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Clothes Washer Mode Shifter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000031215D
Publication Date: 2004-Sep-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Conventional vertical axis clothes washers use a mechanical transmission to oscillate the agitator when the motor rotates in one direction, and to spin the basket and agitator together when the motor rotates in the other direction. A mechanically simpler drive system uses a motor which can reverse direction rapidly for agitation and rotate in one direction for spin, but a mode shifting device is still required to decouple the basket from the agitator during agitation and to couple them during spin. This is a simple mode shifter that uses only 2 or 3 more parts than are required to attach the pulley to the agitator shaft. It can be used either with a belt drive system or a direct drive system.

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INVENTION DISCLOSURE

Subject

Sketch and Description:

Conventional vertical axis clothes washers use a mechanical transmission to oscillate the agitator when the motor rotates in one direction, and to spin the basket and agitator together when the motor rotates in the other direction. A mechanically simpler drive system uses a motor which can reverse direction rapidly for agitation and rotate in one direction for spin, but a mode shifting device is still required to decouple the basket from the agitator during agitation and to couple them during spin. This is a simple mode shifter that uses only 2 or 3 more parts than are required to attach the pulley to the agitator shaft. It can be used either with a belt drive system or a direct drive system.

During agitation:

     Pulley oscillates, driving agitator shaft. Wrap spring winds and unwinds because of basket inertia. Natural frequency of basket and spring in torsion is much lower than the agitator stroke rate, so basket tends to center on agitator stroke, but is free to float up to 1 turn in either direction.

During Spin:

     Pulley rotates in one direction. Wrap spring ID contracts on pulley hub and spin tube in 1 rotation, locking pulley to basket for spin.

During Braking:

     Pulley slows, spin tube turns 2 full turns relative to agitator shaft, wrap spring OD expands to lock pulley to basket spin tube.

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