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Патент USA US3026694

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March 27,v 1962
3,026,684
T. B. CHACE
DISTORTABLE ICE TRAY AND CONTROL MECHANISM THEREFOR
‘Filed July 20, 1959
'
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
Thomas B; C?ace
55, w;
A”, A1»;
J3EE
March 27, 1962
T. B. CHACE
3,026,684
DISTORTABLE ICE TRAY AND CONTROL MECHANISM THEREFOR
Filed July 20, 1959
'
s Sheets-Sheet 2
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1.9
.Ez-snz‘ar
Thomas B. Cbace
__E_z;- $1, aw?h‘; kind/-
Hi7;
March 27, 1962
T- B. CHACE
3,026,684
DISTORTABLE ICE TRAY AND CONTROL MECHANISM THEREFOR
Filed July‘ 20, 1959
3 Sheets-Sheet 5
hm
.5
United States
atent
3,25,684
Patented Mar. 27, 1962
3
2
3,026,684
the tray that one end of the tray is rotated through a given
are While the other end of the tray is rotated through a
MECHANISM THEREFOR
Thomas B. Chace, Winnetka, Ill., assignor to The Dole
Valve Company, Morton Grove, 11]., a corporation of
Illinois
substantially greater arc.
The differential degree of rotation of the opposite ends
of the ice tray results in a twisting action thereby
mechanically and forcibly breaking the bond between the
DISTORTABLE ICE TRAY AND CONTROL
Filed July 20, 1959, Ser. No. 828,264
8 Claims. (Cl. 62-132)
frozen ice blocks in the individual molds and the walls
of the ice tray to which they adhere by a shearing action.
Thus, I have devised an ice making apparatus wherein
This invention relates to an ice making apparatus and 10 the tray is rotated to permit gravitational ejection of the
more particularly relates to an automatic ice making ap
ice blocks but wherein the bond between the ice blocks
paratus of the type adapted to be mounted within the
and the ice tray is broken by a forcible mechanical shear
usual freezing compartment of a household refrigerator
ing action rather than by means of heat application to
or the like.
the ice blocks. As a result, ice blocks are ejected into
Automatic ice makers of the type adapted to be used 15 a collection tray in a dry state so that sticking of the
in household refrigerators have recently found wide ac
ice blocks therein is prevented while, at the same time, the
ceptance in the ice making ?eld but their marketability
life of the tray is relatively quite long due to the fact
has been ‘somewhat restricted due to the fact that the ice
that the stress on the tray resulting from ?exure there
makers which have thus far been devised have been
of is not highly localized.
relatively expensive to produce and have had several un~ 20
The mechanism for effecting rotatable movement of
desirable features which it is the object of this inven
the ice tray and ?lling of the ice tray is more fully de
tion to eliminate.
Some ice makers have been devised having invertible
scribed hereafter but comprises generally a ratchet wheel
which is a?ixed to one end of the rotatable ice tray and
which is cooperable with a ratchet type gear rack con
molds while others have been devised in which the ice tray
rotates through a predetermined arc subsequent to freez 25 nected to or forming an extension of a power member of
ing of the water supplied thereto. In the former instance,
a thermal sensitive element. The thermal sensitive ele
the ?exible molds are inverted subsequent to the freezing
of water therein to eject the frozen ice blocks while, in
the latter instance, the temperature of the ice tray walls,
to which individual ice blocks adhere, is raised by the
heat of water directed to other adjacent molds disposed
in heat transfer relation therewith to eject the frozen ice
water which in turn is disposed in the same freezing com
partment as the rotatable ice tray so that the power ele
ment thereof is rendered sensitive to the temperature of
Furthermore, for reasons which are not important at this
ratchet gear rack formed on the outer end of the power
ment has its temperature sensing portion immersed in
water Within which the element is disposed.
