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Publication numberUS3837119 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1974
Filing dateMay 14, 1973
Priority dateMay 14, 1973
Publication numberUS 3837119 A, US 3837119A, US-A-3837119, US3837119 A, US3837119A
InventorsM Conneally, G Hajduk
Original AssigneeArdco Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refrigerator door closure system
US 3837119 A
Abstract
A horizontal sliding glass panel is secured to the door frame by flexible insulating mounting gaskets, a self-contained elastically energized door closing system is concealed in the door frame recess by snap-in cover plates, the door frame is supported by a trolley system riding on a track and powered by the elastic closing system; each door engages a tracking system to form a single labyrinth seal between the track and U-shaped seal gaskets with further cold air barriers provided by wipers at the vertical interface and bottom of the doors, the door assembly being mounted with a bottom leveling pad in a refrigeration unit.
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United States Patent Conneally et al.

[ Sept 24, 1974 [75] Inventors:

George Hajduk, Dolton, both of 111.

Assignee:

Filed:

Appl. No.:

US. Cl

Int. Cl

Ardco, Inc., Chicago, 111.

May 14, 1973 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Steele, Jr. 49/425 X Ryder 49/425 X Primary Examiner-Kenneth Downey 5 7 ABSTRACT A horizontal sliding glass panel is secured to the door frame by flexible insulating mounting gaskets, a selfcontained elastically energized door closing system is concealed in the door frame recess by snap-in cover plates, the door frame is supported by a trolley system riding on a track and powered by the elastic closing system; each door engages a tracking system to form a single labyrinth seal between the track and U-shaped seal gaskets with further cold air barriers provided by wipers at the vertical interface and bottom of the doors, the door assembly being mounted with a bottom leveling pad in a refrigeration unit.

2 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures REFRIGERATOR DOOR CLOSURE SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a glass panel refrigerator door and frame system of the type generally used in display cases in food and beverage stores for storage and display so that customers may easily view and select the merchandise. Door systems embodying the invention are utilized in cool temperature installations, such as for the display of dairy products, beer, soda and the like and for low temperature storage, such as for frozen foods, ice cream and the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates particularly to refrigerator door systems of the type in which glass is mounted in the door frame by means of a flexible insulating gasket. The mounting and door frames are formed from plastic, and each mounting frame contains a pair of self-returning, sliding doors. The supporting frame is mounted in the front wall opening of the refrigeration unit and each door is mounted on an individual track which extends along at least the upper and lower interior faces of the mounting frame. The doors cooperate with the tracks to form a closed barrier between the doors and the frame by means of a labyrinth seal on the sides and top of the mounting frame and wipers at the bottom of each door and at the vertical interface between the doors.

The self-contained, self-returning feature of the door is achieved by a trolley system mounted at the base of each door and is powered by the energy created by an elastic member attached within the vertical free side of each door frame and to anchor plates in the base of the mounting frame by means of a cable. The elastic member and connecting cable is concealed in each door frame by means of a snap-in cover plate.

In accordance with the present invention, the glass panels are mounted by means of flexible insulating gaskets in the door frames. The exterior of the door frames is formed to provide a recess to accept snap-in seals on the exterior closing side and top of each door frame which cooperate with the tracking system to form a single labyrinth seal; to accept a reinforcing plate, trolley system and bottom wiper seal on the exterior bottom of each door frame; to conceal an elastic member and connecting cable in the vertical free side of each door frame by means of a snap-in cover plate on the vertical side of the inner door and by means of a snap-in cover plate and cold air wiper on the vertical free side of the outer door. The free end of the elastic member is attached to the upper portion of the vertical door recess. The other end of the elastic member is attached to a cable whereby the elastic member energizes the selfreturn system when the door is displaced.

