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Publication numberUS3677030 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1972
Filing dateJun 17, 1970
Priority dateJun 17, 1970
Also published asCA934974A, CA934974A1, DE7119218U
Publication numberUS 3677030 A, US 3677030A, US-A-3677030, US3677030 A, US3677030A
InventorsDuane W Nicholas
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Axially movable twist tray domestic ice maker
US 3677030 A
Abstract
An ice body maker having means for twisting the tray in which the ice bodies are formed to free the ice bodies therefrom for harvesting. The tray is twisted by rotating the tray while temporarily holding one portion of the tray. Upon completion of the freeing operation, the tray is released for continued rotation in completing a cycle of the apparatus.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Nicholas 5] July 18, 1972 54] AXIALLY MOVABLE TWIST TRAY 3,026,684 3/1962 Chace ..62/353 x DOMESTIC ICE MAKER 3,580,009 5/1971 Snow ..62/72 [72] Inventor: Duane W. Nicholas, Evansville, Ind. primary Examine, wi||iam F. wayer [73] Assigneez whmpod Corporation Attorney-James S. Nettleton, Thomas E. Turcotte, Burton H. v Baker, Gene A. l-leth, Franklin C. Halter, Anthony Niewyk, Flledi J 1970 Robert L. Judd and Hofgren, Wegner, Allen, Stellman and 21 Appl. No.: 46,924 Mccmd [57] ABSTRACT 52 U.S. l In! 52;: An ice body maker having means for twisting the tray in WhlCh 58] Field I37 72 the ice bodies are formed to free the ice bodies therefrom for v harvesting. The tray is twisted by rotating the tray while tem- [56] References Cited poran'ly holding one portion of the tray. Upon completion of the freeing operation, the tray is released for continued rota- UNITED STATES PATENTS tion in completing a cycle of the apparatus.

3,056,271 10/1962 De Turk ..62/353 7 Claim, 12 Drawing Figures 27 /8 ii; 29 ML: 7 my? lZ /4 17' AXIALLY MOVABLE TWIST TRAY DOMESTIC ICE MAKER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 7 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to ice body makers and in particular to means for harvesting ice bodies from a tray in which the ice bodies are formed.

2. Description of the Prior Art A number of ice body makers have been developed wherein the ice bodies are freed from the tray in which they are formed by a twisting action. The known devices for effecting such twist tray harvesting are relatively complicated and expensive. Further, the known twist tray ice makers have been found to present substantial maintenance problems and are not always fully effective in the harvesting action.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprehends an improved twist tray ice body maker which is extremely simple and economical of construction while yet providing an improved positive harvesting action.

More specifically, the invention comprehends the provision in such an ice body maker of apparatus including a resilient tray defining a mold cavity in which water may be frozen to form an ice body with the tray disposed in an ice body forming position, means for rotatively driving a first portion of the tray to urge the tray rotatively about an axis from the forming position, a stop adjacent a second portion of the tray spaced from the first portion, means for causing relative translation between the tray and the stop to cause abutment of the second tray portion with the stop to prevent rotative movement of the second portion while the driving means rotatively drives the first portion thereby causing a twisting of the tray to free the ice body in the mold cavity, and means for disengaging the second tray portion from the stop to permit further free rotation of the tray about the axis.

The tray may comprise an elongated tray wherein the end portions thereof may be respectively driven and held during the twisting action. Axial translation of the tray may be effected by suitable cam means. The means for disengaging the tray from the stop may comprise spring means, cam means, etc. The means for controlling the movement of the tray toward the stop may comprise a cam mounted on the housing of the drive control.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an ice body maker embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation thereof with a portion broken away to facilitate illustration of the stop means and disengaging means thereof;

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the control housing carrying the cam means;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the stop means;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a modified form of stop means suitable for use in the apparatus;

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic side elevation illustrating arrangement of the apparatus as during the ice forming step;

FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the apparatus in a rotated position 90 from the position of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a side elevation of the apparatus with the tray in a rotated position 180 from the position of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation of the apparatus with the tray in a partially twisted condition;

FIG. 10 is a vertical section taken substantially along the line 10-10 ofFlG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a vertical section taken substantially along the line l1- 11 of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a side elevation of the apparatus with the tray as rotated slightly beyond the twisted position;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, an ice body maker generally designated 10 is shown to comprise a tray 11 forming a plurality of cavities 12 in which ice bodies may be fonned. Tray 11 is rotated about its central axis by a control 14 comprising a conventional motor drive and associated gearing, (not shown), to selectively dispose the tray in an ice body forming position such as shown in FIG. 6, and an inverted harvesting position as shown in FIG. 9. Tray 11 is axially movable and rotatably fixed on a drive shaft 15 projecting forwardly from a front face 16 of the housing 17 of control 14 as best seen in FIG. 1. The distal end portion 18 of tray 11 is rotatably mounted on a pivot 19 carried on an upright end wall 20 of a suitable support 21 extending forwardly from housing front face 16. Support 21 is open at bottom portion 22 to permit the freed ice bodies to fall therethrough in the harvesting operation.

