Title:
Washing machine
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a washing machine having an upper washing unit and a lower washing unit. The upper washing unit is connected to the lower washing unit through connection parts protruded upwardly from the upper end of the lower washing unit.


Inventors:
Lee, Sang Up (Yongin-si, KR)
Ko, Hong Seok (Yongin-si, KR)
Kim, Yong Kwon (Daejeon-si, KR)
Application Number:
12/805118
Publication Date:
02/24/2011
Filing Date:
07/13/2010
Assignee:
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. (Suwon-si, KR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D06F31/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090293204Washing machine and method of washing drumDecember, 2009Lee et al.
20100064736LAUNDRY DEVICEMarch, 2010Jeong et al.
20050188729Washing machine with detergent dispenserSeptember, 2005Zsambeki et al.
20080236206Independently operable washing and treating routine clothes washing machineOctober, 2008Diederiks
20080223086Top-Loading Clothes Washing Machine With Lid Enterlock MeansSeptember, 2008Zardetto
20050252253Drum assembly for washing machineNovember, 2005Ahn
20050102811Method of assembling an appliance with interchangeable consolesMay, 2005Bruntz et al.
20060005318Washer control method and washer using the sameJanuary, 2006Yoon
20070137265Drain system of drum-type washing machineJune, 2007Shikamori et al.
20050071929Integral laundry cleaning and drying system and methodApril, 2005Mani et al.
20090095029Laundry washing machine with automatic laundry products dispensingApril, 2009Gelinas
Foreign References:
KR20030098951A
Other References:
Machine translation of KR1020030098951 to Hwang et al., July 2005.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STAAS & HALSEY LLP (SUITE 700, 1201 NEW YORK AVENUE, N.W., WASHINGTON, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A washing machine comprising: a lower washing unit to perform washing; an upper washing unit connected to an upper portion of the lower washing unit to perform washing independently of the lower washing unit; and at least one connection part extended upwardly from the lower washing unit and connected to the upper washing unit.

2. The washing machine according to claim 1, wherein the upper washing unit includes an upper housing forming an external appearance of the upper washing unit, the lower washing unit includes a lower housing forming an external appearance of the lower washing unit, and frames installed on an upper end of the lower housing, and the at least one connection part is integral with and extends upwardly from one of the frames.

3. The washing machine according to claim 2, wherein the frames respectively include seat parts having designated widths in a lateral direction, on which the upper washing unit is seated, and the at least one connection part extends from a side end of one of the frames.

4. The washing machine according to claim 2, wherein the frames include a pair of first frames extending in forward and backward directions of the washing machine and installed on the upper end at respective sides of the lower housing, and the at least one connection part includes a first connection part integrally extending from one of the first frames.

5. The washing machine according to claim 2, wherein the frames include a pair of second frames extending in a lateral direction of the washing machine and comprising ends installed on the upper end of the lower housing at respective sides of the lower housing, and the at least one connection part includes at least one second connection part integral with and extending from one of the second frames.

6. The washing machine according to claim 3, wherein the upper washing unit further includes at least one leg part extended downwardly and seated on one of the seat parts, and the at least one connection part is connected to a side surface of the leg part.

7. The washing machine according to claim 6, further comprising at least one finishing member covering the side surface of the leg part and the at least one connection part connected to each other.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 2009-0077948, filed on Aug. 24, 2009 in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

Embodiments relate to a washing machine having an upper washing unit and a lower washing unit, which are vertically arranged to perform washing, respectively.

2. Description of the Related Art

In general, washing machines are apparatuses, each of which includes a tub and a drum, and washes contaminated laundry using water and a detergent. The washing machines include drum washing machines, which wash laundry by means of the difference in elevation.

A drum washing machine includes a tub installed in a main body to contain water, a drum rotatably installed in the tub, a water supply device to supply water to the tub and the drum, a drain device to discharge used water to the outside of the main body after washing, and a detergent supply device to dissolve a detergent in water in connection with the water supply device.

