Title:
WASHING MACHINE
United States Patent 3770010


Abstract:
A washing machine for glassware and other utensils having a utensil chamber and wash and rinse cycles wherein wash and rinse liquids are injected into the chamber and having a structural arrangement maintaining the separateness of the liquids while permitting storage and reuse of the wash liquid. The structure embodies a main basin for the wash liquid and an auxiliary basin mounted to recieve liquid runoff from the utensil chamber and to overflow into the main basin. The auxiliary basin is provided with a valved drain so as to provide such overflow during the wash cycle thereby obtaining a recirculation of the wash liquid, and to provide when open and during the rinse cycle for a continuous draining of the auxiliary basin thereby preventing co-mingling of the wash and rinse liquids. During the rinse cycle, the wash liquid is held separately stored in the main basin for reuse in cleaning the next batch of utensils placed in the machine.



Inventors:
RAEFIELD R
Application Number:
05/203150
Publication Date:
11/06/1973
Filing Date:
11/30/1971
Assignee:
ENTERPRISES SYST INC,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
134/96.1
International Classes:
A47L15/18; A47L15/42; (IPC1-7): F17D3/00
Field of Search:
137/571,576 134
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2576253Concentration control system1951-11-27Farrell et al.



Primary Examiner:
Klinksiek, Henry T.
Claims:
I claim

1. A washing machine comprising:

2. A washing machine as defined in claim 1, a wall of said auxiliary basin defining a weir for liquid overflow from said auxiliary basin into said main basin.

3. A washing machine as defined in claim 2, said auxiliary basin and main basin being of elongated form positioned in contiguous parallel relation with said wall positioned therebetween.

4. A washing machine as defined in claim 3, said basins being positioned medially of and connected to bottom wall portions of said chamber with said wall portions sloping downwardly to said chambers.

5. A washing machine as defined in claim 4, said means comprising a tray demountably positioned in covering relation to said main basin.

6. A washing machine as defined in claim 5, means defining a trough at the top periphery of said main basin and formed to drain into said auxiliary basin; and

7. A washing machine as defined in claim 6, means defining a second trough extending across said main basin medially of its length; and

8. A washing machine having a utensil chamber and wash and rinse cycles wherein wash and rinse liquids are injected into said chamber, a structural arrangement maintaining the separateness of said liquids while permitting storage and reuse of said wash liquid comprising:

9. A washing machine as defined in claim 10, said main basin having a bottom wall formed with a drain opening therein;

10. A washing machine as defined in claim 9, said last named means comprising a power operated actuator for raising said stand pipe to open position and pressing said stand pipe against said bottom wall in drain closing position; and

Description:
The invention relates to industrial type, high volume, glassware and utensil washers such as used by laboratories, medical research units, and industrial research and component manufacturers.

In washing machines of the character described, it is desirable that a batch of wash solution be continuously recirculated over the articles to be cleaned during the washing cycle of the machine, and then stored for reuse with the next load of articles which is placed in the machine for washing, rinsing and sanitizing. In such case, care needs be taken during the rinse and sanitizing cycles that the wash and rinse liquids be kept separate and that dilution and cross-contamination be avoided. Previously, this has been done by the use of mechanically displaceable plates or closures for the wash liquid storage basin and attendant mechanical drive structure which are subject to jamming by fallen or misplaced utensils or to other mechanical failure or malfunctioning. An object of the present invention is to provide a washing machine of the character described wherein the separateness and integrity of the several liquids, and storage of the wash solution, are assured by the structural arrangement of a plurality of liquid catch basins and simple valving construction, thus avoiding completely the requirement for relatively large, moving plates or closures, attendant mechanical drives, or other moving parts.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a washing machine of the character described which has an improved washing ability with the wash solution producing a scrubbing action on the articles to be cleaned as the solution impinges on and flushes over the articles being cleaned.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a washing machine of the character above which is specially constructed for easy and convenient access to the mechanically operating parts, such as pumps, motors, valves and the like for servicing and maintenance.

The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which of the foregoing will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings accompanying and forming part of this specification. It is to be understood, however, that variations in the showing made by the said drawings and description may be adopted within the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims.

Referring to said drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a washing machine constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the washing machine.

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of some of the principal parts of the machine.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the machine taken substantially on the plane of line 4--4 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a portion of the machine taken substantially on the plane of line 5--5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the machine taken substantially on the plane of line 6--6 of FIG. 4 and with the top cabinet portion of the machine elevated from the base.

FIG. 7 is a side elevation of a portion of the machine as taken at line 7--7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the structure as indicated by the plane of line 8--8 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary cross sectional view of the drain structure for the main basin and is taken substantially on the plane of line 9--9 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross sectional view of a portion of the liquid flow conduit producing pulsation.

FIG. 11 is a cross sectional end view of the conduit portion shown in FIG. 10.