In previous refrigerator door assemblies, the door opens outwardly about a hinge, thus providing a large area for cold air leakage. In the present invention, the doors need not be opened fully to retrieve the displayed merchandise. Moreover, the self-returning feature of the present invention provides for rapid and complete closure of the refrigeration unit. Unlike prior selfreturning refrigeration doors in which the selfreturning feature is provided for by an apparatus located in the bottom member of the mounting frame, the present invention provides a fully enclosed return system which is contained in the door frame. When the self-returning system is contained in the mounting frame, as in prior inventions, rather than in the door frame, there is an ever present danger of malfunction of or damage to the return system. Since these doors are in continual use in the retrieval and storage of merchandise, spillage and dropping of merchandise often result in damage to the lower mounting frame member. Only the tracking system is exposed in the present invention when the door is open; the self-return system is completely concealed at all times while the door is open or closed. Thus the system provides for minimal damage and easy cleanup and maintenance of the entire door system.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a refrigerator door assembly embodying the present invention in a closed position;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view, as indicated in connection with FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view as indicated on FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmented front sectional view of the inner door, as indicated on FIG. 2;

FIGS. 5, 6 and 8 are sectional views of the vertical door frames, as indicated on FIG. 1; and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the bottom door frame, as indicated on FIG. 1.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The refrigerator door assembly 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 includes a door support frame 11 with an optional decorative facade 22 extending around the front perimeter thereof, and two sliding doors l2 and 13 mounted in the mounting frame 11. The preferred installation of the refrigerator door assembly frame 10 in the front wall opening 50 of a refrigeration unit case is by means of securing the top and sides of the mounting frame 11 to the refrigeration case or frame by means of bolts or screws with final support provided by means of the leveler pad 25 which is also secured directly to the refrigeration opening 50. It will be appreciated that the door frame assembly may be mounted in many types of refrigeration units including free standing or built-in refrigeration units, cabinets or coolers.

Each of the doors 12 and 13 is comprised of generally H-shaped top and bottom frame members 34 and 36 and side frame members 53 and 54 which peripherally support and carry the transparentpanels l7 composed of glass or other suitable material. The door frame members 34, 36, 53 and 54 are secured together by corner brackets 34a at each corner to complete each door frame which contains a transparent material 17, such as glass, to provide for viewing of merchandise displayed in the refrigeration unit. As illustrated in FIG. 2, a double paneled dry air sealed glass panel is installed in the door frame 12 and .13 by means of mounting gaskets 35.

The doors I2 and 13 are mounted in the mounting frame 11 by means of independent tracking systems 15 and 16 extending around the interior sides and top of the mounting frame 11 toprovide tracking guidance and cold air barriers at the interface of the doors l2 and 13 and mounting frame 11. The bottom member of each door 36 is supported by a trolley rollcr system 37 which rides on wear and cushioning strips 23 and 30 which partially envelop the bottom mounting frame roller tracks and 21. The strips 23 and 30 function to reduce rolling friction and noise as well as provide improved and convenient maintenance of the roller tracks 20 and 21.

The trolley system 37 which supports each door frame 12 and 13, is attached to the bottom member 36 of each door frame 12 and 13 and reinforcing plate 27 by means of screws or bolts 40. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the roller system is comprised of a U-shaped roller housing 39, which provides double ended support for the roller shaft 47 which supports the roller 38, and a cable pulley 41 on a shaft 42 mounted on the trolley arm 51.

The door frames 12 and 13 engage the interior top and sides of the mounting frame 11 by means ofa snapin seal 31 and 33 that are mounted in the generally H- shaped door frame members 34 and 53 to form single labyrinth seals. Each snap-in seal 31 and 33 is essentially U-shaped and formed with lock ridges 48 to secure the seal 31 and 33 to the exterior top and closing sides door frames 34and 53. The exposed surfaces 49 of the seal 48 are formed in a concave shape and provide a backing to secure the seals 31 and 33 in the locked-in position,

Further heat transfer is reduced by the downward facing bottom wiper seals 26 mounted on the reinforcing plates 27, as illustrated in FIG. 7, which minimize cold air loss through the bottom clearance created between the trolley system 37 area of each door frame member 36 and the lower mounting frame member 19. Additional cold air leakage is prevented between the vertical interface of the inner and outer doors 12 and 13 by means of a cold air wiper 29 which extends inwardly along the entire vertical length of the outer door free side frame 12 and contacting the inner door 13. This vertical wiper 29 is secured to the outer door spring cover 28 as illustrated in H0. 5.

