(19)
(11)EP 3 626 876 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
25.03.2020 Bulletin 2020/13

(21)Application number: 19198709.8

(22)Date of filing:  20.09.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
D06F 37/40(2006.01)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 21.09.2018 KR 20180113471

(71)Applicant: LG Electronics Inc.
Seoul 07336 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • LEE, Jeonguk
    Seoul 08592 (KR)
  • PYO, Joonho
    Seoul 08592 (KR)
  • LEE, Taehee
    Seoul 08592 (KR)

(74)Representative: Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 
Siebertstrasse 3
81675 München
81675 München (DE)

  


(54)WASHING MACHINE


(57) A washing machine includes: a washing tub configured to accommodate laundry, and be rotatably disposed; a pulsator configured to be rotatably disposed in the washing tub; a drive shaft configured to rotate the pulsator; a dehydration shaft configured to be connected to the washing tub, and have a first hollow through which the drive shaft passes; a solenoid configured to form a magnetic field when a current is applied; a fixing core configured to surround the solenoid; and a clutch configured to perform a shaft-joint or a shaft-joint release between the drive shaft and the dehydration shaft, wherein the clutch includes: an armature configured to be lifted by a magnetic force of the solenoid; and a clutch coupler configured to be elevated along the dehydration shaft, perform the shaft-joint between the drive shaft and the dehydration shaft in a first position, and perform the shaft-joint release between the drive shaft and the dehydration shaft in a second position lifted from the first position, wherein the armature includes: a core base configured to be disposed below the fixing core, and extended outward from the clutch coupler; and a core outer portion configured to be extended upward from an outer circumference of the core base.




Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


1. Field of the invention



[0001] The present invention relates to a washing machine having a clutch operated by a solenoid.

2. Description of the Related Art



[0002] A washing machine which is provided with a clutch that is operated by a solenoid, and selectively connects (or shaft-joint) or disconnects (or shaft-joint release) a laundry shaft and a dehydration shaft is well known. For example, Korean Patent Laid-Open Publication No. 2003-0023316 (hereinafter, referred to as "related art"), as shown in FIG. 1, discloses a structure in which a slider 94 serration-coupled with a dehydration shaft 93 is separated from a driving container 92 formed in a rotor 91 of a washing motor while being lifted by the magnetic force of a solenoid 95.

[0003] In the state where power is not applied to the solenoid 95, the slider 94 is engaged with both the dehydration shaft 93 and the driving container 92, so that the rotational force of the rotor 91 is transmitted to the dehydration shaft 93 through the slider 94. At this time, the washing shaft 96 and the dehydration shaft 93 are rotated together.

[0004] On the contrary, when power is applied to the solenoid 95, the slider 94 is lifted up by the magnetic force of the solenoid 95 and separated from the driving container 92. Therefore, since the rotational force of the rotor 91 is no longer transmitted to the dehydration shaft 93, only the washing shaft 96 connected to the rotor 91 is rotated.

[0005] The solenoid 95 is disposed in a space surrounded by first and second yoke plates 97 and 98. At this time, in the second yoke plate 98, a flat portion 982 bent at the lower end of a cylindrical portion 981 surrounds the bottom surface of the solenoid 95.

[0006] In the slider 94, a movable yoke 94a of metallic material receives force upward due to the magnetic force of the solenoid 95. At this time, a coupling body 94b serration-coupled with the dehydration shaft 96 in the movable yoke 94a is lifted along the dehydration shaft 96 together with the movable yoke 94a.

[0007] The movable yoke 94a is configured to include a cylindrical portion 941 disposed in an inner area of the solenoid 95, and a flange 943 that is extended from the lower end of the cylindrical portion 941, and has an unevenness portion 942 engaged with an unevenness formed in the driving container 92. When a current is applied to the solenoid 95 and the movable yoke 94a is lifted, the flange 943 collides with the flat portion 982 of the second yoke plate 98, which generates a noise.

[0008] In particular, when the movable yoke 94a is positioned in the uppermost end, the magnetic force applied to the movable yoke 94a from the solenoid 95 reaches tens of times in comparison with a case where the movable yoke 94a is positioned in the lowermost end. This is because as the movable yoke 94a is lifted and the flange 943 of the movable yoke 94a approaches the flat portion 982 of the second yoke plate 98, the magnetic resistance decreases rapidly, and to that extent, the magnetic force increases dramatically. For this reason, the noise is greatly generated because the movable yoke 94a is accelerated during lifting and collides with the flat portion 982 of the second yoke plate 98 at a high speed in the uppermost end.

[0009] In addition, since the flange 943 of the movable yoke 94a is far from the flat portion 982 of the second yoke plate 98 in the state where the movable yoke 94a is positioned at the lower end, the initial lifting speed of the movable yoke 94a is slow. However, since the electromagnetic force between the flange 943 and the flat portion 982 is inversely proportional to the square of the distance, the attractive force between the flange 943 and the flat portion 982 increases rapidly as the movable yoke 94a is gradually lifted. That is, in the related art, sufficient lifting force is not applied to the movable yoke 94a at the initial stage of the lifting of the movable yoke 94a that requires the accuracy of operation. On the contrary, at the maximum lift position, excessive lifting force is applied to generate noise and burnout of components due to impact with the second yoke plate 98.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0010] The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and provides a washing machine that has a clutch operated by a solenoid, and in particular, allows the magnetic force applied to the clutch to be uniform in the process of raising the clutch in comparison with the related art.

[0011] The present invention further provides a washing machine that reduces the impact and noise when the clutch is in collision with a fixing core in the process of raising the clutch.

[0012] The present invention further provides a washing machine in which sufficient lifting force is applied to the clutch at the initial stage of the raising of the clutch for connecting the drive shaft and the dehydration shaft.

[0013] The present invention further provides a washing machine that can rapidly increase the lifting force applied to the clutch, when the clutch reaches a certain height.

[0014] The present invention further provides a washing machine which increases the magnetic flux contributing to the lift of the clutch by improving the magnetic path where the magnetic flux generated from the solenoid moves.

[0015] The present invention further provides a washing machine in which a separate fixing core added to construct the magnetic path is eliminated, by allowing a bearing housing for accommodating a bearing supporting the dehydration shaft to constitute a part of the magnetic path through which the magnetic flux generated from the solenoid passes.

