Title:
LIQUIDIZER JAR WITH REMOVABLE CUTTER UNIT
United States Patent 3603364


Abstract:
Liquidizer with unitary cutter assembly for sealing a large opening in the bottom of a jar. The cutter assembly is readily removable through the top of the jar for cleaning and includes two telescoping members forming a housing, one of which is a stainless-steel-bearing retainer enclosing and supporting the bearing and cutters and one of the clutch members of a resilient disengageable drive member. A disc nut receivable over the driven clutch member in working position releasably engages the hub of the housing to draw the stainless steel bearing retainer downwardly resiliently to seal the large opening with a self-centering gasket molded marginally to the retainer engaging a narrow flange bordering the opening.



Inventors:
Samuelian, Maurice P. (West Hartford, CT)
Sachse Jr., George E. (Northfield, CT)
Application Number:
04/872032
Publication Date:
09/07/1971
Filing Date:
10/29/1969
Assignee:
DYNAMICS CORP. OF AMERICA
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
241/282.1, 366/205
International Classes:
A47J43/046; (IPC1-7): B02C18/12
Field of Search:
146/68R,68A 259
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:



Primary Examiner:
Abercrombie, Willie G.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. In a liquidizer, the combination of

2. The liquidizer called for in claim 1 in which said nut member threadedly engages said sleeve means in releasable relationship over a circular area greater than the axially projected area of said driven member.

3. The liquidizer called for in claim 1 in which said nut member has a resilient central portion rotatably engaging said sleeve means over a circular area less than the axially projected area of said driven element,

4. The combination defined in claim 1 in which said drive clutch element axially engages said driven clutch element and has a major dimension at least the diameter of said driven clutch element and a minor radial dimension less than that of said opening.

5. The combination defined in claim 3 in which said opening is greater than the size of the driven clutch element,

6. In a motor-dirven liquidizer, a container with a bottom wall having a flange defining an opening therein and dividing the container into an upper liquidizing chamber and a lower transmission cavity,

7. The combination called for in claim 6 in which said sleeve means comprises telescoping sleeves enclosing said bearing, one of said sleeves having a flared skirt portion marginally overhanging the flange.

8. The combination called for in claim 6 in which said cavity defines a nonuniform diameter providing lobular spaces affording finger access to said disc unit and narrow throat portions between said lobular spaces.

9. The combination called for in claim 6 in which said nut means has an element in close proximity to said axial flange.

10. The combination called for in claim 6 including drive and driven clutch members, one of which has resilient elements interengaging the other member and one of said sleeve means and nut means includes a resilient portion cooperating with said gasket and resilient clutch elements for centering the drive and driven clutch member with respect to each other.

11. The combination called for in claim 6 in which said flange has an axially extending flange on its upper face concentric with said opening, and

12. A liquidizer comprising:

13. The liquidizer called for in claim 12 in which said resilient means threadedly engages said sleeve means in releasable relationship above said driven clutch element over a circular area greater than the axially projected area of said driven element.

14. A liquidizer comprising:

Description:
CROSS REFERENCES

Applications;

Emmons and Samuelian-- Ser. No. 850,182;

Gordon H. Raymond-- Ser. No. 780,131;

Roy L. Swanke-- Ser. No. 780,103;

Roy L. Swanke-- U.S. Pat. No. 3,319,938.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Liquidizer containers for home use are generally provided with a vertical shaft in the bottom carrying high-speed cutters and have convoluted walls to return the swirling contents to the center of the container. The containers are generally tall enough above the cutters to prevent a user from inadvertently manually contacting the cutters during operation and with this height it can be quite difficult to thoroughly clean the food-contacted parts.

There are two types of containers, one, a two-piece container having a threaded connection below the level of the cutters that are journaled in the base. When disconnected, the base and upper portions can be easily cleaned separately and provided with a safety clutch.

