(19)
(11)EP 3 126 764 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 14713500.8

(22)Date of filing:  31.03.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F25D 23/02  (2006.01)
E05D 7/00  (2006.01)
E05D 7/08  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2014/056429
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/149832 (08.10.2015 Gazette  2015/40)

(54)

REFRIGERATION APPLIANCE COMPRISING HINGE ASSEMBLY

KÜHLGERÄT MIT SCHARNIERANORDNUNG

APPAREIL DE RÉFRIGÉRATION COMPRENANT ENSEMBLE CHARNIÈRE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
08.02.2017 Bulletin 2017/06

(73)Proprietor: Arçelik Anonim Sirketi
34445 Istanbul (TR)

(72)Inventors:
  • BAYRAMLI, Tanju
    Tuzla 34950 Istanbul (TR)
  • MOZA, Ahmet Onur
    Tuzla 34950 Istanbul (TR)
  • KOC, Alper
    Tuzla Istanbul 34950 (RS)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 2 677 258
WO-A1-2008/084903
WO-A2-2011/080109
JP-U- H0 436 589
KR-A- 20030 035 423
US-A1- 2012 314 370
WO-A1-2008/050988
WO-A1-2008/084903
CN-A- 103 256 772
JP-U- S5 113 363
US-A1- 2006 226 750
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a refrigeration appliance comprising a hinge assembly used with a flap door.

    [0002] Refrigeration appliances come in several different types. To better meet the individual requirements of the users, an interior of a refrigeration appliance is subdivided into a plurality of separately accessible refrigeration compartments. These refrigeration compartments are usually provided with a separate flap door or a separate drawer in order to prevent entering of warm and humid air when a main door of the refrigeration appliance is opened. When taking articles out of the refrigeration appliance, the user must first access the interior of the refrigeration appliance by opening the main door, and subsequently open one of the flap doors in order to access the desired refrigeration compartment.

    [0003] In a commonly known technique, the flap door is mounted to the side walls of the refrigeration appliance by utilizing hinges which support the flap door rotatably about a horizontal axis.

    [0004] A problem with this type of a refrigeration appliance is that the large number of individual refrigeration compartments and the corresponding flap doors complicate the assembly process. In general, the component parts of the refrigeration appliance such as the inner side walls, the flap doors and the hinges may have production-dependent non-uniformities. Thus, even when these non-uniformities fall within allowable tolerances which have been specified for the refrigeration appliance, these may cause the closing/opening performance of the flap door to degrade. Thus, a consumer satisfaction can easily decrease because of such inferior quality and give rise to customer complaints.

    [0005] WO 2011/080109 A2 discloses a refrigerator comprising a plurality of compartments which are arranged one above the other. Each compartment is provided with a separate flap door which is mounted to the opposing side walls by utilizing a corresponding pair of hinges.

    [0006] JPH0436589U, WO2008050988 and WO2008084903 also disclose relevant hinge assemblies.

    [0007] A drawback of this refrigerator is that in the event of the aforementioned non-uniformities, the flap door and hinges engage either too loosely or too tightly. In case of a loose engagement, the flap door usually starts rattling and produces disturbing noises. In case of a tight engagement, the flap door stat squeaking. In either case, the locking and unlocking performance of the flap doors degrades.

    [0008] An objective of the present invention is to provide a refrigeration appliance comprising a hinge assembly used with a flap door, which overcomes the aforementioned drawbacks of the prior art and which enables a smooth operation of the flap door.

    [0009] This objective has been achieved by the refrigeration appliance as defined in claim 1. Further achievements have been attained by the subject-matters respectively defined in the dependent claims.

    [0010] The refrigeration appliance of the present invention comprises a flap hinge for fastening a flap door, a bearing which movably supports the flap hinge, and a retainer which joins the flap hinge and the bearing together. The bearing supports the flap hinge rotatably about a horizontal axis which is perpendicular to the side walls, and slidably through a limited distance along said horizontal axis. The flap hinge and the bearing are biased away from each other along said horizontal axis by a spring. In the present invention, the bearing and the flap hinge are provided separately from each other.

    [0011] The refrigeration appliance of the present invention comprises at least two mutually opposing mounting portions each configured to fix the bearing of a corresponding hinge-assembly and at least one flap door configured to fasten to the flap hinges of the hinge-assemblies.

    [0012] In an embodiment, the retainer has a cylindrical threaded bolt which is rotatably and slidable arranged into a cylindrical through-hole of a body of the bearing and screwed into the flap hinge so that the body is confined to move between the flap hinge and the bolt.