[0016] The present invention further provides a washing machine in which a separate part used to install the conventional solenoid is eliminated, by disposing the solenoid in the bearing housing.

[0017] The present invention further provides a washing machine that can utilize the magnetic flux flowing from an armature to the dehydration shaft to lift the armature.

[0018] The washing machine of the present invention operates by a solenoid, and includes a clutch that performs a shaft-joint (or connection) or a shaft-joint release (or disconnection/separation) between the drive shaft and the dehydration shaft.

[0019] The drive shaft is an axis for rotating the pulsator. The drive shaft may be directly connected to the pulsator or connected by planetary geartrains.

[0020] The dehydration shaft is connected to the washing tub, and has a first hollow through which the drive shaft passes is formed. At least a part of the dehydration shaft is formed of ferromagnetic material.

[0021] A fixing core surrounding the solenoid is provided. The clutch includes: an armature configured to be lifted by a magnetic force of the solenoid; and a clutch coupler configured to be elevated by the armature (or moved together with the armature).

[0022] The armature includes: a core base configured to be disposed below the fixing core, and extended outward from the clutch coupler; and a core outer portion configured to be extended upward from an outer circumference of the core base, extended outwards in a radial direction toward an upward, and extended further outward than the fixing core.

[0023] The clutch coupler is lifted along the dehydration shaft. The inner circumferential surface of the clutch coupler defines a second hollow through which the dehydration shaft passes, and is spline-jointed to the outer circumferential surface of the dehydration shaft.

[0024] The clutch coupler perform a shaft-joint between the drive shaft and the dehydration shaft in a connection position, and perform a shaft-joint release between the drive shaft and the dehydration shaft in a disconnection position lifted from the connection position.

[0025] When the clutch is located in the connection position, the upper end of the core outer portion is closer to the fixing core than the core base, and the upper end of the inclined core is spaced apart from the fixing core.

[0026] The magnetic flux generated by the solenoid is moved along the fixing core, the core outer portion, the core base, and the dehydration shaft. A bearing for supporting the dehydration shaft in the upper side of the solenoid may be further included. In this case, a magnetic path passing through the fixing core, the core outer portion, the core base, the dehydration shaft, and the bearing is formed.

[0027] At least a part of the bearing is made of ferromagnetic material. A bearing housing for accommodating the bearing is provided, and the solenoid may be installed in the bearing housing.

[0028] The fixing core may constitute the bearing housing. The bearing housing may include a cylindrical portion (or a tubular portion) that extends in a vertical direction and surrounds the bearing and the solenoid, and the cylindrical portion may constitute the fixing core.

[0029] The core outer portion may be inclined at a certain acute angle with respect to the horizontal. The core outer portion may be in the form of a truncated cone having an upper end diameter larger than the lower end. The lower end of the fixing core may be located in an area surrounded by the core outer portion in a state in which the armature is lifted in correspondence with the disconnection position.

[0030] An elastic member may be provided to apply the repulsive force to the clutch in a downward direction. The solenoid may include a bobbin having a hollow through which the dehydration shaft passes, and a coil wound around the bobbin.

[0031] The elastic member may be a coil spring disposed in the hollow in an outer insertion state to the dehydration shaft, and the coil spring may be disposed between the bearing and the clutch coupler.

[0032] Washing motor having a rotor connected to the drive shaft, and a rotor hub for connecting the rotor with the drive shaft may be further provided. The clutch coupler may be engaged with the rotor hub in the connection position and may be separated from the rotor hub in the disconnection position.

[0033] A washing machine according to another aspect of the present invention includes an armature configured of a core base and a core outer portion. The core outer portion has a cylindrical form extended upward from the outer circumference of the core base.

[0034] The core outer portion includes a lower core outer portion configured to be extended upward from an outer circumference of the core base, an upper core outer portion configured to be positioned above the lower core outer portion and have a lower end having a larger inner diameter than the lower core outer portion, and a core connecting portion configured to form an angle with respect to vertical at an angle greater than an angle that the upper core outer portion forms with respect to vertical, and be extended to a lower end of the lower core outer portion from an upper end of the upper core outer portion.

[0035] The force acting between the fixing core and the lower core outer portion may put declination on the force acting between the fixing core and the upper core outer portion according to the inner diameter difference of the upper core outer portion and the lower core outer portion.

[0036] A lower end of the fixing core is positioned in an area surrounded by the lower core outer portion, in a state where the armature is lifted in correspondence with the second position.

[0037] The lower core outer portion reaches from the core base to a first height, and the upper core outer portion has an inner diameter greater than the lower core outer portion at the first height. The core connecting portion may be extended horizontally.

[0038] The core base has an opening through which the dehydration shaft passes, and the armature may further include a core inner portion extended upward from a circumference of the opening.

[0039] The core inner portion may have a cylindrical shape surrounding the circumference of the dehydration shaft, and may extend from the core base to a height higher than the outer core portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0040] The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a clutching system of a washing machine according to a related art;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a slider shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 shows a cross section of the slider shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 shows a magnetic field in a portion shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 shows a washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a partially exploded perspective view of the washing machine shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of a portion shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 shows a state (a) in which a clutch is in a connection position, and shows a state (b) in which the clutch is in a disconnection position;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view (a) and a side view (b) of a lower bearing housing shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view (a), a side view (b), and a plan view (c) of a clutch shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view (a) and a plan view (b) of a rotor hub shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged view of a portion indicated by A in FIG. 8;

FIG. 14 is a partial view of a washing machine according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15 shows a state (a) in which a clutch is in a connection position, and a state (b) in which the clutch is lifted from the connection position and separated from a rotor hub, in the washing machine shown in FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a graph showing a lifting force (a) according to a lift height of a clutch in the washing machine (the washing machine shown in FIG. 6) according to an embodiment of the present invention in comparison with the related art (b); and

FIG. 17 is a graph showing a lifting force according to the lift height of the clutch in the washing machine (the washing machine shown in FIG. 14) according to another embodiment of the present invention.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



[0041] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the accompanying drawings in detail. The same reference numbers are used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts. Detailed descriptions of well-known functions and structures incorporated herein may be omitted to avoid obscuring the subject matter of the present invention.

