US 3002288 A
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Oct. 3, 1961 G. D. CONLEE 3,002,288
LAUNDRY DRYER WITH AEROSOL CONTAINER Filed July 1, 1958 Gag-age D. Coulee I (A-Pro ma Ware ' Filed July 1,'1958,Ser. No. 745,929
4 Claims. (Cl. 34-45) The invention relates to laundry dryers and more particularly to means for introducing a freshening or scenting agent or deodorizer into the drying chamber of the dryer during an operating cycle.
Another object of the invention is to provide novel means for automatically introducing such material into the drying chamber in the form of an atomized spray.
Another object is to provide means by which vaporized material may be automatically introduced into the drying chamber of a dryer from conventional aerosol containers.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary sectional view of a dryer embodying features of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken in a plane substantially on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the means for supporting an aerosol container in the dryer and the mechanism for operating the valve of the container for releasing its pressurized contents into'th'e drying chamber.
While a preferred form of the invention has been shown in the drawing and will be described herein, there is no intention of limiting the invention to the particular form disclosed, the intention being to cover all modifications and adaptations falling Within the spirit and scope of the invention as more broadly and generally characterized in the appended claims.
For purposes of illustration, the invention has been shown as applied to a laundry dryer of the type commonly sold for home use. In that type of dryer, the load of wet clothes to be dried is tumbled in a receptacle such as a cylindrical drum 5 supported within a drying chamber defined by a shell or casing 6. The drum is usually supported for rotation about a horizontal axis and suitable means is provided for heating and circulating air through the drum while it is rotated to tumble the clothes. The casing, the drum and the means for circulating and heating the air are all enclosed in a suitable housing 7. In the particular dryer shown the drum 5 has its peripheral wall perforated to facilitate the circulation of air through it.
In carrying out the invention, the shell 6 which encloses the drum is formed with an inlet 10 positioned adjacent the path along which air flows into the drum. In the exemplary dryer this opening is positioned to face the perforated side wall of the drum. Preferably the marginal portion of the shell around the opening 10 is formed outwardly to define a frusto conical neck with its smaller end remote from the drum.
Secured to the shell 6 at one side of the opening it) is a bracket ill shaped to securely hold a conventional aerosol container 12 with its outlet nozzle 13 positioned to discharge through the opening 10 into the interior of the shell. The bracket 11 may conveniently be made of sheet metal and, as shown, comprises a base 14 shaped to fit snugly against the outer surface of the shell and adapted to be secured to it by spot welding or in any other suitable manner.
Resilient side members 15 extending outwardly from opposite ends of the base member 14 are suitably shaped to grip the sides of the container 12 which usually comprises a cylindrical can. The holding action of the side members is reinforced by an upright extension 16 of the base member which has a suitably shaped opening 17, circular in this instance, for receiving the tapered upper end of the container as shown in FIG. .2.
Aerosol containers are commonly equipped with a valve biased to a closed position and adapted to be opened by a stem 18 projecting at the upper end of the nozzle structure. Pressure is ordinarily applied to the stem through a guard or fingerpiece 19.
In accordance with the invention, power operated means 20 is provided for actuating the valve of the aerosol container under control of the cycle control mechanism which regulates the operation of the dryer. The power operated means in its preferred vtl'lorm comprises a small heat engine including plunger 21 secured. to one end of an axially expansible heat responsive element 22. While the heat responsive element may be of any suitable type, it is preferred to employ an element comprising a Cit" cumferentially corrugated metal tube hermetically sealed after being filled with a suitable fluid which expands when heated.
The plunger '21 is secured to or held in operative relation to one end of the element so that the expansion of the element thrusts the plunger outwardly with substantial force. Heat engines of the type shown are capable of exerting a thrust of approximately 40 pounds and'to shift the associated plunger through a stroke or thrust of an inch, which is ample to operate the valve of an ordinary aerosol container.
In the exemplary embodiment, the heat responsive element 122 is mounted in a cylindrical casing .23 closed :at one end by a cap 24 apertured to afford-passage for the plunger 21. The casing supports an electrical resistance element or heating coil 25 which, in this instance, extends around the inner wall of the casing encircling the element 22 so as to eifectivcly heat the element. As shown in FIG. 2, the heat engine Ztl is supported on a bracket 25' suitably secured to the shell 6 of the dryer. The bracket in this instance is formed to provide a chamber 26 enclosing the heat engine which is secured to the bracket by a cross member 27.
