Title:
DISHWASHER RACK AND COMPACT TYPE DISHWASHER HAVING THE SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is the compact type dishwasher, including: a washing space for accommodating dishes therein, a lower rack disposed inside the washing space, an upper rack disposed above the lower rack, and having a dish collision preventer for preventing a collision with the dishes placed at the lower rack, and a sub-rack mounted at the dish collision preventer so as to utilize a space formed above the dish collision preventer, wherein the sub-rack includes a plurality of first support members and a plurality of second support members crossing the first support members, and at least one concavo-convex portion is formed at the first support members, thereby enhancing utilization of the space above the dish collision preventer of the upper rack as well as meeting a customer's need for minimizing the size of the dishwasher.



Inventors:
Kang, Myong-ho (Changwon, KR)
Application Number:
12/187645
Publication Date:
02/12/2009
Filing Date:
08/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/41.9
International Classes:
A47L15/50
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Primary Examiner:
KO, JASON Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KED & ASSOCIATES, LLP (Reston, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dishwasher rack, comprising: a lower rack; an upper rack having a dish collision preventer so as to prevent a collision with dishes placed at the lower rack; and a sub-rack mounted at the dish collision preventer so as to utilize a space formed above the dish collision preventer.

2. The dishwasher rack of claim 1, wherein the sub-rack comprises a plurality of first support members and a plurality of second support members crossing the first support members, and at least one concavo-convex portion is formed at the first support members.

3. The dishwasher rack of claim 2, wherein the first support members are disposed parallel to a short side of the sub-rack, and the second support members are disposed parallel to a long side of the sub-rack.

4. The dishwasher rack of claim 2, wherein a main frame is formed at an outer periphery of the first and second support members.

5. The dishwasher rack of claim 4, wherein the sub-rack further comprises a third support member formed between the first support members.

6. The dishwasher rack of claim 5, wherein a plurality of ribs are formed at the third support member.

7. The dishwasher rack of claim 4, wherein a locking portion for mounting the sub-rack at a vertical support bar forming the dish collision preventer is formed at the sub-rack, and a plurality of the locking portions are formed at the long side of the main frame.

8. The dishwasher rack of claim 7, wherein a locking groove is formed at the locking portion, and the locking groove is opened toward a lower portion of the locking portion.

9. The dishwasher rack of claim 8, wherein a plurality of first concaved portions are formed at the short sides of the main frame which are perpendicular to the second support members, and the first concaved portions are opened toward a lower portion of the sub-rack.

10. The dishwasher rack of claim 9, wherein concaved portions of the first concaved portions and concaved portions of the convex-concaved portion of the first support portions are positioned on the same straight line, when viewed at the front of the main frame having the first concaved portions.

11. The dishwasher rack of claim 5, wherein the main frame includes a second concaved portion at positions in which both ends of each third support member are coupled to the main frame.

12. The dishwasher rack of claim 5, wherein a width of the third support member is greater than that of the first support member.

13. A compact type dishwasher, comprising: a washing space for accommodating dishes therein; a lower rack disposed inside the washing space; an upper rack disposed above the lower rack, and having a dish collision preventer for preventing a collision with the dishes placed at the lower rack; and a sub-rack mounted at the dish collision preventer so as to utilize a space formed above the dish collision preventer.

14. The compact type dishwasher of claim 13, wherein the sub-rack comprises a plurality of first support members and a plurality of second support members crossing the first support members, and at least one concavo-convex portion is formed at the first support members.

15. The compact type dishwasher of claim 14, wherein the sub-rack includes a main frame formed at an outer periphery of the first and second support members.

16. The compact type dishwasher of claim 14, wherein the sub-rack further comprises a third support member formed between the first support members, and a plurality of ribs are formed at the third support member.

17. The compact type dishwasher of claim 15, wherein a locking portion for mounting the sub-rack at a vertical support bar forming the dish collision preventer is formed at the sub-rack, and a plurality of the locking portions are formed at the long side of the main frame.

