(19)
(11)EP 3 683 527 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
22.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/30

(21)Application number: 20157192.4

(22)Date of filing:  08.12.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F25D 11/02(2006.01)
F25D 23/12(2006.01)
F25D 23/02(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

(30)Priority: 09.01.2015 KR 20150003345

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
15198419.2 / 3043129

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

(72)Inventor:
  • PARK, Jisu
    08592 Seoul (KR)

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

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 13.02.2020 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)REFRIGERATOR


(57) A refrigerator is disclosed. The refrigerator includes a cabinet having a storage compartment defined therein, a door for opening and closing the storage compartment, and a water tank provided at the inside of the door for supplying water to a user, wherein the water tank includes a storage unit for storing water, a valve for supplying the water stored in the storage unit to the user, and a cover for opening and closing the storage unit, the cover including a cover support part protruding to one side such that the cover support part is supported at the upper side of the storage unit and a gasket including a protrusion protruding toward the inside wall of the storage unit.




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to a refrigerator, and more particularly to a refrigerator including a water tank provided in a door of the refrigerator for storing water.

[0002] A refrigerator is an apparatus that supplies cool air generated by a refrigeration cycle into a storage compartment defined therein to store food at a low temperature for a long time.

[0003] In general, in order for a user to avoid the inconvenience of having to open a door every time the user wishes to drink a beverage stored in the storage compartment, a dispenser is provided in the front of the door, and a water tank is provided at the inside of the door, such that the user can drink a beverage stored in the water tank through the dispenser without opening the door.

[0004] Meanwhile, the water tank includes a storage unit for storing water and a cover for covering the storage unit. A gasket is provided between the upper side of the storage unit and the cover for preventing the leakage of water.

[0005] In the conventional water tank, the door rattles when the door is opened and closed, and the water stored in the storage unit splashes around due to inertia. As a result, water may leak between the storage unit and the cover, and the cover may become separated from the storage unit.

[0006] Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a refrigerator that substantially obviates one or more problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

[0007] An object of the present invention is to provide a refrigerator including a water tank configured such that water is prevented from leaking from a space defined between a storage unit and a cover when a door is opened and closed.

[0008] Another object of the present invention is to provide a refrigerator including a water tank configured such that a cover is prevented from being separated from a storage unit when a door is opened and closed.

[0009] This and other objects are solved with the features of the independent claims. The dependent claims relate to further aspects of the invention.

[0010] Additional advantages, objects, and features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.

[0011] To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a refrigerator includes a cabinet having a storage compartment defined therein, a door for opening and closing the storage compartment, and a water tank provided at the inside of the door for supplying water to a user, wherein the water tank includes a storage unit for storing water, a valve for supplying the water stored in the storage unit to the user, and a cover for opening and closing the storage unit, the cover including a cover support part protruding to one side such that the cover support part is supported at the upper side of the storage unit and a gasket including a protrusion protruding toward the inside wall of the storage unit.

[0012] The protrusion may include a recess configured to be concave and contact parts configured to be brought into contact with the inside wall of the storage compartment in a state in which the recess is interposed between the contact parts.

[0013] The cover may have a hollow part defined therein, and the gasket may further include a body provided in the hollow part, the body being connected to the protrusion.

[0014] The cover may include a main cover and an auxiliary cover fastened to the lower part of the main cover, the hollow part being defined by the main cover and the auxiliary cover.

[0015] The main cover may be provided with a hook hole, and the auxiliary cover may be provided with a hook, the hook being fastened into the hook hole.

[0016] The hollow part may include a first rib and a second rib protruding downward from the main cover and a third rib and a fourth rib protruding upward from the auxiliary cover.

[0017] The hook hole may be provided at the second rib, and the hook may be provided at the fourth rib.

[0018] The first rib and the third rib may constitute a through port for allowing the protrusion to be inserted therethrough.

[0019] The cover may further include an insertion part configured to be inserted into the storage unit, and the hollow part may be provided in the insertion part.

