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United States Patent Application 20180087828
Kind Code A1
PARK; Kyoung-Sun ;   et al. March 29, 2018

REFRIGERATOR

Abstract

Disclosed is a refrigerator having a shelf assembly in a storage compartment. The refrigerator includes a body provided with a storage compartment, a shelf configured to load goods stored in the storage compartment, a panel configured to form one surface of the storage compartment and provided with a plurality of support guides, and a frame configured to support the shelf and configured to be movable in a transverse direction along the plurality of support guides by being detachably coupled to the panel.


Inventors: PARK; Kyoung-Sun; (Hwaseong-si, KR) ; HEO; Eun; (Suwon-si, KR) ; PARK; Ji Yong; (Suwon-si, KR) ; JUNG; Sang Gyu; (Suwon-si, KR) ; HWANG; In-Sung; (Suwon-si, KR)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Suwon-si

KR
Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Suwon-si
KR

Family ID: 1000002951152
Appl. No.: 15/714439
Filed: September 25, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F25D 25/02 20130101; F25D 23/067 20130101; F25D 17/04 20130101; F25D 2325/021 20130101; F25D 2325/022 20130101
International Class: F25D 25/02 20060101 F25D025/02; F25D 23/06 20060101 F25D023/06; F25D 17/04 20060101 F25D017/04

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Sep 23, 2016KR10-2016-0122032

Claims



1. A refrigerator comprising: a body provided with a storage compartment; a shelf configured to load goods stored in the storage compartment; a panel configured to form one surface of the storage compartment and provided with a plurality of support guides; and a frame configured to support the shelf and configured to be movable in a transverse direction along the plurality of support guides by being detachably coupled to the panel.

2. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the plurality of support guides is extended in the transverse direction and arranged in a longitudinal direction.

3. The refrigerator of claim 2, wherein the frame comprises a first locking portion and a second locking portion coupled to two support guides adjacent to each other among the plurality of support guides.

4. The refrigerator of claim 3, wherein the frame comprises a first roller installed in the first locking portion and a second roller installed in the second locking portion.

5. The refrigerator of claim 4, wherein the plurality of support guides comprises a support groove into which the frame is inserted and a support portion connected to the support groove in a rear surface of the panel.

6. The refrigerator of claim 5, wherein the first roller is supported by a front inner surface of the support portion and the second roller disposed in the lower side of the first roller is supported by a rear inner surface of the support portion.

7. The refrigerator of claim 6, wherein as the first roller is guided to the rear inner surface of the support portion and the second roller is guided to the front inner surface of the support portion, the frame is movable in the transverse direction along the plurality of support guides.

8. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein a height in which the frame is coupled to the panel is changed as the frame is mounted to or detached from the plurality of support guides.

9. The refrigerator of claim 5, wherein the support portion comprises a hole configured to discharge cold air to the storage compartment via the support groove.

10. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the panel further comprises a cold air discharging portion disposed in an upper portion or one side of the panel and configured to discharge cold air to the storage compartment.

11. The refrigerator of claim 3, wherein the frame further comprises a fixing member configured to fix the shelf, wherein the shelf comprises an interference member configured to interfere the fixing member and the shelf is detachably coupled to the frame.

12. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein the fixing member comprises a second locking protrusion protruding in the lower side, wherein the interference member comprises a first locking protrusion protruding in the upper side to be coupled to the second locking protrusion and a handle portion configured to release the coupling between the first locking protrusion and the second locking protrusion.

13. The refrigerator of claim 11, wherein the first locking protrusion comprises a through hole configured to allow the fixing member to be movable in the longitudinal direction and an accommodation groove configured to allow the interference member to be movable in the front and rear direction.

14. The refrigerator of claim 1, wherein the plurality of support guides supports the plurality of shelves in the transverse or longitudinal direction.

15. The refrigerator of claim 3, wherein the frame supports the center of a lower surface of the shelf, and the first locking portion is extended to opposite sides in the transverse direction so that a transverse width of the first locking portion corresponds to a transverse width of the shelf.

16. A refrigerator comprising: a body provided with a storage compartment; a rear panel provided with a plurality of support guides extended in a transverse direction and arranged in a longitudinal direction, and configured to form a rear surface of the storage compartment; a shelf configured to load goods stored in the storage compartment; and a frame provided with a locking portion detachably coupled to two support guides adjacent to each other among the plurality of support guides so that a height in which the shelf is coupled to the rear panel is changed, and a roller configured to allow the shelf to be movable in the transverse direction along the plurality of support guides.

17. The refrigerator of claim 16, wherein the rear panel comprises a cold air discharging portion configured to discharge cold air to the storage compartment.