[0042] FIG. 6 shows a washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 7 is a partially exploded perspective view of the washing machine shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of a portion shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 9 shows a state (a) in which a clutch is in a connection position, and shows a state (b) in which the clutch is in a disconnection position. FIG. 10 is a perspective view (a) and a side view (b) of a lower bearing housing shown in FIG. 8. FIG. 11 is a perspective view (a), a side view (b), and a plan view (c) of a clutch shown in FIG. 8. FIG. 12 is a perspective view (a) and a plan view (b) of a rotor hub shown in FIG. 8. FIG. 13 is an enlarged view of a portion indicated by A in FIG. 8;

[0043] Referring to FIGS. 6 to 8, a washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention may include a casing 1 that forms an outer shape, and forms a space in which a water storage tank 3 is accommodated. The casing 1 may include a cabinet 11 having an opened upper surface, and a top cover 12 coupled to the opened upper surface of the cabinet 11 and having a load port, through which laundry is introduced, formed in an approximately central portion thereof. The top cover 12 may be rotatably coupled to a door (not shown) for opening and closing the load port.

[0044] A suspension 15 which suspends the water storage tank 3 on the casing 1 may be provided. An upper end of the suspension 15 may be connected to the top cover 12, and the lower end may be connected to the water storage tank 3, and the suspension 15 may be provided in each of four corners in the casing 1.

[0045] A control panel 14 may be provided in the top cover 12. The control panel 14 may include an input unit (e.g., a button, a dial, a touch pad, etc.) for receiving various control commands for controlling the operation of the washing machine from a user, and a display unit (e.g., LCD, LED display, etc.) for visually displaying the operating state of the washing machine).

[0046] A water supply pipe 7 for guiding water supplied from an external water source such as a faucet, and a water supply valve 8 for controlling the water supply pipe 7 may be provided. The water supply valve 8 may be controlled by a controller 17. The controller 17 may control not only the water supply valve 8 but also overall operation of the washing machine. The controller 17 may include a microprocessor having a memory for storing data. Hereinafter, unless otherwise stated, it will be understood that the control of the electrical/electronic components constituting the washing machine is performed by the controller 17.

[0047] A drawer 18 containing the detergent may be housed in a drawer housing 19 to be retractable. The water supplied through the water supply valve 8 is mixed with the detergent while passing through the drawer 18, and then discharged into the water storage tank 3 or a washing tub 4. A discharge pipe 21 for discharging the water from the water storage tank 3 and a drain valve 22 for controlling the discharge pipe 21 may be provided. The water discharged through the discharge pipe 21 may be pumped by a drain pump 24 and discharged to the outside of the washing machine through a drain pipe 25.

[0048] The washing tub 4 accommodates laundry and is rotated about a vertical axis in the water storage tank 3. A pulsator 5 is rotatably provided in the washing tub 4. The pulsator 5 is connected to a pulsator shaft 31.

[0049] A drive shaft 6a is implemented to rotate the pulsator 5 and is rotated by a washing motor 6. The drive shaft 6a is connected to a rotor 63 of the washing motor 6. Planetary geartrains 80 that receive rotational force of the drive shaft 6a of the washing motor 6 and convert an output at a preset speed ratio or torque ratio to rotate the pulsator shaft 31 may be provided.

[0050] The planetary geartrains 80 rotates the pulsator shaft 31 by converting the torque inputted through the drive shaft 6a according to a set gear ratio. The gear ratio may be determined according to the number of tooth of a sun gear 81, a pinion gear 82, and a ring gear 84.

[0051] That is, in the embodiment, the drive shaft 6a is not directly connected to the pulsator 5 but is connected to the pulsator 5 by the planetary geartrains 80 and the pulsator shaft 31. However, the present invention is not limited thereto and, in some embodiments, the planetary geartrains 80 may not be used but the drive shaft 6a of the washing motor 6 may be directly connected to the pulsator 5.

[0052] Referring to FIG. 8, the planetary geartrains 80 is disposed in a gear housing 32a constituting the lower end of a dehydration shaft 32 described later. The gear housing 32a is coupled with an upper dehydration shaft 32b constituting the upper end portion of the dehydration shaft 32. More specifically, the dehydration shaft 32 is composed of an assembly of the gear housing 32a and the upper dehydration shaft 32b, and a first hollow 32h is formed to penetrate the assembly as a whole. A bearing 35 is configured to support the gear housing 32a.

[0053] However, in some embodiments, when the planetary geartrains 80 is not provided, the gear housing 32a is also unnecessary. Therefore, in this case, the dehydration shaft 32 is composed of only the upper dehydration shaft 32b, and thus may be supported by the bearing 35.

[0054] The gear housing 32a may include a lower gear housing 32a1 and an upper gear housing 32a2. The lower gear housing 32a1 and the upper gear housing 32a2 are coupled to each other by a fastening member such as screw or bolt. The lower gear housing 32a1 is formed in a cylindrical shape as a whole and forms a hollow extending in the vertical direction, and the drive shaft 6a is inserted into the hollow.

[0055] The lower gear housing 32a1 may include a hollow shaft 321 that forms the first hollow 32h and a lower flange 322 that extends outward in the radial direction from the upper end of the hollow shaft 321. The bearing 33 for supporting the hollow shaft 321 and the drive shaft 6a to rotate relatively is interposed between the hollow shaft 321 and the drive shaft 6a.

[0056] The upper gear housing 32a2 is disposed above the lower gear housing 32a1. The upper gear housing 32a2 forms a certain accommodation space above the lower flange 322, and the planetary geartrains 80 is disposed in the accommodation space. The accommodation space has a form of generally extending in the vertical direction, and the upper side and the lower side are open respectively.

[0057] The upper gear housing 32a2 is provided with a boss 325 coupled with the upper dehydration shaft 32b, and an upper side of the accommodation space is opened by the boss 325. The upper gear housing 32a2 may includes a housing body 326 forming an inner circumferential surface surrounding the ring gear 84, and an upper flange 323 extends outwardly along the radial direction from an opened lower side of the housing body 326, and is engaged with a lower flange 322, and the boss 325 extends upwardly from the housing body 326.

