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Publication numberUS3892048 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date1 Jul 1975
Filing date29 May 1974
Priority date29 May 1974
Also published asCA1040851A, CA1040851A1
Publication numberUS 3892048 A, US 3892048A, US-A-3892048, US3892048 A, US3892048A
InventorsJacobsen Jr Jerome G
Original AssigneeWhite Westinghouse Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clothes dryer
US 3892048 A
A generally small capacity automatic clothes dryer is shown utilizing a draw-through air circulation system and having a unitarily molded air duct defining an inlet chamber, fan scroll portion, and air outlet or exhaust chamber for mounting on the front panel of the dryer housing in air flow communication between the access opening leading to the interior of the tub and through which the moist air exits the tub in a confined path leading to the duct, and a forwardly facing discharge opening in the front panel.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Jacobsen, Jr. July 1, 1975 [54] CLOTHES DRYER 3,l97,886 8/!965 Brame et al. 34 133 75 Inventor: Jerome G. Jacobsen, .lr., Mansfield. 1 Ohio Primary E.raminerl(enneth W Sprague Assistant Examiner-James C. Yeung Asslgnee? whue'weslmghmlse Corporallon Attorney. Agent, or FirmMcNenny, Farrington,

Cleveland Ohio Pearne & Gordon [22] Filed: May 29, I974 [21 App]. NO.I 474,286 {57] ABSTRACT A generally small capacity automatic clothes dryer is [52] U S CL 34/l33 34/139 shown utilizing a draw-through air circulation system [5H Fzb 11/04 and having a unitarily molded air duct defining an [58] i I33 134 inlet chamber, fan scroll portion, and air outlet or ex- 34/138 haust chamber for mounting on the front panel of the dryer housing in air flow communication between the [56] Rderences Cited access opening leading to the interior of the tub and through which the moist air exits the tub in a confined UNITED STATES PATENTS path leading to the duct, and a forwardly facing dis- Shapter 4 i v i i harge pening in the front panel 2,886 90l 5/1959 Whyte et al. l. 34/l33 3,!67A09 H1965 Brucken .4 34/l33 7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures MTFHTFDJUL 1 SHEET FIG. 2

CLOTHES DRYER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to automatic clothes dryers and more particularly to an air flow duct structure and arrangement in a forwardly exhausting dryer.

2. Description of the Prior Art In regular size domestic clothes dryers (i.e. those capable of drying within a certain limited time a Il2 pound load of clothes) it is generally necessary to exhaust the moist warm air exteriorly of the building housing the dryer to maintain the air within the building at an acceptable comfort level with respect to temperature and vapor content. Thus, the air flow system for such a dryer commonly includes a duct directing the exhaust air through the rear panel of the dryer housing for connection with a flexible pipe leading to an exterior vent. However, compact automatic dryers having a smaller clothes capacity and using less power generally permit exhausting the air within the building or room containing the dryer without exceeding accepted comfort level for heat and moisture. This is aided by the fact that such compact dryers generally are paired with automatic washers which have a relatively high centrifuging speed in the spin cycle such that the moisture content of the clothes, removed therefrom and placed in the dryer, is much less.

Also, in that these compact dryers are generally readily movable, as being mounted on castors, they are easily serviceable from the rear panel as opposed to the larger stationary dryers which, for convenience. are generally serviceable from the front panel.

Taking these facts into consideration along with the desire to provide a simple and inexpensive structure for a compact dryer it was determined that the air flow system could be greatly reduced in complexity and cost and particularly suited to a smaller capacity dryer by forwardly exhausting the dryer air through a unitarily molded air intake, fan scroll and air discharge chamber mounted on the front panel of the machine.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention provides an air flow system for a generally reduced capacity automatic clothes dryer having a forwardly facing air discharge for exhausting the dryer internally of the room containing the dryer. A draw-through air system is employed wherein the clothes tub is on the low pressure side of the air circulating fan and the moist warm air, after exiting the tub through its forwardly facing access opening, is directed through a filter into a unitary integrally molded plastic box-like member mounted on the backside of the front panel. This molded member defines a forwardly open air intake chamber in air flow communication with the filter, a forwardly facing exhaust chamber in communication with the forwardly open exhaust of the front panel, and a rearwardly facing fan scroll housing the air circulating fan and in communication with each of the forwardly facing chambers. The air is drawn into the clothes tub through louvers in the rear panel of the housing and openings in the rear of the clothes tub, thence out the tub through the front access opening in a path confined by the closed front door and through an opening covered by the filter for removal of entrained lint and leading into the intake chamber, fan

