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Numéro de publicationUS20090113944 A1
Type de publicationDemande
Numéro de demandeUS 12/137,136
Date de publication7 mai 2009
Date de dépôt11 juin 2008
Date de priorité13 juin 2007
Autre référence de publicationDE102008027983A1
Numéro de publication12137136, 137136, US 2009/0113944 A1, US 2009/113944 A1, US 20090113944 A1, US 20090113944A1, US 2009113944 A1, US 2009113944A1, US-A1-20090113944, US-A1-2009113944, US2009/0113944A1, US2009/113944A1, US20090113944 A1, US20090113944A1, US2009113944 A1, US2009113944A1
InventeursJoo Yeon KIM, Kyung Ah CHOI
Cessionnaire d'origineKim Joo Yeon, Choi Kyung Ah
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet
Washing machine
US 20090113944 A1
Résumé
A washing machine is disclosed. A washing machine includes a case, a tub mounted in the case to hold wash water, a hanger provided in a front upper portion of the tub to hang laundry thereon, and a driving unit to reciprocate the hanger with the laundry in a predetermined direction within the tub. According to the washing machine mentioned above, the laundry is washed only by using the reciprocating motion. As a result, the laundry may not be entangled and fabric of the laundry may not damage.
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Revendications(25)
1. A washing machine comprising:
a case;
a tub mounted in the case to hold wash water;
a hanger disposed above an opening of the tub and hanging laundry thereon; and
a driving unit to reciprocate the hanger with the laundry in a predetermined direction to wash the laundry.
2. The washing machine of claim 1, wherein the driving unit comprises a first driving unit to reciprocate the hanger with the laundry in a vertical direction to submerge at least some portion of the laundry in the wash water of the tub.
3. The washing machine of claim 2, wherein the first driving unit is configured of a crank mechanism to convert a rotational motion of a motor into the linear reciprocating motion of the hanger in a vertical direction.
4. The washing machine of claim 2, wherein the first driving unit comprises:
a disk rotated by the motor;
a first link rotatably connected with an edge of the disk; and
a second link connected with the first link and the hanger to be reciprocated linearly in a vertical direction by the first link.
5. The washing machine of claim 4, wherein the first driving unit further comprises a guide unit to guide the motion of the first and second links.
6. The washing machine of claim 5, wherein the guide unit comprises,
a guide groove extended vertically to hold first and second extensions extended from the first and second links, respectively.
7. The washing machine of claim 2, wherein the first driving unit comprises,
a drum rotated by the motor; and
a wire connected with the drum and the hanger, the wire wound around or unwound from the drum according to a rotational direction of the drum to reciprocate the hanger in a vertical direction.
8. The washing machine of claim 2, wherein the first driving unit comprises,
a driving pulley rotated by the motor;
a driven pulley spaced apart with a predetermined distance from the driving pulley in a vertical direction; and
a belt wound around the driving and driven pulley and connected with the hanger, to reciprocate in a vertical direction together with the hanger according to a rotational direction of the driving pulley.
9. The washing machine of claim 2, wherein the driving unit comprises a plurality of first driving units.
10. The washing machine of claim 2, wherein the driving unit comprises a pair of first driving units provided in right and left of the hanger, respectively.
11. The washing machine of claim 9, wherein the plurality of the first driving units move the hanger upward and downward at the same moment.
12. The washing machine of claim 9, wherein the plurality of the first driving units move the hanger upward at different moments, and move the hanger downward at different moments.
13. The washing machine of claim 1, wherein the driving unit further comprises a second driving unit to reciprocate the hanger with the laundry in a horizontal direction.
14. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the second driving unit comprises,
a driving pulley rotated by a motor;
a driven pulley spaced apart a predetermined distance from the driving pulley in a horizontal direction; and
a belt wound around the driving and driven pulley and connected with the hanger, to reciprocate in a horizontal direction together with the hanger according to a rotational direction of the driving pulley.
15. The washing machine of claim 14, wherein the second driving unit further comprises,
a connection member connected with the first driving unit, the connection member allows the driving and driven pulleys to be mounted thereto.
16. The washing machine of claim 1, further comprising a heating unit provided in the case to supply hot air to the tub.
17. The washing machine of claim 1, further comprising a steam unit provided in the case to supply steam to the tub.
18. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein while the first driving unit is vertically reciprocating the hanger and the laundry, the second driving unit is horizontally reciprocating the hanger and the laundry.
19. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the first driving unit vertically reciprocates the hanger and the laundry without the horizontal reciprocating motion of the second driving unit.
20. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the second driving unit horizontally reciprocates the hanger and the laundry which is submerged in the wash water, without the vertical reciprocating motion of the first driving unit.
21. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the first and second driving unit vertically and/or horizontally reciprocates the laundry during a washing, rinsing and spinning cycle, and the first and second driving unit stop during a drying or preserving cycle.
22. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein speeds of reciprocating motions of the first and second driving units during a washing cycle is greater than speeds of the reciprocating motions thereof in a rinsing cycle.
23. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein distances of reciprocating motions of the first and second driving units during a washing cycle is less than distances of the reciprocating motions thereof in a rinsing cycle.
24. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the first and second driving units vibrates the laundry in the vertical and horizontal directions during a washing cycle.
25. The washing machine of claim 2, wherein the first driving unit moves the hanger upward to take out the laundry from the wash water completely, and moves the hanger downward to submerge the laundry in the wash water completely.
Description

