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Publication numberUS3807822 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateOct 2, 1972
Priority dateOct 2, 1972
Also published asCA979964A1
Publication numberUS 3807822 A, US 3807822A, US-A-3807822, US3807822 A, US3807822A
InventorsAmore L
Original AssigneePhilco Ford Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cabinet shelf construction
US 3807822 A
Abstract
A shelving arrangement for a refrigerator door in which trays, which comprise door-mounted shelves, are adjustable vertically along the door merely by exerting pressure against the under sides of the trays. The interior liner of the door is formed of a sheet of plastic material and carries, along spaced forwardly presented edges, indentations vacuum-formed in the liner and over which lies a vertically extending trim strip cooperable with the indentations to form pockets facing across the width of the door. The trays are movably mounted in the door through the agency of front flanging which closely overlies the outside of the trim strip and spring-urged plungers which are disposed within the pockets and lie close to the other side of the trim strip. The flanging and plungers, in cooperation with the trim strip, maintain the trays properly aligned and securely positioned in the door, without the need to rely upon any supports at the back of the trays.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Amore v 1111 3,807,822 Apr. 30, 1974 CABINET SHELF CONSTRUCTION [75] Inventor: Leo J. Amore, Connersville, Ind. ABSTRACT [73 Assignee: Philco-Ford Corporation, Blue Bell, A shelving arrangement for a refrigerator door in p which trays, which comprise door-mounted shelves, are adjustable vertically along the door merely by ex- [22] Flled: 1972 erting pressure against the under sides of the trays. 211 App]. 293 0 The interior liner of the door is formed of a sheet of plastic material and carries, along spaced forwardly I presented edges, indentations vacuum-formed in the [52] US. Cl. 312/138 A, 211/176 liner and Over which lies averticauy extending trim [51] II-ll. C1. A47f 5/08, A47g 29/00 Strip cooperable with the indentations to form pockets [58] Field Of Search 312/138 R, 138 A, 143; facing across; the width of the door. T trays are 211/176; 108/108 152; 248/243 244 movably mounted in the door through the agency of front flanging which closely overlies the outside of the [56] References C'ted trim-strip and spring-urged plungers which are dis- U I ED ST TES A E S v posed within the pockets and lie close to the other 3,469,711 9/1969 Swaneck et al. 312/1381: side of the trim strip. The flanging and plungers, in co- 3,647,079 3/1972 Ohlin 211/176 operation with the trim strip, maintain the trays prop- 3,375,936 4/1968 Kessler 211/176 erly aligned and securely positioned in the door, without the need to rely upon any supports at the back of Primary ExaminerCasmir A. Nunberg v the trays. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert D. Sa'nbom; Carl H.' Synnestvedt; Harry W. Hargis, 111 Clalms 5 Drawlng Figures /3 23 r 1 {a 2 M I /i-- Z/ CABINET SHELF CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There is a trend in kitchen appliances of the cabinet type toward side-by-side presentation of the compart ments, e.g., the freezing and food storage compartments of a refrigerator, with each compartment closed by its own door which extends substantially throughout the height of the cabinet. An important part of the storage space within the refrigerator is furnished by shelves mounted on the interior surface of the door, and to accommodate such shelves the liners are frequently formed with molded projections which extend along each side of the door throughout the height thereof and define a cavity or depression which faces the cabinet opening when the door is closed. Shelves are commonly supported within this cavity.

Adjustability of the shelves is, of course, advantageous, and various ways have been devised to hold the shelves securely within the door while yet accommodating adjustment thereof vertically of the door.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with my invention I have devised shelves, particularly of tray-like form, which are disposed within said cavity between the mentioned projections in the door liner, and are characterized by a novel arrangement of spring mounted plungers for removably mounting the trays in the cavity. To this general end I have developed tray-like shelves which include both flange andplunger structure so cooperable with door carried support means as to afford unusual flexibility of shelf position, as well as ready removability for cleaning purposes.

