US3139633A - Method and means for disposing of lint in a laundry apparatus - Google Patents

Method and means for disposing of lint in a laundry apparatus Download PDF

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US3139633A
US3139633A US6881960A US3139633A US 3139633 A US3139633 A US 3139633A US 6881960 A US6881960 A US 6881960A US 3139633 A US3139633 A US 3139633A
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lint
air
means
separator
outlet
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Rhine G Fecho
Charles H Wade
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Whirlpool Corp
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Whirlpool Corp
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    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F25/00Washing machines with receptacles, e.g. perforated, having a rotary movement, e.g. oscillatory movement, the receptacle serving both for washing and centrifugally draining and having further drying means, e.g. using hot air
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F58/00Domestic laundry driers
    • D06F58/20General details of domestic laundry driers
    • D06F58/22Lint collecting arrangements

Description

y 7, 1964 R. G. FECHO ETAL 3,139,633

METHOD AND MEANS FOR DISPOSING OF LINT IN A LAUNDRY APPARATUS Filed Nov. 14, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORj Rfiine 6:1 2:40

y 7, 1964 R. s. FECHO ETAL 3,139,633

METHOD AND MEANS FOR DISPOSING OF LINT IN A LAUNDRY APPARATUS Filed Nov. 14, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORJ k Rhine Gfeaho BY (fiarleJ ll. Wade URNE YS July 7, 1964 R. G. FECHO ETAL METHOD AND MEANS FOR D ISPOSING 0F LINT IN A LAUNDRY APPARATUS Filed Nov. 14, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORY Rum; 65010 BY (liar/e5 14 418 A TTORNE YS July 7, 1964 G FECHQ ETAL 3,139,633

METHOD AND MEANS FOR DISPOSING OF LINT IN A LAUNDRY APPARATUS Filed NOV. 14, 1960 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORJ R1 the 4 Eda BY 6/541 /6: 19. Made 5 V 4 1 71 T'I'ORNEYS United States Patent METHOD AND MEANS FOR DISIOSING OF LINT IN A LAUNDRY APPARATUS Rhine G. Fecho, Baroda, and Charles H. Wade, Benton Harbor, Mich, assignors to Whirlpool Corporation, St.

Joseph, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 14, 196i), Ser. No. 68,819 22 Claims. (Cl. 8158) This invention relates generally to a laundry machine and method and more particularly relates to a lint separator means and a water flush-down system which may be utilized in connection therewith so that a combination Washer-dryer can handle successive loads over a period of time, without necessitating operators attention after each load or without impairing either the washing or drying processes, as might otherwise occur in machines requiring attention after each batch of materials to be laundred is handled. The actual lint separation is accomplished by introducing the exhaust lint-laden air during drying periods into a lint separator wherein it is given a swirling action and heavier lint particles are separated from the main air stream and introduced along with a very small portion of the total air flow into an annulus having a tangential outlet. During other periods of operation when liquid is introduced into the machine, a portion of the liquid is directed into the lint separator, thereby effecting a washdown and the lint-laden liquid exits through the tangential outlet and passes through a conduit to the sump of the machine for discharge through the conventional liquid drain for discharge from the system.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved laundry machine and method.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a liquid flush-down system for a lint separator.

Another object of the present invention is to provide in a combination washer-dryer machine a lint separator for separating lint from the air stream discharged from the machine during its drying operation and further to provide for the automatic flushing of that lint separator in subsequent washing operations.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a laundry apparatus with which is combined a lint separator having a liquid flush-down system.

A further object or the present invention is to provide an improved method and means for disposing of lint in a laundry apparatus.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a lint wash-down system which is correlated with the operation of an automatic laundering apparatus having a sequential program of different laundering operation periods.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a lint separator for a laundry machine wherein the lint is separated from the main air stream and wherein wash-down means insure that the volume of the main air stream will always be maintained, thereby operating the apparatus at designed drying efiiciency.

Many other advantages, features and additional objects of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description which follows and the accompanying ice provided with the lint washdown arrangement of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the machine of FIGURE 1 with parts removed for the sake of more clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view with parts shown in cross-section and with parts removed showing additional details of construction of the lint separator and lint washdown means of the present invention;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view taken generally on line IVIV of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view taken generally on line VV of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary elevational view of the tank back showing the lint separator of the present invention superimposed thereon and illustrating additional details of construction;

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken on line VII-VII of FIGURE 6.

As shown on the drawings:

Although the principles of the present invention are of general utility, the preferred structural embodiment herein disclosed by way of illustrative example constitutes a domestic laundry appliance known as a combination washer-dryer regulated by a sequential controller which automatically operates the machine through a predetermined sequence of washing, rinsing and drying periods. The drying operations may include a centrifuging operation, as well as an additional drying operation wherein thermal energy is added to a stream of ventilating air circulated through the treatment zone. To provide the thermal energy, electrical heating means may be utilized, although it will be appreciated that a fuel-fired heating means could be used with equal efiiciency and without departing from the principles of the present invention.

Thus, in the preferred example shown in the drawings, a domestic laundry appliance such as a combination washer-dryer is shown generally at 10 and comprises an outer cabinet 11 enclosing an inner casing forming a tub 12 which prescribes the boundaries of a treatment zone. Since the laundry appliance 1th is intended for use as a combination washer and dryer, it is convenient to provide a so-called horizontal axis machine. Accordingly, to that end there is provided a shaft 13 carried by appropriate bearings and adapted to drivingly rotate a drum or basket (not shown) within the treatment zone, thereby to subject clothes contained therein to a series of washing, rinsing and drying steps.