18. The refrigerator of claim 17, wherein the cold air discharging portion comprises the plurality of support guides

19. A refrigerator comprising: a body provided with a storage compartment; a shelf assembly provided with a shelf configured to load goods stored in the storage compartment, and a frame configured to support the shelf and provided with a locking portion having a roller installed in one end portion of the locking portion; and a rear panel configured to support the shelf assembly and configured to allow the shelf assembly to be movable in a transverse direction in the storage compartment by having a plurality of support grooves extended in a transverse direction and arranged in a longitudinal direction, and a support portion supporting the roller.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

[0001] This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2016-0122032, filed on Sep. 23, 2016 in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

[0002] Embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a refrigerator, more particularly to a refrigerator having a shelf assembly in a storage compartment.

2. Description of Related Art

[0003] A refrigerator is an apparatus configured to keep foods fresh by having a storage compartment storing foods and a cool air supply apparatus to supply cool air to the storage compartment. In the storage compartment of the refrigerator, a shelf assembly is provided to support goods for improving the efficiency of the storage space.

[0004] Since the shelf assemblies spaced apart from each other in the vertical direction divides the inside of the storage compartment into a plurality of spaces, the utilization of the storage space may be improved and it may be possible to store goods easily. In recent, since the size of the refrigerator has increased, there may be difficulties in taking out the goods deeply placed in the rear side of the shelf. Therefore, a refrigerator provided with a moving-shelf assembly has been manufactured as well as a refrigerator provided with a fixed-shelf assembly.

[0005] In general, a refrigerator includes components for a refrigeration cycle. In basic, the refrigerator is a device to refrigerate or freeze goods stored in a storage compartment by using cool air generated by the components for the refrigeration cycle.

[0006] As for the refrigeration of the refrigerator, a compressor compresses refrigerant gas in the refrigerator to make high-temperature and high-pressure refrigerant gas, and the refrigerant is sent to a condenser. The condenser condenses the refrigerant by releasing the refrigerant gas and liquefies the refrigerant.

[0007] The liquefied refrigerant is in a state where it is easily vaporized at a low temperature in a capillary tube while being at the low pressure, and then the liquefied refrigerant is vaporized again in the low temperature cooler. Since the refrigerant absorbs the heat of vaporization generated at this time, the ambient air is deprived of the heat from the refrigerant and the temperature is lowered.

[0008] Air at the low temperature, i.e., cold air, is discharged to the inside of the storage compartment of the refrigerator and thus the refrigeration or the freezing is performed. The vaporized refrigerant gas is sent to the compressor again and then the above process is repeated. Such a cooling method is called as a gas compression type, and this method is the most widely used method for general households because it is efficient and has excellent cooling power.

[0009] On the other hand, a structure capable of fixing the shelf assembly may be provided in a panel forming one side of the storage compartment. However, cold air discharged into the storage compartment may be blocked by the shelf assembly coupled to the panel.

SUMMARY

[0010] Therefore, it is an aspect of the present disclosure to provide a refrigerator provided with a shelf assembly having an improved structure to allow goods, which is supported by a shelf, to be stored in an easy manner and in various manners.

[0011] It is another aspect of the present disclosure to provide a refrigerator provided with a shelf assembly capable of moving in the vertical and horizontal direction.

[0012] It is another aspect of the present disclosure to provide a refrigerator provided with a panel capable of easily discharging cold air to a storage compartment while supporting a shelf assembly.

[0013] Additional aspects of the present disclosure will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention.

[0014] In accordance with an aspect of the present disclosure, a refrigerator includes a body provided with a storage compartment, a shelf configured to load goods stored in the storage compartment, a panel configured to form one surface of the storage compartment and provided with a plurality of support guides, and a frame configured to support the shelf and configured to be movable in a transverse direction along the plurality of support guides by being detachably coupled to the panel.

[0015] the plurality of support guides may be extended in the transverse direction and arranged in a longitudinal direction.

[0016] the frame may include a first locking portion and a second locking portion coupled to two support guides adjacent to each other among the plurality of support guides.

[0017] the frame may include a first roller installed in the first locking portion and a second roller installed in the second locking portion.

[0018] the plurality of support guides may include a support groove into which the frame is inserted and a support portion connected to the support groove in a rear surface of the panel.

[0019] the first roller may be supported by a front inner surface of the support portion and the second roller disposed in the lower side of the first roller is supported by a rear inner surface of the support portion.

[0020] as the first roller is guided to the rear inner surface of the support portion and the second roller is guided to the front inner surface of the support portion, the frame may be movable in the transverse direction along the plurality of support guides.

[0021] a height in which the frame is coupled to the panel may be changed as the frame is mounted to or detached from the plurality of support guides.