SUMMARY

Therefore, it is one aspect to provide a washing machine having an upper washing unit and a lower washing unit, vertically arranged, to simultaneously wash laundry of different types. Each of the upper washing unit and a lower washing unit includes a tub and a drum such that the upper and lower washing units may be independent operated.

Additional aspects will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention.

The foregoing and/or other aspects are achieved by providing a washing machine including a lower washing unit to perform washing, an upper washing unit connected to the upper portion of the lower washing unit to perform washing independently of the lower washing unit, and connection parts extended upwardly from the lower washing unit and connected to the upper washing unit.

The upper washing unit may include an upper housing forming the external appearance thereof, the lower washing unit may include a lower housing forming the external appearance thereof and frames installed on the upper end of the lower housing, and the connection parts may be integrally extended upwardly from the frames.

The frames may include seat parts respectively having designated widths in the lateral direction, on which the upper washing unit is seated, and the connection parts may be extended from side ends of the frames.

The frames may include a pair of first frames extended in the forward and backward direction and installed on the upper ends of both sides of the lower housing, and the connection parts may include first connection parts integrally extended from the first frames.

The frames may include a pair of second frames extended in the lateral direction and provided with both ends installed on the upper ends of both sides of the lower housing, and the connection parts may include second connection parts integrally extended from the second frames.

The upper washing unit may further include leg parts extended downwardly and seated on the seat parts, and the connection parts may be connected to side surfaces of the leg parts.

The washing machine may further include finishing members covering the side surfaces of the leg parts and the connection parts connected to each other.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and/or other aspects will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a washing machine in accordance with one embodiment;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view illustrating connection of an upper washing unit and a lower washing unit applied to the washing machine in accordance with the embodiment; and

FIG. 3 is a partially enlarged view of a connection portion between the upper washing unit and the lower washing unit applied to the washing machine in accordance with the embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout.

As shown in FIG. 1, a washing machine in accordance with one embodiment includes an upper washing unit 100 and a lower washing unit 200, which are independently operated. Among the two washing units 100 and 200, one washing unit having a relatively high volume may be used as the lower washing unit 200, and the other washing unit having a relatively low volume may be used as the upper washing unit 100, in consideration of vibration and stability.

As shown in FIG. 2, the upper washing unit 100 includes an upper tub 120 installed in an upper housing 110, forming the external appearance of the upper washing unit 100, to contain water, an upper drum (not shown) rotatably installed in the upper tub 120 and rotated to wash laundry by the difference in elevation, and an upper door 130 installed at the front surface of the upper housing 110 such that a user may put laundry into the upper drum.

The lower washing unit 200 includes a lower tub 220 installed in a lower housing 210, forming the external appearance of the lower washing unit 200, to contain water, a lower drum (not shown) rotatably installed in the lower tub 220 and rotated to wash laundry by the difference in elevation, and a lower door 230 installed at the front surface of the lower housing 210 such that the user may put laundry into the lower drum.

In this embodiment, the upper washing unit 100 and the lower washing unit 200 are independently assembled, respectively, and then the assembled upper washing unit 100 is connected to the upper portion of the assembled lower washing unit 200, thereby manufacturing the washing machine.

In order to install the upper washing unit 100 on the upper portion of the lower washing unit 200, connection parts 211a and 212a extended upwardly are formed on the lower housing 210. The upper washing unit 100 is connected to the upper portion of the lower washing unit 200 through the connection parts 211a and 212a.

In this embodiment, leg parts 111 extended downwardly from the lower surface of the upper housing 110 of the upper washing unit 100 are provided against independent installation of the upper washing unit 100. The upper washing unit 100 and the lower washing unit 200 are connected by coupling the connection parts 211a and 212a to the leg parts 111 by coupling members, such as bolts. After the upper washing unit 100 is installed on the upper surface of the lower washing unit 200 through the leg parts 111 and the connection parts 211a and 212a, finishing members 300 to cover the leg parts 111 and the connection parts 211a and 212a are installed at connection portions between the leg parts 111 and the connection parts 211a and 212a.