This application claims the benefit of the Patent Korean Application No. 2007-0057917, filed on Jun. 13, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a washing machine. More particularly, the present invention relates to a washing machine capable of performing washing by reciprocation motion.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

A washing machine is an electric appliance including a motor as a main driving force, which performs a washing, rinsing and spinning cycle to remove dirt on clothes, cloth items and beddings (hereinafter, laundry) by using detergent and wash water. Such the washing machines may be categorized based on a washing type into pulsator types, agitator types and drum types.

In a pulsator type, a pulsator mounted at a bottom of a tub is rotated to perform washing. This pulsator type may consume less electricity with good washing efficiency, compared with the other types. However, the pulsator type may cause severe entanglement of laundry and it uses too much wash water and detergent. In addition, it is difficult to add a drying function to the pulsator type washing machine.

With almost same principle of washing as the pulsator type, a blade provided in a tub is rotated in an agitator type to perform washing without the rotation of the tub. Among the three types, this agitator type has the best rotational force which is advantageous to the washing of big laundry and it has less entanglement of laundry because of the blade.

In the above two types, laundry is mixed with detergent by water currents and a centrifugal force that can be gained through the rotational force.

In a drum type, washing is performed by a friction force between laundry and wash water that is created when laundry is lifted and dropped in a drum. As the laundry contacts with the water only when it is dropped, water may not be filled in a drum again and thus this drum type can economize in water a lot in comparison with the other types. However, it takes quite a long time to complete washing in the drum type and the drum type consumes quite electricity. Nevertheless, it is advantageous in its structure to add a drying function to the drum type and the drum type has the least fabric damage, compared with the other two types.

Such the conventional washing machines have following disadvantages.

First, plural laundry objects may be rotated in the conventional washing machine. As a result, there may be entanglement between laundries.

Furthermore, fabric of the laundry may be damaged by the friction with a tub if the laundry is rotated too much in the conventional washing machine.

A still further, an additional laundry preservation device is necessary to keep the laundry after washing and drying according to the conventional washing machine. As a result, additional cost and space may be required according to the conventional washing machine.

Last, the conventional washing machine and the laundry preservation device are separate ones. As a result, a user should wait until drying is complete to move the laundry to the laundry preservation device, which is quite inconvenient.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a washing machine.

An object of the present invention is to provide a washing machine capable of causing the least entanglement of laundry.

Another object is to provide a washing machine capable of reducing fabric damage of the laundry.

A still further object is to provide a washing machine capable of preserving washed laundry.

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

To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a washing machine includes a case; a tub mounted in the case to hold wash water; a hanger disposed above an opening of the tub and hanging laundry thereon; and a driving unit to reciprocate the hanger with the laundry in a predetermined direction.

The driving unit may include a first driving unit to reciprocate the hanger with the laundry in a vertical direction to submerge at least some portion of the laundry in the wash water of the tub.

The first driving unit may include a disk rotated by the motor; a first link rotatably connected with an edge of the disk; and a second link connected with the first link and the hanger to be reciprocated linearly in a vertical direction by the first link.