A resistor heater is associated with the heat sensitive
blocks therefrom.
portion of the thermal sensing element to heat the
Various problems are encountered in the use of either
thermally expansible material therein to selectively e?‘ect
of the dilferent types of ice makers mentioned above. 35 extensible movement of the power member. Thus, upon
In an invertible type ice tray the relatively short life
heating of the resistor heater the power element will move
of the ?exible mold walls is a factor to be considered.
extensibly from the thermal sensitive element and the
juncture, it has been found necessary to provide a “slug”
member acting against the ratchet Wheel af?xed to the
valve in association with this type of tray to provide a 40 ice tray ‘will act to rotate the end of the ice tray to which
means for ?lling the tray and for inverting the ?exible
the ratcheting wheel is connected through an arc deter
molds with a measured amount of water to provide proper
mined by the amount of extensible movement of the
operation of the ice making apparatus.
power member or the length of the gear rack. A limit
In the rotatable or pivotal type of ice tray it has, in
ing stop is associated with the opposite end of the ?ex
the past, also been found highly desirable to utilize a 45 ible ice tray from that to which the ratcheting wheel
“slug” valve for ?lling the ice tray with a measured
is connected so that the entire ice tray is permitted to
amount of ?uid during each cycle of operation. In
travel through a 90° arc. The limiting stop thereupon
addition, some means must generally be provided for
contacts the outer free end of the ice tray to prevent fur
heating the water prior to dispensing the same to the ice
ther rotatable movement thereof while the power mem
tray so that the heat of water ?lling one mold will melt 50 ber continues to move extensibly to rotate the end of
the surfaces of an ice block in an adjacent mold to
the ice tray to which the ratchet wheel is connected
free the same. If no means is provided for heating the
water prior to directing it to the ice tray, then some means
must generally be provided for heating the ice tray
self during each cycle of operation to effect ejection
the ice blocks in the downwardly facing molds. One
the disadvantages of this type of ice tray is that each
through an arc of 135° (such a rotational differential
between the opposed ends of the ice tray having been
it
found to be the most satisfactory in practice).
of 55 The power member, immediately adjacent the lower
of
most portion of the gear rack formed thereon, has a
of
‘relieved portion formed therein so that when the power
the ice blocks are Wet subsequent to ejection thereof from
member has moved to such an extent to free the gear
the ice tray so that some means must be provided to dry
rack from the ratcheting gear the ratcheting gear will
the ice blocks before they are dropped into a common tray 60 be free to return to its original position. A relatively
to prevent them from sticking together.
The present invention embodies principles of each
of these prior types of ice making mechanisms, incorporat
heavy return spring is associated with the ratcheting gear
to so return the ratcheting gear, and of course the ice
tray to which it is positively connected, to the normal
or original position wherein the molds within the ice
ing advantages of each type of ice maker and, similarly,
eliminating many of the disadvantages thereof.
65 tray are facing in an upward direction.
The present invention is directed to an ice making
A switch is associated with the thermal sensitive ele
mechanism comprising an elongated tray formed of a
ment so that when the power member has moved ex
?exible material and having a plurality of ice molds
tensibly to such a position to permit free return of the
formed therein and facing in one direction. Subsequent
ratcheting gear the switch will be actuated by an ele
to freezing of water disposed in the several ice molds the 70 ment extending from the power member to deenergize
elongated tray is rotated about its longitudinal axis. A
the resistor heater and thereby permit retractable move
rotating mechanism is so designed and associated with
ment of the power member.
