US 3672188 A
A washing machine with a front-loading washing and drying chamber, including a slidable rack for the suspension of garments to be washed by a set of spray nozzles, is provided with a narrow air shaft rising alongside the treatment chamber and communicating with it at the top and bottom, the air being circulated in a drying phase along a closed path by a blower above the chamber. A sprinkler disposed in the upper part of the air shaft serves to condense the steam entrained with the circulating air, its jets being intercepted by a textile liner on the shaft wall which guides the water down to a collecting trough at the chamber bottom. In a washing phase, with the spray nozzles operating, solution accumulating in the trough is recirculated after reheating by a heater split into two sections, one of them being energized continuously during a warmup period while the other is energized only during standstill of the intermittently operated recirculation pump.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Geschka et al. June 27, 1972 s41 WASHING MACHINE FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  n n g Werner Gesehke, Angermund; W 849,920 8/1939 France ..68/205 R gang Oberhofl, Krefeld; Klaus Korb, Lintorf, all of Germany Primary Examiner-William l. Price  Assignee: Beges AG, Chur, Switzerland Attorney-Karl E Ross  Filed: April 20, 1970  ABSTRACT  Appl' sous A washing machine with a front-loading washing and drying chamber, including a slidable rack for the suspension of gar-  Foreign Application Priority Data ments to be washed by a set of spray nozzles, is provided with April 18 1969 Germany P 19 19 730 9 a narrow air shaft rising alongside the treatment chamber and Aug. 28 1969 Germany ::::::::::::::::::::P 19 43 690:9 mmunicatin8 with and air being culated in a drying phase along a closed path by a blower 52 US. Cl. ..68/12 R, 68/20, 68/205 R above the ehember- A sprinkler disposed in the upper p of  Int. Cl. ..B05c 5/00 h air sh f serves to condense the steam en aine with the  Field of Search ..68/205 R, 205 C, 12; 34/75 circulating air, its jets being intercepted by a textile liner on the shaft wall which guides the water down to a collecting Reierellces Cied trough at the chamber bottom. In a washing phase, with the spray nozzles operating, solution accumulating in the trough is UNlTED STATES PATENTS recirculated after reheating by a heater split into two sections, 3,102,796 9/1963 Erickson ..34/75 one of them being energized continuously during a warmup 3,049,903 1 962 SUSSmfln period while the other is energized only during standstill of the 13 4/1956 NOfkllS intermittently operated recirculation pump. 3,114,919 12/1963 Kenreich... 2,845,786 8/1958 Chrisman ..68/2O X 23 Claims, 22 Drawing Figures X J F l V I4 i m ,5 3 -1 I I I 2 i r [0 i i i H 1 1 m i L I! i q I o o O L 5 0 Q o of PATENTEDJum m2 3.672.188
sum 010F 15 PATENTEmum 1972 3. 672. 1 88 sum 02 or 15 lL-JJL a in iddw m Int 0mm" (K rl (RES PATENTED JUN 2 7 m2 sum 03 8F 15 P'A'TENTEnJum m2 sum on HF 15 lave/710m PATENTEmum 1972 3672.188
sum user 15 Int enragmarl Rm;
PATENTEDJUH'! 1972 lm mla/a Karl T PATENTEDJUN 27 I972 sum as nr 15 lnve/vfars PA'TENTE'nJum m2 sum 10 0F 15 WASHING MACHINE The invention relates to an automatic machine which is controlled by a program selector for washing articles, in particular non-ironing garments, by washing, rinsing and drying them whilst they are hanging up in a washing and drying chamber located inside the machine, which is provided at the top with tooth-like rods on which the garments can be hung as well as with sprinklers for the washing solution or water which is to be pumped around, and is supplied with circulating drying air in order to provide heat and dry up the moisture. The washing, rinsing, finishing and drying of the garments in the hanging position which is characteristic of such machines ensures a mechanically gentle washing and general good care of the garments, which is of great practical importance particularly when washing non-ironing laundry. items which are sensitive to mechanical stress.