The tub 12 is formed with a sump 14 at a lower-portion thereof.

To rotatably drive the shaft 13, a pulley 16 is corotatably connected therewith and has a belt 17 threaded thereover which is associated with a driving pulley 18 carried on a power take-01f shaft 19 projecting outwardly from a speed changer mechanism 20 associated with an electric driving motor (not shown). Thus, the shaft 13 may be rotatably driven for operating the drum or basket either at a tumbling speed during washing periods, or at a centrifuging speed during an extraction period.

The speed changer mechanism or gear box 20 has a second power take-off shaft 21 to which is connected a pulley 22 associated with a pulley belt 23. Suitable tension is kept on the belt 23 by an idler pulley 24 and the belt 23 is used to rotatably drive a pulley 26 attached to a pump shaft 27 associated with a liquid pump 28 and with a blower pulley 29 connected to the rotatable driving shaft 30 of an air translation means shown generally at 31.

In order to charge the machine 10 with liquid for cara coupling connection 33 and a coupling connection 34, each adapted to be connected respectively to the hot and cold supply pipes of a usual domestic water supply. A solenoid or suitable motor-operating means are provided for the mixing valve 32, as shown at 36, so that water at a preselected temperature may be delivered through a valve outlet 37 and into a conduit 38.

The conduit 38 has connected thereto a Y type flow divider shown at 39. The flow divider 39 has a main stem 40 and a branch stem 41. The stems 46 and 41 are proportioned to divide the flow. In the exemplary form of the invention illustrated, approximately twothirds of the flow directed through the conduit 33 is carried by the main stem 40 for delivery through a conduit 42 while approximately one-third of the flow volume carried in the conduit 38 is carried by the branch stem 41 and into a conduit 43.

As shown in FIGURES l and 2, the conduit 42 is connected as at 44 to a vacuum break 46 and a conduit 47 carries the inlet fluid into an inlet opening 48 formed in the wall of the tub 12. The water supplied through opening 48 to the tub 12 is used for washing, rinsing, and fluid balancing.

Suitable water level sensing means are provided including pressure switches 49 and 50 connected in parallel by a conduit 51 and made responsive to the water level in the tub 12 by a sensing tube 52 connected to the tub as at 53. It will be understood that the pressureresponsive switches 49 and 50 are associated through suitable electrical circuit means with the sequential controller for the machine so that the operation of the mixing valve 32 can be controlled as a function of the water level in the tub 12.

To complete the hydraulic circuitry of the machine 10, reference is made to the pump 28. The pump 28 draws a suction preferably on the bottom of the sump 14, for example, at an outlet 54 to which is connected a conduit 56 leading to the inlet of the pump 28.

The pump 28 has an outlet 57 to which is connected a conduit 58 leading to a two-way valve 59 having a motor operator 60 and controlling the discharge of the pump 28 alternatively to drain via a conduit 61, or to a conduit 62.

The machine 10 illustratively takes the form of a laundry appliance having a high speed centrifuging system and incorporating a water balance arrangement. Further, the machine 10 contemplates recirculation of laundry liquid during the washing periods with a continuous stream of laundry liquid being directed into the interior of the drum or basket for conditioning contact with the clothes being tumbled within the treatment zone. Thus, to effect those ends, the conduit 62 is connected to a two-way valve 63 having a motor operator 64 and discharging alternatively to a conduit 66 leading to the water balance system or to a conduit 67 leading to a spray nozzle for directing a continuous stream of fluid into the interior of the drum or basket rotatable within the treatment zone. It will be understood, of course, that the constructional details of either the water balance system or the water recirculation system are not necessary to a proper understanding of the principles of the present invention.

Disposed within the compartment formed by the cabinet 11 and in contiguity to the tub or tank 12, there is provided a heater box 68. As previously referred to, the illustrative embodiment herein disclosed contemplates the utilization of electrical heating elements 69, thereby to temperature-condition drying air which enters the treatment zone via the heater box 68 for diffusion through the treatment zone.

The heated drying air from the heater box is directed into the tub or tank 12 and circulates within the treatment zone including the drum or basket and picks up moisture and lint from the clothes tumbling within the drum, leaving the treatment zone through an opening 71 formed in a tank back 70 constituting the rear wall of the tub 12 or treatment zone. The air translation means 31 is attached on the rear side of the tank back 70 and has an inlet in register with the opening 71.

It will be noted from the drawings that the air translation means 31 comprises a fan scroll 72 which comprises a generally circular body portion flanged as at 73 and including spaced apertures 74 to facilitate attachment of a thin sheet metal backing plate (not shown) to the fan scroll 72. The complete scroll and backing plate assembly are securely attached to the tank back 70 by clamping means.

A centrifugal impeller wheel 76 is rotatably carried in the scroll 72 and for that purpose, a bearing construction 77 is formed in a boss 78 formed on the rear wall 79 of the scroll 72, which boss is given radial support by a plurality of circumferentially spaced and integral ribs 80 formed on the wall 79.

As shown at the broken areas on FIGURE 3, the centrifugal impeller wheel 76 has a circumferential row of impeller blades 81. The pulley member 29 is locked on the shaft 30 which rotates within the bearing assembly 77, it being understood that the impeller wheel 76 is fastened to the shaft 30, thereby to accomplish rotation of the centrifugal impeller 76 within the interior of the fan scroll 72.

The pumping chamber in which the impeller 76 is rotatably driven is essentially circular in configuration and the fan scroll 72 is provided with a peripheral blower outlet 82 which extends tangentially away from the body portion of the fan scroll 72. The impeller 76 operates to draw lint-laden air from within tank 12 through the opening 71 and the opening in the scroll backing plate are centrally located relative to the center of the pumping chamber and blower wheel 76 for discharge radially outwardly and tangentially into the blower outlet 82.

