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IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238493D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-28
Document File: 5 page(s) / 50K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database


A counter-weight spacer for preventing tilting of an appliance, wherein the counter-weight spacer is placed at the bottom side of the appliance opposite to where a door is located. More particularly, the counter-weight spacer is a combination of a counter-weight and a body side spacer.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

Page 01 of 5

Many free-standing structures, particularly in the field of home appliances, have at least one closed cavity, wherein an access to the cavity, such as a door, would be provided on a side wall of a structure. In some cases, the door is hinged near a bottom edge of the structure and pivots 90 degrees to an essentially horizontal opening position. When in the opening position, the door may be at a height about several inches to a foot above the bottom edge of the structure. It is possible for additional weight to be placed on an opened door. The weight may be sufficient to shift the center of gravity of the structure and cause the structure to tip over. This could result in damage to the structure, and/or injury to a user. The problem of tip-over is not limited to a door that is operable horizontally, since weight added to any door will increase torque and make a tip-over more likely. In the appliance field, most appliances must meet the UL tip test requirements.

    Conventionally, the problem of tip-over could be overcome by securing the structure to the floor or other solid structuring; however, there are many occasions when it is either impossible or undesirable to secure the structure in such a manner. For example, one would not want to secure a free-standing appliance in such a manner since this would defeat its ability to be moved for cleaning and maintenance.

    Tip-over could also be minimized by reducing the weight of the door; however, this would not address the issue of additional weight being put on the door.

    Tip-over could also be minimized by extending out-rigging from the structure or the door; however, this would consume excessive floor space and look unattractive.

    Tip-over could also be minimized by adding counter weights near the bottom of the structure, such as steel plates.

    Tip-over could also be overcome by a counterweight device located underneath the structure, the counter-weight device consisting of a vertical counterbalance tension spring or a solid steel counterweight to increase the weight of the bottom of the structure.


Page 02 of 5

    In the appliance field, some appliances utilize a body-side spacer, the body-side spacer is typically comprised of Styrofoam which does not add any substantial weight to the appliances, but prevents a concave indentation of the outer surface of the appliances.


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Page 03 of 5

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Fig. 1
is a front view of a combination counter-weight/ spacer according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 2 is a left side view of the counter-weight spacer in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a right side view of the counter-weight spacer in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary right side view of the interlocking component of Fig. 1

as seen in Fig. 3.
Fig. 5 is a top view of the counter-weight s...