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Publication numberUS3418823 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 31, 1968
Filing dateMay 15, 1967
Priority dateMay 20, 1966
Publication numberUS 3418823 A, US 3418823A, US-A-3418823, US3418823 A, US3418823A
InventorsSalimbeni Vivai Pietro Bartoli
Original AssigneePietro Bartolini Salimbeni Vivai
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cyclic movable ice maker
US 3418823 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 31, 1968 P. B. SALIMBENI VIVA] 3,418,823

CYCLIC MOVABLE ICE MAKER Filed May 15, 1967 Sheet of 5 )NUE N TOR PIETIM fl SMIHBENI Wm! /IMMM w A 1101: as Y:

1968 P. B. SALIMBENI VlVAl 3, 8,8 3

CYCLIC MOVABLE ICE MAKER Filed May 15, 1967 Sheet 2 of 5 INVENWR mo gsnunasm VIVHI RTTORNEY$ Dec. 31, 1968 P. B. SALIMBENI VIVAI CYCLIC MOVABLE ICE MAKER Filed May 15. 1967 Sheet 3 of 3 mveurans PJETRO B SHLIHBENI VIVBI B WM'M find United States Patent 3,418,823 CYCLIC MOVABLE ICE MAKER Pietro Bartolini Salimbeni Vivai, Via Verdi 1, Florence, Italy Filed May 15, 1967, Ser. No. 638,396 Claims priority, application Italy, May 20, 1966, 11,578/ 66 7 Claims. (Cl. 62138) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for making small ice blocks, which can be used for cooling beverages, comprising a plurality of elongate refrigerated moulds dependent from the roof of a casing. A water containing tray is sequentially and cyclically moved from a position below and to one side of the moulds to a position in which the moulds are immersed in the water in the tray. Consequently, transparent ice layers are formed on the moulds and the formed ice blocks are removed from the moulds by heating the interior of the moulds.

This invention relates to apparatus for making ice blocks. More particularly, but not exclusively, the invention relates to apparatus for making small ice blocks which can be used for cooling beverages in glasses or decanters.

It has previously been proposed to make ice blocks which are substantially transparent, i.e. crystalline, by eliminating the gases and salts present in the Water which are the cause of the milky opacity of ice. Previously, it has been proposed to make such transparent ice by vigorously stirring the water to be frozen, with airstreams along the surface of the ice being formed, and by appropriate adjustment of the freezing time. Such proposals lead to structural complications in the ice-making apparatus, necessitate large dimensioned ice-making apparatus and require the cooling of a large amount of water during the freezing time with a resulting loss in efliciency since the residual water, which has a high amount of impurity, has to be eliminated during each cycle.

It has also been proposed previously to provide a small tank or tray which is provided with a stirrer and made separable from the small ice block matrix. The tank or tray is tilted to eliminate residual water, the separation and tilting taking place at the end of the ice forming cycle.

The present invention provides a simplified ice-making apparatus of increased efliciency and smaller dimensions than previously proposed apparatus. Furthermore, the forming of the ice blocks may be made visible from the outside by means of transparent screens. Apparatus in accordance with the invention, due to its relatively small size, may be housed in a household refrigerator.

According to the present invention there is provided apparatus for making ice blocks comprising at least one matrix around which an ice block is formed, a liquid containing tray, means to cyclically and sequentially move the tray from a position remote from the matrix to a position in which the matrix is at least partially immersed in the liquid in said tray, means operable to arrest the cyclic movement of the tray when an ice block of predetermined size has been formed around the matrix, means operable to cause an ice block of predetermined size to be removed from the matirx, and means disposed below the matrix to collect said ice block removed from the matrix.

The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, in which:

FIGURES 1 and 2 are perspective views of certain features of apparatus in accordance with the invention;

3,418,823 Patented Dec. 31, 1968 FIGURE 3 is a side view partly in section of apparatus in accordance with the invention;

FIGURES 4 and 5 show details of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a section taken along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 7 is a section taken along the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6; and

FIGURES 8 and 9 illustrate hydraulic and electrical circuits respectively .for use with apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings, particularly to FIGURE 3 there is provided a housing 1 having a pivotable door 3 which together define a chamber B into which formed ice blocks C are introduced from a casing 5 disposed above the housing 1. As ice blocks C are admitted into the chamber B in the direction indicated by arrow h, the ice blocks cause a strip 7 to pivot downwardly against the action of a spring to the position shown in broken line 7x. The spring tends to return the strip 7 to its original position as shown in full line. When the chamber B is full of ice blocks, further ice blocks passing from the casing 5 cause the strip 7 to remain in its lowered position 7x. In this lowered position, the cycle of making ice blocks is interrupted. In order to effect this interruption a cam 11 is secured to a spindle 9 which is integral with the strip 7, the cam 11 acting to operate an overflow switch 13 (see FIGURE 9) when the strip 7 is in the position 7x.

