Патент USA US2404972код для вставки
July 30, 1946. l.. L. MALLARD 2,404,972 PNEUMATIC ICE TRAY AND CUBE RELEASE Filed Dec. 4, 1941 Fm. , '2 y HG2, ......... „v_-...g «2,404,972 Patented July 30, 1946 UNITED STATES PATENT :OFFICE 2,404,972 PNEUMATIC ICE TRAY AND CUBE RELEASE Logan L. Mallard, Norfolk, Va. Application December 4, 1941, Serial No. 421,646 11 Claims. (Cl. 62-108.5) 1 This invention relates to refrigeration and more particularly to the freezing unit and trays asso ciated therewith in which water or other matter is placed for freezing or congelation. Removing an ice tray from the support upon which it is frozen and removal of cubes from the tray has been a recognized problem and nu merous attempts have been made toward a solu-- 2 tion of the refrigerator with a tray in position to have its cubes released; Fig. 4a is a fragment of the tray of Fig. 4 show ing the flexible bottom or diaphragm of one of the grid compartments in normal freezing posi tion; Figs. 5 and 6, respectively, enlarged detail sec tional views of a pneumatic bellows or foot pump and air-release nozzle. As shown on the drawing a refrigerator cabinet directed likewise to a solution of this problem 10 I0 of conventional construction is provided with above stated, it being an object of the invention a door II affording access to the food compartn to provide (l) an improved means for breaking ment I2. Within the food compartment is located the ice bond between a tray and its support so a refrigerating unit I3 having shelves I4 between that the tray may be easily removed from the cooling unit, and (2) also improved means for 15 which are a series of compartments I5 adapted to receive trays I6 for containing matter to be freeing the cubes from the tray after the tray is frozen or congealed. removed so that the cubes may be readily acces tion of this problem. The present invention is A tray releasing member I'l is associated with one or more of the shelves I4 in a position to en The present invention utilizes fluid pressure gage the tray for breaking the ice bond between means for freeing the tray from the support to the tray and the shelf thereby freeing the tray which it is frozen and for freeing the cubes from from the shelf after its contents have been frozen. the Walls of the cells of the tray in which they This tray releasing member is preferably expan are formed. An expansible diaphragm or other sible or inflatable and as shown is a metallic en member movable under the influence of fluid pressure is located between a portion of the tray 25 velope or diaphragm of thin metal which may be of good heat conducting properties to provide and its supporting shelf, and this member is maximum heat transfer, although the same is operated by fluid pressure supplied thereto by not necessary. Means is provided for accommo some suitable means, such as for example as by a dating this tray freeing member, and according~ manually operated pump. The ice tray is pro 30 ly for the purpose of illustration although not in vided with a pressure area or chamber and the sible for use. bottom of each ice cube cell is movable or flex ible to facilitate removal of the ice cubes. The tray is` also provided with a valve inlet so that compressed air or other fluid may be introduced into said area or chamber to flex the bottoms a restrictive sense, the tray is provided with a recess or depression I 8 to receive the releasing element I l as shown particularly in Figs. 2 and 3. The tray release I‘I is preferably of a size com : mensurate with the tray to be used and is adapted to be inflated by air or other fluid from any of the cells and free ice cubes therefrom. The desired source, as for example, a foot pump 2i) construction is such that the compressed air or mounted in the vicinity of the base of the cabinet other fluid pressure for freeing the cubes may be to be readily accessible for foot operation. The supplied from the same source as that for freeing 40 pump 20 consists of a cylinder having a piston the tray from its support. 