In a machine of the above type, support rods arrayed like the teeth of a comb are fixedly arranged in the upper part of the washing and drying chamber of the machine so that, in order to introduce and remove the washing, the lid of the machine must be lifted up. Furthermore, the spray tubes for the supply of soap solution and rinsing water are arranged only in the upperpart of the washing and drying chamber so that the laundry items which are hung up and are to be washed can be sprayed with suds-solution and rinsing water only from the top or from the outside. Moreover, the continuous, supply of suds solution leads to undesired reductions in the flow pressure of the solution since the foam which forms reduces the efficiency of the feed pump which circulates the liquid in an uncontrollable way. It has also been shown that the desired drying eflect cannot be fully obtained by circulating drying air which flows up through the washing and drying chamber from the bottom because it results in undesired chimney efiects whereby the warm drying air can pass through the empty spaces between the individual items without coming into sufficient contact with the garments.
The invention is concerned with improving and perfecting a washing machine of the general type mentioned above so that it is free of the aforesaid disadvantages, and is more economical to operate and easier to load while enabling more effective washing, rinsing, finishing and drying of the garments hanging in it.
This object is achieved in accordance with the present invention by mounting the support rods on a carriage which can be drawn out at the front of the machine, at least one additional spray tube being located in the lower part of the washing and drying chamber; the suds solution is recirculated intermittently, and the circulating drying air is made to pass from top to bottom through the washing and drying chamber. Loading of the washing machine is substantially facilitated by the garment rods which are preferably hinged onto the movable carriage and able to be locked in an upwardly swung horizontal position, since the individual laundry items can be quite easily hung on and later removed from the rods of the carriage when the latter is pulled out at the front of the machine. Furthermore since the spray tubes are arranged not only at the top but also at the bottom of the washing and drying chamber, preferably in the form of a spray arm rotating about its vertical central axis, the garments hanging on the rods can now be effectively flushed with suds solution and rinsing water both from the bottom and in between, whereby the washing and finishing effect is substantially improved. Also, despite the formation of foam through the intermittent pumping of the suds solution, a higher flow pressure of the suds can nevertheless be maintained at least periodically in the spray tubes. Furthermore a better drying effect is achieved by the passage of the circulating drying air through the washing and drying chamber 'from top to bottom in that the drying air is so to speak automatically distributed within the washing and drying chamber according to its temperature. The relatively hot dry air flowing in at the top of the drying chamber tends to stay in the upper part of the chamber until it is cooled through absorption of the moisture in the garments and then sinks to the bottom. Thus turbulent chimney effects are avoided and the contact time with the drying air necessary for drying the garments is correspondingly reduced.
According to a further feature of the invention there is provided, in addition to the washing and drying chamber and separated therefrom by a vertical partition, a narrow shaft for the circulated drying air which is supplied with cooling means and connected at the top and bottom with the washing and drying chamber. A sprinkler may serve as the cooling means, preferably in the upper part of the air shaft, at about a third of the height from the top, so that the jets of the sprinkler are directed onto the outer wall of the air shaft. The latter is has a wall lined with an absorbent mesh of textile material for the downwardly flowing cooling water whereby water particles are prevented frombeing carried along by the circulating air flowing past. The circulating blower and the heating device for the circulating drying air which flows into the upper part of the washing and drying chamber are preferably arranged at the upper end of the air shaft. Thus there results as a whole an extremely compact assembly for guiding, cooling and reheating the circulated drying air and at the same time a very advantageous arrangement of the tank collecting the suds solution and water.
The circulating pump is arranged in accordance with the invention to be driven intermittently, each rest period of the circulating pump being longer than its pumping time, preferably at least three to four times as long, and lasting for at least about 10 seconds. We have found that, to wash and rinse a normal load effectively, the circulating pump (which is preferably driven by a pole-changing motor) should produce at the entrance to the individual spray pipes a minimum flow pressure of 0.5 atmosphere whereas for washing and rinsing sensitive fabrics, such as wool, as well as in certain rinsing stages of a normal wash, this minimum fluid pressure can be reduced to about two-thirds or one-half of the normal pres sure.
The costs of such circulating pumps increase with the rate of flow i.e. the fluid quantity supplied thereby per unit of time with constant delivery pressure. The rate of flow can, however, be reduced without impairing the results of the wash if, according to a further feature of the inventioma changeover valve is arranged between the pressure connection of the circulating pump and the upper and lower spray pipes. Depending upon its position, this filter admits fluid to different groups of spray pipes. During the rest periods of the pump the changeover valve can be switched over to the next group of spray pipes.
Furthermore, the invention also provides for an improved utilization of the electrical generated thermal energy with regard to the intermittent drive of the circulating pump. This improvement is achieved in that heating of the suds solution is effected by two separately operable heating elements one of which is permanently switched on during the heating-up phase whereas the other, whose electric-power consumption preferably corresponds to that of that pump, is switched on only during the rest periods of the circulating pump.