As is most clearly shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, the blower outlet 82 is in tangential communication with a generally cylindrical separator end portion 83 which is an integral part of the fan scroll 72. Fixedly secured to the separator end portion 83 is a so-called cyclone cover or' cyclone separator 84 which may include as a part thereof a cover adapter shown generally at 86.

Referring specifically to FIGURES 3 and 4, it will noted that the separator end portion 83 has formed therein on a centerv axis a longitudinally projecting tube shown at 87. The tube 87 is cylindrical in shape and extends axially to terminate just short of the end of the separator end portion 83 adjacent the cyclone separator 84. An end wall 88 closes the tube 87.

A substantial portion of the tube 87 is enlarged as at 89 to form a baflle shaped somewhat like an air foil and having a radial extent with gently converging side wall portions terminating in an apical portion 90 spaced radially inwardly of an inner circumferential wall 91 forming the cylindrical bore of the separator end portion 83.

The inner tube 37 and the bafile 89 within the separator end portion 83 cause the air and lint mixture to spiral in the general manner of the arrows 92, thus traveling through a generally helical path towards the cyclone cover 84.

Due to the greater density of the lint, the air being of lesser density tends to concentrate inwardly of the peripheral wall 91, while the heavier lint-laden air tends to travel closely adjacent the inner periphery 91 of the separator end portion 83.

The separator end portion 33 and the cyclone cover 84 form a chamber in which the lint-laden air entering tangentially from the blower outlet 82 is given a swirling spiraling motion axially toward the end of the separator end portion 83. In this regard, note that the c clone cover 84 has formed at one end thereof a peripheral wall 93 and an inwardly spaced wall 94, thereby to form an annulus 96 having an outlet opening 97 formed therein. The inner wall 94 forms an axial opening for a large percentage of the total volume of air flow while the swirling spiraling lint-laden air will move axially towards the annulus 96 and the opening prescribed by the inner wall 94.

To accomplish the drying process efiiciently, it is necessary for the air translation means 31 to move a relatively large volume of air and, accordingly, the air will achieve high velocities when passing through the restrictions offered by the blower outlet 82 and the separator end portion 83. Since lint is denser than air and moves with substantially the same velocity as the air stream carrying it, any lint suspended in the air stream will be subjected to greater centrifugal forces within the separator end portion 83 than the air itself. Due to these larger centrifugal forces, the lint will have a tendency to form a layer directly adjacent the inner periphery 91 of the separator end portion 83. Of course, the lint in moving to this outer layer displaces the air inwardly such that by the time the air stream has spirally progressed to the vicinity of the annulus 96 and to the beginning of the axial outlet opening prescribed by the inner wall 94, substantially all of the lint included in the air stream in the separator end portion 83 will be in the outer peripheral layer of the air stream and thus be forced into the annulus 96 by the axially progressing spiraling motion of the air stream. In practice, the radial thickness of the lint area will always be less than the radial thickness of the annulus 96 so therefore some air will also enter the annulus 96 with the lint.

An end wall 98 at the end of the annulus 96 serves to stop the axially spiraling progression of the lint layer and that part of the air stream included between the inner and outer walls 94 and 93 of the annulus 96 and causes both to move in circular motion with the annulus 96 where both the lint and the air pass through the tangential outlet 97.

To reduce the spiraling and increase the axial velocity of the major portion of the total air stream with the lint separated out, the inner surface ofthe inner wall 94 is provided with a radially inwardly extending vane 99.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, a lint washdown arrangement is provided.

The branch outlet 41 of the Y connection 39 discharges liquid into the conduit 43 and the conduit 43 is connected to a vacuum break shown at 100 (FIGURE 1). After passing through the vacuum break 100, the liquid is carried by a conduit 101 and is connected to a water inlet 102 fastened in firm assembly with the tank back 70.

The water inlet 102 is arranged to direct a pattern of spray through the back cover of the blower housing and onto the blower wheel or impeller 76.

In the exemplary machine of the present disclosure, the average amount of water supplied to the inlet 102 is in a volume of approximately two gallons per minute whenever solenoid 36 of mixing valve 32 isenergized. A very large percentage of such water is centrifugally extracted from the blower housing and into the separator end portion 83. As the water is thrown outwardly by the blower, it completely cleans the inside of the fan scroll 72 of lint that may have accumulated in the scroll during the previous dry cycle. The water that is not centrifugally extracted from the blower housing drains to the bottom of the blower housing and a drain opening 103 is formed in the blower backing plate and in the tank back 70 to drain such Water back into the interior of the tub or tank 12.

The water that is extracted from the blower housing or fan scroll 72 is violently swirled in the separator end portion 83 and moves towards the cyclone cover 84 completely washing the inside surfaces of all of the components with which the water comes in contact. Since the water is much heavier than air, it immediately forces itself to the periphery of the separator end portion 83 and forces the air into an inner layer. As the mixture of air and water layers move in a helical path downstream, they enter the cyclone cover 84 with the air entering the smaller diameter prescribed by the inner wall 94 and the water with the washed down lint entering the larger diameter of the annulus 96. The violent swirling action of the water thoroughly cleans the entire inside portion of the annulus 96 and the swirling water proceeds to the tangential discharge port 97 of the cyclone cover 84.

p The discharge port 97 is connected by a large sized hose 104 (FIGURE 1) to an opening 105 in the bottom of the tub or tank 12, namely, at the sump portion 14 of the tub 12. Because of the comparatively large volume of water going through the conduit or hose 104, any lint accumulated in the hose during a drying operation is completely rinsed from within the hose back into the tank or tub 12, whereupon the lint-laden water may be pumped to drain by the pump 28.

