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1. WO2020136248 - WASHING MACHINE WITH STEAM WASHING FUNCTION

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Description

Title of Invention 0001   0002   0003   0004   0005   0006   0007   0008   0009   0010   0011   0012   0013   0014   0015   0016   0017   0018   0019   0020   0021   0022   0023   0024   0025   0026   0027   0028   0029   0030   0031   0032   0033   0034  

Claims

0001   0002   0003   0004   0005   0006   0007   0008  

Drawings

1   2   3, 4, 5  

Description

Title of Invention : WASHING MACHINE WITH STEAM WASHING FUNCTION

[0001]
The present invention relates to a washing machine wherein steam is generated by means of the washing water heater.
[0002]
Washing machines wherein steam washing is performed for processes such as refreshment, sterilization, deodorization, etc. applied to the laundry are known. In some embodiments in the washing machines, steam is generated by the existing water heater used for heating the washing water, and there is no need to use a separate steam generator. In the case where steam is generated by using the water heater in the washing machine, the heating process is performed by taking water without detergent up to the lower level of the drum into the space between the drum and the tub wherein the water heater is located, and thus the heating process is realized. If the amount of water taken in the steam application is higher than the lower level of the drum, undesirable situations may arise, and the laundry gets wet by contacting the water entering the drum. In the steam generation and washing water heating processes, the heater must be completely submerged in the water between the drum and the tub. If a small amount of water is taken into the drum up to the lower level of the drum for steam generation, the water level is kept lower than the lower level of the drum to reduce the risk of wetting of the laundry by taking into account the inclination of the floor whereon the washing machine is installed. Since the amount of water is so small not to contact the drum, a part of the heater, which should be completely immersed in the water, rises over the water and operates without water, causing a safety risk.
[0003]
The Patent No. EP2767629 (B1) relates to a washing machine wherein steam is applied onto the laundry for refreshment processes and a control method thereof.
[0004]
The Patent Application No. US2018171528 (A1) relates to a washing machine with the steam washing function and a control method thereof. For steam generation, water is sprayed onto the existing water heater.
[0005]
The aim of the present invention is the realization of a washing machine wherein the washing water heater is used for generating steam in a safe manner without wetting the laundry.
[0006]
The washing machine realized in order to attain the aim of the present invention comprises a dual-immersion heater which is used for heating the washing water in the washing processes and which is disposed in the space between the tub and the drum under the drum. The heater is composed of a first heating element used in normal washing processes and a second heating element used for generating steam. The second heating element is connected to the same terminal plate as the first heating element and can be operated independently or together with the first heating element by means of a switching unit so as to generate steam.
[0007]
The dimensions of the second heating element used for generating steam are determined so as to remain under the level of the drum and under the minimum height of the water taken into the tub. Moreover, by taking into consideration that the floor whereon the washing machine is installed may be inclined, the maximum length of the second heating element used for generating steam is calculated so as not to rise over the water level.
[0008]
The washing machine realized in order to attain the aim of the present invention is illustrated in the attached figures, where:
[0009]
Figure 1 - is the schematic view of the washing machine of the present invention.
[0010]
Figure 2 - is the schematic view of the washing machine installed on an inclined floor.
[0011]
Figure 3 - is the schematic view of the nested heating elements.
[0012]
Figure 4 - is the schematic view of the nested heating elements in an embodiment of the present invention.
[0013]
Figure 5 - is the schematic view of the heating elements disposed one above the other.
[0014]
The elements illustrated in the figures are numbered as follows:
  1. Washing machine
  2. Tub
  3. Drum
  4. Heater
  5. Terminal plate
  6. First heating element
  7. Second heating element
  8. Switching unit
[0015]
h-min: Minimum height
[0016]
L-max: Maximum length
[0017]
α: Inclination angle
[0018]
The washing machine (1) comprises a tub (2) wherein the washing/drying processes are performed; a drum (3) which moves in the tub (2) and wherein the laundry is loaded; a tubular heater (4) which heats the washing water in the tub (2), which is disposed into a receptacle provided at the lower side of the tub (2) and which extends in the space between the drum (3) and the tub (2) in the horizontal direction; and a terminal plate (5) which enables the heater (4) to be fixed to the tub (2) and which is used for making the electrical connections.
[0019]
The washing machine (1) of the present invention comprises a dual-immersion heater (4) having
[0020]
- a first heating element (6) used for heating the washing water in normal washing processes, and
[0021]
- a second heating element (7) which is connected to the same terminal plate (5) as the first heating element (6), which is energized independently or together with the first heating element (6) by means of a switching unit (8) and which heats the water taken into the tub (2) to generate steam.
[0022]
In steam washing programs such as refreshment, sterilization, deodorization in the washing machine (1), water without detergent is taken up to the minimum height (h-min) into the space between the drum (3) and the tub (2) so as to remain under the level of the drum (3) and not to contact the drum (3), and the second heating element (7) is activated by the main control unit (not shown in figures) by means of the switching unit (8). The first heating element (6) has only the function of heating the washing water and is not activated in the steam generation process.
[0023]
The dimensions of the second heating element (7) used for generating steam are determined so as to remain under the minimum height (h-min) of the water taken into the tub (2) so as to remain under the level of the drum (3) and so as not to wet the laundry.
[0024]
Since the inclination of the floor whereon the washing machine (1) is installed can cause problems in the steam generation process (for example, when the heater (4) runs idle by rising above the water level), the maximum length (L-max), from the rear side of the tub (2) towards the front side or from the front towards the rear in the horizontal direction, of the second heating element (7) used to generate steam in another embodiment of the present invention is calculated so as not to exceed the water level at the minimum height (h-min) by taking into account the inclination of the ground.
[0025]
In this embodiment, if the washing machine (1) is installed on an inclined surface defined by an " α: angle of inclination", the maximum length (L-max) of the second heating element (7) is calculated so as to remain below the water level at the minimum height (h-min) by the following formulas:
[0026]
L-max * Sin α = h-min
[0027]
L-max = h-min / Sin α
[0028]
In the washing machine (1) the heater (4) is composed of a first heating element (6) used for heating the washing water and a second heating element (7) used for generating steam. Depending on the selected normal washing program or steam washing programs such as refreshment, sterilization, deodorization, the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) are activated independently or together by the main control unit by means of the switching unit (8). In order to generate steam, water is taken to the washing machine (1) at the minimum height (h-min) so as not to contact the drum (3) and the laundry in the drum (3) is prevented from getting wet. The dimensions of the second heating element (7) used for generating steam are determined so as not to exceed the minimum height (h-min) of the water taken so as to remain under the level of the drum (3). The second heating element (7) has the maximum length (L-max) which will always remain below the water level at the minimum height (h-min) in all conditions, taking into account the inclination conditions of the floor whereon the washing machine (1) is to be installed. Thus, water is enabled to be always present in the second heating element (7) so as to generate steam, ensuring safe operation.
[0029]
In an embodiment of the present invention, the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) are positioned at the same level one within the other. The first heating element (6) is positioned on the outside while the second heating element (7) is positioned on the inside (Figure 3).
[0030]
In another embodiment of the present invention, in the nested heater (4), the first heating element (6) is inclined so as to be parallel to the drum (3) while the second heating element (7) is inclined so as to move away from the drum (3) (Figure 4).
[0031]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) are positioned one above the other such that the first heating element (6) remains above and parallel to the drum (3) and the second heating element (7) remains below parallel to the drum (3) (Figure 1, Figure 2).
[0032]
In another embodiment of the present invention, the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) are positioned one above the other, and the second heating element (7) positioned below is inclined so as to move away from the drum (3) (Figure 5).
[0033]
In an embodiment of the present invention, in the normal washing program in the washing machine (1), the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) are operated together. Since water is taken so as to exceed the lower level of the drum (3) in the normal washing program, there is no risk of the heater (4) rising above the water level, thus eliminating the safety risk. The washing duration is shortened by operating the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) together.
[0034]
In the washing machine (1) of the present invention, the heater (4) is of the dual type, and the second heating element (7) used for generating steam can be operated independently of the first heating element (6) so as to be used for generating steam in the refreshment, sterilization and deodorization processes. Water can be taken into the tub (2) at the predetermined minimum height (h-min) in order to generate steam, and the laundry in the drum (3) is prevented from getting wet. Since the second heating element (7) used for generating steam is completely immersed under all conditions, the second heating element (7) is prevented from rising above the water level and operating idle (without water), thus ensuring safety.