A set of matrices or moulds 17 around which the elongated cup shaped ice blocks C are formed, are supported in a box structure 15 secured to the upper wall of the housing 5. The matrices 17 as shown are elongate members having rounded ends, but may be of any other suitable shape, and are made of materials having good heat conductive qualities. As can be seen from FIGURE 6, the matrices 17 are provided with V-shaped passages 19 which are interconnected by pipes 19;: for the flow of refrigerating fluid. In the box 15 adjacent the upper surfaces of the matrices 17 are provided heat generating means 21 (for example, electrical resistances) which provide a brief and controlled heating of the matrices for effecting removal of formed ice blocks C from the matrices 17. The heating may alternatively, or in addition, he obtained by passing a hot gas at a high pressure, by means of a suitable by-pass and an electro-magnetic valve, in the passages 19 and pipes 19a of the matrices. Alternatively, tray renewal water may be caused to pass through channels similar to the tubes 21.

The ice blocks C are formed by successive ice layers generated by dipping the matrices, and subsequently the blocks being formed around the matrices, into a tray containing water. The formation of several layers of ice ensures that the ice blocks will be transparent, provided that the water into which the matrices are dipped is kept at least restrictedly stirred, and provided that the ice blocks are built up of relatively thin layers of ice which are continuously exposed to the air, and that the air is stirred.

As can be seen from the drawings, the matrices 17 remain stationary and cooperate with a tray 23 provided with a reciprocal motion whereby it can move between the postions 23X and 23Y shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, wherein the matrices are alternately immersed within the liquid in the tray 23 as shown at 23X in FIGURE 1 and are out of contact with the tray as shown at 23Y in FIG- URE 2. The tray 23 is supported by mechanical means which permits cyclic movements thereof between said two positions to obtain relatively short immersions of the matrices in the fluid in the tray, the tray in its lowered position being in a position in which it does not interfere with the ice blocks C as they fall due to gravity in the direction indicated by arrow f when the matrices are internally heated.

The tray 23 is carried by pairs of parallel cranks 25a, 25b. The upper cranks 25a are mounted on a shaft 27 movement of which is controlled by a crank lever 29 and a connecting rod 31, the rod 31 being connected at its end remote from the crank lever 29 to an eccentric crank lever 33 of an electric motor 35. Alternate movement of the tray 23 between the positions 23X and 23Y permits cyclic immersion of the matrices and thus the formation of thin ice layers on the matrices and the stirring of both the tray water and the air.

A feeler 37 is mounted on the shaft 27 and includes a flexible member 37a which is positioned adjacent to one of the ice blocks C being formed. An arm 39 (see FIG- URE 4) integral with the shaft 27 supports the feeler 37, the arrangement being such that the feeler 37 follows, during lowering of the tray 23, movement of the arm 39, and is raised by the arm 39 during upward movement of the tray, thereby cyclically maintaining a relative constant arrangement between the shaft 27 and a core 37B by which the feeler 37 is idly mounted on the shaft 27. Under these conditions, a contact 141 integral with the shaft 27 rests against a contact block 43 formed in the periphery of the core 37B during any angular movement of the shaft 27 and consequently, the links 25A 25B and the arm 39. When a suflicient ice layer has been formed on the matrices 17, that is when the blocks C are considered to be completed, the flexible member 37A of the feeler 37 rests on top of one of the blocks 17 such that the feeler 37 is no longer free to be lowered together with the arm 39. The matrix of the ice block with which the feeler member 37A cooperates is provided with a roughness or the like to assure that the block which cooperates with the feeler is the last to fall. When the feeler 37 and its core 378 remain in the raised position and do not follow the arm 39, the contact 41 is offset with respect to the contact 43 (see FIGURE and instead makes contact with a contact 45. The feeler 37 may be adjusted, for example, by axial movement of the core 37B. The members 41, 43, 45 form in effect a switch which in the circuit shown in FIGURE 9, is indicated at 47. This switch switches the operation of the apparatus from the generation of ice blocks to the discharge of the formed blocks, causing at the same time the simultaneous stoppage of the tray motion and the commencement of the filling of the tray for a new cycle. It is to be noted that the inertia of the motor rotor, the influence of gravity on the tray 23 and an appropriate additional brushing contact 49 (see FIGURE 9) or the like cause the motor 35 to stop in a position in which the tray is in its lowered position 23Y as shown in FIGURE 2. When the ice block felt by the feeler member 37A (and thus all the other ice blocks) has been removed from the matrix 17 by internal heating of the matrix, the feeler is again lowered to a position in which it makes contact with the arm 39 and thereby controls the initiation of a new ice making cycle.