scroll and exhaust chamber for forward exhaust from the machine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a forwardly exhausting dryer with the front door opened;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. I with parts broken away to show their assembled relationship and with the door closed;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the front portion of the dryer; and,

FIG. 4 is an exploded isometric view ofthe unitary air duct for the forwardly exhausting dryer according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring initially to FIG. 1, an automatic clothes dryer I0 incorporating the air flow apparatus and system of the present invention is shown. However, for the most part, the dryer has structure well known in the prior art such as an outer cabinet 12 housing a rotatably mounted forwardly open clothes tub 14. The cabinet includes a back panel (not shown) having sufficient louvers or openings therein to permit ambient air into the interior thereof and a front panel 16 having an inset portion 18 defining a first opening 20 generally concentric with the opening of the interior tub for access to the tub and a second opening 22 subadjacent the first opening and covered by a filter or screen 24.

A forwardly opened door 26 is hingedly attached to the front panel 16 for movement between an open position shown and a closed position wherein it fits generally within the inset area 18 of the front panel and covers both openings 20 and 22.

Still referring to FIG. 1, it is seen that the inner face 28 of the door 26 has a portion 30 formed outwardly from the general plane so as to extend into the access opening 20 a sufficient distance to prevent the clothes, tumbling in the tub 14, from becoming lodged in the space between the inner face of the door and the front panel when the door is closed. Also, the door 26 has a gasket 32 attached, as by cementing, so that in a closed position there is an effective air seal encircling both openings 20 and 22 to form a confined air flow path as will be described later. The front panel 16 also contains a third opening (or plurality of spaced openings as shown) 34 generally adjacent the floor or bottom of the machine and outside the area covered by the door for a purpose to be described.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, a portion of the interior of the dryer housing is shown generally adjacent the front panel 16. Thus, it is seen that the dryer includes a drive motor 36 having a shaft 38 extending rearwardly and drivingly coupled, through a belt and pulley mechanism 40 to the tub 14. The forwardly extending motor shaft 42 is coupled to a centrifugal fan 44 enclosed in a scroll-shaped housing 46 which forms a part of a unitarily molded air duct 48 which also includes an inlet chamber 50 and exhaust chamber 52 as hereinafter more fully explained.

Still referring to FIGS. 2 and 3 in conjunction with FIG. 4 it is seen that the unitarily molded integral air duct 48 just mentioned is essentially a forwardly open box-like structure having a planar back wall 54 surrounded by forwardly extending peripheral side walls 56, a top wall 58 and bottom wall 60. The length of the box is such as to generally extend across the back face of the front panel 16 with the top wall 58 thereof notched as at 62 to receive the inset portion 18 of the panel. Also. the height of the box is such that it extends from above the second opening 22 in the front panel 16 to below the third opening 34 generally adjacent the floor. in the panel.

The leading edge of the peripheral walls 56, 58 and 60 of the box are in intimate contact with the rear face of the front panel 16 for effective sealing engagement therewith and held thereon by screws 64.

The forwardly open box is partitioned by a horizontal forwardly extending dividing wall 66 which extends between opposing side walls 56 and projects forwardly so as to be in intimate facing engagement with the rear face of the front panel [6 intermediate the openings 22 and 34 therein. That portion of the box-like structure thus formed by back wall 54, opposing side walls 56, top wall 58, and partitioning wall 66 and disposed directly rearwardly of the second opening 22 thus comprises the air intake chamber 50. And. that portion formed by the back wall. opposing side walls. bottom wall. and partitioning wall and directly rearwardly of the third. or outlet. opening 34 in the front panel comprises the exhaust chamber 52.