    [0013] In a version of this embodiment, the spring is slightly compressed between the flap hinge and the body of the bearing.

    [0014] In another version of this embodiment, a body of the bearing is fit into a recess of the mounting portion by way of compression.

    [0015] By virtue of the spring-loaded hinge-assemblies of the present invention, the flap door is regardless of the aforementioned non-uniformities always symmetrically biased towards a stable center position located between the side walls. Thereby, the flap door is prevented from producing disturbing noises and/or rattling as it is manipulated by the customer. Also, the locking/unlocking performance is maintained. The flap door can be smoothly opened and closed about the horizontal axis. By the present invention, the adverse effects of the aforementioned non-uniformities have been effectively eliminated and the customer satisfaction has been increased.

    [0016] Additional advantages of the refrigeration appliance of the present invention will become apparent with the detailed description of the embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

    Figure 1 - is a schematic partial perspective view of a refrigeration appliance having a hinge-assembly on a side wall according to an embodiment of the present invention;

    Figure 2 - is a schematic enlarged perspective view of the hinge-assembly according to an embodiment of the present invention;

    Figure 3 - is a schematic partial perspective view of the refrigeration appliance according to an embodiment of the present invention, prior to fixing a bearing of the hinge-assembly to a mounting portion on the side wall;

    Figure 4 - is a schematic exploded partial perspective view of the refrigeration appliance as shown in Fig. 1;

    Figure 5 - is a schematic exploded perspective view of the hinge assembly as shown in Fig. 2;



    [0017] The reference signs appearing on the drawings relate to the following technical features.

    1. Hinge-assembly

    2. Refrigeration appliance

    3. Side wall

    4. Mounting portion

    5. Bearing

    6. Flap hinge

    7. Fixing portion

    8. Retainer

    9. Spring

    10. Threaded portion

    11. Body

    11a. Through-hole

    12. Bolt

    13. Shank

    14. Head

    15. Recess

    16. Grip portion

    17. Refrigeration compartment

    18. Inner lining

    The hinge-assembly (1) is suitable for use with a flap door (not shown) in a refrigeration appliance (2) (Figs. 1 to 5).



    [0018] The refrigeration appliance (2) comprises opposing side walls (3) which define a refrigeration compartment (17), at least two mounting portions (4) each for mounting a hinge-assembly (1), wherein the mounting portions (4) are respectively formed on the opposing side walls (3) and at least one flap door for opening/closing the refrigeration compartment (17), wherein the flap door is mountable to the hinge-assemblies (1) (Figs. 1 to 5).

    [0019] The hinge-assembly (1) of the present invention comprises a flap hinge (6) which has a fixing portion (7) for fastening a flap door, a bearing (5) for movably supporting the flap hinge (6), wherein the bearing (5) is separately provided from the flap hinge (6), a retainer (8) for releasably joining the flap hinge (6) and the bearing (5) together. In the hinge-assembly (1) of the present invention, the flap hinge (6) and the bearing (5) are configured such that the flap hinge (6) is rotatable relative to the bearing (5) about a horizontal axis (Ax) which is perpendicular to the side walls (3), and slidable relative to the bearing (5) through a limited distance along said horizontal axis (Ax), and wherein the flap hinge (6) and the bearing (5) are biased away from each other along said horizontal axis (Ax) by a spring (9) (Figs. 1 to 5).

    [0020] The refrigeration appliance (2) of the present invention comprises at least two hinge assemblies (only one is shown) according to the present invention which are provided as left-handed and right handed configurations respectively. In the refrigeration appliance (2) of the present invention, each of the mounting portions (4) is configured to fix the bearing (5) of a corresponding hinge-assembly (1), and the flap door is configured to fasten to the fixing portion (7) of the flap hinges (6) of the hinge-assemblies (1) (Figs. 1 to 5).

    [0021] In an embodiment, the flap hinge (6) comprises a threaded portion (10). In this embodiment, the bearing (5) comprises a body (11) which has a cylindrical through-hole (11a) along said horizontal axis (Ax). In addition, the retainer (8) comprises a cylindrical threaded bolt (12) which is slidably and rotatably arranged into the through-hole (11a) of the body (11) and firmly screwed to the threaded portion (10) of the flap hinge (6). In this embodiment, the body (11) is confined to relatively slide and rotate between the retainer (8) and the flap hinge (6) with respect to said horizontal axis (Ax) (Figs. 1 to 5).

