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Title:
A REFRIGERATOR COMPRISING A STORAGE CONTAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/039555
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Refrigerator (1) comprising a storage container (4) that has a crisper (2) wherein the fruits and the vegetables are stored and a body (3) that supports the crisper (2) and wherein the crisper (2) is placed; a housing (5) that is disposed on the body (3) so as to remain above the crisper (2), and a semipermeable filter (6) that is detachably disposed into the housing (5) and that enables the foodstuffs to remain fresh. A vacuum mechanism (7) creates a vacuum in the storage container (4) making the filter more effective.

Inventors:
MET AYLIN (TR)
AKIN HALIME ESIN (TR)
Application Number:
PCT/TR2016/050267
Publication Date:
March 09, 2017
Filing Date:
August 04, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ARCELIK AS (TR)
International Classes:
F25D17/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014180700A12014-11-13
Foreign References:
US20130340465A12013-12-26
US5946919A1999-09-07
KR20100065500A2010-06-17
JP2000180017A2000-06-30
EP0248370A21987-12-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANKARA PATENT BUREAU LIMITED (No: 10 Kavaklidere, Ankara, TR)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

A refrigerator (1) comprising a storage container (4) that has a crisper (2) wherein the fruits and the vegetables are stored and a body (3) that supports the crisper (2) and wherein the crisper (2) is placed; a housing (5) that is disposed on the body (3) so as to remain above the crisper (2), and a semipermeable filter (6) that is detachably disposed into the housing (5) and that enables the foodstuffs to remain fresh, characterized by a vacuum mechanism (7) that performs vacuuming operation in the storage container (4), thus enabling the pressure difference between the storage container (4) and the outer environment to increase and enables the effectiveness of the filter (6) to be improved.

A refrigerator (1) as in Claim 1, characterized by the vacuum mechanism (7) comprising a vacuum pump (8) that is arranged in the vicinity of the storage container (4), a valve (9) that is disposed on the storage container (4), and a connection channel (10), one end of which is connected to the vacuum pump (8) and the other to the valve (9).

A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, comprising a control unit (11) that is disposed on the storage container (4) and in the memory of which the vacuum amount required to provide the optimum filter (6) effectiveness according to the type and amount of the food is saved by the producer and a control panel (12) that enables the user to define the type and amount of the food placed into the storage container (4), characterized by the control unit (11) that enables the vacuum operation to be automatically realized by operating the vacuum mechanism (7) according to the type and amount of food defined by the user.

A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, characterized by the vacuum mechanism (7) that is manually adjusted in steps by the user according to the amount of the food. 5- A refrigerator (1) as in Claim 1, characterized by the filter (6) that is produced from a material with high mechanical strength.

6- A refrigerator (1) as in Claim 1, characterized by the filter (6) that is produced from bidirectional polypropylene.

7- A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, characterized by a portable cassette (13) that can be easily opened/closed, that can be placed into the housing (5) or over the crisper (2) and that enables the placement of the filter (6) therein, and more than one opening (14) that are arranged on the cassette (13).

8- A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, characterized by more than one opening (14) with almost equal dimensions, disposed on the cassette (13) at small intervals.

9- A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, characterized by more than one cut-out (18) that is disposed on the body (3) and that enables the storage container (4) to take air, and a sliding lid (15) that closes the cut-outs (18) partially or completely when actuated by the user.

10- A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, characterized by a gasket (16) that is disposed on the crisper (2) and that prevents the air entry into the crisper (2) by squeezing between the crisper (2) and the cassette (13) as a result of the pressure applied thereon by the cassette (13) when the cassette (13) is placed onto the crisper (2).

11- A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, characterized by a plate (19) that is disposed into the crisper (2) so that a gap remains between the plate (19) and the walls and the base of the crisper (2) and that contacts the fruits and the vegetables.

12- A refrigerator (1) as in any one of the above claims, characterized by at least one door shelf (17) that is disposed thereon and by the storage container (4) that is suitable to be placed onto the door shelf (17).

Description:
A REFRIGERATOR COMPRISING A STORAGE CONTAINER

The present invention relates to a storage container suitable to be used in a refrigerator.

Fruits and vegetables stored in a refrigerator are expected to remain fresh for a long time. However, aerobic organisms growing due to the oxygen and the moisture in the environment change the color, taste and odor of the foodstuffs, thus causing them to spoil. In particular, the fact that the decay rate of fresh green leafy vegetables with high respiration rates is high affects other vegetables and fruits stored with these leafy vegetables and deteriorates the storage conditions. In the state of the art, the use of storage containers suitable to be used in refrigerators and comprising semipermeable membranes is known for the fruits and vegetables to remain fresh for a long time. However, the balance that is tried to be obtained by using a semipermeable film is slowly formed due to modified atmospheric conditions and the respiration of the vegetables. Depending on the amount of the foodstuff, the desired environmental conditions can be obtained generally in 4-5 days. Moreover, due to the opening/closing of the container, the gas composition is corrupted again and similar period should elapse until obtaining the desired environmental conditions.

