Title:
Damper assembly and washing machine using the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A damper assembly and a washing machine using the same are disclosed. The damper assembly includes a damper assembly includes a base plate, a body mounted with respect to the base plate, a damper, coupled between the base plate and the body, for attenuating a vibration generated in the body, and a damper coupler, the damper including a pair of first connectors, each first connector being integrally formed with one end of the damper and having at least one first through hole, a pair of second connectors integrally formed with each of the base plate and the body, respectively, and having at least one second through hole, and first and second pins for respectively fixing one of the first connectors into one of the second connectors, and wherein one of the at least one first through hole and the at least one second through hole has a flared mouth for guiding the insertion of the one of the first and second pins.



Inventors:
Kwon, Ho Cheol (Changwon-si, KR)
Park, Sam Je (Jangyoo-Myeon Gimhae-si, KR)
Song, Hack Jai (Changwon-si, KR)
Kim, Beom Jun (Changwon-si, KR)
Lim, Il Hyeok (Goyang-si, KR)
Application Number:
10/935165
Publication Date:
09/08/2005
Filing Date:
09/08/2004
Assignee:
KWON HO C.
PARK SAM J.
SONG HACK J.
KIM BEOM J.
LIM IL H.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
68/140, 188/266, 68/24
International Classes:
D06F37/22; D06F29/00; (IPC1-7): D06F29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WALDBAUM, SAMUEL A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dentons US LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A damper assembly, comprising: a base plate; a body mounted with respect to the base plate; a damper, coupled between the base plate and the body, for attenuating a vibration generated in the body; and a damper coupler comprising: a pair of first connectors, each first connector being integrally formed with one end of the damper and having at least one first through hole; a pair of second connectors integrally formed with each of the base plate and the body, respectively, and having at least one second through hole; and first and second pins for respectively fixing one of the first connectors into one of the second connectors, wherein one of the at least one first through hole and the at least one second through hole has a flared mouth for guiding the insertion of the one of the first and second pins.

2. The damper assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one though hole of each first connector is disposed for receiving one of the first and second pins, wherein the at least one second through hole of each second connector is disposed for receiving the one of the first and second pins, and wherein the first and second through holes are aligned to insert the one of the first and second pins.

3. The damper assembly of claim 1, wherein the flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a rounded surface.

4. The damper assembly of claim 1, wherein the flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a chamfered surface.

5. The damper assembly of claim 1, wherein each second connector has a side opening for inserting one of the first connectors.

6. The damper assembly of claim 5, wherein the side opening of each second connector has a flared entrance for guiding the insertion of the one of the first connectors.

7. The damper assembly of claim 6, wherein the flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a rounded surface.

8. The damper assembly of claim 6, wherein the flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a chamfered surface.

9. The damper assembly of claim 1, wherein each second connector comprises a pair of supports, each of which are perpendicularly disposed with respect to an axis of the aligned through holes, for respectively supporting opposite sides of each first connector.

10. The damper assembly of claim 9, wherein each support of the second connector comprises a boss connected to the base plate, the bosses respectively forming an entrance and an exit, wherein the one of the first and second pins is passed through the entrance and the exit to fix the one of the first connectors into the one of the second connectors.

11. The damper assembly of claim 10, wherein the boss forming the entrance extends from the base plate and protrudes toward the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins.

12. The damper assembly of claim 10, wherein the boss forming the exit extends from the base plate and protrudes away from the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins.

13. A washing machine, comprising: a cabinet; a tub mounted in the cabinet; and a damper, coupled via a damper coupler between the cabinet and the tub, for attenuating a vibration generated in the tub, wherein the damper coupler comprises: a pair of first connectors, each first connector being integrally formed with one end of the damper; a pair of second connectors integrally formed with the cabinet and the tub, respectively; and first and second pins for respectively fixing one of the first connectors into one of the second connectors, wherein each first connector has at least one first through hole for receiving one of the first and second pins, wherein each second connector has at least one second through hole for receiving the one of the first and second pins, wherein the first and second through holes are aligned to allow insertion of the one of the first and second pins, and wherein one of the at least one first through hole and the at least one second through hole has a flared mouth for guiding the insertion of the one of the first and second pins.

14. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a rounded surface.

15. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a chamfered surface.

16. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein each second connector has a side opening for inserting one of the first connectors.

17. The washing machine of claim 16, wherein the side opening of each second connector has a flared entrance for guiding the insertion of the one of the first connectors.

18. The washing machine of claim 17, wherein the flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a rounded surface.

19. The washing machine of claim 17, wherein the flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a chamfered surface.

20. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein each second connector comprises a pair of supports, each of which are perpendicularly disposed with respect to an axis of the aligned through holes, for respectively supporting opposite sides of each first connector.

