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Publication numberUS3837587 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1974
Filing dateOct 10, 1973
Priority dateFeb 14, 1972
Publication numberUS 3837587 A, US 3837587A, US-A-3837587, US3837587 A, US3837587A
InventorsJ Walter, W Chambers, J Stipanuk
Original AssigneeSunbeam Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination ice crusher and drink mixer
US 3837587 A
Abstract
A combination ice crusher-drink mixer appliance which serves either as an ice crusher or as a drink mixer or as a combination of the two whereby to provide crushed ice to a drink as it is being mixed. An electric motor is operably connected to an upwardly inclined ice-crushing auger which is rotatable in an ice-crushing barrel whereby ice cubes introduced to the lower end of the auger-barrel combination through a vertically disposed ice chute are simultaneously crushed, sized, and transported upwardly to a crushed ice discharge port at the upper end of the barrel. A crushed-ice-receiving and drink-mixing container has an agitator mounted off center in the bottom thereof with the container being selectively positionable adjacent the crushed ice discharge port in either of two positions. In one of these positions only, the agitator is automatically coupled to the electric motor. The path of ice movement through the appliance from the entrance to the ice chute to the bottom of the container is in the form of an inverted N and the ice crushing auger and barrel are formed of high strength plastic. The drive connection between the electric motor, which has a built-in impact clutch, and the auger includes a gear reduction mechanism and a modified universal-joint with the drive ratio therebetween being in the order of 100:1, the drive ratio between the electric motor and the agitator being in the order of 1:1. The ice chute has a cover which, when opened, defines an upward extension of the ice chute. The auger is readily removable from the barrel for cleaning and the container has a pouring spout with a strainer and a hand-grip formation. The components of the combination ice crusher-drink mixer appliance are nested together to provide a compact multi-purpose appliance which occupies a minimum amount of countertop space.
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United States Patent Walter et a1.

[ 1 Sept. 24, 1974 COMBINATION ICE CRUSHER AND DRINK MIXER [75] Inventors: John Walter, Evergreen Park;

Worthy L. Chambers, Lombard; John M. Stipanuk, Elmhurst, all of I11.

[73] Assignee: Sunbeam Corporation, Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: Oct. 10, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 405,044

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 226,157, Feb. 14, 1972, Pat. No.

[52] US. Cl 241/260.1, 241/82.6, 241/100, 241/101 B, 241/10l.6, 241/DIG. 17 [51] Int. Cl. B02c 19/00 [58] Field of Search 241/82.3, 82.6, 100, 101.6, 241/101 B, 246, 260.1, DIG. 17

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,337,955 4/1920 Punzelt 241/247 7 1,641,699 9/1927 Smith 241/100 X [5 7] ABSTRACT A combination ice crusher-drink mixer appliance which serves either as an ice crusher or as a drink mixer or as a combination of the two whereby to provide crushed ice to a drink as it is being mixed. An electric motor is operably connected to an upwardly inclined ice-crushing auger which is rotatable in an ice-crushing barrel whereby ice cubes introduced to the lower end of the auger-barrel combination through a vertically disposed ice chute are simultaneously crushed, sized, and transported upwardly to a crushed ice discharge port at the upper end of the barrel. A crushed-ice-receiving and drink-mixing container has an agitator mounted off center in the bottom thereof with the container being selectively positionable adjacent the crushed ice discharge port in either of two positions. In one of these positions only, the agitator is automatically coupled to the electric motor. The path of ice movement through the appliance from the entrance to the ice chute to the bottom of the container is in the form of an inverted N and the ice crushing auger and barrel are formed of high strength plastic. The drive connection between the electric motor, which has a built-in impact clutch, and the auger includes a gear reduction mechanism and a modified universal-joint with the drive ratio therebetween being in the order of 100:1, the drive ratio between the electric motor and the agitator being in the order of 1:1. The ice chute has a cover which, when opened, defines an upward extension of the ice chute. The auger is readily removable from the barrel for cleaning and the container has a pouring spout with a strainer and a hand-grip formation. The components of the combination ice crusher-drink mixer appliance are nested together to provide a compact multi-purpose appliance which occupies a minimum amountof countertop space.

\ 260 are PATENTEDsarzaaau COMBINATION ICE CRUSHER AND DRINK MIXER This is a division, of application Ser. No. 226,157, filed Feb. 14, 1972, now US. Pat. No. 3,791,597.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Our present invention pertains to a combination ice crusher-drink mixing appliance which, because of the efficiency of the design, takes up a minimum of space and provides either an ice-crushing operation, a drinkmixing operation, or a simultaneous combination of the two.

2. Description of the Prior Art To the best of our knowledge, there have been no combination appliances developed that combine an ice-crushing feature in combination with a drinkmixing feature as disclosed in our present invention. It should be noted that some users of food-blender applicances may have used same to simultaneously crush ice and mix drinks. However, most blender manufacturers specifically warn purchasers of their blenders that they should not be used for crushing ice. In using a standard food blender as a combination ice-crusher-drink mixer, it is noted that the same agitator that accomplishes the drink mixing operation also has to accomplish the ice crushing operation for which it is not specifically designed. In our combination appliance, a separate ice crushing mechanism in the form of an auger rotatable in a barrel is provided in addition to the drink mixing agitator mounted in the crushed-ice-receiving container.