3,026,684
3
4
Upon deenergizatton of the resistor heater the power
member will begin to move retractably with respect to
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the ice making
apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1 which is viewed from
the casing of the thermal sensing element as the tem
perature of water within which the element is immersed
begins to cool. The time interval for return of the power
member to its original position, will of course be rela
tively constant since it will be controlled as a function
of the length of time which it takes for the water, within
which the thermal sensing element is immersed, to cool.
lines III—III in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a view which is similar in nature to FIG. 3
but which shows the power element in an extended posi
tion from the thermal sensitive element permitting free
rotation of the ratcheting gear;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view through the ice
tray illustrated in FIG. 1 which is taken along lines
V—V of FIG. 1;
Since the time interval for return of the power mem
ber is relatively constant I have associated a second
FIG. 6 is a view which is similar in nature to FIG. 5
switch with a cam formed on the power member so
that as the cam on the power member moves past the
but which shows the ?exible ice tray in a twisted posi
tion to effect ejection of ice blocks therefrom; and
FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of a wiring circuit such
as might be employed to operate the automatic ice tray
which will hereinafter be more fully described.
Referring particularly to FIG. 1, an ice making appa
ratus including an ice tray 10 and an operating mecha
nism 11 is shown as being positioned within a freezing
compartment 12, which may comprise the freezing com
partment of an ordinary household refrigerator.
A support 13 is disposed within the freezing com
depressible plunger in the second switch a solenoid will
be actuated to permit ?lling of the ice tray. This sec
ond switch is, of course, so designed that it operates only
every other time the plunger is depressibly moved so
that ?lling of the ice tray is not effected upon extensible
movement of the power member.
When the power member has returned to its most re
tracted position the ?rst switch is again actuated by an
element extensible from the power member so that the
resistor heater is once again energized and a new cycle
partment 12 and has a pair of upstanding spaced legs
14 and 15 extending therefrom upon which the ice mak
While the ice tray may be formed of any suitable sub 25 ing apparatus is mounted and upon which a collection
tray 19 is mounted.
stance such as rubber or plastic or the like, I have found
As shown most clearly in FIGS. 1 and 5, the ice tray
that plastic is the most satisfactory in use since there
10 comprises an integral linear polyethylene member hav
is less tendency for the frozen ice blocks to adhere to a
ing a plurality of serially aligned molds 16 formed therein
plastic mold than to a rubber mold. I have further
which are separated from one another by rounded trans
found that of the plastics having good ?exure character
verse partition walls 17. An inverted U-bend is formed
istics, linear polyethylene is the most satisfactory sub
along the longitudinal edges of the ice tray to prevent
stance which may be used to form the ice tray. Linear
of operation begins.
polyethylene is quite strong although it has good ?exure
longitudinal ?exure of the tray while permitting desired
characteristics. In addition, I have found that frozen
ice blocks do not tend to adhere very strongly to linear
transverse ?exure.
The supports 14 and 15 have bearings 20 and 21 seated
within axially aligned apertures formed therein which, in
polyethylene. Furthermore, linear polyethylene exhib
its substantially no fatigue subsequent to distortion there
turn, are adapted to receive shafts 22 and 23, respectively,
of so that by forming the tray of such a substance the
tray will return under its own resiliency to its molded
which are in turn bonded or otherwise rigidly secured
con?guration.
40
It is therefore a principal object of the present inven
tion to provide an automatic ice making apparatus in
which frozen ice blocks are mechanically and forcibly
ejected from their individual molds and in which the
ice tray is rotated during each freezing cycle to permit
the ejected ice blocks to drop to a collection tray.
Another object of the invention resides in the pro
vision of a heat motor for effectingthe ejection opera
tion which is also operable to actuate a switch for con
to the opposite ends of the ice tray 10.
The shaft 22, which constitutes the output power shaft
for effecting rotatable movement of the ice tray 10, ex
tends outwardly of the support 14 and has a ratchet gear
25 af?xed to the outer end thereof. As viewed in FIGS.
3 and 4, the ratchet gear 25 has its peripheral teeth so
formed that the gear will be rotated in a clockwise direc
tion by a tangentially applied force.
A horizontal support 27 is af?xed to the upstanding
leg 14 and has an aperture formed therein which is adapted
to receive the guide portion 30 of a thermal sensitive
trolling the energization of a solenoid operable to dis 50 power unit 31. The power unit 31 is of a type which is
pense water to the ice tray to ?ll the molds therein.
