Title:
Refrigeration appliance with vacuum insulation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A domestic refrigeration appliance, such as a refrigerator, freezer or the like, comprising a door and with vacuum heat insulation interposed between a substantially vacuum-tight inner shell and a substantially vacuum-tight outer shell; the two shells are joined together vacuum-tight on that side towards the door by means of a flange-like extension provided on one of said shells and welded vacuum-tight to the other shell.



Inventors:
Piloni, Mauro (Travedona, IT)
Martinella, Luigi (Ghiffa, IT)
Casoli, Fiorenzo (Vergiate, IT)
Picozzi, Andrea (Rovello Porro, IT)
Application Number:
10/228894
Publication Date:
03/06/2003
Filing Date:
08/27/2002
Assignee:
PILONI MAURO
MARTINELLA LUIGI
CASOLI FIORENZO
PICOZZI ANDREA
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/440, 312/401, 312/406
International Classes:
F16L59/065; F25D23/06; F25D21/04; (IPC1-7): F25B47/00; A47B96/04; F25D11/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20120291481Process For Recovering Hydrogen And Carbon DioxideNovember, 2012Terrien et al.
20100000241Trailer Refrigeration SystemJanuary, 2010Kitano et al.
20080314051SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CRYOGENIC PROCESSING AND MANUFACTURING OF MATERIALDecember, 2008Mckee
20090158752VARIABLE POWER CRYOGENIC REFRIGERATORJune, 2009Clayton et al.
20040065109Self-cooling beverage containerApril, 2004Metcalf
20100132403Drainpipe heat exchanger with heat storageJune, 2010Mackelvie
20160153709Beverage Container Cooling System and MethodJune, 2016Elbel et al.
20090195070ELECTRIC ENERGY CONTROL SYSTEMAugust, 2009Takegami et al.
20080314050NO-VENT LIQUID HYDROGEN STORAGE AND DELIVERY SYSTEMDecember, 2008Haberbusch et al.
20120000236HEAT PUMP HEATING SYSTEMJanuary, 2012Ogata et al.
20160281928HYDROGEN PRECOOLING SYSTEMSeptember, 2016Yoshida et al.



Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION - MD 3601 (BENTON HARBOR, MI, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A domestic refrigeration appliance, such as a refrigerator, freezer or the like, comprising a door and with vacuum heat insulation interposed between a substantially vacuum-tight inner shell and a substantially vacuum-tight outer shell, wherein the two shells are joined together vacuum-tight on that side towards the door by means of a flange-like extension provided on one of said shells and welded vacuum-tight to the other shell.

2. An appliance as claimed in claim 1, wherein the flange-like extension is present on the inner shell.

3. An appliance as claimed in claim 1, wherein the flange-like extension is present on the outer extension.

4. An appliance as claimed in claim 3, wherein the flange-like extension presents a first portion bent towards the heat insulation and an end portion adhering to and welded to the other shell.

5. An appliance as claimed in claim 4, wherein a cover is provided removably connected, on the side towards the door, to the two shells, said cover defining with the flange-like extension at least one channel.

6. An appliance as claimed in claim 5, wherein a hot loop extends within the channel.

7. An appliance as claimed in claim 5, wherein the channel is connected to the condenser of the appliance refrigeration circuit.

8. An appliance as claimed in claim 5, wherein several channels are provided for the hot loop, for the magnetic strip and for electric cables respectively.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a refrigeration appliance, such as a refrigerator, freezer or the like, provided with vacuum insulation, of the type conforming to the introduction to the accompanying main claim.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] In known refrigeration appliances provided with vacuum insulation positioned between a vacuum-tight inner shell and a vacuum-tight outer shell, the two shells are joined together along their front contour (i.e. on that side containing the appliance door) by profile bars which are generally formed of several sections joined to each other and to the shells by welding. An example of such an appliance is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,053,594.

[0005] This known refrigeration appliance uses a multiplicity of sections (forming the profile bar) to be fixed between two shells, and support elements for these sections, these elements having themselves to be fixed to the two shells.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The main object of the present invention is to provide a refrigeration appliance, such as a refrigerator, freezer or the like, comprising inner and outer shells and vacuum insulation interposed between these shells, which is of simpler constructions as it does not require the use of profile connection bars between the shells to form the necessary vacuum seal for the insulation.