Most known ice crushers utilize metal claws, hammers and die castings which are not only extremely noisy in operation but are also subject to rust and corrosion. Our unique high strength plastic ice crushing auger and barrel combination provides compression crushing of the ice thereby reducing the noise of operation and eliminating the problem of rust and corrosion.

Ice crushers are generally of a linear design with the ice to be crushed inserted at the top with the ice traveling downwardly through a crushing mechanism after which it drops into a container. In such an arrangement, it is necessary to provide adequate safety space so that a users finger will not be caught in the crushing mechanism. Our zig-zag ice path substantially reduces the required vertical dimension while our two-part ice chute cover provides a safety factor.

Although combination ice crusher-can opener appliances and separate ice crusher attachments for blenders are both known in the art, we are unaware of any combination ice crusher-drink mixer appliance other than the one disclosed herein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is concerned with a combination ice crushing and drink mixing appliance which serves either as an ice crusher or as a drink mixing appliance or as a unique combination of the two whereby crushed ice may be delivered directly into the drink mixing container during mixing of a drink therein. The appliance has a generally L-shaped housing with a drink mixing container being seatable on the horizontal leg portion of the L-shaped housing and adapted to receive crushed ice from a discharge port provided at the upper end of the vertical leg portion of the L-shaped housing. A generally vertically disposed ice chute and an upwardly inclined ice crushing barrel are provided in the vertical leg portion of the L-shaped housing with both the entrance to the ice chute and the crushed ice discharge port of the barrel being located at the top of the vertical leg portion of the L-shaped housing. The lower end of the ice chute is in communication with the lower end of the barrel. To provide a very compact appliance with maximum counter space economy, the path of movement of ice from the entrance to the ice chute to the bottom of the container is in the form of an inverted N. To simultaneously compression-crush the ice against the inner bore of the barrel while advancing the ice upwardly to the discharge port, an auger having a varying root diameter is rotatable in the barrel. The auger is rotatably driven by an electric motor mounted in the housing. The auger and the icecrushing barrel are preferably both formed of high strength plastic whereby to eliminate the problem of rust and corrosion of these parts as well as to substantially reduce the noise level of the ice crushing operation.

A snap-lock cap is provided for the upper end of the ice-crushing barrel, which cap in part defines the discharge port, and a knob is formed on the upper end of the auger to facilitate removal of the auger from the barrel for cleaning when the cap is removed. A twopart hinged cover is provided for the entrance to the ice chute, which cover, when open, defines an upward extension of the ice chute so as to further decrease the possibility of fingers coming into engagement with the rotary auger. The two parts of the ice chute cover are interconnected by pin-and-slot arrangements whereby when one part of the cover is opened, the other part is automatically cammed open.

The electric motor, which is provided with ,a built-in impact clutch, is mounted with its drive shaft disposed vertically. It is drivingly connected to the upwardly inclined auger through a :1 gear reduction mechanism and a modified universal-joint connection. Also drivingly connected to the electric motor through a 1:1 pulley drive arrangement is an agitator-drive coupling which projects upwardly from the horizontal leg portion of the L-shaped housing. This coupling is positioned off-center relative to the center of thehorizontal leg portion of the L-shaped housing.

The crushed ice-receiving and drink-mixing container has a shaft rotatably mounted in its bottom with a drink-mixing agitator or impeller mounted on its upper end within the container and with a mating coupling mounted on its lower end and adapted to be engageable with the agitator drive coupling. The shaftis positioned off-center relative to the centerof the bottom of the container whereby when'the container is positioned one way relative to the horizontal leg portion of the L-shaped housing, the two couplings are automatically engaged to provide a drink-mixing operation. If ice cubes are dropped into the ice chute, crushed ice will be fed into the drink or ingredients being mixed. However, if the container is to serve merely as a collector for crushed ice, the container is lifted, turned and replaced on the horizontal leg portion of the L- shaped housing whereby the two couplings are miscontainer. The container has a pouring spout formed in one corner with the side opposite the pouring spout being roughened and formed to provide a non-slip hand grip. A cover for the container has a strainer formation for association with the pouring spout and an opening adapted to be positioned adjacent the crushed ice discharge port.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and novel combination ice crusher-drink mixer appliance which is extremely compact and requires a minimum of counter space.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a combination appliance which serves either as an ice crusher, or as a drink and food mixer, or as a unique combination of the two whereby crushed ice may be automatically fed into a drink while same is being mixed.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide such a combination appliance wherein the icecrushing parts are formed of high strength plastic.

Another object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance wherein the path of ice movement therethrough is in the form of an inverted N.