In order to attain an overall uniform and intensive cleaning action within the garment, particularly in the upper region, in the case of larger laundry items, the garments hanging on the rods are moved to and fro in an essentially horizontal direction at least during certain phases of the washing, rinsing and drying process. The individual layers of the garments which hang in folds are thus opened up and rubbed together whereby the insides of the garments are at once more easily accessible to the suds solution, rinsing water, and drying air and are additionally subjected to further mechanical cleaning action, both of which factors lead to an improvement in the degree of uniformity of the wash and simultaneously reduce the processing time.
By way of illustration, machines embodying the invention are described below with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a washing and drying chamber of a machine according to our invention, partly in section, with adjoining chambers for the circulation of drying air;
FIG. 2 is an end view of the machine of FIG. 1 but with a modified lower spray-pipe formation;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are detailed views of a spray pipe and of a spray arm rotatable about its vertical central axis, respectivey;
FIGS. 5 and 6 show a garment holder in detail, idle and in use, respectively;
FIG. 7 is a sectional side view of a hinged mounting of a garment-support rod on the garment carriage;
FIG. 8 is a rear view of the rear side wall of the washing and drying chamber with spray pipes which are pivotally mounted thereon for pendulum-like oscillatory movement;
FIG. 9 is a schematic view of the circulation system for the suds solution and water;
FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic view of a modified washing machine; I
FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view taken through another washing machine, parallel to its front;
FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the machine displaced by 90 from that of FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic sectional view of modified garment-support rods provided with hinged suspended bars;
FIGS. 14 and 15 are vertical sectional views through a further preferred embodiment of the invention, seen respectively parallel to the loading door and transversely;
FIGS. 16 and 17 are vertical sectional views of two different types of machine doors;
FIG. 18 is a circuit diagram of the control system for the heating of the drying air;
FIG. 19 shows a circuit for the control of the drive of a rotary pump;
FIG. 20 is a time chart for a pair of cam plates of a program selector included in the circuit of FIG. 19;
FIG. 21 shows a circuit for heating the suds solution and driving the circulating pump; and
FIG. 22 is a time chart of a pair of cam plates of a program selector included in the circuit of FIG. 21.
As can be seen fromFIGS. 1 and 2, parallel rods 2 are provided in the ,upper part of the washing and drying chamber 1 of the machine and are hinged to a garment carriage 4, at a transverse bar 4' thereof, which can be extended out through the door 3 at the front of the machine For this purpose, as is apparent from FIG. 7, lugs 4" projecting from the transverse bar 4 of the carriage 4 have each a longitudinal slit 4" as well as a cradle 4'" for respective crossbolts 2, 2" which are located on the rods 2, these rods being generally U-shaped in cross-section and open downwardly. Whereas the bolt 2 passes through the longitudinal slit 4", the bolt 2' rests in the recess 4" of the associated lug 4" bracketed by the U-profile. The garment rods 2 are thereby locked or firmly maintained in their upper position, as shown in FIG. 7, whereas for folding down they need only be raised and drawn forward so that the crossbolts 2" can swing down past the front edges of the lugs 4". For loading and unloading the washing and drying chamber, the rods 2 are drawn out together with the carriage 4 through the door opening 3 located at the front of the machine whereupon the individual laundry items can be easily hung on or removed from the rods 2. In order to prevent, for example, a shirt which is hanging on a rod, or a sheet which has been folded once down the middle, from catching on the lower edge 3' of the door opening during each inward and outward movement of the carriage 4, the clear height H of the door opening should amount to at least about 1 meter and the cupboard-like machine should thus be of a suitable overall height.
