US 3429056 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb.25,1969 RMETZ R 4 3,429,056
CLOTHES DRYER WITH SELECTIVE CLUTCH FOR DRUM ROTATION Filed NOV. 50, 1967 Sheet 4 of 2 INVENTOR. MATT F. METZ GER WM/KM H \s ATTORNEY Feb. 25, 1969 M. F. METZGER Filed NOV. 30, 1967 8 U 9 (as Sheet 2 of 2 MATT F. METZGER .H&s ATTORNEY United States Patent 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A clothes dryer with a motor having a first shaft to drive the dryer air circulating means and a second shaft to drive the dryer drum through a pulley when the second shaft is connected to the pulley. A positive engagement clutch normally connects the second shaft and the pulley and manually controllable means are included to disengage the clutch.
This application is a :continuation-in-part of my copending application, Ser. No. 474,068, filed July 22, 1965, and now abandoned, and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.
Background of the invention There are at the present time a large number of domestic clothes dryers which dry clothes placed in a clothes container by rotating the container and at the same time passing a stream of heated air through the container. Some of these clothes drying machines provide for a stationary drying operation in which the drum or clothes container remains stationary during the drying operation. However, those prior art machines which provide a stationary drying feature have distinct disadvantages. They normally maintain the drum in a stationary position by providing a control mechanism by which the drum may be lifted from the drive rollers which normally rotate the drum and by which the drum may be maintained off of these rollers during the drying operation. Such a mechanism must be constructed of heavy material in order to support the weight of the drum and the load of clothes being dried in a stationary manner and they often involve complicated mechanism to provide the user with a mechanical advantage to make the manual lifting of the drum easier.
Summary of the invention It is an object of this invention to provide a new and im- 0 proved clothes dryer in which a stationary dry operation may be selected by the user.
It is a further object of this invention to provide such a clothes dryer in which the clothes receiving container is maintained on its usual supports during the stationary drying operation.
A further object of this invention is to provide such an improved clothes dryer in which the stationary dry selector is easy to operate and reliable in performance.
In carrying out my invention, in one form thereof, I provide a fabric or clothes drying machine including a rotatable container to receive clothes to be dried and air circulating means to force drying air through the container. The dryer also includes a motor adapted both to drive the air circulating means and to rotate the container. Motion transfer means drivingly connect the motor to the container and includes a clutch selectively operable to interrupt rotation of the container independently of the motor.
The subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. My invention, how- 3,429,056 Patented Feb. 25, 1969 ever, both as to organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Brief description of the drawing In the drawings,
FIGURE 1 is a partial side elevational view of a clothes dryer incorporating one embodiment of my invention, the view being partly broke away and partly sectionalized to illustrate details;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view, somewhat enlarged, of the lower portion of FIGURE 1 showing in detail the motion transfer means and clutch utilized in the machine of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary rear elevational view of the mechanism shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view similar to FIGURE 2 showing another embodiment of my invention; and
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the clutch mechanism utilized in the machine of FIGURE 1, the view being partly broken away and partly in section for purposes of illustration.
Description of the preferred embodiments Referring now to FIGURE 1, the machine illustrated is a domestic clothes dryer generally indicated by the numeral 1. Dryer 1 is provided in the usual way with a cabinet 2 having a front door 3 to provide access to the interior of the cabinet for loading and unloading clothes. Provided on the top wall 4 of the cabinet 2 is a control panel 5 which may, in the conventional way, include a suitable manual control 6. By operation of manual control 6, the machine may be caused to start and automatically proceed through a cycle of operation.
Within cabinet 2 there is provided a clothes receiving container, or drum, 8 mounted for rotation on a substantially horizontal axis. Drum 8 is substantially cylindrical in shape having a first cylindrical wall portion 9, second and third outer cylindrical wall portions 10- and 11 located respectively adjacent the front and back of the drum, a front wall 12, and a back wall 13. Outer Wall portions 9, 10 and 11 are imperforate over their entire length so that the outer shell of the basket is imperforate. On the interior surface of central portion 9 there may be provided a plurality of clothes tumbling ribs 14 so that clothes are lifted up when the drum rotates, and then tumble down onto the bottom of the drum.