Another object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance wherein the ice crushing mechanism comprises an auger having a varying root diameter which is rotatable in an upwardly inclined icecrushing barrel, the bore of which is provided with a series of longitudinally extending serrated flutes which define longitudinal shoulders facing in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the auger.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance having a vertically disposed ice chute for feeding ice cubes to be crushed to the lower end of the ice crushing barrel and a twopart cover for the ice chute which, when open, provides an upward extension of the ice chute.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance wherein a snap-lock cap is provided at the upper end of the ice crushing barrel and wherein a knob is formed on the upper end of the auger to facilitate removal of same from the barrel for cleaning when the snap-lock cap is removed.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance having a container adapted to receive crushed ice discharged from the upper end of the ice-crushing barrel and having an agitator mounted in the container bottom off-center relative to the center of the container bottom.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance wherein the container is positionable in two positions in only one of which the agitator is coupled to a drive mechanism for providing drink-mixing operation of the agitator, the container when in its other position merely serving as a collector of crushed ice.

Another object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance wherein the container is provided with a pouring spout, a hand grip portion, and a cover having a strainer adjacent the pouring spout and a crushed-ice-receiving opening.

An additional object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance having an electric motor which is operably connected to both the icecrushing auger and the agitator drive mechanism with the drive ratio to the augerbeing much lower than to the agitator drive mechanism.

Another additional object'of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance wherein the drive connection between the electric motor and the upwardly inclined auger is a modified universal-joint connection.

Yet another additional object of the present invention is to provide such a combination appliance wherein the electric motor is provided with a unique built-in impact clutch which permits substantially one full revolution of the motor rotor before engagement of the motor drive shaft whereas to provide a high apparent starting torque and starting impact.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds, and the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS non-mixing operation;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view on a smaller scale of the combination appliance shown in FIG. 1 with the container positioned for a drink-mixing operation;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a mixed drink being poured from the container;

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the combination appliance illustrating the ease of removal of the auger from the ice-crushing barrel;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged longitudinal vertical sectional view taken through the combination appliance while same is crushing ice and discharging the crushed ice into the container in which a drink is being simultaneously mixed;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a partial front elevational view of the lower portion of the combination appliance as shown inFIG. 5 with the container and the container supporting portion of the housing being shown in vertical section and with the container being positioned in its non-mixing position;

FIG. 8 is a partial vertical sectional view through the vertical leg portion of the L-shaped housing of the combination appliance as shown in FIG. 5 with the barrel cap and the auger removed and the ice chute cover closed;

FIG. 9 is a right hand end view of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a rear elevational view of the barrel assembly of FIG. 8 with the assembly pivoted about 20 in a clockwise direction;

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of FIG. 8;

FIG. 12 is a partial perspective view illustrating removal of the barrel cap;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the barrel cap looking towards the rear of same;

FIG. 14 is an elevational view of the auger;

FIG. is a detail view, partially in vertical section, of the electric motor showing the built-in impact clutch thereof; and

FIG. 16 is a partial top plan view of FIG. 15 with the return spring of the impact clutch removed for clarity.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in which like parts are designated by like numerals in the various views, there is shown in FIG. 1 a combination ice crusher-drink mixer appliance which is designated generally by reference numeral 20 and which embodies our invention. The combination appliance 20 includes a generally L- shaped housing 22 having a vertical leg portion 24 and a horizontal leg portion 26. A crushed-ice-receiving and drink-mixing container 28 having a cover 30 is adapted to be supported on the horizontal leg portion 26 of the L-shaped housing 22 in a manner to be described. With the container 28 seated on the horizontal leg portion 26 of the L-shaped housing 22, as best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be seen that the combination appliance 20 embodying our present invention is extremely compact in configuration. In front elevation, the combination appliance 20 is approximately ten inches square with a depth of only four inches whereby to provide maximum counter space economy.

The housing 22, which is supported at its bottom corners by suitable rubber-like feet or pad members 32, is provided in the vertical leg portion 24 thereof with an upwardly inclined ice-crushing mechanism 34 which includes a unique combination of an ice-crushing barrel assembly 36 and an ice-crushing auger 38 rotatable therein.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5, ice cubes 40 to be crushed are dropped into an ice chute 42 which is generally vertically disposed and has an opening 44 in the top of the vertical leg portion 24 of the housing 22 with the ice cubes 40 falling by gravity to the lower end of the barrel-auger ice-crushing mechanism 34 and with the ice then being transported upwardly through the barrel 36 by the auger 38, while simultaneously being compression-crushed and sized in a manner to be described, to a crushed ice discharge port 46 which is disposed at the upper end of the vertical leg portion 24 of the housing 22 overlooking and adjacent the horizontal leg portion 26 thereof. As is best shown in FIG. 5, the discharge port 46 is positioned slightly above an upper edge 48 of the container 28 when same is supported on the horizontal leg portion 26 of the housing 22 whereby the crushed ice is delivered directly into the container 28. During operation of the appliance 20 as a combination ice crusher-drink mixer, it is desirable that the container cover 30 be in place on the container 28 to prevent spillage. Therefore, the container cover 30 is provided with a crushed-ice-receiving opening 50 which, as shown in FIG. 5, is disposed immediately adjacent the crushed ice discharge port 46. It can thus be seen that the path of ice movement through the appliance 20 is in the shape of an inverted N when viewing the appliance from the front as in FIGS. 1, 4 and 5. This shape or configuration provides one of the longest and simplest paths possible in a minimum of space and is primarily responsible for the compactness of the combination appliance 20 of our present invention. In recognizing the advantage of using this zig-zag path, one should keep in mind that most home type ice crushers are almost the same height as the appliance 20 and discharge the crushed ice at the bottom into relatively shallow containers. Our arrangement permits the crushed ice to be discharged into the mouth of the relatively tall mixing container 28.

