottom wall of Said drawer, thence upwardly through said outlet port.

3. A dryer according to claim 2, and characterized in that said auxiliary compartment comprises the base structure for the recited combination.

4. A dryer according to claim 1 and characterized further in that said damper means is further positionable to provide for direction of air through both said auxiliary compartment and said drum, as the latter is caused to rotate.

5. A dryer according to claim 1, and characterized further in that said drum and said auxiliary compartment are disposed in series air flow circuit with one another.

6. A dryer according to claim 1, and characterized further in that said auxiliary compartment and said drum are disposed in parallel air flow circuit with one another.

7. In a laundry dryer, a pair of compartments for fabrics to be dried, one compartment comprising a vented rotatable drum for tumbling fabrics to be dried, and the other compartment disposed adjacent the one compartment and comprising a stationary region within which fabrics and articles may be placed to dry, said other compartment further comprising a generally box-shaped housing having an air inlet port and an air outlet port in the top wall thereof, a drawer in said housing having an open top, imperforate side walls, and a perforate bottom wall, and air flow control means selectively o erable either to effect air flow through one of the compartments while preventing air flow through the other compartment or to effect air flow through both compartments simultaneously, said means being operable to direct air "from said inlet port downwardly in said other compartment through said perforate bottom wall of said drawer and thence upwardly through said outlet port.

8. In a laundry dryer: a first compartment comprising a vented rotatable drum for tumbling fabrics to be dried; a second compartment disposed adjacent the first compartment and comprising a stationary region within which fabrics and articles may be placed to dry, said second compartment further comprising a generally box-shaped housing having air-directing means in an upper region thereof and article support means supported therein and extending across said second compartment; theater means; means for moving air in heat exchange relation with said heater means and through said compartments, said means for moving air further being operable to move air downwardly in said second compartment, through said support means, thence outwardly from said second compartment; and air flow control means selectively operable either to effect air flow through one of the compartments alone, or to effect air flow through both compartments simultaneously.

9. A laundry dryer according to claim 8, characterized by the further inclusion of cabinet structure for said first compartment, and in that said second compartment comprises base structure for supporting said cabinet structure.

10. A laundry dryer according to claim 9, and further characterized in that said second compartment includes means defining an access opening, and in that said support means comprises a drawer mounted for extensible and retractible movements through said access opening.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,978,232 4/1961 Kruzan 34l33 X 3,197,886 8/1965 Brame et a]. 34l33 X 3,316,659 5/1967 Lauck 34133 3,344,532 10/1967 Bigler 34l33 JOHN J. CAMBY, Acting Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification34/543
International ClassificationD06F58/28, D06F58/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F58/28, D06F39/125, D06F2058/2864, D06F58/00
European ClassificationD06F58/00, D06F58/28, D06F39/12B