A still further object of the invention is to provide
a means for rotating an ice tray which comprises a co
operating ratchet gear and a gear rack wherein the gear
rack is affixed to the power member of a thermal sensi
tive element and in which means are provided to permit
rotatable movement of the ratchet gear through a pre
determined arc and which are operable to release the
ratcheting gear at a predetermined rotated position there
of to permit return movement of the ice tray.
Yet another object of the invention-resides in the for
mation of the above mentioned ?exible ice tray out of
linear polyethylene.
These and other objects of the invention will appear
from time to time as the following speci?cation pro
ceeds and with reference to the accompanying drawings,
wherein:
7
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of an ice mak
ing apparatus constructed in accordance with the prin
ciples of the present invention shown mounted in the
freezing compartment of a household refrigerator, or the
like;
FIG. 2 is a fragmental front elevational view of the
mechanism for rotating the ice tray showing several co
operating components in a different position;
well known in the art as a power or high motion type
of solid ?lled thermal sensitive element and includes, in
addition to the guide portion 30, a heat sensing portion
32 which contains a fusible thermally expansible mate
rial. A piston or power member 33 is guided for recipro
cal movement within the guide portion 30 and is exten
sible from the guide portion 30 upon heating of the ther
mal sensing portion 32 to a predetermined temperature.
A return spring 30a is disposed within the guide portion
30 and acts against a collar on the power member 33
to normally bias the power member 33 to its most re
tracted position as is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.
A ratchet type gear rack 35 is formed on the upper
end of the power member 33 and is cooperable with the
peripheral gear teeth on the ratchet gear 25 to drive the
ratchet gear in a clockwise direction upon upward movement of the power member 33 from the guide portion 30
of the thermal sensitive unit 31.
For reasons which will hereinafter become apparent,
the power member 33 is somewhat loosely guided within
the guide portion 30 of the thermal sensitive element 31.
However, a leaf spring 37a is af?xed to the guide portion
30 of the thermal sensitive element 31 on the opposite
side thereof from the ratchet gear 25 and the inturned
end of the leaf spring acts to normally bias the gear rack
3,026,684
6
35 into engagement with the ratchet gear 25 so that the
gear rack 35 can ratchet past the gear 25 when the power
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the switch 48 is mounted
on the upstanding leg 14 and has a depressible plunger
54 protruding therefrom which is depressible to effect
member 33 is urged to move retractably within the guide
30.
closure of the movable contact within the switch to per
It is important to note that the power member 33
mit energization of the solenoid coil 44. It will be
is relieved as at 37 at a point immediately adjacent the
understood, however, that the switch 48 is of a type
lowermost portion of the gear rack 35 so that when the
which is operable only on every second depressional
power member 33 has moved extensively to the position
movement of the plunger 54. A cam 55 having sloping
illustrated in FIGURE 4 the gear rack 35 is freed from
cam faces at the opposite ends thereof, extends outward
the peripheral gear teeth on the ratchet gear 25. A spring 10 ly from the power member 33 and is engageable with the
38 encircles the outer end of the shaft 22 and has one
plunger 54 to depressionally move the same. Since the
end a?‘lxed rigidly in the bearing 20 while the other end
movable contact within the switch 43 is only disposed in
is at?xed to a point on the shaft 22. The spring 33
the closed circuit position when the plunger 54 is de
acts to bias the shaft 22 (as viewed in FIGURES 3 and
pressed, energization of the solenoid coil 44 can only be
4) in a counterclockwise direction so that when the power 15 effected during those intervals when the plunger 54 is
member 33 has been moved to the position illustrated in
abutting the cam 55.