The fan housing 46 extends rearwardly from the back face of the back wall 54 and is defined by a contoured peripheral wall 68 in the general shape of a scroll comprising an enlarged circular periphery adjacent one side leading into a narrower elongate fan discharge portion extending across the back wall to the other side. As best seen in FIG. 2, when assembled. the fan 44 resides within the circular periphery of the housing 46. The back wall ofthe box-like structure includes an aperture 70 which. on the front side. is in the area of the intake chamber 50 and also generally coaxial with the fan so that the fan and intake chamber are in air flow communication therethrough. Further. as best shown in FIG. 4. the back wall 54 of the box-like structure includes an aperture 72 in the lowermost area of the scroll-shaped fan housing 46. and extending generally along its length. leading therefrom to the exhaust chamber 52 on the front face of the box. Forwardly projecting fins 74 generally guide the air flow to direct it into and through the exhaust chamber.

Still referring to FIG. 4 it is seen that a plate 76 is attached to the back edge of the wall 68 of the fan housing in an effective sealing engagement as by screws through appropriately spaced bosses in the wallv The plate 76 defines an enlarged opening 78 in the area corresponding to the fan position and sized so as to be able to receive the fan therethrough. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, this opening 78 is closed when the fan and housing are in the assembled position by a sealing plate 80 having a central aperture 82 for receipt of the motor shaft 42 therethrough and a flange area 84 of greater diameter than the opening 78 for sealing engagement with the plate 76 about the opening 78. A compression spring 86 is coiled about the motor shaft 42 with one end abutting the motor mounting frame 88 and the other end abutting the sealing plate 76 to resiliently urge the plate axially outwardly toward the fan 44.

Thus the fan 44 is assembled in the housing 46 through the opening 78. the sealing plate 80 abuts the 6 maintaining the front wall structure of the box tight against the front panel 16 in cooperation with the previously mentioned mounting screws 64. The back plate 76 also contains a second opening 90 generally in alignment with the elongated discharge portion of the fan of the scroll-shaped fan housing 46 which. for the most part. is maintained closed by a screwed-on plate 92 and for a purpose to be described later.

With the fan 44 operating as in a drying cycle. the air is drawn into the dryer housing 12 through the back panel. and into and through a heating chamber and the clothes tub as is well known in the art. From there the air flow is as shown by arrows in FIGS. 3 and 4 which show the warm moist air exiting the tub 14 through its open front and access opening 20 in the front panel 16 and into the confined area between the closed door and the front panel as sealed by the gasket 32. From there the air is drawn into the intake chamber 50 through the filter 24 and opening 22 in the front panel. The air then enters the scroll-shaped fan housing 46 to be discharged through the opening 72 therein to the forwardly facing exhaust chamber 52 which is open to the room through the bottommost openings 34 in the front panel. It is noted that the front panel 16 in this area is also inset with an upwardly tapering wall 94 defining the openings 34. In this way the air flow is given a final, upwardly directed. path so that its contact with adjacent cooler surfaces. typically the floor. which may be cool enough to condense vapor in the exhaust air, is minimal. Thus. the air flow duct in the described dryer comprises this single one-piece molded boxlike structure which is mounted on and utilizes the front panel of the dryer housing to form a part thereof.

In those instances wherein it is desirable to have the dryer exhaust rearwardly. as is commonly done in the larger capacity machines. the above-described structure can. by simple modification shown in FIG. 4. accommodate the requirements. Thus. by merely blocking the front lowermost openings 34 in the panel 16 as by attaching a strip of material 96 thereover. and removing the plate 92 from its normally closed opening 90 on the back plate 76 of the fan housing and inserting a conduit pipe 98 leading to the desired exhaust location. the forward exhaust is blocked and replaced by a confined rear exhaust.

