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Publication numberUS3793854 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 26, 1974
Filing dateNov 13, 1972
Priority dateNov 13, 1972
Publication numberUS 3793854 A, US 3793854A, US-A-3793854, US3793854 A, US3793854A
InventorsBrucken B
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bulkhead mounting arrangement for tub seal and drive mechanism
US 3793854 A
Abstract
A domestic clothes washer has an agitator in a nested pair of tubs. The inner tub is rotatable and the outer tub is generally fixed against rotation and adapted to contain water. The outer tub includes a bottom bulkhead having brackets thereon for supporting an agitating and spinning drive mechanism therebelow. The bulkhead also has a central boss forming a pocket for directly mounting a water seal and a guide surface for centering the drive mechanism. The drive mechanism is substantially preassembled and properly oriented with respect to the clothes washer when it is attached to the brackets on the bulkhead. The portion of the mechanism for driving the inner tub and the agitator extends through the bulkhead in water-sealed relationship with the central boss by virtue of the water seal in the pocket.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Brucken [4 1 Feb. 26, 1974 [75] Inventor: Byron L. Brucken, Miamisburg,

Ohio

[73] Assignee: General Motors Corporation,

Detroit, Mich.

[22] Filed: Nov. 13, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 305,946

Primary ExaminerWilliam 1. Price Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Frederick M. Ritchie [57] ABSTRACT A domestic clothes washer has an agitator in a nested pair of tubs. The inner tub is rotatable and the outer tub is generally fixed against rotation and adapted to contain water. The outer tub includes a bottom bulkhead having brackets thereon for supporting an agitating and spinning drive mechanism therebelow. The bulkhead also has a central boss forming a pocket for directly mounting a water seal and a guide surface for centering the drive mechanism. The drive mechanism is substantially preassembled and properly oriented with respect to the clothes washer when it is attached to the brackets on the bulkhead. The portion of the mechanism for driving the inner tub and the agitator extends through the bulkhead in water-sealed relationship with the central boss by virtue of the water seal in the pocket.

3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PA'IENTED FEB 2 6 I974 BULKHEAD MOUNTING ARRANGEMENT FOR TUB SEAL AND DRIVE MECHANISM This invention relates to a domestic appliance and, more particularly, to an improved arrangement for mounting and sealing a substantially preassembled drive mechanism directly to a clothes washer bulkhead.

In prior clothes washing art, agitating and spinning drive mechanisms were generally assembled along with the clothes washer. Final testing of such mechanisms was necessarily restricted to operation of the entire washer. If testing turned up a problem in the mechanism, a substantial tear-down of the clothes washer was required to repair the mechanism. This invention permits a substantially preassembled and pretested drive mechanism to be attached and sealed to the bottom bulkhead of a clothes washer tub.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved arrangement for attaching and sealing a substantially preassembled agitating and spinning drive mechanism in a domestic clothes washer.

Another object of this invention is the provision'of asymmetrical brackets welded on the outside of a bottom bulkhead of a clothes washer tub for supporting and orienting a drive mechanism beneath the tub.

It is also an object of this invention to provide in a clothes washer a more stable mounting arrangement for an agitating and spinning mechansim which distributes stresses from spinning to widely spaced mounting bracket and fastening means supporting the mechanism on the bottom bulkhead of the clothes washer tub.

A more specific provision in the mounting arrangement of the last object locates the mounting bracket and fastening means exteriorly of the tub and asymmet- I rically to the bottom bulkhead around its center thereby to distribute stresses from spinning away from the center of said bulkhead.

Another object of this invention is the provision of a pocket on a clothes washer tub bottom in the center thereof directly mounting a tub seal between said tub bottom and a drive mechanism where the drive mechanism extends through said tub bottom.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.

IN THE DRAWINGS:

FIG. 1 is a side sectional view of a clothes washing machine partly in elevation and with parts broken away to show a substantially preassembled drive mechanism installed therein in accordance with the improved bulkhead mounting and sealing arrangement of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary side sectional view partly in elevation of the improved bulkhead mounting and sealing arrangement;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the sealing arrangement shown in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4--4 in FIG. 1.