The washing machine of the present invention comprises briefly a housing 16 providing a main basin 17; a relatively elevated auxiliary basin 18 (see FIG. 5) positioned for overflow of liquid therein and therefrom to the main basin 17; a utensil chamber 19 positioned above the basins; means 21 diverting liquid gravitating in chamber 19 to auxiliary basin 18; a valve 22 (FIGS. 6 and 8) mounted in and controlling the fluid flow through a discharge passage 23 in the auxiliary basin, the valve in closed position causing liquid in basin 18 to overflow into main basin 17, and in open position continuously draining the auxiliary basin to prevent such overflow; and a pump 24 having an inlet 26 connected to a recycling outlet 27 for the main basin, and an outlet 28 connected to discharge liquid into chamber 19, wherein when valve 22 is closed, liquid will be recirculated to the chamber from the main basin after overflow from the auxiliary basin. As will be best observed from FIGS. 4, 5 and 8, the main and auxiliary basins 17 and 18 are of elongated form positioned in contiguous parallel relation with a common wall 31 therebetween. This wall has a foreshortened height as compared to the opposite walls 32 and 33 of the auxiliary and main basins so as to define a weir for liquid overflow from the auxiliary basin 18 into the main basin 17. As will be further observed from FIGS. 3 and 5, the main and auxiliary basins are positioned medially of and are connected to bottom wall portions 36 and 37 of chamber 19 with the wall portions sloping downwardly to the chambers so as to carry the liquid runoff.

The aforementioned means 21 for diverting runoff liquid into the auxiliary basin here comprises a tray or cover demountably positioned in covering relation to the main basin, but having an opening permitting the runoff of liquid into the auxiliary basin. Easy removal of such closure is desirable to permit the addition of detergent or other material into the main basin and for general access to and cleaning of the main basin. As here shown, a pair of trays 38 and 39 are so deployed. Tray 38 is dimensioned to cover approximately one-half of the area over both the main and auxiliary basins. Tray 39 is dimensioned to cover the balance of the main basin 17 and to provide a support for one edge of a screen 41 covering the balance of the auxiliary basin. As a feature of the present construction, a trough 42 is formed around a portion of the top periphery of the main basin and to drain into the auxiliary basin. As will be best seen in FIGS. 5 and 8, this trough has one side 43 extending longitudinally of the main basin 17 at its juncture with chamber wall 37, and right angle end portions 44 and 45 leading and opening to auxiliary basin 18. Additionally, the trough is here formed with a transverse center portion 46, also extending at right angles to side 43 and extending to the weir wall 31 for discharge into auxiliary chamber 18. Each of the trays 38 and 39 is formed with a depending peripheral flange 51, see FIG. 5, which is dimensioned for mounting in the trough so that all of the runoff liquid will be carried into the auxiliary chamber. The medial transverse trough portion 46 will support the adjacent depending flanges of trays 38 and 39.

In the present apparatus, utensils to be cleaned are mounted in racks which may be moved over chamber door 52 when in open position, as seen in FIG. 2, into the washing chamber for support on guides 53 provided in the base of the chamber for this purpose. Washing and rinsing of the utensils is effected by the plurality of spray nozzles 54 provided in a plurality of manifolds 56, 57 and 58 which are shaped to annular, preferably rectangular, form to surround the baskets or racks of utensils carried on tracks 53. Preferably, two longitudinally spaced sets of such manifolds are used for most effective cleaning action and which are ganged together for common reciprocation longitudinally of the chamber during the wash and rinse cycles. The three manifolds 61, 62 and 63 comprising the second set are connected in parallel with manifolds 56, 57 and 58 by linking conduits 64. As a feature of the present construction, the three manifolds are used for the wash, rinse and mineral-free rinse, respectively, thereby eliminating cross-contamination inherent in a single manifold system and avoiding the requirement of flushing of the mainfolds in order to obtain a clear water rinse.

Longitudinal reciprocation of the manifolds 56-58 and 61-63 is effected by a double-acting, fluid-powered cylinder 66 mounted horizontally longitudinally in the washing chamber 19 and having a piston rod 67 connected by a bracket arm 68 to the manifold set 56-58. Tracks 71 and 72 secured to the underside of the manifolds are slidably carried on longitudinally extending rails 73 and 74 in the base of the wash chamber for guiding the longitudinal reciprocation of the manifolds. Opposite head ends 76 and 77 of cylinder 66 are connected by conduits 78 and 79 to a solenoid operated valve 81 (FIG. 6) which is in turn connected to a source of fluid under pressure (not shown) for energizing the cylinder and reciprocating the manifolds.