In FIGURE 9 there is shown a control circuit for the apparatus described above. In the figure there is shown a motor compressor unit 51, a switch 52 actuated by a water pressure static valve which interrupts the cycle of operation in the absence of pressure in the water mains, a solenoid valve 54 which permits filling of the tray with water through a nozzle 78 (see FIGURE 8), the tray being maintained at a constant level by a grazing or overflow device 56 as shown in FIGURE 6, through which water is discharged through an outlet 56a for the elimination of any excess of water after the filling of the tray 23. In this way a removal of residual water from a previous cycle is assured and consequently any concentration of salts in the water at the end of an ice production cycle is eliminated. In FIGURE 9 there is also shown a fuse switch 58, a push-button switch 60 for the initial operation of the apparatus, that is for the manual filling of the tray before the first cycle, a resistor 61 for the detachment of the formed ice blocks, which resistor corresponds to the previously described heating means 21, an operating switch 62 for the initiation of the automatic operation of the apparatus, a pilot lamp 64 for indicating feed water absence controlled by the pressure static valve 52, and a lamp 66 which illuminates the ice forming zone for the direct visibility of the apparatus operation. The lamp 66 may be a germicide lamp to assure the pureness of the ice of the blocks.

After contact has been established by means of the general fuse switch 58 and the operating switch 62 has been placed in the off position (shown dotted in FIG. 9), the solenoid valve 54 is operated by means of push button switch 60 for initially filling the tray 23 with liquid, or in order to change the water contained in the tray after the apparatus has been inactive for a period of time. With the tray filled with liquid, the switch 62 is moved into the on position (shown by a full line in FIG. 9), and current is fed to the lamp 66 which illuminates the-ice forming zone in the apparatus, and, as indicated earlier, also may light a germicide lamp. Further, the switch provides current to the contact 41 of the switch 47 through the switch 52 which initially is in the position denoted by the full line in FIG. 9. Accordingly, the feed to switch 47 is discontinued when the ice container or chamber B is filled, that is by the action of switch 13, and also when, due to the absence of water, the switch 52 is displaced into the dotted position shown in FIG. 9. With the switch 52 in the dotted line position, the pilot lamp 64 is lighted. The switch 47 is connected to the feeler 37 and until the feeler is in its rest position, current is fed to the motor 35 through its contacts 41, 43, thereby operating or cyclically moving the tray. At the same time current is also supplied to the compressor 51. However, when the feeler 37 is retained by a predetermined thickness of the ice block formed on the matrix, the contacts 41, 43 of switch 47 are opened and contacts 41, 45 are closed, shown dotted in FIG. 9, and the motor and compressor cease to be operated. During this period the solenoid valve 54 is actuated for filling the tray with water and the resistor 61 is operated for defrosting and detaching ice blocks from the matrices 17.

The moving contact 49 supplies current to the motor 35 independently from and in parallel with the operating switch 62. Accordingly, when a tray is in the raised position, it continues to receive current and the moving contact is disengaged in the lower position whereby the tray can only come to a stop position in its lower position, that is where it is displaced from the matrices.