The housing 22, which may be molded in one piece of plastic, is characterized by front and back L-shaped walls 52 and 54, by an integral end wall 56 for the vertical leg portion 24, by an integral end wall 58 for the horizontal leg portion 26, and by an integral vertical wall 60 intermediate the vertical and horizontal leg portions 24 and 26, respectively. The upper end of the vertical leg portion 24 is open and the bottom of the housing 22 is generally open.

A container-receiving cavity or dished-out recessed portion 62 is defined in the horizontal leg portion 26 of the housing 22 by a bottom wall 64 which is spaced approximately midway between the upper and lower edges of the horizontal leg portions of the L-shaped front and back walls 52 and 54. The integrally formed bottom wall 64 blends into the lower edge of the intermediate wall 60 and into the inner surfaces of the end wall 58 and the horizontal leg portions of the L-shaped front and back walls 52 and 54 with a gentle curvature approximately midway between the upper and lower edges thereof.

For supporting the container 28 in the dished-out recessed portion 62, the front and back wall sections 52 and 54 are each provided on their inner surfaces with a pair of vertically disposed integral ribs 66 and the end wall 58 is provided on its inner surface with a similar vertical rib 68, the upper surfaces of all of said ribs being spaced above the bottom wall 64 and adapted to support the bottom edges of the container 28 whereby same is supported above the bottom wall 64 of the dished-out recessed portion 62 for a reason which will be made clear hereinafter.

The bottom wall 64 of the container-receiving cavity 62 is provided along its longitudinal center line with an integral boss 70 which extends both above and below the bottom wall 64 and which has a vertical bore 72 formed therein. The boss 70 is off-set relative to the center of the bottom wall 64 and is disposed closer to the intermediate wall 60 than to the end wall 58 for a purpose to be described. The bottom wall 64 is also provided adjacent the right-hand corners thereof with a pair of integral depending bosses 74 for attachment of a pair of the feet or supporting pads 32 thereto.

The vertical leg portion 24 of the L-shaped housing 22 is also provided with an internal integral wall structure including, as is best shown in FIGS. 5 and 8, an internal bottom wall '76 which is spaced above the lower end of the vertical leg portion 24 of the housing 22. The internal bottom wall 76 is characterized by a first portion 78 having a groove or trough 80 formed therein which is inclined downwardly toward the dished-out portion 62 and which communicates at its lower end with a drain hole 82 formed in the intermediate wall 60, by an auger-bearing portion 84 which is inclined at an angle of approximately 20 to the horizontal, and by a sharply upwardly inclined ramp portion 86 which is disposed generally beneath the ice chute opening 44. The auger-bearing portion 84 is provided with a depending boss 88 having a vertically disposed bore 90 formed therein with horizontally disposed surfaces being provided at the upper and lower ends of the bore 90.

Depending from the underside of the internal bottom wall 76 are a series of bosses 92 against which a motor support bracket 94 is secured by suitable fasteners. A further boss 96 depends downwardly adjacent the end wall 56 to a point adjacent the lower edge of the end wall 56. The open bottom of the housing 22 is closed by a thin metal plate 98 which is secured against the depending bosses 74 and 96 by suitable fasteners.

The internal integral wall structure of the vertical leg portion 24 of the housing 22 is further characterized by an-arcuately curved wall 100 which blends into the front and back walls 52 and 54 and curves past the intermediate wall 60 at an inclined angle with its upper central portion blending into the upper portion of the intermediate wall 60, as at 102 in FIG. 8, and with its lower end intersecting the bottom wall 76 between the first and auger-bearing portions 78 and 84, respectively, thereof. The arcuately curved wall portion 100 guides ice cubes into the auger 38 and provides support for the ice crushing barrel assembly 36 shown in FIGS. 8 and 10. r

The barrel assembly 36 is generally cylindrical in configuration. More specifically, the upper portion 104 of the barrel assembly is cyindrical while the lower portion 106 of the barrel assembly is semi-cylindrical with the cut-away portion being the half that would normally be most closely adjacent to the back wall 54. Thus the lower portion of the barrel assembly 36 is open to the lower end of the ice chute 42. The barrel assembly 36 is further characterized by an integral vertical wall portion 108 which is disposed against the side edge of the ramp portion 86 of the bottom wall 76 and which has a vertical edge 110 which abuts against the end wall 56 and is received between a pair of vertical ribs integrally formed thereon. Preferably, the edge 110 is cemented to the end wall 56.

The inner bore of the barrel assembly 36 is provided around its circumference with a series of longitudinally extending serrated flutes 112, best shown in FIGS. 9 and 11, which define a series of longitudinally extending edges 114 and longitudinally extending shoulders 116 which face in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the auger 38 for reasons to be fully discussed hereineafter. The term serrated flutes has been used in view of the serrated configuration which is apparent when viewing the barrel assembly 36 from either end and is not used in a sense that the flutes 112 or the edges 114 are provided with transverse grooves or serrations.