[0022] the support portion may include a hole configured to discharge cold air to the storage compartment via the support groove.

[0023] the panel may further include a cold air discharging portion disposed in an upper portion or one side of the panel and configured to discharge cold air to the storage compartment.

[0024] the frame may further include a fixing member configured to fix the shelf, wherein the shelf may include an interference member configured to interfere the fixing member and the shelf is detachably coupled to the frame.

[0025] the fixing member may include a second locking protrusion protruding in the lower side, wherein the interference member may include a first locking protrusion protruding in the upper side to be coupled to the second locking protrusion and a handle portion configured to release the coupling between the first locking protrusion and the second locking protrusion.

[0026] the first locking protrusion may include a through hole configured to allow the fixing member to be movable in the longitudinal direction and an accommodation groove configured to allow the interference member to be movable in the front and rear direction.

[0027] the plurality of support guides may support the plurality of shelves in the transverse or longitudinal direction.

[0028] the size of the plurality of shelves may vary.

[0029] the frame may support the center of a lower surface of the shelf, and the first locking portion may be extended to opposite sides in the transverse direction so that a transverse width of the first locking portion corresponds to a transverse width of the shelf.

[0030] In accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure, a refrigerator includes a body provided with a storage compartment, a rear panel provided with a plurality of support guides extended in a transverse direction and arranged in a longitudinal direction, and configured to form a rear surface of the storage compartment, a shelf configured to load goods stored in the storage compartment, and a frame provided with a locking portion detachably coupled to two support guides adjacent to each other among the plurality of support guides so that a height in which the shelf is coupled to the rear panel is changed, and a roller configured to allow the shelf to be movable in the transverse direction along the plurality of support guides.

[0031] the rear panel may include a cold air discharging portion configured to discharge cold air to the storage compartment.

[0032] the cold air discharging portion may include the plurality of support guides

[0033] In accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure, a refrigerator includes a body provided with a storage compartment, a shelf assembly provided with a shelf configured to load goods stored in the storage compartment, and a frame configured to support the shelf and provided with a locking portion having a roller installed in one end portion of the locking portion, and a rear panel configured to support the shelf assembly and configured to allow the shelf assembly to be movable in a transverse direction in the storage compartment by having a plurality of support grooves extended in a transverse direction and arranged in a longitudinal direction, and a support portion supporting the roller.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0034] These and/or other aspects of the disclosure will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

[0035] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0036] FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0037] FIG. 3 is a view illustrating a case in which a position of a shelf assembly supported by a panel is changed, in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0038] FIG. 4 is a side cross-sectional view illustrating a coupling structure between the shelf assembly and the panel in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0039] FIG. 5 is a view illustrating a structure for discharging cold air via a hole in the support portion in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0040] FIG. 6 is a view illustrating a cold air discharging portion of a panel in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0041] FIG. 7 is an exploded view illustrating the panel and the shelf assembly in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0042] FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a structure of a shelf assembly in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0043] FIG. 9 is a view illustrating a coupling structure of a shelf assembly in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0044] FIG. 10 is a view illustrating a structure in which a shelf of the shelf assembly is fixed to a frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 9.

[0045] FIG. 11 is a view illustrating an operation in which the shelf of the shelf assembly is separated from the frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 9.

[0046] FIG. 12 is an exploded view illustrating a shelf assembly in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0047] FIG. 13 is a view illustrating a structure in which a shelf of the shelf assembly is fixed to a frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 12.

[0048] FIG. 14 is a view illustrating an operation in which the shelf of the shelf assembly is separated from the frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0049] Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the present disclosure, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0050] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0051] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a refrigerator 1 may include a body 10 and a storage compartment 20 provided inside of the body 10 to have an opened front surface thereof so that goods is inserted thereinto or withdrew therefrom. The refrigerator 1 may include a door 30 rotatably coupled to the body 10 to open and close the opened front surface of the storage compartment 20, and a cool air supply apparatus to supply cool air to the storage compartment 20.

[0052] The body 10 may include an outer case 11 and an inner case 12. The outer case 11 may form an exterior of the body 10. The outer case 11 may be formed of metal material having the durability and the beauty. The inner case 12 may be placed inside of the outer case 11. The inner case 12 may form an exterior of the storage compartment 20. The inner case 12 may be formed of plastic material by being integrally injection molded.

[0053] An insulation material 60 may be foamed between the inner case 12 and the outer case 11 to prevent cold air of the storage compartment 20 from being leaked.

