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Патент USA US2387281

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UcLZB, 1945.
Filed July 29, 1942
Patented Oct. 23., 1945
smart men
Eldreol 0. Morton, Mans?eld, Qhio, assignor to
Westinghouse Electric Corporation, East Pitts
burgh, Pa, a corporation or Pennsylvania
Application July 29, 1942,_Scrial No. 452,704
7 Claims.
(oi. 38-77)
tion of the iron as a steam iron is materially re
This invention relates to steam irons, and par
ticularly to that class of steam irons known as the
?ash-boiler type, which include a steam generator
and a valve controlled water supply, and. it has
for an object to provide an improved steam iron
of the character set forth.
duced. From this, it follows that the iron may be
used for longer periods without the necessity of
cleaning such ‘lime or scale from the steam gen
These and other objects are e?ected by my in»
vention as will be apparent from the following
description and claims taken in connection with
In steam irons of this class, water is fed to a
steam generator, preferably located in the sole
the accompanying drawing, forming a part or this
plate, at a rate which allows the water to be
in which:
?ashed almost instantly into steam. The gen 10 application,
Fig. 1 is a vertical longitudinal section of a
erated steam is distributed to thematerial being
steam iron made in accordance with the present
ironed or steamed by means of ports or the like '
which communicate with the steam generator
and open on the ironing surface of the soleplate.
Irons of this type are usually provided with ther
invention; '
‘Fig. 2 is a plan view of the soleplate of the iron
15 illustrated in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a transverse section taken substantially
mostatic means responsive to the temperature of
the soleplate and adjustable to maintain the sole
plate at a temperature selected in accordance with
the material to be pressed or ironed.
' ‘
In the so-called “dry” iron, the'manner of ar
on the line llL-DI of Fig. 2; and,
Fig. 4 is a bottom plan view of a cover plate for
ranging the thermostat and the soleplate heating
element to obtain correct temperature control and
the soleplate.
The steam iron, generally indicated Iii, illus
trated in the drawings is preferably electrically
heated and comprises a metallic soleplate ii, a
sheet metal cover or shell member l2 and a, plastic
or wood handle it, which are secured together in
soleplate is a relatively simple problem in that the
any suitable manner. The interior of the cover
major loss of heat from the soleplate is that ex
a uniform distribution of heat throughout the .
tracted by the damp material being pressed,
is provided with a partition M. which, together
with the side and top walls thereof, de?nes a
which engages the entire under-surface of the
water storage chamber or reservoir it.
soleplate. It will be appreciated, however, that
The reservoir i5 is supplied with water through
when a steam generator is incorporated in the 30
a ?ll tube it which may be brazed or otherwise
soleplate and heated by the same heating element
secured in fluidtight relation in the topwall of
which heats the ironing surface of the soleplate, a
the cover it. This ?ll tube extends through an
second major heat loss is encountered, that is, the
opening in the rear part of the handle l3. A
heat necessary to vaporize the water in the steam ’
?anged bushing ii is screw-threaded on the tube
and engages a shoulder it provided in the men
It is, therefore, an object of this invention to
tioned opening in the handle to secure the rear
provide an emcient steam iron, which may be used
, part of the handle to the cover. The fore part of
either as a “dry” iron or as a, “steam” iron, hav
the handle may be secured to the cover E2 in any
ing a substantially uniform distribution‘of heat
throughout the ironing surface of the soleplate 40 suitable manner (not shown).
The upper end of the ?ll tube ‘i6 is normally
and also capable of accurate temperature control
closed by means of a cap l9 having a gasket 2|
regardless of whether the iron is being used as a
which seats against the flange of the mentioned
"dry” iron or as a “steam” iron.
bushing ll. This cap is biased into closed posi
It is a further object of the invention to provide
tion by means of a tension spring 22. secured at
an improved steam iron construction‘ in which the
one end to a lug 23, formed on the undersur
temperature control means therefor responds
of the cap, and to a wire clip 24 at the other
quickly to changes in temperature of the soleplate.
end thereof. This clip engages the lower end of
Another problem encountered in this class of
the ?ll tube It. The cap it may be pulled away
steam irons is that of obtaining sumcient volume
fromv the?ll tube to permit the reservoir to be
in the steam generator and evaporating surfaces 50 ?lledv
or emptied by inserting a ?ngernail under
the tapered edge of the cap at the point 25.