In assembly of the barrel assembly 36 in the L-shaped housing 22, the assembly 36 is cemented in position using a suitable cement such as ethylene chloride solvent thickened with ABS. As shown in the preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawings, the axis of the barrel assembly 36 is disposed at an angle of approximately 20 to the vertical.

As best shown in FIGS. 8 and 10, an arcuately curved spike plate 118 having several downwardly depending spikes 120 is mounted in the barrel assembly 36 adjacent the backside of the upper barrel portion 104. A resilient stripper spring 122 is also mounted in the barrel assembly 36 between the spike plate 118 and the curved wall 100.

The auger 38, as best shown in FIGS. and 14, has a planar bottom end 124 which is adapted to be rotatably seated against the auger-bearing portion 84 of the bottom wall 76 and a knob or hand grip formation 126 at its upper end. The root diameter of the helix 128 of the auger 38 increases progressively from the lower end of same toward its upper end. A stainless steel spike 130 projects radially from the root diameter of the auger 38 near the lower end thereof and serves to initiate engagement of ice cubes 40 by the auger 38. The planar bottom end 124 of the auger 38 is provided with an axially aligned, generally square recess 132 for engagement with a suitable driving member.

The open upper end of the vertical leg portion 24 of the housing 22 is provided with a cover 134 which is telescopically fitted into the open upper end of the vertical housing portion 24 and secured in place by a series of press-fitted plastic pins. One corner of the cover 134 is provided with the generally rectangular opening 44 of the ice chute 42 and the diagonally opposite corner has a recessed configuration 136 which is partially circular whereby same is fitted over the upper end of the barrel 36. The cover configuration 136 is further characterized by a notch at the upper edge of the intermediate wall 60 which defines the sides and lower edge of the crushed ice discharge port 46. A slidably mounted cap 138 for the auger barrel 36 defines the upper edge of the discharge port 46. As best illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13, the barrel cap 138 has a pair of side lugs 140 which are slidably received in a pair of slots 142 pro vided in the housing cover 134. The inner end of the cap 138 is provided with a locking lug 144 which, as the cap 138 is slidably assembled to the housing cover 134, snap-locks into engagement with a slot 146 formed in the cover 134. To disengage the locking lug 144 from the slot 146, only a slight twisting movement of the cap 138 is necessary. The cap 138 may be provided with indicia indicating which direction it should be twisted for release, as shown, and a roughened portion 148 to facilitate such twisting movement.

The ice chute opening 44 in the cover 134 is provided with a two-part cover 150 which includes an upper door 152 and a lower door 156. The upper door 152 is mounted by suitable hinge pins along the side of the ice chute opening 44 furthest from the end wall 56 and is provided with a pair of integral depending quandrant-shaped side skirts 154. The lower door 156 is connected by suitable hinge pins to the edge of the ice chute opening 44 immediately adjacent the end wall 56 and is provided with a pair of depending integral quandrant-shaped skirts 158 which are slidable along the inner surfaces of the skirts 154 of the upper door 152 during opening and closing of the two-part ice chute cover 150. The skirts 158 of the lower door 156 are provided with elongated slots 160 in which are received integral pins 162 formed on the inner surfaces of the skirts 154 of the upper door 152. Thus, when the upper door 152 is opened and closed, the lower door 156 is opened and closed simultaneously therewith.

When the two-part cover 150 is closed, the upper surface of the upper door 152 is flush with the upper surface of the cover 134 as is clearly indicated in FIG. 8. In its closed position, the closing edge of the upper door 152 projects just slightly beyond the vertical wall 56 as is shown in FIGS. 8 and 11. This slight extension together with a chamfered notch 164 formed in the houisng cover 134 immediately below the door 152, when closed, facilitates engagement of the upper door 152 by the fingers when it is desirable to open the two part cover 150 to deposit ice cubes 40 in the appliance 20. As illustrated in FIG. 11, the upper surface of the upper door 152 may have the legend lce Chute molded thereon adjacent the closing edge thereof.

When the two-part cover 150 is open to receive ice cubes 40, as illustrated in FIG. 1, it is noted that the two doors 152 and 156 define an upward extension of the ice chute 42 with the opening or entrance thereto being spaced above the top surface of the housing cover 134. The cover 150 thus serves as a safety feature by incrasing the distance between the entrance to the ice chute 42 and the ice crushing mechanism 34. Although not shown in the drawings, the underside of the upper door 152 along the closing edge thereof has a legend molded thereon which is readily readable by one about to insert ice cubes 40 into the appliance and which reads Caution Keep fingers out.

The doors 152 and 156 may preferably be formed of polypropylene whereby both doors may be molded flat in a family mold for part and tool simplicity and for economy. Each door 152 and 156 is folded into its U- shaped, along living hinge fold lines, mated together and assembled as part of the housing assembly. Their natural resilience keeps them snug to each other and to the walls of the ice chute 42.

The auger 38 is adapted to be rotatably driven by an induction type shaded pole electric motor 166 which is supported in a suitable manner from the motor support bracket 94 with its drive shaft 168 disposed vertically. The drive shaft 168 is supported in upper and lower bearings 170 and has a circular fan member 172 mounted'on its lower end with fan blades 174 adapted to circulate cooling air past the motor windings. Although not shown in the drawings, the bottom plate 98 is provided with a series of air vent openings immediately adjacent the fan member 172. For a reason to be described hereinafter, the outer periphery of the fan member 172 is provided with a grooved pulley configuration 176.