[0054] The storage compartment 20 may be divided into a plurality of storage compartments 20 by a partition 13. The storage compartment 20 may include an upper storage compartment 20a and a lower storage compartment 20b. The upper storage compartment 20a and the lower storage compartment 20b each may be divided into a left storage compartment and a right storage compartment by other partition (not shown).

[0055] The storage compartment 20 may include a refrigerating compartment and a freezing compartment. According to the refrigerator type, the upper storage compartment 20a is provided as the refrigerating compartment and the lower storage compartment 20b is provided as the freezing compartment, or alternatively, the upper storage compartment 20a is provided as the freezing compartment and the lower storage compartment 20b is provided as the refrigerating compartment.

[0056] The freezing compartment may be maintained at approximately -20.degree. C. and the refrigerating compartment may be maintained at approximately 3.degree. C. The refrigerating compartment and the freezing compartment may be insulated by the partition 13.

[0057] As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the refrigerator 1 is the bottom freezer type in which the upper storage compartment 20a is provided as the refrigerating compartment and the lower storage compartment 20b is provided as the freezing compartment.

[0058] However, the type of the refrigerator is not limited thereto. Therefore, embodiments of the present disclosure may be applied to different refrigerator types as long as a shelf assembly 40 is mounted to the storage compartment 20 in a refrigerating compartment or a freezing compartment.

[0059] The different refrigerator type may include a side by side type in which a refrigerating compartment and a freezing compartment are disposed in the left and right side, and a top mounting type in which a freezing compartment is disposed in the upper side of refrigerating compartment.

[0060] A drawer type storage container 21 storing vegetables and fruits may be installed inside of the storage compartment 20. The storage container 21 may be provided in the box shape, or alternatively provided in a closed type so that goods are stored in a closed inner space.

[0061] In the storage compartment 20, the shelf assembly 40 may be provided to support goods stored in the storage compartment 20. A plurality of shelf assemblies 40 may be provided. The shelf assembly 40 may be installed in the refrigerating compartment or the freezing compartment. A detail configuration of the shelf assembly 40 will be described later.

[0062] The storage compartment 20 may be opened or closed by the door 30. The upper storage compartment 20a may be opened or closed by a pair of upper door 30a rotatably coupled to the body 10. The lower storage compartment 20b may be opened or closed by a drawer type lower door 30b coupled to the body 10 in a sliding manner. The configuration of the upper door and the lower door are not limited thereto.

[0063] On the rear surface of the upper door 30a, a plurality of door guards 31 may be provided to store goods. Particularly, the door guard 31 may be configured to store goods having the small volume.

[0064] The cool air supply apparatus may supply cold air to the storage compartment 20. A cooling air circulation system 70 may be formed in the rear side of the storage compartment 20. An evaporator 71 for refrigerating the storage compartment 20 may be installed in the rear side of the cooling air circulation system 70, and a blower fan 72 circulating the internal air of the storage compartment 20 may be provided in an upper side of the evaporator 71.

[0065] In the front side of the evaporator 71, a panel 50 may be installed to separate the inner space into the cooling air circulation system 70 and the storage compartment 20. A cool air discharging portion 52 may be formed in the panel 50 to discharge cold air, which is guided via the cooling air circulation system 70, to the storage compartment 20.

[0066] The blower fan 72 may blow air, which is passed through the evaporator 71, to the cooling air circulation system 70. A detail configuration of the panel 50 and the cool air discharging portion 52 will be described later.

[0067] A machinery room 80 separated from the storage compartment 20 may be provided in the lower portion of the body 10. In the machinery room 80, a compressor 81 configured to compress refrigerant, a condenser (not shown) configured to condense the compressed refrigerant, and a refrigerant expansion device (not shown) configured to expand the compressed refrigerant may be installed.

[0068] FIG. 3 is a view illustrating a case in which a position of a shelf assembly supported by a panel is changed, in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0069] Referring to FIG. 3, a position of the shelf assembly 40 may be changed by being supported by the panel 50 forming one surface of the storage compartment 20. The panel 50 may include a rear panel 50 forming the rear surface of the storage compartment 20.

[0070] The panel 50 may include a plurality of support guide extended in the transverse direction and arranged in the longitudinal direction. The transverse direction may represent a X axis direction and the longitudinal direction may represent a Z axis direction among the X, Y, Z coordinates.

[0071] As the shelf assembly 40 is mounted to or detached from the plurality of support guides 51, it may be possible to adjust a height in which the shelf assembly 40 is coupled to the panel 50. The shelf assembly 40 may be moved in the transverse direction along the plurality of support guides 51. The number of the support guide 51 may be determined according to the height of the panel 50.

[0072] The plurality of the shelf assemblies 40 may be coupled to the plurality of support guides 51 in the transverse and longitudinal directions. Each of the size of the shelf assembly 40 supported by the plurality of support guides 51 may be different from each other.