18. The compact type dishwasher of claim 13, wherein a ski-shaped supporting plate is formed below the lower rack such that the supporting plate can be prevented from being stopped by a door for opening/closing the washing space when pushing in or pulling out the lower rack.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The present disclosure relates to subject matter contained in priority Korean Application No. 10-2007-0080908, filed on Aug. 10, 2008, which is herein expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a dishwasher rack, and more particularly, to a compact type dishwasher having a sub-rack, which is mounted at an upper rack of the compact type dishwasher so as to maximize space utilization of the upper rack.

2. Background of the Invention

In general, a dishwasher is an electronic home appliance for washing dishes by a pressure of washing water injected from upper and lower nozzles mounted in a washing space.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a conventional compact type dishwasher. Referring to FIG. 1, the conventional dishwasher 10 may include a washing space 16 formed in a body having an opened front surface, and having a hexahedron shaped-cavity therein; a door 20 openably mounted at the front surface of the washing space 16; a dish rack 12 slidably inserted into the washing space 16; and a nozzle 14b rotatably disposed below the dish rack 12, and injecting washing water through an injection hole.

Here, the dish rack 12 is provided with a receiving wheel for conveniently pushing in and/or pulling out the dish rack 12, and is comprised of an upper rack 12a and a lower rack 12b.

The recent trends in the dishwashers show a preference for small-sized dishwashers, and such trends are expected to continuously increase.

As the size of the dishwasher 10 becomes smaller, the size of dishes to be accommodated in the dish rack 12 would be limited. In general, the upper rack 12a is configured to accommodate the dishes of a relatively small size, and the lower rack 12b is configured to accommodate the dishes of a large size. In order to accommodate larger sized-dishes in the lower rack 12b, a dish collision preventer 15 is formed at a portion of the upper rack 12a. That is, in order to prevent the dishes received in the lower rack 12b from colliding with the upper rack 12a, the dish collision preventer 15 formed to have a shallower depth than other portion is formed at the upper rack 12a.

However, the small-sized dishes could not properly use a space above the dish collision preventer 15 of the upper rack 12a. That is, the space between an upper portion of the dish collision preventer 15 and the washing space 16 has a very low height, thereby being unable to receive a plate, a cup, and the like. If a spoon or a knife is to be accommodated, it would be fallen down through gaps of the upper rack 12a when pushing in or pulling out the upper rack 12a.

In addition, the receiving wheel of the lower rack 12b is frequently caught between the door 20 and the washing space 16, thereby causing an inconvenience to push in and/or pull out the lower rack 12b.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide a dishwasher rack which can enhance space utilization of the dishwasher by mounting a separate sub-rack at a dish collision preventer formed at an upper rack used in a compact type dishwasher, and a compact type dishwasher having the same.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a dishwasher rack having a sub-rack, which can prevent cooking utensils from being fallen down or moved (dislodged) when pushing in and/or pulling out a dish rack even though the cooking utensils have a long shape such as a spoon, a fork, a knife, and the like.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a dishwasher rack by mounting a ski-shaped supporting plate, instead of a receiving wheel, so as to prevent the supporting plate from being caught (stuck) by a door when pushing in and/or pulling out a dish rack, and a compact type dishwasher having the same.

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a dishwasher rack, including: a lower rack, an upper rack having a dish collision preventer so as to prevent a collision with dishes placed at the lower rack, and a sub-rack mounted at the dish collision preventer so as to utilize a space formed above the dish collision preventer.

With such construction, receiving spaces in the upper rack may fully be utilized even though the size of the dishwasher is small in size.

Here, the sub-rack includes a plurality of first support members and a plurality of second support members crossing the first support members, and at least one concavo-convex portion is formed at the first support members. That is, collisions or mixing with the dishes placed on the sub-rack can be minimized by having a mesh type surface for placing dishes thereon formed by crossing the first support members and the second support members, and by forming the at least one concavo-convex portion at the first support members. In addition, when pushing in and/or pulling out the upper rack, a noise caused by collisions of the dishes placed on the sub-rack may be reduced.