    [0022] In a version of this embodiment, the spring (9) is a coil compression spring (9) which is sleeved onto a shank (13) of the bolt (12) and compressed on both ends by the flap hinge (6) and the body (11) respectively (Figs. 1 to 5).

    [0023] In another version of this embodiment, the body (11) comprises a first seat (not shown) and a second seat (not shown) which are provided inside the body (11). The first seat is configured to abut against one end of the spring (9). The second seat is configured to block inward movement of the bolt (12) by abutting against its head (14).

    [0024] In another version of this embodiment, each bearing (5) is fixed to a side wall (13) by compression-fitting the body (11) into a corresponding recess (15) of the mounting portion (4) (Figs. 1 to 3).

    [0025] In another version of this embodiment, the body (11) and the corresponding recess (15) are both cylindrical-shaped (Figs. 1 to 5).

    [0026] In another version of this embodiment, the bolt (12) has a grip portion (16) for facilitating the screwing process (Figs. 1 to 5).

    [0027] In another embodiment, the recess (15) of each mounting portions (4) is formed into an inner lining (18) of the refrigeration compartment (17) (Figs. 3 and 4).

    [0028] In a version of this embodiment, the recesses (15) in the inner lining (18) are cylindrical-shaped (Figs. 3 and 4).

    [0029] By virtue of the spring-loaded hinge-assembly (1) of the present invention, the adverse effects of the aforementioned non-uniformities have been effectively eliminated. Thereby, the opening/closing performance and the locking/unlocking performance have been both improved. Thereby, the overall quality has also been perceivably improved and the consumer satisfaction has been increased.


    Claims

    1. A refrigeration appliance (2) comprising

    - at least two hinge assemblies (1) for use with a flap door,

    - at least one flap door for opening/closing the refrigeration compartment (17), wherein the flap door is mountable to the hinge-assemblies (1),

    - opposing side walls (3) which define a refrigeration compartment (17),

    - at least two mounting portions (4) each for mounting a hinge-assembly (1), wherein the mounting portions (4) are respectively formed on the opposing side walls (3),

    - said hinge-assembly (1) comprising a flap hinge (6) and a bearing (5) for movably supporting the flap hinge (6), wherein the bearing (5) is separately provided from the flap hinge (6)

    - wherein the flap hinge (6) and the bearing (5) are configured such that the flap hinge (6) is rotatable relative to the bearing (5) about a horizontal axis (Ax) which is perpendicular to the side walls (3), and slidable relative to the bearing (5) through a limited distance along said horizontal axis (Ax), and wherein the flap hinge (6) and the bearing (5) are biased away from each other along said horizontal axis (Ax) by a spring (9)

    characterized in that

    - the flap hinge (6) has a fixing portion (7) for fastening the flap door, wherein the flap hinge (6) is separately provided from the flap door

    - wherein the hinge assembly (1) comprises a retainer (8) for releasably joining the flap hinge (6) and the bearing (5) together

    - each of the mounting portions (4) is configured to fix the bearing (5) of the corresponding hinge-assembly (1) and wherein the flap door is configured to fasten to the fixing portion (7) of the flap hinges (6) of the hinge-assemblies (1).


     
    2. The refrigeration appliance (2) according to claim 1, characterized in that each mounting portion (4) comprises a recess (15) which is formed into an inner lining (18) of the refrigeration compartment (17).
     
    3. The refrigeration appliance (2) according to claim 2, characterized in that the recess (15) is cylindrical-shaped.
     
    4. The refrigeration appliance (2), according to any of claims 1 to 3 characterized in that

    - the flap hinge (6) comprises a threaded portion (10),

    - the bearing (5) comprises a body (11) having a cylindrical through-hole (11a) along said horizontal axis (Ax) and

    - the retainer (8) comprises a cylindrical threaded bolt (12) which is slidably and rotatably arranged into the through-hole (11a) of the body (11) and firmly screwed to the threaded portion (10) of the flap hinge (6), wherein the body (11) is confined to relatively slide and rotate between the retainer (8) and the flap hinge (6) with respect to said horizontal axis (Ax).


     
    5. The refrigeration appliance (2) according to claim 4, characterized in that the spring (9) is a coil compression spring (9) which is sleeved onto a shank (13) of the bolt (12) and compressed on both ends by the flap hinge (6) and the body (11) respectively.
     
    6. The refrigeration appliance (2) according to claim 4, characterized in that the body (11) comprises a first seat which is configured to abut against one end of the spring (9) and a second seat which is configured to block inward movement of the bolt (12) by abutting against its head (14).
     