through the steam discharge ports. Further, by
‘ The metallic soleplate l l is detachably secured
providing a maximum evaporating surface in the
therein to prevent water from being carried out
steam generator, the tendency for lime or scale to’
build up in a concentrated region‘ in the steam
generator to a point where it will affect the opera
in any suitable manner to the bottom of the cover
l2 and preferably in spaced relation to the par
tition It to at least partially thermally insulate
the reservoir I! from the heated soleplate by an
intervening'air gap. The soleplate may be of
.8! (Fig. 4), and is preferably made oi.’ relatively
poor heat-conducting metal to retard the ilow
of heat from the hot soleplate to the bushing
conventional outline, as illustrated in Fig. 2, and
is provided with a heating element 21 which is
generally U-shaped, as shown by the dotted lines
in Fig. 2, and arranged with respect to the pe
member 41 and thereby reduce or prevent va
porization of water in the passage N of the
riphery of the soleplate so that it will heat the
The cover plate it is
soleplate substantially uniformly.
sive with th
The heating element is preferably cast into me
soleplate and may be of well-known construc 10
tion, and comprises an outer metallic-tube- or
sheath 2| having a coiled resistance element 29
supported in spaced concentric relation thereto
by means of suitable highlyscompacted, heat-con
ducting, electrical-insulating material.
Power for heating
element 21 by
adapted to be
permits- the steam '
carried along the channels 38 to pass upwardly
‘ over the heating element at the toe of the iron
into the mentioned recess" 52 and then down
brackets 32,
?xed, to the top wall
of the cover II.‘ The conductors are insulated
from these brackets and pass through a tube 33'
extending through the rwervoir I! and brazed or
otherwme secured in iluidtight relation to the
provide a ?uidtight joint and prevent the escape
of steam, except through ports [3, from the steam
generatlng Space 39 and the channels 38.‘ The
cover plate may be clamped to the soleplate by
means of a plurality of screws 56 receivable in
openings 51 in the cover plate and threaded into
the soleplate.
heating element 21 in series with a menually-ad
justable thermostat, generally indicated 34, which
may be of any desired construction.
As mentioned, water is supplied to the steam
generating space 39 from the waterreservoir it;
'Ihe thermostat is positioned substantially cen
through the passage ll provided in the bushing
trally of the soleplate within the bight of the U
member 43. The rate at which the water is fed
shaped heating element in a well 35 provided
within the space between the arms of the heat 35 to the steam generator is controlled by means
01' a valve stem 53 having an adjustable connec
ing element. The thermostat well is defined by
tlon, as indicated at 59, with the strut ii. The
a partition or wall 38, preferably formed integral
with the soieplate.
- ,,
lower end of this valve stem is tapered and is
engageable with a valve seat 8| formed in the
The wall 3!. together with the raised portion
bushing to cut oil the ?ow of water to the steam
of the soleplate overlying the heating element.
de?nes channels 38 which extend continuously 4° generator and is adjustable relative to tilt valve
seat to throttle the ?ow 01' ‘water to the steam
along the heating element. These channels, as
‘generator. The upper end 01' the valve stem 58
will appear later, serve to complete the vapori
vnation of water and to conduct steam from ‘a
extends through a suitable packing gland 62 and
steam generator 33. provided in the region of 45 is provided with a
for manipulating the valve stem. This knob may
the heel of the soleplate. These channels have
be provided with a
the added function or more or less isolating the
rate of water flow tor the particular setting there
thermostat from
in order to equalize the pressures within the
steam generator 39 and the channels 38 and the
‘water reservoir to insure a continuous ?ow, by
The steam generator 33 is formed by an open
gravity, of water from the water reservoir to the
ing extending through the soleplate and with
which the channels 38 communicate. This re a steam generator, a-vent is provided in the form
cess is closed ‘at its lower end by means of a re 55 of a tube 64 which communicates with the chan-'
nels 38 at their Junction and with the interior of
movable annular disc or plug 40 which is re
the water reservoir above the normal‘ liquid level
ceived in an enlarged portion of the mentioned
thereof. The construction 01' this vent may be
recess. The central opening in this plug receives
a headed member ll having a screw-driver slot ‘ in accordance with that disclosed in my copend
ing element 21.
