US 3469622 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 30, 1969 e. R. YEHLE HEAT EXCHANGER CQNVECTOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 29, 1967 FIG. 2
FIG 5 as g 64 INVENTOR. 66 56 GERALD R. YEI-ILE FIG. 3
ATTORNEY Sept. 30, 1969 G. R. YEHLE HEAT EXCHANGER CQNVECTOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 5;
Filed Nov. 29, 1967 FIG.
I N VENTOR. GERALD R. YEHLE QM i z m ATTORNEY United States Patent US. Cl. 165-55 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A baseboard convector having a tubular heat exchanger element provided with a plurality of parallel spaced rectangular air contacting fins wherein tabs struck from each corner thereof extend between the fins to form columns merely at the corners thereof for supporting the fins with minimum obstruction to air flowing around said tubular element. The heat exchanger element and fins are supported for sliding movement upon a bracket via a plastic cradle which is attached to the fin tabs. An optional damper mounting arrangement permits the use of either an infinitely adjustable or merely a two position damper for controlling the convection air current over the heat exchanger.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to heat exchangers employing an elongated heat exchanger element such as a tube for conducting either a hot or cold heat exchange fluid. A plurality of fins, in the form of very thin rectangular aluminum plates having a central aperture, are mounted via said aperture in parallel relationship spaced longitudinally on the heat exchanger element for conducting heat between surrounding air and said elongated element. Since the plates are extremely thin (in the range of .0095 to 0.110 inch) it is common practice to provide the fins with some form of interconnection so that one fin may lean on and find support from other adjacent fins whereby the fins are not easily bent or damaged during handling of the heat exchanger. These interconnecting supports may be in the form of separate members or made integral with the fin plates. Most of these supports are objectionable for one or more of several reasons. Many of these devices do not adequately support the corners of the fin which are the most vulnerable areas subject to damage. Some interconnecting supports which extend along the full side of the fin adversely restrict air flow around the heat exchanger element. Others which are formed from the fin utilize an excessive amount of material for the support which would be better utilized as an effective heat transfer surface. And in still other forms, the supports are not so oriented as to present a support column which extends without discontinuities traversing many fins. It is with these disadvantages in mind that the instant invention was conceived.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a heat exchanger with an interfin support means which obviates the above-mentioned disadvantages of the prior art schemes. To this end I provide a fin structure wherein the interfin support means comprises a plurality of tabs which are formed from each corner of each fin which tabs abut the next adjacent fin and are oriented in alignment with each other thereby forming a continuous support column at each corner of the heat exchanger fin matrix. Only those areas of the fin which are most remote from the heat exchanger element are utilized for this structural purpose. All sides of the fins are left open whereby convection air currents are accord- 3,469,522 Patented Sept. 30, 1969 ice ingly not unduly restricted between a closed side and the heat exchanger element. No support, separate from the fin, is required and a minimum of fin material is used for this support member. In addition this invention eliminates the sharp corners of the fin matrix and makes for easier handling of the heat exchanger element.
This invention involves an elongated heat exchanger element; at least three generally parallel spaced rectangular plate fins mounted in heat conductive relationship on said element; each of said fins extending vertically and having top, bottom, front, and rear edges; a vertical step in each of said top and bottom edges adjacent each of said corners; a tab extending generally normal to the plane of said fins from the vertical extent of each of said steps; and means cooperating with the free terminal end portion of each tab for retaining said end portions in abutting relationship with an adjacent fin whereby said tabs at each corresponding corner define a continuous fin supporting column between said fins without obstructing air flow in the area vertically intermediate said corners.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent as this specification proceeds to describe the invention in detail with reference to the accompanying drawing wherein like elements have been designated by like numerals throughout and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a transverse vertical section of a baseboard convector incorporating the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevational view of a portion of the baseboard unit of FIGURE 1 with the lower portion of the front cover face removed to disclose the heat exchanger and a means for supporting the same;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the plastic cradle used in supporting the heat exchanger shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a front elevation of the cradle element shown in FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the cradle element taken at line 55 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged detail view of a portion of the novel heat exchanger fin as indicated at line 6-6 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the heat exchanger and cradle support taken at line '7-7 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 8 is an enlarged View similar to FIGURE 1 showing the baseboard damper and adjustment means therefor;
FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a spring clip used to support the baseboard damper for infinite adjustment; and
FIGURE 10 is a view similar to FIGURE 8 showing an alternative damper adjustment mans for the damper thereof.
Now referring to the drawing it will be seen that baseboard convector 10 includes a main body member 12 having vertical rear plate 14 which may be fastened with screws (not shown) or other appropriated means along the foot of a wall in abutting relationship therewith. Main body member 12 has a leg 16 extending from the upper edge of plate 14 horizontally outward from the wall and terminating with a downwardly extending upper flange 18. The lower margin of rear plate 14 is turned outwardly from the wall and terminates with an upwardly projecting lower flange 20. It will be appreciated that main body member 12 including plate 14, leg 16 and flanges 18 and 20 extend in the horizontal direction the full length of the baseboard convector. Only a short segment of this length is shown in FIGURE 2.