The front of drum 8 may be rotatably supported within outer casing 2 by suitable idler wheels, one of which is shown by numeral 15. These wheels are rotatably secured to the top of a member 16- which extends up from the base 17 of the machine. The wheels are disposed beneath the drum in contact with portion 10 thereof so as to support portion 10 on each side to provide a stable support.
The rear end of drum 8 receives its support by means of a stub shaft 18 etxending from the center of wall 13. Shaft 18 is secured within a bearing 19 formed in a baflle 20 which in turn is rigidly secured to the back wall 21 of cabinet 2 by any suitable means such as, for instance, welding at a number of points 22. With the arrangement shown, the basket may rotate on a horizontal axis, with rollers 15 providing the front support and stub shaft 18 within bearing 19 providing the rear support.
In order to provide for the flow of a stream of drying air through the clothes drum, the drum is provided with a central aperture 23 in its front Wall 12 and with an opening in the form of a plurality of perforations 24 in the rear wall 13, the perforations in the present case being formed to extend around the rear wall in an annulus.
As has been stated, baffle member is rigidly secured to rear wall 21 of cabinet 2. Bafile member 20 also serves to support heater 25 which includes two electrical resistance heating elements 25a and 25b appropriately insulated from the baffle member. Elements 25a and 25b may be annular in shape so as to be generally coextensive with perforations 24 in drum 8. A baffle member 26 is rigidly secured to the back wall 13 of the drum outside the ring of perforations 24 and within the stationary baflle 20, so that an annular air inlet 27 is, in effect, formed by baffles 20 and 26. In this manner a passage is formed for air to enter annular inlet opening 27 between the baffies, pass over the heater 25, and then pass through openings 28 formed in baffle 26 to the interior of drum 8.
The front opening 23 of the drum is substantially closed by means of a stationary bulkhead generally indicated by the numeral 29. Bulkhead 29 is made up of a number of adjacent members including the inner surface 30 of access door 3, a stationary frame 31 for the door formed as a part of front wall 32 of the cabinet, the inner surface member 33 of an exhaust duct which is formed by the cooperation of member 33 with the front wall 32 of the cabinet, and an annular flange 34 mounted on frame 31 and on the duct wall. It will be noted that a suitable clearance is provided between the inner edge of the drum opening 23 and the edge of bulkhead 29 so that there is no rubbing between the drum and the bulkhead during rotation of the drum. In order to prevent any substantial air leakage through opening 23 between the interior and exterior of the drum, a suitable ring seal 35, preferably in the form of felt-like material, is secured to flange 34 in sealing relationship with the exterior surface of drum wall 12.
Front opening 23, in addition to serving as part of the air fiow path through the drum, also serves as a means whereby clothes may be loaded into and unloaded from the drum. Door 3, whose inner surface forms part of the bulkhead closing the opening, is mounted on cabinet 2 so that when the door is opened clothes may be inserted into or removed from the drum through the door frame 31. It will be noted that the door includes an outer, flat, imperforate section 36 and an inwardly extending hollow section 37 mounted on the flat outer section. Hollow section 37 extends into the door frame 31 when the door is closed, and the door surface 30 which comprises part of the combination bulkhead 29 is actually the inner wall of the hollow section.
The air outlet from the drum is provided by a perforated opening 38 formed in the inner wall 30 of hollow door section 37. The bottom wall section of door 3 and the adjacent wall of door frame 31 are provided with aligned openings 39 and 40, opening 40 providing the entrance to the duct 41 formed by the cooperation of member 33 with front wall 32. As shown, a lint trap 42 is positioned in the exhaust duct 41 at opening 40, the trap being supported by the door frame 31.
Duct 41 leads downwardly to an opening 43 formed in the member 16 which supports wheels 15. Opening 43 constitutes the inlet to a blower member 44 contained within a housing 45 and directly driven by an electric motor 46 as by mounting the blower 44 on the shaft 46a, which constitutes the right hand end of motor shaft 47. The blower draws ambient air in over the heater 25, then through the basket, then throu'hg the door 3 and the duct 41, and then into the blower. From the blower the air passes through any appropriate duct (not shown) out of cabinet 2 so as to be exhausted from the machine.