[0020] The insertion part may be provided with a through port communicating with the hollow part and with the outside such that the protrusion is inserted through the hollow part.

[0021] The gasket may be made of a rubber material.

[0022] It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0023] The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiment(s) of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view showing a refrigerator according to an embodiment of the present invention in a state in which doors thereof are closed;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view showing the refrigerator according to the embodiment of the present invention in a state in which the doors are open;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing a water tank included in the refrigerator according to the embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing a cover included in the refrigerator according to the embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view showing the water tank included in the refrigerator according to the embodiment of the present invention.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0024] Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. It should be noted herein that these embodiments are only for illustrative purposes and the protection scope of the invention is not limited thereto. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout this specification to refer to the same or like parts.

[0025] A refrigerator 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described.

[0026] As shown in FIG. 1, the refrigerator 100 according to the embodiment of the present invention includes a cabinet 1 having a storage compartment 11, a door 2 for opening and closing the storage compartment 11, a dispenser 23 provided in the door 2, and a water tank 25 for supplying water to the dispenser 23.

[0027] The dispenser 23 is provided in the front of the door 2. The dispenser 23 includes a water dispensing port 231 for providing water when a user pushes a water dispensing lever.

[0028] As shown in FIG. 2, the water tank 25 is provided at the rear of the door 2. Although not shown, the water tank 25 supplies water to the dispenser 23 through a drainage port (not shown) provided at the rear of the door 2 so as to communicate with the water dispensing port 231.

[0029] The water tank 25 will be described with reference to FIG. 3.

[0030] The water tank 25 includes a storage unit 251 for storing water, a valve 259 for supplying the water stored in the storage unit 251 to a user through the dispenser 23; and a cover 3 for opening and closing the storage unit 251.

[0031] In addition, the water tank 25 may further include a handle 253 configured to be gripped by the user when the user moves while holding the water tank 25 and a decoration member 255 provided under the storage unit 251 for preventing damage to the storage unit 251.

[0032] One end of the valve 259 is fitted in a discharge port 2511 provided at the lower part of the storage unit 251, and the other end of the valve 259 is fitted in the drainage port (not shown).

[0033] When the user pushes the water dispensing lever of the dispenser 23, the valve 259 is opened. As a result, the water stored in the storage unit 251 is supplied to the water dispensing port 231 through the valve 259.

[0034] In addition, the water tank 25 may further include a sealing member 257 interposed between the valve 259 and the discharge port 2511 for preventing the leakage of cool air in the storage compartment 11 to the outside through the drainage port (not shown).

[0035] The diameter of the outer circumferential surface of the sealing member 257 is greater than that of the drainage port (not shown).

[0036] Meanwhile, the storage unit 251 has a space for storing water defined therein. The storage unit 251 has an opening 2513 formed at the upper side thereof.

[0037] Meanwhile, the cover 3 covers the upper side of the storage unit 251 in order to open and close the opening 2513. The cover 3 prevents the water stored in the storage unit 251 from overflowing.

[0038] The cover 3 will be described with reference to FIG. 4. The cover 3 may include a main cover 31, an auxiliary cover 35 fastened to the lower part of the main cover 31, and a gasket 33 interposed between the main cover 31 and the auxiliary cover 35.

[0039] The main cover 31 substantially opens and closes the opening 2513. The main cover 31 has a supply port 311, which is open so as to allow the user to supply water to the storage unit 251. The supply port 311 is opened and closed by a supply port cover (not shown) hingedly connected to one side of the supply port 311.

[0040] Referring to FIGs. 5(a), 5(b), and 5(c), the main cover 31 includes a cover support part 313 that protrudes horizontally. The cover support part 313 is supported at a sidewall of the storage unit 251 when the cover 3 covers the upper side of the storage unit 251.

[0041] The main cover 31 may further include a first rib 315 protruding downward and a second rib 317 protruding downward while being spaced apart from the first rib 315 by a predetermined distance. A first hollow part 41a, which is open downward, is provided between the first rib 315 and the second rib 317.