It is contemplated by the present invention that a lint washdown will be effected whenever water is supplied from the two-way valve 32 since the Y connection 39 automatically apportions approximately one-third of the volume flow from the conduit 38 into the blower housing. Thus, in a typical operational sequence of a combination washer-dryer as herein disclosed by way of illustrative example, the program sequence would include a filling operation for the washing period, as well as several rinsing periods and water will, therefore, be directed through the air circuit of the machine during the wash and the multiple rinse periods. It is also contemplated, of course, that the sequential program preselected by the operator on the sequential controller could include a so-called purging period preceding the washing period during which time a purging supply of water would be directed through the air circuit of the system specifically for the purpose of washing down lint from the entire system and directing the lint-laden liquid into the machine with the pump 28 in operation and the valve 59 positioned so that the lint-laden water would be directed through the conduit 61 to drain.

Referring specifically to FIGURES 1 and 3, it will be noted that the cyclone cover 84 includes two separate outlets, one of the outlets being shown at 106 in the cover adapter 86 and the other of the outlets being shown at 107 in a wall of the cyclone cover 84. A sheet metal valve 108 is carried by a pivot pin 109 having an actuator stem 110 projecting upwardly and outwardly of the cyclone separator 84. A coil spring 111 is connected thereto and has its opposite end connected to a boss 112 formed on the cyclone adapter 86. Thus, the valve 108 is normally biased to a position to close the opening 107.

A solenoid or motor (not shown) operator is provided for the valve 108 and selectively opens the valve 108 to open the outlet 107 while simultaneously closing .the outlet 106. In a typical automatic combination washerdryer, during the wash cycle the solenoid for the valve 108 is deenergized and the spring 111 biases the valve 108 so that it closes the outlet 107 that leads into the room or to the external venting duct work which may be connected to the outlet 107. With the valve 108 in that position during the wash and rinse cycles, everything that enters the center diameter at the entrance of the cyclone cover 84 passes axially out the opposite end of the cyclone 84 into the cover adapter 86 through the opening 106. During the dry cycle the solenoid controlling the valve 108 is energized to close outlet 106 and open outlet 107 to allow the lint free air to escape to atmosphere.

In a machine having electrical heating elements, the valve 108 may constitute a continuous sheet form member which completely closes the opening 107, however, with a fuel-fired heating means such as a so-called gas machine, then it is necessary to leave a hole in the movable valve 108 for gas combustion purposes. To illustrate such provision, a hole 115 is shown in the valve 1%. It may be noted that the vane 99 formed in the throat provided by the inner wall 94 cuts down the swirling action of the air so that any residuum water carried by the air stream will not pass outwardly through the opening 115. I

In this connection, any water that remains in the air stream and which passes into the smaller diameter provided by the inner wall 94, is separated in the cyclone cover 84 and runs down a sloped wall shown at 113 which forms a funnel 114 at the bottom of the cyclone cover 84 and into a passage 116 formed in the lower portion of the cyclone adapter 86. With exemplary constructions of the type herein illustrated, tests have indicated approximately 93% of the water that enters the blower housing is discharged through the tangential outlet 97. Any residual water remaining is collected in the funnel 114 and enters the passage 116 for discharge through an outlet conduit 117 intersecting the passage 116 and formed by an integral boss on the bottom of the cyclone adapter 86. An appropriate conduit 118 is connected to the passage 117 and leads to an opening 119 formed in the tank back 70, thereby to direct the liquid in the passage 117 to the interior of the tank or tub 12.

It will be noted that the cyclone adapter 86 has an inner cylindrical portion 120 which extends into the cyclone cover 84. The inner cylindrical portion is provided with two transverse baflles including a first bafile 121 at the front end and a second baffle 122 at the rear end. Both of the baffles 121 and 122 are arranged to extend radially inwardly and constitute baffle walls extending across the passage. The first bafile 121 causes the air and any moisture that it still contains to bend downwardly into the cyclone adapter 86, thus forcing the air downwardly which allows any water entrained therein to be extracted from the air. The second baflle 122 downstream of the first bafile 121 again redirects the air upwardly and forces any remaining water out of the air stream. Thus, any moisture separated from the air stream drains downwardly through a port 123 and into passage 117 for return to the tub or tank 12 via the conduit 118 and the opening 119 in the tank back 70. The air that passes above the bafile 122 in the adapter cover 86 enters the heater box 68 for recirculation through the machine 10. The water being sprayed into the clothes load in the drum is heated by this heated air whenever heating element 69 is energized.

It will be understood that the entire operation of the machine provided with the improvements of the present invention is entirely automatic. As previously referred to, there is provided a sequential control means shown herein schematically in FIGURE 2 at 116, the sequential control means having selector means 117 at an accessible position on the machine for adjustment by the operator to select a program of operation. The sequential control means 116 may conveniently take the form of a timer motor which drives, through a step-by-step progression, a series of cams each associated with a cam-operated switch, which cam-operated switches are in control of the electrical circuitry arranged to operate the motoroperated devices referred to in the disclosure of this invention. By virtue of such arrangement it will be appreciated that the machine may be automatically operated through a series of washing, rinsing and drying periods and water will be caused to enter the air circuit or the blower housing during selected operating periods, or in a separate purging period, thereby to maintain the cleanliness of the air circuit and to insure operation of the air translation means at optimum efficiency.

