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Publication numberUS3921254 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1975
Filing dateFeb 10, 1975
Priority dateFeb 10, 1975
Publication numberUS 3921254 A, US 3921254A, US-A-3921254, US3921254 A, US3921254A
InventorsJr James R Foster, Ved P Gakhar
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hinge structure
US 3921254 A
Abstract
There is provided a hinge structure for pivotally connecting and disconnecting a first and second member at a pivot axis. A first hinge portion is attached to the first member and a second hinge portion is on the second member and in axial alignment with the first hinge portion at the pivot axis. The first hinge portion includes a pin support member which defines a hinge pin hole therethrough having a non-circular cross section. The pin element which is axially insertable into the hinge pin hole has at one end thereof a pivot section for pivotal connection to the second hinge portion. The pin element also has a central portion having a non-circular cross section such that it is nonrotatable with the pin support member when it is inserted therein. The end of the pin element opposite the pivot section has a manual release finger tab portion. Spaced from and in axial alignment with the pin element is a finger grip member to aid in the manual removal of the pivot section from the second hinge portion by axial movement. The manual release finger tab portion of the pin element and the finger grip member spaced therefrom cooperate with each other to provide finger gripping purchase to allow easy manual axial movement of the pin element.
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United States Patent [191 Foster, Jr. et al.

[ Nov. 25, 1975 1 HINGE STRUCTURE [75] Inventors: James R. Foster, Jr.; Ved P.

Gakhar, both of Louisville, Ky.

[73] Assignee: General Electric Company,

Louisville, Ky.

[22] Filed: Feb. 10, 1975 [21] Appl. No.: 548,546

[52] US. Cl 16/176; 16/149 [51] Int. Cl. E05D 1/06 [58] Field of Search 16/128 R, 173, 176,141,

Primary Examiner-Geo. V. Larkin [57] ABSTRACT There is provided a hinge structure for pivotally connecting and disconnecting a first and second member at a pivot axis. A first hinge portion is attached to the first member and a second hinge portion is on the second member and in axial alignment with the first hinge portion at the pivot axis. The first hinge portion includes a pin support member which defines a hinge pin hole therethrough having a non-circular cross section. The pin element which is axially insertable into the hinge pin hole has at one end thereof a pivot section for pivotal connection to the second hinge portion. The pin element also has a central portion having a non-circular cross section such that it is nonrotatable with the pin support member when it is inserted therein. The end of the pin element opposite the pivot section has a manual release finger tab portion. Spaced from and in axial alignment with the pin element is a finger grip member to aid in the manual removal of the pivot section from the second hinge portion by axial movement. The manual release finger tab portion of the pin element and] the finger grip member spaced therefrom cooperate with each other to provide finger gripping purchase to allow easy manual axial movement of the pin element.

7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 3,921,254

HINGE STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Thisinvention relates to a hinge structure, more particularly to a hinge structure for use in a laundry machine to provide ease of removal of the lid for cleaning purposes.

2. Description of the Prior Art:

There is a continuing search for an inexpensive hinge structure permitting easy assembly of two hinged rnembers and allowing easy detachment of the two hinged members for easy cleaning. This is particularly true in the case of home appliances such as automatic clothes washing machines wherein the lid to be removed is on the top of the machine cabinet which location is susceptible to accumulation of dirt, laundry additives, etc.

Hinge structures that have been used heretofore suffer deficiencies in one aspect or another. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 3,659,314 shows a hinge structure wherein the hinge pin must be rotatably movable relative to the hinged members in order for it to be retained in an operative position. Such a hinge requires a special tool both to remove the hinge pin and to again reinsert the pin in an operative position.

It is desirable to provide a hinge structure wherein the hinged members may be removed from each other and that removal may be accomplished by manually disengaging the hinge pin without the need of any special tools. It is also desirable to provide a hinge structure so that when the hinged members are detached the hinge pin is retained on one of the members thus reducing the chance of it falling out and becoming lost during subsequent cleaning. Such a hinge pin arrangement should, however, be completely removable in the event it needs to be replaced with a new hinge pin or for cleaning behind the hinge pin.