[0042] The auxiliary cover 35 is provided under the main cover 31. The auxiliary cover 35 may include a third rib 351 protruding upward and a fourth rib 353 protruding upward while being spaced apart from the third rib 351 by a predetermined distance. A second hollow part 41b, which is open upward, is provided between the third rib 351 and the fourth rib 353.

[0043] When the auxiliary cover 35 is fastened to the lower part of the main cover 31, therefore, the first hollow part 41a and the second hollow part 41b constitute a single hollow part 41.

[0044] Hereinafter, a structure in which the auxiliary cover 35 is fastened to the main cover 31 will be described.

[0045] The cover 3 of the present invention may further include a hook 353a protruding from the fourth rib 353 and a hook hole 317a formed through the second rib 317 such that the hook 353a is inserted through the hook hole 317a. Alternatively, a hook recess may be provided in place of the hook hole 317a such that the hook 353a is inserted into the hook recess.

[0046] Consequently, the hook 353a may be inserted and fixed through the hook hole 317a in order to fasten the auxiliary cover 35 to the main cover 31.

[0047] Alternatively, the hook 353a may be provided at the second rib 317, and the hook hole 317a may be provided at the fourth rib 353.

[0048] Meanwhile, in a state in which the auxiliary cover 35 is fastened to the main cover 31, the first rib 315 and the third rib 351 may be spaced apart from each other by a predetermined distance. The first rib 315 and the third rib 351 constitute a through port 43. The through port 43 communicates with the hollow part 41.

[0049] Meanwhile, the gasket 33 may include a body 333 provided in the hollow part 41 and a protrusion 331 connected to the body 333 so as to protrude through the through port 43.

[0050] The body 333, provided in the hollow part 41, serves to support the protrusion 331.

[0051] Meanwhile, the protrusion 331 is brought into contact with the inner wall of the storage compartment 11 so as to prevent the leakage of the water stored in the storage compartment 11 to the outside. In addition, the protrusion 331 prevents the cover 3 from being separated from the storage unit 251 thanks to force with which the protrusion 331 pushes the inner wall of the storage compartment 11.

[0052] In other words, the protrusion 331 applies force to the inner wall of the storage compartment 11 to push the inner wall of the storage compartment 11. As a result, the protrusion 331 prevents water from leaking between the storage compartment 11 and the cover 3 and, prevents the cover 3 from being separated from the storage unit 251, due to the rattling of the door or splashing of the water when the door is opened or closed.

[0053] In addition, the protrusion 331 includes a recess 331a that is concave toward the body 333 and two contact parts 331b that are brought into contact with the inside wall of the storage compartment 11 in a state in which the recess 331a is interposed between the contact parts 331b.

[0054] When the cover 3 covers the opening 2513, therefore, the contact parts 331b press the inside wall of the storage compartment 11, and an air layer defined in the recess 331a, interposed between the contact parts 331b, prevents the water stored in the storage unit 251 from leaking to the outside.

[0055] In addition, the gasket 33 may be made of an elastic material that exhibits high elasticity. For example, the gasket 33 may be made of rubber.

[0056] In this case, the protrusion 331 may have a predetermined length such that the cover 3 is forcibly fitted in the opening 2513.

[0057] Hereinafter, the cover 3 included in the refrigerator 100 according to the embodiment of the present invention will be described in more detail with reference to FIG. 5(a).

[0058] The cover 3 includes an insertion part 4 configured to be inserted into the storage unit 251 and a gasket 33 protruding from the insertion part 4 for sealing a gap defined between the inside wall of the storage unit 251 and the insertion part 4.

[0059] In addition, the cover 3 further includes a cover support part 313 protruding from the upper part of the insertion part 4. The cover support part 313 supports the cover at the upper part of the storage unit 251.

[0060] The gasket 33 may be made of an elastic material that exhibits high elasticity. For example, the gasket 33 may be made of rubber.