[0058] The sun gear 81 is connected to the drive shaft 6a, and rotates integrally with the drive shaft 6a. In the embodiment, the sun gear 81 is a helical gear, and correspondingly, the pinion gear 82 and the ring gear 84 are also configured to have teeth in the form of a helical gear, but are not necessarily limited thereto. For example, the sun gear 81 is implemented of a spur gear, and the pinion gear 82 and the ring gear 84 may also have teeth in the form of a spur gear.

[0059] The ring gear 84 may be fixed in the housing body 326 (or with respect to the housing body 326). That is, the ring gear 84 is rotated integrally with the gear housing 32a. The ring gear 84 is provided with teeth formed on an inner circumferential surface defining a ring-shaped opening.

[0060] The pinion gear 82 is interposed between the sun gear 81 and the ring gear 84 to mesh with the sun gear 81 and the ring gear 84. A plurality of pinion gears 82 may be disposed along the circumference of the sun gear 81, and each pinion gear 82 is rotatably supported by a carrier 83. The pinion gear 82 may be formed of acetal resin (POM).

[0061] The carrier 83 is engaged with (shaft joint) the pulsator shaft 31. The carrier 83 is a type of link that connects the pinion gear 82 and the pulsator shaft 31. That is, as the pinion gear 82 revolves around the sun gear 81, the carrier 83 is rotated, so that the pulsator shaft 31 is rotated.

[0062] The washing motor 6 may be a brushless direct current (BLDC) motor of an outer rotor type. Specifically, the washing motor 6 may include a stator 61 in which a stator coil 61b is wound around a stator core 61a, and a rotor 63 that is rotated by an electromagnetic force acting between the stator 61 and the rotor 63. The rotor 63 may include a rotor frame 64 that fixes a plurality of permanent magnets 62 spaced along the circumferential direction, and a rotor hub 65 that connects the center of the rotor frame 64 with the drive shaft 6a.

[0063] However, the type of the washing motor 6 is not limited thereto. For example, the washing motor 6 may be an inner rotor type, and may be an AC motor such as an induction motor and a shaded pole motor and, furthermore, may be formed of well known various types of motor.

[0064] Meanwhile, the rotor hub 65 may include a rotor bush 65a coupled to the drive shaft 6a and a coupling flange 65b coupling the rotor bush 65a to the center of the rotor frame 64. The coupling flange 65b may include a cylindrical flange body portion 65b1 into which the rotor bush 65a is inserted, and a flange portion 65b2 is extended outward from the flange body portion 65b1 and coupled with the rotor frame 64 by a fastening member such as screw or bolt. In particular, engaging grooves 65b3 engaging with a clutch coupler 41 described later may be formed in the inner circumferential surface of the flange body portion 65b1.

[0065] The rotor bush 65a may be formed of a metal material (preferably, stainless steel, but not limited thereto). The rotor bush 65a is coupled to the drive shaft 6a. Preferably, the inner circumferential surface of the rotor bush 65a may be spline-jointed to the outer circumferential surface of the drive shaft 6a. In FIG. 12C, 65a1 illustrates teeth formed in the inner circumferential surface of the rotor bush 65a.

[0066] The coupling flange 65b is formed of a synthetic resin material, and is interposed between the rotor bush 65a and the rotor frame 64 so as to perform insulation so that the magnetic flux is not transmitted from the rotor frame 64 to the rotor bush 65a.

[0067] The rotor bush 65a and the coupling flange 65b can be integrally formed, by injecting a synthetic resin to form the coupling flange 65b while inserting the rotor bush 65a into a mold.

[0068] The dehydration shaft 32 is connected to the washing tub 4, and the first hollow 32h through which the pulsator shaft 31 passes is formed inside. The dehydration shaft 32 may be formed of a ferromagnetic agent. The dehydration shaft 32 may be connected to the washing tub 4 by a hub base 29 (see FIG. 6). The hub base 29 is coupled to the lower end of the washing tub 4, and a fastener through which the dehydration shaft 32 passes is formed in the center of the hub base 29. The dehydration shaft 32 is spline-jointed to the inner circumferential surface of the fastener, so that the hub base 29 is rotated together when the dehydration shaft 32 is rotated. In the upper end 32b1 (see FIG. 7) of the dehydration shaft 32 passed through the hub base 29, a nut (not shown) that fastens the dehydration shaft 32 not to be separated from the hub base 29 may be fastened.

[0069] Here, a spline-coupling means that a spline 328 such as a tooth or a key extended axially is formed in one of the dehydration shaft 32 or the hub base 29, and a groove engaged with the spline is formed in the other, so that the spline and the groove are engaged with each other. The hub base 29 is also rotated together with the dehydration shaft 32 when the dehydration shaft 32 is rotated by such an engagement. When the cross section of the tooth constituting the spline is triangular, this may be separately referred to as serration.

[0070] Referring to FIG. 8, the bearing 35 supporting the dehydration shaft 32 is provided in a bearing housing 70. At least a part of the bearing 35 may be formed of ferromagnetic material. The bearing 35 may be a rolling bearing. In this case, the bearing 35 may include an inner ring 35a coupled with the dehydration shaft, an outer ring which is a non-rotating fixture coupled with the bearing housing 70, and a rolling element 35c (e.g., a ball or roller) which is held by a retainer (not shown) between the inner ring 35a and the outer ring 35b to support the inner ring 35a to be rotated with respect to the outer ring 35b. At least one of the inner ring 35a, the outer ring 35b, the rolling element 35c, and the retainer may be formed of a ferromagnetic material.

[0071] The bearing housing 70 may be coupled to the bottom surface of the water storage tank 3. The bearing housing 70 may be formed of ferromagnetic material. The bearing housing 70 may include an upper bearing housing 71 coupled to the bottom surface of the water storage tank 3, and a lower bearing housing 72 that is coupled to the upper bearing housing 71 in the lower side of the upper bearing housing 71, and defines a space in which the bearing 35 is accommodated between the upper bearing housing 71 and the lower bearing housing 72.