Spaced longitudinally along the main body 12 are a plurality of main support brackets 22. For purposes of illustration only one such bracket is shown. Bracket 22 has a mounting portion in the form of a vertically extending strip 24 abutting in face-to-face relationship with the front side of rear plate 14. The upper and lower portions of strip 24 are angled outwardly from the wall to be resiliently received respectively within the bight areas formed by flanges 18 and 20. Since strip 22 is locked in position only by its configuration with respect to that of main body 12 and pressure exerted by the resiliency of these members, it will be readily appreciated that bracket 22 may be positioned or removed as desired simply by flexing these members.
Bracket 22 has an upper support leg 26 and a lower support leg 28 each of which is rooted at a vertical edge of strip 22. Each of legs 26 and 28 lie in a vertical plane to offer minimum resistance to vertical air movement through the baseboard convector. The upper edge of lower leg 28 is provided with a horizontally extending flange 30 the upper surface of which forms a platform upon which the convector heat exchanger 32 is slidably supported via plastic cradle 34. The forward portion of flange 30 terminates in a flange 36 having an inverted U-shaped cross section.
Upper leg 26 has at its terminal end an upwardly extending protuberance 38. The baseboard convector has a front closing panel 40 which extends the length thereof. The upper edge of panel 40 is provided with an inverted U-shaped flange 42 which overlies and engages protuberance 38 of each of brackets 22. The lower edge of panel 40 is provided with a V-shaped flange 44 which engages the forward leg of flange 36 of each bracket 22. Thus front closing panel 40 is effectively locked in position by flanges 36 and protuberances 38 of brackets 22. Removal of panel 40 may be accomplished simply by flexing the bracket members.
Referring now to the heat exchanger 32 it will be seen that said heat exchanger includes an elongated tubular element 46 extending longitudinally of the convector 10. A plurality of planar parallel spaced fins 48 of generally rectangular configuration are mounted in normal relationship along tube 46 via fin collars 50. A tab 52 has been slit and struck from the corner of each fin thereby forming a step in the upper and lower edges of the fin at the corners thereof. Tabs 52 extend from the vertical extent of said steps normally toward an adjacent fin in contiguous relationship therewith. The terminal portion of each tab 52 is provided with a narrow flange 64 in face-toface abutting relationship to the adjacent fin (FIG. 6). The overall strength and resistance to damage during handling of heat exchanger element 32 is improved by this intersupporting relationship of the fins. It should be appreciated that the tabs 52 are aligned as to define a continuous support column at each corner of the fin matrix. These tabs do not restrict the air flow at the sides of the fins in the areas designated by numeral 55.
Referring now to the heat exchanger cradle support as illustrated in FIGURES 3, 4, 5 and 7 it will be seen that cradle 34 includes a front portion 56 and a rear portion '58. These portions are identical and description of the front portion will apply equally to the rear portion. Front portion 56 includes an elongated horizontally extending bar 60 of generally rectangular cross section and adapted to slide longitudinally on the upper side of bracket flange 30. Spaced longitudinally of bar 60 and located adjacent one side thereof are two upstanding rigid columns 62. A second bar 64 extending in parallel relation to bar 60 is connected to the other side of bar 60 via an integrally molded hinge 66. Extending transversely from the side of bar 64 remote from hinge 66 is a pair of pawls 68 which are longitudinally coextensive with columns 62. Each pawl 68 is so formed as to latch into place over the upper end of a column 62 when bar 64 is pivoted with respect to bar 60 at hinge 66 thereby leaving a space 70 (FIGURES 4, 5, and 7) encompassed by column 62, bar 60, bar 64 and pawl 68.
For purposes of illustration, FIGURES 3 and 4 show the front portion of cradle 34 in the latched position and the rear portion in the unlatched position. The front and rear positions are interconnected by webs 72 which extend between respective columns 62 of the front and rear portions. All the elements of cradle 34 including hinges 66 are pressure molded as an integral unit.
Cradle 34 is fitted to the underside of the heat exchanger 32. The bar 64 and pawls 68 are pivoted from an unlatched position to a latched position entrapping several of tabs 52 within spaces 70 (see FIGURE 7) whereby cradle 34 is held on heat exchanger 32. It will be noted that the width and spacing of pawls 68, columns 62 and webs 72 is such as to permit these portions of the cradle to be interposed between fins 48. The cradle will not become detached during handling and installation of the heat exchange.
During operation, the underside of cradle bars 60 presents a smooth low friction surface for sliding on bracket flanges 30 to accommodate the well known longitudinal expansion and contraction of the heat exchanger element in a noiseless manner. Transverse movement of the heat exchanger may be contained by the abutment of the front and rear sides of the crade 34 against U-shaped flange 36 and a vertically extending raised rib 74 in strip 24 respectively as shown in FIGURE 1.
