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Publication numberUS3432108 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 11, 1969
Filing dateJul 22, 1966
Priority dateJul 22, 1966
Also published asDE1609105A1
Publication numberUS 3432108 A, US 3432108A, US-A-3432108, US3432108 A, US3432108A
InventorsEnright James H
Original AssigneeEmerson Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flexible inlet cover
US 3432108 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 11, 1969 J. H. ENRIGHT FLEXIBLE INLET COVER Sheet Filed July 22, 1966 r a 5 Z a a m U5 m m M 5 I E L m m March 11, 1969 Filed July 22, 1966 J. H. ENRIGHT 3,432,108

FLEXIBLE INLET COVER Sheet 2 of 2 Z5 20 46 I 35 m l 4% W i/Ef 4/ HI HJ 4 I \l1 I I g r i I ill I; I I III Jame-5 IN uEN-roz /7. ENE/6197" BY m,wz

United States Patent Oflice 3,432,108 Patented Mar. 11, 1969 3,432,108 FLEXIBLE INLET COVER James H. Enright, Racine, Wis., assignor, by mesne assignmeuts, to Emerson Electric Co., St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed July 22, 1966, Ser. No. 567,246

US. Cl. 241-100 Int. Cl. B02c 23/02, 18/42 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates generally to waste disposals and more particularly to an improved flexible inlet cover therefor.

The inlet cover of the present invention has a baflle or web of elastomeric composition with an expansible central opening. The baflle is convoluted to form beams having angularly related walls in the form of relatively deep alternate ribs and channels. This provides a pleated or bellows-like construction. The baffle configuration aforesaid provides an inlet cover with a small central opening that is easily flexed and expandable downwardly and outwardly, thus to increase the size of the opening to permit downflow of large quantities of water (as when a stopper is removed) and passage of large food waste, such as fruit rinds.

While readily expansible downwardly, the baflle resists expansion in response to pressure from beneath. Resistance to flexure and expansion in the reverse direction is aflorded by the generally downward inclination of the beams. The interior edges of the downwardly inclined beams interfere on upward pressure, thereby effectively blocking upward movement and more effectively sealing the axial opening.

In order to open the cover in response to upward pressure, the beams must be flexed through an overcenter or toggle position. The force necessary to break the toggle is much greater than is required simply to open the cover Wider, as is the case when pressure from above is applied thereto. In this respect the cover may be characterized as having a check valve function.

The baflle accomplishes many desirable objectives for a waste disposal inlet cover, such as service as an antisplash guard, preventing emission of undesirable aerosols from the comminuting chamber into the kitchen, keeping objects in the sink basin from falling into the comminuting chamber, acting as a noise seal, deflecting flying waste back into the comminuting chamber, etc.

The structure provided by the channel and rib or beam construction inherently provides stability and strength to the cover so that decrease in resiliency caused by continued flexing and aging will not result in distortion or sagging of the baflle.

The baflle of the present invention characteristically has only a small axial opening in its unflexed state. Accordingly, water accumulates quickly in the sump provided by the web channels, thus providing an acoustical damper or seal reducing the noise transmitted from the motor and communication to the kitchen. The configuration of the axial opening formed by the vertical edges of the web beams promotes axial flow of the water. This tends to oppose the swirling action of water within the disposal caused by the rotation of the cutting rotors, and reduce the pumping head of water in the chamber which might otherwise cause overflow of water into a dishwasher discharge outlet tapped into the side of the chamber.

The cover of the present invention greatly improves on prior are covers known to me in which expansibility is achieved by radially slitting a disk cover. Such slitting greatly weakens the cover. The inwardly projecting segments of such slit covers are supported structurally only at the outer periphery thereof. Such slit covers olfer little resistance to flying waste and soon become ineffective when age and deterioration cause loss of resiliency.