2l rcciprocable therein maintained in its upper The foregoing and other objects and advan position by means of a spring 22. A foot lever tages of the invention will become apparent in 23 is provided with a pedal 23', said lever being view of the following description taken in con pivoted at its one end to a bracket 24 and at junction with the drawing, wherein: an intermediate point being slidably or movably Fig. 1 is a front elevation of a refrigerator em connected to the stem of piston 2|, note Fig. 5. bodying the invention, the refrigerator door be A tube 25 connects at its one end to the pump ing broken away to reveal the evaporator and chamber and leads upwardly and is provided with coacting tray dislodging means; a series of branch connections 26 which are con Fig. 2, an enlarged section taken substantially nected to their respective expansible tray-releas on the line 2--2, Fig. 1; ing members I'I. Figs. l and 2 show the ice cube trays in normal Fig. 3, an enlarged view of a portion of Fig. 2 freezing position with the expansible tray-releas showing the tray dislodging means in operation; ing members I‘I lying flat in their respective Fig. 4, an enlarged fragmentary sectional ele recesses I9 on the shelves I4 of the evaporator, vation of the evaporator and adjacent Wall por 2,404,972 3 4 while Fig. 3 shows one of the members l'l ex panded to break the ice bond between a tray and a cooling unit disposed in heat transfer relation ship with respect to said food compartment, said cooling unit being provided with a freezing com partment, a tray removably disposed in said freez the shelf on which it rests. In this manner, one or more trays may be dislodged by simply manipu lating the foot, leaving the hands free to remove the trays or for other purposes. To dislodge ice cubes from the grid sections of means of good thermal conductivity disposed be tween the wall of said freezing compartment and the respective freezing trays, the bottom of each grid compartment is provided with a flexible dia said tray, and means for injecting fluid under pressure into said expansible means to dislodge ing compartment, thin~walled fluid expansible phragm 2l and beneath the series of grid co.. - 10 said tray from said wall. partments is a hollow air-pressure chamber 23, 4. In a refrigerator, a cooling unit having a note Fig. 4. At its one end the tray is provided _ freezing compartment, a tray removably disposed with a socket 29 having projecting from the center in said freezing compartment, a wall on which thereof a push rod or stem 29’. A branch tube said tray rests, said wall having a depression 30 connects into the air-pressure system at the 15 formed therein, a hollow expansible member dis upper end of tube 25 and projects outwardly posed in said depression, a source of fluid under through the adjacent wall of the cabinet. A valve pressure, and a conduit communicating said cage or nozzle 3l is connected to the outer end source with said expansible member whereby upon of the branch tube 30 and has therein a Valve injection of fluid under pressure into said mem in the form of a ball 32 which is spring-pressed 20 ber the ice bond is broken between said tray and against its seat at the front or outer end of the wall. cage, the latter being provided with an exterior 5. A freezing tray to be disposed in the evap flexible sealing gasket 33 to prevent leakage of air orator of a domestic refrigerator having a plu when engaging the socket 29. rality of compartments for the fluid to be con When it is desired to dislodge ice cubes from the 25 gealed or frozen provided with flexible bottoms grid compartments of any of the trays I8, it is only necessary to press the socket 29 of the tray against the valve cage 32, thereby causing stem 29’ to unseat the ball valve 32 and permitting air to be injected into the air chamber 28 and act on 30 constituting diaphragms, the base of said tray being formed with a hollow pressure chamber in communication with said diaphragms, said tray also having a nozzle with an opening therethrough communicating with said pressure chamber and the expansible diaphragms 21 by simply manipu a valve unseating member in said nozzle. lating thefoot pedal 23. When pressure is relieved 6. A metal freezing tray for use in the evapo from chamber 28, the diaphragm 2l ñexes down rator of a domestic refrigerator comprising a plu wardly against the bottom wall of the tray, as rality of compartments for the fluid to be frozen illustrated in Fig. 4a, making contact for good 35 each having the bottom wall thereof provided thermal conductivity. with a flexible diaphragm, said tray also having From the foregoing, it will be seen that any one or more of the evaporator trays may be readily dislodged from thev evaporator shell and for ice cubes dislodged from the grid compartments of 40 the tray by asimple manipulation of the foot, leaving the hands free to handle the trays. It will. be understood that certain limited changes in construction and design may be a pressure chamber and a socket forming part of a detachable coupling having an opening there in communicating with said chamber to permit introduction ef fluid under pressure thereto to flex said diaphragme and dislodge frozen matter from ' said compartments. '7. In a refrigerator, a cooling unit having a freezing surface, a tray removably disposed on adopted without departing from the spirit and 45 said surface, expansible means between