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Патент USA US3032870

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May 8, 1962
H. s. FOSTER
3,032,861
METHOD OF MANUFACTURING A FLATIRON
Filed May 27. 1957
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United States I Patent O?fice
3,032,851
Patented May 8, 1962
1
2
3 032,861
METHQD OF MANUFACTURING A FLATIRON
Harold S. Foster, Ontario, Calif, assignor to General
Thereafter, the outermost edges of the soleplate and edge
member are simultaneously trimmed to size.
The subject matter which I regard as my invention is
particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the con
cluding portion of this speci?cation. The invention, it
Electric Company, a corporation of New York
Filed May 27, 1957, Ser. No. 661,974
4 Claims. (Cl. 29-1555)
self, however, both as to organization and method of
manufacture, together with further objects and advan
This invention relates to ?atirons, and more particu~
larly to a construction and method of manufacture of
tages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the
following description taken in connection with the ac
an improved ?atiron.
companying drawing in which:
Electrically heated flatirons typically have included a
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a soleplate assembly embody
sheathed type electrical heating element embedded in a
in g this invention;
cast iron or cast aluminum soleplate. Casting techniques
FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional elevation view of a
have been employed for manufacture of electrically
?atiron embodying this invention;
15
heated soleplates for several reasons. In the ?rst place,
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional elevation view of
a relatively even heat distribution pattern is achieved at
components of this improved iron in an intermediate
the ironing surface of the soleplate; and a relatively thick
stage of manufacture;
soleplate, inevitably resulting from casting techniques, is
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional elevation view of
advantageous, since the completed iron does not then
a portion of this improved ?atiron, illustrating a further
present any sharp or thin edges which might tear or dam 20 stage of assembly and manufacture;
age fabrics being ironed.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional elevation view
While ?atirons have been proposed previously formed
illustrating still another step in the assembly and manu
with relatively thin sheet metal soleplates, the results
facture;
have not been altogether satisfactory for several reasons.
And FIG. 6 is an enlarged partial sectional elevation
Non-uniform heat distribution pattern has always pre 25 view to illustrate the ?nal manufacturing step in provid
sented a di?icult problem. In my co-pending application
ing this improved iron.
Serial Number 661,973, ?led May 27, 1957, assigned to
Referring now to the drawings, in FIGS. 1 and 2, I
the General Electric Company, assignee of this applica
have shown an electrically heated soleplate assembly and
tion, a practical construction is disclosed and claimed for
a portion of the enclosing cover therefor. Soleplate 1 is
securing the heating elements to such a thin soleplate 30 formed of relatively thin sheet metal, for example, steel
with an excess quantity of heat conducting brazing metal,
or stainless steel. A steel soleplate is preferred, since
thus to overcome the problems of heat distribution. In
the material is readily available at relatively low cost,
accordance with this invention, a construction and method
and it presents a hard ironing surface which can be pol
ished to a high degree. If stainless steel is not employed,
construction of the soleplate, and the cover which coop 35 a corrosion~resistant ironing surface can be provided by
erates with the soleplate assembly to de?ne the body of
electroplating in a well-known manner. Soleplate 1, be
the iron.
ing relatively thin, presents a relatively thin edge around
It is, therefore, one object of my invention to provide
the perimeter of the iron, which edge may tend to dam
an improved iron, which although includes a thin sheet
age fabrics being ironed if great care is not used. To
metal soleplate, has the operating characteristics of a 40 obviate this difficulty, an edge member 2 is secured to
cast soleplate type iron. A further object of this in
soleplate 1, extending upwardly from the soleplate and
vention is to provide a ?atiron soleplate fabricated from
angularly inwardly, thus providing an edge contour sim
relatively thin sheet metals, presenting, however, the ad
ilar in appearance and function to the relatively thick
vantages and appearance of an iron having a relatively
edge presented by a cast soleplate. In other words, the
45 addition of edge member 2 provides an appearance of
thick cast soleplate.
Still another object of this invention is directed to the
thickness to the soleplate, and eliminates the relatively
method of manufacture of a ?atiron soleplate and cover
thin peripheral edge, thus providing increased safety and
of manufacture is provided, directed toward the edge
therefor, to reduce manufacturing cost by greatly reduc
ing the quantity of metallic material which is required.
ef?ciency in iron performance. As clearly shown by
FIG. 2, edge member 2 is formed to de?ne a seat or
In accordance with an illustrated embodiment of my 50 shoulder 3 to receive a cover 4.