I! or other suitable means for engagement of a 60
member ll is threaded onto a
bushing 43 having a central ‘passage 44 there
connects the water reservoir. 15
with the steam-generating space 39, as will ap
ing application bearing Serial N0. 433,701 and
?led March 7, 1942, for Steam irons and assigned
to the assignee of the present application.
The vent tube 64 is preferably brazed or other
wise secured in ?uidtight relation to the parti
pear later.
65 tion I‘ of the ‘water reservoir and extends in
?uidtight relation through an opening 65 pro
The bushing 43 is threaded into the lower end
vided in the cover plate 5|. The upper end of
, of a tubular'strut' 4! which is‘ preferably brazed
the tube projects within ‘a recess 86 provided in
or otherwise secured in i'luidtight relation to the
the handle. A cap member or steam dome 61
upper and lower walls of the water reservoir.
also extends into this recess about thetube l4
43 hasclamped thereto. as by means
and is brazed or otherwise secured in ?uidtight
of a nut I! and a cooperating shoulder 41 formed
relation to the cover ii. A ba?le plate 68 hav
thereon. an annular thin metal disc 48 which
ing openings 69 therein may be provided about
serves to close the top 01' thefsteam-generating
the tube M to prevent water from accidentally
space 39. This disc 48 is seated in an enlarged
portion or an opening 49 provided in a cover plate 75 splashing up into the vent tube as the iron is
moved to and fro over the material being pressed.
sary to connect the conductors 3| to a suitable
source of electricity, such as. the conventional
said soleplate and arranged with the bight there
of directed toward the front end of'said soleplate,
said passage being disposed between said heating
means and said thermostat well, the rearwardly
extending ends of said U-shaped passage open
household convenience outlet, and adjust the ther
ing in said steam-generating space whereby -
mostat 34 by means of a lmob ‘H. ~'I'his'knob
steam generated within said space may pass along
said passage to the front end of said soleplate,
and means adjacent the front end of said iron
To use the iron as a dry iron, it is only neces
is connected to the thermostat by means‘of a
rod 12 extending through a sleeve 13 secured in
fluidtight relation to the upper and lower walls
of the water reservoir; In using the .iron as a
conventional .dry iron, the water-valve'knob $3
is left at its “011" position so that water will not
enter the steam-generating space 39.
When it is desired to use the iron as a steam
iron, to moisten or dampen the clothes while iron
ing, the operator turns the water valvé knob 63
to the desired setting’ to provide the correct‘
amount of steam for the particular material being
ironed. It is, of course. assumed that the water 20
reservoir has been ?lled with water and the sole
plate is up to its selected temperature. With the
valve stem 58 raised from the ‘valve seat 6!, the
water in the reservoir ?ows through openings ‘it
provided in the strut 65 into the passage 66 and
falls in the center of the screw member M from'
which it can flow into the steam-generating space
39 through openings '15. Since the plug 58) is'in
direct contact with the hot soleplate, the water
will be ?ashed almost instantly to steam and will
flow along the channels 38 to the fore part or toe
of the iron. In the event that the water is not
completely vaporized in the ‘steam-generating
space 39, further heat will be rapidly added to
the water as it moves along the channels 38, since
the channels‘are closely adjacent the heating ele-;
ment 21, and complete vaporization of the water
will be obtained. When the steam reaches the
communicating with said U-shaped passage’ for‘?
discharging steam from. said passage to the material being pressed.
2. A steam iron comprising a soleplate, a steam
generator carriedby said soleplate and located ‘
adjacent the rear end thereof, means for sup
plying water to said steam generator, electrical
means'for heating said soleplate‘and said steam
generator, said heating means extendingjrom the
rear to the front end of said soleplate along the
sides thereof, thermostatic means mounted on
said soleplate adjacent the‘lower surface thereof
for controlling said electrical heating means, a .
passage communicating at one end with said
steam generator and extending toward the front
end of the soleplate closely; adjacent said heating
means and in good heat-receiving relation there
to, said steam generator and passage being dis
posed horizontally between said thermostatic
means and said heating means and limiting the
direct conduction of heat from said heating
means to said thermostatic means, and means at
the front end of said iron communicating with
said passage for discharging steam from said
passage to the material being pressed.
