Title:
Door-basket structure of refrigerator
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a door-basket structure adapted to be inserted in a refrigerator, including a basket body installed slidably in a fore and aft direction at a rear surface of a door and having an upper surface in the form of a rack horizontally extended, the basket body adapted to store foodstuffs therein, a basket cover pivotably installed at an upper portion of the basket body so as to selectively open and close the interior of the basket body, the basket cover having a lower surface in the form of a pinion. The rack is adapted to interlock continuously with the pinion at every moment to allow the basket cover to be opened and closed in cooperation with movement of the basket body.



Inventors:
Lee, Hang-bok (Seongnam-si, KR)
Kwak, Sang-sin (Seosan-si, KR)
Kim, Seon-kyu (Seoul, KR)
Application Number:
12/007120
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
01/07/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B96/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080252189Storage and Drying Unit for Storing and Drying Outerwear, Sports Clothing and EquipmentOctober, 2008Regan
20080258587Width-Adjustable Board Storage Frame and Assembly Method for the SameOctober, 2008Mayuzumi
20060158071Gripping strip for a drawer, especially for a drawer of bearing devices and operating material devicesJuly, 2006Muller et al.
20030080656Combinational shelfMay, 2003Chen
20050067927Collapsible closetMarch, 2005Ho et al.
20100026148SERVER CHASSISFebruary, 2010Zhang et al.
20060102054Open slot and cavity for wire and cable managementMay, 2006Warriner



Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A door-basket structure adapted to be inserted in a refrigerator, comprising: a basket body installed slidably in a fore and aft direction at a rear surface of a door and having an upper surface in the form of a rack horizontally extended, the basket body adapted to store foodstuffs therein; a basket cover pivotably installed at an upper portion of the basket body so as to selectively open and close the interior of the basket body, the basket cover having a lower surface in the form of a pinion, wherein the rack is adapted to interlock continuously with the pinion at every moment to allow the basket cover to be opened and closed in cooperation with movement of the basket body.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a Continuation of pending U.S. application Ser. No. 11/204,173 filed on Aug. 16, 2005, which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119 to Korean Application No. 10-2004-0075782 filed in the Republic of Korea on Sep. 22, 2004, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to a refrigerator, and more particularly, to a door-basket structure of a refrigerator, which is installed on a rear surface of a refrigerator door and used as a space for storing foodstuffs.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Generally, a refrigerator comprises a freezing chamber for storing an icemaker container and frozen foodstuffs at a predetermined temperature, and a refrigerating chamber for accommodating objects to be refrigerated. The refrigerator includes therein a refrigeration cycle unit operated according to a refrigeration cycle of compression, condensation, expansion and evaporation, so that the refrigerator can keep its interiors to be in a freezing state and a refrigerating state since heat is absorbed by an evaporator installed in a circulation circuit of the refrigeration cycle unit.

A conventional refrigerator generally has a refrigerating chamber, and a freezing chamber installed above the refrigerating chamber. However, among large-sized refrigerators with large capacity, a side-by-side type refrigerator of which a refrigerating chamber and a freezing chamber are installed at the right and left sides to store a lot of foodstuffs has been recently popularized.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an example of a conventional side-by-side type refrigerator.

As shown in the figure, the conventional refrigerator comprises a main body 10 in which a storage space 12 for accommodating and storing foodstuffs is formed. The storage space 12 generally consists of a freezing chamber for storing foodstuffs in a frozen state and a refrigerating chamber for storing foodstuffs in a refrigerated state. That is, the interior of the main body 10 is divided into right and left sides by a partition wall 14 vertically formed within the main body 10, so that the refrigerating chamber and the freezing chamber are defined, respectively.

Doors 16 are provided at a front face of the storage space 12 so as to selectively open and close the respective interiors of the storage space 12. A display 18 is formed on a front surface of one of the doors 16. The display 18 is a portion that displays conditions of the storage space 12 or allows a user to control the conditions of the storage space 12.

Door-baskets 20 for accommodating foodstuffs are provided on rear surfaces of the doors 16. The plurality of door-baskets 20 are provided to be vertically spaced apart by predetermined distances from one another, and foodstuffs are put and stored in the door-baskets 20. In the meantime, among the door-baskets 20, a door-basket 20′ formed at the uppermost end of the door 16 is further provided with a basket cover 20a.

However, the prior art has the following problems. That is, since the door-basket 20′ formed at the uppermost end of the door 16 is provided with the basket cover 20a, the basket cover 20a should be opened to allow a user to take out foodstuffs accommodated in the door-basket 20′ or to put foodstuffs therein.

