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Publication numberUS3583076 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 8, 1971
Filing dateApr 3, 1969
Priority dateApr 3, 1969
Publication numberUS 3583076 A, US 3583076A, US-A-3583076, US3583076 A, US3583076A
InventorsDonald E Marshall
Original AssigneeDonald E Marshall
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary machine and method for drying clothes and the like
US 3583076 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

2 Sheets-Sheet 1 D. E. MARSHALL ROTARY MACHINE AND METHOD FOR DRYING CLOTHES AND THE LIKE Filed April 5, 1969 June 8, 1971 INVIL'N'I'UR, D0 E 4/ 2 /444 BY dffO/QWEV FIE! June 8, 1971 D. E. MARSHALL ROTARY MACHINE AND METHOD FOR DRYING CLOTHES AND THE LIKE Filed April 3, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I N V1 N l ()R 1% Mes/m4 BY United States Patent Oifice 3,583,076 ROTARY MACHINE AND METHOD FOR DRYING CLOTHES AND THE LIKE Donald E. Marshall, 4904 Sunnyside Road, Minneapolis, Minn. 55424 Filed Apr. 3, 1969, Ser. No. 813,055 Int. Cl. F26b 5/08 US. Cl. 34-8 17 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved machine and method for drying clothes and the like, wherein the clothes to be dried are rotated at a relatively high speed in a rotating chamber so that the clothes form and maintain an annular layer about the axis of rotation of the chamber. Novel fan blade and plenum chamber assemblies are mounted on the rotating chamber and are utilized to continuously force air, under pressure, into the rotating chamber and thus into the annular layer of clothes so as to fluidize or fluff the clothes in the annular layer. At least a portion of the air exhausted from the chamber is reintroduced or recirculated back into the chamber.

Periodically, the rotational speed of the chamber is abruptly reduced from the high speed to an intermediate speed below that necessary to maintain the annular layer of clothes whereby the clothes in the chamber are tumbled, fiuffed and rearranged in the chamber. Almost immediately after a speed reduction, the speed of the chamber is again increased to the high speed so that the annular layer of clothes is reformed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improved machine and method for drying clothes and the like, and more particularly to an improved clothes drying machine and method which enables the drying operation to be completed relatively quickly and which minimizes wrinkling of the clothes during the drying operation.

Generally, the presently available machines for drying clothes and the like comprise a rotatable, perforated chamber in which the clothes to be dried are placed. The chamber is rotated at a relatively low speed so that the clothes therein are continuously tumbled. An air manifold or a similar structure is positioned adjacent to the side of the chamber and is utilized to force heated air into the chamber and across the clothes therein. After passing across the clothes, the air is exhausted from the rotating chamber and then from the machine. While these presently available machines generally perform satisfactorily, it takes a relatively long period of time to complete the drying operation. Moreover, if relatively high temperature air is utilized in the machine to attempt to reduce the time required for the drying operation, the clothes may become wrinkled because of the heat.

Also in the past, washing machines having a so-called spin dry cycle and commercial water extraction machines have been used to reduce the moisture content of wet clothes. In these machines, the clothes are rotated at a high speed in a chamber having a perforated side wall so that a large portion of the water in the clothes is forced out of the clothes and chamber by centrifugal force. However, in these machines, the clothes become pressed or plastered against the side wall of the chamber and are not completely dried. In fact, after the spin dry cycle or the extracting cycle has been completed, further drying, such as in a conventional drying machine, is required before the clothes are considered to be dry within the normal meaning of the word.

3,583,076 Patented June 8, 1971 SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE In contrast to the foregoing, the improved machine and method of the present invention permits clothes and the like to be dried relatively quickly and without excessive wrinkling of the clothes because of the use of excessive heat. This is achieved by rotating the clothes in a chamber at a high speed sufiicient to cause the clothes to form and maintain an annular layer about the axis of rotation of the chamber. A relatively large volume of pressurized air is forced into the chamber during rotation thereof so as to fluidize or fluff the clothes in the annular layer. The air is then exhausted from the chamber and at least a portion of the air is reintroduced or recirculated back into the chamber and thus into and through the annular layer of clothes. As a result of the formation of the annular layer, a much greater surface area of the clothes is exposed to the air flow and this plus the continual passage of the large volume of air over and through the clothes causes thorough and relatively quick drying of the clothes. Although the air introduced into the chamber may be, and is frequently, heated, the temperature of the air need not be particularly high, and certainly not high enough to cause excessive wrinkling, since the drying is primarily caused by rapid and continual flow of air through and over the clothes. To assure complete drying of the clothes in the shortest possible time, the speed of the chamber is periodically, abruptly reduced to an intermediate speed below that necessary to maintain the annular layer of clothes in the rotating chamber. Thus, while the chamber is rotating at this intermediate speed, the clothes therein are tumbled and thus rearranged and further flulfed, both by the tumbling and by the air being introduced into the chamber. Almost immediately after the speed reduction, the chamber is returned to the high speed so that the clothes are reformed into the annular layer.

