Title:
Rack guiding device and dish washer comprising the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a rack guiding device and a dish washer having the same. According to the present invention, a drawing length of a rack is increased substantially by a moving rail which is drawn out of a washing chamber as it slides along a guide rail, and a frictional force between the guide rail and the moving rail is reduced by a bearing member while the moving rail slides along the guide rail.



Inventors:
Woo, Sang Woo (Daegu, KR)
Lee, Gang Hyun (Changwon-Si, KR)
Son, Bong Soo (Busan, KR)
Application Number:
11/905180
Publication Date:
09/04/2008
Filing Date:
09/27/2007
Assignee:
LG Electronics Inc. (Seoul, KR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/162
International Classes:
A47L15/50; A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KO, JASON Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rack guiding device, comprising: a guide rail provided in a washing chamber; and a moving rail sliding along the guide rail and connected to a rack which is received in and drew out of the washing chamber.

2. The rack guiding device according to claim 1, further comprising: a roller being slidable along the moving rail or the rack in a state that the rack is connected with the moving rail.

3. The rack guiding device according to claim 1, wherein the guide rail is provided on both sides of the washing chamber at the same horizontal plane.

4. The rack guiding device according to claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the moving rail is drew out of the washing chamber while the rack is received in and drew out of the washing chamber.

5. A rack guiding device, comprising: a guide rail provided in a washing chamber; a moving rail sliding along the guide rail and connected to a rack which is received in and drew out of the washing chamber; and a bearing member disposed between the guide rail and the moving rail and minimizing frictional force between the moving rail and the guide rail while sliding the moving rail over the guide rail.

6. The rack guiding device according to claim 5, further comprising: a roller being slidable along the moving rail or the rack in a state that the rack is connected with the moving rail.

7. The rack guiding device according to claim 5, wherein the bearing member includes at least a plurality of ball bearings.

8. The rack guiding device according to claim 5, wherein the bearing member slides between a front end of the guide rail and a rear end the moving rail while the moving rail slides along the guide rail.

9. The rack guiding device according to claim 5, wherein the bearing member comprises a bearing supporter disposed between the guide rail and the moving rail, and a plurality of ball bearings which are rollably or slidably supported in the bearing supporter.

10. The rack guiding device according to claim 9, wherein the ball bearings are supported in a plurality of bearing supporting holes formed at the bearing supporter.

11. The rack guiding device according to claim 9, wherein a ball-bearing guide groove, in which the ball bearings move while the moving rail slides along the guide rail, is respectively formed in a region, where the ball bearings contact with the guide rail and the moving rail, of the guide rail and the moving rail.

12. The rack guiding device according to claim 9, wherein a bearing support rib provided in the bearing supporter, for preventing the ball bearings which is supported from being detached.

13. A dish washer, comprising: a cabinet in which a washing chamber is formed; at least one rack which is drew from and received in the washing chamber, on which a dish is seated; and a rack guiding device according to any one of claims 1 to 12, which guides the rack drew from and received in the washing chamber.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This document relates to a dish washer, and more particularly, to a rack guiding device for guiding an receiving and drawing of a rack on which a dish is seated and a dish washer having the same.

2. Description of the Related Art

A dishwasher is a home appliance that washes a dish by injecting washing water at a high pressure and dries the washed dish by using a high-temperature high-moisture air. Generally, the dishwasher includes a rack on which a dish is seated. The rack is drawably installed in a washing chamber, in which a dish is washed, so as to be drawn in and out of the washing chamber.

In order to guide an receiving and drawing of the rack, a guide roller and a guide rail are provided therein. The guide roller is configured to be a pair of guide rollers which are vertically spaced apart at a predetermined distance, and they are provided in both sides of the dish washer as they are spaced apart at a predetermined distance in a back and forth direction. The guide rail is provided in both side ends of the rack. Therefore, if a user pulls the rack from the washing chamber or pushes the rack into the washing chamber, the receiving and drawing of the rack is guided by forwardly/backwardly sliding the guide rail as the guide rail is disposed between the guide rollers. At this time, the guide rollers are forwardly/reversely rotated according to the sliding of the guide rail in a back and forth direction.

However, the dish washer of the related art has following problems.

As described in the above, the receiving and drawing of the rack is guided by the guide rail provided in both side ends of the rack and by the guide rollers provided in both sides of the washing chamber. Therefore, the receiving and drawing of the rack is guided only for a length corresponding to a longitudinal length of the guide rail, i.e. a longitudinal length of the rack.