In the state of the art European Patent No EP0248370, a refrigerator comprising a vegetable storing container wherein a film of gas permeability is used is disclosed.

The aim of the present invention is the realization of a refrigerator comprising a storage container with facilitated utilization.

The refrigerator realized in order to attain the aim of the present invention, explicated in the first claim and the respective claims thereof comprises a crisper wherein fruits and vegetables are stored and a body whereon the crisper is mounted. The refrigerator furthermore comprises a housing that is disposed on the body and a filter that is placed into the housing, that can be replaced with a new one after being removed from inside the housing by the user and that has a gas permeability value optimized so that the ideal gas composition required for the fruits and vegetables in the storage container to remain fresh for a long time is obtained.

The refrigerator of the present invention comprises a vacuum mechanism that performs vacuuming operation in the storage container, thus enabling the pressure difference between the storage container and the outer environment to increase. With the increase of the pressure difference, the effectiveness of the filter is improved. Thus, the desired environmental conditions in the storage container can be obtained in less time.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the vacuum mechanism comprises a vacuum pump disposed in the vicinity of the storage container and a valve disposed on the storage container. The vacuum pump is preferably disposed on the storage container. A connection channel is disposed between the vacuum pump and the valve. Thus, the air in the container can be easily vacuumed by the user. In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator comprises a control unit that determines the vacuum amount required to provide the environmental conditions suitable to the type and amount of the food defined in the memory thereof and a control panel that enables the user to select the type and amount of the food placed into the storage container. Thus, after the user selects the type and amount of the food, the vacuum operation is automatically performed by the vacuum mechanism.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator comprises the vacuum mechanism that can be manually adjusted by the user according to the amount of the food. Vacuum stages related to the amount of the food are disposed on the control panel. Thus, the user can adjust the vacuum amount as per his/her preference.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the filter is produced from a material with high mechanical strength. Thus, the filter is not damaged by the vacuum operation. In an embodiment of the present invention, the filter is produced from bidirectional polypropylene. Thus, the mechanical strength of the filter is increased, thus enabling the filter to be resistant against the vacuum operation.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the filter is preferably produced as a roll composed of disposable segments, thus the filter can be easily replaced when desired.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator comprises a portable openable cassette that allows the placement of the filter therein. The cassette can be placed on the housing or the crisper. The cassette comprises openings thereon that enable the filter to take air and enable the storage container to take air thanks to the permeable structure of the filter.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the openings have almost equal diameters and are arranged on the cassette at close intervals. Thus, the film is prevented from being damaged by providing a regular air flow over the channel during the vacuum operation.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator comprises more than one cut-out on the body and a sliding lid that closes the cut-outs partially or completely when moved by the user. When actuated by the user, the sliding lid closes cut-outs on the body and provides preservation of the air composition in the storage container.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the storage container comprises a gasket that is disposed between the crisper and the lid and that provides leak- proofing. Thus, by means of the vacuum effect created in the crisper, the fruits and the vegetables are enabled to remain fresh for a longer time. In an embodiment of the present invention, the storage container comprises more than one plate disposed in the crisper. By means of the plate disposed on the walls and the base of the crisper, the foodstuffs are prevented from directly contacting the storage container and are enabled to be stored for a longer time without getting spoiled. In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator comprises at least one door shelf. The storage container is disposed on the door shelf.

The refrigerator realized in order to attain the aim of the present invention is illustrated in the attached figures, where: Figure 1 - is the perspective view of the refrigerator.

Figure 2 - is the perspective view of the storage container on the door shelf.

Figure 3 - is the front view of the storage container and the vacuum container on the door shelf.

Figure 4 - is the front view of the storage container and the control panel on the door shelf.

Figure 5 - is the perspective view of the crisper, the cassette and the body. Figure 6 - is the perspective view of the cassette and the filter. The elements illustrated in the figures are numbered as follows:

1- Refrigerator

2- Crisper

3- Body

4- Storage container

5- Housing

6- Filter

7- Vacuum mechanism

8- Vacuum pump

9- Valve

10- Connection channel

11- Control unit

12- Control panel

13- Cassette

14- Opening

15- Sliding lid 16- Gasket

17- Door shelf

18- Cut-out

19- Plate The refrigerator (1) comprises a storage container (4) that has a crisper (2) wherein the fruits and the vegetables are stored and a body (3) that supports the crisper (2) and wherein the crisper (2) is placed; a housing (5) that is disposed on the body (3) so as to remain above the crisper (2), and a semipermeable filter (6) that is detachably disposed into the housing (5) and that enables the foodstuffs to remain fresh. By means of the filter (6), environmental conditions ideal for the foodstuffs in the storage container (4) are obtained, thus the foodstuffs are enabled to be kept fresh for a long time.