In contrast with such prior art covers, the cover of the present invention is not slit radially. The structural strength of the cover material is preserved throughout its area and is augmented by the beam forming convolutions with which the cover is provided.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will appear from the following disclosure in which:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a flexible inlet cover embodying the invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the cover, a portion being broken away to show the annular ring in section.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view from the top showing the cover distended.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view from the bottom showing the cover distended.

FIG. 5 shows the flexible cover installed in a disposal unit.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the cover.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the flexible cover along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structure. The scope of the invention is defined in the claims appended hereto.

The drawings show as one embodiment of the present invention a one-piece flexible inlet cover 9 comprising a web or balfle 10 formed inside a resilient: mounting ring 15. The baflie of the present invention could also comprise a removable insert in a drain collar having a specifically dilferent mounting structure.

Baflle or web 10 is composed of a relatively thin sheet of elastomeric material, rubber or plastic, for example, molded or otherwise formed, gathered, or convoluted with relatively deep upwardly facing alternate ribs 18 and channels 20 which together constitute a series of radial beams or pleats. The pleats or beams have a relatively stable geometry, subject only to deformation as a consequence of stressing the resiliency of the elastomeric web. In the embodiment disclosed in FIG. 1, there are four ribs 18 and four channels 20. Each rib 18 has a horizontal web 22 shaped in the geometric configuration of a sector of a circle.

Each sector or wedge shaped web 22 is based on the circular edge 24 of baflle 10, and extends inwardly to a central opening 25. Each rib 18 has two vertical triangular shaped side walls 26 that are common to the adjacent channels 20. Each channel 20 has a downwardly inclined bottom web 28 which also is sector or wedge shaped. Side walls 26 intersect webs 22, 28 at corner angles 12, 13 (right angles in the illustrated embodiment) to give beam strength to the bafi le convolutions.

Because webs 28 are downwardly inclined, they are longer than horizontal webs 22. Corners 13 are also longer than corners 12. Corners 12, 13 tend to hold their shape. Any expansion of the cover from its initial shape shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 to its expanded shape shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 results from deformation of the elastomeric material from which the web is formed. This expansion is accompanied by an increase in the angularity of the corners 12, 13. This increase is resisted by the resiliency of the web. Such web resiliency will tend to restore corners 12, 13 to their initial an-gularity and will restore the cover to its initial position of FIGS. 1 and 2, as soon as deforming pressure is relieved.

The inner edges 29 of side walls or flanges 26 extend axially and together with the inner edges 14 of webs 22, and the inner edges 15 of webs 28 define an axial flow passage of relatively small horizontal cross section. Under pressure from above, the beams 18, 20 readily expand downwardly, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 to greatly enlarge the cross section of the baffie opening. Expansion is accomplished easily because downward flexing of the baffle is opposed only by the natural resilience of the rubber or other elastomer of which the baffle is formed and by the structural beam strength of the ribs and channels. The corner angles 12, 13 tend to flatten out, and the Web material gathered into the pleats or beams acts as a bellows as the opening 25 expands.

On the other hand, there is a mechanical interference or interlock of the parts which opposes upward flexing of the cover.

Pressure exerted on the baffle from below, for example, by a bone hurled by the cutting rotors, will flex the beams upwardly and inwardly only until the edges 29 of the beams come in contact. Any further upward movement requires an over-center buckling and distortion of the beams or a breaking of the toggle in order to pass the object. Beam strength is such as to preclude this from happening in normal operation of the disposal.

Although the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings shows the common walls 26 between the ribs 18 and channels 20 to be vertical, walls 26 could be sloped so that the corners 12, 13 would have an angularity greater than 90 degrees. This would result in a structure having slightly less beam strength.

While not critical, the durometer of the elastomer baffle 10 in a practical embodiment of the invention is 50.

FIG. shows an installed waste disposal 31 having its flexible inlet cover interposed between a drain collar 30 and the comminuting chamber 32. The resilient mounting ring provides a vibration cushion between the comminuting chamber and sink 33. The mounting ring 15 has an annular groove 34 (FIG. 2) for receiving the outwardly projecting peripheral flange 36 on the inlet throat 37 of the comminuting chamber 32. The drain collar 30 is seated in an annular groove 38 in the mounting ring 15. Drain collar 30 has an upper flange 40 resting in the sink basin 33.