In operation, a combination of air and lint during the dry cycle enters at the axis of the air translation means 31 and is discharged from the blower housing into the lint separator 83, 84. The inner tube 87 and baffle 89 in the separator cause the air and lint mixture to spiral towards the cyclone cover 84 so as not to interfere with the additional air entering the cyclone separator. The air being of lesser density enters the small center diameter of the cyclone separator and the airlint mixture being of greater density enters the larger diameter of the annulus 96 and swirls to the tangential outlet 97 connected by the hose 194 to the sump of the tank as at 165.

During selected portions of the program or cycle, water is introduced into the air circuit at the water inlet 102 and is violently swirled in the scroll and separator portions of the blower housing for movement towards the cyclone cover, thereby to completely wash all of the exposed surfaces. The lint-laden water is discharged through the tangential opening 97 and is returned via the hose 104 to the sump, as at 105. Lint-free air is discharged through the center opening provided by the inner wall 94 and may be vented through the outlet 107 to the outside of the machine, or may be returned to the heater box 68 through the cyclone adapter 86 for recirculation in the machine. Any residue moisture is separated in the cyclone separator and is drained through the funnel 114 into the passage 116. Additionally, transverse baflles 121 and 122 by changing the direction of the air, further remove any remaining moisture which moisture exits through the port 123 and into the passage 116 for removal from the separator via the outlet 117 and for return to the tub 112 via the hose 118.

Although minor modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that we wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of our contribution to the art.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. In a laundry apparatus, air-translation means drawing a supply of lint-laden air from the apparatus and discharging the air in the form of a stream, lint separation means attached to said translation means to tangentially and directly receive the stream therefrom, said separation means directing the stream centrifugally for separating lint from the stream and for discharging relatively lintfree air, liquid-introducing means in the air-translation means for adding liquid to the stream and effecting a lint washdown of said air-translation means and said lint separation means, and liquid drain means in said lint separation means for carrying the lint-laden liquid away from the apparatus.

2. The method of laundering which includes the steps of selectively introducing and draining liquid into and from a treatment zone, cyclically washing, rinsing and drying materials to be laundered in said treatment zone, operating an air-translation and lint separating means, drawing a supply of lint-laden air from the treatment zone during the drying periods of operation, discharging the air away from the treatment zone in the form of a stream, centrifugally separating lint from the stream, introducing liquid into the air-translation means concurrently with the introduction of liquid into the treatment zone to add liquid to the stream and etfect a lint w-ashdown of the air-translating and lint-separating means, and draining lintladen liquid from the separating means.

3. A laundry apparatus comprising means forming a treatment zone in which a batch of materials is subjected to a series of washing, rinsing and drying steps, means forming a hydraulic circuit including said treatment zone for introducing and draining liquid into and from said treatment zone as required to carry out said steps, means forming an air circuit including an air-translation means and a centrifugal lint-separation means, said air-translation means having an inlet to draw a supply of lint-laden air from the treatment zone during drying periods and having an outlet discharging directly into said separator means, liquid introducing means connected to said bydraulic circuit and to said air circuit to introduce a supply of liquid into said air-translation means for discharging liquid through said outlet for effecting a lint washdown of the air translation means and the separator means, and liquid drain means in said separator means connected with said treatment zone to discharge lint-laden washdown liquid out of the air circuit and into the treatment zone for removal from the apparatus.

4. A laundry machine comprising a sequential controller to automatically regulate the operation of the machine through a preselected program of washing and drying periods, blower means operating whenever said machine is in operation, centrifugal lint-separator means reeciving the discharge of said blower means for separating centrifugally lint from lint-laden air drawn out of the machine by said blower means during said drying periods, and means forming a hydraulic conduit means including valve means operated by said sequential controller for simultaneously introducing liquid into said blower means for discharge thereby into-said separator means for a lint washdown of said blower means and of said separator means while introducing liquid into the machine for washing.

5. A laundry machine comprising a sequential controller to automatically regulate operation of the machine through a preselected program of Washing and drying periods, blower means operating whenever said machine is in operation, centrifugal lint separator means receiving the discharge of said blower means for centrifugally separating lint from lint-laden air drawn out of the machine by the blowermeans during said drying periods, said blower means having a liquid inlet formed therein, said lint separator means having a liquid outlet formed therein, conduit means for introducing and draining liquid into and from the machne including connections with said liquid inlet to inject liquid into said blower means for discharge thereby and with said liquid outlet for eitectin-g a lint washdown of said blower means and said centrifgual lint separator means whenever liquid flows through said conduit means. i

6. A laundry machine as defined in claim and valve means in said conduit means and regulated by said sequential controller.

7. In a fabric treating apparatus having air-translation means for moving an air stream through said apparatus,

a lint separator device for separating lint loosened from said fabrics and carried in said air stream comprising a generally cylindrical member having a peripheral inlet at one end of said cylindrical member communicating with Said air translation means for receiving said air stream and having a centrally located air outlet at the opposite end of said cylindrical member and a peripheral lint outlet located downstream of said inlet for respectively discharging air and lint from said outlets, and liquid-introducing means connected to said air translation means for effecting a lint washdown.

8. In combination a fan scroll having an enlarged fan portion formed with an inlet and a smaller discharge end portion, said fan scroll having a liquid inlet therein, a lint separator connected to said end portion having a generally cylindrical chamber communicating with said discharge end portion, a baflle in said chamber having a configuration such that lint-laden air is forced to the periphery of said lint separator with a swirling motion of the air stream, .a cyclone separator on one end of said lint separator having means defining an inner axial opening and an outer annular space, a tangential liquid outlet formed in said cyclone separator, and conduit means for supplying liquid to said liquid inlet for effecting a lint washdown, whereby the lint-laden liquid is directed through said annular space to said tangential outlet.