[0061] In addition, the gasket 33 includes a recess 331a that is concave and contact parts 331b that are brought into contact with the inside wall of the storage compartment 11 in a state in which the recess 331a is interposed between the contact parts 331b. When the contact parts 331b are brought into contact with the inside wall of the storage compartment 11, therefore, air is trapped in a space defined between the inside wall of the storage compartment 11 and the recess 331a.

[0062] In this case, the contact parts 331b may be forcibly fitted into the opening 2513 when the insertion part 4 is inserted into the opening 2513.

[0063] As a result, the water stored in the storage unit 251 is prevented from leaking to the outside, and the cover 3 is prevented from being separated from the storage unit 251, thanks to the air trapped in the space defined between the inside wall of the storage compartment 11 and the recess 331a.

[0064] In addition, the insertion part 4 has a hollow part 41 defined therein, and the insertion part 4 is provided at the side thereof with a through port 43, through which the hollow part 41 communicates with the outside.

[0065] In addition, the gasket 33 includes a protrusion 331 protruding through the through port 43 and a body 333 provided in the hollow part 41, the body 333 being connected to the protrusion 331.

[0066] In this case, the recess 331a and the contact parts 331b are provided at the protrusion 331.

[0067] The body 333, provided in the hollow part 41, serves to support the protrusion 331.

[0068] As is apparent from the above description, the present invention provides a refrigerator including a water tank configured such that water is prevented from leaking from a space defined between a storage unit and a cover when a door is opened and closed.

[0069] In addition, the present invention provides a refrigerator including a water tank configured such that a cover is prevented from being separated from a storage unit when a door is opened and closed.

[0070] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the scope of the inventions. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

[0071] Further embodiments of the present invention are described by the following items:
  1. 1. A refrigerator (100) comprising:

    a cabinet (1) having a storage compartment (11) defined therein;

    a door (2) for opening and closing the storage compartment (11); and

    a water tank (25) provided at an inside of the door (2) for supplying water to a user, wherein the water tank (25) comprises:

    a storage unit (251) for storing water;

    a valve (259) for supplying the water stored in the storage unit (251) to the user; and

    a cover (3) for opening and closing the storage unit (251),

    the cover comprising:

    a cover support part (313) protruding to one side such that the cover support part (313) is supported at an upper side of the storage unit (251); and

    a gasket (33) comprising a protrusion (331) protruding toward an inside wall of the storage unit (251).

  2. 2. The refrigerator (100) according to item 1, wherein the protrusion (331) comprises:

    a recess (331a) configured to be concave; and

    contact parts (331b) configured to be brought into contact with the inside wall of the storage compartment (11) in a state in which the recess (331a) is interposed between the contact parts (331b).

  3. 3. The refrigerator (100) according to item 1 or 2, wherein

    the cover (3) has a hollow part (41) defined therein, and

    the gasket (33) further comprises a body (333) provided in the hollow part (41), the body (333) being connected to the protrusion (331).

  4. 4. The refrigerator (100) according to item 3, wherein the cover (3) comprises:

    a main cover (31); and

    an auxiliary cover (35) fastened to a lower part of the main cover (31),

    the hollow part (41) being defined by the main cover (31) and the auxiliary cover (35).
  5. 5. The refrigerator (100) according to item 4, wherein the main cover (31) is provided with a hook hole (317a), and the auxiliary cover (35) is provided with a hook (353a), the hook (353a) being fastened into the hook hole (317a).
  6. 6. The refrigerator (100) according to item 4 or 5, wherein the hollow part (41) comprises:

    a first rib (315) and a second rib (317) protruding downward from the main cover (31); and
    a third rib (351) and a fourth rib (353) protruding upward from the auxiliary cover (35).