In the lower portion of the comminuting chamber there is mounted a comminuting stator 41 within which there is a rotor 42 mounted upon the shaft 44 of an electric motor 46. The rotor 42 and the stator 41 cooperate to grind the waste material. This action typically results in swirling the water in the chamber 32 so that it climbs the wall as shown at 35 and may overflow through the dishwater outlet 48. The axial discharge of water into the chamber 32 through the axial opening 25 in the baflle 10 tends to counteract or break up this swirling action and hence reduces overflow tendencies.

The cover has sufiicient beam strength to support a small head of water without downward deflection. Because the opening 25 is small with respect to the volumetric or sump capacity of the channels 20, the channels will fill with water, if it is supplied thereto faster than it is discharged through opening 25. Accordingly, the trapped water will act as an acoustical damper to cut down noise transmission from the comminuting chamber to the kitchen.

While the pleats or beams in the illustrated embodiment constitute beams having walls at right angles, other (ill pleated or beamed configurations are within the invention. It is important, however, that the material of the web 10 be gathered into folds or pleats when the web is unstressed and that these folds or pleats unfold to permit expansion of opening 25.

I claim:

1. A flexible cover for the inlet of a waste disposer, said cover comprising an elastomeric web having beam forming convolutions extending inwardly from an outer edge thereof toward its center, a flow opening of small cross section at said center, the beams formed by said convolutions comprising upwardly facing relatively deep alternate ribs and channels into which Web material is gathered and which tend to flatten out as the opening is expanded.

2. The cover of claim 1 in which said beams have angularly related side walls having substantial resistance to beam deformation.

3. The cover of claim 1 in which said beams are downwardly inclined whereby to readily open in the direction of incline but to mechanically interfere in the opposite direction, whereby said cover is more readily expansible downwardly than upwardly.

4. The cover of claim 1 in which said web is substantially unbroken throughout said convolutions and is of substantially uniform thickness throughout.

5. A flexible inlet cover comprising an elastomeric web having beam forming convolutions extending inwardly from an outer edge thereof toward its center, an opening at said center, the beams formed by said convolutions comprising alternate ribs and channels into which web material is gathered and which tend to flatten out as the opening is expanded, said ribs having substantially horizontal tops and said channels having downwardly inclined bottoms, said tops and bottoms being interconnected by substantially vertical side walls.

6. The cover of claim 5 in which said tops, bottoms, and side walls are wedge-shaped.

7. The cover of claim 1 in which the said convolutions have axially extending edges bounding said opening to constitute said opening an axially extending passage.

8. The cover of claim 7 in combination with a comminuting chamber having an inlet across which said cover is disposed, a cutting rotor in said chamber, an inlet in the side of the chamber and into which swirling liquid in the chamber tends to be pumped by said rotor, said axi ally extending passage in said cover tending to direct liquid flowing through said opening axially to break up the swirl of said liquid.

9. A flexible cover for the inlet of a waste disposer, said cover comprising an outer ring and an elastomeric Web extending inwardly therefrom, said web having folds on which the web is gathered into radial pleats having horizontal tops and downwardly inclined bottoms, a central opening of small cross section defined by the inner web edges when the web is unstressed and which expands to a larger cross section when the web is stressed to open said pleats.

