US 3841117 A
A front-loading washing and drying machine has a front door for closing the loading window of the wash tub, which door has a duct for introducing heated drying air into the tub. The duct may be served by a heater and an impeller mounted in the door but preferably terminates in an input orifice registering with an output orifice on the front of the body of the machine, from which is emitted heated air from a heater and impeller unit in the body of the machine. The closing of the door places the two orifices in communication. Means are provided for preventing back flow of washing water down the duct and for allowing for used drying air to escape from the tub without allowing escape of washing water during those times in a wash/dry cycle when the machine is washing.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Crivilles FRONT LOADING WASHING AND DRYING Oct. 15, 1974 Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby MACHINE Assistant Examiner-Philip R. Coe  Inventor: Jose Maria Roger Crivilles, Calle Agent or F'".nStemberg & Blake Escuelas Pias, 9, Barcelona, Spain  ABSTRACT  Filed; Jam 2 1973 A front-loading washing and drying machine has a front door for closing the loading window of the wash  PP 3261896 tub, which door has a duct for introducing heated drying air into the tub. The duct may be served by a 52 us. 01. 68/20, 34/133 heater and an impeller mounted in the door but P 5 Int CL. og 39 14 p2 11/04 2 25 12 erably terminates 'in an input orifice registering with 58 Field 61 Search 68/20; 34/133, 139 an Output Orifice on the from of the y of the chine, from which is emitted heated air from a heater M and impeller unit in the body of the machine. The  References cued closing of the door places the two orifices in commu- UNITED STATES PATENTS nication. Means are provided for preventing back flow 2,737,799 3/1956 Knipmeyer 68/20 of washing water down the duct and for allowing for 2,938,366 5/1960 Maddock-Clegg 68/20 X used drying air to escape from the tub'without allow- 2,975,623 3/1961 Eichhorn ct al. 68/20 X ing escape of washing water during those times in a Ziegler X ycle when the machine is washing 1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures 6 4 I I a:
t 7 1 7/] 1 L- J l a L :5: can: l 3 I if v f k 2a a 35 J -2 FRONT LOADING WASHING AND DRYING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Machines for washing and drying fabric articles, e.g., household linen, which contain a perforated drum containing the said clothes and adapted to rotate within a tub which may serve selectively for containing the washing agent and for routing the drying air streams are known. At the present day, the tendency is in the direction of washing and drying machines of the frontloading type, wherein the front of the machine has a door of which the middle coincides with the axis of the drum, and both the drum and the tub are formed with apertures available from the door.
Experience has shown that the incorporation of adequate means for air circulation for drying the washed linen in front-loading machines involves considerable technical difficulty inasmuch as the constructions proposed hitherto either are extremely complicated and unsuitable for the manufacture of washing machines as a consumer article or have been designed 'on the basis of compromise solutions which do not afford the efficiency which would be desirable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention adopts a fresh mode of approach to this problem and providesa novel arrangement of the means for air circulation, which said arrangement can be applied, with a minimum of essential modification, to the structure of known front-loading washing machines whereby it becomes possible to construct frontloading washing and drying machines of good drying efficiency at reasonable cost.
To this end a front-loading machine according to the invention has a closure member which is applied to the front-loading window of the machine and includes at least the inflow aperture for introducing drying air within the drum of the machine, located internally relative to devices for applying the said closure member.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the door takes the form of an essentially plane hollow body which is fitted to the front of the machine and has a conduit inside it for establishing communication between the aperture for the inflow of drying air'into the drum and an orifice formed in the inner face of the door, the static body of the machine being provided with means for impelling and heating air and having an outflow aperture aligned with the orifice of the transfer I chimney for the outflow of moistened drying air, re-
quires no auxiliary arrangement for sealing the tub during functioning of the machine as a washer, and a similar arrangement may also be provided at the aperture for inflow of hot air into the drum, for example,-by arranging the said aperture in the upper portion of the closure member, again above the levelof the washing liquid in the tub. lf mounting of the air heating and impelling unit in the body of the machine is effected above the wash tub'of the machine, it will also be unnecessary to provide additional arrangements for the hydraulic closure of the tub, but when it is lower than the tub (which may prove necessary, for constructional reasons) it will be possible to provide in the said aperture means for hydraulic closure such as a check valve interposed in the hot air conduit and opening in the direction of circulation of the latter. A further device which may be utilised for this purpose, by itself alone or in combination with the aforementioned valve, comprises a section of the hot air conduit designed in the manner of an inverted 'syphon means the elbow of which is located above the level of the washing liquid in the tub.
A further feature is the possibility for mounting the 1 transfer unit hinged in front of the machine.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The accompanying drawing shows diagrammatically one embodiment of the present invention by way of one non-limitative example of it; in the .said drawings:
FIG. 1 is a vertical section,
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the same machine, showing the door open, and
FIG. 3 is a plan view of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF A- PREFERRED EMBODlMENT A general casing or housing 1 of the washing machine has support legs2, a front wall 3, an upper wall 4 and a rear wall 5. The front wall is formed with a circular window 6 in which is fitted in'liquid-tight manner, by
- means of a resilientbellows 7, the mouth 8 of a conventional tub 9 within which rotates a drum 10 (also conventional) constituted by'p e'rforated walls 11, a front ring 12 having a mouth 13 applied to the interior of the bellows 7,and an end face 14 from which extends a shaft 15 supported in rotation by means of a mounting device 16 secured to the rear wall of the tub 9.