Frames 211 and 212 serves both to reinforce strength of the upper end of the lowering housing 210 and to support the upper washing unit 100 seated thereon are installed at the upper end of the lower housing 210. The frames 211 and 212 respectively include seat parts 211b and 212b having designated widths in the lateral direction, on which the leg parts 111 of the upper washing unit 100 are seated and supported, and the connection parts 211a and 212a are respectively extended upwardly from side ends of the seat parts 211 b and 212b. The frames 211 and 212 include a pair of first frames 211 extended in the forward and backward directions and respectively installed at the upper ends of both side surfaces of the lower housing 210, and second frames 212 extended in the lateral direction and respectively provided with both ends_installed at the upper ends of both side surfaces of the lower housing 210. In this embodiment, a pair of the second frames 212 is provided and installed on the lower housing 210 such that the second frames 212 are separated from each other in the forward and backward directions.

The connection parts 211a and 212a include first connection parts 211a extended integrally from the first frames 211, and second connection parts 211 b extended integrally from the second frames 212. The seat parts 211b and 212b include first seat parts 211b formed to have a designated width in the lateral direction on the first frames 211 and provided with one side end, from which each of the first connection parts 211a is extended upwardly, and second seat parts 212b formed to have a designated width in the lateral direction on both ends of the second frames 212 and provided with both ends, from which the second connection parts 212b are respectively extended upwardly.

Hereinafter, a method of manufacturing the above washing machine in accordance with the embodiment will be described.

The inner components of the upper washing unit 100, such as the upper tub 120, are installed in the upper housing 110, and the inner components of the lower washing unit 200, such as the lower tub 220, are installed in the lower housing 210.

Thereafter, the upper washing unit 100 is seated on the lower washing unit 200. Here, the leg parts 111 formed on the upper washing unit 100 are seated and supported on the first seat parts 211b and the second seat part 212b formed on the first frames 211 and the second frames 212, thereby causing the upper washing unit 100 to be seated on the lower washing unit 200.

In the above state, the first connection parts 211a and the second connection parts 212a extended upwardly from the first frames 211 and the second frames 212 are located on the side surfaces of the leg parts 111. Therefore, a worker assembling the washing machine connects the first connection parts 211a and the second connection parts 212a to the leg parts 111 from the sides of the washing machine, thereby connecting the upper washing unit 100 and the lower washing unit 200.

The first and second connection parts 211a and 212a and the leg parts 111 are connected by various methods, such as screw connection or welding. As shown in FIG. 3, after the connection between the first and second connection parts 211a and 212a and the leg parts 111 is completed, the finishing members 300 are installed on the side surfaces of the first and second connection parts 211a and 212a and the leg parts 111. Then, the finishing members 300 cover the side surfaces of the first and second connection parts 211a and 212a and the leg parts 111.

Since an operation of connecting the upper washing unit 100 and the lower washing unit 200 may be carried out on the side surfaces of the washing machine, as described above, the connecting operation may be easily achieved by the worker.

Although the embodiment illustrates the first connection parts 211a and the second connection parts 212a respectively formed on the first frames 211 and the second frames 212, the connection parts 211a and 212a may alternatively be formed on only one of the first frames 211 and the second frames 212. Further, only one of the first frames 211, on which the first connection parts 211a are formed, and the second frames 212, on which the second connection parts 212a are formed, may be formed on the lower housing 210.

As is apparent from the above description, in a washing machine in accordance with one embodiment, an upper washing unit is connected to a lower washing unit through connection parts protruded upwardly from the upper end of the lower washing unit, and thus an operation of connecting the upper washing unit and the lower washing unit may be carried out from the sides of the washing machine, thereby allowing the washing machine having the upper and lower washing units to be easily manufactured.

Although a few embodiments have been shown and described, it would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the embodiments, the scope of which is defined in the claims and their equivalents.