Also, the rack is downwardly tilted by a self weight of the rack and a self weight of the dish from the front direction, when the rack is drew more than a half of its longitudinal length from the washing chamber. And, when the rack is downwardly tilted from the front direction, the receiving and drawing of the rack may be not smoothly operated, or the dish seated on the rack may be broken as it is dropped out of the rack.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is to solve these problems of the related art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a rack guiding device capable of increasing a length which guides a rack during an receiving and drawing of the rack, and a dish washer having the same.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a rack guiding device capable of implementing an receiving and drawing of a rack more smoothly as well as preventing a dish from being damaged, and a dish washer having the same.

To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a rack guiding device, including: a guide rail provided in a washing chamber; and a moving rail sliding along the guide rail and connected to a rack which is drew out and received in the washing chamber.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a rack guiding device, including: a guide rail provided in a washing chamber; a moving rail sliding along the guide rail and connected to a rack which is drew out and received in the washing chamber; and a bearing member disposed between the guide rail and the moving rail and minimizing frictional force between the moving rail and the guide rail while sliding the moving rail over the guide rail.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a dish washer, including: a cabinet in which a washing chamber is formed; at least one rack drew out and received in the washing chamber, on which a dish is seated; and a rack guiding device according to any one of claims 1 to 12, which guides the rack drew out and received in the washing chamber.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a dish washer according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a main part of a dish washer according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view showing a main part of a dish washer according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a moving rail constituting a dish washer according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a bearing member constituting a dish washer according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Hereinafter, a rack guiding device and a dish washer having the same of the present invention will be explained in more detail with reference to accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a dish washer according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of a main part of a dish washer according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 3 shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a main part of a dish washer according to the present invention, FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a moving rail constituting a dish washer according to the present invention, and FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a bearing member constituting a dish washer according to the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, a dish washer includes a cabinet 110 in which a washing chamber 113 is formed, a door 120 selectively opening/closing the washing chamber 113, a rack 130, 140 drawably installed in the washing chamber 113 so as to be drawn in and out of the washing chamber, and a rack guiding device 200 guiding an receiving and drawing of the rack 130, 140.

The washing chamber 113 is a place where a dish is substantially washed, and the washing chamber 113 is formed by a tub 111 forming an inner part of the cabinet 110. The washing chamber 113 is formed in a shape of a hexahedron in which a front surface is opened. Also, various kinds of parts, such as a water guide 115 for washing the dish and a nozzle 117, 119 are provided in the cabinet 110. The water guide 115 serves to guide washing water pumped by a sump (not illustrated) for washing the dish into the nozzle 117, 119. The nozzle 117, 119 includes an upper nozzle 117 and a lower nozzle 119. The upper and lower nozzles 117, 119 serve to inject the washing water guided by the water guide 115 toward the rack 130, 140.

The door 120 opens/closes the washing chamber 113 in a pull-down manner, which a top of the door is pivoted about a bottom of the door. And, an air outlet 121 for discharging the air, which absorbs moisture while drying the dish, is provided in the door 120. Also, even though they are not illustrated, a blowing fan supplying a driving force for circulating the air is provided in the door 120 to dry the dish, and a condenser for dehydrating the air containing the moisture and discharged through the air outlet 121 is provided in the door 120.

Meanwhile, the rack 130, 140 includes an upper rack 130 and a lower rack 140. The upper and lower racks 130, 140 are drawably installed so as to be drawn in and out of the washing chamber 113. A dish to be washed is seated on the upper rack 130 and the lower rack 140. The upper rack 130 is installed in an upper part of the washing chamber 113, and the lower rack 140 is installed in a lower part of the washing chamber 113. In this embodiment, the rack 130, 140 includes an upper rack 130 and a lower rack 140, however one rack or three and more racks may be drawably installed so as to be drawn in and out of the washing chamber 113.

The rack guiding device 200 guides the receiving and drawing of the upper rack 130 between the upper and lower racks 130, 140. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the rack guiding device 200 includes a guide rail 210, a moving rail 220, a bearing member 230 and a roller 240.

The guide rail 210 is horizontally disposed at both sides of the washing chamber 113 in a back and forth direction, respectively. The guide rail 210 is formed to have a cross-section substantially a shape, as surfaces which face to each other are opened. A ball-bearing guide groove 211 is provided in the upper and lower surfaces of the guide rail 210, respectively. The ball-bearing guide groove 211 of the guide rail 210 is formed as the upper and lower surfaces of the guide rail 210 is depressed in a shape of “V.”