The embodiment of the self-return feature of this invention illustrated and described herein operates in cooperation with the trolley systems 37 which are located 'in the exterior bottom of each door frame 36. Each trolley system 37 is connected to the bottom door frame member 36 by means of bolts or screws 40 which secure the U-shaped roller housing 39 to the reinforcing plate 27 and bottom door frame 36. The reinforcing plate 27 which extends the entire length of thebottom door frame member 36 is anchored directly into the lower door frame member 36 by means of the profile of the lower door frame member.

The system is powered by the energy generated in elastic member 44 which is attached to the upper section of the interior door frame 12 and 13 by means of a bolt or rivet 45 and comprised of a spring 44 or other suitable elastic member and a return cable 43 which is attached to the door return cable anchor 24. It will be appreciated that the use of longer or more highly elastic members'might not require the use of a cable since there would be no danger of a malfunction with the engagement of the pulley 41. The cable anchor 24 is secured to the lower mounting frame 19 by means of bolts or rivets 46 or ultrasonic welding.

The door return cable 43 engages in the pulley 41 so that when the door is displaced from the closed position by pulling the door handle 18, the elastic member 44 is stretched proportionately. When the handle 18 is released the energy created by the stretched elastic member 18 is directed against the pulley 41 by the cable 43 and causes the door 12 or 13 to return to the closed position.

As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, each door return spring and cable 43 and 44 are concealed in the door frame 54 by means of snap-in spring covers 28 and 32.

What is claimed is:

1. A refrigerator door frame assembly which com prises the combination of a mounting frame for attachment within a refrigerator wall opening and inner and outer door, each door including a generally H-shaped cross section door frame, a transparent insulating panel, and means mounting the panel to the interior recesses of the door frame, the interior of the mounting frame having two sets of tracks extending around the interior perimeter thereof to form tracking systems for said inner and outer doors; a generally U-shaped snap in seal having locking ridges and back plates extending outwardly from the legs of said U-shaped seal, said seal being mounted in the exterior recess of the tops and closing sides of each of the doors and adapted to form single labyrinth cold air seals with the respective top and side tracks; each door being mounted on its respective track by means of the engagement of the U-shaped seal and top track and supported by a trolley system riding on the bottom track, each trolley system being attached to the base of the exterior bottom recess of the door frame and including a downwardly facing U- shaped housing having an arm extending longitudinally from one leg of said 'U-shaped housing, a roller rotatably mounted in said U-shaped housing and engaging said bottom track, and a pulley rotatably mounted at the end of said arm, each of said doors having an elastic means secured at one end within the outer recess of the free vertical side of the door frame and at the other end to the interior bottom of said mounting frame, each elastic means being sealed in said recess by means of a snap-in cover plate and paid over said pulley, whereby said elastic means is stretched to store energy, as a door is opened, for returning said door to a closed position when released.