The other type is a container in which the jar portion and bottom closure portion are molded integrally and a small opening in the bottom opening receives the bearing of the cutter shaft such as represented by Swanke et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,319,938. Generally, however, the cutter assemblies are usually clamped in place by hexagonal nuts by a wrench which makes the removal of the assembly a service problem. Either the driven clutch member or the cutters have to be dismantled before the rest of the cutter assembly can be withdrawn and then clutch alignment becomes a problem when reassembled which can be compounded by removability looseness between the jar and the liquidizer housing. To avoid the problems of removing the cutter assembly, a downwardly opening cavity on the bottom conceals the driven clutch member and an upwardly and outwardly flared jar wall is provided which makes it possible to reach the cutters in situ at the bottom of the container.

Moreover, casting a radially wide flange near the bottom of the container to provide the necessarily small opening to receive the cutter bearing for alignment purposes provides some difficulty in economically producing the container. Furthermore, the rigid mounting of the cutter bearing for alignment purposes induces some noise and vibration in the working parts which would induce the hammering of the bearing journal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention, without any impairment of operating characteristics, provides a container having cleaning advantages of both types of containers without need for the great width of the top openings of conventional containers, or the small bottom opening restricting access that is required to provide accessibility for cleaning the cutters solely from the top. Moreover, preassembly of the cutter mechanism can be made before handling the container and ultimate clutch alignment assured when assembled. The assembly of the cutters, shaft, bearing and driven clutch members are removable as an undisturbed unit which for safety reasons need not be disturbed and cannot be placed back on the power unit without the unit being protectively located in the container. The container may be substantially cylindrical or slightly widened at the top and is provided with a large bottom opening in which the cutter assembly can be easily inserted and fastened from the bottom in sealed relationship for release and removal through the top when it is desired to clean the cutters and container. Also for cleaning the container the interior of the container can be easily reached through both the top and bottom opening for thorough cleaning by a dishwasher or manually by a brush in a sink.

The cutter assembly is resiliently clamped in position by a removable disc nut which is easily removed and seeks a centering position by a tightening rotation in that it has a wide span for easy finger-twisting leverage which does not tend to radially displace the assembly while being reinstalled. The cutter assembly is not only sealed by a self-centering gasket molded to a stainless steel bearing retainer for cleanliness in a simplified cast container, but the radius of the disc nut assures squared alignment and there is an appreciable resiliency in the assembly cooperating with a large radius elastomeric drive coupling to provide vibration-free and quiet clutch operation of great longevity with the disc nut capable of some repositioning yield if a vibratory tendency develops.

Pragmatically, the quick assembly of the cutter unit on the container is readily apparent from the shapes and sizes of the two parts involved because the driven clutch member over which the disc nut is received is essentially hourglass-shaped in one of the embodiments and the opening in the disc nut through which it is received is similarly shaped whereby the proper orientation is suggested and includes diametrically spaced tabs, or, the nut can have a coarse-threaded full-size opening clearing a circular clutch member and operate either as a male or female nut. Cam-shaped clamp ears that slip over the lower end of the bearing engage, with a twisting motion, bayonet-point-type detents embossed in the wall of the bearing retainer member. The release of the nut can be accomplished from the bottom of the upturned container for the dirty cutter assembly to drop out, if desired, after said hourglass configurations are aligned. Otherwise the top opening of the container is large enough to receive a hand supporting the cutter assembly while the disc nut is assembled or dismantled. The opening in the bottom of the container is large enough for the housewife to see what she is doing and have adequate access when washing or assembling the liquidizer container. The cloverleaf shape of the cavity on the bottom of the container provides open lobes which clear the fingers of a person tightening or loosening the nut with fingertip control.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view, partly in section, of a liquidizer embodying the invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded, fragmentary sectional view of an embodiment of the invention illustrating the dismantled elements of the removable blade assembly.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3--3 of FIG. 1 showing the assembled relationship of the elements shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view showing the clearance relationship between two of the elements shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on line 6--6 in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 6 showing another embodiment of the invention.

THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to FIG. 1, a cross-sectionally cloverleaf-shaped liquidizer container 10 embodying the invention is shown as received in working position on a power unit 12. The power unit includes a housing 14 with a series-wound motor (not shown) supported therein having a drive shaft 16 extending upwardly in a working position concentric with angularly spaced lugs 18 which support the container nonrotatively thereon. The speed of the motor and drive shaft 16 is controlled by a multiple pushbutton switch 11 having buttons 15 and a jogger 17 mounted on the control panel 19.

The drive shaft supports the drive member 20 of an axially disengageable clutch drive having a wide radius construction. In the embodiment shown six hexagonally arranged axially extending resilient lugs 22 have driving faces 24 normal to their plane of rotation and their trailing faces 26 inclined for ease of engagement by the axially disengageable driven member 28. The six lugs 22 provide six available drive faces 24 equally spaced 60° angularly, and for further description of their operation reference is made to Raymond, Ser. No. 780,131.

The driven member 28 shown in FIGS. 1-4 is a rigid member having four radiating spokes 29 forming an "X" configuration with a 60° angle between adjacent spokes of two pairs with the two outer ends of each pair joined by arcuate elements 30 comprising 60° segments of a circle whose diameter is larger than the overall diameter of the lugs 22. The arcuate space between the pairs of spokes is 120° and are peripherally open whereby the geometric configuration in plan view is essentially an hourglass shape. This provides four resilient drive contacts for the driving lugs 22 without materially weakening or changing the drive characteristics described in the Raymond application where six drive contacts are incorporated as also shown in FIGS. 5-7 herein, but it does provide a characteristic shape of circumferentially varying radii which indicates the relative orientation between the driven member and the opening in a disc nut 40 later described, which is received thereapart.

The container 10 may be molded of glass or plastic to the shape shown as characterized by a jar construction in which the upper mixing chamber 32 (FIG. 2) is separated from a lower transmission cavity 34 by a bottom having a narrow flange 36 defining an opening 38 larger than the major diameter of the driven member.

As viewed in FIG. 2 the unitary cutter assembly 42 is removably mounted in the opening 38 on the narrow flange 36 as assembled in its operative position. The cutter assembly comprises a sintered sleeve bearing 44 journaling a driven shaft 46 that receives the driven clutch member 28 on its lower end with a running washer 48 therebetween. On its upper end the shaft is threaded and receives the conventional cutters 50 rotated thereby and a running washer 52 that are held in place by an acorn nut 54. A sleeve 56 of sheet metal approximately 0.015 inch thick is die-shaped to be received tightly over one end of the bearing 44, preferably the lower end, and a second member having a sleeve portion 58 is pressed over the first sleeve with interference engagement to cover the end of the bearing whereby they are secured permanently together in sealed relationship.

Preferably, the upper one of the sleeves is stainless steel and a flared skirt 60 is integrally formed with one of the sleeves which terminates in a rim 62 that overhangs the inner edge 38 of the flange 36 and has molded to it a resilient gasket member 64 which fills and preferably is bonded to the rim 62 of the skirt and has an axially directed flange 66 received in the opening in guided relationship.

The lower sleeve portion 56 can have embossed upon its exposed surface, as shown, a heavy thread means 68 which can have a full 360° turn or preferably a segmented male thread or detents similar to a bayonet point. Cooperating with these male elements is the disc nut 40 of sheet metal whose center is stamped out (FIG. 4) to provide an hourglass opening 70 which slips past the hourglass shape of the driven member 28. The disc nut can be threadedly formed centrally as at 72 to mate with the thread means 68. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 the hourglass shape provides inwardly extending tongue portions 74 which provide an opening 76 receiving the bearing 44 and the inner edges are stamped with female segments 78 to engage the threads 68 with an upward thrust when tightened. This engagement is released with a counterclockwise twist of the disc nut.

Marginally, the disc nut 40 is provided with an axial flange 80 which is offset upwardly at its base to provide a bearing rim 82 and is sinuously formed marginally at 84 to provide finger grips for manipulating the nut to tighten or loosen it. The bearing rim 82 slidably engages the lower face 86 of the flange 36 for corrective alignment movement when being tightened which is characteristic of a rim engaging a flat surface. The rim can be provided on either element with the flat surface on the other as long as the circular land is located radially outwardly of the opening 38 so that the greatest resiliency possible is provided in the disc nut 40 for tightening and a bearing edge is provided which does not become fouled with use.

