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Publication numberUS3466804 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1969
Filing dateOct 13, 1966
Priority dateOct 13, 1966
Publication numberUS 3466804 A, US 3466804A, US-A-3466804, US3466804 A, US3466804A
InventorsAnthony J Swaneck Jr
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Door gasket for french door refrigerators
US 3466804 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P 1969 A. J. SWANECK, JR 3,466,804



4O 26 o 30 6 r23 36 I d as 22 O 34 z i 8 Is p 1969 A. J. sWANEcK, JR 3,466,804



WITNESSES INVENTOR W1 2? W Anthony J. Sw0neCk,Jr.

United States Patent "ice US. Cl. 49483 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE French door refrigerator gaskets for the meeting edges of the doors in which the balloon sections of the gaskets disposed to approach each other carry flaps at their extremities, each of the flaps including a substantially reduced thickness portion at the junction of the flap and extremity to serve as hinging axis for flexing of the flaps as a whole.

This invention relates to improved gasket structure for doors of the so-called French door refrigerator cabinet.

These cabinets with which this invention is concerned have an unobstructed front opening adapted to be closed by two vertically hinged doors. Since there is no central vertical post or mullion presenting a seat for the sealing gaskets extending along the strike edges of the two doors, these gaskets must seal with each other when the doors are closed.

The ancillary requirements of gaskets for such doors include the following. The gaskets must provide an adequate seal at the door edges regardless of which door is closed first, and also permit either door to be opened alone and without thereby pulling the other door open. However, the force holding each door closed must not exceed limits established for purposes of safety. The gaskets at the strike edge of the door should have an external configuration similar to the external configuration of the other edge gaskets, to permit clean corner joints to be made. The gaskets should be of a character permitting reasonable manufacturing and assembly tolerances without seriously afiecting the seal obtained. The gaskets should accommodate means to insure their enduring flexibility under lengthy periods of storage of the refrigerator cabinet' with the doors closed. Finally, the gasket configuration should be such that it may be fabricated at a reasonable cost and using known fabrication techniques.

The aim of the invention is to provide such gaskets.

In accordance with my invention, each gasket extending along the strike edge of a French door is disposed in mirror image relation to the gasket on the other door and each includes as integral parts thereof a base section secured to the door, a shank and cover section projecting away from the base section and overlying the base section, a balloon section carried by the shank and cover section, and a flap at the extremity of the balloon section which passes closest to the other door, the fiap including a substantially reduced thickness portion at the junction of the flap and extremity to serve as the hinging axis for flexing of the flap as a whole.

A currently preferred embodiment of a single gasket carried by the strike edge of one of the doors will be generally described. While the structure of the gasket at each strike edge is identical they are arranged in mirror image 3,466,804 Patented Sept. 16, 1969 relation to each other. The general structure of a single strike gasket, as viewed in lateral section, includes a base section adapted for securement along the strike edge of the door, a shank or trunk section projecting away from the base section and merging into a cover section overlying the base section, and a sealing baloon section and a flexing balloon section carried by the trunk and cover sections. The sealing balloon section preferably is multicornered with generally flat walls. The corner projecting furthest laterally carries a flap which performs an important part in the sealing arrangement. The flap is supported from the projecting corner through a reduced thickness line which serves as a hinge for the flap when it is moved into and out of sealing engagement with the gasket on the opposite door. In a normal installation the major portion of the width of each flap lies against, laps and seals with a flat wall portion of the sealing balloon of the opposite door gasket. With the gaskets in proper alignment, the flap of each is flexed out of its normal plane parallel to the plane of the doors into a plane which lies at a substantial angle with the plane of the closed doors. Accordingly, with slightly misaligned or displaced gaskets, the flaps can still provide an adequate seal by seating in other than their intended fashion.

The invention will be described in greater detail in connection with the accompanying drawing illustrating one preferred embodiment by way of example, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front face view of a refrigerator cabinet of the French door type provided with a bottom mounted freezer section;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal sectional view corresponding to one taken along the line IIII of FIG. 1 and illustrating the sealing relationship of the strike gaskets on the two closed refrigerator doors;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view corresponding to one taken along the line IIIIII of FIG. 1 and showing the configuration of the top edge door gasket and its sealing relation to the top border of the refrigerator cabinet;

FIG. 4 is a horizontal sectional View corresponding to one taken along the line IV1V of FIG. 1 and illustrating a hinge edge gasket in sealing relation to a side border of the refrigerator cabinet; and

FIGS. 5 and 6 are two fragmentary horizontal sectional views showing the manner in which a pair of strike gaskets are adapted to provide adequate seals when the door strike gaskets are slightly misalinged or mislocated.