The auger 38 is driven by the motor 166 through a 100:1 gear reduction mechanism which includes a drive pinion 178 mounted on the upper end of the drive shaft 168, a spur gear 180 and a pinion 182 mounted on a stub shaft 181, and a spur gear 184 in driving engagement with the pinion 182 and mounted on a vertically disposed shaft 188 having a novel universal driving head 186 incorporated on the upper end thereof. The shaft 188 of the driving head 186 is rotatable in a bearing 190 mounted in the bore 90 formed in the boss 88 of the bottom wall 76.

The driving head 186 has a unique configuration inasmuch as it is disposed vertically for driving engagement with the auger 38 which is disposed at an angle of 20 to the vertical and is designed to provide a modified universal-joint type driving connection. The driving head 186 which is integrally formed on the shaft 88 and is received in the generally square recess 132 formed in the bottom end of the auger 38 may best be described as being in the form of a pair of upper and lower truncated pyramids wherein the bases are positioned together with the pyramidal sides of the driving head 186 being disposed at angles of approximately 22 to the vertical.

With this arrangement, when the barrel cap 138 is removed, the auger 38 may be readily removed from the barrel 36 as shown in FIG. 4 for cleaning of both the barrel 36 and the auger 38. When the auger 38 is again inserted into the barrel 36, a slight twisting movement will insure reengagement of the auger 38 with the driving head 186.

As it is possible that the appliance 20 may be turned on while one or more pieces of ice are disposed in the ice crushing mechanism 34, the motor 166 is provided with a built-in impact clutch 192 which provides a high apparent starting torque and some starting impact for rotation of the auger 38. As is best illustrated in FIGS. 15 and 16, the impact clutch 192 includes a first pin 194 which projects radially from the motor drive shaft 168 and a second tubular rotor pin 196 which extends upwardly from the upper end of the rotor of the motor 166 offset from the center thereof so that the tubular pin 196 is engageable by the shaft pin 194. A return spring 198 wrapped around the motor shaft 168 has one end anchored to the shaft pin 194 and the other end anchored in the tubular pin 196. The return spring 198 is assembled in a manner such that when the motor 166 is not energized the spring 198 turns the rotor, which is free to rotate on the shaft 168, in a counter operating direction to a position wherein the pins 194 and 196 rest against each other as shown in FIG. 16. When the motor is energized, the rotor will rotate approximately one full revolution before the pins 194 and 196 are engaged whereby the shaft 168 is turned through engagement of the rotor pin 196 with the shaft pin 194. The impact clutch 192 has been found to provide almost twice the normal starting torque of the motor 166 with the resulting high torque jolt being sufficient to free any ice jam or other high load starting condition. The impact clutch 192 permits the use of a relatively inexpensive shaded pole motor even though such a motor is characterized as having low starting torque and as not suitable for applications in which high starting torques are required.

A standard power cord 242 for connecting the electric. motor 166 to a source of electrical energy enters the housing 22 through a grommet 244 mounted in the bottom plate 98. The ends of the power cord 242 are connected to the field coil of the electric motor 166 in series through a single throw snap action on-off rocker switch 250 which is snapped in place in an opening formed in the front wall 52 of the L-shaped housing 22. One lead of the power cord 242 may be connected by a known type wire nut 248 to one of the field leads 246 of the electric motor 166 with the other lead of the power cord 242 being connected to one terminal of the switch 250. The other terminal of the switch 250 is connected to the other field lead of the electric motor 166.

The crushed-ice-receiving and drink-mixing container 28 is provided with an integral bottom wall 200 which is spaced above the lower edges of the side walls of the container 28 and which slants generally conically downward from the side walls to facilitate the feeding of mixing ingredients into the agitator described hereinafter. The bottom edges of said side walls are supported on the ribs 66 and 68 whereby the container 28 is supported above the bottom wall 64 of the containerreceiving cavity 62. The bottom wall 200 of the container 28 is formed with an upstanding boss 202 which is centered relative to the front and back walls of the container but which is off-center relative to the end walls of the container 28. The boss 202 is provided with a vertical bore 204 in which is mounted a sleeve bushing 206.

The container 28 is provided with a drink-mixing agitator or impeller 208 which is riveted to the upper end of a shaft 210 by means of forming-over the shouldered end of the shaft 210, as at 214, which shaft 210 is rotatable in the sleeve bushing 206 mounted in the boss 202. An O-ring 212 is provided at the upper end of the bore 204 in the boss 202 to prevent leakage of liquids from the container 28. The agitator 208 is characterized by a pair of diametrical flutes 216 disposed perpendicular to one another and by a pair of downwardly inclined mixing arms or blades 218 which insure adequate mixing of a minimum amount of liquid or food, such as for a single drink or even a single egg.