Further, it is preferable that the first support members are formed in a width direction of the sub-rack, and the second support members are formed in a lengthwise direction of the sub-rack. This is because the sub-rack is to accommodate long-shaped tableware (e.g., a spoon, a fork, a knife, etc.), thereby placing the long-shaped tableware in the concaved portions of the concavo-convex portion formed at the first support members.

Meanwhile, a main frame is formed at an outer periphery of the first and second support members. The main frame is configured to support an overall shape of the sub-rack, and includes a mounting portion for mounting the dish collision preventer.

Here, the sub-rack further includes a third support member formed between the first support members, and a plurality of ribs are formed at the third support member. Here, the ribs formed at the third support member may be formed to have a height greater than the protruding portion of the concavo-convex portion of the first support members, thereby being able to receive a knife, and the like.

In addition, a locking portion for mounting the sub-rack at a vertical support bar forming the dish collision preventer is formed at the sub-rack, and a locking portion is formed in a lengthwise direction of the main frame. That is, the sub-rack is mounted at the support bar of the dish collision preventer, and for this, the locking portion is formed at the main frame. With this configuration, if a locking portion among the locking portions is locked by the support bar of the dish collision preventer, the sub-rack may be mounted, thereby conveniently mounting the sub-rack.

Here, a locking groove is formed at the locking portion, and the locking groove is opened toward a lower portion of the locking portion. Accordingly, the sub-rack can be conveniently mounted after placing and simply pressing the sub-rack on the dish collision preventer.

Meanwhile, a plurality of first concaved portions are formed at the short sides of the main frame which are perpendicular to the second support members, and the first concaved portions are opened toward a lower portion of the sub-rack. Even though tableware disposed in the sub-rack has a length longer than the main frame, one end of the tableware may be exposed to the outside of the main frame through the first concaved portion, thereby receiving the tableware without any difficulty.

In addition, the first concaved portion 156 is positioned at the same straight line as a space among the valley portions of the first support member. If tableware disposed in the sub-rack has a length longer than the main frame, and accordingly, one end of the tableware is exposed to the outside of the main frame through the first concaved portion, the tableware may be prevented from being separated from the sub-rack by the concaved portions of the concavo-convex portion of the first support member and the first concaved portion.

Here, the main frame includes a second concaved portion at positions in which both ends of each third support member are coupled to the main frame. The second concaved portions formed at a lower portion of the third support members serve to support the sub-rack, and the second concaved portions may be formed at an entire lower portion of the third support members.

Here, a width of the third support member is greater than that of the first support member. Accordingly, a groove for mounting the support bar of the dish collision preventer may be formed at a lower portion of the third support member.

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, there is provided a compact type dishwasher, including: a washing space for accommodating dishes therein, a lower rack disposed inside the washing space, an upper rack disposed above the lower rack, and having a dish collision preventer for preventing a collision with the dishes placed at the lower rack, and a sub-rack mounted at the dish collision preventer so as to utilize a space formed above the dish collision preventer, wherein the sub-rack includes a plurality of first support members and a plurality of second support members crossing the first support members, and at least one concavo-convex portion is formed at the first support members.

Here, a ski-shaped supporting plate is formed below the lower rack such that the supporting plate can be prevented from being stopped by a door for opening/closing the washing space when pushing in or pulling out the lower rack.

Here, the ski-shaped supporting plate may be formed at the lower rack.

The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

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 specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a conventional dishwasher;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an upper rack according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a sub-rack mounted at a dish collision preventer in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a plane view showing the sub-rack in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side view showing the sub-rack in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 6 is a front view showing the sub-rack in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Description will now be given in detail of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The following description represents many aspects that can be claimed, and constitutes a part of detailed description about the present invention.

Detailed explanation about well-known functions or configurations will be omitted so as to implement the present invention more explicitly.