[0007] Another object of the present invention is to provide a refrigeration appliance of the stated type offering the further advantage of simplifying and improving the allocation of functional elements, such as the anti-condensation means, electric cables, permanent magnet strips (for door closure) and the like.

[0008] These and further objects which will be more apparent from the ensuing detailed description are attained by a refrigeration appliance in accordance with the technical teachings of the accompanying claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The invention will be better understood from the detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof given hereinafter by way of non-limiting example and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a schematic vertical section through a first embodiment of a refrigeration appliance according to the invention;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a section through a detail of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a section (similar to that of FIG. 2) through a variant of the invention; and

[0013] FIG. 4 is a section (also similar to that of FIG. 2) through another embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0014] In the figures, the reference numeral 1 indicates the casing of a domestic refrigeration appliance, such as a refrigerator, freezer or the like. The casing 1 comprises a preservation compartment 2 bounded by a vacuum-tight continuous inner shell, for example of plastic material, obtained by vacuum forming. The inner shell can also be made of sheet metal. The casing 1 is bounded externally by a vacuum-tight continuous outer shell 4, spaced from the inner shell 3 and defining therewith an interspace occupied by heat insulating material 5 subjected to vacuum, for example open-cell polyurethane or polystyrene foam. A door P closes the preservation compartment 2.

[0015] According to a first embodiment of the invention, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, to achieve the frontal (i.e. towards the door) vacuum-tight closure of the interspace occupied by the heat-insulating material 5, the inner shell 3 is bounded peripherally and frontally by a flange-like extension 6 extending towards the outer shell 4 and having its free end welded (by laser or microplasma welding) to the end of the outer shell. Advantageously, the flange-like extension 6 is bent through a given angle towards the interspace occupied by the insulating material and terminates with an end 6K bent in the opposite direction parallel to that end of the outer shell 4 to which it is welded (FIGS. 1 and 2). By applying frontally, for example by slight forcing, a removable outer cover 7, for example of plastic or metal, a channel 8 is obtained between the cover and the flange-like extension 6 to be used to convey hot air originating from the condenser of the appliance refrigeration circuit, this condenser being positioned in the low part of the appliance. The hot air prevents condensation on the door side, enabling the so-called “hot loop” (shown by dashed and dotted lines and indicated by the reference numeral 9 in FIG. 2) to be fed.

[0016] As shown in FIG. 3, in which parts equal or corresponding to those of the preceding figures are indicated by the same reference numerals plus an apostrophe, the channel 8 can be used for the passage of electric cables 10, probes or the conventional hot loop, with an improvement in accessibility of everything relating to the repairability of the appliance.

[0017] In the embodiment of FIG. 4, the flange-like extension, here indicated by 6A, is an integral part of the outer shell 4A (which in this case is of pressure-moulded plastic) and extends towards the inner shell 3A to which it is welded vacuum-tight at its end. The flange-like extension 6A comprises a seat 11 for a conventional magnetic strip 11A used to maintain the appliance door closed, and frontally open channels 12 and 13 in which to locate the hot loop 10A and electric cables 10B respectively. A removable plastic or metal cover 7A is again used in this embodiment.

[0018] As is apparent from the aforegoing description, according to the invention one of the component shells (the outer or the inner) of the refrigeration appliance has in correspondence with its front side (i.e. that towards the door) a shape such as to lie in intimate or close contact with the other shell to determine between the two shells a vacuum-tight weld which enables the vacuum within the insulating material to be maintained. The cover 7, 7A, which can be of plastic or metal, is suitably shaped to satisfy both aesthetic and functional requirements.

[0019] The proposed solution of the invention enables the hot loop, if used, to be positioned in the optimum position limiting the flow of heat towards the interior of the refrigeration appliance and instead favouring its conduction towards the outside where condensation phenomena occur.

[0020] The proposed solution of the invention also enables the hot loop to be dispensed with by using the channel 8 (FIG. 2) to convey hot air taken from the underlying condenser of the refrigeration circuit of the refrigeration appliance and circulating totally about the cover to perform the function of the hot loop, i.e. to prevent condensate formation.