|Publication number||US3525190 A|
|Publication date||Aug 25, 1970|
|Filing date||Oct 28, 1968|
|Priority date||Oct 28, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3525190 A, US 3525190A, US-A-3525190, US3525190 A, US3525190A|
|Inventors||Orson V Saunders, Milton G Betz|
|Original Assignee||Gen Motors Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (17), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Aug. 25, 1970 o. v. SAUNDERS ETAL 3,5
REFRIGERATOR DOOR TRIM AND PANEL MOUNTING STRIP Filed Oct. 28, 1968 I N VEN TORS H 7' TORNEY United States Patent US. Cl. 52-624 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In preferred form, an appliance door trim and panel mounting assembly including vertical and horizontal trim members supported on each edge of a front surface of an appliance door closure. Each of the vertical and horizontal trim members include first and second legs covering a door edge. A smooth outer surface mounting pin on the trim member is adjustably mounted in an axial bore of a plastic grommet seated in interlocked relationship with the front surface of the door to hold the trim members in place and to allow insertion of a panel in juxtaposed relationship with the front surface of the door closure merely by removal of the top horizontal trim member.
This invention relates to appliance doors and more particularly to door trim and panel mounting members for removably securing panels in juxtaposed relationship with the front surface of an appliance door or the like.
In order to reduce the cost of manufacturing domestic appliances it is desirable to standardize components of the finished appliances whereby a particular component, for example a door closure member, can be used on a wide number of different appliance models.
Furthermore, recent trends in decor and domestic design have incorporated the concept of applying decorative paneling of various materials and thickness to the exposed front surface of domestic appliance door closure members. Arrangements for fastening such appliances have been proposed which accomplish the purpose of retaining a decorative panel in juxtaposed relationship with the front face of an applicance door closure member. Such systems, typically however include screw elements, clip connectors and the like, all of which require special procedures and tools to install.
An object of the present invention is to simplify the installation of removable decorative panels on the front surface of an appliance door closure member by including a plurality of separate trim members that can be inserted on and removed from the front edges of the door closure member without the use of tools or the requirement of special installation training and wherein the strips can be either used as independent trim members on the door closure or as a means for adjustably mounting a decorative panel in juxtaposed relationship with the front face of the door closure and wherein the members are easily adapted for use with a plain surface door closure member by installation during manufacture of the appliance or by installation on the door closure member when the appliance is at a field location.
In practicing the invention and to attain the above object and other like objects in a preferred embodiment of the invention each of the trim members is formed as a multi-legged strip adapted to fit over a front edge of the door closure member. The legs of the member are formed to allow adjustment of the member toward and away from the front surface of the door while concealing the length of a plurality of smooth surfaced mounting and adjusting pins that are adapted to he slidably received within plastic grommets fixed in the 'front edge of the door closure member. Each of the pins is carried on a clip that is seated within the trim member and concealed thereby during adjusted positioning of the trim member with respect to the door closure member. The trim member further includes a formation on one of its legs that serves to limit movement toward the door closure member to an extent that would cause the pin supporting clip members to deform in a manner to separate the trim member away from a trim covered edge segment on the door closure member.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a two-door refrigerator wherein the invention is shown in place on one of the doors and is shown in an exploded relationship with respect to the other of the doors.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrow.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 looking in the direction of the arrow;
FIG. 4- is an enlarged vertical sectional View taken substantially along the line 44 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view of an adjustable connector of the invention.
Referring now to the drawing, in FIG. 1 a domestic refrigerator 10 is illustrated having an upper door 12 and a lower door 14 of the type vertically hinged on one side thereof for opening and closing movement with respect to access openings into an upper food storage compartment and a bottom freezer, respectively.
The refrigerator and door arrangement are merely representative of one suitable domestic appliance in which it is desirable to have a door closure component standardized for use on various models ranging from a low priced type unit without trim to a higher cost unit having edge trim and a readily removable decorative panel that can be inserted and removed from the front of the refrigerator or appliance door to provide different decors. In FIG. 1 vertical trim members 16, 18 are shown in place on either side of the upper door 12. An upper horizontal trim member 20 joins the upper ends of the side trim members 16, 18 and a lower horizontal trim member 22 joins the lower edges of the trim members 16, 18 to form a box frame trim around the outside edges of the front of the upper door 12.