Alternatively, the first driving unit may include a drum rotated by the motor; and a wire connected with the drum and the hanger, the wire wound around or unwound from the drum according to a rotational direction of the drum to reciprocate the hanger in a vertical direction. The first driving unit may include a driving pulley rotated by the motor; a driven pulley spaced apart a predetermined distance from the driving pulley in a vertical direction; and a belt wound around the driving and driven pulley, connected with the hanger, to reciprocate in a vertical direction together with the hanger according to a rotational direction of the driving pulley.

The driving unit may further include a second driving unit to reciprocate the hanger with the laundry in a horizontal direction.

the second driving unit may include a driving pulley rotated by a motor; a driven pulley spaced apart a predetermined distance from the driving pulley in a horizontal direction; and a belt wound around the driving and driven pulley, connected with the hanger, to reciprocate in a horizontal direction together with the hanger according to a rotational direction of the driving pulley.

According to the washing machine mentioned above, the laundry is washed only by using the reciprocating motion. As a result, the laundry may not be entangled and fabric of the laundry may not damage.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory 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 embodiment(s) of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view illustrating a washing machine according to an exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating a driving unit according to the washing machine;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the washing machine to show vertical reciprocating motion of laundry;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view illustrating another example of the vertical reciprocating motion;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the washing machine to show a horizontal reciprocating motion of the laundry; and

FIGS. 6 and 7 are perspective views illustrating a first driving unit, respectively.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

In reference to the drawings, a washing machine according to an exemplary embodiment will be described.

FIG. 1 is a front sectional view illustrating the washing machine. FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an inner side of the washing machine. Here, a tub 151 for holding laundry therein is omitted on convenience sake.

In reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the washing machine includes a case 100 having a predetermined space. A tub 151 is mounted in the case 100 and the tub 151 holds water therein. A hanger 130 may be provided above the tub 151 and laundry may be hung on the hanger 130. The laundry may include a driving unit 110 and 119 provided in the case 100 to create a driving force for reciprocating motion of laundry.

The case 100 is larger than the tub 151 in a rectangular parallelepiped or cylinder shape. The tub 151 may have the rectangular parallelepiped or cylinder shape, too. The tub 151 holds wash water 152 and thus it may be formed of anti-corrosion material. As shown in FIG. 1, the tub 151 is disposed vertically and an opening for laundry introduction is provided at a top of the tub 151. The hanger 130 is disposed above the opening. As a result, the laundry hung on the hanger 130 may be submerged in the wash water 152. Here, a lower and upper portion and side portions of the tub 151 may be supported by a support structure (not shown) installed in the case 100.

The driving unit may include a first driving unit 110 to reciprocate the hanger 130 and the laundry hung on the hanger 130 in a vertical direction. That is, the laundry may be alternatively reciprocated in a vertical direction, such that some of the laundry may be submerged in the wash water 152 by the first driving unit 110. As a result, the laundry may be washed in the wash water 152 smoothly because of its vertical reciprocating motion.

The first driving unit 110 may be configured of a crank mechanism for converting the rotational motion of a motor 111 installed in the case 100 into the vertical reciprocating motion. Specifically, the first driving unit 110 includes a disk 112, a first and second link 113 and 114. The disk 112 is coupled to a rotational shaft of the motor 111. The first and second link 113 and 114 may be connected with the disc 112 serially. The first driving unit 110 may further include a guide unit 115 to guide the motion of the first and second link 113 and 114. The guide unit 115 may be installed at a side surface of the case 100 and it has a guide groove 117 extended vertically. Here, it is preferable that both opposite ends of the guide groove 117 are round-shaped.

An end of the first link 113 is coupled to the disk 112 eccentrically. Specifically, the end of the first link 113 is rotatably coupled to an edge of the disk 112. A first extension 113 a is extended horizontally at the first link 113 and the first extension 113 a is inserted in the guide groove 117. Because of the guide groove 117, the motion of the first link 113 is limited and guided.

An end of the second link 114 is rotatably coupled to the other opposite end of the first link 113. In addition, the other opposite end of the second link 114 is connected with the hanger 130 through a connection member 120. A second extension 114 a is extended horizontally at the second link 114 and the second extension 114 a is inserted in the guide groove 117. Because of the guide groove 117, the motion of the second link 114 is also limited.