More specifically, the air is introduced into the cylindrical chamber through a plurality of holes formed in the end walls of the chamber, the holes being equispaced about the periphery of the chamber and adjacent to but spaced radially inwardly from the side Wall of the charm be'r. Novel fan and plenum chamber assemblies are mounted on the exterior faces of the end walls of the chamber and are utilized to force air into the rotating chamber through the holes. A central aperture is formed in the top end wall and is used to exhaust air from the rotating chamber. An air filter is positioned adjacent to the aperture and is used to filter the air exhausted from the chamber so that at least a portion of this air can be recirculated and reintroduced back into the chamber by the fan and plenum chamber assemblies.

The central aperture formed in the top, end wall of the machine is also used for loading and unloading clothes to and from the chamber. The radius of the aperture is approximately equal to one-half the radius of the end wall, and the size of the aperture facilitates loading and unloading of the clothes. In addition, the loading and unloading of the machine from the top eliminates the disadvantages of present side loading driers in that the user does not have to bend over to put the damp clothes in the machine. Also, a larger quantity of clothes may be loaded into the machine of the present invention, as compared to side loading machines, since the clothes cannot fall out of the machine through the opening as may happen in overloading side loading machines.

Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method for drying clothes and the like wherein the clothes can be dried relatively quickly and wrinkle free, as compared to preently available clothes drying machines.

Another object'of the present invention is to provide an improved"machine and method 'of the type described wherein the clothes are rotated in a chamber at a relatively high speed so thaththe clothes form and maintain an annular layer about the axis of rotation of the chamber; wherein air underpressure is continuously introduced into the chamber and thus into the annular layer so as to fluidize or fluff the clothes in the annular layer; and wherein periodically, abruptly the rotational speed of the chamber is reduced from the high speed to an intermediatev speed below that necessary to maintain the annular layer so that the clothes are tumbled and thus rearranged and further fluffed in the rotating chamber. A related object of the present invention is to provide an improvedmachine and method of the type described wherein the speed of the rotating chamber is increased again to the high speed from the intermediate speed, alrnost immediately after a speed reduction, so that the annular layer of clothes is reformed.

v Stillanother object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method of the type described wherein the air is introduced into the rotating, cylindrical chamber through a plurality of holes formed in the end walls of the chamber, the holes being equispaced about the chamber and adjacent to, but spaced radially inwardly from, the side wall of the chamber; and wherein novel fan and plenum chamber assemblies are mounted on the exterior faces of the end walls of the chamber and utilized to force the air under pressure through the holes and into the annular layer of clothes. A related object of the invention is to provide an improved machine and method of the type described wherein a central aperture is formed in one of the end walls of the rotating chamber through which air in the chamber may be exhausted; wherein the size of the aperture is large, relative to the size of the one end wall, so as to facilitate loading and unloading clothes to and from the chamber; and wherein a filter means is positioned adjacent to the aperture to filter exhausted air from the chamber so that the air may be reintroduced and recirculated back into the chamber by the fan and plenum chamber assemblies.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved machine and method of the type described wherein the rotating chamber is positioned in a closed compartment so as to assure that at least a portion of the air exhausted from the rotating chamber is recirculated and reintroduced back into the chamber; wherein fresh air is introduced into the compartment and moisture saturated air is exhausted from the compartment during the drying operation; and wherein an air heating means is utilized to selectively heat the fresh air introduced into the compartment.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from the accompanying specification, claims and drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a vertical cross-sectional view of an improved machine embodying the principles of the present invention.

, FIG. 2 is a partial, vertical cross-sectional view taken along lines 22 in FIG. 1.

, FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a fan and plenum chamber utilized in the machine shown in FIG. 1.

.FIG. 4 is a horizontal cross-sectional view taken along lines 4--4 in FIG. 1 and showing the clothes in the rotating chamber formed in an annular layer about the axis of rotation of the chamber.

FIG. 5 is a partial, vertical cross-sectional view of the rotating chamber used in the improved machine of the present invention and shows the clothes in the rotating chamber being tumbled in the chamber during a period in which the chamber is rotating at an intermediate speed.

. 4 Y I DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED n EMBODIMENT An improved machine embodying the principles of the present invention is shown generally at 11. The machine 11 includes a sheet metal cabinet 12 which includes a front wall 13, a top wall 14, a rear wall 15, a bottom wall 16, side walls, not shown, and a wall 17 which divides the interior of the cabinet into an upper compartment 18 and a lower compartment 19. The upper compartment 18 is constructed so as to prevent the leakage of gas from the interior thereof during the operation of the machine.

An aperture 21 is formed in the central portion of the top wall 14. A tube 22 is secured within the aperture 21 so that the tube projects downwardly from the top wall 14 or, in other words, so that the lower end 23 of the tube 22 extends within the interior of the upper compartment 18. The lower portion of the tube 22, i.e., the portion thereof positioned within the compartment 14, is perforated so that air may pass from the interior of the tube into the interior of the compartment. A conventional, annular air filter 24 is positioned within the tube '22 and is designed to permit gas to pass radially, with respect to the central longitudinal axis of the tube, through the filter. The air filter 24 is utilized to filter and remove any lint, dust or like materials entrained in the exhausted air. A removable cover '25 tightly closes the upper end of the tube 22 so as to prevent leakage of air from the tube to the exterior of the compartment 18.

An exhaust conduit 26 is mounted on the top wall 14, and is in communication with the interior of the com partment 18 so as to permit a portion of the air in the upper compartment to be exhausted therefrom.

A generally cylindrical, rotatable, clothes receiving chamber 28 is mounted within the interior of the compartment 18 on the flanged end 29 of a rotatable shaft 31. The chamber 28 is arranged and positioned within the compartment so that the central longitudinal axis of the chamber 28, shaft 31 and the tube 22 are coaxial and are substantially vertical. The shaft 31 projects into the compartment 18 through an aperture 32 formed in the wall 17. Conventional shaft bearings 33 and a conventional shaft seal 34 are mounted in the aperture 32 about the shaft 31.

The dimensions of the interior of the compartment 18 are such that when the chamber 28 is 'positioned within the compartment, as shown in FIG. 1, there is ample clearance between the chamber and the walls defining the compartment 18 whereby the chamber 28 may be rotated within the compartment at'relatively high speeds without danger of contact between the rotating chamber and the walls of the compartment 18.

In the lower compartment 19, a pair of sheaves or pulleys 35 are mounted on the lower end 36 of shaft 31 adjacent to the bearings 33. The sheaves 35 are adapted to be driven by the V-belts 37. Also in the compartment 19, a conventional two-speed electric motor 38 is mounted on a motor support 39, which in turn, is secured to the wall 16. The motor 38 is of the type which will permit the polarity of its windings to be reversed by changing the connections of the motor windings so that when the connections are reversed, the motor will act as a brake.

A pair of sheaves or pulleys 41 are mounted on an output shaft 42 of the motor 38. These sheaves 41 receive the V-belts 37 so that the motor 38 is connected with and selectively drives or brakes the shaft 31, and thus, the chamber 28.

A conventional air or gas blower 43 is connected with and is also driven by the motor 38. As shown in FIG. 1, the inlet 44 of the blower 43 communicates directly with the atmosphere, although, of course, the inlet 44 could be connected with other sources of gas or air. The outlet 45 of the blower 43 is connected by a conduit 46 with the exterior of the compartment 18. More particularly, the conduit 46 extends from the outlet 45 of the blower 43 1 an inlet 47 formed in the wall 17.

A conventional air heating unit, shown schematically at 48, is positioned adjacent the inlet 47. The function of the unit 48 is to heat the air being introduced into the compartment 18 from the blower 43 so that the heated air may be used during, at least a portion of, the cycle of operation of the machine 11 to facilitate the drying of the clothes in the chamber 28.