[0072] Referring to FIGS. 8 and 13, a solenoid 50 that forms a magnetic field when a current is applied is provided. The solenoid 50 may be disposed in the bearing housing 70. The solenoid 50 has a coil wound about the dehydration shaft 32. Specifically, the solenoid 50 may include a bobbin 51 and a coil 52 wound around the bobbin 51. The bobbin 51 is provided with a hollow through which the dehydration shaft 32 passes, and the coil 52 is wound around the outer circumference of the bobbin 51.

[0073] The coil 52 may be wrapped with a resin of a flame retardant material. The bobbin 51 may include a cylindrical bobbin body portion 511 which is wound around with the coil 52, an upper plate portion 512 extended outward from an upper end of the bobbin body portion 511, and a lower plate portion 513 extended outward from a lower end of the bobbin body portion 511. The lower plate portion 513 of the bobbin 51 may be supported by a portion 726 (see FIG. 13) protruding radially inward from the lower end of a second fixing core 723.

[0074] A fixing core (magnetic core) 721 surrounding the solenoid 50 is provided. The fixing core 721 forms a magnetic path through which the magnetic field generated by the solenoid 50 passes. The fixing core 721 may be formed in the bearing housing 70.

[0075] The bearing housing 70 may include a cylindrical first fixing core 722 surrounding an outer circumference of the bearing 35, and a cylindrical second fixing core 723 that is extended downward from the first fixing core 722 and surrounds the outer circumference of the solenoid 50.

[0076] In detail, the lower bearing housing 72 includes a cylindrical (or tubular) portion 721 that wraps around the dehydration shaft 32 and is extended in the vertical direction, and such a cylindrical portion 721 corresponds to the fixing core 722, 723 that forms the magnetic path.

[0077] However, the present invention is not limited thereto, and it is also possible to configure the fixing core as a separate component from the bearing housing 70.

[0078] Referring to FIG. 10, the lower bearing housing 72 may include a ring-shaped coupling flange portion 72a coupled to the upper bearing housing 71 by a fastening member such as a screw or bolt, and a cylindrical housing side portion 72b extended downward from the inner diameter portion of the coupling flange portion 72a. The first fixing core 722 and the second fixing core 723 may constitute the housing side portion 72b.

[0079] The lower bearing housing 72 may further include a housing lower plate portion 72c extended radially inward from a lower end of the housing side portion 72b. The dehydration shaft 32 passes through the housing lower plate portion 72c. The first fixing core 722 may extend downwardly from the housing lower plate portion 72c. Preferably, the first fixing core 722 extends downwardly from around an opening through which the dehydration shaft 32 passes.

[0080] Meanwhile, in the lower bearing housing 72, an opening 72h through which the dehydration shaft 32 passes may be formed below the second fixing core 723. The opening 72h is defined by the portion 726 protruding radially inward from the lower end of the housing side portion 72b. In this case, the opening 72h may have a larger diameter than the hollow (hollow through which the dehydration shaft 32 passes) formed in the bobbin 51.

[0081] Meanwhile, the second fixing core 723 may have a smaller inner diameter than the first fixing core 722. In addition, the upper plate portion 512 of the bobbin 51 is protruded outward in the radial direction more than the coil 52, so that such a protruding portion 512a may be supported by the horizontal portion (i.e., on the inner side surface of the tubular portion 721, the surface 724 extended substantially horizontally from the lower end of the first fixing core 722 to the upper end of the second fixing core 723) formed due to an inner diameter difference between the first fixing core 722 and the second fixing core 723.

[0082] The clutch 40 which performs a shaft-joint (or connection) or a shaft-joint release (or disconnection) between the drive shaft 6a and the dehydration shaft 32 is provided. The clutch 40 is provided to be lifted along the dehydration shaft 32 from the lower side of the solenoid 50. The clutch 40 performs a shaft-joint between the drive shaft 6a and the dehydration shaft 32 at a connection position, and performs a shaft-joint release between the drive shaft 6a and the dehydration shaft 32 at a disconnection position of being lifted from the connection position by the magnetic force of the solenoid 50.

[0083] The clutch 40 is disposed below the solenoid 50 as a whole, but the armature 42 or plunger, or a movable core forming a magnetic path of the flux formed by the solenoid 50 may partially reach the inside of the solenoid 50. The armature 42 may be formed of ferromagnetic material.

[0084] Referring to FIG. 11, the clutch 40 further includes a clutch coupler 41 that is moved by the armature 42. The clutch coupler 41 is formed in a cylindrical shape as a whole to form a second hollow 41h into which the dehydration shaft 32 is inserted. The clutch coupler 41 may be formed of a synthetic resin material, but is not necessarily limited thereto, and may be formed of a metal (e.g., ferromagnetic material).

[0085] Since the inner circumferential surface defining the second hollow 41h is spline-jointed to the outer circumferential surface of the dehydration shaft 32, the clutch coupler 41 may move in the axial direction (i.e., the longitudinal direction of the dehydration shaft 32) in the state where the clutch rotation with respect to the dehydration shaft 32 is restrained. The inner circumferential surface may be provided with an engaging groove 41r that mesh (or engages) with teeth 725 (see FIG. 7) formed in the outer circumferential surface of the dehydration shaft 32.

[0086] The clutch coupler 41 performs a shaft-joint (connection) between the drive shaft 6a and the dehydration shaft 32 at a first position corresponding to the connection position (see FIG. 9A), and performs a shaft-joint release (disconnection) between the drive shaft 6a and the dehydration shaft 32 at a second position corresponding to the disconnection position (see FIG. 9B).

[0087] Referring to FIG. 12, at the lower end of the clutch coupler 41, when the clutch coupler 41 is located in the first position, teeth 41a engaging with the engaging groove 65b3 of the coupling flange 65b may be formed.

[0088] Lifting operation of the clutch coupler 41 along the dehydration shaft 32 is performed by the armature 42. That is, the lifting of the clutch coupler 41 is achieved by the lifting force applied from the armature 42 which is lifted by the electromagnetic interaction with the solenoid 50.

[0089] The clutch coupler 41 may be coupled to the armature 42, and may be integrally lifted with the armature 42. The clutch coupler 41 may be formed by injecting the synthetic resin in the state where the rotor armature 42 is inserted into the mold, so that the clutch coupler 41 and the armature 42 can be integrally formed.