FIGURE 4 wherein the relieved portion 37 is adjacent
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 1, 5 and 6 of the
the ratchet gear 25 the spring will act to rotate the shaft
drawings, it will he noted that a stop‘ pin 60 is a?ixed
22, the gear 25, and consequently the ice tray 10 in a
to the upstanding leg 15 of the support 13 and that its
counterclockwise direction. A stop may, of course, be
axis is disposed vertically above a line drawn through
provided on one of the supporting legs to limit the degree
the axis of the shaft 23. A complementary abutment
of counterclockwise rotatable movement of aforemen
member 61 is af?xed to the end of the ice tray 10 dis
tioned elements to the position illustrated in FIGURES
posed adjacent the upstanding leg 15 which is coopera
1 and 5 so that the spring 38 will normally bias the ice
ble with the stop pin 60 to prevent movement of the end
tray and its associated elements to a position wherein 25 of the ice tray to which it is a?ixed through a greater
th‘e'rnolds 16 within the ice tray face upwardly in a water
arc than 90".
receiving position.
As hereinbefore noted I have found it desirable to
A resistor heater 39 is wound about the heat sensing
so arrange the cooperating ratchet gear 25 and gear rack
portion 32 of the thermal sensing unit 31 to provide a
35 that the end of the ice tray adjacent the upstanding
means for raising the temperature of the thermally ex— 30 wall 14 will be moved through approximately 135° dur
pansible material therein to effect extensible movement
ing each cycle of operation.
of the power member 33.
It will thus be apparent that ‘when the power member
The heat sensing portion 32 is also disposed within a
33 moves extensibly from the thermal sensing unit 31
container 49 which may be ?lled with water to thereby
the cooperating gear rack 35 and ratchet gear 25 will
render the thermal sensing unit sensitive to the temper
act to transmit linear motion of the power member to
ature of water within the freezing compartment 12 so
rotatable motion of the power output shaft 22 to rotate
that the thermal sensing unit will operate as a function,
the ice tray 10 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGS.
in eifect, of the temperature of water within the ice
5 and 6. When the abutment member 61 has moved
molds 16.
into engagement with the stop pin 60, further rotational
Referring particularly to FIG. 7, it will be noted that
movement of the end of the ice tray adjacent the up
the resistor heater 39 is energized through a pair of serially
standing leg 15 will be prevented but the end of the tray
connected switches 42 and 43. The switch 42 is a line
adjacent the leg 14 will continue to rotatably move until
switch which controls the operation of the entire ice
the gear rack 35 has moved out of engagement with the
making apparatus while the switch 43 is a double pole
ratchet wheel 25 as is shown in FIG. 4. Such continued
selector switch operable to effect energization of the re
45 rotation of the end of the ice tray adjacent the upstand
sistor heater 39, or in the alternative, a solenoid coil 44,
ing leg 14 will, therefore, act to twist the ice tray to
for reasons which will hereinafter become apparent.
deform the same in the manner illustrated in FIG. 6
The solenoid coil 44 is associated with a valve 45
to effect forcible ejection of the ice blocks disposed with
(illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 1) in such a manner
in the individual ice molds 16 by a shearing action.
that energization of the solenoid coil will effect opening
From the foregoing, and assuming that the ice mold
of the valve to permit ?uid ?ow through a ?ller spout
lit has frozen ice blocks disposed within the individual
47 from a ?uid line 48 to direct water to the ice tray
10. A switch 48 is disposed in the power line to the
solenoid 44 intermediate the solenoid coil and the switch
43 and is operated as a function of the position of the
ice molds 16, the operation of the ice making apparatus
will be as follows: Upon closure of the line switch 42
heating of the resistor heater 39 will be effected to initiate
upward extensible movement of the power member 33.
power member 33 in the manner which will hereafter be 55 As the power member 33 moves upwardly the gear rack
described.