Externally of the latter, there is secured to the shaft a pulley 17 driven through the agency of a trapezoidal belt 18 from a two-speed electric motor 19 secured by means of supports 20 to the lower portion of the tub.
In the example of embodiment shown, the door conventionally employed for sealing the front-loading window' 6 has been replaced by one having the function of a transfer unit 21 the construction of which is in accordance with conventional practice with regard to the folding and welding of sheet metal and which has the shape of a flat hollow box structure articulated by I means'of hinges 22 to one of the sides of the housing 1 in such manner that is possible to apply it against the front wall 3, as shown in FIG. 1, or to'open it as shown in FIGS. 2 and"3'. The rear face 23 of. the unit 2l has a frustoconical projection 24 tapering towards its end which 'isrearmost. The base of the projection bears against the edge of the outer end of the bellows 7, thereby affording an adequate-fluid-tightseal relative to thefluids. w r
Formed in the upper portion of the end of the said projection 24 is an aperture'25 from which extends internally of the projection, a conduit26, as far as the interior of the unit 21, where it extends firstv upwardly, then curves round at 27, and then extends downwardly as far as the lower portion of the unit, and then terminates in a mouth 28 located in the rear face 23 of the said unit. Withinthe projection 24, the conduit 26, has
a widened portion starting at step 29, affording a valve seat for a flap valve 30 pivoted at 31, thereby constituting a unidirectional check valve, the direction of free passage past which is inwardly of the machines (i.e., towards the narrower end of the projection 24).
Formed in the lower portion of the front wall 3 of the housing 1 of the machine is an orifice 32 in which is internally located the outlet 33 of an air heating and propulsion unit having a transverse passage and provided with an inlet 35 fitted with a filter 36 and with a heating resistance 37. Both the resistance and also the motor for driving this unit (not shown) may be connected with the controls of the machine in the conventional manner. The position of the said orifice 32 is such that the mouth 28 of the unit 21 is aligned therewith in the functioning position shown in H6. 1, when the unit 21 is closed onto the front wall 3.
The tub 9 has, in the lower portion of its rear wall, a mouth 38 from which extends a flexible hose 39 con nected to the lower end of a chimney 40 adjacent the.
rear wall of the housing 1 and extending up to the upper wall 4 thereof, where it debouches to the exterior through a protective grid 41.
The machine has conventional control devices shown as a form of diagrammatic block 42, means for the introduction and removal of washing water, a gate 43 for insertion of detergents and selection controls 44 enclosed in recess 45 in the inner wall 23 of the transfer unit 21. These elements may be disposed in some other manner, so as to be accessible from the exterior during functioning of the machine. The transfer unit 21 is also provided with conventional closure means (coacting with a latch 46 in H0. 2) for maintaining it in the closed position shown in FIG. 1.'
The mode of functioning of the machine described is as follows:
While operating as a washer and spin drier, closure of the window 6 is effected by means of the base of the cone 24 the shape of which is entirely equivalent to that of conventional front-loading washing machines.
The liquid level within the wash tub never reaches the level of the shaft of the drum, so that it does not reach aperture 25 for inflow of hot air; even splashing. The internal liquid is retained by the check valve 30 affording a seal against passage of fluids from the interior of the machine towards the exterior, the securityof the arrangement against liquid escape being promoted furthermore by the inverted syphon curve 27. On the other hand, the washing liquid will attain, within the chimney 40, the same level as in the tub and will never be able to reach the upper portion of the latter; this chimney is automatically emptied on emptying the tub.
When functioning as a dryer, once the tub has been emptied and the wash centrifuged, the heating and propulsion unit is set in motion in such manner that a forced flow of heating air is established via outlet 33, conduit 26, past the check valve 30, through the articles in the drum and outlet 38 to the chimney 40 where it is discharged. Thus drying is brought to completion under efficient conditions.
The system described is susceptible of many constructional variants within the scope of the invention. For example, if only the chimney 40 is originally provided in conventional washing machines the transfer unit 21 could be provided with the device for impelling and heating air, constituting an independent unit which could be fitted to the machine as an accessory such as may be acquired by the user optionally or in a second stage of a purchase.
1. Front-loading washing and drying machine having a body with a front, a perforated drum for containing the wash, a tub within the body, the drum being rotatable within the tub, a loading window for the drum at thefront of the body, a closure member, the closure member being movable between positions to close the window or open it for loading, an aperture in the closure member registrable with the drum, and duct means in the closure member for leading drying air to the aperture, an orifice formed in a rear face of the closure member, the said duct establishing communication between the aperture for inflow of drying air into the drum and the orifice, means for impelling and heat ing air, mounted to the body of the machine, an outflow aperture for air from said impelling and heating being means registrable with the said orifice, and means to seal the orifice to the aperture when the closure member is in its window-closing position, the aperture for the inflow of drying air within the drum having means for preventing flow-back of liquids into the duct, the said means for preventing flow-back of liquids into the duct being a section of the duct formed as an inverted syphon, the highest level of which is located above the level attained by washing liquid in the tub.