9. Lint separation apparatus comprising, an impeller wheel, housing means covering said impeller wheel and defining a central inlet and a peripheral outlet receiving impurity-laden air drawn in through said central inlet and discharged peripherally by said impeller wheel, a generally cylindrical separator spaced from the axis of said impeller wheel and being tangentially disposed relative to said outlet to receive lint-laden air with a swirling motion of the air stream, said separator having a first axial outlet opening of lesser size than said separator, and lint washdown means comprising a liquid inlet adjacent said impeller wheel and a liquid outlet opening in said separator whereby impurity-laden liquid will be discharged through said liquid outlet opening.

10. In a laundry apparatus, means forming a treatrnent zone having a sump provided with a discharge drain, an

impeller wheel, housing means covering said impeller wheel and defining a central inlet and a peripheral outlet receiving impurity-laden air drawn in through said central inlet from said treatment zone and discharged peripherally by said impeller wheel, an enlarged generally cylindrical separator spaced from the axis of said impeller wheel and being tangentially disposed relative to said outlet to receive lint-laden air with a swirling motion of the air stream, said separator having a first axial outlet opening of lesser size than said separator, and means forming a second tangential outlet opening in said separator whereby impurity-laden air will be discharged through said second tangential outlet and substantially lint-free air will be discharged through said first axial outlet opening, a conduit connected to said second tangential outlet and to said sump, and liquid injection means connected to said housing means to inject liquid for a lint washdown of said housing means, impeller Wheel and separator whereby lint-laden liquid is discharged through said conduit into said sump for discharge through said drain.

11. In a laundry machine having means forming a treatment zone, an impeller wheel, housing means covering said impeller wheel and defining an opening communicating with said treatment zone, means forming a peripheral outlet receiving lint-laden air drawn through said opening from said treatment zone and discharged peripherally by said impeller wheel, said outlet having connected thereto an enlarged generally cylindrical lint separator spaced from the axis of said impeller wheel and being tangentially disposed relative to said outlet to receive lint-laden air with a swirling motion of the air 'stream, said lint separator having an axial outlet opening of lesser size than said lint separator for discharging substantially lint-free air, lint washdown means comprising an inlet in said housing means and a tangential outlet opening in said lint separator, and means for introducig liquid into said inlet for lint washdown whereby lintladen liquid will be discharged through said tangential outlet. I

12. A laundry machine comprising a cabinet, a tank in said cabinet forming a treatment zone, a fan scroll mounted on said tank back and having an inlet communicating with the treatment zone for receiving lint-laden air from said treatment zone, an impeller in said fan scroll for drawing lint-laden m'r from said treatment zone into said fan scroll through said inlet, a generally cylindrical lint separator connected to said fan scroll, baflle means in said lint separator to impart a swirling motion :to lint-laden air from said fan scroll, said lint separator having an axial outlet and a tangential outlet formed therein and a transverse wall portion adjacent said tangential outlet whereby lint-laden air is discharged through said tangential outlet, and lint washdown means comprising a liquid inlet in said fan scroll adjacent said impeller whereby liquid injected into said fan scroll will be violently swirled through said fan scroll and said lint separator for discharge through said tangential outlet.

13. Lint separation apparatus comprising a blower having a housing, an impeller positioned within said housing, means forming a generally cylindrical swirl chamber having an inlet receiving lint-laden air from said housing, a bafile in said swirl chamber to impart a swirling motion to the air stream, a cyclone separator member on one end of said swirl chamber comprising an inner cylindrical wall forming an axial air outlet and an annulus spaced concentrically outwardly of said axial air outlet, said cyclone separator member having a tangential outlet formed in said annulus to discharge lint-laden air therethrough, and liquid injection means for effecting a lint washdown of said lint separator apparatus comprising a liquid inlet for injecting liquid against said impeller whereby liquid will be violently swirled through said swirl chamber into said annulus, and conduit means connected to said tangential outlet to discharge lint-laden liquid through said tangential outlet.

14. Lint separation apparatus comprising a blower having a housing, an impeller positioned within said housing, means forming a generally cylindrical swirl chamber having an inlet receiving lint-laden air from said housing, a bathe in said swirl chamber to impart a swirling motion to the air stream, a cyclone separator member on one end of said swirl chamber, comprising an inner cylindrical wall forming an axial air outlet and an annulus spaced concentrically outwardly of said axial air outlet, said cyclone separator member having a tangential out let formed in said annulus to discharge lint-laden air therethrough, and liquid injection means for efiecting a lint washdown of said lint separation apparatus comprising a liquid inlet for injecting liquid against said impeller whereby liquid will be violently swirled through said swirl chamber, and conduit means connected to said tangential outlet to discharge lint-laden liquid through said tangential outlet, said inner cylindrical Wall having a radially inwardly extending vane projecting into said axial air outlet to reduce the swirling motion of air passing therethrough.

15. Lint separation apparatus comprising air-translation means including an impeller for moving lint-laden air through said apparatus and discharging the air in the form of a stream, separator means for whirling the stream of air from said air-translation means about a fixed axis and defining an axial outlet opening of restricted size to vent substantially lint-free air therefrom, said separator means having a peripheral tangential opening formed therein for venting lint-laden air outwardly, and lint washdown means for said lint separation apparatus comprising a liquid inlet for injecting liquid against said impeller whereby liquid is violently whirled in said separator means about said fixed axis to discharge lint-laden liquid through said peripheral tangential opening.