[0090] Referring to FIG. 13, an elastic member 39 for pushing the clutch 40 downward may be further provided. In this case, in order for the clutch 40 to be lifted when a current is applied to the solenoid 50, the lifting force acting on the clutch 40 due to the magnetic field must be greater than a descending force applied by the elastic member 39 to the clutch 40.

[0091] The elastic member 39 may be a coil spring. The coil spring 39 may be disposed inside the bobbin 51, and may be interposed between the bearing 35 and the clutch coupler 41. The upper end of the coil spring 39 may contact the bearing 35 and the lower end may contact the clutch coupler 41.

[0092] The armature 42 may include a core base 421 disposed below the fixing core 721 and extended outward from the clutch coupler 41, and a core outer portion 42a (see FIGS. 11 and 13) extended upward from the outer circumference of the core base 421. The core outer portion 42a is gradually extended outward along the radial direction as it progresses toward the upper side, and extended further outward than the fixing core 721.

[0093] The core outer portion 42a has a truncated cone shape where a diameter is minimized at the lower end portion connected to the core base 421 and the diameter is maximized at the upper end, and an angle θ of the core outer portion 42a with respect to the horizontal is an acute angle.

[0094] As shown in FIG. 13, when the height of the armature 42 is increased by Δh, the distance s between the lower end of the fixing core 721 and the core outer portion 42a is reduced by Δh cosθ. In particular, since the magnetic flux flowing between the fixing core 721 and the core base 421 is applied mainly between the lower end of the fixing core 721 and the core base 421, i.e., between the line and the surface, the strength of the magnetic force is weak in comparison with the case of acting between the planes as in the conventional case. Accordingly, even if the height of the armature is lifted, the effect of the magnetic force acting between the fixing core 721 and the core base 421 with respect to the lifting force is limited in comparison with the overall lifting force

[0095] On the other hand, between the fixing core 721 and the core outer portion 42a, the magnetic force is applied between the planes. Therefore, the armature 42 is lifted to increase an area where the core outer portion 42a and the fixing core 721 are overlapped in the horizontal direction, so that the magnetic force acting between the fixing core 721 and the core outer portion 42a also increases. However, even in this case, since the core outer portion 42a is inclined, the area where the magnetic flux is perpendicular to the core outer portion 42a becomes an area which is acquired by orthogonal projecting the core outer portion 42a to the fixing core 721 when viewed from the side direction. Here, A is an area of a part OV which overlapped with the fixing core 721 among the inner side surface of the core outer portion 42a, when viewed from the side direction.

[0096] Therefore, in comparison with the case where the core outer portion 42a is orthogonal (i.e., the core outer portion 42a and the fixing core 721 are parallel to each other) to the horizontal (or virtual surface orthogonal to the dehydration axis 32), the ratio of the increase in an area which is acquired by orthogonal projecting the fixing core 721 to the core outer portion 42a with respect to the height increase of the armature 42 can be reduced. Therefore, the acceleration in the height increase of the armature 42 can be reduced, and the collision speed with the fixing core 721 can be reduced.

[0097] In addition, since the collision between the armature 42 and the fixing core 721 is achieved between the plane forming the armature 42 and the line formed by the lower end of the fixing core 721, a less noise is generated in comparison with the case where the planes are collide as in the related art.

[0098] Meanwhile, an opening through which the dehydration shaft 32 passes is formed in the core base 421, and a core inner portion 423 may extend upward from the circumference of the opening. The core inner portion 423 may be inserted (or embedded) in the mold.

[0099] The core inner portion 423 extends upward from the core base 421. The core inner portion 423 may extend from the core base 421 to a position lower than the core outer portion 42a. In this case, since the core inner portion 423 is further away from the lower end of the fixing core 721 or the bearing 35 as much as the height difference Δd with the core outer portion 42a, in the state where the armature 42 is lowered, the magnetic flux leaking from the core inner portion 423 to the fixing core 721 or the bearing 35 can be reduced.

[0100] When a current is applied to the solenoid 50, the magnetic flux in the lower end of the fixing core 721 forms a magnetic path mainly between the upper end of the core outer portion 42a and the lower end of the fixing core 721. In addition, the core inner portion 423 is spaced apart from the core outer portion 42a in the horizontal direction by a distance corresponding to the width w of the core base 421, so that it is relatively close to the dehydration shaft 32 in comparison with the core outer portion 42a. Therefore, the magnetic flux in the core inner portion 423 forms a magnetic path mainly between the dehydration shaft 32 and the core inner portion 423.

[0101] In particular, since the core inner portion 423 extends substantially in parallel with the dehydration shaft 32 to form a cylindrical shape that surrounds the outer side of the dehydration shaft 32, the planes of the core inner portion 423 and the dehydration shaft 32 face to each other. Therefore, the magnetic flux flows smoothly from the core inner portion 423 to the dehydration shaft 32.

[0102] In particular, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 13, since a closed magnetic path (portion indicated by a two point chain line in FIG. 13) extended into the bearing 35, the fixing core 721, the armature 42, and the dehydration shaft 32 is formed, there is almost no magnetic flux leaking. Thus, substantially all of the magnetic flux flowing along the magnetic path contributes to the lifting of the armature 42.

[0103] In other words, since the core outer portion 42a of the armature 42 is adjacent to the fixing core 721, and the core inner portion 423 of the armature 42 is adjacent to the dehydration shaft 32, the magnetic flux flowing from the solenoid 50 to the bearing housing 70 passes out of the fixing core 721 and passes through air, and then is absorbed by the core outer portion 42a of the armature 42.

[0104] When the armature 42 is in a position lowered in correspondence with the connection position of the clutch 40 (i.e., the position of the armature 42 when the clutch 40 is in the connection position), the upper end of the core outer portion 42a may be located below the lower end of the fixing core 721. In this case, the magnetic flux flows mainly between the lower end of the core outer portion 42a and the upper end of the fixing core 721.

[0105] Meanwhile, the magnetic flux absorbed by the core outer portion 42a of the armature 42 flows again along the core base 421 to the core inner portion 423, and passes through the clutch coupler 41 from the core inner portion 423 and then is absorbed by the dehydration shaft 32. Then, the magnetic flux flowing along the dehydration shaft 32 passes through the bearing 35 and is absorbed by the bearing mount portion 722. For reference, the two point chain line shown in FIG. 13 shows the path of the magnetic flux.