In FIG. 1 the relative relationship of like vertical and horizontal trim members and a decorative panel are shown in an exploded relationship with respect tothe lower door 14. The vertical side trim members on the lower door 14 and the upper and lower horizontal trim members are all designated with primed numerals, it being understood that they correspond to like members on the upper door 12 except for the reduction in length of the trim member 16, 18. On the upper door 12 a decorative panel 24 overlies the front of the door 12 and a panel 24 is secured by the trim components when in place on the lower door 14.
Referring now to the cross-sectional view of FIG. 2, the trim member 20 is illustrated as including an L- shaped cross section having a first leg 26 that overlies the upper margin of the front 28 of the upper door 12. The first leg includes an inwardly turned end 30 which defines a continuously formed inwardly located seat 32 along the length of the trim member 20*.
A second leg 34 of the trim member 20' is directed perpendicularly of the first leg 26 along the top of the upper door 12 through a substantial distance to a point at which it is bent to form a hooked end 36 located in the sliding engagement with the top 38 of the door 12. The end 36 defines a second inwardly located seat 37.
The first and second legs 26, 34 overlie and conceal the top edge of the door 12 and thereby serves a door trim function in the combination.
The members v16, 18 and 22 all include like features to conceal the side and bottom edges of door 12. On member 20 a product medallion 39 is secured as seen in FIG. 4.
In addition to concealing the top edge of the door 12 the trim member 20 and the like side vertical trim members 16, 18 along with the lower horizontal trim member 22 each conceal a plurality of trim member connector assemblies 40 located along the length thereof and serving the purpose of adjustably securing the trim members for movement with respect to the concealed edges of the upper door 12 whereby the members 16, 18, 20, 22 can support the margin of variable thickness panels decorating the front or face of the upper door 12.
More particularly, in accordance with certain principles of the present invention, each of the trim member connector assemblies includes a spring clip 42 having a first leg 43 bent at 45 in the direction of the inwardly turned edge 30 to be supportingly received within the seat 32. The clip 42 further includes a second leg 44 joined to the first leg 43 by a transitional curved segment 46. The leg 44 is located in juxtaposed relationship with the inner surface of the second leg 34 and has a distal end thereon seated within the seat 37 formed by the hooked end 36 so as to be firmly secured to the second leg 34.
The hooked end 36 also constitutes means for separating the inner surface of the leg 34 from the door closure member to form a space 48 therebetween.
A mounting and adjusting pin 50 has one end thereof formed as a head 52 that is fixedly secured to the leg 43. The opposite end of the mounting and adjusting pin 50 is tapered at end 54 and between the head 52 and the end 54 the pin 50 has a smooth cylindrically shaped outer surface 56.
The pin 50 is inserted through a plastic retaining grommet 58 that includes a tapered end 60 thereon located interiorly of the door closure member 12. The opposite end of the grommet 58 is formed as a flanged head 62 that overlies the front 28 around an opening 64 therein through which the grommet 58 is fit so that the door front 28 is located in interlocking relationship within a continuously formed annular peripheral groove 66 in the grommet 58 between the flanged head 62 and the tapered end 60 thereof.
The grommet 58 includes an axial bore 68 therethrough which has a diameter substantially equal to that of the smooth cylindrical surface 56 whereby the pin 50 is in a good tight press fit seated relationship in the secured grommet 58.
In accordance with certain principles of the present invention, the degree of fit between the smooth surface pin 56 and the retaining grommet 58 enables the pin 50 to be readily moved with respect to the grommet 58 for adjusting the position of the vertical trim members 16, 18 and upper and lower horizontal trim members 20, 22 with respect to the front 28.
The second leg 44 of the trim member 20 and like legs on the other trim members, each has a length equal to that of the pin 50 secured to the clip 42 whereby a trim member will in addition to concealing the corner edge of the door closure 12 further serve the function of concealing the length of the pin 50 when viewed from the side as seen in FIG. 4. Thus the trim members can be adjustably positioned outwardly of the front 28 so that the inwardly turned edges 30 thereon are located in spaced relationship to the front 28 to thereby define a space in which is located the panel 24. The inwardly turned edge 30 is pulled inwardly against the outer surface of the panel 24 along the front parametrical margin thereof by the adjusting pins 50 and the trim member leg 34 will hold against the door closure 12 to firmly secure the trim members in place along the edges of the panel 24.