In addition to driving blower 44, motor 46 constitutes the means for effecting the rotation of drum 8. In order to effect this motor 46 is provided with a shaft 47 having a small pulley 48 mounted at the end thereof. A motor may be provided having two entirely different shafts, one to drive the blower 44 and one to rotate the drum 8. The more usual practice is to provide a motor with one shaft extending out of each end of the motor so as to both drive the blower and rotate the drum. Thus, normally the shaft 47 is the opposite end of the shaft which provides the direct drive from motor 46 to blower 44.
A belt 49 extends around pulley 48 and also entirely around the cylindrical wall section 9 of drum 8. The relative circumferences of pulley 48 and wall section 9 causes the drum to be driven by the motor at a speed suitable to effect tumbling of the colthes therein when the pulley 48 is drivenly connected to the shaft 47. In order to effect proper tensioning of belt 49, there may be provided a suitable idler assembly 50 secured on the same support 51 which secures one end of the motor. Thus, during normal operation, the air is pulled through the drum and, at the same time, the fabrics in the drum are tumbled. When the air is heated by heating elements 25a and 25b, the heated air passing through the drum causes vaporization of moisture from the clothes. The vapor is carried off with the air as it passes out of the machine.
There are a number of suitable control circuits which may be utilized with the machine of FIGURE 1 to control a sequence of operation for effecting heater temperature, length of dryer operation and so forth. The particular control circuit utilized does not form a part of my invention and has, therefore, been omitted for purposes of increased clarity.
Referring now to FIGURE 5 there is shown therein the motion transfer means by which a driving connection selectively may be provided between motor shaft 47 and pulley 48. A hub 52 is provided and includes a first, hollow portion 53 insertable around the end of shaft 47 and secured in driven relationship thereto by any suitable means such as set screw 54. At the outer end of hollow portion 53, hub 52 includes a reduced diameter cylindrical portion 55 on which pulley 48 is mounted by means of a sleeve bearing 56. A C clip 57 is mounted in a recess 58 formed in cylindrical portion 55 outwardly of pulley 48 to prevent the pulley from sliding off the end of portion 55. Thus, the hub 52 is secured to shaft 47 for rotation therewith while the pulley 48 is freely rotatable on cylindrical portion 55 independent of the rotation of shaft 47 and hub 52.
In order to provide a driving connection between hub 52 and pulley 48 there is provided a positive engagement ty'pe clutch mechanism including a first clutch member 59 having a base portion 60 and an annular, radially outwardly extending wall portion 61. Base portion 60 is mounted around hollow portion 53 of hub 52 for rotation therewith by any suitable means such as, for instance, forming the outer surface 62 of hub portion 53 and the inner surface 63 of base portion 60 with cooperative hexagonal shapes. Thus, first clutch member 59 rotates with hub 52 and, at the same time, is freely movable axially with respect to hollow portion 53. A second clutch member 64 is securely mounted on pulley 48 for rotation therewith. The first and second clutch members are provided with interfitting teeth 65 and 66 respectively so that, when first clutch member 59 is in engagement with second clutch member 64, a driving connection is formed from shaft 47 to pulley 48 and the pulley is rotated with the shaft to drive drum 8.
First pulley member 59 is normally forced into a position so that teeth 65 engage teeth 66 by means of a helical spring 67 which is received between base portion 60 of clutch member 59 and a collar 68 mounted on hollow portion 53. In order to selectively disengage clutch member 59 from clutch member 64, so that motor 46 will rotate without rotating drum 8, a yoke 69 is pivotally mounted on a pin 70 received in motor support 51. The yoke includes a generally upwardly extending base portion 71 which terminates in a pair of arms 72 and 73 which are spaced apart sufficiently to pass by the sides of the base portion 60 of clutch member 59 and engage the radially extending wall portion 61. A spring 74 is mounted around pin 70 and is received in support member 51 and base portion 71 of yoke 69 in order to bias arms 72 and 73 out of contact with radially extending wall portion 61.