21. The washing machine of claim 20, wherein each support of the second connector comprises a boss connected to the cabinet, the bosses respectively forming an entrance and an exit, wherein the one of the first and second pins is passed through the entrance and the exit to fix the one of the first connectors into the one of the second connectors.

22. The washing machine of claim 21, wherein the boss forming the entrance extends from the cabinet and protrudes toward the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins.

23. The washing machine of claim 21, wherein the boss forming the exit extends from the cabinet and protrudes away from the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of Korean Application No. P2004-013998, filed on Mar. 2, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a washing machine, and more particularly, to a damper assembly and a washing machine using the same, by which a facilitating structure of assembly is provided.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

Generally, the washing machine is an apparatus for removing filth or dirt attached to the laundry using the detergent and mechanical energy applied thereto appropriately. In such a washing machine, a tub holds water and detergent inside and a laundry is put in a drum installed within the tub. The drum is rotated to perform washing, rinsing, and dewatering. The drum, which is horizontally installed within a drum type washing machine, holds detergent, water, and laundry therein and is then rotated by a drive force of a motor to remove filth or dirt attached the laundry. A drum type washing machine avoids causing damage or ravel to the laundry, consumes less water, and brings about a washing effect of beating and rubbing.

A general drum type washing machine consists of a cabinet forming an overall exterior, a tub provided within the cabinet to hold water therein, and a cylindrical drum rotatably installed within the tub to hold a laundry therein. The cabinet is provided with a control panel provided with buttons and switches to input an operational condition of the washing machine and a detergent box connected to a water supply device, which supplies water to the drum, to supply a detergent together with the water.

The above-constructed washing machine according to a related art performs washing on a laundry using chemical reaction of the detergent, water current generated from a rotation of the drum, and friction thereof. Meanwhile, a damper assembly is installed between the tub and the cabinet to attenuate vibration appearing on the tub while the drum rotates.

Referring to FIG. 1, which illustrates a cross-sectional diagram of a damper assembly according to a related art, damper assembly 60 consists of a damper 61 attenuating vibration transferred to a cabinet 10 from a tub 20 and a pair of damper couplers 62 for respectively coupling the damper 61 to each of the tub 20 and the cabinet 10. The damper couplers 62 consist of a pair of first connecters 62a respectively formed as one body with the ends of the damper 60, and a pair of second connectors 62b respectively formed as one body with each of the tub 20 and the cabinet 10. The second connectors 62b are connected to the first connectors 62a by a pair of pins 63. In other words, the first connector 62a is inserted in the second connector 62b so that the sides of the first connector 62a are supported by the second connector 62b. A set of through holes is formed in the first and second connectors 62a and 62b for receiving the pins 63. The damper assembly as described above, however, is difficult to be assembled to the tub and cabinet. In addition, after assembly, the pins tend to be abraded.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a damper assembly and a washing machine using the same that substantially obviate one or more of the problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

An object of the present invention, which has been devised to solve the foregoing problem, lies in providing a damper assembly and a washing machine using the same, by which assembly work is facilitated.

Another object of the present invention, which has been devised to solve the foregoing problem, lies in providing a damper assembly and a washing machine using the same, by which abrasion of pins provided to the damper assembly is prevented.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from a practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the subject matter particularly pointed out in the specification and claims hereof as well as in the appended drawings.

To achieve these objects and other advantages in accordance with the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a damper assembly includes a base plate, a body mounted with respect to the base plate, a damper, coupled between the base plate and the body, for attenuating a vibration generated in the body, and a damper coupler, the damper including a pair of first connectors, each first connector being integrally formed with one end of the damper and having at least one first through hole, a pair of second connectors integrally formed with each of the base plate and the body, respectively, and having at least one second through hole, and first and second pins for respectively fixing one of the first connectors into one of the second connectors, and wherein one of the at least one first through hole and the at least one second through hole has a flared mouth for guiding the insertion of the one of the first and second pins.

The at least one though hole of each first connector is disposed for receiving one of the first and second pins, wherein the at least one second through hole of each second connector is disposed for receiving the one of the first and second pins, and wherein the first and second through holes are aligned to insert the one of the first and second pins. And, the flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a rounded surface. The flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a chamfered surface.

Each second connector has a side opening for inserting one of the first connectors. Herein, the side opening of each second connector has a flared entrance for guiding the insertion of the one of the first connectors. The flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a rounded surface. And, the flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a chamfered surface. Each second connector comprises a pair of supports, each of which are perpendicularly disposed with respect to an axis of the aligned through holes, for respectively supporting opposite sides of each first connector.