FIGURE 8 illustrates the water and refrigerating circuit of the apparatus described above. In the drawing there is shown a feed water inlet 72 which communicates with a tube 74 which in turn communicates via a solenoid valve 54 and a governor 68 with the nozzle 78 through which feed water is admitted to the tray 23. Water is removed from the apparatus through a port 80 which is disposed just downstream of a pressure static adjustment valve 82, which adjusts the condensation water, and is provided with an overload switch. A compressor 51 is disposed within the refrigerating fluid circuit which includes a branch pipe 84 and a high pressure pipe 86 which communicates with a counter-flow condenser 76 which in turn communicates with a capillary tube 87 through which refrigerant water is admitted to the passages 19 and pipes 19a of the matrices 17.

During operation a portion of the feed water from the conduit 72 passes through the counterflow condenser 76 and then passes through the discharge port 80 which is controlled by a pressure static valve 82 provided with a maximum pressure switch. The other portion of the water passes through the pipe 74 to the nozzle 78 for filling and washing the tray 23 and it is controlled by the electromagnetic valve 54 and by the adjustment cock 68.

The compressor 51 supplies compressed gas into the pipe 86 and the gas fiows through the condenser 76 in counter-flow relationship with the water passing through the condenser, then through a filter and a capillary tube 87 before it reaches the refrigerating circuit 1919a which affords the ice-forming means for the matrices 17. After its passage through the refrigerating circuit 19-1911, the gases are returned through the pipe 84 into the compressor.

The nozzle 78 feeds water to a zone 57 of the tray 23 which is separated from the tray 23 by means of a perforated diaphragm. This arrangement permits a uniform feed of water without excessive vortices in the streams of liquid admitted to the tray.

The apparatus may be made dimensionally small and have transparent casing walls and housing walls 1 to render the ice block forming operation visible. The apparatus may be installed on a bench or board of a bar or the like or may be installed in a household refrigerator.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for making ice blocks comprising at least one matrix arranged to have an ice block formed thereon, a tray arranged to contain a liquid for forming the ice block on said matrix, means for cyclically moving said tray between a first position where the matrix is at least partially immersed in the liquid and a second position where said matrix and the ice block formed thereon are completely removed from the liquid in said tray during the formation of the ice block whereby successive layers of ice are formed on the exterior of said matrix, means operable to arrest the cyclic movement of the tray When an ice block of a predetermined size has been formed on said matrix, said means operable to arrest the cyclic movement of the tray arranged to locate the tray in a position displaced laterally from the path of an ice block falling by gravity from said matrix, means operable to cause an ice block to be displaced from said matrix, and means disposed below said matrix to collect the ice blocks displaced therefrom and falling under the effect of gravity.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising means for filling the tray at the completion of each ice block making cycle, bafile means in said tray for reducing vortices in the fluid fed to the tray, and an overflow device to ensure a predetermined liquid level in said tray before the initiation of each ice block making cycle.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which the means to cyclically and sequentially move the tray comprises two pairs of parallel links, each pivotally secured at one end to the tray.

4. Apparatus for making ice blocks comprising a housing comprising a top panel and side panels;

a collecting chamber disposed below said housing;

a plurality of elongate mould members around which ice blocks are formed dependent from said top panel of said housing;

a liquid containing tray;

link means operable to move the tray sequentially and cyclically between positions in which the mould members are immersed in the liquid in the tray and in which the tray is disposed below and to one side of the mould members;

means operable to arrest the cycilc movement of the tray when an ice block of predetermined size has been formed around one of said mould members;

heating means operable to cause ice blocks of predetermined size to be detached from said mould mem bers, ice blocks detached from said mould members falling due to gravity into said collecting chamber;

a pivotable strip member disposed in the path of such falling ice blocks and operable to pivot downwardly on contact with said ice blocks;

resilient means to return the strip member to its original position;

and control means to interrupt the operation of the apparatus if the strip member is restrained from returning to its original position.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 comprising a feeler member movable into and out of contact with an ice block being formed on one of said mould members, said feeler member being arranged such that when an ice block of predetermined size has been formed on said one mould, the feeler member is restrained from movement out of contact with said ice block, and further comprising means to operate said heating means upon said feeler member being restrained.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 in which said heating means comprises a passage formed in each mould member, which passage is in communication with a heating medium.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 in which said heating medium is the liquid in the tray.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,542,892 2/1951 Bayston 62-352 X 2,585,240 2/1952 Grow 62344 2,718,125 9/1955 Horvay 62l37 X ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner.

WILLIAM E. WAYNER, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. 62-353

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U.S. Classification62/138, 62/353
International ClassificationF25C1/08
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/08
European ClassificationF25C1/08