If the disk 112 is rotated by the motor 111, the end of the first link 113 is rotated in the same direction. At this time, the other end of the first link 113 is guided by the first extension 113 a and the guide groove 117 to reciprocate. Because of the motion of the first link 113, the second link 114 is guided by the second extension 114 b and the guide groove 117. Thus, the rotational motion of the motor 111 is converted into the vertical reciprocating motion by the first driving unit 110 and then the hanger 130 is reciprocated vertically together with the laundry.

The driving unit includes the second driving unit 119 to reciprocate the laundry hung on the hanger 130 horizontally. That is, the laundry in a state of being submerged in the wash water 152 may be alternately reciprocated in a right and left direction, that is, a horizontal direction. As a result, the laundry may be washed in the wash water 152 by such the alternate motion in the horizontal direction, that is, the horizontal reciprocating motion.

As mentioned above, the second driving unit 119 is connected with the hanger 130, specifically, the second link 114 by the connection member 120. The second driving unit 119 is configured of a driving pulley 124, a driven pulley 123 and a belt 122 wound around the pulleys 124 and 123. The driving pulley 124 coupled to a rotational shaft of a motor 121 and the driven pulley 123 is spaced apart a predetermined distance from the driving pulley 124 in a horizontal direction. The belt 122 is directly coupled to the hanger 130. The pulleys 123 and 124 and the motor 121 are mounted at the connection member 120. The connection member 120 is connected, preferably, rotatably connected with the second link 114 of the first driving unit 110. Accordingly, the vertical reciprocating motion of the first driving unit 110 is transmitted to the connection member 120 primarily.

If the motor 121 and the driving pulley 124 are rotated in a clockwise direction, the belt 122 is moved in either of a left and right direction. Hence, the hanger 130 connected with the belt 122 is moved in the either of the left or right direction too, together with the laundry. If the motor 121 and the driving pulley 124 are rotated in a counter-clockwise direction, the belt 122, the hanger 130 and the laundry are rotated in the other direction. Hence, the laundry is reciprocated in a horizontal direction according to the rotation direction of the driving pulley 124.

The other elements rather than the above configurations will be described.

As shown in FIG. 2, the hanger 130 substantially includes a first securing part 131 and a second securing part 132. The first securing part 131 is provided in a lower portion of the hanger 130 to hold the laundry. The second securing part 132 is provided in an upper portion of the hanger 130 to secure the hanger 130 to the second driving unit 119. The first securing part 131 may be provided in plural to wash plural pieces of laundry at one time. At this time, the first securing part 131 may be configured of a conventional hanger or a clothespin (not shown). Also, the number and position of the first and second securing part 131 and 132 may be adjustable such that the reciprocating motion of the first and second driving unit 110 and 119 may be transmitted to the hanger 130.

There may be installed in the case 100 a heating unit 154 for supplying hot air to the tub 151 and the case 100 and a steam unit 153 for supplying steam to the tub 151 and the case 100. The heating unit 154 substantially supplies the hot air to the laundry and it includes a ventilation fan (not shown) for ventilating air and a heater (not shown) for heating the air. The heating unit 154 is used in a drying cycle in which the hot air is supplied to the laundry to dry the laundry, such that drying efficiency of the washing machine may be enhanced. The steam unit 153 may substantially supply the steam to the laundry and it includes a water tank (not shown), a heater (not shown) and a nozzle (not shown). Water is held in the water tank and the water is heated by the heater. The steam generated at the water tank is supplied to the laundry through the nozzle. The steam performs sterilization and wrinkle removal in contact with the laundry. Such the heating unit 154 and the steam unit 153 may be provided in the washing machine in plural.

An operation of the first and second driving unit 110 and 119 in the above structure of the washing machine will be described.

FIG. 3 is a front sectional view of the washing machine to show the vertical reciprocating motion of the laundry by the first driving unit. While FIG. 1 shows that the hanger 130, the connection member 120 and the laundry are moved lowest according to the downward motion, FIG. 3 shows that they are lifted highest according to the upward motion.