Each support of the second connector includes a boss connected to the base plate, the bosses respectively forming an entrance and an exit, wherein the one of the first and second pins is passed through the entrance and the exit to fix the one of the first connectors into the one of the second connectors. Herein, the boss forming the entrance extends from the base plate and protrudes toward the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins. And, the boss forming the exit extends from the base plate and protrudes away from the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins.

In another aspect of the present invention, a washing machine includes a cabinet, a tub mounted in the cabinet, and a damper, coupled via a damper coupler between the cabinet and the tub, for attenuating a vibration generated in the tub, wherein the damper coupler includes a pair of first connectors, each first connector being integrally formed with one end of the damper, a pair of second connectors integrally formed with the cabinet and the tub, respectively, and first and second pins for respectively fixing one of the first connectors into one of the second connectors, wherein each first connector has at least one first through hole for receiving one of the first and second pins, wherein each second connector has at least one second through hole for receiving the one of the first and second pins, wherein the first and second through holes are aligned to allow insertion of the one of the first and second pins, and wherein one of the at least one first through hole and the at least one second through hole has a flared mouth for guiding the insertion of the one of the first and second pins.

The flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a rounded surface. And, the flared mouth of the at least one second through hole has a chamfered surface. Each second connector has a side opening for inserting one of the first connectors. The side opening of each second connector has a flared entrance for guiding the insertion of the one of the first connectors. Also, the flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a rounded surface. The flared entrance of the side opening of each second connector has a chamfered surface.

Each second connector comprises a pair of supports, each of which are perpendicularly disposed with respect to an axis of the aligned through holes, for respectively supporting opposite sides of each first connector. And, each support of the second connector comprises a boss connected to the cabinet, the bosses respectively forming an entrance and an exit, wherein the one of the first and second pins is passed through the entrance and the exit to fix the one of the first connectors into the one of the second connectors. Herein, the boss forming the entrance extends from the cabinet and protrudes toward the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins. And, the boss forming the exit extends from the cabinet and protrudes away from the insertion direction of the one of the first and second pins.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing explanation and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and illustrative and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional diagram of a damper assembly according to a related art;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional diagram of a washing machine having a damper assembly according to the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional diagram of a damper assembly according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Throughout the drawings, like elements are indicated using the same or similar reference designations where possible.

First of all, FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional diagram of a washing machine having a damper assembly according to the present invention and FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional diagram of a damper assembly according to the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a drum type washing machine according to one embodiment of the present invention includes a cabinet 100 forming an exterior, a tub 200 provided within the cabinet 100, a drum 300 rotatably provided within the tub 200, and a rotating means 400 for rotating the drum 300. The cabinet 100 includes a base plate 110 provided to a bottom side, a pair of side plates (not shown) provided to both sides of the base plate 110, respectively, a rear plate 120 provided to rear sides of the base plate 110 and side plates, a front plate 130 provided to front sides of the base plate 110 and side plates, and a top plate 140 provided to topsides of the rear plate 120, side plates and front plate 130.

An opening (not shown) is formed at a center of the front plate 130 so that a laundry is put/pulled in/out via the opening. A door 131 for preventing the laundry from escaping via the opening is provided to the front plate 130 to open/close the opening. Moreover, a control panel 500 for controlling an operation of the drum type washing machine is installed on a topside of the front plate 130. The tub 200 is supported by an elastic means 220 such as a spring and a damper assembly 600 to attenuate vibration generated from operation of the drum type washing machine. A tub entrance (not shown) is formed at a front end of the tub 200 to confront the opening of the cabinet 100.

The drum 300 has a cylindrical shape, and a multitude of through holes 310 are formed thereon to let water pass through. At least one or more lifters 320 are provided to an inner wall of the drum 300 to lift a laundry up to a predetermined height. Once the drum 300 is rotated, the laundry held within the drum 300 is repeatedly lifted upward to fall by gravity to perform washing on the laundry.

A circular drum entrance (not shown) confronting the tub entrance is formed at a front end of the drum 300. Hence, the drum entrance, the tub entrance, and the opening of the cabinet 100 construct a laundry entrance/exit part via which the laundry goes in or comes out of the drum 300. The rotating means 400 can include an induction motor or BLDC motor provided in rear of the tub 200. A rotational shaft of the motor is connected to a rear end center of the drum 300 to perform forward or reverse rotation of the drum 300. A drain pump 230 and drain hose 240 for discharging water are installed under the tub 200. Moreover, an inlet device 250 for supplying water to the tub 200 and a detergent box 260 connected to the inlet device 250 to supply a detergent together with the water are provided over the tub 200. A damper assembly provided to a washing machine according to the present invention is explained by referring to FIG. 3 as follows.