Referring now to FIGURES 1 and 2 there is included manually controllable means for selectively engaging the yoke 69 and moving it into engagement with clutch member 59 to disengage the clutch. In the embodiment of FIGURES 1-3 the manually controllable means includes a choke wire type mechanism having an inner wire 75 and an outer protective sheath 76 which may be in the form of a Wound wire. One end 77 of inner wire 75 passes through an opening 78 formed in base portion 71 of the yoke and is bent over to engage the base portion. The sheath terminates between support member 51 and yoke 69 and receives a nut 79 which bears against a slot 80 formed in support member 51 to prevent the sheath 76 from being withdrawn past support member 51.
Referring now to FIGURE 1, the other end 81 of inner wire 75 is secured to a cam member 82 that is mounted for rotation on a spindle or shaft 83. The shaft is mounted for rotation in a bracket 84 secured on the inner portion of front wall 32 of the dryer cabinet and extending through an appropriate opening therein. The outer end of shaft 83 is provided with a manually operable handle 85. By rotation of handle 85, the user may cause inner wire 75 to be moved to the right, as shown in FIGURE 2, and thus rotate yoke 69 about pin 70, this causes arms 72 and 73 to engage the radially extending portion 61 of first clutch member 59 and forces first clutch member 59 out of engagement with second clutch member 64. Then pulley 48 is effectively free wheeling with respect to hub 52 and the friction of bearing 56 is insufiicient to cause pulley 48 to rotate drum 8. In order to prolong the life of the clutch and prevent binding, radially extending wall portion 61 is provided with a low resistance liner 86 while arms 72 and 73 are provided with low friction tabs 87 and 88 respectively. It is the tabs 87 and 88 which come into contact with liner 86 in order to move first clutch member 59.
When it is desired to re-engage clutch members 59 and 64, handle 85 is rotated in the other direction and inner wire 75 is moved to the left (as seen in FIGURE 2). When this occurs, spring 67 moves first clutch member 59 axially along hollow portion 53 of hub 52 until teeth 65 engage cooperating teeth 66 of the second clutch member 64. The spring 74 acts against the base portion 71 0f yoke 69 to rotate the yoke about pin 70 and insure that the tabs 87 and 88 are disengaged from liner 86. The clutch members 59 and 64 again provide an efiective driving connection from hub 52 to pulley 48 so that drum 8 may again be driven by motor 46 through the shaft 47, hub 52, clutch members 59 and 64, pulley 48, and belt 49.
Referring now to FIGURE 4, there is shown therein a second embodiment of my invention similar to the embodiment of FIGURES 2 and 3 and, in the discussion of this second embodiment, like numerals are used to designate like elements. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGURE 4, the clutch mechanism and the yoke mechanism are the same as the embodiment shown in FIG- URES 2 and 3. The only difference in the over-all mechanism lies in the utilization of a solenoid for movement of the yoke into engagement with clutch member 59 in place of the choke wire mechanism. For this purpose, a solenoid 89 may be mounted on support member 51 and includes an armature 90 which is extendable toward yoke 69. The end of armature 90 is connected to the yoke 69 by means of a link 91 which is attached at one end to the armature 90 and at the other end to the yoke. In this regard the link 91 extends through the opening 78 in the yoke and is bent over in a manner similar to the first end 77 of wire 75.
When it is desired to provide a stationary drying operation, the solenoid 89 may be connected to a suitable source of electrical energy, normally this would be the same source of electric energy to which heater 25 is connected for providing heat to the dryer and to which the usual control circuits for electric dryers are normally connected. For this purpose, manual control or selector switch 6 may be interconnected to solenoid 89 and appropriate terminals for connection to the source of electric energy so that proper movement of manual control 6 by the user is effective to connect solenoid 89 to the source of electric energy.