Wherever possible, the same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or similar parts.

The construction of the compact type dishwasher according to the present invention is almost the same as or similar to the compact type dishwasher shown in FIG. 1, however, the construction having an upper rack and a sub-rack is different from each other, therefore detailed descriptions thereof will be given. That is, the compact type dishwasher according to one embodiment of the present invention includes the upper and lower racks, and the like.

In addition, an external appearance of the compact type dishwasher according to the present invention is not limited to the shape of the dishwasher shown in FIG. 1, but may include a variety of external appearances.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an upper rack according to one embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 2, the upper rack 100 used for the compact type dishwasher according to one embodiment of the present invention is formed to have an approximately mesh-type basket.

The upper rack 100 is formed of wires having a certain thickness to form an overall shape thereof as well as a strength (intensity) enough to support a plurality of the dishes placed thereon. Such wires enable washing water to be smoothly injected even to the dishes disposed at an innermost part of a washing space.

Here, the upper rack 100 is formed to have an opened upper portion thereof so as to conveniently accommodate the dishes therein, and includes two side surfaces in right and left directions and front and rear surfaces extending from the two side surfaces.

The both side surfaces are formed by a plurality of horizontal support bars 120, and the front and rear surfaces are formed by a plurality of vertical support bars 110. Meanwhile, the two side surfaces and the front and rear surfaces are connected by a plurality of periphery support bars 130 in up and down directions.

Here, the vertical support bars 110, the horizontal support bars 120 and the periphery support bars 130 support one another by welding, and the like. A handle 101 allowing a user to hold the upper rack 100 by his hand is formed at the front surface of the upper rack 100.

Meanwhile, a plurality of supporting plates 102 are disposed at a lower surface of the upper rack 100 so as to be received toward inside the washing space 16 while making a slide-contact with guide rails (not shown) each disposed inside the above-described washing space (16 in FIG. 1) and at an inner surface of the door.

Here, the ski-shaped supporting plate 102 is formed to have an approximate plane shape for an enough area of a contact surface, and both ends thereof are formed inclined or rounded.

The supporting plates 102 may be formed at each side of the upper rack 100, and in this case, the supporting plates 102 should have a length enough to support the upper rack 100.

A straight line-shaped protrusion (not shown) may be formed at the guide rail in order to stably support the supporting plates 102, thereby preventing the supporting plates 102 from straying (being separated) from the guide rail when pushing in and/or pulling out the upper rack 100.

These supporting plates 102 may be disposed at the upper rack 100 as well as the lower rack (12b in FIG. 1).

In addition, the upper rack 100 according to the present invention may include a dish collision preventer 140 allowing large plates to vertically place at the lower rack 12b. That is, even though large plates having the same height as the dish collision preventer 140 are placed at the lower rack 12b, a damage occurring when the large plates collide with the upper rack 100 can be prevented.

Here, since the dishwasher is the compact type dishwasher, a space formed between the upper portion the dish collision preventer 140 and the ceiling of the washing space 16 is very small with a limited height.

Description of the sub-rack mounted above the dish collision preventer 140 which is considered as a space unused will be given in detail with reference to FIGS. 3 through 6.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a sub-rack mounted at a dish collision preventer in FIG. 2, FIG. 4 is a plane view showing the sub-rack in FIG. 3, FIG. 5 is a side view showing the sub-rack in FIG. 3, and FIG. 6 is a front view showing the sub-rack in FIG. 3.

Referring to FIGS. 3 through 6, the sub-rack 150 according to one embodiment of the present invention may include a plurality of first support members 152, and a plurality of second support members 153 crossing the first support members 152.

Preferably, a crossing angle between the first support members 152 and the second support members 153 should be a right angle (90°), but the first support members 152 and the second support members 153 may also be crossed to each other as long as washing water can reach enough the dishes disposed at the sub-rack 150 and the disposed dishes can be prevented from being fallen down from the sub-rack 150. That is, the first support members 152 and the second support members 153 may cross each other in a rectangular shape as well as in a lozenge shape.