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the moving rail 220 is slidably installed in the guide rail 210, so that the moving rail 220 may slide on the guide rail 210 in a longitudinal direction while the upper rack 130 is drew out and received in the washing chamber 113. And, a portion of the moving rail 220 is drew out of the washing chamber 113 when the upper rack 130 is drew out of the washing chamber 113. Therefore, the moving rail 220 serves to increase the length which the upper rack 130 is substantially guided. Also, the rest part of the moving rail 220 serves to substantially support the upper rack 130 drew out of the washing chamber 113 as the moving rail is overlapped with the guide rail 210, in case that a portion of the moving rail 220 is drew out of the washing chamber 113. The moving rail 220 is formed to have a cross-section, which corresponds to that of the guide rail 210, of substantially a shape, as surfaces which face to each other are opened. In case that the moving rail 220 is installed in the guide rail 210, the upper and lower surfaces of the guide rail 210, and the upper and lower surfaces of the moving rail 220 are spaced apart at a predetermined distance. Also, a ball-bearing guide groove 221, which corresponds to the ball-bearing guide groove 211 of the guide rail 210, is formed in the upper and lower surfaces of the moving rail 220. The ball-bearing guide groove 221 of the moving rail 220 is formed to have a longitudinal cross-section of a “V” shape, in which the upper and lower surfaces of the guide rail 210 is depressed and opened to the vertical direction. Therefore, in case that the moving rail 220 is installed in the guide rail 210, the ball-bearing guide groove 211 of the guide rail 210 and the ball-bearing guide groove 221 of the moving rail 220 face to each other. And, a locking lug 223 is formed on a front end in the lower surface of the moving rail 220. The locking lug 223 prevents the roller 240 which slides along the moving rail 220 from being detached therefrom. The locking lug 223 is formed, as a portion of the front end in the lower surface of the moving rail 220 is upwardly protruded therefrom.

The bearing member 230 serves to minimize frictional force between the guide rail 210 and the moving rail 220, while the moving rail 220 slides along the guide rail 210 due to the receiving and drawing of the upper lack 130. The bearing member 230 is respectively provided in the guide rail 210, and it is substantially disposed between the guide rail 210 and the moving rail 220. Referring to FIG. 5, the bearing member 230 includes a bearing supporter 231 and a plurality of ball bearings 237.

The bearing supporter 231, as same with the guide rail 210 and the moving rail 220, is formed to have a longitudinal cross-section of substantially a “” shape as surfaces which face to each other are opened. A plurality of bearing supporting holes 233 are formed in the upper and lower surface of the bearing supporter 231. The bearing supporting holes 233 are to support the ball bearings 237. And, a plurality of bearing support ribs 235 are respectively formed in the upper and lower surface of the bearing supporter 231 adjacent to an outer circumference of the bearing supporting holes 233. The bearing support ribs 235 prevent the ball bearings 237 supported in the bearing supporting holes 233 from being detached therefrom. The bearing support ribs 235 provided in the upper and lower surface of the bearing supporter 231 are extended upward or downward, respectively.

The ball bearings 237 are rollably or slidably supported in the bearing supporting holes 233, respectively. The ball bearings 237 are formed in a shape of “ball,” of which the diameter of the ball bearings 237 is greater than that of the bearing supporting holes 233. In a state that the ball bearings 237 are supported in the bearing supporting holes 233, the outer circumference of the ball bearings 237 contacts with the ball-bearing guide groove 211 of the guide rail 210 and with the ball-bearing guide groove 221 of the moving rail 220.

Meanwhile, the roller 240 is disposed inside the moving rail 220. The roller 240 serves to guide the receiving and drawing of the upper rack 130 as it slides along the moving rail 220, while the upper rack 130 is drew in and out of the washing chamber 113. And, the roller 240 also serves to allow the moving rail 220 to slide along the guide rail 210 due to the draw of the upper rack 130, since the roller 240 is caught by the locking lug 223 while the roller 240 slides along the moving rail 220. Also, when the upper rack 130 is completely drew out of the washing chamber 113, the upper rack 130 is detached from the washing chamber 113 as the roller 240 climbs and passes the locking lug 223.

Hereinafter, the operation of a rack guiding device and a dish washer having the same according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention will be explained.

First, in order to wash the dishes, the washing chamber 113 is opened by pivoting the door 120. And, the washing chamber 113 is drew by pulling the upper rack 130 received in the washing chamber 113 toward the front of the washing chamber 113.