Upper spray pipes 5 with flat discharge nozzles 6 are arranged at a distance WA (see FIG. 2) above the garment rods 2. The number of spray pipes 5 is limited to a maximum of five altogether for reasons of design economies of the circulating pump, so that about three spray pipes 5 are arranged in the upper part of the washing and drying chamber 1 while either a pair of pipes 5, as shown in FIG. 1, or a single spray-pipe arm 7 rotating about its vertical central axis, as shown in FIG. 2, is provided in the lower part of the chamber. This type of rotating spray-pipe arm 7 can be advantageously used also in place of the upper spray pipes 5. Whereas the supply of water or suds to the individual noule carriers or spray arms 5 takes place from one side at their rear ends, the rotating spray arm 7 is fed from below in the middle, as shown in FIG. 4. Spraying of the laundry items from the top and bottom has proved advantageous particularly with cumbersome articles which during the washing and rinsing steps hang folded over the rods 2, because then the insides of the items which hang down in U- shaped folds can be sprayed directly. The shape of the spray pipes 5 and the spray nozzles which project out therefrom is of special importance to the washing and smoothing of the garments. For this purpose, the spray pipes 5 are provided with flat dischargenozzles 6 of the kind which can be seen in particular from FIG. 3. The ends of the spray noules 6 are flattened or compressed. In this way, straight concentrated jets 8 of suds or water emerge which meet the individual laundry items broadside and with a comparatively large amount of kinetic energy, owing to the arrangement of the spray pipes 5 parallel to the rods 2. Through this blast action, on the one hand, and the thermoplastic action in the hanging garments which occurs at the processing temperatures, on the other hand, the garments are stretched and effectively smoothed. In order to let the flat jets pass all over the entire cross-sectional area of the washing and drying chamber 1 and thus also over all the items which have been hung up, the spray pipes 5 can be pivotally mounted about their longitudinal axes on the rear wall 1' of the washing and drying chamber and may be displaced durlng the washing and rinsing steps by an electric motor so as to oscillate in the manner of apendulum. One suitable mechanism for this purpose is illustrated in FIG. 8 in which the spray pipes 5, whose rear ends 5' project rearwardly out of the machine wall 1, are shown hinged to a common connecting rod 9 by guide rods 5", the rod 9 being connected by means of a pitman 9 with a crank disc 9" which is rotatably driven by an electric motor. The resulting oscillations of the spray pipes 5 have been symbolized by the doubleheaded arrows in FIGS. 1 and 2. The distance WA between the upper spray pipes 5 and the rods 2 which are located below them should amount to at least one-third of the spacing between adjacent spray pipes, so. that the downwardly directed jets of suds and water can better penetrate into the spaces between the garments.
Alongside to the washing and drying chamber 1 and separated therefrom by a vertical partition 10 there is provided a narrow air shall: 11 for the circulated drying air, this shaft being supplied with cooling means and connected at the top and bottom with the washing and drying chamber by way of ducts 12, 13 which extend essentially horizontally. The air shaft 11 is provided in its upper part, at about the upper third of its height, with a spraying device 14 from which jets of cooling water are directed on to its outer wall 15. In this way, the circulating air, which moves in the direction of the arrows, is effectively cooled when passing upwardly through the air shaft 11 so that the moisture contained in the air stream is condensed, the air being correspondingly dried. In order to circulate the drying air, a blower 16 (FIG. 10) is provided in the upper connecting duct 13, between the air shaft 11 and the washing and drying chamber 1, and a heating device 17 for the circulating air is coupled to the outlet side of the blower. By this heating device 17, the drying air, which has previously lost its moisture in the shaft 1 1 is reheated so that on subsequently passing through the washing and drying chamber from top to bottom it can again absorb moisture from the garments.
The lower connecting duct 12 is separated from the washing and drying chamber 1 above by a perforated base plate 18 and serves at the same time as a suds-and-water-collecting tank. In the embodiment of FIG. 2 the base plate 18 is mounted on the rotating spray arm 7 so that it takes part in the rotary motion of the arm during washing and rinsing. The base plate 18 is here formed as a circular disc covered at its edge by an annular flange 18' which leaves free the major part of the disc and is attached to the wall of the housing. It will be evident that the base plate 18 could also be fixed beneath the rotating spray arm 7. The lower part of the collector l2 defines a storage tank 12' in which is located an electric heater 19 for the suds solution or rinsing water discharged by way of a drain 12.
As shown in FIG. 9, the sudssolution and rinsing water are guided from the tank 12' through a conduit 20 to a circulating pump 21 and then via a high pressure branch 22 to a water switch 23 from which the circulating liquid passes out through conduits 24, 25 to the spray pipes 5. The circulating pump 21 can be driven by a pole-changing motor 26 and the water switch 23 by an electric motor 27, which are both controlled in known manner by a program selector 28 and associated relays.
Both the perforated base plate 18 of the washing and drying chamber 1 and a grating 29, which covers the tank discharge pipe 12" and whose mesh size is smaller than the width of the spray nozzles 6 in order to avoid any blockage by threads or other impurities, are arranged to be removable so that they can easily be cleaned.