If the hanger 130 is moved downward by the first driving unit 110, some portion of the laundry is submerged in the wash water 152. For good washing efficiency, it is preferable that the laundry is submerged fully when the hanger 130 is moved downward lowest. If the hanger 130 is lifted upward, some portion of the laundry is taken out from the wash water 152. Of course, the laundry may be submerged in the wash water 152 even when the hanger 130 is lifted upward and the laundry may be taken out fully from the wash water 152 when the hanger 130 is lifted upward. Since the contact and friction between the laundry and the wash water 152 is maximized, it may enhance washing efficiency substantially to submerge the laundry in the wash water completely and to take out the laundry from the wash water completely.

As shown in FIG. 2, a single first driving unit 110 may be provided in either of the right and left of the hanger 130. In this case, an auxiliary guide structure may be provided in the other portion of the hanger 130 to guide the vertical reciprocating motion. It is preferable for the secure vertical reciprocating motion of the laundry that the washing machine includes plural first driving unit 220. For example, a pair of the first driving units 110 may be coupled to both right and left ends of the hanger 130, specifically, the connection member 120, respectively. If then, right and left ends of the connection member 120 may be rotatably connected with the second links 114 of the pair of the first driving unit 110, respectively.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the first driving units 110 may be drivable in the same phase. Specifically, the plural motors 111 are rotated in the same phase such that the plural first and second links 113 and 114, the hanger 130 and the laundry may be moved upward or downward at the same time. Here, the hanger 130 may be reciprocated upward and downward in a state of maintaining level.

FIG. 4 is a front sectional view of a washing machine to illustrate another example of the vertical reciprocating motion of the laundry.

In contrast with the operation of the first driving unit 110 shown in FIG. 3, plural first driving units 110 are operated in different phases or at least one of the first driving units 110 are operated in a different phase from the phase of the other ones. Specifically, if plural motors 111 are rotated in different phases, plural first and second links 113 and 114, the hanger 130 and the laundry may be moved upward at different moments and moved downward at different moments. Also, while a set of the links 113 and 114, the hanger 130 and the laundry is moved upward in case at least one of the motors 111 is rotated in a different phase from the phases of the others, the other sets of the links 113 and 114, the hanger 130 and the laundry may be moved downward. Such the upward and downward motion at different moments may shake the laundry in the wash water 152. As a result, the contact and friction between the laundry and the wash water 152 is enhanced more only to improve washing efficiency.

For example, as shown in FIG. 4, if the pair of the first driving units 110 is installed, the motors 111 are rotated in a phase difference of 180 degree. As a result, while a right portion of the connection member 120 and the hanger 130 is moved downward, a left portion of the connection member 120 and the hanger 130 may be moved upward. Here, the motor 111 may have a phase difference rather than 180 degree.

Although not shown in the drawings, if the connection member 120 is ring-shaped, more than three first driving units 110 may be coupled to the connection member 120. Such the first driving units may be arranged with the same distance from each other. In this case, as mentioned above, the first driving units 110 may be driven in the same phase. Alternatively, the first driving units 110 may be driven in different phases. For example, if the washing machine includes three driving units 110, the three motors 111 may be rotated in a phase difference of 120 degree.

FIG. 5 is a front sectional view of the washing machine to show the horizontal reciprocating motion of the laundry. In reference to FIG. 5, the laundry may be reciprocated in a horizontal direction by the second driving unit 119.

If the motor 121 is alternatively rotated in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction, the belt 122 and the hanger 130 secured to the belt 122 are moved alternatively in a right and left direction, that is, in a vertical direction. As a result, the laundry hung on the hanger 130 may be reciprocated horizontally. The laundry is shaken in the wash water 152 horizontally by the reciprocating motion and thus the laundry is washed efficiently by the contact and friction with the wash water 152.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating an example of the first driving unit 110.

In reference to FIG. 6, the first driving unit 110 includes a wire 161 and a drum 162. The drum 162 is secured to the rotational shaft of the motor 111 mounted on a side surface of the case 100 and the wire 161 is wound around the drum 162. An end of the wire 161 is connected with the drum 162 and the other end of the wire 161 is connected with the hanger 130 through the connection member 120.

If the motor 111 is rotated in a clockwise direction, the wire 161 is wound around the drum 162 and then the connection member 120, the hanger 130 and the laundry are moved upward at the same time. If the motor 111 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction, the wire 161 is unwound from the drum 162 and then the connection member 120, the hanger 130 and the laundry are moved downward at the same time. Of course, it is possible that the wire 161 is unwound if the motor 111 is rotated in a clockwise direction and that the wire 161 is wound if the motor 111 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction. As a result, the first driving unit 110 of FIG. 6 may convert the rotational motion of the motor 111 into the vertical reciprocating motion, that is, the alternative motion in an upward and downward direction of the hanger 130 and the laundry by using the wire 161.

