US 3609297 A
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United States Patent Petros D. Christopoulos 363 Woodmere S. E., Grand Rapids, Mich. 49506 [211 App]. No. 801,359
 Filed Feb. 24, 1969  Patented Sept. 28, 1971  inventor  MOISTURE WARMING DEVICE 5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 219/439, 99/447, 126/369, 165/19, 219/326, 219/430, 219/530  Int. Cl F27d 11/00  Field of Search 219/530,
 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,719,322 7/1929 Dickson et al. 126/369 2,469,778 5/ 1949 Morici 126/369 2,715,898 8/1955 Michaelis et al 126/273 3,069,199 12/1962 Reardon et a1. 220/29 X 3,432,642 3/1969 Lohr et al. 219/439 3,450,487 6/1969 Wallden 219/326 X FOREIGN PATENTS 510,499 4/1952 Belgium 219/326 820,555 9/1959 Great Britain 219/439 1,375,704 9/1964 France 219/439 Primary Examiner-Velodymyr Y. Mayewsky Attorney-Glenn B. Morse ABSTRACT: A water-jacketed container with heat supplied to the jacket space to heat water in the interior primarily by conductive heat-transfer through the interior container wall. Articles are supported above the level of the water in the interior, which is isolated with respect to pressure from the jacket water to permit side-jacketing above the level of the interior water. Condensate drainage for unjaclteted surfaces maintains the articles free of liquid water,
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SHEET 3 UF 3 mvamom Petros D. Christopoulos ATTORNEY MOISTURE WARMING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heating devices for food articles usually are in the form of a container saturated with water vapor. While it is desirable to expose the food articles to moisture-laden heated air, it is very undesirable to saturate these articles with liquid water. Except in very elaborate pressurized structures, there is usually at least some surface of the container which is below the point of condensation of the water vapor. Condensate will therefore accumulate on such a surface, and the most troublesome area where this occurs is at the doors which are frequently swung open for access to the interior. The prior devices with which applicant is familiar do not adequately provide for minimizing condensation, or for the conducting of it to some area where it does not soak the food articles stored in the container.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A water-jacketed container centering in inner and outer tanks having spaced side and bottom walls is provided with a heating element preferably disposed between the spaced bottom walls. The inner tank is kept out of communication with the jacket space, with respect to liquid pressure, permitting the water-jacketing in the sides to be considerably above the level of the interior water. The interior water is exclusively for the provision of a moisture-saturated atmosphere, and the presence of water-jacketing over almost the full height of the sides eliminates the problem of interior condensation on the sidewalls. The presence of the heating element in the jacket, rather than in the interior water, eliminates the possibility of an overgeneration of moisture in the interior by a boiling action. With the jacketing arrangement, the heat is evenly supplied around the entire side and bottom area of the interior tank.
To facilitate the removal of condensate from the doors that swing open at the top of the device for access to the interior, a pair of the opposite walls are formed in a peak or slanted configuration, similar to the roof of a house. This arrangement induces a movement of accumulated drops of condensate to the side of the interior space, where it is conducted back to the water of the interior tank through suitable conduits leading the condensate past the platform supporting the food articles. As an alternative, the condensate can be delivered to the water-jacket space.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of a complete heating device embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view on an enlarged scale showing the lower portion of the device illustrated in FIG. 1, with a front panel removed to show the installation of the electrical equipment and drainage controls.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the top area of the tank, showing the access doors swung open.
FIG. 4 is a vertical section on the plane 4-4 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 5 is a horizontal section on the plane 5-5 of FIG. 4.
'FIG. 6 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, showing one of the removable support platforms.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The heating container generally indicated at 10 in FIG. 1 is defined by the outer tank 11 and the inner tank 12. The sidewalls 13-16 and the bottom 17 of the outer tank are spaced from the sidewalls 18-21 and the bottom 22 of the inner tank to provide a water-jacket space. An electrical heating element 23 is installed in the space between the bottoms of the inner and outer tanks, and is secured to the front wall 16 of the outer tank as shown in FIG. 5. Conventional wiring generally indicated at 24 electrically associates the heating element 23 with the off-on control switch 25, and with the conventional thermostat 26. These components are supplied with electrical energy by the cable 27, the wire 28 being a conventional grounding arrangement for eliminating the possibility of the accumulation of an electrical charge on the metal of which the container is preferably constructed. The drainage valve 29 is connected through a suitable conduit counter to the drain port 31 in the interior tank 12, and the drain valve 32 is installed at a position to drain the jacket space between the inner and outer tank. It is preferable that the outer tank wall 16 be offset to provide a recess 33 extending across the lower front of the device to receive the electrical and drain components referred to above, this recess being covered by the angle plates 34 and 35 secured by screws entering the holes 36-39 and the tapped holes 40-43 on the body portion of the container. A light 44 may be incorporated in the switch 25 to indicate the "on condition of the device. In view of the elevated temperature of the unit generated by the heater 23, it is preferable to raise the device off the surface of a supporting counter by the provision of legs as shown at 45-48.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, the upper surface of the device is defined by the peaked configuration provided by the slanted surfaces 49-50 forming the top closure for the water-jacket at the front of the machine, and the similarly slanted surfaces 51 and 52 forming the closure of the waterjacket at the rear of the device. The doors 53 and 54 are hinged to the container, respectively, at 55 and 56. The point of hinge connection of the door to the container is preferably at or adjacent the lower extremity of the doors. Marginal portions of the doors overlap the surfaces 49-52, and the upper extremities of the doors come together at the portions 57 and 58 to form a fairly close seal against the escape of water vapors. These portions of the device are preferably shaped as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 4 to provide the reverse-bent sections 59 and 60 which function as handles to facilitate the opening of the doors. The chains 61 and 62 limit the opening movement of the doors, as shown in FIG. 3.