said sur scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. What is claimed is: face and said tray constructed to receive a fiuid, a source of fluid under pressure, and means for supplying said ñuid under pressure to said ex pansible means to actuate the same and dislodge i. In a refrigerator having an evaporator pro vided with a freezing compartment, a shelf in 50 thesaid tray from said surface, said compartment, a tray removably disposed on 8. In a refrigerator, a, cooling unit provided said shelf, a hollow expansible member interposed with a tray compartment having a refrigerated surface, a tray removably disposed on said sur draulic means providing a source of fluid under face, a hollow expansible member interposed be pressure, a conduit communicating said hydraulic 55 tween said tray and said refrigerated surface, a means with said expansible member and whereby source of iiuid under pressure, and means for in~ upon actuation of said hydraulic means fluid jecting said fluid under pressure into said expan under pressure is injected into said expansible sible member to effect dislodgment of said tray from said surface. member to dislodge the tray from said shelf. 2. In a refrigerator having a food compart 60 9. For use in a refrigerator having a cooling ment and an evaporator disposed in heat trans unit and a freezing compartment, a tray adapted to be positioned in said freezing compartment fer relationship with `respect to said food com and said tray in turn being provided with one or partment, said evaporator being provided with a freezing compartment, a shelf in said freezing more freezing compartments and a fluid cham compartment, a tray removably disposed on said 65 ber, each of said tray compartments having a shelf, a hollow expansible member positioned be flexible wall subject to pressure in said chamber, said tray beinfr also provided with a socket open tween said shelf and tray, a source of ñuid under pressure including a foot-actuated hydraulic ing into said ñuid chamber, a source of fluid between said tray and shelf, foot actuated hy» pump having a pressure chamber, a conduit com municating said pressure chamber with said ex under pressure, a conduit connecting at one end 70 with such source and at its opposite end` ter pansible member and whereby when said pump minating in a nozzle accessible from the exterior is operated fluid under pressure is injected into of the refrigerator, a normally seated yieldable said expansible member to dislodge the tray from valve in said nozzle, and means in said socket said shelf. cooperative with said valve whereby when the 3. In a refrigerator having a food compartment, 75 tray is brought in a position effecting coopera 2,404,972 5 tion of said socket with said nozzle the valve is unseated to permit introduction of ñuid under pressure into said chamber. 10. For use in a refrigerator having a cooling unit and a freezing compartment, a tray adapted to be positioned in said freezing compartment and said tray in turn being provided with one or more freezing compartments and a iiuid pressure cham ber, each of said tray compartments having a fiex ible Wall subject to pressure in said chamber, said 10 tray being also provided with a socket opening 6 11. For use in a refrigerator having a cooling unit and a freezing compartment, a tray adapted to be positioned in said freezing compartment and said tray being provided with one or more grid compartments and a fluid pressure com« partment, the bottom Walls of said compartments being flexible, a source of fluid under pressure, conduit means extending from said source and terminating in an exteriorly accessible nozzle hav ing a depressible valve member controlling dis charge from said nozzle, said tray being provided with a socket in communication with said iiuid into said pressure chamber, a source of ñuid pressure compartment and said socket having a under pressure, a conduit communicating with valve unseating member disposed therein and ar said source and terminating in a nozzle accessible from the exterior of the refrigerator, a normally 15 ranged so that when the tra-y .is brought into a position effecting cooperation of said socket with seated yieldable valve in said nozzle, means in said said nozzle the Valve is unseated to permit in tray socket cooperative with said valve whereby roduction of iiuid under pressure into said fluid when the tray is brought into a position effecting pressure compartment to fiex the bottoms of said cooperation of sald socket with said nozzle the valve is unseated to permit introduction of fluid 20 grid compartments and dislodge matter there from. under pressure into said chamber, said source of LOGAN L. MALLARD. fluid including a foot actuated pump.