It is a particular object of the invention to provide a tray which can be relocated in various positions on the door, without even requiring unloading of its contents prior to relocation. To achieve this purpose the tray support means includes spring loaded plungers engaged within pockets formed as an integral part of the door inner liner, said plungers being retained in position by v faces which serve as cams and move the plungers out of the pockets in response to pressure exerted against the lower surface of the tray. This permits the trays to be moved upwardly within the door cavity, the pressure being released when the desired vertical location is reached. Assembly of the trays with the door, as well as return movement of the trays down through the height of the door, may be accomplished after the plungers have been manually retracted from the asso ciated pockets.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the accompanying drawing,

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a tray showing the I same in association with a trim strip which cooperates to provide proper alignment of the tray in the door;

FIG. 4 is a view of one end of a tray further illustrating the manner in which it is supported within the door cavity; and

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2, and illustrating the action of the tray support mechanism when the tray is moved upwardly through the door cavity.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT While of broader applicability, the apparatus of the invention is particularly useful when utilized in the mounting of tray-like shelves within the door of a refrigerator. FIG. illustrates a portion of the refrigerator door 10 which is hinged at 11 for opening and closing movements with respect to the cabinet shown fragmentarily at 12. In accordance with known practice the door is preferably of the type which comprises an outer shell 13 and an inner liner 14 which are joined around their peripheries in an area providing support for the gasket 15. The inner liner is preferably vacuum formed of plastic material and includes a rear wall 16 and side walls 17, 18, which latter project within the cabinet when the door is closed, and cooperate'with the rear wall 16.to form a cavity within which may be mounted several shelves 19. Preferably, and as illustrated, the shelves comprise trays each of which has a front wall 20 having flanging 21 which extends outwardly of the tray-defining walls and overlies trim strips 22 and 23 which extend along the inwardly presented edges of the walls 17 and 18 (FIG. 1).

The edges of said walls, in. the region immediately behind the trim strips 22 and 23, are provided with indentations 24, preferably vacuum formed in the liner wall. These indentations are disposed in opposed pairs lying at similar elevations throughout the door-carrying height of the wall. The indentations of each pair face across the door cavity, as will be appreciated from FIG. 1, and are open toward the front of the refrigerator. These indentations cooperate with the trim strip which overlies the same to form pockets for the receptionof tray carried support means. These pockets appear to good advantage in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5.

The shelves or trays are so supported within the pockets 24 as to provide'for adjustment of the trays upwardly throughout the length of the door, in response merely to pressure exerted against the lower surface of the tray. It is a feature of the invention that the tray has cantilever support from the forward portion thereof, and that the tray flanging 21 cooperates with the trim strips 22-23 in achieving this support.

In realization of these features, each tray is provided with a pair of recesses 25-25, preferably molded therein (FIG. 3) and within which are housed springurged plunger mechanisms which are particularly configured to cooperate with the pockets 24 and with the trim strips 22 and 23.

One of the plunger mechanisms can be seen to good advantage in FIGS. 2 and 3, being designated generally at 26. This mechanism comprises a narrow vertically extending plate or frame 27 (FIG. 2) which carries a smaller upper projection 28 and a larger lower projection 29 each positioned and sized to fit within the pockets 24 carried by the door side walls 17 and 18. The frame 27 has staked thereto, as at 30-30, a leaf spring 31 which has an upper end portion of generally U- shape and terminating in a free end 31a (FIG. 2) fastened to the tray, as by the screw shown at 32 in FIG. 3. The spring urges the frame, and the projections 28 and 29 carried thereby, out of the tray recess 25 and into the full line position shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. In this position the larger projection 29 extends well within one of the pockets 24, and supports the weight of the tray therein, while the smaller projection 28 extends within an adjacent one of the recesses 24 a distance just sufficient to lie behind the inside edge of the trim strip. This arrangement can be best understood by comparing FIGS. 2 and 3. It will be understood that each of the oppositely facing recesses 25-25 of the tray is provided with such a spring-urged plunger assembly.