Referring now to FIGURES l, 2 8, 9 and 10 it will be seen that the upper support leg 26 of bracket 22 has an upwardly extending protuberance 76 on the upper side intermediate the ends thereof. Protuberance 76 has a flat upwardly forwardly inclined rear edge 78 and a down- Wardly forwardly inclined front edge 80. Protuberance 76 has a through-going circular aperture 82.
The elongated space between upper flange 18 and U- shaped flange 42 constitutes the air discharge outlet for the baseboard convector 10. The amount of air passing through this space is controlled by an elongated damper 84 arranged within this discharge outlet. The longitudinal edges of damper 84 are each provided with U-shaped flanges 86 and 88.
The damper 84 as shown in FIGURES 1 and 8 is supported by a spring clip 90. Spring clip 90' has a central loop portion 92 the terminal ends 94 and 96 of which are retained within the U-shaped flanges 86 and 88 respectively. By simply compressing the loop 92, clip 90 may be inserted or removed from its position within the flanges 86 and 88 of damper 84. The central loop portion has a U-shaped ear 98 which extends in a plane normal to damper 84. One leg of the U-shaped ear 98 has a projectment 100 extending toward the other leg and is received in aperture 82 when protuberance 76 is received in the bight portion of ear 98. Clip 90 and thus damper 84 may accordingly be manually pivoted at projectment 100 in aperture 82. The resilient legs of U-shaped ear 98 exert suflicient frictional pressure on protuberance 76 to hold damper 84 in any position to which it may be adjusted. The dash-dot-dot line position of damper 84 in FIGURE 8 is merely one of an infinite number of adjusted positions.
FIGURE 10 shows a modified alternative damper arrangement. Damper 84 is the same as that shown in FIG- URE 8; however, spring clip 90 is not included. Damper 84 of FIGURE 10 may be alternatively positioned in the wide open position resting by gravitational force on edge 78 of protuberance 76 as shown in dash-dot-dot line (FIGURE 10) or in the closed position resting by gravitational force on edge 80 of protuberance 76 as shown in full line. Thus, because protuberance 76 is provided with pivot center aperture 82 between inclined edges 78 and 80, it may be utilized in the altrnative to support a two position damper or an infinitely adjustable damper, whichever the consumer may prefer.
Having now described in detail the preferred embodiments of the invention, it is contemplated that many changes may be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention which is limited only by the claims.
1. A heat exchanger apparatus comprising: an elongated heat exchanger element; at least three adjacent generally parallel spaced rectangular plate fins mounted in heat conductive relationship on said element; each of said fins extending vertically and having top, bottom, front, and rear edges; a vertical step in each of said top and bottom edges adjacent each of said corners; a tab having a free end and extending at each of said corners from the vertical extent of each of said steps; each of said tabs extending in a common direction generally normal to the plane of said fins; and means cooperating with the free end portion of each tab for retaining said free end portions in abutting relationship with an adjacent fin whereby said tabs at each corresponding corner define a continuous fin supporting column through said fins without obstructing air flow in the area vertically intermediate said steps.
2. The apparatus as defined by claim 1 wherein said means cooperating with the free terminal end portion of each tab includes a flange on said end portion disposed in a plane generally parallel to said fins, the face of said flange being in face-to-face abutting relationship with an adjacent fin.
3. The apparatus as defined by claim 2 wherein said flanges extend from said tabs in a direction toward an opposite corneij of said fins.
4. The apparatus as defined by claim 1 wherein each of said fins includes a collar for receiving said heat exchange element and wherein said collar extends normally from the plane of said fin in the same direction as said tabs.
5. A heat exchanger apparatus comprising: a plurality of generally planar rectangular fins of similar configuration arranged in parallel superposed spaced relationship; each of said fins having a top edge, a bottom edge, a front edge and a rear edge; each of said fins defining an aperture generally centrally of said edges; an elongated cylindrical heat exchanger element extending through said apertures in heat conductive relationship to said fins; a slit in each of said fins extending inwardly from said front and rear edges adjacent each of the corners thereof; a portion of each of said fins above said slits at the upper corners and below said slits at the lower corners defining a tab having a free end and extending longitudinally of said elongated heat exchanger element to an adjacent fin; and a flange at the free end of each of said tabs; the face of said flange being disposed in abutting relationship with the face of an adjacent fin; the fin areas aligned between said upper and lower slits on each of said front and rear edges of each of said fins lying in the plane of the major portion of said fin generally normal to said tab.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,951,958 3/1934 Young 182 2,426,107 8/1947 Kramer 165-182 3,250,318 5/1966 Person et al. 165-55 ROBERT A. OLEARY, Primary Examiner C. SUKALO, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 165--67. 182