As the environment for this invention and with reference to FIG. 1, a domestic clothes washer is shown generally at 10. The washer includes a box-like sheet metal casing 12 having a top wall 14. The top wall has an access opening (not shown) through which clothes are loaded and unloaded.

The casing 12 is shown to enclose a nested tub assembly 24. The assembly includes an open top imperforate wall water container or outer tub 26 and a perforate wall spin basket or inner tub 28. Perforations are coextensive with the cylindrical sidewall of the spin basket. An annular plastic subtop 30 is sealingly clamped to the open top of the water container 26. The subtop circumscribes the open top of the water container and extends over a rim 33 forming the top opening of the spin basket 28 to define an access collar 36 between the access opening of the cabinet and the top opening of the spin basket.

The water container 26 and, thus, the tub assembly 24 is mounted on a suspension system shown generally at 40 and more fully taught in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,493,118, granted Feb. 3, 1970. The tub assembly includes an agitator 44 which with the spin basket 28 is connected to a drive mechanism shown generally at 50. The drive mechanism may be of a roller-drive type taught more fully in my copending application Ser. No. 232,175 filed Mar. 6, 1972, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,744,325. In general, mechanism 50 may be operated by a reversible motor 52 in one manner to oscillate the agitator 44 for washing clothes in the tub assembly. When the mechanism is operated in another manner (motor 52 reversed), the spin basket 28 is rotated with respect to the washer container 26 for centrifuging washing fluid from the clothes in the spin basket.

Drive mechansim 50 is substantially preassembled. It includes a mechanism support 60 which provides the base to which the remaining components of the mechanism are assembled and extended attachment arms 62, 64 and 66 for attaching the mechanism to the water container as will be described more fully hereinafter in conjunction with the drive mechanism mounting arrangement of my invention.

More particularly, drive mechanism 50 includes an oscillatable agitate drive shaft 70 and a rotatable spin drive shaft 72 concentric with said agitate drive shaft. Both shafts 70, 72 extend from and are enclosed by a housing portion 74 of the mechanism support. These shaft extensions are adapted for connection respectively with agitator 44 and spin basket 28. In this regard, agitate shaft 70 includes on its upper end and keyed thereto a splined agitator driver 76. This driver interfits with a complementary socket 78 in the underside of agitator 44 and transmits the horizontal oscillations of the agitate shaft 70 to the agitator.

The spin basket is adapted for connection with drive mechanism 50 by means of a spin basket support 80. Support 80 extends through a central opening 81 in the spin basket and is fastened in keyed relationship to the upper end of spin shaft 72 by a nut 82. In turn, spin basket 28 is fastened to support 80 as by bolts or screws 84 or other suitable fastening means. Thus, support 80 transmits the rotations of spin shaft 72 to spin basket 28. Note that socket 78 and agitator driver 76 have a smaller diameter or dimension on a horizontal plane than central opening 81. This permits the agitator driver 76 to pass through opening 81 where desirable to simplify assembly.

Conventional water or fluid seal assemblies 88, are provided between relatively rotating parts to prevent water from leaking into the drive mechanism 50. Seal assembly 88 is located on the agitate shaft 70 between the agitator driver 76 and the spin basket support 80. Seal assembly 90 includes a bottom portion 91 which encircles a depending collar 92 on the spin basket support 80 and presses against a carbon seal portion 93 to form a watertight jointure between spin basket support 80 and water container 26. Portion 91 of the seal assembly has an elastomeric sheath 95 outboard of the carbon seal portion 93 to seal against water leaks where seal portion 91 engages the water container. Accordingly, seal assembly 90 forms a completely watertight jointure between the housing portion 74 of the drive mechanism and the water container.

From the foregoing, my substantially preassembled drive mechanism 50 includes the mechanism support 60, spin and agitate shafts 72, 70 together with sleeve and ball bearings 94, 96 associated therewith.

In accordance with my invention, water container 26 includes a bottom wall or bulkhead 110. In the center of the bulkhead is a centrally drawn cup or boss 112 projecting downwardly from the bulkhead and having on the inside thereof an annular shelf 113 defining a pocket 114 and an outer tub opening 1 16. Opening 116 is in axial alignment with opening 81 in spin basket 28. Pocket 114 mounts the bottom portion 91 of water seal assembly 90 directly to bulkhead 110.