In the particular model refrigerator shown in FIG. 1, the cabinets upper portion 10 is the refrigerator section and lower portion 12 is the freezer section. The right and left doors 14 and 16 are hinged along their right and left vertical edges, respectively, so that the doors swing away from each other when they are opened. The front face of the refrigerator compartment is unobstructed by any stationary vertical members against which the meeting or strike edges of the doors may seal. Hence the gasket at each of the strike edges is adapted to seal with the corresponding gasket on the door.

Each of the strike gaskets as shown in FIG. 2 on the two doors 14 and 16 are identical in shape but are reversed relative to each other and disposed in mirror image relation. All of the gaskets of concern herein are extruded of a suitably resilient rubber composition in long lengths and then cut into straight portions of the proper length. The ends are mitered so that they may be neatly joined as is conventionally done in this art.

The strike gaskets of FIG. 2 include a base section 18, a trunk or shank section projecting from the base toward the refrigerator space, a cover or tail section 22 extending from the head of the trunk over toward the hinged side of the door to overlie the fastening means 24 used to secure the base to the door, a first balloon section 26, a second balloon section 28, and a sealing flap 30 carried along one extremity of the balloon 26.

The base, trunk and cover walls are substantially thicker than the balloon section walls and accordingly do not flex as easily. It will also be appreciated that by virtue of the extruded fabrication of the gaskets, the material along any given longitudinal line is of uniform thickness.

The balloon section 26 may be termed a sealing balloon section and preferably is of quadrilateral outline in lateral section, with a series of generally flat walls and corners enclosing a cavity 32. The cavity is preferably filled with a material such as a latex open cell sponge (also 32) having good compression recovery to prevent the sealing balloon from taking a set during long storage. The cellular material also provides some thermal insulation which serves mostly to prevent sweating of adjacent parts in contact with the room air.

As shown in FIG. 2 the junction between the balloon section 26 and the shank and cover section 20, 22 is in a plane lying in oblique relation to a major plane of the door. With the generally rectangular configuration of the balloon section 26, this locates the corner carrying the flap 30 close to the midjoint of the gap between the two doors 14 and 16 when they are closed and both of the flat walls of the balloon section 26 adjacent the flap corners lie at acute angles relative to the major plane of the doors in a closed position. A significant feature of the invention is the provision of the web lines 34 (i.e., reduced thickness line portions) where the flaps join the corners of the balloon sections 26. These Web lines serve as the hinging axes to facilitate flexing as the flaps as a whole as the strike gaskets come together.

As further shown in FIG. 2, the second or flexing balloon section 28 as it may be called includes one wall 36 having an edge joined to the cover section 22 and being provided with an accordion pleated portion, and another wall 38 which has its remote edge joined to the corner of the balloon section 26 lying farthest from the door. The broken line 40 indicates the plane of the front face of the cabinet when the doors are closed. Since the strike gaskets do not engage the front face border when the doors are closed, the walls 38 of the flexing balloon are shown as projecting inwardly beyond the broken line 40. Triangular wedges 42 secured to the top and bottom horizontal borders cabinet opening serve to seal the small triangular gap at the top and bottom ends of the strike gaskets. These wedges also aid in properly locating the strike gaskets in a sideways direction.

As noted before, one consideration in the design of the strike gaskets is to provide an exterior outline thereof which generally matches the exterior outline of the top and bottom gaskets to permit neat mitered corners. The cross-sectional shape of a top edge gasket as it seals against the cabinet front 40 is shown in FIG. 3. The shape of a bottom edge gasket is the same but is of course inverted. Since the base, trunk and cover portions of the top gasket correspond in configuration to that of the strike gasket, they carry the same numerals. A rectangular balloon section 44 is provided with an interior magnetic member 46 which serves to hold the door closed, and seals along the top edge. The magnetic balloon section 44 is joined to the cover section through an accordion fold 36 which generally matches the accordion fold of the gasket strike section at the mittered corners. The corner 48 of the top gasket shown matches the flap corner of the strike gasket. Thus an appearance of continuation in exterior shape is presented at the mitered corners.