In a conventional man
invention, a relatively thin sheet metal soleplate is pro
ner, cover '4 extends over substantially the entire sole
vided with an edge member extending angularly up
plate, and with the soleplate assembly de?nes the body
wardly and inwardly from the soleplate. This edge mem
of the iron.
her, when bonded to the soleplate, presents the character
Within the body of the iron, electrical heating ele
istics of a relatively thick cast soleplate. The upper por 55 ments, such as 5 and 6, are provided. As shown, two
tion of the edge member is formed to de?ne a shoulder
such heating elements are preferred in this type of ?at
or seat to receive the iron cover, which extends over the
iron to assure relatively uniform heat distribution over
entire soleplate and de?nes with the soleplate the body
the entire ironing surface. For safety and reliability,
of the iron.
sheathed type heating elements are preferred, compris
In accordance with another aspect of this invention, a 60 ing an electrical resistance element 7, extending cen
method of manufacture is provided by which the sole
trally through an outer protective sheath 8, with the
plate and body of the iron are constructed with a mini
heating element separated from the sheath by a mass 9
mum of materials. A soleplate blank of a size slightly
of electrical insulating material which is resistant to heat
generated within the element. Such material 9 may be,
larger than the ?nished iron is provided. An edge mem
ber and cover are drawn from a single sheet of metal,
after which the edge member is sheared from the cover,
with deformation of the sheared edges to de?ne a mating
seat and edge for the cover and the upper portion of
the edge member. The edge member, having an over-all
size approximately commensurate with the soleplate
blank, is secured to the blank, for example, by brazing.
65
for example, highly compressed granulated magnesium
oxide. As shown, properly shaped heating elements may
be secured initially in position on the soleplate by a plu
rality of clips, such clips 10, 11, and 12 being applied
to outer heating element 6; While clips 13, 14, and 15
are similarly disposed with respect to heating element 5.
As shown, these clips are spot-welded or‘otherwise suit
ably secured to soleplate 1. The soleplate is also pro
3
brazing metal ?ows into the angle of junction between
vided with a boss 16 in a generally central position on
the upper surface of the soleplate, to provide a mounting
point for a thermally responsive switch assembly which
controls energization of the heating elements. Addi
tionally, a U-shaped bracket 17 with outwardly extending
edge member 2 and soleplate 1, as indicated at 25 in
FIG. 5. As a practical matter, it is found that when
in
using substantially pure copper, the molten copper quick
ly wets all exposed metallic surfaces, and by capillarity
tends to rise along the walls of the edge member. The
ears may be spot-welded to the soleplate to provide a
securement point for cover 4 and for a handle (not
presence of the surface deformation on screen 24 becomes
shown).
quite important in order to retain, also by capillarity, a
plate.
cover with said blank having an outer portion substan
substantial quantity of the brazing metal on the upper
In the series of views 3 through 6, the sequence of
operations in manufacture of this improved ?atiron is 10 surface of the soleplate. The brazing metal securely
bonds the edge member 2 to the soleplate in a manner as
illustrated. Referring particularly to FIG. 3, a partial
clearly illustrated by FIGS. 5 and 6.
view of a formed blank .18 is shown, this blank being
Following completion of the brazing operation, the
drawn or otherwise suitably formed from a single piece
soleplate blank and attached edge member may be placed
of sheet metal, to provide both the edge member 2 and
in a trimming die, whereupon the outer rough edges of
cover 4. More particularly, the original blank 18 is of
both members 1 and 2 are sheared off, for example,
a size and shape generally commensurate with the blank
along a line 226, as shown in FIG. 5. The remaining
for soleplate 1. Bottom ?ange 19 of this blank is intend
edge portion 27, shown in dotted lines in FIG. 6, is ground
ed to be placed in contact with the outer edge portions
and polished in order to produce essentially the config
of the soleplate blank. To form edge member 2, an
uration illustrated in full lines in FIG. 6. Finally, the
angular portion extending generally upwardly as at 20
assembly is electroplated to produce the desired ?nish.
is formed, with a seat or shoulder 3 depending inwardly
Thus, in ?nal appearance and in characteristics from an
from the upper end of portion 2d. The upper portion
operating viewpoint, the ?nished soleplate and edge mem
21 of this blank is contoured to the desired shape for
ber assembly can hardly be distinguished, when cover
cover 4. In other words, blank 18 is so formed as to
provide both the edge member and the cover of the iron. 25 4 is in position, from an equivalent iron formed with a
cast soleplate.
,
After it has been drawn or otherwise formed, the blank
While this invention has been described by reference
is placed in a trimming die, for example, of the type
to a particular embodiment thereof, it is to be under
known as a Brehm die. This device accurately shears the
stood that numerous modi?cations may be made by those
edge member from the cover member, for example, along
skilled in the art without actually departing from the
the line 2-2 shown in FIG. 3. Thereafter, that portion of
invention. It is, therefore, the aim in the appended
blank 1% de?ning the edge member is deflected inwardly,
claims to cover all such equivalent variations as come
as shown in dotted lines, thus completing formation of
within the true spirit and scope of the foregoing dis
edge member 2. This inward deformation of the edge
closure.
member also allows the lowermost edge of cover 4 to
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters
rest on ?ange 3 of the edge member in the manner shown 35
Patent of the United States is:
by FIG. 2. Obviously, it would be equally feasible to
.1. The method of manufacturing a ?atiron comprising
deflect the cover portion 4 outwardly in order that its
forming a soleplate blank from a flat metallic sheet with
lowermost edge could rest on shoulder 3.