The bottom horizontal trim member 22 is identical to the upper horizontal trim member 20. The side trim members 16, 18 are identical to the above-described upper horizontal trim member except having greater length and as seen in FIG. 1 the joints between the adjacently located trim members are mitered to closely fit one another at the ends thereof.
Another feature of the above-described invention is that a decorative panel such as that illustrated at 24 can be omitted from the assembly in which case each of the trim members 16, 18, 20, 22 are pushed inwardly toward the front 28 so that the pin 50 will move from the position shown in FIG. 2 inwardly of the door member until the edge 30 is in engagement with the front 28. At this location, which is shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2, the edge 30 serves as a stop to maintain a separation between the spring clip 46 and the concealed corner edge of the door closure 12. By virtue of the provision of the inwardly turned end 30 of the trim member the clips 46 are held out of engagement with the door 12. This prevents a fiexure in the clip member 42 that might cause the leg 44 to spread away from the door thereby to produce a spacing between the trim strip and the door in which clothing or the like might undesirably catch. Such separation is also undesirable from an appearance standpoint.
By virtue of the above-described arrangement if it is desired to insert a panel such as 24 the upper horizontal trim member 20 and the trim member 16 are removed merely by applying finger pressure to the trim strips and pulling straight out from the front 28. If desired a small fiat edged tool can be inserted between the inwardly turned edges 30 and the exposed surface of the front 28.
The panel 24 is slipped behind the edge 30 on the bottom horizontal trim member and fit against the adjusting pins that secure the side trim member 18 to the door 12. The upper horizontal trim member and side trim member 16 are then relocated onto the door 12 by inserting the adjusting and mounting pins 50 into their respective receiving grommets 58 until the inwardly turned ends 30 thereon press against the margin of the inserted decorative panel 24 at its door opening edge and top edge for seeming it in place on the front 28.
The above-described invention enables a basic appliance door component or member to serve as a base unit for a wide range of appliance models. For example, the door can be used as a member without decorative trim. Alternatively, an appliance door like refrigerator door 12 of the illustrated arrangement can be drilled and inserted with the retaining grommets 58 at spaced apart points along the parametrical boundary or margin thereof and then have vertical trim members and upper and lower horizontal trim members inserted in place thereon to serve as a marginal box frame around the edges of the door.
A still further potential modification is that where the base door unit is boxed in by the aforedescri'bed trim members and wherein the trim members are adjusted outwardly of the door to form a space between the inwardly turned edges thereon and the exposed surface of the front of the door in which is located a decorative panel of wood, plastic, carpet, linoleum, cloth or the like from a relative paper-thin thickness up to a thickness of in the order of one-quarter inch.
In each of the potential alternative uses of the aforementioned trim and panel mounting assembly the changes can be accomplished by a person without any specialized training or ability to service domestic appliances and can furthermore be carried out with a minimum number of tools.
Furthermore, the assembly can be used to accommodate a wide range of different kinds of panels merely by removing the separate ones of the trim members from the door, removing the old panel and discarding .it and replacing it with a new model. By virtue of this type of an approach the appliance is easily adapted for a wide variety of decor suited for a particular season or a particular location in which the domestic appliance is located.
While the embodiments ofthe present invention as herein disclosed constitute a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
What is claimed is:
1. A panel mounting strip assembly comprising an elongated member having a first leg with an inwardly turned edge thereon defining an inwardly located seat, said elongated member including a second leg thereon located generally perpendicularly to said first leg and including a hooked end segment thereon defining a second seat located interiorly of said member, a plurality of clip members located at spaced apart points along the length of said elongated member, each of said clips including a first leg located in close spaced parallelism with said first leg of said elongated member, said first spring clip leg including a bent edge segment thereon supported by said first interiorly located seat, each of said clips including a second leg thereon having its distal end secured in said second seat and being located in juxtaposed relationship with the inside of said second leg of the elongated member, a pin having one end thereof fixedly secured to said first clip leg and including a smooth outer surface throughout the length thereof and an inwardly tapered distal portion, a plastic grommet including an insertable tapered end segment on one end thereof and a retaining flange on the opposite end thereof, a groove between said retaining flange and said insertable tapered segment adapted to fit within an opening in a front surface of a door closure member, said pin being insertable through said grommet and freely slidably adjustable with respect thereto for positioning the inwardly turned edge of said first leg of said elongated member in engagement with or in spaced relationship with respect to a front surface on a door closure member whereby said panel mounting strip can serve to cover a corner edge of a door closure member or to define a panel receiving space between the inwardly turned edge of said elongated member and a front surface of a door closure member merely by pushing or pulling the panel mounting strip with respect to a door closure member.
