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Publication numberUS3405986 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 15, 1968
Filing dateFeb 13, 1967
Priority dateFeb 13, 1967
Publication numberUS 3405986 A, US 3405986A, US-A-3405986, US3405986 A, US3405986A
InventorsLloyd M Cannon
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerator construction
US 3405986 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 15, 1968 I... M. CANNON REFRIGERATOR CONSTRUCTION Filed Feb. 13, 1967 United States Patent 3,405,986 REFRIGERATOR CONSTRUCTION Lloyd M. Cannon, Grove City, Ohio, assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Feb. 13, 1%7, Ser. No. 615,466 6 Claims. (Cl. 312-214) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention relates to domestic refrigerator construction in which the main runs of electrical wiring for connecting various electrical parts are encased in separate flexible insert strips which fit in recesses extending along the thermal breaker members. The connections may be made to the strip wiring through the back of the breaker members or off an edge. The invention is especially useful in connection with those refrigerators provided with foamed-in-place insulation.

The shift toward foamed-in-place refrigerator and freezer cabinets has created problems in connection with those electrical conductors located in the foamed insulation space defined between the inner liner and the outer shell of such cabinets. During the foaming step, the conductors of the wiring harness located in the insulation space are subject to displacement by the foam as it expands and moves about to fully fill the space. Since some conductors may be adjacent sharp edges or other wires, or may be inadequately anchored, displacement of these conductors can cause shorts, grounds, and open circuits. Such defects buried in the foam are difficult to repair and sometimes require scrapping of the entire cabinet.

Accordingly, an object 'of this invention is to provide a wiring system for a refrigerator cabinet in which the conductors are to a large degree located outside of the foam space.

In accordance with the invention, substantial parts of the wiring harness takes the form of multiconductor insert strips carried by the thermal breaker strips. The insert strips have a lateral cross-sectional shape which adapts them to be received and frictionally retained in longitudinally-extending recesses provided in the accessible face of the thermal breaker strips. At selected locations along the multiconductor strip, means are provided to tap off selected ones of the conductors for connecting the various electrical components in the cabinet to a source of electrical power. In the preferred arrangement, in which the thermal breaker strips comprise various separate sections which together form a frame to close the gap between the front edges of the food liner and outer shell of the cabinet, the cuff means which hides the abutting ends of the breaker strips also include means for connecting the conductors in successive insert strips.

The invention will be described in greater detail in connection with the accompanying drawing illustrating a currently preferred embodiment of the invention, and where- FIGURE 1 is a partly broken isometric view of a refrigerator cabinet incorporating the invention by way of example;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary isometric view of the upper left portion of the cabinet;

FIG. 3 is a partly broken fragmentary face view of an end of a thermal breaker strip and a multiconductor insert strip;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view corresponding to one taken along the line IVIV of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a partly broken isometric view of a cuff section and connector;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary face view of a length of thermal breaker strip and multiconductor insert strip having one type of tape-01f arrangement; and

FIG. 7 is a section corresponding to one taken along the line VII-VII of FIG. 6.

The general construction of a refrigerator or freezer cabinet of the foamed-in-place type, to which the invention is particularly applicable, will be described in connection with FIG. 1. It is to be understood that the cabinet there shown is only representative for the purpose of illsutrating the concept. Hence it is not to be taken as limiting the application of the invention to a particular model or construction of cabinet, or to the specific locations of any particular components.

As in a typical construction, the outer shell 10 is of generally rectangular box-shape provided with an open bottom face, and a generally open forward face defined by a rim 12 having a specially shaped flange section adapted to receive one marginal portion of the thermal breaker strip assembly generally designated 14. The inner liner 16 is also of generally rectangular box-shape provided with an open front face. The liner is sized to nest within the outer shell and generally define therewith the hollow insulation space, into which foam insulation is subsequently introduced, between the side, top, bottom and rear walls of the nested boxes. The gap between the front face edge portions of the liner and shell is closed by the thermal breaker strip assembly.

Substantial similarities exist between the general shape of the breaker strips according to this invention and the shape of the breaker strips illustrated in Kessler US. patent application, Ser. No. 508,223. The forked edge portions along both of the longitudinal edges of the breaker strip as shown in the noted application are preferably retained in the presently preferred construction of a breaker strip according to my invention. Thus, as shown in FIG. 4, the forward forked margin 18 fits in and engages the 'channel-shaped flange portion 20 at the front rim 12 of the outer shell. The rear-ward and opposite forked margin 22 of the breaker strip clamps around and engages the channel-shaped flanged portion 24 at the front edge of the food liner 16.

In accordance with the invention, a shallow channel recess 26 extends for the length of the breaker strip main face. A flexible plastic insert strip 28 having conductors 30 molded interiorly is received in the recess. The recess and the multiconductor insert strip are shaped in lateral cross-section so that the overhanging edge portions of the recess hold the edge portions of the insert strip in place after insertion. The faces presented by the breaker strips and inserts are substantially flush to give a neat appearance.