The outside of boss 112 defines a guide surface 120. Support housing portion 74 includes upstanding fingers or locating means 124 which grip guide surface 120 for centering the agitate shaft and agitator driver 76 with respect to the socket 78 in the agitator. Such centering also locates the spin shaft 72 with respect to the spin basket support 80 and spin basket opening 81.

Drive mechanism 50 is supported directly from the under side of bulkhead 110. For this purpose, brackets 130, 132, 134 and 136 are welded to the bottom of the bulkhead so the bulkhead need not be perforated. Brackets 130, 132 align with attachment arm 62 of the mechanism and connect thereto with suitable fastening means 140 driven from below. In similar fashion, attachment arm 64 fastens to bracket 136 and attachment arm 66 fastens to bracket 134. After drive mechansim 50 is fastened to the brackets and due to the asymmetrical relation of the brackets to the bulkhead, the mechanism is oriented with respect to motor 52 and pump 141. Belt 142 interconnects motor, pump and drive mechanism.

The manufacturing assembly of drive mechanism 50 in clothes washer will now be described. In accordance with the teachings of this invention, mechanism 50 can be pretested before assembly to determine that agitate shaft 70 satisfactorily oscillates and spin shaft 72 satisfactorily rotates when the mechanism is selectively driven by a prime mover such as motor 52.

Concentric shafts 70, 72 for agitate and spin are inserted from below bulkhead 110 through outer tub opening 1 16. Support housing portion 74 abuts the bottom of the bulkhead with fingers 124 centering the mechanism. Attachment arms 62, 64, 66 are properly oriented with their respective brackets 130- 132, 136, 134 and fastened thereto from below.

The bottom portion 91 of water seal assembly 90 is placed directly in pocket 114 in bulkhead boss 112 thereby encircling exposed concentric shafts 70, 72 of the drive mechanism as well as depending collar 92 on the spin basket support 80 when the basket support is installed. The carbon seal portion 93 is preassembled in a lower annular recess of the spin basket support 80 and thus rests on top of seal portion 91 when support 90 is installed. Seal portions 91, 93 thus cooperate to form a relatively rotatable watertight jointure between bulkhead 110 and the support housing portion of the drive mechanism. This jointure, along with the snug elastomeric fit of seal portion 91 in pocket 114, keeps water from leaking out of the water container into the drive mechanism 50. Since bulkhead 110 has no other opening than 116, potential leakage points are at a minimum and thus easily controlled by the single water seal assembly 90 mounted directly in a pocket of the bulkhead and encircling the single opening 116.

Next, spin basket support 80 is fastened to the spin shaft with nut 82. Then the spin basket attaches to the support as by bolts 84. Water seal assembly 88 slips over the end of agitate shaft and rests on the top of spin basket support where it encloses nut 82. Lastly, agitator driver 76 is attached to the top of agitate shaft 70 and agitator 44 is slipped onto the agitator driver. The interconnection of motor 52 with drive mechanism 50 by drive belt 142 conditions the drive mechanism for operation in its clothes washing functions.

While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.

What is claimed is:

1. In a domestic clothes washer, an outer tub having a bottom bulkhead adapted to contain washing fluid, an inner tub nested within said outer tub in spaced relation thereto and adapted for rotation within said outer tub, said inner tub having a central inner tub opening in the bottom thereof, an agitator adapted for movement within said inner tub and having a socket in line with said central opening in the inner tub, an agitating and spinning mechanism including spin drive shaft means for rotating said inner tub and agitate drive shaft means concentric with said spin drive shaft means for moving said agitator, both of said drive shaft means extending through said bulkhead into said outer tub, and a drive motor for driving said mechanism, the invention comprising an arrangement for mounting and sealing the agitating and spinning mechanism in substantially preassembled form beneath said outer tub, said arrangement comprising brackets welded to the outside of said bulkhead in relation thereto and a boss projecting from said bulkhead in the center thereof, said boss forming an outer tub opening in axial alignment with the central opening in said inner tub and the socket in said agitator, said boss having one portion forming a pocket around said outer tub opening and another portion forming a guide surface for said mechanism, said mechanism having a mechanism support including extended attachment arms fastened to said brackets in one manner only due to said relation of the brackets to orient said mechanism with respect to said drive motor, said mechanism support including a housing portion enclosing both of said drive shaft means where said drive shaft means extend through said bulkhead into said outer tub, said housing portion including locating means engaging the guide surface of said boss for centering the agitate drive shaft means with respect to the agitator socket and the spin drive shaft means with respect to the inner tub opening thereby to facilitate the attachment of said inner tub at said central opening to said spin drive shaft means and the attachment of said agitator to said agitate drive shaft means, and fluid seal means mounted directly to said bulkhead within said pocket, said fluid seal means circling the housing portion of said mechanism support and said outer tub opening where said drive shaft means extend through said bulkhead into said outer tub to form a fluid-tight jointure circumscribing said outer tub opening to contain washing fluid in the outer tub.

2. The mounting and sealing arrangement of claim 1 wherein the portion of said boss forming the guide surface for said mechanism is on the outside of said boss.

3. In a domestic clothes washer, an outer tub having a bottom bulkhead adapted to contain washing fluid, an inner tub nested within said outer tub in spaced relation thereto and adapted for rotation within said outer tub, said inner tub having a central inner tub opening in the bottom thereof, an agitator adapted for movement within said inner tub and having a socket in line with said central opening in the inner tub, said socket being smaller on a horizontal plane than mechanism central opening, an agitating and spinning mechanism including within said outer tub a spin shaft and inner tub support for rotating said inner tub and an agitate shaft concentric with said spin shaft for moving said agitator, and a drive motor for driving said mechanism, the invention comprising an arrangement for mounting and sealing the agitating and spinning mechanism in substantially preassembled form beneath said outer tub, said arrangement comprising three brackets welded to the outside of said bulkhead in relation thereto and a boss projecting from said bulkhead in the center thereof, said boss forming an outer tub opening in axial alignment with the central opening in said inner tub and the socket in said agitator, said boss having one portion forming a pocket around said outer tub opening and another portion forming a guide surface for said mechanism, said mechanism having a mechanism support including three extended attachment arms fastened to said brackets in one manner only due to said relation to orient said mechanism with respect to said drive motor, said mechanism support including a housing portion enclosing said spin and agitate shafts where said shafts extend through said bulkhead into said outer tub, said housing portion including locating means extending therefrom into engagement with the guide surface of said boss for centering the agitate shaft with respect to the agitator socket and the spin shaft with respect to the inner tub support and the inner tub opening thereby to facilitate the attachment of said inner tub support to said spin shaft, the attachment of said inner tub at said central opening to said inner tub support and the attachment of said agitator to mechanism agitate shaft, and fluid seal means mounted directly to said outer tub within said pocket, said fluid seal means circling the housing portion of said mechanism support where said mechansim support joins with said outer tub opening to form a fluidtight jointure between said housing portion and said outer tub opening to contain washing fluid in the outer tub.

P0405) I UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Pat nt No, 307930854 Dated February 26, 1974 mvenwflx) Byron L. Brucken It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

F t I "I column 2, line 29 water -y should read Column 5, line 19 "mechanism? Y should read said Column 6, line 21 Column 6, line 26 "fluidtight" should read fluid-tight Signed and sealed this 15th day of October 1974.

(SEAL) Attest:

MoCOY M. GIBSON JR. c. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2158815 *Sep 21, 1936May 16, 1939Bendix Home Appliances IncWashing machine
US3152463 *Jun 17, 1963Oct 13, 1964Gen Motors CorpCombination agitating means and spinning means with speed control means
US3604029 *Aug 20, 1969Sep 14, 1971Bain Neil AMethod and apparatus for sealing and lubricating a washing machine transmission
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6354115Oct 21, 1999Mar 12, 2002Clark Seals, Ltd.Two-component seal for a washing machine spin tub
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/23.7
International ClassificationD06F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F13/00
European ClassificationD06F13/00