The bracket 25 is located adjacent the opening 10 in the dryer shell so as to position the plunger 21 for engagement with the fingerpiece 19 of the aerosol container held by the bracket 14. The spacing of the parts is such that when the heat responsive element 22 is at normal room temperature, the plunger 21 is retracted sufliciently to allow the valve of the container 12 to close. Upon application of heat to the element the plunger is advanced to push the stem 18 inwardly and open the container valve. When this occurs, an atomized jet of the material is sprayed through the opening to into the air stream in the drying chamber and thus diffused through the load of clothes tumbling in the drum.
While the energization of the heating coil 25 may be controlled manually if desired, it is preferred to incorporate the heater control in the system controlling the operating cycle of the dryer. The arrangement is desirably such that the introduction of the sprayed material is automatically initiated at the proper point in the cycle as, for example, when the load is substantially dry and shortly before the cycle is terminated. In dryers provided with a rotatable cam shaft 30 for timing their operating cycles, such as the dryer shown here, the shaft may be fitted with an additional cam 31 adapted to actuate a switch 32. This switch when closed completes the energizing circuit for the heater 25 by connecting it across the supply line conductors L1, L2.
Heat supplied by the coil 25 expands the element 22 which thrusts the plunger 21 outwardly against the fingerpiece 19 of the aerosol container. The valve stem 18 is thus moved inwardly to open the container valve and a spray of the packaged material is discharged from the nozzle 13 through the opening 10 into the drying chamber. When it is desired to terminate the spray, the switch 32 is opened, interrupting the heat supply and the element 22 cools down rapidly to retract the plunger 21 and allow the container valve to close.
It will be apparent from the foregoing that the invention provides novel means for introducing material into a dryer in the form of an atomized spray. The material introduced may be any of those commonly dispensed in aerosol containers including chlorophyll or other deodorizer, pine or cedar oil or other scents or perfumes, as well as mothproofing compounds. Operation of the mechanism is simple and convenient, since the material is introduced directly from the container in which it is conventionally supplied.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a dryer having a drying chamber with an inlet open ng in one wall, means for supporting a valved container for pressurized fluids with its outlet positioned to discharge through said opening, a plunger supported in operative relation to the valve of said container, heat operated means including an element operative to expand when heated and to contract when cooled for advancing and retracting said plunger, and means for supplying heat to said element.
2. In a dryer having a drying chamber with an inlet opening in one wall, means for supporting a valved container for pressurized fluids with its outlet positioned to discharge through said opening, an axially movable plunger operative when advanced from a normal retracted position to open the valve of said container and initiate the discharge of pressurized fluid into the drying chamber, heat operated means including an element adapted 4 to expand when heated to advance said plunger and to contract when cooled to withdraw the plunger to retracted position, a heating coil supported adjacent said member, and a circuit for supplying electrical current to said coil.
3. In a cyclically operable dryer having a drying chamber with an inlet opening in one wall, means for supporting a valved container of pressurized fluid with its outlet positioned to discharge fluid through said opening, heat actuated means operable to open the valve of said container to initiate the discharge of pressurized fluid into the drying chamber, a heating coil supported adjacent said heat actuated means, a normally open energizing circuit for said coil, and a cam actuated switch operable to close said circuit.
4. In a cyclically operable dryer having a drying chamher with an inlet opening in one wall, means for supporting a valved container of pressurized fluid with its outlet positioned to discharge fluid through said opening, heat actuated means operable to open the valve of said container to initiate the discharge of pressurized fluid into the drying chamber, a heating coil supported adjacent said heat actuated means, an energizing circuit for said coil including a normally open switch, and timer operated means for closing said switch.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,476,594 Conover Dec. 4, 1923 2,585,039 Rooke Feb. 12, 1952 2,777,313' Dodge Jan. 15, 1957 2,812,593 Olthuis Nov. 12, 1957 2,824,614 Bowman Feb. 25, 1958 2,846,776 Clark Aug. 12, 1958
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