Here, at least one concavo-convex portion is formed at the first support member 152. The concavo-convex portion is formed by repeating mountain portions 152a and valley portions 152b, forming a wavy shape.

The first support members 152 are formed in a width direction of the sub-rack 150, and the second support members 153 are formed in a lengthwise direction of the sub-rack 150. That is, since the sub-rack 150 is formed to have an approximately rectangular shape, the first support members 152 are disposed parallel to the short side of the rectangle, and the second support members 153 are disposed parallel to the long side of the rectangle.

Preferably, the second support members 153 are configured to cross the mounting portions 152a of the first support members 152. This is because the valley portions 152b of the first support members 152 are small in size and do not have an enough area, thereby weakening a strength (intensity) when crossing the second support members 153.

The reason why the overall shape of the sub-rack 150 is the rectangle is that tableware disposed at the sub-rack 150 is mainly in a long shape. Since the sub-rack 150 is mounted on the dish collision preventer 140 of the upper rack 100, the space between the dish collision preventer 140 and the washing space 16 is not large and has a low height. Accordingly, it is difficult to dispose a rice bowl, a cup, etc., but it is appropriate to dispose long-shaped tableware such as a spoon, a fork, a knife, and the like.

Here, the sub-rack 150 is formed to have the rectangular shape due to a main frame 151 surrounding an outer periphery of the first and second support members 152, 153. The main frame 151 is configured to support each end of the both first and second support members 152, 153, and serves as a wall for containing tableware therein. For this, it is preferable that the main frame 151 is formed to have a height higher than the mountain portion 152a of the first support member 152.

Here, the valley portion 152b of the first support member 152 is configured to stably accommodate the long-shaped tableware (e.g., a spoon, a fork, a knife, etc.) disposed at the sub-rack 150. Thus, by placing the spoon or the knife at the valley portion 152b of the first support member 152, the spoon, etc. can be prevented from being separated from the valley portion 152b when pushing in and/or pulling out the sub-rack 150.

For such functionality, each of the mountain portions 152a and the valley portions 152b of the first support members 152 should be formed with the same shape at the same position.

Meanwhile, a third support member 154 may be further disposed between the first support members 152. The third support member 154 is formed parallel to the first support members 152, however, the third support member 154 is not disposed between every first support member 152.

It would be sufficient to have at least two or more third support members 154 since the third support member 154 serves to accommodate the dishes which cannot be completely accommodated by the valley portion 152b of the first support member 152. It would be effective to form the third support member 154 at each end based on the center of the sub-rack 150 in consideration of a length of the dishes.

A plurality of ribs 154a for receiving the knife or the like in an upright position are repeated at the third support members 154. Here, a height of the ribs 154a should be formed higher than the mountain portions 152a of the first support member 152, but lower than the main frame 151.

In addition, the ribs 154a are positioned on the same straight line as the mountain portions 152a of the first support members 152. Spaces between the ribs 154a are positioned on the same straight line as the valley portions 152b of the first support members 152. Accordingly, by forming the ribs 154a and the mountain portions 152a on the same straight line, the tableware having the long shape (e.g., a knife, etc.) can be stably accommodated.

Here, the height of the ribs 154a of the third support members 154 is greater than that of the mountain portions 152a of the first support members 152, thereby requiring to support the ribs 154a. For this, a reinforcing rib 154b is formed at each lower end of the ribs 154a. Here, the reinforcing rib 154b is formed at one side of the rib 154b or at both sides thereof.

Preferably, a width W1 of the third support member 154 is greater than a width W2 of the first support member 152. The third support member 154 is configured to accommodate larger-sized dishes as well as normal sized-dishes, thus to have a width larger than the first support member 152. In addition, the third support member 154 may form a mounting portion for mounting the sub-rack 150 at the dish collision preventer 140. For this, it would be effective for the third support members 154 to have an enough area and width.