The lower end of the agitator shaft 210 extends slightly below the bottom wall 200 of the container 28 and has a coupling member 220 press fitted thereon, which coupling member has a series of right-triangular clutch teeth 222 depending therefrom. The coupling member 220 does not depend below the bottom edges of the walls of the container 28 whereby to insure stability of the container 28 when placed on a table or countertop.

An identical mating coupling member 228 having upwardly projecting right-triangular clutch teeth 230 is mounted on the upper end of a shaft 224 which extends through the bore 72 which is formed in the boss 70 provided off-center in the bottom wall 64 of the containerreceiving cavity 62. The shaft 224 is rotatable in a sleeve bushing 226 fitted in the bore 72 of the boss 70.

A pulley 232 is press-fitted on the lower end of the shaft 224 and a drive belt 234 extends around the pulley 232 and the pulley configuration 176 of the fan 172 associated with the electric motor 166 whereby during energization of the motor 166 the coupling 228 is simultaneously driven. As the diameter of the pulley 232 is the same as the diameter of the fan 172, the drive ratio between the motor 166 and the coupling 228 is 1:1. The bottom plate 98 is provided with an opening 236 which accommodates the hub portion of the pulley 232 and with an air vent 238. A fibre-board air baffle 240 is provided in the housing 22 adjacent the motor 166 to direct the ventilating air effieciently over critical motor areas.

With the agitator 208 being positioned off-center in the bottom of the container 28 and with the agitator drive coupling 228 being positioned offcenter relative to the bottom of the container-receiving cavity 62, the combination appliance may be used as an ice crusher alone, or as a drink or food mixing appliance alone, or as a unique combination of the two functions whereby crushed ice may be delivered into the container 28 simultaneously during a drink-mixing operation. With the container 28 positioned in the containerreceiving cavity 62 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, the two mating coupling members 220 and 228 are misaligned and not engaged whereby the appliance serves only as an ice crusher and the container 28 serves merely as a collector of crushed ice. However, if the container 28 is turned 180 and again positioned in the containerreceiving cavity 62, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, the coupling members 220 and 228 are automatically engaged, and when the motor 166 is energized, the auger 38 and the agitator 208 are simultaneously rotated. With the container 28 thus positioned, and with ice cubes 40 being fed down the ice chute 42, crushed ice will be delivered into the container 28 simultaneously during the mixing of a drink or other liquids therein, as shown in FIG. 5. If no ice is fed into the ice chute 42, the appliance serves merely as a drink mixing appliance as shown in FIG. 2.

The container 28 holds up to three pints of liquids and suitable measuring indicia may be molded thereon as shown in FIG. 1. One upper corner of the container 28 is formed to provide a pouring spout 252. The end wall of the container opposite the pouring spout 252 and approximately one-third of each of the side walls adjacent thereto are grained or roughened and preformed inwardly as at 254, to form a slip-resistant hand grip configuration whereby to facilitate gripping of the container 28 during a drink pouring operation, as shown in FIG. 3.

The container cover 30 is provided with depending side and end walls 256 with the lower edges thereof being reduced in thickness whereby to define downwardly facing shoulders 258 which are engageable with the upper edges of the side and end walls of the container 28, the upper edges of the container 28 being slightly offset outwardly to receive the side and end walls 256 of the cover 30. As previously noted herein, one end wall 256 of the container cover 30 is cut away to define the crushed-ice-receiving opening 50 which is positioned adjacent the crushed ice. discharge port 46. The corner of the container cover 30 adjacent the pouring spout 252 is cut away and provided with a series of integral depending and converging ribs which serve to define a strainer formation 260 as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.

Although the combination appliance 20 may be used most often to prepare mixed alcoholic drinks, it is noted that it may also be used for preparation of frozen juices, milkshakes and malts, instant breakfast, sauces of all types, whipped cream, scrambled eggs, puddings, etc. Although not forming part of the invention, it is noted that this combination appliance comes packaged in a polystyrene ice bucket.

In operation, ice cubes 40 to be crushed are dropped into the ice chute 42 where they are engaged by the auger 38 and carried upwardly with preliminary breaking of the ice cubes being provided by the spike 130 and the spike plate 118, then on through the barrel assembly 36 with the ice being compression-crushed and sized prior to discharge of same through the crushed ice discharge port 46. The simultaneous compressioncrushing and upward movement of the ice is due to the increasing root diameter of the auger 38 and the shoulders 116 defined in the fluted barrel bore. The shoulders 116, which face in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the auger 38, serve to reduce the rotary motion of the ice so that the auger 38 can effectively drive the ice upwardly to the discharge port 46. The spike plate 118 and the auger spike 130 in breaking up the cubes 40 prevent jamming which might occur if unbroken chunks of ice became lodged between the auger 38 and the wall of barrel assembly 36. The stripper spring 122 also serves to prevent jamming of the ice.

Any residual water attendant with an operation such as ice crushing drains from the interior of the housing 22 down the trough to the drain hole 82 into the container-receiving cavity 62. This water is readily wiped from this exposed area and counter top puddles are avoided.