  7. 7. The refrigerator (100) according to item 6, wherein
    the hook hole (317a) is provided at the second rib (317), and
    the hook (353a) is provided at the fourth rib (353).
  8. 8. The refrigerator (100) according to item 6 or 7, wherein the first rib (315) and the third rib (351) constitute a through port (43) for allowing the protrusion (331) to be inserted therethrough.
  9. 9. The refrigerator (100) according to any one of items 3 to 8, wherein
    the cover (3) further comprises an insertion part (4) configured to be inserted into the storage unit (251), and
    the hollow part (41) is provided in the insertion part (4).
  10. 10. The refrigerator (100) according to item 9, wherein the insertion part (4) is provided with a through port (43) communicating with the hollow part (41) and with an outside such that the protrusion is inserted through the hollow part (41).
  11. 11. The refrigerator (100) according to any one of items 1 to 11, wherein the gasket (33) is made of a rubber material.



Claims

1. A refrigerator (100) comprising:

a cabinet (1) having a storage compartment (11) defined therein;

a door (2) for opening and closing the storage compartment (11);

a dispenser (23) provided in the door (2) and comprising a water dispensing port (231) for providing water when a user pushes a water dispensing lever; and

a water tank (25) provided at an inside of the door (2) for supplying water to the dispenser (23), wherein

the water tank (25) comprises:

a storage unit (251) for storing water;

a valve (259) for supplying the water stored in the storage unit (251) to the user; and

a cover (3) for opening and closing the storage unit (251),

the cover (3) comprising:

a cover support part (313) protruding to one side such that the cover support part (313) is supported at an upper side of the storage unit (251); and

a gasket (33) comprising a protrusion (331) protruding toward an inside wall of the storage unit (251)

wherein the water tank (25) supplies water to the dispenser (23) through a drainage port provided at the rear of the door 2 so as to communicate with the water dispensing port (231).


 
2. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 1, wherein the protrusion (331) comprises:

a recess (331a) configured to be concave; and

contact parts (331b) configured to be brought into contact with the inside wall of the storage compartment (11) in a state in which the recess (331a) is interposed between the contact parts (331b).


 
3. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 2, wherein
the cover (3) has a hollow part (41) defined therein, and
the gasket (33) further comprises a body (333) provided in the hollow part (41), the body (333) being connected to the protrusion (331).
 
4. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 3, wherein the recess (331a) is concave toward the body (333).
 
5. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 4, wherein contact parts (331b) comprises two contact parts (331b).
 
6. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 5, wherein when the contact parts (331b) press the inside wall of the storage compartment (11), an air layer defined in the recess (331a), interposed between the contact parts (331b), prevents the water stored in the storage unit (251) from leaking to the outside.
 
7. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 3, wherein the cover (3) comprises:

a main cover (31); and

an auxiliary cover (35) fastened to a lower part of the main cover (31),

the hollow part (41) being defined by the main cover (31) and the auxiliary cover (35).


 
8. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 7, wherein the main cover (31) is provided with a hook hole (317a), and the auxiliary cover (35) is provided with a hook (353a), the hook (353a) being fastened into the hook hole (317a).
 
9. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the hollow part (41) comprises:

a first rib (315) and a second rib (317) protruding downward from the main cover (31); and

a third rib (351) and a fourth rib (353) protruding upward from the auxiliary cover (35).


 
10. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 9, wherein
the hook hole (317a) is provided at the second rib (317), and
the hook (353a) is provided at the fourth rib (353).
 
11. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 9 or 10, wherein the first rib (315) and the third rib (351) constitute a through port (43) for allowing the protrusion (331) to be inserted therethrough.
 
12. The refrigerator (100) according to any one of claim 3 to 11 , wherein
the cover (3) further comprises an insertion part (4) configured to be inserted into the storage unit (251), and
the hollow part (41) is provided in the insertion part (4).
 
13. The refrigerator (100) according to claim 12, wherein the insertion part (4) is provided with a through port (43) communicating with the hollow part (41) and with an outside such that the protrusion is inserted through the hollow part (41).
 
14. The refrigerator (100) according to any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the gasket (33) is made of a rubber material.
 
15. The refrigerator (100) according to any one of claims 1 to 14, the water tank (25) comprises a handle (253) configured to be gripped by the user.
 




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