[0106] As described above, in the washing machine according to the embodiment of the present invention, a magnetic path connecting the bearing 35, the bearing housing 70, the armature 42, and the dehydration shaft 32 is configured. In particular, in the magnetic path, there exists an air layer between the cylindrical portion 721 of the bearing housing 70 and the core outer portion 42a of the armature 42, and the core inner portion 423 of the armature 42, and there exists a clutch coupler 41 of a non-ferromagnetic material (e.g., an injection of synthetic resin) between the core inner portion 423 of the armature 42 and the dehydration shafts 32. However, the magnetic path has a closed curve shape as a whole. Since the magnetic flux generated from the solenoid 50 flows along the closed curve-shaped magnetic path, leakage of the magnetic flux can be reduced in comparison with the related art, so that the lifting force of the clutch coupler 41 can be increased.

[0107] Meanwhile, according to the experiment, the washing machine according to an embodiment of the present invention, even if the lift height of the clutch 40, as shown in FIG. 16, it is verified that the force applied to the clutch 40 from the solenoid 50 becomes uniform in comparison with the related art. In particular, the present invention differs from the related art (see FIGS. 1 to 5) in that the armature 42 further includes a core outer portion 42a. This difference makes a relatively even change in lifting force (i.e., lifting force applied to the clutch 40 from the solenoid 50) in comparison with the related art in all sections in which the clutch 40 is lifted as shown in graph (a) of FIG. 16. Furthermore, in the present embodiment, since the inclined core outer portion 42a is applied, during the lifting of the clutch 40, the lifting force applied from the solenoid 50 to the clutch 40 can be managed within a more even range.

[0108] FIG. 14 is a partial view of a washing machine according to another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 15 shows a state (a) in which a clutch is in a connection position, and a state (b) in which the clutch is lifted from the connection position and separated from a rotor hub, in the washing machine shown in FIG. 14. FIG. 17 is a graph showing a lifting force according to the lift height of the clutch in the washing machine (the washing machine shown in FIG. 14) according to another embodiment of the present invention. Hereinafter, the washing machine according to another embodiment of the present invention is described with reference to FIGS. 14, 15, and 17.

[0109] The washing machine according to another embodiment of the present invention has a difference only in the armature 42 from the above-described embodiment but other configurations are substantially the same as the above-described embodiment. Hereinafter, in order to avoid duplication of description, the same reference numeral is given to the same configuration described above, and the description thereof will be omitted as it follow the above description.

[0110] The armature 42 may include a core base 421 disposed below a fixing core 721 and extended outward from the clutch coupler 41, and a cylindrical core outer portion 42b extended upward from the outer circumference of the core base 421.

[0111] The core outer portion 42b includes a lower core outer portion 42b1, an upper core outer portion 42b2, and a core connecting portion 425. The lower core outer portion 42b1 extends upward from the outer circumference of the core base 421. The upper core outer portion 42b2 is positioned above the lower core outer portion 42b1, and a lower end thereof has an inner diameter larger than the lower core outer portion 42b1.

[0112] The upper end of the lower core outer portion 42b1 and the lower end of the upper core outer portion 42b2 are connected by the core connecting portion 425. The core connecting portion 425 forms an angle with respect to the vertical at an angle greater than the angle that the upper core outer portion 42b2 forms with respect to the vertical (or the direction parallel to the dehydration axis 32), and is extended to the upper end of the lower core outer portion 42b1 from the lower end of the upper core outer portion 42b2.

[0113] Preferably, as in the embodiment, the upper core outer portion 42b2 is parallel to the vertical, and the core connecting portion 425 is extended horizontally (i.e., the core connecting portion 425 forms 90 degrees with respect to vertical). That is, the lower core outer portion 42b1 reaches from the core base 421 to a first height, and the upper core outer portion 42b2 may have a larger inner diameter than the lower core outer portion 42b1 at the first height. However, the present invention is not limited thereto, and the core connecting portion 425 may have an acute angle with the vertical.

[0114] Furthermore, when the upper core outer portion 42b2 forms a first angle that is an acute angle with respect to the vertical, the core connecting portion 425 may be inclined with respect to the vertical at a second angle greater than the first angle.

[0115] Since there is an inner diameter difference between the lower end of the upper core outer portion 42b2 and the upper end of the lower core outer portion 42b1, the magnetic flux flows mainly between the fixing core 721 and the upper core outer portion 42b2 at the initial stage of the lifting of the armature 42. Then, when the armature 42 is further lifted so that the upper end of the lower core outer portion 42b1 approaches the fixing core 721, that is, when the armature 42 reaches a certain height and the lower core outer portion 42b1 is closer to the fixing core 721 than the upper core outer portion 42b2, the magnetic flux is rapidly increased in correspondence with the inner diameter difference between the lower core outer portion 42b1 and the upper core outer portion 42b2 formed by the core connecting portion 425.

[0116] Therefore, after the armature 42 reaches the certain height, the magnetic force acting between the fixing core 721 and the lower core outer portion 42b1 is rapidly increased to increase the lifting force acting on the armature 42. In the state in which the armature 42 is lifted in correspondence with the disconnection position, the lower end of the fixing core 721 may be positioned in an area surrounded by the lower core outer portion 42b1.

[0117] According to the experiment, as shown in FIG. 16, the lifting force is maximized at the lift height of 7 mm of the armature 42, at which the upper end of the lower core outer portion 42b1 reaches substantially the same position as the lower end of the fixing core 721, and then falls again for a certain period as the armature 42 is lifted gradually. In particular, by appropriately setting the inner diameter difference between the upper core outer portion 42b2 and the lower core outer portion 42b1, a desired lifting force can be achieved at a specific lift height (7 mm in the embodiment).

[0118] However, even in the case of the present embodiment, although the lifting force is rapidly increased at the lift height of 7mm, the increase value of lifting force at the time when the lift position is changed from 6mm to 7mm falls short of approximately 1N. That is, the lifting force acting on the clutch 40 also shows a drastic fluctuation locally in a section in which the inner diameter of the core outer portion 42b is drastically changed. However, even in this case, the change of the lifting force in the entire section in which the clutch 40 is lifted shows a similar trend to that of graph (a) shown in FIG. 16.