Claims

[Claim 0001]
A washing machine (1) comprising a tub (2); a drum (3) wherein the laundry is loaded; a heater (4) which heats the washing water in the tub (2), which is disposed into a receptacle provided at the lower side of the tub (2) and which extends in the space between the drum (3) and the tub (2) in the horizontal direction; and a terminal plate (5) which enables the heater (4) to be fixed to the tub (2) and which is used for making the electrical connections, - characterized by the heater (4) having a first heating element (6) used for heating the washing water and a second heating element (7) which is connected to the same terminal plate (5) as the first heating element (6), which is energized independently or together with the first heating element (6) by means of a switching unit (8) and which heats the water taken into the tub (2) to generate steam.
[Claim 0002]
A washing machine (1) as in Claim 1, characterized by the second heating element (7) of which the dimensions are determined so as to remain under the minimum height (h-min) of the water taken into the tub (2) so as to remain under the level of the drum (3).
[Claim 0003]
A washing machine (1) as in Claim 1 or 2, characterized by the second heating element (7) of which the maximum length (L-max) is calculated, if the washing machine (1) is installed on an inclined surface defined by an “α: angle of inclination“, so as to remain below the water level at the minimum height (h-min) by the following formulas: L-max = h-min / Sin α
[Claim 0004]
A washing machine (1) as in Claim 1 or 2, characterized by the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) which are positioned one within the other at the same level.
[Claim 0005]
A washing machine (1) as in Claim 1 or 2, characterized by the first heating element (6) which is parallel to the drum (3) and the second heating element (7) which is inclined so as to move away from the drum (3).
[Claim 0006]
A washing machine (1) as in Claim 1 or 2, characterized by the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) which are positioned one above the other.
[Claim 0007]
A washing machine (1) as in Claim 6, characterized by the second heating element (7) which is positioned under the first heating element (6) and which is inclined so as to move away from the drum (3).
[Claim 0008]
A washing machine (1) as in Claim 1 or 2, characterized by the first heating element (6) and the second heating element (7) which are operated together in the washing program.

Drawings

[ Fig. 1]

[ Fig. 2]

[ Fig. 3, 4, 5]