However, since the basket cover 20a is installed at the uppermost end of the door 16, it is difficult for a user to open such a basket cover 20a. Furthermore, it is more difficult for a short user to do so.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention is conceived to solve the aforementioned problems in the prior art. An object of the present invention is to provide a door-basket structure of a refrigerator, wherein a basket cover is automatically opened when a basket body is drawn out.

According to an aspect of the present invention for achieving the object, there is provided a door-basket structure of a refrigerator, comprising: a basket body that is installed slidably in a fore and aft direction at a rear surface of a door and accommodates and stores foodstuffs therein; a basket cover pivotably installed at an upper portion of the basket body so as to selectively open and close the interior of the basket body; and an interlocking means for allowing the basket cover to be opened and closed in cooperation with the basket body.

The interlocking means may comprise a rack portion and a pinion portion formed on the basket body and the basket cover to have complementary shapes, wherein the rack portion and the pinion portion are engaged with each other.

The rack portion may be formed integrally with an upper end portion of the basket body, and the pinion portion may be formed integrally with a side surface of the basket cover.

The interlocking means may forcibly open the basket cover when the basket body is drawn out forward (rearward of the door).

According to the present invention thus constructed, there is an advantage in that it is easy to take out foodstuffs from the door-basket or to accommodate foodstuffs therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment given in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a conventional side-by-side type refrigerator;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an inner configuration of a refrigerator in which a door-basket structure according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is employed;

FIG. 3 is a side view showing a configuration of the door-basket structure of a refrigerator according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a side view showing a state where a basket cover of the door-basket structure according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention is opened.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Hereinafter, a door-basket structure of a refrigerator according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 2 shows the interior of a refrigerator in which the door-basket structure of a refrigerator according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention is employed; and FIGS. 3 and 4 show a side face of the door-basket structure of a refrigerator according to the present invention.

Referring to the figures, a barrier 42 partitions a storage space of a refrigerator body 40 into a freezing chamber and a refrigerating chamber in a side-by-side relationship. In general, the freezing chamber 43 is positioned on the left side and the refrigerating chamber 45 is positioned on the right side. In addition to a case where the freezing and refrigerating chambers 43 and 45 are positioned side by side on the left and right sides, respectively, as shown in the figure, the freezing and refrigerating chambers 43 and 45 may be provided on upper and lower sides.

In the meantime, an additional vegetable chamber 47 is provided at a lower portion of the refrigerating chamber 45, and shelves 48 on which stored goods are seated are installed to the respective freezing and refrigerating chambers 43 and 45. The plurality of shelves 48 are installed to be spaced apart by predetermined distances from one another according to the size of the storage space, thereby partitioning the storage space to store a lot of goods therein.

There are provided doors 50 for covering and selectively opening and closing the interior of the refrigerator, i.e., the storage space. The doors 50 of the refrigerator are installed at a front face of the refrigerator body 40. The doors 50 are divided into a freezing chamber door 50′ for opening and closing the freezing chamber 43, and a refrigerating chamber door 50″ for opening and closing the refrigerating chamber 45.

Door-baskets 52 for storing goods therein are provided on rear surfaces of the doors 50. That is, the plurality of door-baskets 52 for accommodating foodstuffs therein are provided to be vertically spaced apart by predetermined distances from one another on the rear surfaces of the doors 50.

The refrigerating chamber door 50″ is equipped with a home-bar 54 that can easily accommodate goods to be stored therein. The home-bar 54 is generally provided at an upper portion of the refrigerator so that a user can take out the goods stored therein without bending the user's body.

In the meantime, a door-basket 52′ positioned at the uppermost end of the refrigerating chamber door 50″ comprises a basket body 60 and a basket cover 62, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The basket cover 62 is opened and closed in cooperation with the basket body 60 through an interlocking means 70. That is, the basket cover 62 is opened when the basket body 60 is drawn out forward (i.e., rearward of the door).

More specifically, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the basket body 60 is formed in a hexahedral shape with an open top face, and slidably installed at the rear surface of the refrigerating chamber door 50″. That is, guide protrusions 64 are formed on side surfaces of the basket body 60, and sliding guides 66 in which the guide protrusions 64 are accommodated are formed in the rear surface of the refrigerating chamber door 50″. Foodstuffs F such as milk products are received and stored in the basket body 60.