Preferably, two pumps 24 and 84 are used for powering for the recirculation of the wash solution and are connected in parallel between a pair of outlet fittings 27 and 87 in the base of the main chamber 17 and manifolds 57 and 62. Conduits 88 and 89 connect fittings 27 and 87 with the suction inlets 26 and 91 of pumps 24 and 84 (FIG. 6) and conduits 92 and 93 connect the discharge outlets 28 and 94 of pumps 24 and 84 with one of the linking conduits 64 connecting manifolds 57 and 62 (FIG. 7). Rinse manifolds 56 and 61 are connected by conduit 96 (FIGS. 6 and 7) to a solenoid valve 97 which is in turn connected to the house service main 98. The final rinse is provided by manifolds 58 and 63, which are connected by conduit 99 to the discharge outlet 101 of pump 102 having its suction inlet 103 connected to a source of distilled or demineralized water. If desired, a steam or electic heating coil 104 may be mounted in the main basin 17 for maintaining wash solution temperature. The latter is here shown connected by conduits 106 and 107 to a steam line 108. Fill water for the wash solution is introduced into the main basin 17 by pipe 111 connected by conduit 112 to the main service line 98, the quantity of wash solution being constantly maintained by conventional float valves (not shown). By the use of timers and conventional control and indicating devices, some of which are shown on a front control panel 109 (FIGS. 1 and 2), the apparatus may be operated manually or automatically through a pre-rinse cycle with water supplied from main 98, a wash cycle with wash solution supplied from the main basin through pumps 24 and 84, a fresh rinse cycle with water supplied from main 98, and a demineralized rinse with water supplied through pump 102 from a water source (not shown). Usually, main 98 will be a hot water supply line so that the pre-rinse and fresh rinse are both a hot water rinse. An exhaust blower 113 may optionally be provided for chamber 19. As here shown, such a blower is mounted on the top 114 of cabinet 16 and is connected by duct 116 through the top 114 to withdraw water vapor from the chamber for discharge from the outlet side 117 of the blower.

The bottom wall 121 of the main basin is formed with a drain opening 122. A stand pipe 123 is mounted on wall 121 in surrounding relation to opening 122 so as to provide a drain closing position when the lower end of the stand pipe is engagement with the wall in sealing relation to opening 122. The upper end 124 of the stand pipe is open so as to determine the maximum liquid level height in the main basin. Draining of the basin is effected by raising the stand pipe, which is here effected by a hydraulic cylinder 126 mounted at the upper end of a rigid conduit 127 supported by a wall 128 of a drain passage underlying wall 121. Cylinder 126 has a piston rod 129 connected to the top 124 of the stand pipe. Preferably, actuator 126 functions not only to raise the stand pipe, but is also biased or powered to press the stand pipe downwardly against bottom wall 121 in drain closing position. As a feature of the present construction, there is provided at the lower end of the stand pipe an annular valve member 131 of soft, compressible material for engagement with the bottom wall 121 and which will distort around utensils inadvertently placed at the drain opening 122. Preferably, a similar type of annular valve member is provided at the base of valve 22. Wall 128 provides a box-like enclosure (FIGS. 4 and 6) with the exterior wall of the main basins 17 at the forward end thereof so as to define a drain passage 132 which extends from drain opening 23 past drain opening 122 and is adapted to be connected by conduit extension 133 to the house sewer.

As a feature of the present construction, all of the pumps and control mechanism is mounted within a base 136 of the machine; the washing chamber, manifolds, basins and valves therefor are carried by a top housing section 137; and all of the connections between the base and top housing section are made by flexible conduits which permit elevation of the top section 137 from the base section 136 (FIG. 6) to provide an access opening 138 between the sections affording repairmen easy and open access to the operating machinery contained within the base. This access opening is augmented by the downward and inwardly sloping wall portions 36 and 37 of the bottom wall of the chamber which provide the runoff to the auxiliary basin. As here shown, both the top and bottom cabinet sections 136 and 137 are of generally rectangular form so that the base periphery 141 of the top section 137 may be directly supported on an open top base rim 142. Additionally, a removable door enclosure 139 is provided at the front of the base section 136 to afford access to machinery and parts located forwardly in the base.

As another and important feature of the present construction, a resonant pulsation is imparted to the wash solution so as to improve its scrubbing action on the utensils being cleaned and, importantly, this effect is produced without using conventional electrically generated impulses or mechanically moving parts. With reference to FIGS. 10 and 11, it will be seen that the pulsating action imparted to the wash solution is effected by the combination of a spiral vane 146 mounted in each of conduits 92 and 93 leading from the high pressure sides 28 and 94 of pumps 24 and 84, and an elbow 147 in the conduit providing a change in direction of the liquid flow downstream from vane 146. I have found that the combination of the rotary swirl imparted to the liquid by vane 146 and the abrupt change in direction of the liquid flow produced by elbow 147 will set up a most effective resonant pulsation in the wash liquid. Preferably, the change in direction produced by elbow 147 is about 90 degrees. Member 146 is here formed with a planar end portion 148 which is mounted and secured (as by a press fit) diametrically within the interior of conduit 92-93 with end 148 facing upstream toward the pump discharge. The member is of flat, plate-like form and the portion downstream from end 148 is twisted about a longitudinal axis so as to provide a spiral vane portion 149 which imparts a rotary motion to the liquid flow thereby.