To facilitate the assembly of the separate breaker strips to the shell and liner, they are made in individual lengths which together form a rectangular frame (FIG. 1) on the cabinet, as described in more detail in the noted Kessler application. In the case of such bare breaker strips (i.e., without the provision for the multiconductor inserts) the cuffs which cover the joints of the breaker strip sections may be molded as a part of the end of selected breaker strips. With the subject invention, however, it is deemed preferable that the cuff portions be separate from the breaker strip sections and incorporate means for electrically connecting the adjacent multiconductor inserts. Accordingly, at the end of each length of the inserts, female connectors 32 in the form of hollow sleeves are provided (FIGS. 3 and 4). The cuffs 34, which are shaped as shown in FIG. 5 to overlie and lap the joints at the breaker strip ends, have a block 36 on their rear faces provided with male connector pins 38 to connect the conductors in one insert strip to the next one.

FIG. 2 shows an example of a section similar to the cuff section 34 which may be used for making the connections to various electrical element components typically located inside the food liner space, or in the foam space adjacent the rear wall of the food liner. The tap off section 40 is similar to the cuff section 34 in that it includes the overlying face portion with an integral block carried on the rear face fitting in the recess of the breaker strips. However, selected conductors in the block are tapped off with conductors which lead through a channel 42 integrally joined to the section 40 and which extends rearwardly to the point where the connections are to be made to the interior electrical elements. It will be of course appreciated that the upper and lower multiconductor insert strips 28a and 28b in FIGS. 1 and 2 are of the proper length to join the hidden terminal block behind the tap ofr' section 40. In other Words, the insert strips are not continuous behind the tap off section 40, nor for that matter behind any cuff section.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate one example of another connecting arrangement which may be used for making the electrical connections between the electrical elements in the cabinet machine compartment 44 (FIG. 1) and the lower horizontal insert strip 280. As shown in FIG. 6, the base wall of the recess 26 in the lower horizontal breaker strip is provided with a rectangular opening 46 through which conductors 50 from the machine compartment are brought up. The multiconductor insert strip 280 has a rectangular block 52 on its rear face sized to fit the rectangular opening 46. The block is provided with female terminals 54 which receive the male connectors 48 on the ends of conductors 50. It will be appreciated that the conductors 50 are sufficiently long that they may be brought up through the rectangular opening 46 while the lower breaker strip is being snapped into place, and the male connectors 48 inserted into the female terminals 54 before the insert strip 280 is pressed into place in the recess of the lower breaker strip. In that same connection, it will be appreciated that the insert strips 28 are made of an electrically insulating material, such as certain known vinyl plastics, with sufiicient longitudinal flexibility that the end connections may be first made before the central part of the flexible strip 28 is forced into place in the recess. The inserts can also be flexed transversely enough to snap them into the opening width of the recesses.

It has been noted herein that the drawing is intended to be merely illustrative of the nature of the invention for the purpose of describing how the invention may be applied in one way. If the cabinet includes a separate freezing compartment, the structural arrangement and component locations may vary considerably. Hence, modification of the tap-off sections may be required to suit the application, and to extend conductors from one compartment to the other. Also, where it is necessary to provide electrically energized components within the foam space, a tap-01f arrangement such as is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 may also be used for making the connection directly through the wall of the breaker strip. Depending upon the location of the electrically functioning parts in-the cabinet, it may be preferable in some cases to use the insert strips along only a portion of the total length of the breaker strip assembly so that part of the breaker strips will not have the recesses.

. By virtue of removing most, if not all, the wiring from the hollow wall space in which foamed insulation is poured, ditiiculties and defects in the wiring arising from the foaming action is to a large extent eliminated. Further, most defects which appear in the wiring during manufacture, or subsequently, can be readily remedied without having to tear foam out of the hollow wall space. Further, by encasing the conductors in the inserts, their protection against subsequent defects is improved.

I claim as my invention:

1. A breaker strip and electrical Wiring assembly for a refrigerator cabinet, comprising:

breaker strip means including a longitudinally-extending, forwardly-open recess defined in the face of said strip means which is exposed and accessible after said strip means is installed in place on said cabinet;

flexible insert means seating in said recess and having interior electrical conductor means encased therein in molded relation, said insert means having a lateral cross-sectional shape-generally complementary to the respectively facing lateral cross-sectional shape of said recess;

said insert means and said breaker strip means including mutually engaging means for retaining said insert means in said recess.

2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein:

said engaging means of said breaker strip means in cludes portions overlying the edges of said recess to capture the edge portions of said insert means.

3. The assembly of claim 1 wherein:

said breaker strip means comprises a series of endwise arranged members;

said insert means comprises a corresponding number of strips generally coextensive in length with. said breaker members; and

cuff means are provided for covering the joints of said breaker members and insert strips, said cuff means including means for connecting said electrical conductor means of successive insert strips.