A circular axially extending flange 90 is molded on the upper face of the flange 36 which engages in a mating groove 92 formed in the lower face of the gasket 64 when the guide flange 66 is formed while the gasket is preferably being bonded to the rim 62. Thus, the bearing 44, shaft 46 and driven member 28 are locate with an appreciable degree of resiliency in the container in relation to the engagement between the flange 66 in the opening 38 and the nesting of the rim 90 and groove 92 and the disc nut if slightly off center can resiliently shift to accommodate coaxial drive engagement of the drive and driven member.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7 embodiments are illustrated wherein a full-circle large radius driven member 28A is accommodated in that the threaded relation 68A and 68B have a diameter greater than that of the driven member. Although the larger thread diameter removes an appreciable amount of the useful resiliency that is present in the expanse of the central portion of the disc nut 40, it will be observed that the threaded relationship is more directly involved with the inner surface 94 of the gasket 64 as at 94A and 94B in FIGS. 6 and 7 respectively. In FIG. 6 the disc nut AOA has a cylindrical portion 74A which is guided and positioned by the inner wall 94A of the gasket for the coaxial orientation described, whereas in FIG. 7 the inner surface 94B engages an external circular surface on an integrally formed bearing shield 56B.

In providing this the central portion of the flared skirt 60A is offset upwardly as at 58A to provide a cylindrical wall portion having an internal coarse thread 68A thereon engaged by the male thread on the disc nut 40A. A tightening of the disc nut 40A preferably mildly compresses the material of the gasket 64A against it and the diaphragm effect of the planar portion 58A flexes for axial alignment of the drive and driven members 20 and 28.

In FIG. 7, the two sleeves 56 and 58 of FIG. 2 are integrated as by casting or machining to provide a smooth external surface 100 that is free of any joints or crevices and has a downwardly extending cylindrical flange 102 against the base of which the gasket 64 is molded and the outer end of which is externally threaded to be engaged by the threaded end 104 of the disc nut 40B. In this instance the upper end of the disc nut 40B can be by the gasket 64 if desired and some compressive pressure thereon can be provided on the flange portion 66 as the disc nut is tightened.

It will be noted that in the three embodiments illustrated, the upper ends of the bearing covering 56 are rounded inwardly as at 106 to provide end stops when pressing the bearings 44 in place and the upper end run in sealing contact with the upper washers 52 there generally being a downward force on the cutters as they centrifugate and force the container contents upwardly along the sides of the bowl.

Also it will be observed that the lobe enlargements 27 in the bottom cavity 34 of the container permit the finger gripping of the disc nut 40 in the several embodiments but rotation of the nut is limited each time the nut is finger-turned because there is no finger clearance between the nut and wall of the bowl in the throat portions interconnecting the lobes (FIGS. 3 and 5). This limits the degree of turning each time so that no lateral strain is placed by an awkward position of a person's hand turning more than approximately 45° each time.

When removing the unitary cutter assembly for cleaning, the sinuous flange 80 is gripped by thumb and forefinger and twisted in counterclockwise direction to loosen and release the disc nut. It is brought into passing coincidence with the driven member and dropped downwardly past the driven member whereupon the released cutter assembly is lifted out as a unit through the upper end of the jar. An alternate way may be followed by the user upon occasion. If the cutters are covered with a sticky material, the jar can be inverted over a sink of water, the disc nut released and moved to let the cutter assembly drop freely into the water without being manually touched until clean. The driven mechanism stays intact at all times and the container can be washed by scrub brush from both ends manually or in a dishwasher depending upon the material of which the container is made.

Accordingly, it will be observed how the objects and results are attained and the characteristics set forth are provided, it being appreciated that the threaded relationship can be of different diameters and how either sleeve can be provided with the skirt or formed integrally for the purposes set forth.