Although a substantial number of the parts of the combination appliance disclosed herein may be formed of various plastics, it is to be understood that other suitable materials may also be used. If plastics are used, however, certain plastics have been found to be particularly well adapted for certain parts of this appliance 20. For instance, the auger 38 and the two doors 152 and 156 of the two-part ice chute cover may be formed of high strength polypropylene, as previously discussed herein. An auger 38 formed of this particular plastic may sustain shock forces up to ten ft-lbs. The housing 22, the barrel assembly 36 and the housing cover 134, together with the pins connecting the cover 134 to the housing 22, may be formed of high impact ABS. The barrel cap 138, because of the forces exerted thereon by the crushed ice being discharged from the barrel assembly 36, may preferably be formed of a tough polycarbonate. The container 28 and the container cover 30 may be formed of styrene acrylonitrile copolymer. The couplings 220 and 228, the fan member I72 and the pulley 232 may be formed of nylon. A suitable plastic for the gear 180 has been found to be molybdenum disulfide-fllled nylon.

While there has been shown and described a single embodiment of the present invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made without deparating from the invention in its broader aspects and it is, therefore, contemplated in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.

We claim:

1. A motor operated ice-crushing electric appliance comprising, a vertically disposed housing having an icecube receiving opening and a crushed-ice discharge opening both of which are disposed at the top of said housing, a generally verticaly disposed ice chute defined in said housing and extending downwardly from said ice cube-receiving opening, an upwardly inclined ice-crushing barrel in said housing with its upper end terminating at said crushed-ice discharge opening and with its lower end being in communication with the lower end of said ice chute, a rotatable auger mounted in said barrel for simultaneously crushing and transporting ice upwardly through said ice-crushing barrel to said crushed-ice discharge opening, and an electric motor mounted in said housing and operably connected to said auger.

2. The appliance of claim 1 wherein said top of said housing is generally flat and rectangular in configuration and wherein said ice cube-receiving opening and said crushed-ice discharge opening are disposed in opposite diagonal corners of said housing top.

3. The appliance of claim 1 wherein said ice-crushing barrel is provided on its bore with a series of longitudinally extending serrated flutes defining a series of longitudinal shoulders facing in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said auger, and wherein said auger is characterized by a root diameter which increases progressively from the lower end of said auger to its upper end, said flute shoulders and said increasing root diameter of said auger aiding in compressioncrushing and sizing of ice transported upwardly through said barrel by said auger.

4. The appliance of claim 3 wherein said barrel and said auger are formed of high strength plastic.

5. The appliance of claim 1 wherein said auger is rotatable about an axis disposed at an angle of approximately 20 to the vertical and wherein a knob is provided on the upper end of said auger to facilitate removal of same from said barrel.

6. The appliance of claim 5 wherein said electric motor is mounted in said housing with its drive shaft disposed vertically, wherein said motor is provided with a built-in impact clutch, and wherein said motor is operably connected to said upwardly inclined auger through a gear reduction means and a modified universal joint connection.

7. The appliance of claim 6 wherein said modified universal joint connection comprises a generally square recess formed in the lower end of said inclined auger and a vertically disposed driving head having inclined sides drivingly receivable in said auger recess.

8. For use in an ice crusher appliance, an icecrushing mechanism, comprising, a generally cylindrical ice-crushing barrel with one end adapted to receive ice to be crushed and the other end adapted to have crushed ice discharged therefrom, an auger rotatable in said barrel and having a root diameter which increases progressively in a direction toward said discharge end of said barrel, the bore of said barrel being provided with a series of longitudinally extending serrated flutes which are areuately curved whereby to define a series of longitudinally extending shoulders facing in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said auger, and drive means for rotating said auger to advance ice through said barrel to said discharge end of same with said flute shoulders and said increasing root diameter of said auger cooperating to provide compressioncrushing and sizing of the ice advanced through said barrel.

9. For use in an ice crusher appliance, an icecrushing mechanism, comprising, a generally cylindrical ice-crushing barrel with one end adapted to receive ice to be crushed and the other end adapted to have crushed ice discharged therefrom, an auger rotatable in said barrel and having a root diameter which increases progressively in a direction toward said discharge end of said barrel, a spike proecting radially from the root diameter of said auger adjacent the ice-entrance end of said barrel which serves to initiate movement of ice to be crushed through said barrel, and drive means for rotating said auger whereby ice is simultaneously crushed and transported through said barrel to said discharge end of same.

10. For use in an ice crusher appliance, an icecrushing mechanism, comprising, a generally cylindrical ice-crushing barrel with one end of said barrel being cut away to form an opening through which ice cubes to be crushed are inserted into said barrel, the other end of said barrel adapted to have crushed ice discharged therefrom, an auger rotatable in said barrel and having a root diameter which increases progressively in a direction toward said discharge end of said barrel, drive means for rotating said auger whereby ice is simultaneously crushed and transported through said barrel to said discharge end of same, and spikes extending parallel to the axis of said barrel adjacent said opening to break up ice cubes being transported toward said discharge end by said auger.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification241/260.1, 241/101.6, 366/314, 241/100, 366/205, 241/101.8, 241/82.6, 241/DIG.170
International ClassificationA47J43/046, B02C19/22, A47J43/042, F25C5/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25C5/046, B02C19/22, A47J43/046, Y10S241/17, A47J43/042
European ClassificationA47J43/046, A47J43/042, F25C5/04C, B02C19/22