Referring again to the chamber 28, this chamber includes generally circular upper and lower end walls 49 and 51 and a continuous, annular side wall 52. An aperture 53 is formed in the upper end wall 49, with the radius of the aperture 53 being approximately equal to one-half the radius of the top end wall 49 and being substantially equal to the radius of the tube 22. The chamber 28 is positioned within the compartment 18 so that the center of the aperture 53 is aligned with the central longitudinal axis of the tube 22, and thus, with the central longitudinal axis of the chamber 28. The open, lower end 23 of the tube 22 and the peripheral edge 54 of the aperture 53 may be formed, as shown, so that a conventional running air or gas seal 55 is provided therebetween. This arrangement of the tube and aperture 53 permits air to flow freely from the interior of the chamber 28 to the interior of the tube 22. Moreover, as noted above, air may pass from the interior of the tube 22, through the filter 24, through the perforations in the tube 22 and into the interior of the compartment 18.

A plurality of relatively small diameter holes 56 are drilled in the upper and lower end Walls 49 and 51 of the chamber 28 adjacent to, but spaced radially inwardly from, the side wall 52. The holes 56 are equispaced about a circle having as its center, the central longitudinal axis of the chamber. The holes are arranged with respect to the side wall 52 so that when the air under pressure is introduced into the chamber 28 through the holes, as hereinafter described, the clothes in the chamber 28 are fluidized or flulfed during the time the clothes are being maintained in an annular layer about the central axis of the chamber as a result of the high speed rotation of the chamber.

A unique fan-plenum chamber assembly 57 is utilized to force air, under pressure, into the interior of the chamber 28 through the holes 56. This assembly 57, shown best in FIGS. 2 and 3, consists of a plurality of curved fan blades 58 and plenum chambers 59 which are mounted on the exterior faces 61 of both the upper and lower end walls 49 and 51.

As shown in FIG. 2, the plenum chambers 59 are wider at their radial outer ends 62, i.e., their ends adjacent to the periphery of the end walls, than at their radial inner ends 63, i.e., their ends adjacent to the central Iongitudinal axis of the chamber 28 or the center of the end walls. The longitudinal center lines of the chambers 59 are disposed at an acute angle, e.g., 2030, with respect to a radius of the end walls, with the inner ends 63 of each chamber 59 leading the outer ends 62 thereof in the direction of rotation of the chamber 28, this direction of rotation being indicated by the arrow 64 in FIG. 2.

All fan blades and plenum chamber assemblies 57 are structurally similar and functionally identical, although as shown in FIG. 1, the assemblies mounted on the wall 49 are smaller in dimension and thus in capacity than the assemblies mounted on the wall 51. For this reason, only one assembly 57, shown in FIG. 3, has been described in detail herein. As best shown in FIG. 3, the plenum chamber 59 includes a top panel 65 spaced from and parallel with the exterior face 61 of the end wall 49 of the chamber 28. The outer radial portion 66 of the top panel 65 overlies and is congruent with the outer peripheral arc of the end wall 49 so that this outer portion 66 of the top panel overlies a number of the holes 56. While in FIG. 3 the portion 66 is shown overlying or covering three holes 56, the specific number of holes covered by the portion 66 is not critical so long as proper fluidization or fiufiing of the clothes is obtained in chamber 28.

A pair of side panels 67 extend between the exterior face 61 and the side edges of the top panel 65. As shown in FIG. 2, the side panels 67 converge together at their radial inner ends, i.e., the inner ends of the side panels are spaced closer together than the outer ends thereof, so that each chamber 59 has a generally frusto-conical shape. An inner end panel 68 extends between the radial inner ends of the side panels 66 and the face 61 of the end wall 49. An opening 69 is defined in the top of the chamber 59 between the radial inner end 71 of the top panel 65, the inner end panel 68- and the side panels 66. However, the radial outer end of the chamber 59, except, of course, for the holes 56 enclosed within the chamber 59, is completely closed by the top panel 65, including the portion 66, and the side panels 67.

The curved fan blade 58 projects beyond the plane of the top panel 65, is integrally formed as a part of the trailing side panel 66, relative to the direction of rotation of the chamber 28, and extends along the: side of the opening 69. The axial height of the blades 58, relative to the chamber 59, is determined by the air capacity or volume of flow desired.