2. A door trim assembly for domestic appliances comprising, first and second vertical trim members fit over the side edges of an appliance door closure, a top and bottom trim member fit over the top and bottom edges of a door, said vertical trim members and said top and bottom trim members together forming a frame around the front edges of said door, each of said trim members including a first leg and a second leg thereon, said first leg including an inwardly turned edge thereon adjacent the front of said door, a plurality of plastic grommets directed through the front surface of said door, a plurality of elongated pins, means connecting one end of each of said plurality of pins to said trim member, each of said plurality of pins having a free end thereon directed through one of said grommets and being located interiorly of said door, each of said pins having a smooth outer surface throughout its length and being freely slidably adjustable within one of said grommets for movement into and out of the door, said second leg on each of said side trim members having a length greater than the length of each of said pins whereby said pins are hidden by said second leg at any point in their adjusted relationship with respect to said grommets, said inwardly turned edge on each of said trim members serving as a stop to limit inward movement of said pins interiorly of said door, said trim members movable from their seated relationship with said door by pulling said trim members straight outwardly of the door front surface whereby said smooth surfaced pins slip exteriorly of said retaining grommet to locate said inwardly turned edges of said trim members outwardly of said front surface of said door, said top one of said trim members being removable to enable a decorative panel insert to be slipped into a space defined by the inwardly turned edges of the side trim members and the bottom trim member when in their outwardly adjusted postion, said trim members holding an inserted panel member in place when said inwardly turned edges on said trim members engage the front surface of the inserted panel surrounding the edges thereof.
3. A door trim assembly for domestic appliances comprising, first and second vertical trim members fit over the side edges of an appliance door closure, a top and a bottom trim member fit over the top and bottom edges of a door, said vertical trim members and said top and bottom trim members together forming a frame around the front edges of said door, each of said trim members including a first leg and a second leg thereon, said first leg including an inwardly turned edge thereon adjacent the front of said door, a plurality of spring clips located within each of said trim members, each of said spring clips including an edge portion supportingly received by said inwardly turned edge on said front surface, each of said spring clips including a portion located in juxtaposed relationship with said second trim member leg, said second trim member leg including a hooked end thereon, said spring clip portion having a distal end received by said hooked end for interlocking said clip within said trim member, a plastic grommet directed through the front surface of said door, an elongated pin on each of said clips and having one end thereof fixedly secured to said clip and a free end thereon directed through said grommet and being located interiorly of said door, each of said pins having a smooth outer surface throughout its length and being freely slidably adjustable within said grommet for movement into and out of the door, said second leg on each of said side trim members having a length greater than the length of each of said pins whereby said pins are hidden by said second leg at any point in their adjusted relationship with respect to said grommets, said inwardly turned edge on each of said trim members serving as a stop to limit inward movement of said pins interiorly of said door, said spring clips being maintained out of engagement with the side corners of said door when said inwardly turned edges are in engagement with the front surface of said door to prevent said clips from being flexed in a direction to separate said second legs of said trim members and said door, said trim members movable from their seated relationship with said door by pulling said trim members straight outwardly of the door front surface whereby said smooth surfaced pins slip exteriorly of said retaining grommet to locate said inwardly turned edges of said trim members outwardly of said front surface of said door, said top one of said trim members being removable to enable a decorative panel insert to be slipped into a space defined by the inwardly turned edges of the side trim members and the bottom trim member when in their outwardly adjusted position, said 7 trim members holding an inserted panel member in place when said inwardly turned edges on said trim members engage the front surface of the inserted panel surrounding the edges thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,195,318 3/1940 Modray 52-614 2,646,325 7/1953 Abrahamson 52F7l8 X 3,077,251 2/1963 8 3,169,281 2/1965 Clements 52-498 X 3,328,927 7/1967 Kates 52311 X FOREIGN PATENTS 907,232 10/1962 Great Britain.
ALFRED C. PERHAM, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
Fraylick et a1 52-718 m 52--311, 3580
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|U.S. Classification||52/784.15, 52/512, 411/509, 24/290, 411/913, 411/339|
|International Classification||F25D23/02, F25D23/08|
|Cooperative Classification||F25D23/02, F25D2400/18, F25D23/082, Y10S411/913|
|European Classification||F25D23/08B, F25D23/02|