35 disposed in mesh with the peripheral gear teeth on the
As shown most clearly in FIG. 1, the switch 43 is
ratchet gear 25 will act to rotatably move the shaft 22
mounted on a wall of the freezing compartment 12 and
to effect rotatable movement of the entire ice tray. When
‘has a pivotal switch arm 49 extending therefrom which is
the end of the ice tray disposed adjacent the upstanding
60
pivotal to effect movement of the movable contact within
leg 15 has been rotated to such a position that the abut
the switch to one of the two positions illustrated in FIG. 7.
ment member 61 has moved into engagement with the
Pivotal movement of the switch arm 49 is effected by
stop pin 60, further rotational movement of that end of
means of abutment of the switch arm with earns 54) and
the ice tray will be prevented. Further upward move
50a which protrude from the power member 33 so that
ment of the power member will, therefore, act to further
the switch arm is urged to its counterclockwise rotated 65 rotatably move the end of the ice tray adjacent the leg
position upon upward movement of the power member
14 and twist the tray 10 thereby breaking the bond be
33, and so that, conversely, the switch arm is urged to
tween the ice blocks within the respective molds 16 and
the position illustrated in FIG. 1 upon retractable down
the walls of those molds by a shearing action. The
ward movement of the power member 33. The switch 70 ice blocks thus ejected from the tray 10 will thereupon
43 is so positioned on the side wall of the freezing com
fall into the collection tray 19.
partment 12 that when the switch arm 49 is in the posi
Subsequently, the gear rack 35 will disengage itself
tion illustrated in FIG. 1 the movable contact therein
from the peripheral teeth on the ratchet gear 25 and
is disposed in the position illustrated in full lines in FIG.
will move tothe position illustrated in FIG. 4 wherein
7so that the resistor heater 39 is energized.
75 the relieved portion 37 of the power member 33 is dis
3,026,684
7
8
return rotatable movement of the shaft 22, and con
for ?lling said ice tray with water and freezing the water
into ice blocks, and means for rotating the opposite ends
sequently the ice tray 10 to the normal position illus
trated in FIGS. 1 and 5. As shown most clearly in FIG.
1 when the power member 33 has moved to the upper
of said tray through differential arcs to distort said tray
and effect ejection of frozen ice blocks therefrom.
2. An ice making apparatus comprising a support, a
posed adjacent the ratchet gear 25 to permit spring urged
?exible ice tray having a ?rst end and a second end
end of its stroke the cam 50a will engage the arm 49
journalled for rotatable and longitudinal movement along
of the switch 4-3 to pivotally move the arm and thereby
its longitudinal axis within said support in a freezing
effect deenergization of the resistor heater 39 and simul
compartment, means for ?lling said ice tray with water
taneously place the movable Contact therein in a position
10 and freezing the water into ice blocks, means for applying
to effect energization of the solenoid coil 44.
torque to said ?rst end of said ice tray to rotate said
As hereinbefore noted, the switch 48 is so arranged
?rst end thereof through a predetermined arc, and means
that it is actuated only on every other depressible move
for limiting rotational movement of said second end of
ment of the plunger 54. It will therefore be understood
said ice tray to a smaller arc to distort said tray and
that the switch 48 is so arranged that the switch will not
be actuated by the depressional movement of the plunger 15 thereby effect ejection of frozen ice blocks therefrom,
said second end of said ice tray being journalled for rota
54 upon passage of the cam 55 therepast when the power
tion and longitudinal movement within said support by
member is moving upwardly and extensibly from the ther
means which include a shaft coupled to and extending
mal sensing power unit 31.
along the longitudinal axis of said second end of said
Upon deenergization of the resistor heater 39 the re
turn spring within the thermal sensing unit 31 will act to 20 ice tray and support means for said shaft formed in said
support, and means coupling said ?rst end of said ice
initiate retractable movement of the power member 33.
tray to said support in such a manner that longitudinal
It will be apparent that when the power member 33 is
movement of said ?rst end is substantially prevented.
moving retractably from the position illustrated in FIG.