[0073] A transverse width of the shelf assembly 40 may be properly selected. The transverse width of the shelf assembly 40 may correspond to a half of a transverse width of the panel 50 to which the shelf assembly 40 is coupled. Alternatively, the transverse width of the shelf assembly 40 may correspond to a quarter of a transverse width of the panel 50 to which the shelf assembly 40 is coupled.

[0074] FIG. 4 is a side cross-sectional view illustrating a coupling structure between the shelf assembly and the panel in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0075] Referring to FIG. 4, the shelf assembly 40 may include a shelf 41 on which goods stored in the storage compartment 20 are loaded and a frame 42 supporting the shelf 41. The frame 42 supporting the shelf 41 may be detachably coupled to the plurality of support guides 51.

[0076] The frame 42 may include a locking portion 420 coupled to the plurality of support guides 51. The locking portion 420 may include a first locking portion 420a and a second locking portion 420b which are coupled to two support guides placed adjacent to each other, among the plurality of support guides 51.

[0077] The first locking portion 420a may be coupled to a support guide 51 placed in the upper side between two support guides, which are placed adjacent to each other and to which the locking portion 420 is coupled, and the second locking portion 420b may be placed in the lower side of the first locking portion 420a.

[0078] The first locking portion 420a may be formed in a direction parallel in the shelf 41, i.e., front and rear direction, to support the shelf 41, and the second locking portion 420b may be formed in a diagonal direction. The front and rear direction may represent a Y axis direction and a diagonal direction may represent a direction between the Y axis and a Z axis in the X, Y, Z coordinates.

[0079] A shape where the locking portion 420 (the first locking portion 420a and the second locking portion 420b) is coupled to the panel 50 may form a right triangle. Therefore, a coupling between the shelf assembly 40 and the panel 50 can be solid.

[0080] One end portion of the first locking portion 420a may be curved in the lower side toward the second locking portion 420b (the Z axis direction), and one end portion of the second locking portion 420b may be curved in the direction parallel with the shelf 41 (the Y axis direction).

[0081] The frame 42 may include a roller 421 installed in the locking portion 420. A direction of the axis of rotation of the roller 421 may correspond to the vertical direction (the Z axis direction). The roller 421 may include a first roller 421a installed in the first locking portion 420a and a second roller 421b installed in the second locking portion 420b.

[0082] The plurality of support guides 51 may include a support groove 510 formed in the front surface of the panel 50 and a support portion 511 formed in the rear surface of the panel 50. A plurality of the support grooves 510 and support portions 511 may be provided. The number of the support portion 511 may be identical to the number of the support groove 510.

[0083] The support portion 511 may be formed in a square shape whose one surface is open, so as to cover the support groove 510 in the rear side of the panel 50, wherein the square shape is similar with a shape of `C`.

[0084] The locking portion 420 may be inserted into the plurality of support guides 51 and fixed by being supported by the plurality of support guides 51. When goods are loaded on the shelf 41 supported by the frame 42 fixed to the plurality of support guides 51, the rotational force may be applied to the shelf assembly 40 by the weight moment of the goods.

[0085] The locking portion 420 may be lifted to the up side in the plurality of support guides 51 by the rotational force applied to the shelf assembly 40. When the locking portion 420 is inserted into the plurality of support guides 51, the first roller 421a installed in the first locking portion 420a may be supported by the front inner surface corresponding to the first roller 421a and the second roller 421b installed in the second locking portion 420b may be supported by the rear inner surface corresponding to the second roller 421b.

[0086] Despite the rotational force applied to the shelf assembly 40, the shelf assembly 40 may be stably fixed to the panel 50.

[0087] When the locking portion 420 is detached from the plurality of support guides 51, the shelf assembly 40 may be separated from the panel 50. As the shelf assembly 40 is inserted into two support guides 51 disposed adjacent to each other among the plurality of support guides 51 which are arranged in the longitudinal direction, a height to which the shelf assembly 40 is coupled to the panel 50 may be changed.

[0088] When the locking portion 420 is inserted into the plurality of support guides 51, the locking portion 420 may make contact with the plurality of support guides 51. Due to the frictional force generated by the contact between the locking portion 420 and the surface of the plurality of support guides 51, the shelf assembly 40 may be fixed to the panel 50 without moving in the transverse direction (the X axis direction).

[0089] Therefore, although an external force in the transverse direction (the X axis direction) is applied to the shelf assembly 40, the shelf assembly 40 may be stably fixed without movement.

