Refrigerator compartment housing vertically adjustable shelves, each formed from a piece of tempered glass snapped-fastened to an injection molded frame

CAFC
  • US 6,422,673 B1
  • Filed: 04/16/2001
  • Issued: 07/23/2002
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/16/2001
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A refrigerator compartment comprising opposite substantially parallel side walls and a rear wall therebetween, a plurality of vertically spaced shelf-supporting ledges along each of said side walls, said shelf-supporting ledges being disposed in horizontally aligned pairs;

  • at least one shelf defined by a one-piece open frame made of substantially homogeneous polymeric/copolymeric molded synthetic material and a piece of glass closing an opening defined by said frame;

    said open frame having opposite substantially parallel side frame portions and opposite substantially parallel front and rear frame portions;

    said glass piece having opposite substantially parallel side edges and opposite substantially parallel front and rear edges;

    said side, front and rear frame portions being substantially contiguous to said respective side, front and rear edges;

    each of side frame portions being defined by an upper wall, a side wall depending from each upper wall and a lower wall projecting from its side wall toward an opposite side wall with the opposing lower walls being spaced from each other and each defining with an associated upper wall a glass piece side edge-receiving channel, each upper wall and lower wall having a terminal free edge, said glass piece side edges being spaced a predetermined distance from each other, said upper wall terminal free edges being spaced a predetermined distance from each other, said lowerwall terminal free edges being spaced a predetermined distance from each other, the predetermined distance of the glass piece side edges being appreciably greater than the predetermined distance of said upper wall edges and only slightly greater than the predetermined distance between said lower wall terminal free edges whereby said glass piece side edges are captively retained in said glass piece side edge-receiving channels, each lower wall including a relatively resilient end edge portion which temporarily defects and subsequently rebounds to snap-secure said glass piece side edges in said glass piece side edge-receiving channels, and said lower walls being disposed in sliding relationship upon said shelf-supporting ledges whereby product loading upon said glass piece which might tend to cause said lower walls to inadvertently deform and release said glass piece side edges is effectively resisted to preclude inadvertent glass piece/frame disassembly under load.

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