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Патент USA US2107369

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Feb. 8, 1938.
2,107,369 '
Filed Deo. 13, 1934
`4 sheets-sheet 1
Chl/mnu; E'Di Eay.
Feb. 8, 1938.
Filed Dec. 1s, 1954
4 sheets-sheet 2
Feb. s, 1938.
. Filed Dec. 13, 1954
4 Sheets-Sheet 3
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_ B12111217,
Feb. 8, 1938.'
Filed Deo. 15, 1934
4 Sheets-Sheet 4
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Á/M migüóg
¿La/rana: zî'DznZßy,
>Patented Feb. 8, 1938
clarence F. mnley,'petroit, Mich., ássignor to
James B. Bell, Philadelphia, Pa..A
Application Decemberis, 19.9.4,'sern1- No. 757,319
3 Claims.
My invention relates to treatment with sol
vents for such purposes as `cleaning and de
greasing, and to the use of volatile solvents. It
is especially adaptable and useful for cleaning
5 metal parts or objects preparatory to electro
Various solvents whose vapors
are heavier than air may be used, such as ben- .
zine, benzol, vancl chlorinated solvents like carbon
trichloromethane, tetrachloro
10 tetrachloride,
methane, dichlorethane, tetrachlorethane, tri
pors are uninñammable. 'I‘he work may be
treated with the liquid solvent or with the sol
15 vent vapor, yor both, and in many cases, treat
ment in boiling liquid solvent is desirable. In
suitable forms of embodiment, such as herein
after described, my invention affords a compact
and eñicient machine, semi-automatic in opera
e, tion, wherein large quantities of work can be
rapidly, thoroughly, and economically cleaned,
with small labor costs and litle loss of solvent.
Various other features and advantages of the
invention will appear from the description here
inafter of species thereof, and from the draw
In the drawings, Fig. I is la side elevation of
one preferred form of apparatus suitable for the
purposes of my invention, with a diagram of
certain electric circuits.
Fig. II is a corresponding diagram of a coni
veyor system 'shown in Fig. I, with the casing or
solvent vessel of Fig. I in vertical longitudinal
Fig. III is a view, with various parts in sec
tion, taken as indicated by the line and arrows
III-III in Fig. I.
Fig. IV is a fragmentary view, with part of
the apparatus in transverse section, taken as
¿3 indicated by the line and arrows IV-IV in Fig. I.
Fig. V is a fragmentary view taken as indi
cated by the line and arrows V-V'in Fig. I, with
part of the wall of the apparatus broken away
Fig. VI is a plan view of the piping connections
of the apparatus.
The apparatus shown in Figs. I, II and lII
comprises a sheet metal treating vessel or en
closure I0 that contains the solvent, whether
used as liquid or as vapor, and is closed toex
clude air and retain any solvent vapor that may
be present-,purposely or incidentally,---but is
preferably open upward for the introduction and
removal of work. For passing the work in and
out of or through the vessel Ill for treatment,
ciently open to allow passage of the work (not
shown) between its sides. Over the vessel III
there may be a lid or cover I3 somewhat shorter
than the vessel; so as to leaveÍ openings at its
ends for the passage of the conveyor, and pref
erably removable: itis shown as having the form
chlorethylene, and tetrachlorethylene, whose va
there may be a conveyor system II, shown in
the drawings as of an endless chain-and-‘sprocket
type. The enclosure or vessel II) and most of
the sprockets or other guide and driving means
of the conveyor system II are mounted and sup
. ported on or in a (metal) framework I2, sufli
»plating, enamelling, painting, and other finish
ing operations.
(Cl. 87-6)
of a shallow pan, inverted.
To avoid confusion, only a single work car
rier I4 is shown in Fig. I; but in practice, there
will preferably be a number of such carriers I4,
at suitable intervals along the conveyor chains,
as shown in Fig. II and explained hereinafter.
As shown in Figs. I and III,- the work carrier
I4 comprises a foraminous or openwork work
support or shelf I5 suspended by rods I6, I6 at
-its ends. The rods I6, I 6 are preferably of such
length that at the »low points of the conveyor
path, the‘shelf »I5 will be rather close above the
corresponding portion of the bottom of the ves
sel III, as shown in Figs. I, Il, and III.