Several spacing bars 30, one of which is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, can be deposited on the rods 2 and consist each of an oblong, generally U-shaped hollow member which is provided over its entire length with slits 31 for the passage of water and air. These spacing bars 30 are, as shown in FIG. 6, used to permit several garments 32, 33 to be hung one over anotheron the same support rod 2 with suitable spacing whereby because of their shape and design they improve the penetration and diffusion of the suds, rinsing water and drying air and thus generally ensure a more effective cleaning and drying of the individual garments hanging one over the other.
FIG. illustrates the entire machine in a diagrammatic and partly sectional view. The side walls of the washing and drying chamber 1 are provided with a heat-insulating layer 34 which is surrounded by an outer lining 35. The front opening 3 is closed by a door panel 36 which, by means of a rubber gasket 37, provides a watertight closure of the machine. The perforated plate 18 which forms the lower cover, the two spray pipes 5 as well as the support rods 2 of the extensible carriage 4 in the inserted position are all visible through the open door.
The upper closure of the machine is formed by a control panel 38 with adjustment knobs, indicators and keys for the program selector as well as by a soap basin 39 which can be swung out about a lateral vertical axis. The hollow pivotal axle 40 of the basin 39 at the same time forms a tubular connection to the washing and drying chamber 1 through which detergent can be passed into this chamber at appropriate times. The lower part of the outer lining 34 is shown broken away to give a view into the air shaft 11 which in the upper third of its length contains the spray device 14 for condensing the steam. The washing and drying chamber rests on two foundation plates 41 and is connected therewith by stays 42.
The washing machine illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12 is likewise in the shape of a cupboard of approximately a man's height. The washing and drying chamber. 101 is separated from the cupboard-like outer housing 102 by heat-insulating and sound-absorbing layers 103 and is closed at the front by a door 104. The door 104 is double-walled and defines a space 105 between its walls 104, 104" which opens into the washing and drying chamber 101 at the top through a labyrinth-like passage 106 and at its lower end 105' communicates freely with the outside. The space 105 serves for pressure equalization and at the same time as an overflow and foam outlet for the washing and drying chamber 101. Above the door 104 is located the electric control panel for the program selector (not shown) which is set behind the panel and above the washing and drying chamber, the panel being provided with a row of keys and corresponding control buttons.
The washing and drying chamber 101 has an inclined base 108 which slopes to one side of the machine; a circulating pump 109 for the suds solution and rinsing water and a driving motor 110 for the pump are arranged beneath the higher part of the base. The pump 109 is connected'through an intake duct 111 with the lower part 101' of the washing and drying chamber 101, which is filled with suds or rinsing water during the washing, rinsing and smoothing stages; a liquid-heating element 112 is also located in the washing and drying chamber. Furthermore,-beneath the base 108 there is an exhaust pump 113 which is attached to an outlet port 115 by an intake pipe 114 and leads outwardly to a drain (not shown) through its discharge pipe 1 16. A cold-water pipe (not shown) leading to the machine opens into the upper part of the washing and drying chamber.
On one longitudinal side of the machine is located an air and condensation shaft 1 18 which is separated from the washing and drying chamber 101 by a partition 117 and which is supplied during the drying process with sprays of cold water by way of a pipe 119, the function of the water being to cool down the drying air which flowsupward through the shaft 118 and thus to remove moisture therefrom. In order to ensure a thin uniform distribution of the cooling water, which trickles downwards, and to prevent the air which flows upwards from taking the wateralong with it, the sprayed outer wall of the condensation shaft 118 is covered with a fine-mesh textile fabric forming a water-absorbing liner 120. Moreover, on the lower edge of the partition 117 facing the washing and drying chamber 101 there is located a condensed-water trap 121 which keeps the condensate away from an air-inlet slit 122 located therebeneath and leading to the air and condensation shaft 118, thereby preventing the condensed water, which could otherwise drip off the partition 117 into the slit 122, from being carried along by the air stream. The upper part of the 118 which is situated above an inclined lid 123, extending substantially parallel to the inclined base 108, contains a heater 124 adjacent a driving motor 125' of a ventilator 125 for the circulating drying air, designed as a cross flow fan. The
air can be blown into the washing and drying chamber 101 in a sufficiently dry and heated state by way of an outlet slit 126 located in the inclined lid 123. An air distributor 127 is provided beneath the outlet slit 126 and consists of several diverging air deflectors 127 arranged in an arcuate array. Moreover, a basin 128 for the detergent and rinsing agent is provided on the lid of the housing.