the outer edges thereof extending beyond the edges of a
Following the completion of edge member 2, it is
?nished soleplate, drawing a metal sheet to form a blank
placed in position on soleplate blank 1, with the ?ange
having sections forming an integral edge member and
19 in contact with the soleplate blank. With the com~
cover with said blank having an outer portion substan
ponents held in an appropriate jig for proper alignment,
tially co-extensive and contiguous with the outer edges of
edge member 2 may be spot-welded or otherwise secured
the upper surface of said soleplate blank, shearing said
to the soleplate blank, such as indicated at weld mark
blank to separate the section forming said edge member
23 in FIG. 4. Typically, this spot-welding operation is
from the section forming said cover and deforming rela
performed at approximately the same time as the spot
tively said sheared edges to form a seat on said edge mem
welding of the various clips for the heating elements.
ber to receive said cover, securing temporarily said edge
As disclosed and claimed in my aforementioned appli
member and a heating element on said soleplate, brazing
cation Serial Number 6-6i1,‘973, the upper surface of sole
with an excess of metal to bond said edge member and
plate 1 receives either an appropriate surface treatment,
said heating element to said soleplate, and thereafter
or is covered ‘With a wire screen as shown at 24 in FIG. 1.
trimming the outer edges of said soleplate blank and edge
While the use of a wire screen is shown in the drawing,
member to form the ?nished soleplate.
it may also be feasible to score the upper surface of the
2. The method of manufacturing a ?atiron comprising
soleplate in a pattern generally resembling that of the
forming a soleplate. blank from a ?at metallic sheet with
wire screen as shown. With all of the components spot
the outer edges thereof extending beyond the edges of a
welded or otherwise temporarily secured in position as
?nished soleplate, drawing a metal sheet to form a blank
shown in FIG. 1,, and as further shown in FIG. ‘4, braz
having sections forming an integral edge member and
ing metal is applied to the upper surface of the sole
Since it is desirable to increase as much as pos
sible heat transfer between heating elements and the sole 60 tially co-extensive and contiguous with the outer edges
of the upper surface of said soleplate blank, shearing said
plate, I prefer to employ a brazing metal which is a good
blank to separate the section forming said edge member
heat transfer agent. Among the materials usable for this
from the section formingrsaid cover and deforming rela
purpose, it has been found that electrolytically pure cop
tively said sheared edges to form a seat on said edge mem_ 7
per is quite satisfactory, since such material has a high
co-e?icient of heat transfer. Typically, a measured quan 65 her to receive said cover, securing temporarily said edge
tity, for example, by weight, of copper globules are placed
member on said soleplate, brazing with an excess of metal
to bond said edge member to said soleplate, and thereafter
on the upper surface of the soleplate distributed over
trimming the outer edges of said soleplateblank and edge
the screen or surface matrix 24. The entire assembly is
then placed in a furnace and heated in a reducing atmos
member to form the ?nished soleplate.
phere somewhat in excess of the melting temperature of 70
3. The method of manufacturing a ?atiron comprising
the brazing metal. Thereupon, the brazing metal, sup
forming a soleplate blank from a ?at metallic sheet with
plied in excess quantity beyond that needed to secure
the outer edges thereof extending beyond the edges of a
the various components in assembled relation, melts and
?nished soleplate, drawing a metal sheet to form a blank
distributes in a layer of appreciable thickness over the
having sections forming an integral edge member and
entire upper surface of the soleplate. In addition, the
cover member, saidblankihaving an outer portion sub
ac,. v
5
3,032,861
6
stantially co-extensive and contiguous with the outer edges
of the upper surface of said soleplate blank, shearing said
blank to separate the section forming said edge member
and deforming relatively said sheared edges to form a
seat on one of said members to receive the edge of the
other of said members, securing said edge member to
said soleplate continuously around the edge of said sole
plate, and trimming the outer edges of said soleplate blank
and edge member to form the ?nished soleplate.
from the section forming said cover member and deform
ing relatively said sheared edges to form a seat on one of
said members to receive the edge of the other member,
positioning said edge member temporarily on said sole
plate, brazing said edge member to said soleplate, and
thereafter trimming the outer edges of said soleplate blank
and said edge member to form the ?nished soleplate.
4. The method of manufacturing a ?atiron comprising
forming a soleplate blank from a ?at metallic sheet of a
size slightly exceeding the size of the ?nished soleplate,
drawing a metal sheet to form a blank having sections
10
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,009,390
1,130,077
1,254,558
1,257,502
2,005,234
2,049,089
2,257,451
2,397,084
2,706,766
forming an integral edge member and cover member, 15
said blank having an outer portion substantially co-ex
tensive and contiguous with the outer edges of the upper
surface of said soleplate blank, shearing said blank to
separate the section thereof forming said edge member
from the section thereof forming said cover member 20 2,807,700
Droitcour ___________ __ Nov. 21,
Eldred ______________ __ Mar. 2,
Zeitler ______________ __ Jan. 22,
Leighton _____________ __ Feb. 26,
McArdle ____________ __ June 18,
Stackhouse ___________ __ July 28,
Barnes ______________ __ Sept. 30,
Bernhardt ____________ __ Mar. 26,
Huffman ____________ __ Apr. 19,
1911
1915
1918
1918
1935
1936
1941
1946
1955
Jepson _____________ __ Sept. 24, 1957
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