10. The cover of claim 9 in which the web is continuous throughout said pleats.

11. The cover of claim 10 in which the web is of substantially uniform thickness throughout.

12. A flexible inlet cover for a waste disposer, said cover comprising:

an annular mounting ring,

a one-piece elastomeric baflie within said annular member and having an expansible axial opening, said baffle comprising a plurality of inwardly radiating ribs and channels,

said ribs each having a top surface defining a sector of a circle and having side walls common to the adjacent channels,

said channels each having a bottom wall defining an oversize sector of a circle sloping downwardly and 5 6 inwardly and having side walls common to the ad- References Cited jacent ribs whereby said axial opening is more read- UNITED STATES PATENTS 11y expansible downwardly than upwardly. 13. The cover of claim 12 in which the surface of the 2737191 3/1956 V1311 241*1005 ribs is horizontal and the common walls are vertically 5 3,047,013 7/1962 Baumbach X disposed and triangular in shape 12/1964 Hardy 241-1O05 14. The flexible cover of claim 1 in which said channels comprise a sump in which water tends to accumu- HARRISON HINSON Puma), Exammer late if the water flows into the channels at a rate faster US. Cl. X.R. than it flows through said opening. 10 241-32.5, 46

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2737191 *Jun 19, 1952Mar 6, 1956Chain Belt CoSalvage basin for food-waste disposal apparatus
US3047013 *Mar 22, 1957Jul 31, 1962Baumbach William JDiaphragm for water closets
US3163371 *Jan 24, 1963Dec 29, 1964 Splash guard for food waste disposer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4809915 *Mar 7, 1988Mar 7, 1989Affald International Inc.Waste disposal apparatus
US4889290 *Feb 27, 1989Dec 26, 1989Affald International Inc.Waste disposal apparatus
US6719228Feb 4, 2002Apr 13, 2004Emerson Electric CompanyBaffle for a food waste disposer to reduce noise and associated methods
US6957784 *Dec 17, 2004Oct 25, 2005Majestic Industries, Inc.Bottle crushing system
US7264188 *Nov 29, 2005Sep 4, 2007Emerson Electric Co.Noise baffle for food waste disposer
US7533836Dec 28, 2006May 19, 2009Johnson Electric S.A.Splash guard for a garbage disposal unit
US8276218 *Apr 9, 2007Oct 2, 2012Thetford CorporationMacerator toilet
US8286480 *Aug 10, 2006Oct 16, 2012Elster Metering LimitedPositive displacement fluid flow meter
US8474408 *Feb 23, 2006Jul 2, 2013Pet Product Innovations, LlcPortable device for cleaning an animal's paw and assembly method thereof
US20060278743 *Nov 29, 2005Dec 14, 2006Emerson Electric Co.Noise baffle for food waste disposer
US20070152087 *Dec 28, 2006Jul 5, 2007Johnson Electric S.A.Splash guard for a garbage disposal unit
US20070240255 *Apr 9, 2007Oct 18, 2007Thetford CorporationMacerator toilet
US20090050071 *Feb 23, 2006Feb 26, 2009Leary Brianne BPortable Device for Cleaning an Animal's Paw and Assembly Method Thereof
US20100300199 *Aug 10, 2006Dec 2, 2010Elster Metering LimitedPositive displacement fluid flow meter
USD735420 *Jun 16, 2014Jul 28, 2015Trophy Hunting Development, L.L.C.Feed channeling insert for barrel type animal feeders
USD735421 *Jun 16, 2014Jul 28, 2015Trophy Hunting Development, L.L.C.Feed channeling insert for barrel type animal feeders
EP1803857A2 *Dec 22, 2006Jul 4, 2007Johnson Electric S.A.Splash guard for a garbage disposal unit
EP1803857A3 *Dec 22, 2006Jul 9, 2014Johnson Electric S.A.Splash guard for a garbage disposal unit
WO2002062478A3 *Feb 6, 2002Oct 17, 2002Thomas R BergerA baffle for a food waste disposer to reduce noise and associated methods
WO2006065667A1 *Dec 9, 2005Jun 22, 2006Majestic Industries, Inc.Bottle crushing system
U.S. Classification241/46.16, 241/32.5, 241/100
International ClassificationE03C1/266, E03C1/26, B02C23/00
Cooperative ClassificationE03C1/2665, B02C23/00
European ClassificationB02C23/00, E03C1/266B