The upper part of the washing and drying chamber 101 is provided with a garment carriage or bearer 129 which can be moved out at the front of the machine and is provided with hinged rods 130, arranged like the teeth of -a comb, for laundry items 131 which are to be hung up thereon. Beneath these rods there are provided two similarly comb-like slide rails 132, 133 which serve as a garment mover and can be moved to and fro in opposite horizontal directions, the prongs 132', 133' of the rails running parallel to the superposed rods 130 and having a smaller cross-sectional area than the latter so as not to hinder inward movement of the garments on the carriage 129. The to-and-fro movement of the garment mover indicated by the arrows is caused by an appropriate design and operation of the slide rails 132 and 133. The latter can be moved to and fro at least during specific stages of the washing, rinsing and drying cycle so that the articles hanging on the rods 130, particularly bulky and folded articles, undergo an adequate aerating and cleaning motion during these working stages and are in particular effectively supplied on the inside with suds, rinsing water and drying Another form of garment mover is illustrated in FIG. 13. Here the garment mover consists of mobile bars 134 of flattened U-shape which are articulated at their ends to the movable garment rods 130 by hinge joints 135. Each bar 134 has an arm 136 located eccentrically of the axis which runs through the hinge joints 135, the bars being made to oscillate by a reciprocable driving rod 137 having elbows 138 engaging the arms 136. The oscillations as well as the to-and-fro motions of the driving rod 137 are indicated by the double arrow. The oscillatory drive of the rod 137 can derive from an electric or hydraulic motor. As can be seen in FIG. 13, the ability of the rods 130 to fold down is not impaired by the mobile bars 134 and their driving connection with the rod 137.
In theembodiment of FIGS. 11 and 12, the supply of suds and rinsing water is effected by way of a U-shaped spray rack 140 arranged in the washing and drying chamber 101, the arms of this rack forming respectively upper and lower spray pipes 141, 142 interlinked by a tubular crosspiece 144 which runs adjacent the rear wall 143 of the washing and drying chamber and is pivotally mounted so as to be swingable about a horizontal axis 145 which runs approximately through the center of the washing and drying chamber 101 and through the center of the crosspiece. The drive can be taken from an electric or hydraulic motor. The spray rack 140 is connected through its pivotal bearing hub 146 to a high line 147 leading from the circulating pump 109. The two pipe halves 144', 144" of crosspiece 144 afford independent supplies of suds and rinsing water to the arms 141, 142 and as shown in FIG. 12, open separately into the pivotal'bearing hub 146 where they are supplied both individually and jointly with suds and rinsing water through a changeover valve which is connected in circuit and preferably incorporated directly in the pivotal bearing 148. It has proved particularly advantageous to design and regulate the changeover valve installed in the supply line so that during the washing step mainly the lower arm 142 is supplied with suds and rinsing water, during the smoothing step both arms 141,- 142 are supplied alternately, and during the rinsing step both arms are supplied jointly. Flat discharge nozzles 141', 142' located in the arms 141, 142 of the spray rack run parallel to the garment-support rods 130 and thus produce cones 141", 142" of spray which with the swinging motion of the rack 140, indicated by the large double arrow in FIG. 1 1, meet the broad surface of the hanging articles in continually alternating directions, thereby intensively beating the articles and imposing on them additional to-and-fro motion. In order to obtain a sufficient outlet pressure at the spray nozzles with a conventional and economic circulating pump 109, the latter is driven intermittently, specifically so that the standstill periods of the circulating pump during the washing process amount to at least three or four times its operating time, that is to at least about to 15 seconds. During the standstill periods, the suds flowing to the circulating pump 109, largely v in the-form of foam, have the opportunity to achieve suflicient concentration so that they can be supplied to the pipe arms 141, 142 by the circulating pump with full, even if only temporary, pressure.
In the modified washing machine illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15, a washing and drying chamber 21 1 is separated from an air shaft 221 by a vertical partition 203. The laundry items are hung up on comb-like rods 202 for the duration of the washing, rinsing, smoothing and drying process. Above the rods 202 are located two spray pipes 205 which are pivotable about their longitudinal axes and are connected in the same way as a lower rotating spray arm 204 to the circulating system for the suds and rinsing water (not shown) which is operated by a circulating pump 201. The pump inlet is connected with a collecting tank or base trough 206 above which is located a heater 207.
