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Double-hinged refrigerator door

Simple yet effective
  [vote for,

Refrigerator doors are hinged at one side only.

This is simple, but inconvenient.

Since a supply of electrical power is continuously available, there is no reason why a fridge door shouldn't be hinged at both sides.

On the new BorgCo design, both sides have conventional hinges, but they are not fixed to the frame. Instead, they mate into a mortise on the upright section of the fridge body and are retained by solenoid operated bolts.

When one side of the fridge door is pulled away from the casing, the tension is sensed and the bolts on that side release, thus the door pivots smoothly on the hinge at the opposite side.

The existing magnetic seal is retained in this design. Since it is likely that the mode of operation will be consistent, when the door closes it is retained only by the seal; only when the currently "fixed" side is pulled do the bolts change over, first locking the "free" side and then releasing the "locked" side. This process occurs so quickly that users are barely aware of it, apart from the loud "THUMP - BANG - CLUNK" as the solenoids actuate.

If power fails, the bolts remain engaged; a manual release lever at the top allows only one side or the other to be released if required. The door must then be fully closed and latched before the bolts on the other side can be disengaged.

8th of 7, Mar 25 2018

LG Door-in-door http://www.lg.com/u...-door-refrigerators
LG are part-way there... [neutrinos_shadow, Mar 25 2018]

Sharp dual swing door https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5kkuM-q_B_A
Sharp are all the way there [EnochLives, Mar 26 2018]


       This could be simpler.   

       Put hinges on the left of the door which attach it to a very slightly larger outer door, which has hinges on the right to attach it to the main fridge.
Wrongfellow, Mar 25 2018

       Wrongfellow beat me to it.   

       Why not just a frame-in-frame style where the door is hinged to a hinged frame?
RayfordSteele, Mar 25 2018

       You're no fun any more ...
8th of 7, Mar 25 2018

       I blame parenthood. Now, please stop teasing your sister...
RayfordSteele, Mar 25 2018

       You could always opt for one of those French door style fridges. I know it would take some humbling to accept something with the word 'french' in it, but you could always call it something else...
RayfordSteele, Mar 25 2018

       [+] but I'm unsure why you need electricity to operate the door.   

       The door is hinged and handled on both sides. Pulling a handle pulls the bolts out of the hinges on that side, and the door swings open on the still connected hinges on the other side.
FlyingToaster, Mar 25 2018

       I dunno, if you could make some different groceries appear the next time someone opened the fridge, you’d be pretty popular. How many people reopen it hoping to find something different?
RayfordSteele, Mar 25 2018

       I think [FT] has this one nailed. Admittedly, his proposal lacks complexity, fallibility, inability to open the fridge during a power cut, expense and noise, but it still nails it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 25 2018

       Trickier than it seems to make work; if you’ve ever tried to punch a pin out of a door hinge, you’ll know that usually a hammer is required.   

       Don’t grab both handles, the door will fall off..
RayfordSteele, Mar 25 2018

       [RayfordSteele], actually, that could be an advantage. Makes cleaning and maintenance easier.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 25 2018

       Maybe instead people should have two hands, one on each side, so that they can open a fridge regardless of which way it's hinged?
Wrongfellow, Mar 26 2018

       Or you could have a fridge door with no hinges, so that when you pull the handle it just falls off onto your foot, and when you've finished getting stuff out of the fridge, you have to carefully manoeuvre it back into position.
hippo, Mar 26 2018

       See Fridge With No Door.
xenzag, Mar 26 2018

       Or you could have a fridge door that opens upwards, like a car tailgate. In fact, if you turned actual car tailgates from classic cars into fridges I'm sure there'd be a market for it.
hippo, Mar 26 2018

       Sharp have a fridge on the market with this feature. See link.
EnochLives, Mar 26 2018

       //a fridge door that opens upwards// ... wouldn't allow you to store things on the door shelves.
Wrongfellow, Mar 26 2018

       Yes it would, but you would have to load the shelves from the inside while the door was closed.   

       Nice one, [EL], thanks ... <scribbles on shopping list/>
8th of 7, Mar 26 2018

       I'm mildly surprised no one has suggested the 'iris'-opening fridge door
hippo, Mar 27 2018

       1. You can't store stuff in the inside of the door.   

       2. The iris doesn't provide good insulation - to fold away effectively, the segments need to be thin.   

       3. There were negative reports from the test team when - on several occasions - the iris closed unexpectedly and with considerable force, severing the user's forearm just above the wrist.
8th of 7, Mar 27 2018

       All good points, although I might reflect that inconvenience and risk of serious injury are not usually objections to Halfbakery ideas.

OK then, what about the Sphincter Fridge Door?
hippo, Mar 27 2018

       1. Vile and disgusting mental imagery. EEEEwwwwwww NASTY....   

       The iris design does have the singular advantage that the severed portion of the limb is kept chilled, allowing time to organize the microsurgical team to attempt reattachment. That only applies to humans; Borg can just slot a new manipulator into place from a range of stock designs.
8th of 7, Mar 27 2018

       //the iris closed unexpectedly and with considerable force, severing the user's forearm just above the wrist//   

       I doubt that particular firmware feature will meet with regulatory approval down here on Earth.
Wrongfellow, Mar 27 2018

       //Vile and disgusting mental imagery. EEEEwwwwwww NASTY....// - Thanks!
hippo, Mar 27 2018

       HAH !   

       // regulatory approval //   

       Indeed. Worse, in between bouts of screaming, the tester threatened legal action.   

       Fortunately we came to an amicable arrangement whereby we simply removed the torniquet, after which they bled out surprisingly rapidly.   

       Since there were no death-in-service benefits for zero-hours contract staff, there was no need for a payout, or even an insurance claim. A few minutes with a pressure washer and cleanup was complete.
8th of 7, Mar 27 2018

       // no one has suggested the 'iris'-opening fridge door //   

       &#9834;&#9835; whistling &#9834;&#9835; an iris is an aperture, unless it be a modified 'stack of doors'   

       &#9834;&#9835; walks away whistling &#9834;&#9835;
reensure, Mar 27 2018

       <mental image of [IT], wearing his traditional black leather gimp mask, inserting cucumbers one after another into a sphincter/>   

       <screaming interspersed with projectile vomiting/>
8th of 7, Mar 28 2018


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