Freeing of the ice bodies from tray 11 formed in cavities 12 is effected herein by a twisting of the tray which is preferably formed of a resilient material such as metal, plastic, or the like. As indicated briefly above, the present invention comprehends an improved simple and economical means for effect the twisting action. More specifically, as shown in FIG. 3, housing face 16 is provided with a cam 23 having a forwardly facing cam surface 24 sloping arcuately downwardly away from the control face 16. The rear end 25 of tray 11 is provided with a cam follower 26 which projects rearwardly from the tray to engage cam surface 24 during a portion of the rotational movement of the tray about its axis. Tray 11 is biased rearwardly toward control face 16 by suitable means such as spring 27 disposed between support wall 20 and a depending flange 28 on the forward end 18 of the tray. As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, other suitable control means, such as cam means, may be utilized in lieu of the spring 27 to control the axial positioning of the tray in its different rotational positions.

Further carried on front wall 20 of support 21 is a stop generally designated 29 defining a shoulder 30 adapted to be abutted by the front lip portion 31 of the tray when the tray is urged axially forwardly with the tray substantially in the inverted position of FIG. 8. As shown in FIG. 4, shoulder 30 may comprise a shoulder extending at an angle to a base portion 32 of the stop member adapted to be secured to the upright wall 20 and thus extending at an angle to the longitudinal of the housing. The inclined stop shoulder may provide facilitated removal of the lip portion 31 therefrom upon completion of the twisting action and functions to assist in the rearward movement of the tray for repositioning the tray to the position of FIG. 6.

Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 5, the stop shoulder may be parallel to the axis as illustrated by the stop shoulder 300 on the modified stop 29a.

The operation of apparatus 10 is extremely simple. Thus, as shown in FIG. 6, the tray cavities may be suitably filled with water in an upright position with the tray in a retracted, or axially rearward disposition. In this disposition, cam follower 26 is spaced from cam 23 and lip portion 31 is spaced from stop 29.

Assuming that the formation of ice bodies in cavities 12 is completed, the control 14 causes a rotation of the tray in a clockwise direction looking rearwardly toward front face 16 to initiate the harvesting operation. Thus, the tray passes through a position as shown in FIG. 7, to an inverted position as shown in FIG. 8. In the inverted position, follower 26 engages cam 23 to urge tray 11 axially forwardly thereby to bring lip portion 31 into overlying relationship to stop 29.

Continued rotation of control shaft 15 causes rear portion 25 of tray 11 to have continued clockwise movement, as shown in FIG. 9, while front tray portion 18 is held against movement by the abutment of lip 31 with shoulder 30 of stop 29, as shown in FIGS. 9-11. The rotational differential produces a twisting effect, as best illustrated in FIG. 9. The twist is preselected to free the ice bodies from the tray cavities.

As rotation of shaft is further continued, rear portion continues to move in a clockwise direction until cam follower 26 passes from cam 23. This action may be caused to take place abruptly by provision of the abrupt edge 33 at the clockwise end of cam 23 permitting the follower to fall substantially instantaneously from the cam surface 24 whereby a shock impulse is transmitted to the tray which may be useful in removing any freed ice bodies inadvertently clinging to the tray in the inverted position. The tray is urged rearwardly to the retracted position at this time by spring 27 repositioning cam follower 26 so that its rotational path will again bring it into engagement with cam 23 during a subsequent harvesting cycle. The rearward repositioning of tray 11 also moves lip 31 out of interfering relationship with stop 29 as shown in FIG. 12, thus permitting continued rotation of tray 11 to the FIG. 6 position.

The now freed ice bodies are harvested by falling downwardly from the tray when it reaches an inverted position through support opening 22 into a suitable conventional collecting means (not shown).

Control 14 may be arranged to return the tray automatically to the ice body forming position of FIG. 6 for a subsequent forming of additional ice bodies when the level of ice bodies in the collecting means is less than a preselected full level.

Thus, the invention comprehends an improved simplified ice body maker wherein the harvesting of the formed ice bodies is effected by an extremely simple twist tray means utilizing a continuous 360 rotation afforded by the control shaft. The substantial forces generated in the twisting operation providing for effectively positive harvesting of the ice bodies with controlled minimum stress of the tray for long, trouble-free life of the apparatus. The elements effecting the desired twisting and axial movement of the tray are extremely simple and may be ruggedly constructed to effectively assure minimum maintenance while yet positively providing the harvesting operation as discussed above.

The foregoing disclosure of specific embodiments is illustrative of the broad inventive concepts comprehended by the invention.