The fan blades 58 are utilized, during rotation of the chamber 28, to forcibly direct the air in the compartment 18 into the plenum chambers 59 and hence, under pressure, through the holes 56 into the chamber 28. The design of the plenum chambers 59, including the angular disposition of the plenum chambers relative to a radius of the end wall 49, assists in forcing air through the plenum chambers 59 and into the chamber 28 during rotation of the chamber in a manner similar to that of a conventional centrifugal blower or fan.

The operation of the motor 38 and heating unit 48 is controlled by a conventional timing mechanism 72. The timing mechanism 72 employs an electric motor which sequentially operates a plurality of switches in a preselected sequence. Such timing mechanisms are old and well known in the art and for this reason, further description thereof has not been included herein.

DESCRIPTION OF OPERATION The clothes which are to be dried in machine 11 are introduced into the machine by removing the door 25 and placing the clothes manually into the chamber 28 through the tube 22. Generally, these clothes would be placed into the machine after being washed and/or spin dried in a conventional washing machine and as such, would be somewhat wet, but not saturated with water.

The rotational speed of the chamber 28 is selected so that during relatively high-speed rotation of the chamber, the clothes in the chamber will form and maintain a generally annular layer adjacent to the side wall 52 of the chamber 28, as shown in FIG. 4. Moreover, because of the fan blade and plenum chamber assemblies 57 mounted on the end walls 49 and 51 of the chamber, the air in the interior of the compartment 18 is forced through the holes 56 formed in the end walls 49 and 51. The number and size of the fans 58 and plenum chambers 59 are correlated with the rotational speed of the chamber so that the gas being forced into the rotating chamber through the holes 56 is sufiicient to form a completely fluidized or fiulfed layer of clothes and air. In this annular fluidized or fluffed layer, the clothes are continuously agitated as the air passes into and through the layer. After passing through the layer, air is exhausted from the chamber 28 through the aperture 53. A portion of the exhausted air is then removed from the machine 11 through conduit 26, while the remainder of the air is recirculated back into the interior of the compartment 18 through the filter 24. This recirculated air is then reintroduced into the chamber 28.

To facilitate the drying of the clothes, the air introduced into the compartment 18 may be heated by the heating unit 48. However, the unit 48 is set so as to control the maximum temperature of the air and this, plus the rapid and continual recirculation of a large volume of 'air, assures that the clothes will not be wrinkled or damaged by exposure to the heated air.

Periodically, the timing mechanism 72 causes the windings of the motor 38 to be reversed so that the motor abruptly brakes the chamber 28, thus causing the speed of the chamber 28 to be reduced from the relatively high speed at which the clothes therein form and maintain a generally annular layer to the intermediate speed for which the two-speed motor 38 is set. This intermediate speed may just be five or ten percent less than the relatively high speed, but must be low enough so that the gravitational force acting on the clothes overcomes the centrifugal force acting on the clothes whereby the clothes in the chamber may fall away from the side wall 52 onto the lower end wall 51 of the chamber and are tumbled in the chamber as shown in FIG. 5. During the time the speed of the chamber is below the relatively high speed and the clothes are being tumbled in the chamber, air is still being introduced into the chamber through the holes 56, and this facilitates the drying of the clothes as well as rearranging, tumbling and flufiing the clothes.

Almost immediately after the timing mechanism 72 has caused a reduction in the speed of the chamber 28, the timing mechanism causes the windings of the motor 38 to be switched back to their original position so that the motor again drives the chamber 28 at the relatively high speed.

A typical cycle operation for forming and maintaining the annular layer of clothes in the chamber 28, abruptly braking or reducing the rotational speed of the chamber to the intermediate speed and returning the speed of th chamber back to the relatively high speed, may take from 10 to 30 seconds. Approximately one-half of this cycle may be utilized for forming and maintaining the clothes in the annular layer, approximately one-quarter of the cycle may be utilized for reducing the speed of the chamber from the relatively high speed to the intermediate speed and the other one-quarter of the cycle may be utilized for tumbling the clothes during the time the speed of the chamber is below the relatively high speed and for returning the rotational speed of the chamber from the intermediate speed to the relatively high speed. Of course, the periods of high speed operation and intermediate speed operation may be varied. In fact, during the initial part of the drying operation, the speed of the chamber 28 should be reduced more frequently than during the latter part of the operation because during the initial part, the clothes contain more moisture and thus need more frequent rearrangement to assure complete drying.