2. A door assembly which comprises the combination of a stationary mounting frame and a movable door mounted in said frame, means for supporting said door for translatory movement in said frame and returning said door to a closed position including a track at the bottom of said frame, a trolley attached to the bottom of said door, said trolley having a downwardly facing U-shaped housing and an arm extending longitudinally therefrom beneath said door, a roller rotatably mounted in said housing and in engagement on said track, and elastic means secured at one end within the door on the side in the direction of opening and at the other end to the base of said frame beneath the door, said elastic means being paid about a pulley rotatably mounted at the end of said arm, whereby said elastic means is stretched to provide a returning force when said door is opened.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3255807 *Jun 22, 1964Jun 14, 1966Steele Jr Harry FSelf contained sliding door device
US3508361 *Nov 29, 1968Apr 28, 1970Ardco IncSliding door assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3947998 *Sep 19, 1974Apr 6, 1976Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaDual sash window assembly with weathertight sealing means
US3967423 *Jul 28, 1975Jul 6, 1976Hammond Robert TSkylight system
US3978617 *May 1, 1975Sep 7, 1976Eventoff Arnold TSelf-closing refrigerator door
US4300313 *Dec 13, 1979Nov 17, 1981Lyon Metal Products, IncorporatedLift-out gate
US4665652 *Apr 10, 1981May 19, 1987Norfab, Inc.Door frame structure
US4756135 *May 11, 1987Jul 12, 1988Joseph CitrulloWindow frame assembly
US4979470 *Oct 10, 1989Dec 25, 1990Anderson Douglas DSpring loaded feeder closure
US5251402 *Mar 10, 1992Oct 12, 1993Anthony's Manufacturing Company, Inc.Self return mechanism
US5566524 *Apr 29, 1992Oct 22, 1996Archimede Progetti SrlCoupling for compound profile members for doors or windows
US5884361 *Apr 9, 1997Mar 23, 1999Anthony's Manufacturing CompanySlider door mechanism, running gear mechanism and closure return
US6148563 *Mar 25, 1999Nov 21, 2000Hussmann CorporationReach-in door for refrigerated merchandiser
US6393768Sep 29, 2000May 28, 2002Hussmann CorporationMethod of making reach-in door for refrigerated merchandiser
US6401399Sep 29, 2000Jun 11, 2002Hussmann CorporationReach-in refrigerated merchandiser
US7653966 *Apr 18, 2006Feb 2, 2010Quanex CorporationSliding rail assembly for a sliding panel movable along a track
US7862132 *Oct 10, 2007Jan 4, 2011Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Counterbalance assembly for a dishwasher door and associated method
US7934783Jul 16, 2008May 3, 2011Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Counterbalance assembly for a dishwasher door and associated method
US8042891Nov 23, 2010Oct 25, 2011Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Counterbalance assembly for a dishwasher door and associated method
US8043442Nov 24, 2006Oct 25, 2011Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Counterbalance devices for a closure
US20030093875 *Dec 21, 2000May 22, 2003Konstantinos StefanidisClamping edge rail for frameless glass panel
US20060230575 *Apr 18, 2006Oct 19, 2006Quanex CorporationSliding rail assembly for a sliding panel movable along a track
US20080122331 *Nov 24, 2006May 29, 2008Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Counterbalance devices
US20080272678 *Oct 10, 2007Nov 6, 2008Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Counterbalance assembly for a dishwasher door and associated method
US20090000231 *Jun 30, 2008Jan 1, 2009Burns Steven ASealing System for Suspended Ceilings
US20090072686 *Jul 16, 2008Mar 19, 2009Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Counterbalance assembly for a dishwasher door and associated method
US20110062840 *Nov 23, 2010Mar 17, 2011Electrolux Home Products, IncCounterbalance assembly for a dishwasher door and associated method
US20130008090 *Feb 5, 2011Jan 10, 2013Thomas LanzlClosure arrangement
US20160138313 *Nov 11, 2015May 19, 2016Dorma Deutschland GmbhRoller carriage for the reception of a sliding door
EP0003468A2 *Jan 24, 1979Aug 8, 1979AG für TürautomationSliding door with vertical sealing means
EP0003468A3 *Jan 24, 1979Sep 5, 1979Ag Fur TurautomationSliding door with vertical sealing means
Classifications
U.S. Classification49/404, 16/78, 49/425
International ClassificationE06B3/46, E05F1/08, F25D23/02
Cooperative ClassificationE05F1/16, E06B3/4609, F25D23/021, E05Y2900/31
European ClassificationE05F1/16, F25D23/02A, E06B3/46B