In general, work is treated with liquid or va
porous solvent (or both) in the lower part- of
the vessel I0, while its upper portion serves
mainly to prevent or minimize loss of solvent u
vapor from the vessel. For when the solvent~
employed is highly volatile like gasoline or ben
zine, or when the work is immersed in the sol
vent while itself hot or warm, or when the sol
vent is used hot or even boiled during use, or
when the solvent is purposely used in the vapor
state,-in all such cases, solvent vapor will be
present, and will tend to accumulate to the point
of overflowing over the upper edge of the vessel
I0. As shown in Figs. I and II, the vessel I0 has _
a plurality of distinct treating compartments or
wells 20, 2|, 22 separated by “dams” consisting
of partition-like upward folds 23, 24 of the sheet
metal forming the bottom of the vessel. In these
several wells 20, 2l, 2_2, articles or work may be
more or less differently treated with the solvent.
As here shown, also, the well 20 is provided with
heating means, such as a steam coil 25‘near its
bottom, for heating, vaporizing, or even boiling
a body or bath of the liquid solvent retained in 50'
said well. The escape of solvent vapor thus or
otherwise present in the vessel I0 may be pre
vented by suitable upward extension of its walls
as at 26, and by condensation of the vapor from
this upper part of the vessel. The cover I3, 55
when used, also serves to minimize the unavoid
slope and over the crest of whichever dam is the
able minor losses of solvent vapor, by prevent
ing drafts of air above the vessel I0 from caus
lower. But for this, water condensing from the
superjacent air in contact with the vapor in the
ing eddies in the latter and thus drawing or
forcing solvent vapor up over the edges of the
vessel I8 would accumulate into a layer cover
Condensation of vapor from the upper portion
26 of the vessel I0 may be eifected by the ex
ternal atmospheric cooling of the walls at 26, if
10 they are of sumcient height; though generally it
is preferable to supplement or (largely) replace
atmospheric cooling with more eifective cooling
means,‘s_o that the vessel I0 need not be so deep
as mere atmospheric cooling would require. The
particular type and >arrangement of cooling
means-whether internal or external, and
whether on one side, two or more sides, or all
ing the liquid solvent in the well 2|, and this.
water would tend to waterspot the work treated
in the well 2 |.
Preferably, the distances or intervals along
the conveyor chains from one work carrier I4
:to the next correspond` to the distances or inter
vals ofl travel of the work carriers along the con
veyor path between their adjacent treating' po
sitions or low points in the seriesof wells 28, 2|,
22. These distances or intervals are preferably
the same for the treating positions in wells 2| 15
and 22 as for those in wells 28 and 2|.
As shown in Figs. I and III, the framework I2
around the vessel Ill-is'broadly immaterial, ex l comprises separable lower and upper sections 30,
cept that the greater the extent of the cooling 3|, associated, respectively, with the vessel I0
20 means perimetrically of the vessel, the less its
extent vertically need be to give adequate exposed
cooling area.
The solvent vapor, being heavier
than air, will always flow by gravity toward the
and the cover I3. These sections 30, 3| are sep
region or area where it is most rapidly cooled tively.
The lower frame section 30 comprises a rec
25 and condensed,---just as if there were an actual
tangular base 34 constructed of longitudinal and
outlet for the vapor at such region.
As shown in Figs-I, II, and III,_ the upper ves- K transverse channel members, and side frames at
sel walls 26 are (externally) water-jacketed at tached thereto 'and including uprights 35 con
nected at their upper»` ends by the longitudinals
- 21 on three sides, above the wells 2| and 22,
32, and intermediately by longitudinals 36 of an
30 thus causing a- continual flow of the solvent va
por rising from well 20 over well 2| into and gle section. The side walls of the vessel III may
across through well 22, where a body or bath of be secured to the longitudinals 32, 36, and its
solvent vapor accumulates and is retained. 'I'he bottom may be secured to the base 34, which is
jacket 21' has an inlet 21a for water or other shown provided with a'saddle vstructure 31 se
35 cooling medium at its lower corner on one side » cured thereon and engaging against the side
of the vessel I0 and anl outlet 21h at its upper wall of well, 28, under the bottom of well 2|, and
corner on the other side of the vessel ID'. Part under the bottom and against the side of well
of the pure liquid solvent condensed by the cool
ing Jacket 21 on the vessel walls 26 runs down
40 directly into the well 2|, where a body or bath
of this liquid solventv is accumulated and re
tained. The rest of the condensate runs down
into a trough 28 extending around three sides of
well 22 and over dam 24 to a point above well
45 2|. At the opposite sides of the vessel I0, the
trough 28 slopes downward toward well 2|, and
from the trough ends drain pipes 29 deliver the
pure condensate near the bottom o1' well 2| .