In order to dry the washed and rinsed garments hanging on the rods 202, the air in the machine is circulated by a powerful cross-current blower 208 as a heat and moisture carrier. This blower is tightly connected, by an annular sealing flange 209 on housing 212, through an interposed packing with the housing of the machine, i.e., with the wall of the washing and drying chamber 211. In order to prevent steam or foam (during the washing process) and moist air (during the drying process) from leaving the generally open front sides of the blower housing 212, the housing is closed in an airtight manner, the drive shaft 213 being sealed by conventional means. The transversecurrent blower 208 supplies air, issuing from the shaft 221, which air has been sufficiently dried through condensation at a fabric liner 224 and properly heated by passing by a heater 232, through one or more inlet orifices 214,-into the washing and drying chamber 211.
The transverse-current blower is, as shown in FIG. 14, mounted on the actual washing and drying chamber 211 and is so designed that its inlet and outlet directions 208, 208" form an obtuse angle of deflection a for the circulating drying air which is more than and can amount almost to The circulating drying air can thereby be better controlled in that allowance is made for the conditions produced by the preced ing condensation drying.
For uniform impingement on the articles, the jets of drying air emerging from the orifices 214 of blower 208 into the washing and drying chamber 211 are tilted to and fro over the hanging articles during the drying process so that the articles are struck by the jets of air intermittently. This causes a swaying motion which corresponds to the wind drying of articles hanging in the open air. Furthermore a pleasant finish is obtained through the moving of the articles during drying.
The oscillation of the jets of drying air can be effected in various ways. For example, as shown in FIG. 14, an air-guide baffle 215 arranged to be moved in oscillating fashion can be positioned in the upper part of the washing and drying chamber 211 near the inlet nozzles 214 for the drying air. Depending upon its position, the baffle 215 produces one or two concentrated flat air jets which rotate over the hanging garments. The bafile 215 can be driven by an electric motor 216 through a speed-reducing device 217 and a crank arrangement 218 which at the same time can also drive the spray pipes 205, as shown. Instead of a separate electric motor 216, use can be made of the motor 219 which drives the fan member of the blower 208; the gear unit 217 could then be flanged onto the other end of the drive shafl 213 of this electric motor.
On passing through the hanging laundry items, the drying air absorbs moisture by vaporization and in the lower region of the washing and drying chamber 211 it passes through a inlet orifice 220 into the condensation and air-intake shaft 221. The inlet orifice 220 is so designed that air turbulence and thus pressure Iossesare avoided. Moreover, air swirls at this point would have a very disadvantageous effect in that the downward-flowing cooling water, whichpasses into the washing and drying chamber together with the condensate, would be carried along by the air current and thus come into contact with the articles, thereby reducing the drying effect. In order to avoid this, the air inlet orifice 220 is made at least twice as large in cross-section as the air shaft 212 and is so designed with regard to the air flow that it co-operates with the base of the washing and drying chamber 211 to guarantee a non-turbulent inflow of air to the air shaft 221. In order to prevent cooling water and condensate from being carried along by the air current in the region of the air outlet orifice 220, there is provided a cooling water guide plate 223 which lies just above the base of the washing and drying chamber 211 and extends partly into the air shaft 221. The purpose of this plate is to keep the condensate and the cooling water which flows down in the cooling water guide fabric 224 completely separate from the air current, particularly in the region of the air outlet orifice 220. For this purpose, the plate 223 covers the lower part of the cooling water guide fabric 224 attached to the outer wall of the air shaft 221, and web being inserted into the space between the plate 223 and the housing wall. The advantageous effect of the cooling water guiding fabric 224 is due in particular to the fact that the adhesive and capillary forces which keep the cooling water and condensate in the fabric are considerably greater than the separating forces for r the cooling water and condensate which are caused by the air flow.
A basic feature of appliances in which the laundry is washed and dried in the hanging state is that continuous spaces 226 remain between the articles from top to bottom (FIG. 14) through which the drying air can pass unimpeded and without absorbing the moisture from the wash. This has as a result that a substantial portion of the drying air will pass unused through the washing and drying chamber 211. Both portions of air are then mixed in the condensation and air-inlet shaft 221. In order to eliminate this drawback, which involves a sharply