Having described the invention, the embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. In an ice body maker, apparatus comprising: a resilient tray defining a mold cavity in which water may be frozen to form an ice body with said tray disposed in an ice body forming position; means for rotatively driving a first end of the tray to urge the tray rotatively about an axis from said forming position; a first, fixed stop axially spaced adjacent a second end of the tray; cam means for causing axial translation of the tray toward said fixed stop concurrently with the rotation of the tray to cause abutment of said second tray end with said fixed stop to substantially positively prevent rotative movement of said second end while said driving means rotatively drives said first end thereby causing a twisting of the tray between said ends preselected to free the ice body in said mold cavity; and resilient means cooperating with the cam means for causing reverse axial relative translation of the tray away from the stop at a preselected rotational position of said first end for suddenly disengaging said second tray end from said stop subsequent to said twisting to snap said tray and permit continued rotation of the tray about said axis back to said ice body forming position.

2. The ice body maker apparatus of claim 1 wherein said resilient means for disengaging said second tray end from said stop comprises means biasing said tray constantly away from said stop, said cam means overcoming said biasing means to cause said abutment of the second tray end with the stop.

3. The ice body maker apparatus of claim 1 wherein said cam means engages the tray to effect said axial condition and is arranged to be disengaged from the tray upon completion of said preselected twisting.

4. The ice body maker apparatus of claim 1 wherein said driving means includes a housing and said cam means is mounted on said housing. I

5. The ice body maker apparatus of claim 1 lllClUdlIlg a support wall carrying said stop and means on said wall for rotatably mounting said one end of said tray.

6. The ice body maker apparatus of claim 1 wherein said driving means comprises a motor drive enclosed in a control housing and said cam means is carried on said housing.

7. The ice body maker apparatus of claim 1 wherein said driving means includes a housing and said cam means is integral with said housing.

@2 5 UNITED STATES PATENT, OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,677,030 Dated July 18, 1972 Inventofls) Duane C. Nichols It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Item [72] After "Duane" delete "W'. Nicholas," and insert -C'. Nichols,--

Signed and sealed this 9th day of April 197b,.

(SEAL) Attest:

v EDWARD 1-1.FLETGHER,JR. E c. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3026684 *Jul 20, 1959Mar 27, 1962Dole Valve CoDistortable ice tray and control mechanism therefor
US3056271 *May 20, 1960Oct 2, 1962Philco CorpIce makers
US3580009 *Jan 13, 1969May 25, 1971White Consolidated Ind IncIce maker
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3871189 *Oct 1, 1973Mar 18, 1975Tokyo Shibaura Electric CoIce making device
US4306423 *Oct 9, 1980Dec 22, 1981General Electric CompanyFlexible tray type ice maker
US4628698 *Jan 9, 1985Dec 16, 1986Eaton CorporationMaking ice in a refrigerator
US4852359 *Jul 27, 1988Aug 1, 1989Manzotti Ermanno JProcess and apparatus for making clear ice cubes
US6481235 *Aug 6, 2001Nov 19, 2002Lg Electronics Inc.Ice making device of refrigerator
US7131280Oct 26, 2004Nov 7, 2006Whirlpool CorporationMethod for making ice in a compact ice maker
US7185508Oct 26, 2004Mar 6, 2007Whirlpool CorporationRefrigerator with compact icemaker
US7437885Oct 26, 2004Oct 21, 2008Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7628031Mar 26, 2008Dec 8, 2009Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7665316 *May 12, 2006Feb 23, 2010Japan Servo Co., Ltd.Automatic icemaker
US7841191Oct 28, 2009Nov 30, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7849707Oct 28, 2009Dec 14, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7891207Oct 28, 2009Feb 22, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7913510Oct 28, 2009Mar 29, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7913514Oct 28, 2009Mar 29, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US7946125Oct 28, 2009May 24, 2011Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US8096142Oct 28, 2009Jan 17, 2012Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20060086107 *Oct 26, 2004Apr 27, 2006Voglewede Ronald LMethod for making ice in a compact ice maker
US20060086134 *Oct 26, 2004Apr 27, 2006Voglewede Ronald LRefrigerator with compact icemaker
US20070089441 *May 12, 2006Apr 26, 2007Japan Servo Co., Ltd.Automatic icemaker
US20080209937 *Mar 26, 2008Sep 4, 2008Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20100037632 *Oct 28, 2009Feb 18, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20100037633 *Feb 18, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20100037634 *Oct 28, 2009Feb 18, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20100043456 *Oct 28, 2009Feb 25, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20100043457 *Feb 25, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20100043458 *Oct 28, 2009Feb 25, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20100043459 *Oct 28, 2009Feb 25, 2010Whirlpool CorporationWater spillage management for in the door ice maker
US20120011868 *Jan 19, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Ice making unit and refrigerator having the same
EP2660540A3 *Apr 10, 2013Jan 6, 2016Whirlpool CorporationHeater-less ice maker assembly with a twistable tray
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/353, 62/72
International ClassificationF25C1/04, F25C1/22
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/22, F25C2305/022, F25C1/04
European ClassificationF25C1/22, F25C1/04