US 3653532 A
In the preferred form of this refrigerator cabinet for installation in a wall, a rectangular framework supports walls of plastic foam insulation surrounding the insulated compartment. This framework is embedded in the insulation. A plastic sheet inner liner extends within and lines the insulated compartment and has outwardly extending flanges forming the front of the cabinet and hiding the foam insulation.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Mann [451 Apr. 4, 1972  PLASTIC REFRIGERATOR WITH 3,405,987 10/1968 Pulaski ..312/214 REINFORCING FRAMEWORK 2,054,323 9/1936 Holbrook ..220/9 R  Inventor: Leonard J. Mann, Dayton, Ohio FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Assignee: General Motors Corporation, Detroit, 702,294 1/1965 Canada ..312/214 Mich.
Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair  1970 Assistant Examiner-James R. Garrett 2 33 22 Attorney-William S. Pettigrew, Frederick M. Ritchie and Edward P. Barthel  US. Cl .1 ..220/9 F, 312/214 57 ABSTRACT  Int. Cl ..B65d 25/18 v I  Field of Search F, 83, 9 G; 312/213, In the preferred form of this refrigerator cabmet for installa- 312/214 tion in a wall, a rectangular framework supports walls of plastic foam insulation surrounding the insulated compart- 56] Reerences Cited ment. This framework is embedded in the insulation. A plastic sheet inner liner extends within and lines the insulated com- UNITED STATES PATENTS partment and has outwardly extending flanges forming the front of the cabinet and hiding the foam insulation. 2,725,271 11/1955 Cunningham ..312/214 1 2,576,208 1 H1951 Benson .312/214 UX 1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures PLASTIC REFRIGERATOR WITII REINFORCIN G FRAMEWORK Kitchen styling in recent years has favored building appliances such as ovens and surface heaters into the wall and counter tops. Since refrigerators are predominantly built in large production as separately styled units, the installation of refrigerators into the wall has been kept at a minimum.
It is an object of this invention to provide a low cost efficient safe refrigerator cabinet for installation in a wall which will have a low tooling, low material and low material cost for mass production and which can be readily and quickly made and also which can be readily changed in design and appearance.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, wherein preferred embodiments of the present invention are clearly shown.
In the drawings:
FIG. I is a perspective view of a refrigerator cabinet embodying one form of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken along the lines 2-2 ofFIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the framework of the cabinet; and
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the inner liner and the remaining walls of the cabinet.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 3, there is shown a rectangular framework which is made up of four upright angle members forming four vertical corners of the framework with the front uprights being designated 20 and 22 and the rear uprights being designated 24 and 26. These uprights are connected at the top by a set of four horizontal angle members with the member 28 connecting the top of the front members 20 and 22, the member 30 connecting the tops of the rear upright members 24 and 26 and the side angle members 32 and 34 connecting the upright members 20 and 24 and 22 and 26 along the sides of the framework.
At the bottom is the angle member 36 connecting the bottoms of the upright members 20 and 24, the angle member 38 connecting the bottoms of the upright members 22 and 26 and the angle member 40 connecting the bottoms of the upright members -24 and 26. Spaced above the bottom are four horizontal angle members in which there is a front angle member 42 connecting the upright members 20 and 22, side angle members 44 and 46 connecting respectively the upright members 20 and 24 and 22 and 26. The rear angle member 48 connects the rear upright members 24 and 26. All of these members are L-shaped in cross section and fastened together at their intersections by welding, rivets, gussets or any other convenient means of bonding. They are preferably made of thin steel which may be coated with any suitable material. If desired, they may be provided with outer reinforcing flanges and may be perforated in any manner desired.
Cast over this framework shown in FIG. 3 are the walls of the cabinet which are formed of any suitable plastic foam insulation material. However, I prefer to cast the walls of polyurethane foam containing insulating gas such as monofluorotrichloromethane. As shown particularly in FIG. 4, the cabinet is formed of plastic foam insulation walls cast as a unit over and about the framework with the top wall 50extending over and between the top set of horizontal members 28 to 34 and with a rear wall 52 cast over and between the rear set of members 24, 26, 30, 40 and 48. The left side wall 54 is cast over and between the side members 20, 24, 32, 36 and 44 while the right side wall 56 is cast over and between the side wall members 22, 26, 34, 38 and 46. The bottom wall 58 is cast over and between the lower set of horizontal members 42 and 48. This casting is done as a complete unit with the foam 7 walls 62 and 64, side walls 66 and 68 extending to the floor and rear wall 70. The front of this member 60 is provided with outwardly extending flanges 72 on the top and sides and a more extensive flange 74 which extends downwardly to pro vide a front for the machinery compartment 76 which is located beneath the bottom wall 58. This downwardly extending portion 74 is provided with an integral louvered opening 78 which provides for the circulation of air into and out of the machinery compartment 76. The liner 60 may be provided with any of the many well known arrangements for supporting refrigerator shelves therein.
When the liner member 60 is inserted into the cabinet it will fit against and be supported by the interior walls of the foam insulation material andthe outward flanges 72 and 74 and cover the front of the insulation and provide a suitable front to the cabinet. The cabinet may be provided with any form of insulated door which will harmonize with the design of the kitchen. The hinges for the door may be fastened through the flanges 72 to either of the front upright members 20 or 22 of the framework. The outer surface of the foam insulation material forming the walls of the cabinet may be sealed by any suitable coating such as polyethylene, asphalt coated paper, polyester of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid or metal foil or foil coated paper or other metal film coating.
Inasmuch as the cabinet is to be built into the wall the sides, top, bottom and rear walls will be concealed and therefore do not require a finished surface. The cabinet will be very light in weight and easy to install. The inner liner member 60 is preferably made in one piece. Inasmuch as all parts of the cabinet can be readily made without expensive tooling and since the number of exposed finished surfaces are limited, changes in dimension and design can be readily made without incurring a large tool cost. This cabinet, therefore, will promote the building of refrigerator cabinets into the walls of kitchens.
While the embodiments of the invention as herein disclosed constitute preferred forms, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
l. A refrigerator cabinet for installation in a kitchen wall including a steel frame of rectangular parallelepipedal shape comprising four elongated corner upright members of L- shaped cross section and an upper set of four elongated horizontal members of L-shaped cross section fastened to said upright members in a rectangular configuration extending between the tops of said upright members, three elongated bottom horizontal members of L-shaped cross section in a front opening U-shaped configuration extending between said upright members so as to connect the bottoms thereof along each side and the rear of said frame, a lower set of four elongated horizontal members of 'L-shaped cross section fastened to said upright members in a rectangular configuration extending between said upright members and spaced above said bottom horizontal members defining a machinery compartment therebetween with rectangular shaped forward and rearward facing opening between said lower set of four members and said three bottom members, cabinet walls of polyurethane plastic foam insulation material molded about and extending between said upper and lower sets of horizontal members and between said upright members on the top, sides and rear of said frame, said frame being embedded within and supporting said cabinet walls, a rectangular parallelepipedal shaped liner member performed of sheet plastic material extending within said cabinet walls between said upper and lower sets of horizontal members and having at the front relatively short integral outwardly extending top and side flanges completely covering the front edges of said cabinet walls as to be flush with said cabinet top and side walls, said inner liner having a bottom relatively long integral flange extending downwardly in flush relationship with the lower edges of said frame side walls so as to completely cover the front opening of said machinery compartment, said downwardly extending bottom flange having louvered openings molded therein to allow for the circulation of air into and out of said machinery compartment, and said cabinet side, top, bottom and rear wall outer surfaces being sealed by a coating material forming an outer cabinet shell whereby said cabinet is located in the kitchen wall. 5