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MOVABLE SHELF FOR REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246143D
Publication Date: 2016-May-11
Document File: 6 page(s) / 4M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Bryan Gallo: ATTORNEY

Abstract

A movable shelf system is provided for a refrigerator or freezer that allows for vertical linear movement of the shelf within a range of about 5 inches upwards/downwards without removal of the shelf or its food contents entirely. The mechanism utilizes a classic four-bar mechanism with a symmetric assembly. One half contains two links joined by a pin joint, one of which is connected to the shelf and the other to a worm gear assembly that is fixed to the liner. This is mirrored on the other half. The shelf is mounted on a bracket which moves on a slider/rail system in one dimension. The worm gear assembly drives the spur gears and is "self-locking" to prevent the shelf from "dropping" once elevated a certain distance upwards. The worm gear assembly is turned by a bevel gearbox and shaft assembly. This movable shelf design provides mechanical advantage to the consumer to lift the shelf using very little force, and at the same time allowing shelf movement without removal of the contents on the shelf.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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MOVABLE SHELF FOR REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER

    The following disclosure is directed to a movable shelf system for a refrigerator or freezer. It is contemplated that the movable shelf system can be utilized in a French-door bottom mount refrigerator (i.e., bottom-mounted freezer compartment located below fresh food), a top- mount refrigerator (i.e., freezer located above fresh food), a side-by-side refrigerator (i.e., freezer and fresh food arranged laterally next to each other), or a standalone freezer.

    Conventionally, refrigerators have notches running down the back wall of the internal liners for removal and adjustment of shelf height/spacing. The existing solution is cumbersome because it allows for readjustment only after removal of all food contents from the shelf, and possibly the same for the other adjacent shelves located above and below.

    The movable shelf system of the instant disclosure allows for vertical linear movement of the shelf within a range of about 5 inches upwards/downwards without removal of the shelf or its food contents entirely. The mechanism utilizes a classic four-bar mechanism with a symmetric assembly. One half contains two links joined by a pin joint, one of which is connected to the shelf and the other to a worm gear assembly that is fixed to the liner. This is mirrored on the other half.

    The shelf is mounted on a bracket which moves on a slider/rail system in one dimension. The worm gear assembly drives the spur gears and is "self-locking" to prevent the shelf from "dropping" once elevated a certain distance upwards. The worm gear assembly is turned by a bevel gearbox and shaft assembly. To provide increased usability to the consumer, the shaft assembly can extend forwardly to the front edge of the shelf, and a suitable crank handle can be provided for rotating the shaft. A rear shield can be used to cover the drive mechanism.

    It is contemplated that while the description herein provides the basic elements of the movable shelf system, the specification of particular elements such as shelf movement range, material, size, make of gears, and weight, etc. can be optimized to better fit a particular refrigerator unit, desig...