Thus, it should be apparent from the foregoing that the invention described herein provides a unique and novel machine and method for drying clothes, fabrics and the like which will permit the drying operation to be completed in a relatively short time, as compared to conventional machines. In addition, machines embodying the inventions described herein may be used both in the home and in commercial laundries.

Also, it should be obvious to those skilled in the art that the specific machine described herein could be modified witout departing from the principles of the invention. For example, the chamber could be positioned so that its central axis is disposed horizontally rather than vertically, or at an angle therebetween, although, as noted herein, the vertical disposition of the chamber provides certain advantages. Also, other means could be used to direct air or gas under pressure into the rotating chamber. Moreover, in connection with the drying of some fabrics or clothes, it may not be necessary to rearrange the fabrics or clothes by periodically, abruptly reducing the rotational speed of the chamber, particularly during the latter part of the drying operation. In some instances, the side wall of the chamber may include ribs which assist or accomplish the tumbling and rearranging of the clothes or this tumbling and rearranging may be assisted or accomplished by abruptly varying the flow and/or pressure of the air or gas introduced into the rotating chamber. In addition, and as noted above; the size, number and angle of the plenum chambers and fan blades used in the machine 11 may be varied, and, of course, the cycle of operation may be changed. In this connection, fan blade and plenum chamber assemblies may only be mounted on the lower end wall in some machines. Likewise, it should be noted that the term clothes, as used herein, should not be limited to its conventional definition, but should be read to include all fabrics or materials which could be dried in machines embodying the inventions described herein.

Therefore, the preferred embodiments of the invention described herein are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are thus intended to be embraced therein.

I claim as my invention? '1. An improved machine for drying clothes and the like including a rotatable'chamber adapted to receive clothes to be dried;

means for rotating the chamber about its central axis at a relatively high speed whereby the clothes in the chamber form and maintain a generally annular layer about said central axis;

means for continuously introducing air under pressure into said annular layer of clothes so as to fluidize the clothes in said annular layer including a plurality of circumferentially spaced holes formed in at least one end wall of the rotating chamber, said holes permitting communication between the exterior of the rotating chamber and said annular layer in the rotating chamber (and means positioned 'without the rotating chamber for causing air under pressure to flow through said holes into said rotating chamber), and a plurality of fan blades mounted in proximity to said holes in at least said one-end wall on the exterior of said rotating chamber whereby the fan blades cause air surrounding the rotating chamber to be forced into the rotating chamber through said holes; and

means for rearranging the clothes in the chamber.

2. The improved machine described in claim 1 wherein the rotating chamber is generally cylindrical and is constructed so that said central axis and the central longitudinal axis of said rotating chamber are coaxial; wherein the rotating chamber includes end walls and a side Wall; wherein said holes are formed in at least one of the end walls of the rotating chamber adjacent to, but spaced radially inwardly from, the side wall of the rotating chamber; wherein the fan blades are mounted on said one end wall at points equispaced from each other and at points radiallyinwardly from the side wall, with the longitudinal axis of each of the fan blades being disposed at an acute angle with respect to a radius of the rotating chamber and with the fan blades being spaced radially closer to said central axis of the rotating chamber than said holes; wherein a plurality of plenum chambers are formed on the exterior face of said end walls of the rotating chambers and are arranged so that a plenum chamber extends from each of the fan blades to at least one of said holes whereby the plenum chamber serves to direct air from the fan blades radially outwardly to and through said holes.v

3. The improved machine described in claim 2 wherein the fan blades are positioned ahead, relative tothe direction of rotation of the rotating chamber, of the respective said holes with which the fan blades are connected by a plenum chamber so that the plenum chamber assists in the movement of air radially through the plenum chamber and through said holes.

4. The improved machine described in claim 3 wherein a closed compartment is positioned so as to surround the rotating chamber; and wherein air is introduced into the interior of the compartment during the operation of the machine.

5. The improved machine described in claim 4 wherein an aperture is formed in an end wall of the rotating chamber and is spaced from said holes, said aperture permitting air to flow from said annular layer into the interior of the compartment so that at least a portion of the air may be recirculated and reintroduced into said annular layer by the means for introducing air into said annular layer; and wherein means are positioned adjacent to said aperture to filter the air flowing through said aperture.