By this invention there is provided a hinge structure that will accomplish these desirable characteristics and yet is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to assemble.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION There is provided a hinge structure for pivotally con necting and disconnecting a first and second member at a pivot axis including a first hinge portion attached to the first member and a second hinge portion on the second member in axial alignment with the first hinge portion at the pivot axis. The first hinge portion includes a pin support member which defines a hinge pin hole therethrough having a noncircular cross section. Included also is a pin element which is axially insertable into the hinge pin hole and has at one end thereof a pivot section for pivotal connection to the second hinge portion. The pin element also has a central portion having a non-circular cross section such that it is non-rotatable with the pin support member when it is inserted therein. The end of the pin element opposite the pivot section has a manual release finger tab portion. Spaced from and in axial alignment with the pin element is a finger grip member to aid in the manual removal of the pivot section from the second hinge portion by axial movement. The manual release finger tab portion of the pin element and the finger grip member spaced therefrom cooperate with each other to provide finger gripping purchase to allow easy manual axial movement of the pin element.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the top portion of a clothes washer showing the hinge structure of the invention incorporated in an access lid of the washer.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pivot element of the hinge structure of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of the hinge structure of the invention shown in FIG. 1 and with the two hinged members detached from each other.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the hinge structure taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3..

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. I particularly, there is shown the top of a clothes washer 10 having an appearance cabinet 12 with a top wall 14 which has therein a hinged access door 16. The access door may be pivotally opened exposing the interior of the washer so that the user may insert and remove fabrics to be washed. Contained within access door 16 is a smaller compartment 18 which is used to automatically dispense one or more treating agents into the machine tub by a dispens ing system. The compartment 18 includes a number of openings 20a, 20b, 20c, and 20d for receiving the various laundry additives to be dispensed at programmed times during the washing operation. The compartment 18 has an access lid 22 that may be pivoted independently of the access door 16. It is desirable to have access lid 22 removable or detachable from access door 16 to provide easy cleaning of the dispenser compartment 18 and lid 22. Simplicity of removal of one hinged member, namely access lid 22, from the other hinged member, namely access door 16, without requiring any special tools is beneficial both from a time saving standpoint and overall ease of manipulation.

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3 particularly, the details of our hinge structure will be discussed. Access door 16 has a central recessed area 24 for accommodating the dispenser compartment 18 and which includes a downwardly depending wall 26 that surrounds the dispenser compartment 18. Near the rear of the recessed area 24 the depending wall 26 has a hinge portion which consists in this case ofa hole 28 through the depending wall 26.

The access lid 22 includes a top panel 30 and a circumferential depending flange 32; the entire lid 22 is constructed and dimensioned to fit within the access area 24. Secured to the access lid 22 and positioned on the inner surface 34 at the juncture of the depending flange 32 and the top panel 30 is a hinge member 36 that defines a hinge pin hole 37 therethrough having a non-circular cross section which in this case is rectangular. The side wall 38 of the hinge member has an opening 40 therethrough, the purpose of which will be explained later.

A pin element 42 which is axially insertable into the hinge pin hole 30 of member 36 has at one end a pivot section 44, a central portion 46 having a non-circular cross section and a manual release finger tab portion 48. The central portion 46 includes a resilient detent means such as spring member 50 having at its terminal a protuberance or detent projection 52. The pin element 42 may be made of suitable plastic material and conveniently integrally molded in one piece.

The pin element 42 is inserted into the hinge pin hole 37 to take a position relative to the hinge member 36 as shown in FIG. 3. The central portion 46 of the pivot element 42 may conveniently be of the same cross sectional shape and slightly smaller than the hinge pin hole 37. The purpose of the non-circular configuration is so that when the pin element 42 is in its inserted position within hinge member 36 it cannot rotate relative thereto. An opening (not shown) is provided through the side 54 of the depending wall portion 32 so that the pivot portion 44 may pass therethrough. To assure proper position of the pin element 42 when inserted into hinge member 36 there is a stop portion 56 on the release finger tab portion 48 which has a larger cross sectional diameter than the hinge pin hole 37 formed in hinge member 36. In this manner the stop portion 56 abuts against the back wall 58 of hinge member 36. When stop portion 56 and back wall 58 are in abutment, hole 40 and detent projection 52 on the end of spring member 50 are in alignment and the detent projection 52 will be urged into hole 40. This is a locking means to assure that during hinged operation of the access lid 22 the pin element 42 will remain in its proper operating position. Preferably, the non-circular cross sections of the hinge pin hole 37 and central portion 46 are rectangular so that insertion of the pin element will properly orient the spring member 50 carrying detent projection 52 with the hole 40.

Forming part of the hinge structure is a finger grip 60 secured to the inner surface 34 of depending flange 32. When removal of the pivot portion 44 from the hole 28 for removal of the access lid 22 from the access door 16 is desired, a person will grip the release finger tab portion 48 and finger grip 60 and perform a pinching action between their index finger and thumb. When sufficient force is applied to the pin member 42 the detent projection 52-is urged inwardly thus unlocking it from the hole 40 allowing the entire pin element 42 to be axially moved to the right as shown in FIG. 3 toward the finger grip member 60. The axial movement must of course be sufficient to remove pivot portion 44 from hole 28 and once accomplished the access lid is cocked slightly so the pivot pin at the other end of the access lid may also be removed from the pivot hole.