[0090] When the shelf assembly 40 is fixed to the panel 50, a surface of the support portion 511, by which the roller 421 is supported, may be different from when the shelf assembly 40 is moved in the transverse direction (the X axis direction) along the plurality of support guides 51.

[0091] When an external force is applied to the shelf assembly 40 in the upper side (the Z axis direction), the locking portion 420 coupled to the plurality of support guides 51 may be lifted in the upper side (the Z axis direction).

[0092] Therefore, the surface of the support portion 511 supporting the first roller 421a installed in the first locking portion 420a may be changed from the front inner surface of the support portion 511 to the rear inner surface of the support portion 511. The surface of the support portion 511 supporting the second roller 421b installed in the second locking portion 420b may be changed from the rear inner surface of the support portion 511 to the front inner surface of the support portion 511. That is, the contact surface between the locking portion 420 and the plurality of support guides 51 may be reduced.

[0093] As the contact surface between the locking portion 420 and the plurality of support guides 51 is reduced, the frictional force caused by the surface contact between the locking portion 420 and the plurality of support guides 51 may be reduced. Therefore, when an external force in the transverse direction (the X axis direction) is applied to the shelf assembly 40, which is lifted in the upper side (the Z axis direction), the shelf assembly 40 may be moved in the transverse direction (the X axis direction) in the panel 50 by the rolling movement of the roller 421.

[0094] FIG. 5 is a view illustrating a structure for discharging cold air via a hole in the support portion in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0095] Referring to FIG. 5, the support portion 511 may include a hole 512 delivering cold air generated by the cool air supply apparatus to the support groove 510. A plurality of holes 512 may be provided. The hole 512 may be disposed in the upper side in the rear surface of the support portion 511. The plurality of holes 512 may be arranged in the transverse direction (the X axis direction).

[0096] FIG. 5 illustrates that the hole 512 is disposed in the upper side in the rear surface of the support portion 511, but the position of the hole 512 is not limited thereto. Therefore, the hole 512 may be disposed in any position as long as the position of the hole 512 does not affect the coupling between the locking portion 420 and the inside of the support portion 511. For example, the plurality of holes 512 may be disposed in upper surface of the support portion 511.

[0097] The height of the support groove 510 in the longitudinal direction (the Z axis direction) may be higher than the height of the locking portion 420, which is coupled to the panel 50, in the longitudinal direction (the Z axis direction). Therefore, the plurality of support guides 51 may include a cold air discharging portion 52 discharging cold air to the storage compartment 20 via the support groove 510 although the locking portion 420 is inserted into the plurality of support guides 51. That is, the cold air may be discharged to the inside of the storage compartment 20 in a cold air discharge direction (A).

[0098] Therefore, although the shelf assembly 40 is inserted into the plurality of support guides 51, the cold air may be discharged into the inside of the storage compartment 20 via the cool air discharging portion 52 without the interference of the shelf assembly 40.

[0099] The cold air discharging space of the support groove 510 may act as a space which is needed for the shelf assembly 40 to be lifted in the upper side (the Z axis direction), wherein the lift of the shelf assembly 40 is needed to move in the transverse direction (the X axis direction) along the plurality of support guides 51.

[0100] Therefore, while supporting the shelf assembly 40, the plurality of support guides 51 may perform the function of the cool air discharging portion 52 discharging the cold air generated by the cool air supply apparatus, to the storage compartment 20.

[0101] FIG. 6 is a view illustrating a cold air discharging portion of a panel in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0102] Referring to FIG. 6, a panel 50 may include a cold air discharging portion 520 disposed in the upper portion or one side of the panel 50 and configured to discharge the cold air generated by the cool air supply apparatus to the storage compartment 20. The cold air discharging portion 520 may be separately formed from the plurality of support guides 51.

[0103] The cold air discharging portion 520 may include a first cold air discharging portion 520a formed in a shape similar with the shape of the plurality of support guides 51 and extended in the transverse direction in the upper portion of the front surface of the panel 50.

[0104] The first cold air discharging portion 520a may have a shape in which a front surface and a rear surface of the panel 50 are open. However, the shape of the first cold air discharging portion 520a is not limited thereto, and thus the shape of the first cold air discharging portion 520a may have a variety of shapes as long as capable of discharging cold air generated by the cool air supply apparatus to the storage compartment 20. For example, a plurality of holes may be arranged in the transverse direction.

[0105] The cold air generated by the cool air supply apparatus may be discharged to the inside of the storage compartment 20 via the first cold air discharging portion 520a. Since the shelf assembly 40 is not coupled to the upper portion of the front surface of the panel 50, the cold air may be discharged to the inside of the storage compartment 20 via the first cold air discharging portion 520a without the interference of the shelf assembly 40.