The refrigerator (1) of the present invention comprises a vacuum mechanism (7) that performs vacuuming operation in the storage container (4), thus enabling the pressure difference between the storage container (4) and the outer environment to increase and enables the effectiveness of the filter (6) to be improved. By means of the vacuum operation, the filter (6) is activated and the air combination in the storage container (4) is enabled to be changed faster.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises a vacuum pump (8) that is arranged in the vicinity of the storage container (4), a valve (9) that is disposed on the storage container (4), and a connection channel (10), one end of which is connected to the vacuum pump (8) and the other to the valve (9). When the valve (9) on the storage container (4) is actuated, the vacuum pump (8) is activated and the vacuum operation is realized. The vacuum pump (8) can be disposed at any position close to the storage container (4). Thus, the dislodging of the storage container (4) is facilitated, providing ease of use.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises a control unit (11) that is disposed on the storage container (4) and in the memory of which the vacuum amount required to provide the optimum filter (6) effectiveness according to the type and amount of the food is saved by the producer and a control panel (12) that enables the user to define the type and amount of the food placed into the storage container (4). The control unit (11) enables the vacuum operation to be automatically realized according to the type and amount of food defined by the user. The user defines the type and amount of the food placed into the storage container (4) by using the control panel (12). The control unit (11) determines the vacuum amount that enables the filter (6) to be activated in a short time according to the information defined by the user, and enables the vacuum mechanism (7) to be operated.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises the vacuum mechanism (7) that can be manually adjusted in steps by the user according to the amount of the food. The user actuates the valve (9) on the storage container (4) and thus manually performs the vacuum operation. Thus, the filter (6) is enabled to activated before determining the type and amount of the food.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises the filter (6) that is produced from a material with high mechanical strength. Thus, the filter (6) is enabled to be used for a long time without getting damaged during the vacuum operation.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises the filter (6) that is produced from bidirectional polypropylene. By means of the bidirectional polypropylene, the filter (6) is not damaged during the vacuum operation.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises a portable cassette (13) that can be easily opened/closed, that can be placed into the housing (5) or over the crisper (2) and that enables the placement of the filter (6) therein, and more than one opening (14) that are arranged on the cassette (13). When the cassette (13) with the filter (6) thereon is placed onto the storage container (4), the storage container (4) is enabled to take air by means of the openings (14). Moreover, by means of the openings (14), the filter (6) takes air and becomes activated in a short time. In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises more than one opening (14) with almost equal dimensions, disposed on the cassette (13) at small intervals. During the vacuum operation, the air flow passes through the openings (14) and the filter (6) in this order. The openings (14) having small diameters and arranged at small intervals enable the air flow passing thereover to be homogeneously distributed. Thus, the filter (6) is prevented from being damaged mechanically.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises more than one cut-out (18) that is disposed on the body (3) and that enables the storage container (4) to take air, and a sliding lid (15) that closes the cut-outs (18) partially or completely when actuated by the user. Closing the sliding lid (15) partially or completely after the vacuum operation enables the gas composition in the storage container (4) to be remain constant.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises a gasket (16) that is disposed on the crisper (2) and that prevents the air entry into the crisper (2) by squeezing between the crisper (2) and the cassette (13) as a result of the pressure applied thereon by the cassette (13) when the cassette (13) is placed onto the crisper (2). By means of the gasket (16), the air that has not passed through the filter (6) is prevented from entering the storage container (4). In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises a plate (19) that is disposed into the crisper (2) so that a gap remains between the plate (9) and the walls and the base of the crisper (2) and that contacts the fruits and the vegetables. The plate (19) has a porous structure. By means of the plate (19), the fruits and vegetables are prevented from directly contacting the interior of the crisper (2). Thus, the fruits and vegetables are enabled to constantly contact the air.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the refrigerator (1) comprises at least one door shelf (17) disposed thereon and the storage container (4) that is suitable to be disposed onto the door shelf (17). By means of the present invention, the filter (6) disposed in the storage container (4) is enabled to be activated in a shorter time. By means of the vacuum mechanism (7), the ideal gas composition in the storage container (4) is enabled to be formed in a shorter time and the gas composition is enabled to be preserved for a longer time. While the foodstuffs are kept fresh for a longer time, the growth of bacteria thereon is prevented.