The roller 240 slides along the moving rail 220, when the upper rack 130 is pulled toward the front of the washing chamber 113 in order to draw the upper rack 130. This sliding of the roller 240 continues to slide until the roller 240 contacts with the locking lug 223.

And, in case that the upper rack 130 is continued to be pulled toward the front of the washing chamber 113 even though the roller 240 closely contacts with the locking lug 223, the moving rail 220 starts to slide along the guide rail 210.

At this time, the frictional force between the guide rail 210 and the moving rail 220 is reduced by the bearing member 230, more particularly, by a rolling motion or a siding motion of the ball bearing 237 disposed between the guide rail 210 and the moving rail 220. Therefore, the sliding of the moving rail 220 for drawing the upper rack 130 out of the washing chamber 113 may be accomplished more smoothly. And, the bearing member 230 slides between the guide rail 210 and the moving rail 220 or remains stationary, while the moving rail 220 slides along the guide rail 210.

Also, the length, through which the upper rack 130 is guided, is increased by a length of the moving rail 220. Therefore, the user may seat the dish on the upper rack 130 or take out the dish seated on the upper rack 130 by further drawing the upper rack 130 out of the washing chamber 113.

In addition, a portion of the moving rail 220 is disposed inside the guide rail 210 in a state that the upper rack 130 is drawn. Therefore, the upper rack 130 is maintained horizontal by the guide rail 210 and the moving rail 220, even though the upper rack 130 is completely drawn out of the washing chamber 113.

Meanwhile, the dish to be washed is seated on the upper rack 130 when the upper rack 130 is drawn out of the washing chamber 113. And, the upper rack 130 is received in the washing chamber 113 in reverse order, which is opposite to the order when the upper rack 130 is drew out of the washing chamber 113.

And, the washing chamber 113 is closed by pivoting the door 120 after completely receiving the upper rack 130 into the washing chamber 113. Once the washing chamber 113 is closed, the dish is washed by operating the dish washer. In short, the dish is washed as the washing water including detergent, which is guided along the water guide 150 by pumping the sump, is injected through the upper nozzle 117 and the lower nozzle 119. And, after finishing the wash of the dish by means of the washing water including detergent, the dish is rinsed as a washing water is injected through the upper nozzle 117 and the lower nozzle 119. After finishing the wash and the rinse of the dish, the dish is dried because high-temperature low-moisture air is introduced into the washing chamber 113 by driving the blowing fan. The air, which absorbed moisture while drying the dish, is discharged through the air outlet 121 and is dehydrated by the condenser, and is re-supplied into the washing chamber 113.

It should be understood that the invention is not limited to the illustrated embodiment and that many changes and modifications can be made within the scope of the invention by a skilled person in the art, and that the scope of the present invention should be interpreted based on the general inventive concept as defined in the following claims.

According to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, only the upper rack is guided by the rack guiding device, however the present invention is not restricted thereto. That is, the lower rack also can be guided by the rack guiding device.

And, a stopping means for preventing the moving rail from being completely detached from the guide rail may be provided. For example, a guide lug is provided in one of the guide rail and the moving rail, and a guide slot, in which the guide lug is inserted, is provided in the other of the guide rail and the moving rail. And, it is possible to prevent the moving rail from being completely detached from the guide rail, since the guide lug moves along the guide slot in a state that the guide lug is inserted in the guide slot when the moving rail slides along the guide rail. Or, it is possible to prevent the moving rail from being completely detached from the guide rail, since a pair of stoppers, which closely contact to each other in a state that the moving rail slides along the guide rail at a predetermined distance, are provided in the guide rail and the moving rail, respectively.

As described in the above, a rack guiding device and a dish washer having the same according to the preferred embodiments of the present invention have the following advantages.

According to the present invention, a drawing length of a rack is increased substantially by a moving rail. Therefore, the serviceability of the dish washer is enhanced because the user may further draw the rack out of the washing chamber.

Also, according to the present invention, when the rack is completely drawn out of the washing chamber, a portion of the moving rail is disposed inside the guide rail, i.e. the moving rail is overlapped with the guide rail. Therefore, this prevents the dish from being damaged while the user seats the dish on the rack or takes out the dish seated on the rack, since the rack is maintained horizontal even though the rack is completely drawn out of the washing chamber.

In addition, according to the present invention, the frictional force between the guide rail and the moving rail is reduced by a bearing member. Therefore, it is possible to draw the rack more smoothly as well as to minimize the noise generated while drawing the rack in and out of the washing chamber.