A rack portion 72 is formed at an upper end of each of side surfaces of the basket body 60. In general, a rack is a straight bar on which teeth are formed. The rack is engaged with a pinion that is a kind of small-sized gear, thereby transmitting a rotational motion to a linear motion.

It is preferred that the rack portion 72 be formed only at the upper end of the basket body 60. The rack portion 72 constitutes the interlocking means 70 for pivoting the basket cover 62, together with a pinion portion 74 to be described below.

The basket cover 62 is installed above the basket body 60 and pivots on cover hinges h formed at upper end portions of the basket cover 62 and then selectively opens and closes the interior of the basket body 60. The basket cover 62 is preferably formed of a transparent material so as to easily recognize foodstuffs in the basket body 60. The pinion portion 74 is formed integrally with each of side surfaces of the basket cover 62.

The pinion portion 74 comprises a gear with teeth corresponding to those of the rack portion 72 of the basket body 60 to be engaged therewith and is formed at a rear end portion of the bottom of the side surface of the basket cover 62. The pinion portion 74 is formed in an arc shape at the rear end portion of the basket cover 62 and engaged with the rack portion 72 of the basket body 60.

The pinion portion 74 serves to convert a linear motion of the rack portion 72 into a rotational motion of the pinion portion 74. Therefore, when the basket body 60 is caused to linearly move in a fore and aft direction, the basket cover 62 rotates and thus opens and closes the interior of the basket body 60.

Next, the operation of the aforementioned door-basket structure of a refrigerator will be described.

In the refrigerator constructed as above, foodstuffs are accommodated and stored in the freezing and refrigerating chambers 43 and 45, and a user puts in or takes out foodstuffs after opening the door 50.

In the meantime, the door-baskets 52 are further provided on the rear surfaces of the doors 50, so that the user can easily accommodate foodstuffs therein. Particularly, the door-basket 52′ at the uppermost end of the refrigerating chamber door 50″ is provided with the basket cover 62. The basket cover 62 is opened through an operation for drawing the basket body 60 forward (i.e., rearward of the door).

More specifically, referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, when the user holds and draws a front end portion of the basket body 60 with his/her hand in a state where the basket body 60 has been mounted on the rear surface of the refrigerating chamber door 50″ as shown in FIG. 3, the basket body 60 is drawn out forward (i.e., rearward of the door, or to the right side in FIGS. 3 and 4). At this time, the guide protrusions 64 of the basket body 60 are guided in the sliding guides 66 and then the basket body 60 moves to the right side (see FIG. 4).

When the basket body 60 is drawn out forward, the pinion portion 74 rotates since the rack portion 72 and the pinion portion 74 are engaged with each other. Since the pinion portion 74 and the basket cover 62 are formed integrally with each other, the rotation of the pinion portion 74 causes the basket cover 62 to pivot on the cover hinges h (counterclockwise in FIGS. 3 and 4).

After the basket body 60 is completely drawn out, the basket cover 62 is also fully opened. This state is shown in FIG. 4. If the basket cover 62 is opened as above, the user can take out the foodstuffs F stored in the basket body 60 or accommodate the foodstuffs F therein.

On the other hand, when the basket body 60 is pushed rearward (i.e., to the left side in FIGS. 3 and 4), the guide protrusions 64 moves to the left side while being guided within the sliding guides 66 (see FIG. 3). Thus, the basket body 60 slides into the refrigerating chamber door 50″.

At this time, the pinion portion 74 and the basket cover 62 rotate clockwise (in FIGS. 3 and 4). Therefore, when the basket body 60 fully enters the refrigerating chamber door 50″, the basket cover 62 is completely closed as shown in FIG. 3. As described above, in the present invention, the basket cover 62 is opened and closed in cooperation with the movement of the basket body 60.

According to the door-basket structure of a refrigerator of the present invention described above, there is provided the interlocking means comprising the pinion and rack portions, so that the basket cover pivots in cooperation with the movement of the basket body. Therefore, since the movement of the basket body causes the basket cover to be automatically opened and closed, there is an advantage in that it is easy to accommodate and take out foodstuffs.

That is, since the basket cover of the door-basket provided at a relatively high position is automatically opened and closed without a user's additional opening or closing operation, there is an advantage in that convenience in the use of a refrigerator is improved.

The scope of the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described and illustrated above. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and changes can be made thereto within the scope of the present invention.

For example, although the interlocking means 70 for pivoting the basket cover 62 has been illustrated by way of example as comprising the rack and pinion portions 72 and 74 in the embodiment, the interlocking means 70 may comprise other elements rather than the rack and pinion portions 72 and 74.





 
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