Since the doors are not provided with jacketing, the temperature of the doors is inevitably less than the condensation temperature of the water vapor within the interior of the device. The formation of droplets of condensation on the slanted surfaces defined by the doors 53 and 54 will therefore move outwardly from the center, and will eventually move or drop into the troughs 63 and 64. The trough 64 will deliver accumulated condensation to the water-jacket space through the opening 65 in the inner container wall 19. This opening is above the normal level of the water indicated at 66 within the jacket space. The provision of the hole 65 therefore does not destroy the isolation of the water 67 at the bottom of the inner container. An alternative form of drainage is shown at the right portion of FIG. 5, in which the trough 63 drains through the plastic tube 68 into the accumulation of water 67 at the bottom of the inner container. The latter arrangement for handling condensate does not alter the balance of water between the inner container and the water-jacket, and is therefore preferable. The tube 68 is removable, to facilitate cleaning.
The platform panels 69 and 70, shown in detail in FIG. 6, are essentially bent pieces of perforate metal. Openings are shown at 71 and 72 are preferably incorporated as hand-holes to make it more convenient to place and remove these panels. Hamburg and hot dog buns, as shown respectively, at 74 and 75 in FIG. 4 can be supported on these platforms above the level of the water 67, and outside of any areas where there is a possibility of falling accumulation of condensate. If desired, the entire unit may be moved from place to place, with or without the contents shown in FIG. 4, through the use of projections as 76 and 77 at the upper exterior edges adjacent the hinges. The spout 78 provides a fill-point for the jacket space between the inner and outer containers, and is preferably covered by a hinged flap 79.
1. In combination with a heat source, a device for heating articles under conditions of high humidity, said device including a container having a bottom and sidewalls, said container normally having a relatively small quantity of water therein, a
hermetically sealed tank surrounding said container and having a bottom and sidewalls spaced from the bottom and sidewalls respectively of said container and defining a water space therebetween, said tank normally containing water in heat transfer relationship to said head source and extending upward in said water space along substantially the entire surface of said container sidewalls for evenly heating said container thereby heating the articles contained therein and supplying heat to said small quantity of water in said container for moisturizing the articles, means within said container for supporting articles at a distance above the water contained within said container, a top structure for said container including opposite inclined top portions and at least one door movable with respect to said container and extending at least a portion of the distance between said top portions, said container having a drainage-receiving trough extending along and below the lower portion of said door to receive condensate therefrom, and a conduit communicating between said trough and said means for supporting articles whereby steam generated within said container and precluded from condensing on said heated container sidewalls will tend to condense on said door and run down into said trough whence it will be conducted through said conduit past said means for supporting articles.
2, A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said door extends along substantially the full incline of said top portions and the full distance between said top portions.
3. A device as defined in claim 2, wherein each of said top positions has oppositely inclined portions, and doors extending between said portions are connected to said container by hinges extending along the lower portions of said doors.
4. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said container includes an exterior tank and an interior tank, said tanks having spaced sidewalls providing said water-jacketed sides, and said tanks having spaced bottom portions communicating with the space between said sides, said device including heating means supplying heat to the contents of the space between said bottom portions, said interior tank being normally isolated from said sidewall and bottom space with respect to liquid pressure.
5. A device as defined in claim I, wherein said heat source is an electrical heating element installed in said water space.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 609, 297 Dated September 28, 1 971 Inventor(s) Pefros D Chrisfopou l 05 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
C o I u m n 3 l i n e 5 c h o n g e h eo d t o h e01 C o l u m n 4 l i n e 7 c h o n g e pos i f i on s ro po rt i on s Signed and sealed this 6th day of March 1973.
ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents QM po'mso HO'SSI USCOMMLJC BOX/mama