3. An ice ‘making apparatus comprising a support, a
4 to the position illustrated in FIG. 3 the cam 55 will
engage the plunger 54 as it passes thereby to close the 25 ?exible ice tray having a ?rst end and a second end
journalled along its longitudinal axis within said support
movable contact of the switch 48 and to thereby effect
in a freezing compartment, means for ?lling said ice
energization of the solenoid coil 44. When the solenoid
tray with water, means for applying torque to said ?rst
coil 44 is energized water will be permitted to ?ow from
end of said ice tray to rotate said ?rst end thereof through
the conduit 48 through the ?ller spout 47 into the ice
30 an are greater than 90°, and means for limiting rotational
tray to ?ll the same.
movement of said second end of said ice tray to 90°
It has been found that the time interval required for
or less to distort said tray and thereby effect ejection
return retractable movement of the power member 33
of
frozen ice blocks therefrom said second end of said
may be predetermined within relatively close limits, at
ice tray being journalled for rotational and longitudinal
least insofar as the initial retractable movement thereof
movement within said support by means which include a
is concerned. Accordingly, the amount of water to be
dispensed to the ice tray will be determined by the length
of time during which the cam 55 is in engagement with
the plunger 54.
After the cam 55 has passed by the plunger 54 the
contact within the switch 48 will again move to the open
circuit position and the solenoid will be deenergized to
thereby shut off ?uid to the ice tray lit).
The water within which the heat sensing portion 32
of the thermal sensing unit 31 is disposed will, of course,
have been heated by energization of the resistor heater
39 and will for all practical purposes cool at the same
rate as the water within the ice tray 16.
Complete re
tractable movement of the power member 33 will, there
fore, be prevented until the water within the container
40 has had time to freeze (such a feature being deter- '
mined by the chemical composition of the fusible ther
mally expansible material within the unit 31).
When the ?uid within the container 40 has frozen,
however, the power member 33‘ will retractably move to
move the cam 50 into abutment with the pivotal switch
arm 49 and to pivot the switch arm to the position illus
trated in FIG. 1 to thereby close the energizing circuit
to the resistor heater 39 to initiate another cycle of
operation.
shaft coupled to and extending along the longitudinal
axis of said second end of said ice tray and support
means for said shaft formed in said support, and said
?rst end of said ice tray being coupled to said support
in such a manner that longitudinal movement of said ?rst
end is substantially prevented.
4-. An ice making apparatus comprising a support, a
?exible ice tray journalled within said support at its longi
tudinal axis and disposed within a freezing compartment,
means for ?lling said tray with water, a ratchet gear
connected to one end of said ice tray, a thermal sensi
tive power unit having an element extensible therefrom
upon predetermined ambient temperature conditions there
around, means sensitizing said power unit to ?uid tem
perature within the freezing compartment, heater means
associated with said power unit for heating same to effect
extensible movement of said element, a gear rack formed
on the outer end of said element cooperable with said
ratchet gear to rotate said gear through a predetermined
are upon extensible movement of said element, means
biasing said ice tray to a normal liquid receiving posi
tion, means for limiting rotational movement of the other
end of said tray to a smaller arc to distort said tray and
thereby effect ejection of frozen ice blocks therefrom,
it will be understood that this embodiment of the in
vention has been used for illustrative purposes only and
that various modi?cations and variations in the present
means forming a part of said element for permitting
return rotational movement of said ice tray subsequent to
movement of said one end thereof through the predeter
invention may be effected without departing from the spirit
and scope of the novel concepts thereof.
mined arc, and switch means operable as a function of
I claim as my invention:
1. An ice making apparatus comprising a support, a
?exible ice tray having a ?rst end and a second end
journalled for rotatable and longitudinal movement along
the position of said element for energizing said ?lling
means subsequent to the return of said ice tray to its
normal position to effect filling of said tray.