When the access lid 22 is removed from access door 16 it is desirable that the pin element 42 remain in hinge member36 so that it does not become mislaid or lost especially during cleaning. To accomplish this there is provided a stop member 62 located between finger grip member 60 and the release finger tab portion 48 of the pivot element 42. Thus, in axially moving the pin element 42 the rearward surface 64 of release finger tab portion 48 abuts against stop member 62 and further axial movement is prevented. The stop member 62 is positioned so that when pivot portion 44 is removed from hole 28 the abutment between rearward surface 64 and stop member 62 occurs while the pin element 42 is still within the hinge pin hole 37. It will be recognized that the stop member 62 may desirably be formed and so positioned that with additional manipulation of the pivot element 42 and lateral movement of the pin element relative to its axis, the pin element can be removed entirely from the interior cavity formed by 4 hinge member 36. This is in the event the pin member 42 needs to be replaced.

To replace the access lid 22 in hinged relationship with the access door 16 the access lid is placed in the recessed area 24 with pivot portion 44 in axial alignment with hole 28. Pin element 42 is then moved axially to the left as shown in FIG. 3 away from finger grip member 60 whereupon pivot portion 44 enters hole 28 and stop portion 56 abuts against back wall 58 of the hinge member 36. Detent projection 52 is in registration with hole 40 and is resiliently urged thereinto resulting in pin element 42 being locked in its proper position.

The foregoing is a description of the preferred embodiment of the invention and variations may be made thereto without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A hinge structure for pivotally connecting and disconnecting a first and second member at a pivot axis including a first hinge portion attached to the first member, a second hinge portion on the second member in axial alignment with said first hinge portion at said pivot axis, said first hinge portion comprising:

a. a pin support member defining a hinge pin hole therethrough having a non-circular cross section;

b. a pin element axially insertable into the hinge pin hole and having at one end a pivot section for pivotal connection to the second hinge portion, a central portion having a non-circular cross section and non-rotatable with the pin support member when inserted therein, and a manual release finger tab portion, and

c. a finger grip member spaced from and in axial alignment with the pin element.

2. The hinge structure of claim 1 wherein there is included a stop member located in axial alignment between the pin element and finger grip member to stop axial movement of pin element in the direction of the finger grip member.

3. The hinge structure of claim 2 wherein the pin element and finger grip member are spaced such that when the finger tap portion is in contact with the stop member the pivot section is removed from the second hinge portion and the pin element is retained in the pin support member.

4. The hinge structure of claim 3 wherein the stop member is dimensioned to allow the pin element to bypass the stop member and be removed from the pin support member by lateral movement of the pin element relative to its axis.

5. The hinge structure of claim 1 wherein the pin element is locked in position by a locking means when the pivot section is in pivotal connection with the second hinge portion.

6. The hinge structure of claim 5 wherein the locking means comprises a side opening in the pin support member and a resilient detent means on the pin element in registry with said opening.

7. The hinge structure of claim 1 wherein the non-circular cross section is rectangular.

l =l l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2574250 *Jul 5, 1949Nov 6, 1951Eugene W TubbsTrunnion support for attachments
US2926382 *Jan 2, 1958Mar 1, 1960Avco Mfg CorpQuick disconnect and connect hinge
US3006025 *Aug 4, 1959Oct 31, 1961Gen Dynamics CorpDisconnect hinge apparatus
US3659314 *Jul 22, 1969May 2, 1972Maytag CoHinge structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4115901 *Aug 4, 1977Sep 26, 1978Illinois Tool Works Inc.Laundry appliance door hinge
US4159548 *Feb 15, 1978Jul 3, 1979Moldex LimitedLift-off hinge assembly for toilets and the like
US5682642 *Nov 8, 1995Nov 4, 1997Maytag CorporationDetent device and method for using same
US6466737Nov 21, 2001Oct 15, 2002Honeywell Consumer Products, Inc.Portable electric space heater
DE29502371U1 *Feb 14, 1995Jun 13, 1996Hager Electro GmbhScharnier einer aus abgekantetem Blech bestehenden Installationsschrank-Tür
EP0844352A1 *Nov 20, 1997May 27, 1998Balay S.A.Hinged fastening device for household appliance door
Classifications
U.S. Classification16/229, 16/259
International ClassificationD06F39/14, E05D7/10
Cooperative ClassificationE05D2005/108, E05Y2800/676, D06F39/14, E05Y2900/312, E05D2005/104, E05D7/1022
European ClassificationD06F39/14, E05D7/10B5