16. Lint separation apparatus for separating air borne lint from a moving air stream comprising, a generally cylindrical separator end portion having an inlet and a bafile in register therewith to swirl said air stream in a spiraling axial movement, a cyclone separator connected to one end of said cylindrical separator end portion and having inner and outer cylindrical walls forming an axial outlet for said separator end portion and an annulus concentrically outwardly of said axial outlet thereby to receive lint-laden air in said annulus and substantially lintfree air in said axial outlet, means forming a lint outlet in said annulus through which lint-laden air is discharged, and liquid injection means for effecting a lint washdown of said lint separation apparatus comprising a liquid inlet for injecting liquid into said separator end portion, said water and the lint entrained thereby being discharged through said lint outlet.

17. Lint separation apparatus for separating air borne lint from a moving air stream comprising, a generally cylindrical separator end portion having an inlet and a bathe in register therewith to whirl said air stream in a spiraling axial movement, a cyclone separator connected to one end of said cylindrical separator end portion and having inner and outer cylindrical walls forming an axial outlet for said separator end portion and an annulus concentrically outwardly of said axial outlet thereby to receive lint-laden air in said annulus and substantially lintfree air in said axial outlet, means forming a lint outlet in said annulus through which lint-laden air is discharged, and liquid injection means for effecting a lint washdown of said lint separation apparatus comprising a water inlet for injecting liquid into said separator end portion, said liquid and lint entrained thereby being discharged through said lint outlet, said cyclone separator having a funnel-shaped drain downstream of said axial outlet for receiving residual washdown liquid.

18. Lint separation apparatus for separating air home lint from a moving air stream comprising, a generally cylindrical separator end portion having an inlet and a bafile in register therewith to whirl said air stream in a spiraling axial movement, a cyclone separator connected to one end of said cylindrical separator end portion and having inner and outer cylindrical walls forming an axial outlet for said separator end portion and an annulus concentrically outwardly of said axial outlet thereby to receive lint-rich air in said annulus and substantially lintfree air in said axial outlet, means forming a lint outlet in said annulus through which lint-rich air is discharged, and liquid injection means for effecting a lint washdown of said lint separation apparatus comprising a. liquid inlet for swirling liquid into said separator end portion, said liquid and lint entrained thereby being discharged through said lint outlet, said cyclone separator having on opposite sides of one end thereof means forming inwardly extending transverse baffles thereby to change the direction of air flowing therethrough for further removal of any residual washdown liquid, and a second outlet for removing residual liquid from the lint-separating means.

19. Lint separation apparatus for separating air borne lint from a moving air stream comprising, a generally cylindrical separator end portion having an inlet and a bafile in register therewith to swirl said air stream in a spiraling axial movement, a cyclone separator connected to one end of said cylindrical separator end portion and having inner and outer cylindrical walls forming an axial outlet for said separator end portion and an annulus concentrically outwardly of said axial outlet thereby to receive lint-rich air in said annulus and substantially lint-free air in said axial outlet, means forming a lint outlet in said annulus through which lint-rich air is discharged, and liquid injection means for effecting a lint washdown of said lint separation apparatus comprising a liquid inlet for swirling liquid into said separator end portion, said liquid and lint entrained thereby being discharged through said lint outlet, said cyclone separator having on opposite sides of one end thereof means forming inwardly extending transverse bafiles thereby to change the direction of air flowing therethrough for further removal of any residual washdown liquid, a drain conduit for removing the liquid from the lint-separating means, said cyclone separator having a first outlet opening upstream of said bafiles and having a second outlet opening downstream of said baflies, and a regulator valve in said cyclone separator having a first position closing said first outlet and opening said second outlet and a second position opening said first outlet but closing said second outlet thereby to selectively vent the lint-free air through either said first or second outlet.

20. Lint separation apparatus as defined in claim 19, said cyclone separator having a funnel-shaped drain downstream of said axial outlet below said battles and communicating with said drain conduit for assisting in the removal of residual washdown water from said inlet separation apparatus.

21. In a laundry apparatus, means forming an air circuit including a tank forming a treatment zone, a heater box communicating with the interior of said treatment zone and through which air is directed for temperature conditioning, air translation means connected to said tank for moving a stream of lint-laden air from said treatment zone, said air translation means including a centrifugal impeller wheel and a fan scroll enclosing said impeller wheel, lint-separating means interconnected between said fan scroll and said heater box comprising a generally cylindrical separator end portion having an inlet receiving lint-laden air from said treatment zone, a baffle in said separator end portion for imparting a swirling motion to the stream of air in a spiraling axial direction, a cyclone separator connected to the end of said separator end portion having inner and outer wall portions forming an axial air outlet of reduced size and an annulus concentrically outwardly thereof, said annulus receiving lint-rich air spiraling adjacent the periphery of said separator end portion and said axial outlet receiving substantially lint-free air, said cyclone separator having a portion downstream of said axial air outlet comprising wall portions having two separate valve seats therein, a spring-biased valve pivotally mounted in said cyclone separator at said wall portions normally engaged against one of said valve seats but being movable against the other of said valve seats thereby to selectively direct the lint-free air through the valve seats alternatively, adapter means connected to one end of said cyclone separator and to said heater box whereby air directed through one of said valve seats will be recirculated to said heater box, the other of said valve seats comprising a venting air outlet.