3. A steam iron comprising a soleplate, a heat
ing element carried by said soleplate, a thermo
stat mounted, substantially centrally of said vsole- _
plate, a steam-generator provided adjacent the
fore part of the iron it passes up into the recess
rear of said soleplate, means for supplying water
52 in the cover plate and then down through the 40 to said steam generator, passage means formed
ports 53 to the material being pressed.
on said soleplate ‘and extending from said steam
As the iron is used, there may be an accumu
generator to the forward end of said soleplate,
lation of lime or scale deposited on the plug ti!
said passage means together with said steam gen
and within thecentral recess of the screw mem
erator substantially circumscribing said ther
ber M. This may be readily cleaned therefrom
mostat, said heating means, thermostat, passage
by removing the screw and the plug. Removal
of these parts also provides access to the rear part
means and steam generator being dispose‘dnin
substantially a common plane with the passage
means and steam generator located between said
heating means and thermostat, and means for
It will be appreciated that very little deposit .50 discharging steam from said passage means to
will accumulate in the fore part of the channels
the material being pressed.
since the water will be vaporized by the time it
4. A steam iron comprising a soleplate, electri
of the channels 38 so that any
therein may be cleaned.
deposits formed '
I reaches the forward end of the iron. However, if
cal heating means for said soleplate extending
desired. the plug member so may extend for-.
from rear to front adjacent the side edgestliere
wardly to form the bottom wall of a portion of 55 of, thermostatic means mounted substantially
the channels 38 so that on removal of the plug
centrally on said soleplate for controlling said
member a substantial portion of the channels is
heating means in response to the temperature of
said soleplate, a steam generator carried by said
While I have shown my invention in but one
soleplate, means for supplying liquid to said steam
form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art 60 generator, passage means provided in said sole
that it is not so limited, but is susceptible of
plate and communicating with said steam gen
various changes and-modi?cations without de
erator for receiving steam therefrom, means for
parting from the spirit thereof, and I desire,
discharging steam from said passage means to
therefore, that only such limitations shall be
the material to be pressed, said passage means
placed thereupon as are speci?cally set forth in 65 and steam generator being disposed between said
the appended claims.
heating means and said thermostatic means and
What I claim is:
substantially circumscribing said thermostatic
l. A steam iron comprising a soleplate. a‘ U
means for restricting the direct conduction of
shaped heating element carried by said soleplate
and arranged with the bight thereof directed 70 heat from said heating means to said thermo
static means.
toward the front end of said soleplate, said sole
5. A steam iron comprising a soleplate, a sub
plate having a steam-generating space formed
stantially U-shaped electric heating element of
therein adjacent the rear end thereof, means for
the sheathed type imbedded in said soleplate with
' supplying water to said space, a thermostat well
formed in said soleplate within the bight of said‘ 75 the bight thereof directed toward the front end
of said soleplate and with the arms thereof ex.
heating means, a U -shaped passage provided in
tending rearwardly therefrom adjacent the side
edges of the soleplate, said soleplate having a
thermostat-receiving well therein disposed be
tween and in spaced relation to the arms or the
heating element, thermostatic means in said well
for controlling said heating element, said sole
a passage formed therein between
said heating element and said well and circum
scrlbing said well, said well, passage “and heating
mon plane. means for applying a liquid to be
said passage and means
communicating with another portion of the pas
sage i'or conducting steam generated within said
passage to the material to be pressed, said last
mentioned means comprising one or more con
duits in said soleplate located between the edge
of the soleplate and said heating element.
7. A steam iron comprising a, soleplate, a sub
' element being disposed in substantially a common 10
plane, means for supplying a liquid to be vapor
med to a portion of said passage and means com
municating with another portion ‘of the passage
for conducting steam generated within said pas
sage to the material to be pressed.
6. A steam iron comprising a soleplate, a sub
stantially U-shaped electric heating element of
‘ sheathed type imbedded in said soleplate with
the bight thereof directed‘ toward the front end
of said soleplate ‘and with the arms thereof ex
rearwardly therefrom adjacent the side edges of
soleplate having a thermostat
receivlng well therein disposed substantially cen
' the soleplate, said
trally of said plate between the arms of the heat
ing element, said soleplate also having a,v recess
or recesses therein
tending rearwardly therefrom adjacent the side
edges of the soleplate. said soleplate having a
thermostat-receiving well therein disposed be
tween and in spaced relation to the arms of the
heating element, thermostatic means in said well
for controlling said heating element, said sole
Dlate having a passage formed therein between
said heating
conducting said steam to said ports.
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