    7. The refrigeration appliance (2) according to claim 4, characterized in that each bearing (5) is fixed to a side wall (13) by compression-fitting the body (11) into a corresponding recess (15) of the mounting portion (4).
     
    8. The refrigeration appliance (2) according to claim 4, characterized in that the body (11) and the corresponding recess (15) are both cylindrical-shaped.
     
    9. The refrigeration appliance (2) according to claim 4, characterized in that the bolt (12) has a grip portion (16).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Ein Kühlgerät (2) umfasst

    - mindestens zwei Scharnierbaugruppen (1) zur Verwendung mit einer Klapptür,

    - mindestens eine Klapptür zum Öffnen / Schließen des Kühlraums (17), wobei die Klapptür an den Scharnierbaugruppen (1) montierbar ist;

    - gegenüberliegende Seitenwände (3), die ein Kühlraum (17) definieren,

    - mindestens jeweils zwei Montageabschnitte (4) zum Montieren einer Scharnierbaugruppe (1), wobei die Montageabschnitte (4) jeweils an den gegenüberliegenden Seitenwänden (3) ausgebildet sind,

    - die Scharnieranordnung (1) umfasst ein Klappenscharnier (6) und ein Lager (5) zum beweglichen Tragen des Klappenscharniers (6), wobei das Lager (5) getrennt vom Klappenscharnier (6) vorgesehen ist,

    - wobei das Klappenscharnier (6) und das Lager (5) so konfiguriert sind, dass das Klappenscharnier (6) relativ zum Lager (5) um die horizontale Achse (Ax) drehbar ist, die senkrecht zu den Seitenwänden (3) ist und relativ zum Lager (5) um einen begrenzten Abstand entlang der horizontalen Achse (Ax) verschiebbar ist und das Klappenscharnier (6) und das Lager (5) entlang der horizontalen Achse (Ax) durch eine Feder (9) voneinander weg vorgespannt sind,

    gekennzeichnet ist es dadurch

    - dass das Klappenscharnier (6) einen Befestigungsabschnitt (7) zum Befestigen der Klappentür aufweist, wobei das Klappenscharnier (6) getrennt von der Klappentür vorgesehen ist,

    - wobei die Scharnierbaugruppe (1) einen Halter (8) zum lösbaren Verbinden des Klappenscharniers (6) und des Lagers (5) miteinander umfasst,

    - jeder der Montageabschnitte (4) ist so konfiguriert, dass das Lager (5) der entsprechenden Scharnierbaugruppe (1) befestigt wird, wobei die Klappentür so konfiguriert ist, dass an dem Befestigungsabschnitt (7) der Klappenscharniere (6) der Scharnierbaugruppen (1) befestigt wird.


     
    2. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in Anspruch 1 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jeder Montageabschnitt (4) eine Aussparung (15) aufweist, die zu einer Innenauskleidung (18) des Kühlraums (17) geformt ist.
     
    3. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in Anspruch 2 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Aussparung (15) zylindrisch geformt ist.
     
    4. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet,

    - dass das Klappenscharnier (6) einen Gewindeabschnitt (10) umfasst,

    - dass das Lager (5) einen Körper (11) mit einem zylindrischen Durchgangsloch (11a) entlang der horizontalen Achse (Ax) umfasst und

    - dass der Halter (8) einen zylindrischen Gewindebolzen (12) umfasst, der verschieb- und drehbar in das Durchgangsloch (11a) des Körpers (11) angeordnet und fest mit dem Gewindeabschnitt (10) des Klappenscharniers (6) verschraubt ist, wobei der Körper (11) darauf beschränkt ist, sich relativ zwischen dem Halter (8) und dem Klappenscharnier (6) in Bezug auf die horizontale Achse (Ax) zu gleiten und sich zu drehen.


     
    5. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in Anspruch 4 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Feder (9) eine Schraubenkompressionsfeder (9) ist, die auf einen Schaft (13) des Gewindebolzens (12) geschlungen und an beiden Enden durch das Klappenscharnier (6) bzw. den Körper (11) zusammengedrückt ist.
     
    6. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in Anspruch 4 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Körper (11) einen ersten Sitz umfasst, dass an einem Ende der Feder (9) anliegt, und einen zweiten Sitz, der so konfiguriert ist, dass er die Bewegung des Gewindebolzens (12) nach innen blockiert, indem er an seinem Kopf (14) anliegt.
     
    7. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in Anspruch 4 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jedes Lager (5) an einer Seitenwand (13) befestigt ist, indem der Körper (11) in eine entsprechende Aussparung (15) des Montageabschnitts (4) zusammengedrückt wird.
     
