US 20110031863 A1
A refrigerating appliance having a housing that encloses an interior space; a storage device; a gear mechanism to adjustably guide the storage device in the interior space between a high position and a low position; and a brake that is assigned to the gear mechanism to selectively dampen a movement of the storage device from the high position into the low position.
18. A refrigerating appliance, comprising:
a housing enclosing an interior space;
a storage device;
a gear mechanism to adjustably guide the storage device in the interior space between a high position and a low position; and
a brake assigned to the gear mechanism, the brake to selectively dampen a movement of the storage device from the high position into the low position.
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wherein the gear mechanism has an element that is connected to the housing and to the storage device and that guides the movement of the storage device;
wherein the adjusting element is moved in relation to fixed stops on the housing between a first stop position and a second stop position;
wherein the freedom of rotational movement of the adjusting element between the first and second stop positions is less than the freedom of rotational movement of the element; and
wherein the adjusting element is latched, in relation to the element, in a position corresponding to the one of weak and no frictional contact and a position corresponding to the strong frictional contact.
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The present invention relates to a refrigerating appliance with a housing enclosing an interior space and a storage device which can be adjusted between a high and a low position within the interior space by a gear mechanism. Such a refrigerating appliance is known from DE 10 2006 014 370 A1.
The gear mechanism helps to ensure that the storage device retains a horizontal orientation while being adjusted between the high and the low position, so that the storage device can be adjusted without endangering the equilibrium of objects stored on it. A problem can however arise from the fact that a user, when lowering the storage device, must initially only exert a small force, but that this force—conditional on the path on which the gear mechanism guides the storage device—greatly increases during the course of the movement up to an intermediate position in which the user must balance the entire weight of the storage device and the objects located on it. If he is surprised by this or accidentally lets go of the storage device it drops back into the lower position so that there is still the danger of objects falling over.
Furthermore there is no coupling between the two parts of the gear mechanism which support the storage device on different side walls of the housing. Thus a malfunction is not excluded in which the storage device is supported by one of the drive of parts in a high position and by the other in a lower position. This means that the storage device gets into a sideways sloping position so that objects placed on it can slide towards the side or can fall over.
The object of the present invention is to develop a refrigerating appliance of the type specified above so that accidents when the storage device is being adjusted can be excluded with a greater level of certainty, without the operating comfort of the height adjustment being adversely affected.
The object is achieved by the gear mechanism being assigned a brake which selectively damps the movement of the storage device from the high position into the low position.
The braking force of this brake is expediently set so that, with normal loading, a movement of the storage device into the lower position is slowed down sufficiently to prevent it dropping abruptly into the lower position without the user having to support the storage device during its movement to achieve this. Since the brake is not effective during an upwards movement of storage device this adjustment is no more strenuous for the user than in the conventional refrigerating appliance.
Hydraulic or pneumatic dampers are especially known as selectively-acting brakes, in which a fluid is circulated by a movement driven from outside between two chambers and, when this is done, in one movement direction passes a slightly permeable non-return valve and in the opposite movement direction passes a constriction. Inventively however a lower-cost solution is preferred in which the brake is embodied as a friction brake.
Preferably this friction brake comprises a first brake element and a second brake element able to be moved frictionally over the first brake element, which is adjustable by an adjusting element of the gear mechanism between two positions with different levels of friction, preferably a position in friction contact with the first braking element and a position not in friction contact with the first braking element.
Expediently the adjusting element is coupled to the storage device in a movable manner in order to establish the strong frictional contact when the storage device is moved into the lower position and to establish the weak frictional contact when the storage device is moved into the high position.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment the gear mechanism comprises an element guiding the movement of the storage device connected to the housing and the storage device, the adjusting element is movable in relation to fixed stops on the housing between a first and a second stop position, with the freedom of movement of the adjusting element between the stop positions being smaller than the freedom of movement of the element so that the adjusting element is necessarily taken along on a part of the movement of the element along with the latter and the adjustment element is able to be locked in relation to the element into a position corresponding to a weak friction contact and into a position corresponding to a strong friction contact so that, depending on the position of the adjusting element in relation to the element, a different level of friction contact is produced.
Preferably the element is able to be rotated between the upper and the lower position of the storage device.
It is further preferred for one of the braking elements to be an arc-shaped spring, so that the other braking element is able to be moved on its arc-shaped path guided by the element along a circumferential surface of the spring.
The spring is preferably provided at at least one end with a stop limiting the freedom of movement of the other braking element.
At an end of the spring, as an alternative or in addition to the stop, a latching recess can also be provided in which the other braking element is able to be latched in order to stabilize the storage device in its high or its low position.