22. In a laundry apparatus, blower means including 14 an air inlet, a tangential air outlet and liquid injection means for injecting liquid into said blower means, and generally cylindrical lint separating means immediately adjacent to and communicating tangentially at one end thereof with said tangential air outlet, said lint separating means directing a stream of air and liquid centrifugally and axially of said lint separating means, whereby when liquid is injected into said blower means said blower means and lint separating means are cleansed of lint.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Claims (1)

  1. 2. THE METHOD OF LAUNDERING WHICH INCLUDES THE STEPS OF SELECTIVELY INTRODUCING AND DRAINING LIQUID INTO AND FROM A TREATMENT ZONE, CYCLICALLY WASHING, RINSING AND DRYING MATERIALS TO BE LAUNDERED IN SAID TREATMENT ZONE, OPERATING AN AIR-TRANSLATION AND LINT SEPARATING MEANS, DRAWING A SUPPLY OF LINT-LADEN AIR FROM THE TREATMENT ZONE DURING THE DRYING PERIODS OF OPERATION, DISCHARGING THE AIR AWAY FROM THE TREATMENT ZONE IN THE FORM OF A STREAM, CENTRIFUGALLY SEPARATING LINT FROM THE STREAM, INTRODUCING LIQUID INTO THE AIR-TRANSLATION MEANS CONCURRENTLY WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF LIQUID INTO THE TREATMENT ZONE TO ADD LIQUID TO THE STREAM AND EFFECT A LINT WASHDOWN OF THE AIR-TRANSLATING AND LINT-SEPARATING MEANS, AND DRAINING LINT-LADEN LIQUID FROM THE SEPARATING MEANS.
US3139633A 1960-11-14 1960-11-14 Method and means for disposing of lint in a laundry apparatus Expired - Lifetime US3139633A (en)

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FR2664625A1 (en) * 1990-07-10 1992-01-17 Ciapem Turbine laundry drier
US20030051514A1 (en) * 1999-08-18 2003-03-20 Lg Electronics Inc. Washing machine
EP1380683A2 (en) * 2002-07-10 2004-01-14 Merloni Elettrodomestici UK Limited Tumble dryer
EP1669488A2 (en) * 2004-12-10 2006-06-14 LG Electronics Inc. Washing machine combined with dryer
US20070151312A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2007-07-05 Bruce Beihoff C Modular fabric revitalizing system
US20070163094A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2007-07-19 Tremitchell Wright Fabric revitalizing method using mist
US20070163093A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2007-07-19 Tremitchell Wright Fabric revitalizing method uisng low absorbency pads
US20080022552A1 (en) * 2006-07-28 2008-01-31 Mabe Canada Inc. Blower wheel attachment for clothes dryer
US20080136295A1 (en) * 2005-03-23 2008-06-12 Aitor Aizpuru Borda Clothes Drying and Dewrinkling Cabinet
US20090241363A1 (en) * 2006-06-29 2009-10-01 Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete Gmbh Dryer With Reduced Noise Generation, Fan and Impeller Suitable Therefor, and Method for Producing The impeller
US7627960B2 (en) * 2003-06-30 2009-12-08 General Electric Company Clothes dryer drum projections
US7658015B1 (en) * 2007-05-15 2010-02-09 Gardell Christopher M Clothes drying device
US20100083526A1 (en) * 2009-12-04 2010-04-08 Superior Investments, Inc. Vehicle dryer with butterfly inlet valve
US7735345B2 (en) 2005-12-30 2010-06-15 Whirlpool Corporation Automatic fabric treatment appliance with a manual fabric treatment station
US20110016928A1 (en) * 1997-04-29 2011-01-27 Whirlpool Corporation Modular fabric revitalizing system
US7921578B2 (en) * 2005-12-30 2011-04-12 Whirlpool Corporation Nebulizer system for a fabric treatment appliance
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US20110016928A1 (en) * 1997-04-29 2011-01-27 Whirlpool Corporation Modular fabric revitalizing system
US8844160B2 (en) 1997-04-29 2014-09-30 Whirlpool Corporation Modular fabric revitalizing system
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EP1669488A2 (en) * 2004-12-10 2006-06-14 LG Electronics Inc. Washing machine combined with dryer
EP1669488A3 (en) * 2004-12-10 2010-01-13 LG Electronics Inc. Washing machine combined with dryer
US20080136295A1 (en) * 2005-03-23 2008-06-12 Aitor Aizpuru Borda Clothes Drying and Dewrinkling Cabinet
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US7921578B2 (en) * 2005-12-30 2011-04-12 Whirlpool Corporation Nebulizer system for a fabric treatment appliance
US20070163094A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2007-07-19 Tremitchell Wright Fabric revitalizing method using mist
US20070163093A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2007-07-19 Tremitchell Wright Fabric revitalizing method uisng low absorbency pads
US7735345B2 (en) 2005-12-30 2010-06-15 Whirlpool Corporation Automatic fabric treatment appliance with a manual fabric treatment station
US7665227B2 (en) 2005-12-30 2010-02-23 Whirlpool Corporation Fabric revitalizing method using low absorbency pads
US20090241363A1 (en) * 2006-06-29 2009-10-01 Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete Gmbh Dryer With Reduced Noise Generation, Fan and Impeller Suitable Therefor, and Method for Producing The impeller
US8051578B2 (en) * 2006-06-29 2011-11-08 Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete Gmbh Reduced noise dryer fan and impeller and producing method thereof
US20080022552A1 (en) * 2006-07-28 2008-01-31 Mabe Canada Inc. Blower wheel attachment for clothes dryer
US7658015B1 (en) * 2007-05-15 2010-02-09 Gardell Christopher M Clothes drying device
US8011114B2 (en) * 2009-12-04 2011-09-06 Superior Investments, Inc. Vehicle dryer with butterfly inlet valve
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US20100083526A1 (en) * 2009-12-04 2010-04-08 Superior Investments, Inc. Vehicle dryer with butterfly inlet valve

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