4. The assembly of claim 3 wherein:

at least one of said breaker strip members includes an opening in the bottom wall of said recess at a selected location; and

the corresponding one of said insert means includes an integrally molded terminal section on its rear face and received by said opening to provide a tap-off connection for said conductors.

5. A device according to claim 1 wherein:

said breaker strip means comprise separate endwise arranged strips; and

cuff sections are provided to cover the joints between adjacent ends of said strips, said cuff sections carrying connector blocks on their hidden faces for providing connections between respective conductors in successive ones of said inserts.

6. A refrigerating device including:

a cabinet including a forwardly-open outer shell, and a forwardly-open, inner liner defining a refrigerated storage space nested in said shell;

foamed-in-place thermal insulation in the hollow wall space defined between said liner and shell;

a series of breaker strips bridging the gap defined between the forward edges of said shell and liner, at least a portion of said strips including a lengthwiseextending recess in the obverse face thereof;

a series of longitudinally flexible inserts having a total lengthgenerally the same as the total length of said recesses, said inserts having a cross-sectional shape generally conforming to said recess cross-section and being adapted to be frictionally retained therein, at least a portion of said inserts encasing longitudinallyextending electrical conductors molded therein; and

means for tapping-off said conductors at selected locations for connecting a source of electrical power to electrically powered components associated with said device through said conductors.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,144,872 l/1939 Cruser 17495 2,274,087 2/1942 Morten 174-97 2,873,041 2/ 1959 Allen 220-9 2,958,210 11/1960 Rill 16-128 X CASMIR A. NUN BERG, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2144872 *Jul 28, 1936Jan 24, 1939Bell Telephone Labor IncInsulator
US2274087 *Oct 28, 1939Feb 24, 1942Pierce John B FoundationElectricity conductor unit
US2873041 *Dec 3, 1956Feb 10, 1959Carrier CorpBreaker strip construction
US2958210 *Nov 14, 1957Nov 1, 1960Gen Motors CorpRefrigerating apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3489477 *Jun 21, 1968Jan 13, 1970Gen ElectricRefrigerator cabinet construction
US3506325 *Jul 25, 1968Apr 14, 1970Gen ElectricRefrigerator including illuminated cabinet shelf
US3633783 *Jan 21, 1970Jan 11, 1972Westinghouse Electric CorpRefrigeration apparatus cabinet construction
US3858409 *Sep 28, 1973Jan 7, 1975Whirlpool CoRefrigerator construction
US4134518 *Jan 23, 1978Jan 16, 1979Bernie MenchenCold box with breaker strip
US4134627 *Oct 7, 1977Jan 16, 1979Canadian General Electric Company, Ltd.Foam in place breaker strips
US4142766 *Jan 5, 1978Mar 6, 1979General Electric CompanyImpact reinforcement and repair method for refrigerator cabinet liners
US4332429 *Dec 3, 1979Jun 1, 1982General Electric CompanyHousehold refrigerator and method of construction
US4771532 *Jan 27, 1988Sep 20, 1988General Electric CompanyMethod of assembling a refrigerator
US4822117 *Jun 12, 1987Apr 18, 1989General Electric CompanyRefrigerator case/liner interface and related components for automated assembly
US4860921 *May 1, 1987Aug 29, 1989Edward GidsegThermal breaker strip for refrigeration cabinets
US7529091May 24, 2005May 5, 2009Danfoss Silicon Power GmbhPower semiconductor module and method for cooling a power semiconductor module
US7544091 *Jun 17, 2005Jun 9, 2009Danfoss A/SInsulated box having readily accessible conductor tap capabilities
US8561421 *Jul 5, 2011Oct 22, 2013Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.Refrigerator
US20070178758 *Jun 17, 2005Aug 2, 2007Danfoss A/SBox for electronic components
US20070210445 *May 24, 2005Sep 13, 2007Danfoss Silison Power GmbhPower Semiconductor Module and Method for Cooling a Power Semiconductor Module
US20090058244 *Jul 10, 2008Mar 5, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US20120011875 *Jan 19, 2012Jong Hak OhRefrigerator
US20140138072 *Apr 29, 2013May 22, 2014Andrew LuketicCold track for refrigeration piping
DE3529852A1 *Aug 21, 1985Feb 26, 1987Fritz HakemannAus kunststoff extrudiertes profil fuer kuehlschraenke oder dergleichen
WO2005125293A1 *Jun 17, 2005Dec 29, 2005Danfoss A/SA box for electronic components
U.S. Classification312/406.2, 174/97, 220/592.1, 220/902, 62/440, 220/592.6
International ClassificationF25D23/08
Cooperative ClassificationF25D23/085, Y10S220/902, F25D2400/40
European ClassificationF25D23/08B1