In order to be effective as a brake for a selective direction, the spring preferably bears a projection on its circumferential surface facing away from the other brake element which is supported by the adjusting element in its second stop setting and thus presses the spring into the path of the other braking element or ensures that the spring cannot yield to the pressure of the other braking element.
The two latching positions can be realized with the aid of an arc-shaped spring of the adjusting element which runs concentrically to its axis of rotation and has two stop surfaces of which the contact with a latching projection of the element defines the two latching positions.
In order to protect the brake against damage or contamination, advantageously the element connected rotatably to the housing and the storage device can be embodied as a hollow wheel in the interior of which the braking element and the adjusting element are accommodated.
In accordance with an alternate embodiment the brake can comprise an element storing the potential energy of the storage device on transition into the low position and releasing it on transition into the high position.
To guide the movement of the storage device so that it does not tip, a number of elements connected rotatably to the housing and storage device are preferably rotationally coupled to each other.
The rotational coupling can be established via a belt between elements which engage on a same side wall of the housing.
For elements which engage on the opposite side of walls of the housing the coupling is preferably realized by a connecting rod.
The rod advantageously runs in a space-saving manner along the axis of rotation on which the two rotatable elements connected by it are articulated on the storage device.
Further features and advantages of invention emerge from the subsequent description of exemplary embodiments, which refers to the enclosed figures. The figures show:
Two wheels 5 protrude into the interior space of the refrigerating appliance housing from the flat rectangular housing of the part of the gear mechanism 4. The wheels 5 are able to be turned in relation to the gear mechanism housing around an axis 6 and each bear a pin 7 eccentric to the axis 6 onto which the frame 2 is clamped. On the wheels 5 of the two parts of the gear mechanism 4 adjacent to the rear wall of the refrigerating appliance housing, the pins 7 lengthened to a rod 8 rigidly connecting the wheels 5 and merged in order to couple the rotation of the wheels 5 to one another. Wheels 5 of a part of the gear mechanism 4 close to the rear wall and close to the door are coupled in each case by a toothed belt guided inside its housing and therefore not visible in
A semicircular spring arm 14 concentric to the bearing bush is connected opposite the stop arm 12 to the ring 11.
A semicircular rib 15 protruding from the rear wall 8 is centered on the bearing bush 9. At the ends of the rib 15 are located latching recesses 16, 17 curved in a concave shape to the outside. The rib is connected in one piece to the rear wall 8 at the height of the latching recesses 16, 17. In its center section it is separated from the rear wall on both sides by a narrow gap 18 in order to enable it to yield elastically to a pressure acting in a radial direction on it. A radial projection 19 directed inwards is formed in a lower area of the rib 15 on its inner side.
A toothed belt 20 can be seen around the rib 15, which in the fully assembled state passes around both wheels of the part of the gear mechanism 4 and meshes with these wheels with teeth in order to couple their rotations to one another.
When the wheel 5 is turned in a clockwise direction in order to bring the storage device into the lower position, the pin 24 moves into a latching position in which it strikes the inwards-curved tip of the spring arm 14. Thus the adjustment element 10 is taken along in the clockwise direction by the rotation of the wheel 5. This means that the stop arm 12 of the adjustment element 10 comes into contact with the projection 19 on the inside of the rib 15. In this position a second projection 25 of the rear wall 8 blocks the further rotation of the adjustment element 10, as shown in
When the wheel, as shown in
When the storage device 1 has reached the lower position, the gear mechanism is in the configuration shown in
When the storage device 1 is lifted again, the wheel 5 rotates in the counterclockwise direction. As shown in
When the wheel 5 is turned further, this takes the adjusting element 10 with it so that the stop arm 12 slides down from the projection 19. This state is shown in
In the course of the further rotation at the wheel 5 the adjusting element 10 comes to a stop again against projection 13, as shown in
In the simplest case the braking mechanism described above can be provided on one of the two wheels 5 of each part of the gear mechanism 4. To increase the security it can also be provided on both wheels 5.
The configuration of the part of the gear mechanism shown in
During the expansion and rotation of the springs 28 their belts 30 first come into contact with the projections 32 of the leaf springs 31 and deflect the latter. When the storage device reaches the lower position, the eyes 29 reach the projections 32 and the projections 32 latch into the eyes 29. This locks the storage device in the low position; it remains in the low position even when the resetting force of the spring 28 would be sufficient per se to lift the storage device up a little further. The leaf springs 31 do not yield under the pressure of the spring 28 since they are essentially stressed by in the longitudinal direction. Only when a user pulls the storage device from the lower position and thereby turns the wheels 5 in the clockwise direction do parts 33 formed on the sleeves 22 come into contact with the tips of the leaf springs 31 and drive these away from the sleeves 22. This also pulls the projections 32 out of the eyes 29. The return force of the coil spring 28 now again acts on the sleeves 22 and supports the lifting of the storage device.