What 1 claim is:

1. An improved air circulation system for a clothes dryer having a cabinet structure housing a rotatable clothes basket with a forwardly facing opening. drive means for rotating said basket. said cabinet including a front panel having a first opening comprising an access opening generally concentric with said basket opening. a second opening generally subadjacent said access opening and a third opening spaced from said second opening. a door hingedly mounted on said panel for covering both said first and second openings when said door is in a closed position and means including said door and said front panel defining a confined air flow passage between said first and second openings on the forward face of said front panel when said door is closed and wherein the improvement comprises:

a molded one-piece air duct and fan scroll defining in cooperation with the inner face of said panel an air inlet chamber in effective sealing engagement with said panel surrounding said second opening;

an air exhaust duct in effective sealing engagement with said panel surrounding said third opening, and;

a fan scroll means for housing a rotatable fan, said means having a wall common to both said inlet chamber and said exhaust duct including an inlet opening between said inlet chamber and said fan housing and an outlet between said housing and said exhaust duct.

2. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said air inlet chamber of said one-piece molded duct defines a forwardly open box-like structure and said exhaust duct defines another forwardly open box-like structure, said box-like structures having a common forwardly projecting dividing wall for sealingly engaging said front panel.

3. Structure according to claim 2 wherein said fan scroll means comprises a rearwardly projecting wall extending from said wall of said scroll means common to both said inlet chamber and said exhaust duct, and a separate plate member attached to said projecting wall and in opposed spaced relation to said last named common wall to define the fan housing therebetween.

4. Structure according to claim 3 wherein said plate includes a first aperture having a removable cover, said aperture providing an auxiliary outlet means for rearwardly exhausting from said scroll means when said cover is removed and said forwardly exhausting air exhaust duct is blocked.

5. The structure according to claim 2 wherein said air exhaust duct further includes air deflector means for directing the flow of discharging air.

6. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said effective sealing engagement between said housing and said air inlet chamber and between said housing and said air outlet chamber is effectuated by a forwardly extending perimetric wall terminating in an edge in facing engagement with said front panel so as to enclose said second opening and said third opening respectively.

7. Structure according to claim 6 wherein a filtering means is disposed within said second opening and wherein said outlet chamber includes means for imparting an upwardly directed flow to the discharge air. k l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2648142 *16 Aug 194711 Aug 1953Murray CorpClothes drier
US2886901 *8 Feb 195719 May 1959Gen Motors CorpSeal for rotary drum drier
US3167409 *21 Dec 196126 Jan 1965Gen Motors CorpRotary clothes dryer with direct drive motor and speed reducer assembly
US3197886 *14 Jun 19623 Aug 1965Gen ElectricClothes dryer with optional additional drying means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4033047 *5 Aug 19755 Jul 1977Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.Clothes dryer
US4546554 *30 Nov 198215 Oct 1985Cissell Manufacturing CompanyClothes dryer having variable position motor and moisture sensor
US4817297 *14 Dec 19874 Apr 1989General Electric CompanyFabric dryer support structure
US4817298 *14 Dec 19874 Apr 1989General Electric CompanyFabric dryer with improved blower assembly
US4840285 *2 Oct 198620 Jun 1989Whirlpool CorporationCabinet construction for a dryer
US6618958 *12 Aug 200216 Sep 2003Lg Electronics Inc.Laundry dryer and rear plate for drum thereof
US7644515 *25 May 200512 Jan 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Lint filter assembly of laundry dryer
US7886458 *22 Dec 200615 Feb 2011G.A. Braun Inc.Lint collection apparatus and system for fabric dryers
US7921578 *7 Jul 200612 Apr 2011Whirlpool CorporationNebulizer system for a fabric treatment appliance
US7946057 *9 Jan 200624 May 2011Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhClothes dryer
US20070144028 *8 Dec 200628 Jun 2007Mabe Canada Inc.Clothes dryer with improved air flow
US20080189974 *9 Jan 200614 Aug 2008Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgerate GmbhClothes Dryer
US20080271336 *25 May 20056 Nov 2008Young Jin DohLint Filter Assembly of Laundry Dryer
EP0066692A2 *10 Apr 198215 Dec 1982INDUSTRIE ZANUSSI S.p.A.Air suction and discharge device for clothes dryers
EP0066692A3 *10 Apr 19829 Feb 1983Industrie Zanussi S.P.A.Air suction and discharge device for clothes dryers
U.S. Classification34/604, 34/139
International ClassificationD06F58/04
Cooperative ClassificationD06F58/04
European ClassificationD06F58/04