As mentioned above, the washing machine may include the plural first driving units 110 shown in FIG. 6. The first driving units 110 of FIG. 6 may be moved in identical or different phases. Also, at least one of the plural first driving units of FIG. 6 may be operated in a different phase.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating another example of the first driving unit.

In reference to FIG. 7, the first driving unit 110 includes a driving pulley 174, a driven pulley 172 and a belt 171 wound around the pulleys 174 and 172. The driving pulley 174 is coupled to the rotational shaft of the motor 111 and the driven pulley 172 is spaced apart a predetermined distance from the driving pulley 174. The belt 171 is connected with the hanger 130 through the connection member 120. The pulleys 174 and 172 and the motor 111 are mounted in the cabinet 100.

If the motor 111 is rotated in a clockwise direction, the connection member 120, the hanger 130 and the laundry are moved upward by the belt 171. If the motor 111 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction, the connection member 120, the hanger 130 and the laundry are moved downward by the belt 171. Of course, it is possible that the belt 171 moves the hanger 130 and the laundry downward if the motor 111 is rotated in a clockwise direction and that the belt 171 moves the hanger 130 and the laundry upward if the motor 111 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction. Thus, the laundry is reciprocated upward and downward according to the rotational direction of the motor 111 and the driving pulley 174 in the driving unit 111 of FIG. 7.

As mentioned above, the washing machine may include the plurality of the first driving units 110 shown in FIG. 7. These first driving units 110 may be moved in identical or different phases. Also, at least one of the first driving units 110 may be moved in a different phase from the others.

Next, the washing of the washing machine mentioned above will be described.

The washing is typically configured of a washing, rinsing, spinning and drying cycle. However, the washing machine according to the embodiments of this specification includes the hanger and it applies the reciprocating motion to the laundry. Thus, a preserving cycle may be further performed to preserve the washed laundry in the washing machine.

During the washing, rinsing and spinning cycle, the laundry is reciprocated vertically and horizontally by the operation of the first and second driving units 110 and 119. While, during the drying and preserving cycle, the laundry may be hung on the hanger 130 without any motion. Even during the washing or rinsing cycle, the laundry submerged in the wash water may not have any motion applied. For high washing efficiency, the laundry maintains its being hung for a predetermined time period during the washing cycle such that the laundry may absorb the wash water 152 enough to be activated with the detergent dissolved in the wash water. Such the cycle may be referenced to as a soaking cycle. Even during the rinsing cycle, the laundry is hung without motion for a predetermined time period and remaining detergent and dirt may be activated with the wash water. As a result, the remaining detergent and dirt may be separated from the laundry substantially in the rinsing cycle.

In addition, during the washing cycle, the first and second driving units 110 and 119 could reciprocate the laundry and the hanger 130 by speeds greater than speeds in the rinsing cycle. That is, the speeds of the reciprocating motions of the driving units 110 and 119 during the washing cycle could be greater than the speeds of the reciprocating motions thereof in the rinsing cycle. Further, during the washing cycle, the first and second driving units 110 and 119 could reciprocate the laundry and the hanger 130 by distances less than distances in the rinsing cycle. That is, the distances of the reciprocating motions of the driving units 110 and 119 during the washing cycle could be less than the distances of the reciprocating motions thereof in the rinsing cycle. By applying either less reciprocating distances or greater reciprocating speeds as mentioned above, the laundry could have a strong friction with regard to the wash water and thus could be washed efficiently. In contrast, relatively long reciprocating distances and slow reciprocating speeds would be advantageous for the rinsing cycle, which requires enough contact with the wash water during a long period of time. Furthermore, if both of the less reciprocating distances and the greater reciprocating speeds are applied to the washing cycle, the laundry could vibrate in vertical and horizontal directions by the driving units 110 and 119, actually. Therefore, the instantaneous and strong friction is maximized, and thus the washing efficiency is greatly increased. Meanwhile, like the washing cycle as described above, the less reciprocating distances and the greater reciprocating speeds could allow the spinning cycle to be more efficient.