    8. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in Anspruch 4 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Körper (11) und die entsprechende Aussparung (15) zylindrisch geformt sind.
     
    9. Das Kühlgerät (2), wie in Anspruch 4 aufgeführt, ist dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Gewindebolzen (12) einen Griffabschnitt (16) aufweist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Un appareil de réfrigération (2) comprenant

    - au moins deux charnières (1) pour une utilisation avec une porte à clapet,

    - au moins une porte à clapet pour ouvrir/fermer le compartiment de réfrigération (17), la porte à clapet étant montable sur les charnières (1),

    - des parois latérales opposées (3) qui définissent un compartiment de réfrigération (17),

    - au moins deux parties de montage (4) chacune pour le montage d'un ensemble de charnière (1), les parties de montage (4) étant respectivement formées sur les parois latérales opposées (3),

    - ledit ensemble de charnière (1) comprenant une charnière de volet (6) et un palier (5) pour supporter de manière mobile la charnière de volet (6), dans lequel le palier (5) est prévu séparément de la charnière de volet (6)

    - dans lequel la charnière de volet (6) et le palier (5) sont configurés de telle sorte que la charnière de volet (6) peut tourner par rapport au palier (5) autour d'un axe horizontal (Ax) qui est perpendiculaire aux parois latérales (3), et peut coulisser par rapport au palier (5) sur une distance limitée le long dudit axe horizontal (Ax), et dans lequel la charnière de volet (6) et le palier (5) sont sollicités à l'écart l'un de l'autre le long dudit axe horizontal (Ax) par un ressort (9)

    est caractérisé en ce que

    - la charnière de volet (6) présente une partie de fixation (7) pour la fixation de la porte de volet, la charnière de volet (6) étant prévue séparément de la porte de volet

    - dans lequel l'ensemble de charnière (1) comprend un dispositif de retenue (8) pour relier de manière amovible la charnière de volet (6) et le palier (5)

    - chacune des parties de montage (4) est configurée pour fixer le palier (5) de l'ensemble de charnières (1) correspondant et dans lequel la porte battante est configurée pour se fixer à la partie de fixation (7) des charnières de volet (6) des ensembles de charnières (1).


     
    2. L'appareil de réfrigération (2) selon la déclaration 1, est caractérisé en ce que chaque partie de montage (4) comprend un évidement (15) qui est formé dans un revêtement intérieur (18) du compartiment de réfrigération (17).
     
    3. L'appareil de réfrigération (2) selon la déclaration 2, est caractérisé en ce que l'évidement (15) est de forme cylindrique.
     
    4. L'appareil de réfrigération (2), selon l'une des déclarations 1 à 3 est caractérisé en ce que

    - la charnière de volet (6) comporte une partie filetée (10),

    - le palier (5) comprend un corps (11) ayant un trou traversant cylindrique (11a) le long dudit axe horizontal (Ax) et

    - le dispositif de retenue (8) comprend un boulon fileté cylindrique (12) qui est disposé de manière coulissante et rotative dans le trou traversant (11a) du corps (11) et fermement vissé à la partie filetée (10) de la charnière de volet (6), dans lequel le corps (11) est confiné pour coulisser et tourner relativement entre le dispositif de retenue (8) et la charnière de volet (6) par rapport audit axe horizontal (Ax).


     
    5. L'appareil de réfrigération (2) selon la déclaration 4, est caractérisé en ce que le ressort (9) est un ressort de compression hélicoïdal (9) qui est emmanché sur une tige (13) du boulon (12) et comprimé aux deux extrémités par la charnière du volet (6) et le corps (11) respectivement.
     
    6. L'appareil de réfrigération (2) selon la déclaration 4, est caractérisé en ce que le corps (11) comprend un premier siège qui est configuré pour buter contre une extrémité du ressort (9) et un second siège qui est configuré pour bloquer le mouvement vers l'intérieur du boulon (12) en butant contre sa tête (14).
     
    7. L'appareil de réfrigération (2) selon la déclaration 4, est caractérisé en ce que chaque palier (5) est fixé à une paroi latérale (13) par emboîtement par compression du corps (11) dans un évidement correspondant (15) de la partie de montage (4).
     
    8. L'appareil de réfrigération (2) selon la déclaration 4, est caractérisé en ce que le corps (11) et l'évidement correspondant (15) sont tous deux de forme cylindrique.
     
    9. L'appareil de réfrigération (2) selon la déclaration 4, est caractérisé en ce que le boulon (12) possède une partie de préhension (16).
     




    Drawing


















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description