In particular accordance with this invention, the tray is secured within the door cavity, at the desired elevation, by the interengagement of the lower surface of the lower projection 29 within the pocket or indentation 24 and by engagement of the tip 34 (FIG. 2) behind the inside edge of the trim strip. As the apparatus is shown in FIG. 2, the inside edge of the trim strip 23 is illustrated at 33. The corresponding edge of the opposite trim strip 22 is shown at 33a.

It is important to note that the lateral flanging 21 of each tray cooperates with the trim strip, and with the plunger projections 28 and 29, in providing firm support for the tray within the door cavity without the need to provide support for the back of the tray. To achieve this purpose, the mentioned plunger projections are spaced from the rear surface of the tray flanging 21 a distance just sufficient to receive the thickness of the trim strip between said plunger projections and the tray flanging. This important feature of the construction is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. By the relatively extended contact of the inside surface of the tray flange 21 with the forwardly presented surface of the trim strip, and by the corresponding engagement of the plunger projections 28 and 29 with the rearwardly presented surfaces of the trim strip, the tray is securely mounted and cocking thereof in the door cavity is prevented. This cooperative engagement of the plunger projections, the trim, and the tray flange appears most clearly in FIG. 4.

Each tray plunger mechanism carries a downwardly presented projection 35 (FIGS. 2 and which can be finger operated to a position in which the plungers are nested within the tray recess 25 enabling them to clear the inside front edge of the trim, thus providing for mounting and demounting of the tray within the door cavity. The recessed position of one of the plungers, and of its finger-operable projection 35, is shown in broken lines in FIG. 2. Upon release of the projections 35 the plungers, of course, return under the influence of the springs 31, to the tray-mounting position in which the projections 28 and 29 cooperate with a series of pockets 24.

To relocate any of the door-carried trays at a higher elevation within the door cavity, pressure is exerted against the lower surface of the tray causing an inclined cam surface portion 36 of the lower plunger projection 29 to engage with the upper wall of the pocket within which it is nested. This position of the parts of the apparatus is illustrated in full lines in FIG. 5. By comparison of the full line and the broken line showings it will be seen that slight upper movement of the tray has brought the cam surface 36 in engagement with the upper wall of the pocket 24 and that the plunger projection 29 is thereby moved back into the tray recess 25, reaching a position in which it is entirely clear of the pocket. If upward pressure against the tray is maintained, it will be moved vertically within the door to a desired position in which its plunger projections 28 and 29 enter other and higher pockets 24.

In summary as to this feature, the lower plunger projection 29 has an upwardly presented camming surface 36 so sloped as to cause retraction of the entire plunger assembly in response to contact of said camming surface with upper surface portions of the pocket. Accordingly, continued upward movement of the tray results in withdrawal of the plunger means from the doorcarried pockets, and accommodates movement of the tray upwardly through the cavity to a position in which its plungers confront and enter other opposed pockets. Since the lower surface 37 of the projection 29, on each of the right and left side plunger assemblies,is not inclined, and because the confronting floor of the pocket is not substantially inclined, retrograde movement of the tray down through the door cavity can be accomplished only if the projections 35, of both assemblies, are moved in a direction to retract the plungers from their pockets. Accordingly, the tray and its load are properly supported at the desired location within the door.

I claim:

1. A removable and adjustable shelving arrangement for a cabinet door of the kind having a cabinet-facing, shelf-carrying cavity with rear and side walls, said arrangement comprising: identations formed in the door at free edge portions of said side walls and disposed in pairs facing across the width of the door cavity; doorcarried strip means overlying the indentations substantially in the plane of said free edge portions and cooperable with said indentations to form shelfsupporting pockets; and at least one tray-like shelf shaped and disposed to lie within and span the width of said cavity, said tray-like shelf carrying resiliently urged plunger means extending retractably from opposite side wall portions of the shelf and into an opposed pair of said pockets, said plunger means having camming surfaces so sloped as to cause retraction of said plunger means, in response to contact of said camming surface with upper surface portions of said pockets, and consequent withdrawal of the plunger means from the pockets to accommodate movement of the shelf upwardly through the cavity to a position in which its plunger means confronts and enters another pair of opposed pockets.