[0106] The cold air discharging portion 520 may include a second cold air discharging portion 520b formed in one side or both sides of the panel 50. The second cold air discharging portion 520b may have a hole shape or a shape in which a front surface and a rear surface of the panel 50 are open.

[0107] The second cold air discharging portion 520b may be arranged between the support portions 511 in the longitudinal direction. However, the position of the second cold air discharging portion 520b is not limited thereto, and thus the shape of the second cold air discharging portion 520b may have a variety of shapes and positions as long as capable of discharging cold air generated by the cool air supply apparatus to the storage compartment 20. For example, the second cold air discharging portion 520b may be extended between the plurality of support guides 51 in the transverse direction and arranged in the longitudinal direction.

[0108] Since the cold air discharged via the second cold air discharging portion 520b is not interfered by the shelf assembly 40, the cold air may be freely discharged to the inside of the storage compartment 20.

[0109] FIG. 7 is an exploded view illustrating the panel and the shelf assembly in the refrigerator in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0110] Referring to FIG. 7, the shelf assembly 40 coupled to the panel 50 may include a shelf 41 and a frame 42 supporting the shelf 41. The shelf 41 may correspond to a panel having a certain width and the square shape. However, for the user convenience, the shape of the shelf 41 is not limited thereto, and thus the shelf 41 may have a variety of shapes as long as capable of loading goods.

[0111] The shelf 41 may include a support plate 410 formed of transparent glass or synthetic resin to load goods and an edge 411 coupled to the support plate 410. The coupling method between the support plate 410 and the edge 411 may include an adhesion method using an adhesion, and a method using an additional coupling member.

[0112] The edge 411 may have a square frame shape whose a central portion is opened, so as to have a shape corresponding to the border portion of the support plate 410.

[0113] In the around of the border portion of the edge 411, a sealing member accommodation portion (not shown) in which a sealing member (not shown) is placed may be provided. The sealing member (not shown) is for the waterproof between the support plate 410 and the edge 411, and the silicone sealant may be used as the sealing member (not shown).

[0114] As mentioned above, when the support plate 410 and the edge 411 are fusion-coupled, the adhesion may occur with respect to the support plate 410 and thus it may be possible to prevent the bending (distortion) of the support plate 410 when the shelf 41 is formed by the insert injection process.

[0115] The shelf 41 may include a shelf wire (not shown) configured to prevent goods loaded on the shelf 41 from being escaped from the shelf 41. The shelf wire (not shown) may be provided on one side of the upper surface of the shelf 41.

[0116] The shelf 41 may include an edge finishing portion (not shown) configured to fix the shelf wire (not shown) and configured to improve the beauty of the shelf 41.

[0117] Two frames 42 may support the shelf 41 from opposite sides of the shelf 41. The two frames 42 may support the shelf 41 by being spaced apart the same distance from the center of the shelf 41. The shelf 41 supported by the two frames 42 may have a relatively wide width.

[0118] The shelf 41 may be inseparably coupled to the frame 42. The shelf assembly 40 may be formed by assembling the shelf 41 with the frame 42 which is formed of resin material by the injection mold method. The shelf 41 and the frame 42 may be coupled to each other by the adhesion.

[0119] The coupling between the shelf 41 and the frame 42 is not limited thereto, and thus the shelf 41 and the frame 42 may be coupled to each other by using a variety of methods.

[0120] For example, the shelf 41 and the frame 42 may be coupled to each other by using an additional coupling member (not shown) or the shelf 41 and the frame 42 may be integrally injection molded using a resin material.

[0121] FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a structure of a shelf assembly in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0122] Referring to FIG. 8, a frame 43 may be formed such that a first locking portion 430a is extended in the transverse direction (the X axis direction) as much as the width of the shelf 41 coupled to the frame 43. A first roller 431a may be additionally installed in opposite end portions of the first locking portion 430a extended in the transverse direction (the X axis direction).

[0123] A second locking portion 430b may be placed in the center of the shelf 41. The shelf 41 supported by the frame 43 may have a relatively smaller width than the frame 42 supported by the frame 42 according to an embodiment. The shelf 41 may be inseparably coupled to the frame 43.

[0124] FIG. 9 is a view illustrating a coupling structure of a shelf assembly in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 10 is a view illustrating a structure in which a shelf of the shelf assembly is fixed to a frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 9. FIG. 11 is a view illustrating an operation in which the shelf of the shelf assembly is separated from the frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 9.

[0125] Referring to FIGS. 9 to 11, a shelf 41 may be detachably coupled to a frame 42. The frame 42 may include a fixing member 422 configured to fix the shelf 41 and the shelf 41 may include an interference member 412 interfering the fixing member 422.