6. The improved machine described in claim 5 wherein gas air heating means is positioned within the interior of the compartment and is used to heat the air introduced into the compartment; and wherein the machine includes means to control selectively the operation of the air heating means.

7. The improved machine described in claim 3 wherein said central axis is generally vertically disposed so that end walls of the rotating chamber constitute the upper and lower walls of the rotating chamber; and wherein the means for rearranging the clothes includes means for periodically, abruptly changing the rotational speed of the rotating chamber.

8. The improved machine described in claim 3 wherein said central axis is generally vertically disposed so that the end walls of the rotating chamber constitute the upper and lower walls of the rotating chamber; wherein a central aperture is formed in the upper end wall of the rotating chamber and is spaced from said holes, said aperture having a radius approximately equal to one-half of the radius of the upper end wall and designed to facilitate loading and unloading of clothes to and from the chamber.

9. The improved machine described in claim 7 wherein the means for periodically, abruptly changing the speed of the rotating chamber periodically, abruptly reduces the rotational speed of the rotating chamber from said high speed to an intermediate speed which is below that necessary to maintain said annular layer of clothes whereby a large portion of the clothes in said annular layer fall away from the side wall onto the lower end wall under the influence of gravity.

10. The improved machine described in claim 9 wherein the means for changing the rotational speed of the rotating chamber quickly returns the rotating chamber from said intermediate speed to said high speed after a reduction of rotational speed whereby said annular layer of clothes is again formed in the rotating chamber.

Ill. The improved machine described in claim 10 wherein a closed compartment is positioned so as to surround the rotating chamber; and wherein air is introduced into the interior of the compartment during the operation of the machine.

12. The improved machine described in claim 11 wherein an aperture is formed in an end wall of the rotating chamber and is spaced from said holes, said aperture permitting air to flow from said annular layer into the interior of the compartment so that at least a portion of the air may be recirculated and reintroduced into said annular layer by the means for introducing air into said annular layer; and wherein means are positioned adjacent to said aperture to filter the air flowing through said aperture.

'13. The improved machine described in claim 12 wherein air heating means is positioned Within the interior of the compartment and is used to heat the air introduced into the compartment; and wherein the machine includes means to control selectively the operation of the air heating means.

14. An improved method of drying clothes and the like, including the steps of rotating the clothes to be dried at a high speed in a rotatable chamber so that the clothes form and maintain an annular layer about the central axis of the rotatable chamber; continuously introducing air under pressure into said annular layer so as to fluidize the clothes in the annular layer; and periodically, abruptly rearranging the clothes in the annular layer.

15. The improved method described in claim 14 which includes the step of rearranging the clothes by periodically, abruptly reducing the speed at which the clothes are rotated from said high speed to an intermediate speed below that necessary to maintain said annular layer of said clothes in the rotating chamber.

16. The improved method described in claim 15 which includes the step of quickly increasing the rotational speed of the clothes from said intermediate speed to high speed after each periodic speed reduction so that the clothes are again formed in an annular layer.

17. The improved method described in claim 15 which includes the steps of exhausting air from the annular layer and recirculating and reintroducing at least a portion of the air under pressure back into said annular layer.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,186,104 1/1965 Stilwell, Jr 3458X 3,194,398 7/1965 Fecho 34--58X 3,277,583 10/1966 Mack 34-58 JOHN J. CAMBY, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENT ()FFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,583,076 Dat d June 8, 1971 Inventor(s) D. E. Marshall It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In column 8, line 35, delete "(and means positioned without the rotating chamber for causing air under pressure to flow through said holes into said rotating chamber)".

Signed and sealed this nth day of January 1972.

(SEAL) Attost:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JH. ERT GOTTSCHALK t ti Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents FORM DO-i050 (10459) uscoMM-oc 50376-P69 U 5. GQVEHNMENY PRINTING OFFICE I959 U-]66-J34

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7028415Apr 5, 2004Apr 18, 2006Alan HeinzenCanted manually loaded produce dryer
US7921578 *Jul 7, 2006Apr 12, 2011Whirlpool CorporationNebulizer system for a fabric treatment appliance
WO2004048673A2 *Nov 21, 2003Jun 10, 2004Su Heon KimFast clothes dryer and drying method
Classifications
U.S. Classification34/319, 34/320
International ClassificationD06F49/00, D06F58/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F49/00, D06F58/00
European ClassificationD06F49/00, D06F58/00