Referring to FIG. 3, a damper assembly 600 includes a damper 610 attenuating vibration transferred from a tub 200 and a pair of damper couplers 620. And, the damper couplers 620 include a pair of first connectors 621 respectively formed as one body with the ends of the damper 610, and a pair of second connectors 622 respectively formed as one body of inner walls of the tub 200 and the cabinet 100. The second couplers 622 are connected to the first connectors 621 by a pair of pins 630. In this case, an entrance 620a having an inside diameter increase in a direction opposite to an insertion direction ā€˜Iā€™ of the corresponding pin 630 is formed at the damper coupler 620 to facilitate to insert the corresponding pin 630 therein. Specifically, a pair of through holes 623a and 623b is formed at the first and second connectors 621 and 622, respectively, so that the pins 63 are fitted in the through holes 623a and 623b. And, the first connector 621 is received in the corresponding second connector 622.

And, the second connector 622 has shape of a pair of panels protruding from a base plate 110 of the cabinet 100 to leave a predetermined interval from each other and to provide a space in which the corresponding first connector 621 can be inserted. Moreover, the through hole is formed through the second connector 622 so that the corresponding pin 630 is inserted in the through hole. More specifically, the second connector 622 includes a first support 622a supporting one side of the first connector 621 vertical to an axial direction of the corresponding through hole and a second support 622b supporting the other side of the first connector 621 vertical to the axial direction of the corresponding through hole.

And, a first boss 622c protruding in a direction opposite to the insertion direction ā€˜Iā€™ of the pin 630 is built in one body of the first support 622a of the second connector 622 to form the entrance of the damper coupler 620. As mentioned in the foregoing description, the entrance 620a has a shape extending greater in the direction opposite to the insertion direction of the pin 630 so that the corresponding pin 630 can be easily fitted therein. The entrance 620a provided to the first boss 622c is rounded to be bent outward or an inside edge of the entrance 620a is chamfered. Hence, the entrance 620a extends greater in the direction opposite to the insertion direction of the corresponding pin 630.

Moreover, a second boss 622d protruding in a direction opposite to a protruding direction of the entrance 620a, in which the pin 630 is inserted, of the damper coupler 620 is formed as one body of the second support 622b of the second connector 622. In this case, the second boss 622d forms an exit 620b through which the pin 630 comes out. And, an inside diameter of the exit 620b increases greater in a protruding direction of the second boss 622d. This is to prevent the corresponding pin 630 from being abraded by an inside edge of the exit 620b of the second boss 622d while the damper 610 attenuates the vibration of the tub 200. For this, the inside edge of the exit 620b of the second boss 622d is preferably chamfered or rounded. More preferably, all inside edges of the through holes formed at the first and second connectors 621 and 622 are chamfered or rounded.

Meanwhile, an entrance side 622e, in which the first connector 621 will be inserted, of the second connector 622 extends greater in a direction opposite to an insertion direction of the first connector 621. For this, in the first and second supports 622a and 622b, the entrance side 622e, from which the first connector 621 starts to be inserted, is bent outward or an inside edge of the entrance side 622e is chamfered or rounded. By the above construction, the first connector 621 is easily inserted in the corresponding second connector 622 to be received therein.

An assembling process of the above-constructed damper assembly 600 according to the present invention is explained as follows. First of all, a pair of the first connectors 621 respectively formed as one body with the ends of the damper 610 are inserted in a pair of the second connectors 622 respectively formed as one body of the cabinet 100 and the tub 200 to be coupled thereto. Subsequently, each of the pins 630 is inserted in the corresponding first boss 622c to be fully coupled thereto, whereby the assembling process of the damper assembly 600 is completed. In doing so, an entrance side interval between the first and second supports 622a and 622b is greater than a width of the corresponding first connector 621, whereby the first connector 621 is facilitated to be inserted in the second connector 622.

And, since an inner diameter of the entrance, in which the pin 630 is inserted, of the first boss 622c is greater than an outside diameter of the pin 630, the corresponding pin 630 is facilitated to be inserted in the corresponding through hole of the damper coupler 620. Moreover, the inside edges of the through holes formed at the damper coupler 620 are chamfered or rounded, thereby enabling to prevent the pins 630 from being abraded while the damper 610 attenuates the vibration of the tub 200.

Accordingly, the present invention provides the following advantages or effects. First of all, each of the entrance side having the first connector inserted therein and another entrance side having the pin inserted therein gradually extends in diameter in the direction opposite to the corresponding insertion direction, whereby it is facilitated to assemble the pin to the first connector. Secondly, the inside edges of the through holes formed at the damper coupler are chamfered or rounded, thereby enabling to prevent the pins from being abraded while the damper attenuates the vibration of the tub.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover such modifications and variations, provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.