2. A shelving arrangement in accordance with claim 1, and in which said shelf is provided with flanging extending therefrom in the general plane of the front of the shelf and closely overlying said strip means, on the side thereof opposite said pockets.

3. A shelving arrangement in accordance with claim 2, and in which: said flanging is formed as a lateral extension of the front wall of the shelf; and said strip means comprises door trim extending along said free edge portions substantially throughout the height of the door and closely overlying said indentations to form said pockets.

4. In a refrigerator door of the type having an outer shell and an inner liner having a food storage recess therein, at least one tray disposed within said recess, and means removably supporting said tray in said recess, said means comprising: at least a pair of members each disposed adjacent a side wall of the tray and each being resiliently urged to occupy a position in which it extends outwardly of said side wall; a plurality of recessed areas provided in the door liner and arranged in pairs, the recessed areas of each pair facing across the liner, trim strip means overlying the recessed areas and having rear surface portions cooperating with said recessed areas to form tray support pockets, said resiliently urged members projecting retractably within said pockets into a position in which they reside closely adjacent the rear side of said trim strip means; and flange means extending from the tray into a position closely overlying the front side of said trim strip means, said resiliently urged members, said trim strip means, and said flange means being so cooperably disposed as to support the tray in cantilever fashion within said recess.

5. A construction in accordance with claim 4, and further characterized in that said liner has side walls which define said-food storage recess; said recessed areas are disposed in free edge portions of said side walls; and said trim strip means lies substantially in a plane defined by said free edge portions, in close adjacency to said recessed areas.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3375936 *Aug 3, 1966Apr 2, 1968Westinghouse Electric CorpShelf and shelf support structure
US3469711 *Oct 23, 1967Sep 30, 1969Westinghouse Electric CorpShelf construction for refrigerator door
US3647079 *May 7, 1970Mar 7, 1972Electrolux AbStorage rack
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4361368 *Aug 22, 1980Nov 30, 1982Daniels Phillip DStorage unit
US4396240 *Sep 25, 1980Aug 2, 1983Henson Artel RStorage system
US4779939 *Mar 19, 1987Oct 25, 1988General Electric CompanyAppliance door having a module support system, method of making, and module
US4798425 *Feb 22, 1988Jan 17, 1989General Electric CompanyCompartment assembly for a refrigerator
US4829653 *May 6, 1988May 16, 1989General Electric CompanyMethod of making an appliance door having a module support system
US4859010 *Jan 24, 1989Aug 22, 1989Camco Inc.Refrigerator door tray assembly
US4908544 *Aug 3, 1988Mar 13, 1990Whirlpool CorporationStorage bin mounting system for a refrigerator and method of assembly
US5004305 *Jun 7, 1990Apr 2, 1991Amana Refrigeration Inc.Refrigerator door shelves
US5090579 *Sep 20, 1990Feb 25, 1992Major Ronald PModular shelving system
US5370455 *Jan 28, 1993Dec 6, 1994General Electric CompanyRefrigerator door module assembly
US5375924 *Aug 13, 1993Dec 27, 1994Maytag CorporationAdjustable refrigerator door tray assembly
US6231146Nov 17, 1999May 15, 2001Camco Inc.Refrigerator door bottom storage module assembly
US6574984Feb 7, 2002Jun 10, 2003Camco Inc.Refrigerator door mounted water dispensing assembly
EP0564952A1 *Mar 29, 1993Oct 13, 1993LIEBHERR-HAUSGERÄTE GmbHRefrigerator door
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/321.5, 211/187
International ClassificationA47B88/04, F25D25/02, F25D23/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25D23/04, F25D25/02
European ClassificationF25D25/02, F25D23/04