The washing, rinsing spinning, drying and preserving cycle will be explained in detail in order.

First, the laundry is hung on the first securing part 131 of the hanger 130. Here, it is preferable that the hanger 130 has the plurality of first securing parts 131 such that as many pieces of laundry may be washed at one time.

Hence, the wash water 152 is supplied to the tub 151. At this time, detergent and other additives needed in washing may be mixed in the wash water 152.

Once the supplying of the wash water 152 is complete, the laundry is reciprocated upward and downward, in other words, vertically and horizontally by the first and second driving units 110 and 119, which is the starts of the washing cycle. The washing during the washing cycle will be performed as following ways.

First, the first and second driving units 110 and 119 may be operated at the same time. That is, the laundry is reciprocated vertically by the first driving unit 110 and horizontally by the second driving unit 119 simultaneously.

Second, only the first driving unit 110 is operated without the operation of the second driving unit 119. That is, without the horizontal reciprocating motion, the laundry is reciprocated only vertically.

Last, only the second driving unit 119 is operated without the operation of the first driving unit 110, that is, without the vertical motion, the laundry is reciprocated only horizontally. The first driving unit 110 moves the laundry downward primarily to submerge at least some portion of the laundry in the wash water 152. The submerged laundry is reciprocated only horizontally in the wash water 152 by the second driving unit 119, without additional operation of the first driving unit 110.

All or at least one of the above three washing ways may be performed repeatedly during the washing cycle, regardless of the order. As a result, friction grows between the laundry and the wash water 152 to be activated with the detergent such that dirt of the laundry may be removed. As mentioned above, the soaking cycle may be performed in the middle of the washing cycle, in which the laundry is left in the wash water 152 without any motion. Here, it is preferable to enhance washing efficiency substantially that the soaking cycle is performed in a primary period of the washing cycle.

Hence, the wash water including dirt is discharged from the tub 151 and clean wash water is supplied to the tub 151 to remove remaining detergent and dirt of the laundry. Also, fabric softener may be added to the clean wash water. During the rinsing cycle, the laundry may be reciprocated by the first and second driving unit 110 and 119 in the three ways explained above. At this time too, all or at least one of the three ways may be performed repeatedly, regardless of the order. Accordingly, the remaining detergent and dirt may be removed from the laundry efficiently.

In the spinning cycle, the wash water 152 used in the rinsing cycle is discharged. Similar to the washing and rinsing cycle, that is, similar as the laundry is reciprocated vertically and horizontally according to the three ways mentioned above, the moisture is removed from the laundry in the spinning cycle.

It is preferable in the drying or preserving cycle that the laundry maintains its hanging. In the drying cycle, the heating unit 154 supplies hot air to the laundry to dry the laundry quickly and the steam unit 153 supplies steam to the tub 151 to sterilize and refresh the laundry. The laundry may be reciprocated vertically and horizontally such that this hot air and steam may be in contact with the laundry uniformly.

Once the drying of the laundry is complete, the laundry is moved to another separate preservation device and it may be preserved for a long time.

The washing machine according to the embodiments has following advantageous effects.

First, the washing machine uses only the reciprocating motion. As a result, the laundry may not be entangled each other. Furthermore, the laundry is in contact with only the wash water according to the embodiments. Compared with the conventional washing machines that use the contact and friction with the tub, fabric damage of the laundry may be reduced according to the washing machine of the embodiments. A still further, the washed laundry may be preserved for a relatively long time in the washing machine, which is quite convenient.

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 inventions. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Référencé par
Brevet citant Date de dépôt Date de publication Déposant Titre
US883964726 oct. 201123 sept. 2014General Electric CompanyVertical axis washing machine having steam features
US20140097214 *7 oct. 201310 avr. 2014Jay SchreckenhoferSystems and methods for retaining articles
Classifications
Classification aux États-Unis68/5.00C, 68/135, 68/137
Classification internationaleD06F13/06
Classification coopérativeD06F18/00, D06F17/00, D06F13/00
Classification européenneD06F17/00, D06F13/00, D06F18/00
Événements juridiques
DateCodeÉvénementDescription
22 janv. 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KIM, JOO YEON;CHOI, KYUNG AH;REEL/FRAME:022138/0590;SIGNING DATES FROM 20090116 TO 20090119