5. An ice making apparatus comprising a support, a
?exible ice tray journalled along its‘ longitudinal axis
within said support and ‘disposed within a freezing com
its longitudinal axis within said support in a freezing
compartment by means which include a shaft coupled 70 partment, means for ?lling said tray with water, a ratchet
gear connected to one end of said ice tray, a longitudinal
to and extending along the longitudinal axis of said ?rst
ly movable gear rack tangentially cooperable with said
end of said ice tray and support means for said shaft
ratchet gear to rotate said gear through a predetermined
formed in said support, and means coupling said second
are upon longitudinal movement thereof, means biasing
end of said ice tray to said support which substantially
prevents longitudinal movement of said second end, means 75 said ice tray to a normal liquid receiving position, means
3,026,684
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for limiting rotational movement of the other end of said
tray to a smaller arc to distort said tray and thereby
effect ejection of frozen ice ‘blocks therefrom, relief means
formed on said gear rack for permitting return rotational
movement of said ice tray subsequent to movement of
said one end thereof through the predetermined arc,
switch means operable as a function of the position of
said gear rack for energizing said ?lling means subse
quent to the return of said ice tray to its normal liquid
a freezing compartment by means which include a shaft
coupled to and extending along the longitudinal axis of
said ?rst end of said ice tray and support means for said
shaft formed in said support, and means for coupling
said second end of said ice tray to said support in such
a manner as to substantially prevent longitudinal move
ment of said second end, means for ?lling said ice tray
with water and freezing the water into ice blocks, and
means for rotating the opposite ends of said tray through
receiving position to effect ?lling of said tray, and power 10 differential arcs to distort said tray and thereby effect
means ‘for effecting longitudinal movement of said gear
ejection of frozen ice blocks therefrom.
rack.
8. An ice making apparatus comprising a support, a
6. An ice making apparatus comprising a support, a
?exible ice tray which has ?rst and second ends and is
?exible ice tray journalled along its longitudinal axis with
formed of linear polyethylene journalled along its lon
in said support and disposed within a freezing compart 15 gitudinal axis within said support in a freezing compart
ment, means for ?lling said tray with water, a ratchet
ment by means which include a shaft coupled to and ex
gear connected to one end of said ice tray, a gear rack
tending along .the longitudinal axis of said ?rst end of
said ice tray and support means for said shaft formed in
said support, and means coupling said second end of said
tangentially cooperable with said ratchet gear to rotate
said gear through a predetermined are upon longitudinal
movement of said rack, means biasing said ice tray to a 20 ice tray to said support in such a manner as to substan~
normal liquid receiving position, means for limiting ro
tially prevent longitudinal movement of said second end,
tational movement of the other end of said ice tray to a
means for ?lling said ice tray with water and freezing
the water into ice blocks, and means for rotating the
opposite ends of said tray through differential arcs to,
smaller arc to distort’ said tray and thereby effect ejec
tion of frozen ice blocks therefrom, relief means formed
on said gear rack for permitting return rotational move 25 distort said tray and thereby effect ejection of frozen ice
ment of said ice tray subsequent to movement of said one
blocks therefrom.
end thereof through the predetermined arc, switch means
operable ‘as a function of the position of said rack for
energizing said ?lling means subsequent to the return of
said ice tray to its normal position to effect ?lling of said 30
422,524
1,475,313
2,433,211
2,484,017
tray, thermal sensitive power means connected with said
gear rack to effect longitudinal movement thereof, and
means sensitizing said power means to the temperature
of ?uid within the freezing compartment to e?ect energi
zation of said power means as a function of the tempera
ture of ?uid within said ice tray.
7. An ice making apparatus comprising a support, a
?exible plastic ice tray having ?rst and second ends jour
nalled along its longitudinal axis within said support in
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
35
Happoldt ____________ __ Mar. 4,
Newhard ____________ __ Nov. 27,
Gits ________________ __ Dec. 23,
Copeman ____________ __ Oct. 11,
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Molotzak ____________ __ June 20, 1950
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Galin _______________ __ Feb. 26,
C-hace ________________ __ Oct. 8,
Nelson ______________ __ June 23,
Nelson ______________ __ June 28,
1957
1957
1959
1960
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