[0119] As described above, the washing machine according to the present invention has following effects.

[0120] First, the magnetic force acting on the clutch in the process of lifting the clutch becomes uniform as in comparison with the related art.

[0121] Second, not only the impact when the clutch collides with the fixing core in the lifting process, but also the noise due to the collision can be reduced, by reducing the surplus force unnecessary for the lifting of the clutch.

[0122] Third, a larger lifting force can be secured at the initial stage of the lifting of the clutch in comparison with the related art.

[0123] Fourth, the magnetic flux contributing to the lifting of the clutch can be used more efficiently in comparison with the related art.

[0124] Fifth, the bearing housing for accommodating the bearing supporting the dehydration shaft constitutes a magnetic path through which the magnetic flux generated from the solenoid passes, thereby not requiring the conventional fixing core for constituting the magnetic path, simplifying the configuration of the product, and lowering the manufacturing cost.

[0125] Sixth, a separate component that is used to install the conventional solenoid can be eliminated by disposing the solenoid inside the bearing housing,

[0126] Seventh, the lifting operation of the armature can be accomplished smoothly, by utilizing the conventional magnetic flux flowing from the armature to the dehydration shaft to lift the armature.

[0127] Eighth, when attempting to apply the lifting force to the armature at a conventional level, the power supplied to the solenoid can be reduced in comparison with the related art.

[0128] Although the exemplary embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention is not construed as being limited to the described embodiments but is defined by the appended claims as well as equivalents thereto.


Claims

1. A washing machine comprising:

a rotatable washing tub (4) configured to accommodate laundry;

a pulsator (50) rotatably disposed in the washing tub;

a drive shaft (6a) configured to rotate the pulsator;

a dehydration shaft (93) connected to the washing tub (4), having a first hollow (32h) through which the drive shaft (6a) passes;

a solenoid (50) configured to form a magnetic field when a current is applied;

a fixing core (723) configured to surround the solenoid (50); and

a clutch (40) configured to function as a shaft-joint or a shaft-joint release between the drive shaft (6a) and the dehydration shaft (93),

wherein the clutch (40) comprises:

an armature (42) configured to be lifted by a magnetic force of the solenoid (50); and

a clutch coupler (41) configured to be elevated along the dehydration shaft (93), to function as the shaft-joint between the drive shaft (6a) and the dehydration shaft (93) in a first position and as the shaft-joint release between the drive shaft (6a) and the dehydration shaft (93) in a second position lifted from the first position,

wherein the armature (42) comprises:

a core base (421) disposed below the fixing core (723) and extends outward from the clutch coupler (41); and

a core outer portion (422) extending upward from an outer circumference of the core base (421).


 
2. The washing machine of claim 1, wherein the core outer portion (422) is shaped to become further away from the dehydration shaft (93) as it gets from the core base (421) toward its upper side.
 
3. The washing machine of claim 1 or 2, wherein the core outer portion (422) is inclined at a certain acute angle with respect to the horizontal surface.
 
4. The washing machine of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the core outer portion (422) has a truncated cone shape having a diameter of an upper end larger than that of a lower end.
 
5. The washing machine of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein a lower end of the fixing core (723) is positioned in an area surrounded by the core outer portion (422) in a state in which the armature (42) is lifted in correspondence with the second position.
 
6. The washing machine of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a bearing (35) configured to support the dehydration shaft (93) in an upper side of the solenoid (50).
 
7. The washing machine of claim 6, further comprising a bearing housing (70) configured to receive the bearing (35) and the solenoid (50),
wherein the bearing housing (70) includes the fixing core (723).
 
8. The washing machine of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the core outer portion (422) comprises:

a lower core outer portion (42b1) extending upward from an outer circumference of the core base (421); and

an upper core outer portion (42b2) positioned above the lower core outer portion (42b1), having a lower end with a larger inner diameter than the lower core outer portion (42b1).


 
9. The washing machine of claim 8, wherein the core outer portion (422) further comprises a core connecting portion (425) extending between an upper end of the lower core outer portion (42b1) and a lower end of the upper core outer portion (42b2), and
wherein an angle between the core connecting portion (425) and the vertical direction is greater than an angle between the upper core outer portion (42b2) and the vertical direction.
 
10. The washing machine of claim 8 or 9, insofar as dependent upon claim 5, wherein the lower end of the fixing core (723) is positioned in an area surrounded by the lower core outer portion (42b1) in a state where the armature (42) is lifted in correspondence with the second position.
 
11. The washing machine of any one of claims 8 to 10, wherein the lower core outer portion (42b1) has a first height from the core base (421), and
wherein the upper core outer portion (42b2) has an inner diameter greater than the lower core outer portion at the first height.
 
12. The washing machine of claim 11, insofar as dependent upon claim 9, wherein the core connecting portion (422) extends horizontally.
 
13. The washing machine of any one of the preceding claims,
wherein the core base (421) has an opening through which the dehydration shaft (93) passes, and
wherein the armature (42) further comprises a core inner portion (423) extending upward from a circumference of the opening.
 
14. The washing machine of claim 13, wherein the core inner portion (423) has a hollow cylindrical shape surrounding the dehydration shaft and extends from the core base (421) to a height higher than the core outer portion (422).
 
15. The washing machine of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising an elastic member (39) configured to apply a repulsive force to the clutch (40) in a downward direction.
 
16. The washing machine of claim 15, wherein the solenoid (50) comprises:

a bobbin (51) having a hollow through which the dehydration shaft (93) passes; and

a coil (52) wound around the bobbin (51),

wherein the elastic member (39) is a coil spring configured to be disposed in the hollow in an outer insertion state to the dehydration shaft (93), and

wherein the coil spring is disposed between the bearing (35) and the clutch coupler (40).


 
17. The washing machine of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising:

a washing motor (6) having a rotor (63) connected to the drive shaft (6a); and

a rotor hub (65) connecting the rotor (63) with the drive shaft (6a),

wherein the clutch coupler (41) is engaged with the rotor hub (65) in the first position and separated from the rotor hub in the second position.


 




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Cited references

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