[0126] The interference member 412 may be disposed in the rear side of the lower surface of the shelf 41. The fixing member 422 may be disposed in a space between two frames 42 apart from each other so as to connect the two frames 42. That is, the interference member 412 may connect two first locking portions 420a to each other.

[0127] The interference member 412 may include a handle portion 414 having the elastic force to release the fixation of the fixing member 422. The handle portion 414 of the interference member 412 may include a first locking protrusion 413 protruding toward the upper side, and the fixing member 422 may include a second locking protrusion 423 protruding toward the lower side.

[0128] The first locking protrusion 413 of the interference member 412 and the second locking protrusion 423 of the fixing member 422 may be locked-coupled to each other in order to fix the shelf 41 and the frame 42.

[0129] The handle portion 414 may be formed of a material having the elastic force. When an external force is applied to the handle portion 414 in the lower side, the locking between the first locking protrusion 413 of the interference member 412 and the second locking protrusion 423 of the fixing member 422 may be released.

[0130] Accordingly, the fixation between the shelf 41 and the frame 42 may be released and the shelf 41 separated from the frame 42 may be taken out in the front side (the Y axis direction).

[0131] FIG. 12 is an exploded view illustrating a shelf assembly in a refrigerator in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure. FIG. 13 is a view illustrating a structure in which a shelf of the shelf assembly is fixed to a frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 12. FIG. 14 is a view illustrating an operation in which the shelf of the shelf assembly is separated from the frame in the refrigerator of FIG. 12.

[0132] Referring to FIGS. 12 to 14, a shelf 41 may be detachably coupled to a frame 43. The frame 43 may include a fixing member 432 configured to fix the shelf 41 and the shelf 41 may include an interference member 442 interfering the fixing member 432. The interference member 442 may be disposed in the rear side of the shelf 41.

[0133] The fixing member 432 may be disposed between a first locking portion 430a and a second locking portion 430b to connect the first locking portion 430a and the second locking portion 430b to each other. The interference member 442 may include a first locking protrusion 443 protruding toward the lower side, and the fixing member 432 may include a second locking protrusion 433 protruding toward the upper side.

[0134] The fixing member 432 may include a spring portion 435 disposed in the lower end portion of the second locking protrusion 433 and a lever portion 434 disposed in the middle of the second locking protrusion 433 to protrude toward the transverse direction (the X axis direction).

[0135] The first locking portion 430a may include a through hole 436 through which the second locking protrusion 433 of the fixing member 432 passes in the up and down direction (the Z axis direction).

[0136] The first locking portion 430a may include an accommodation groove 437, which has a certain height in the longitudinal direction (the Z axis direction) and is extended in the front and rear direction (the Y axis direction), to allow the second locking protrusion 433 to be placed.

[0137] As the second locking protrusion 433 placed in the accommodation groove 437 and the second locking protrusion 433 passing through the through hole 436 interfere with each other, the shelf 41 may be fixed to the frame 43.

[0138] The second locking protrusion 433 may fix the first locking protrusion 443 so that the first locking protrusion 443 is prevented from being moved to the front side. The first locking protrusion 443 and the second locking protrusion 433 may have a cylindrical shape, wherein the cross-section of the cylinder has a shape that is cut by an oblique line.

[0139] The accommodation groove 437 may be formed in the upper side of the first locking portion 430a, and one end portion of the accommodation groove 437 may be formed until an appropriate position without being extended to one end portion of the first locking portion 430a, and thus the first locking protrusion 443 may be fixed without moving toward the rear side.

[0140] When an external force, which is greater than the elastic force applied to the upper side by the frame 435 of the fixing member 432, is applied to the lever portion 434 of the fixing member 432 in the lower side, the second locking protrusion 433, which passed through the through hole 436 and then protruded in the upper side by the elastic force, may be lowered to the lower side and thus the interference between the first locking protrusion 443 and the second locking protrusion 433 may be released.

[0141] As the fixation between the shelf 41 and the frame 43 is released, the shelf 41 may be separated from the frame 43 and then taken out to the front side (the Y axis direction).

[0142] As is apparent from the above description, according to the proposed refrigerator, it may be possible to store goods loaded on the shelf in an easy manner and in various manners by changing the position of the shelf assembly and thus it may be possible to achieve the user convenience.

[0143] As is apparent from the above description, according to the proposed refrigerator, the panel forming one surface of the storage compartment may perform the function of the cold air discharging portion and fix the shelf assembly and thus it may be possible to save the manufacturing cost for installing the additional cold air discharging portion.

[0144] Although a few embodiments of the present disclosure have been shown and described, it would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the disclosure, the scope of which is defined in the claims and their equivalents.

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