A locking portion 155 for mounting the sub-rack 150 at the vertical support bars 110 forming the dish collision preventer 140 of the upper rack 100 may be formed at the sub-rack 150. The locking portion 155 is disposed in a lengthwise direction of the main frame 151. That is, a plurality of the locking portions 155 may be formed at the long sides of the main frame 151, and preferably, at least two locking portions 155 may be formed at each long side thereof.

Here, a locking groove 155a capable of being locked by the vertical support bar 110 of the dish collision preventer 140 is formed at the locking portion 155. In order to facilitate the mounting of the sub-rack 150 and increase a coupling degree, it would be effective for the locking groove 155a to be opened toward a lower portion of the locking portion 155.

As shown in FIG. 5, the locking groove 155a is formed to have a shape to surround an outer surface of the vertical support bars 110, and includes a protrusion at an end thereof so as to prevent the separation of the locking groove 155a from the vertical support bars 110.

A through-hole 155b may be formed at an upper surface of the locking portion 155.

In addition, a plurality of first concaved portions 156 are formed at each short side of the main frame 151.

Here, the first concaved portions 156 are opened toward a lower portion of the sub-rack 150. As shown in FIG. 5, the first concaved portions 156 are positioned on the same straight line as the spaces between the valley portions 152b of the first support members 152 and the ribs 154a of the third support members 154.

Although the length of the tableware (e.g., a spoon, a fork, a knife, or the like) accommodated in the sub-rack 150 is larger than the main frame 151, one end of the tableware passes the first concaved portions 156 and then is exposed to the outside of the main frame 151, thus to accommodate the dishes having a long length.

With the above-described construction, even though the tableware passes the first concaved portion 156 and thereby is exposed to the outside of the main frame 151 since the tableware accommodated in the sub-rack 150 is longer than the long side of the main frame 151, one end or both ends of the tableware may be locked by the valley portions 152b of the first support members 152 and the first concaved portions 156, thus to prevent the separation of the dishes from the sub-rack 150.

Meanwhile, a second concaved portion 157 may be formed at positions in which both ends of each third support member 154 are coupled to the main frame 151.

Here, the second concaved portions 157 formed at a lower portion of the third support members 154 serve to support the sub-rack 150, and the second concaved portions 157 may be formed at an entire lower portion of the third support members 154. In other words, if the sub-rack 150 is mounted at the lower portion of the third support members 154 by forming a groove fitted to the horizontal support bars 120 of the dish collision preventer 140 of the upper rack 100, the groove and the second concaved portions 157 are formed on the same straight line.

Referring to FIGS. 3 through 6, the second concaved portions 157 are formed not only at the main frame 151, but also at the lower portion of the third support members 154 located above the second concaved portions 157.

Preferably, the sub-rack 150 is formed by injection molding, and is formed of a resin material with an anti-bacteria process so as to prevent the generation of foreign substances (e.g., mold, etc.).

Mounting the sub-rack 150 at the dish collision preventer 140 of the upper rack 100 enables the utilization of the upper space of the dish collision preventer 140 as well as minimization of the size of the dishwasher.

The dishwasher rack having the sub-rack according to the present invention may be applied to the above-described compact sized dishwasher as well as compact type dishwashers having another external appearance.

The foregoing embodiments and advantages are merely exemplary and are not to be construed as limiting the present disclosure. The present teachings can be readily applied to other types of apparatuses. This description is intended to be illustrative, and not to limit the scope of the claims. Many alternatives, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The features, structures, methods, and other characteristics of the exemplary embodiments described herein may be combined in various ways to obtain additional and/or alternative exemplary embodiments.

As the present invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the characteristics thereof, it should also be understood that the above-described embodiments are not limited by any of the details of the foregoing description, unless otherwise specified, but rather should be construed broadly within its scope as defined in the appended claims, and therefore all changes and modifications that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims, or equivalents of such metes and bounds are therefore intended to be embraced by the appended claims.