FIG. 4 illustrates the cross-sectional shape of the hinged edged gasket of the door 16. The parts which match in exterior shape the parts of the top edge gasket of FIG. 3 carry the same identifying numerals.

Occasionally the gaskets and doors are assembled imperfectly so that the extreme corners of the strike gaskets are not located to effect the best seal when the doors are closed. FIG. 5 illustrates the right door strike gasket in a position where its door holds it closer to the cabinet face than the left door strike gasket. However, the flaps 30 will still effect an adequate seal by virtue of their outer edges engaging portions of the flat walls of the balloon section of the opposite gasket. FIG. 6 illustrates the relationship between the strike gaskets when they are spaced apart slightly more than is desirable when the doors are closed. In this case a seal is effected by the flaps lapping one another rather than lapping the balloon sections.

It will be appreciated from FIG. 2 that with the proper locational relationship of the strike gaskets, a double seal is efiected by each sealing flap lying against a wall surface of the opposite sealing balloon 26. Also, the oblique disposition of the Walls of the sealing balloons against which the flaps lie angles the flaps as they seal in a di rection to reduce the resistance to opening of the doors when the first door closed is to be the first door opened. Additionally of course, the web line hinge construction contributes substantially to easy flexing of the flaps.

The gasket structure according to the invention em bodies the concept that the sealing engagement between strike gaskets need not be eflected in the same plane as the seal between the other gaskets and the cabinet front face. Hence the concept permits the use, and oblique disposition, of the generally rectangular sealing balloon with flaps at their extreme corners.

I claim as my invention:

1. A gasket extending along the strike edge of each of a pair of French doors adapted to close toward each other and elfect a seal through engagement of the gaskets with each other, the gaskets being disposed in mirror image relation to each other and each comprising, as viewed in lateral section, integrally joined parts including:

a base section secured to the door;

a shank and cover section projecting away inwardly from said base section and overlying said base section;

a balloon section carried by said shank and cover section;

a flap at the extremity of said balloon section which passes closest to the other door, said flap including a substantially reduced thickness portion at the junction of said flap and extremity, serving as a hinging axis for flexing of said flap as a whole, said reduced thickness portion being the only connection between said flap and said balloon section; and

each said balloon section comprises a member which has adjacent, substantially flat sides with an intermediate corner thereof defining said extremity carrying said flap.

2. A gasket according to claim 1 wherein said gaskets are carried on said doors with said extreme corners disposed to normally clear each other upon movement of one door relative to the other, but with the major expanse of each of said flaps lapping and engaging a wall of the opposite gasket balloon section with said doors closed.

3. A gasket according to claim 1 including a resilient material filling for said balloon section carrying said flap.

4. A gasket according to claim 1 wherein said first balloon section is generally rectangular in lateral cross section and is obliquely disposed relative to a plane parallel to the major faces of the door upon which said gasket is mounted.

5. A gasket according to claim 4 wherein said flap has a normally unstressed position lying in a plane parallel to said major faces of the door.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Wurtz 49-483 X Kesling 49-483 X Moore et a1 49-483 X Roberts 49-370 X Stinson.

6 3,070,852 1/1963 Hilliker 49-483 X 1,763,603 6/1930 Donahue 49-489 X 3,382,618 5/1968 Townsend 49-483 DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner PHILIP C. KANNAN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US3952455 *Jan 20, 1975Apr 27, 1976The Pantasote CompanySealing gasket
US4069618 *Sep 8, 1976Jan 24, 1978All-Shield Enclosures, Inc.Radiant resistant closure assembly
US4288135 *Oct 11, 1979Sep 8, 1981Whirlpool CorporationFrench door refrigerator seal
US4656783 *Apr 5, 1984Apr 14, 1987Pentti AhonenInsulation of structures
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U.S. Classification49/483.1, 49/498.1, 49/493.1
International ClassificationF25D23/08, F16J15/53
Cooperative ClassificationF25D23/087, F25D2323/021
European ClassificationF25D23/08B2