Energization of solenoid 89 draws armature to the right (as seen in FIGURE 4) so as to pivot yoke 69 about pin 70 and move first clutch member 59 out of engagement with second clutch member 64. When it is again desired to recondition the dryer for normal, tumble-type drying, manual control member 6 may be moved to a position effectively disengaging solenoid 89 from the source of electrical energy. When solenoid 89 is disengaged, armature 90 is free to move and spring 67 is effective to move first clutch member 59 back into engagement with second clutch member 64 to reestablish the driving connection from motor 46 to belt 49. Also, spring 74 is effective to insure that yoke 69 pivots about pin 70 sufiiciently to disengage tabs 87 and 88 from liner 86.
As has been explained, motor 46 is directly connected to blower 44 so that blower 44 is rotated at all times when motor 46 is energized. Thus, it can be seen that the clutch mechanism illustrated and described herein is effective to interrupt rotation of the clothes container or drum independently of the motor so that a staionary dry cycle may be provided in the most efiicient manner.
While in accordance with the patent statutes I have described what at present are considered to be the preferred embodiments of my invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention, and it is therefore aimed in the appended claims to cover all such equivalent variations as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A cloth-es drying machine comprising:
'(a) a rotatable container to receive clothes to be dried;
(b) air circulating mean-s to force air through said container;
(c) a motor including a first shaft adapted to drive said air circulating means and a second shaft to rotate said drum;
-(d) a pulley mounted for rotation independently of rotation of said second shaft;
(e) -a belt mounted around said pulley and said drum for driving'ly connecting said pulley and said drum;
'(f) a positive engagement type clutch normally connecting said second shaft and said pulley so that said motor drives said drum;
(g) and manually controllable means adapted to disengage said clutch to interrupt rotation of said container independently of said motor.
2. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein said pulley is mounted on said second shaft for rotation independently of rotation of said second shaft.
3. The invention as set forth in claim 1 wherein a hub is mounted on said second shaft for rotation therewith; said pulley is mounted on said hub for rotation independently of rotation of said hub; said positive engagement clutch includes a first member mounted on said hub for rotation therewith and a second member mounted on said pulley for rotation therewith, said members normally bednlg in engagement to provide a driving connect-ion between said motor and said pulley; and said manually controllable means being adapted to disengage said members to interrupt rotation of said container independently of said motor.
4. A clothes drying machine comprising:
(a) :a rotatable container to receive clothes to be dried;
(b) air circulating means to force air through said container;
(c) a motor including a first shaft adapted to drive said air circulating means and a second shaft to rotate said drum;
(-d) a hub mounted on said second shaft for notation therewith;
(e) a pulley mounted on said hub for rotation independently of rotation of said hub;
(f) a positive engagement type clutch normally connecting said second shaft and said pulley so that said motor drives said drum;
'(g) said positive engagement clutch including a first member mounted on said hub for rotation therewith, a second member mounted on said pulley for rotation therewith, and a first spring normally forcing s-a-id first member into engagement with said second member to provide a driving connection between said motor and said pulley;
(h) a yoke member p-ivotally mounted for engagement with said first member to disengage said first member from said second member, a second spring normally holding said yoke out of engagement with said first member;
(i) manually controllable means engaging said yoke and movable between first and second positions, said manually controllable means being effective on m-ove ment from said first to said second position to pivot said yoke into engagement with said first member and disengage said first member from said second member, said manually controllable means being efe'ctive upon movement from said second to said first position to release said yoke so that said first spring will move said first member into engagement with said second member and said second spring will insure disengagement of said yoke from said first member.
5. A clothes drying machine as set forth in claim 4 'wherein said manually operable means includes a flexible cable attached at one end to said yoke :and at the other end to a manually operable handle.
6. A clothes drying machine as set forth in claim 4 wherein said manually operable means includes an electrically energizable solenoid connected to said yoke and a manual selector switch for selectively connecting said solenoid to a source of electric power.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l, 398, l'l4 11/1921 Prell 3487 XR 2,307,264 1/1943 Hamlin 19'290 XR 2,462,363 2/1949 Cook 19267 XR 2,679,112 5/1954 Thompson 34-55 XR JULIUS E. -WE-S=T, Primary Examiner.
A. D. HERRMANN, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl X.R.