arable at a plane corresponding approximately
to the upper edges of the vessel III, where they
have longitudinals 32, 33 of angle section, respec
22. This structure 31 comprises longitudinal an
gle bar frames under the sides of vessel I8', and
transverse webs 38 under the corners of well 2|. 40
At their top and intermediate longitudinals'32
and 36, the side frames of section 30 are inter
connected by transverse 'angle bar members '38.
The upper frame section 3| comprises a rec
tangular top structure 4| constructed'of longi 45
tudin'al and transverse channel members, and
side frames attached- thereto and including up
rights 42 and43 (the former-corresponding to
the lower uprights 35) connected at their lower
ends by the longitudinals 33. The sides of the
'I'hus the condensate is diverted to well 2| to the
Such'vapor as condenses
on walls 26 directly >above well 28 (by atmos
cover |3 are shown secured to the longitudinals
pheric cooling) runs down into well 20. As 33. At the longitudinals 33, the side >frames of
` section 38 are interconnected by transverse an?
shown, wells 2| and 22 are both unheated.
gle bar members 44. To the longitudinals 33 are
Thus, it will be seen, well 26 normally con
55 tains (boiling) hot solvent about up to the level secured vertical bars 45, 46, 41 which extend
shown in Fig. II;l well 2| normally contains the down into the vessel I0 and carry (sprocket)
relatively cool and pure condensed solvent to guide means for the conveyor system II.
The conveyor system || `comprises a pair of
the level determined by the lower of dams 23 and
24 (preferably the latter), as shown; and well endless sprocket chains 48, 48 suitably spaced
22 normally contains solvent vapor with which from one another and travelling over a closed 60
it is kept charged, as already explained. The course that is determined- by guide means mount
condensate from trough 28 introduced throughv ed on the frame structure I2, and mainly on its
pipe 28 into the bottom of well 2| agitates this ` upper section 3|. The conveyor chain guide
means includes a numberpf relatively small
whole well 2|, so that lint and other dirt loos
65 ened by the pure solvent in this well is flushed (sprocket) Wheels 50 mounted on spindles car 65
or washed off the work more thoroughly. As ried by brackets or bosses 5l ailixed to the inner
50 exclusion of well 22.
here shown, the tops of dams» 23 -and 2.4 slope l sides of the members of the upper side frames, y
rather gently upward away from well 2l toward
_their crests, to facilitate overflow of drops of
70 water floating at the surface of the solvent in
Such drops of water iloat partly sub
merged in the solvent in well 2|,-something like
ice-bergs,-and the comparatively, gentle slope
including the cover I3 and the /bars 46, 46, 41,
and to brackets (hereinafter described) attached
to the top structure 4|. Thus the space between 70
the conveyor chains 48, 48 is almost everywhere
left open for-the passage and swinging of the
work and the work, carriers I4. Besides four
of the tops of the dams 23, 24 allows the over lpairs of the (sprocket) wheels 50 whose bracket
75 flowing solvent to roll these water-drops up the bosses 5I are mounted directly on the longitudi
nals of the top structure' 4|, there are two pairs
wells 26, 2|, 22 has su?ced for the proper treat
the guide wheels of the brackets 52 and 54, suit
(rotary, centrifugal) pump 86 with a suction line
8| having connections to the bottoms of the Wells
'of such guide wheels 56 whose brackets 5| are ment of the work carried by them, the operator
mounted on the inner sides of bracket plates 52, _ closes the switch 11 and holds it closed awhile,
52 upstanding from the (left-hand) ends of the thus keeping the motor 65 and conveyor || in op
top longitudinals and of bracket plates 53, 53 eration until the cam 1| which last opened the
depending from said longitudinals near their switch 12 has cleared its blade 13 and allowed it
right-hand ends. An additional pair of the to close across the contacts 15, 15 and so com
plete the motor circuit 16 independently of the
guide wheels 56 have their bracket bosses 5|
mounted on brackets 54 upstanding from the top switch 11; whereupon the operator may release
the switch 11 and allow it to open. The con 10
10 longitudinals and adjustable in ways 55 extend
ing lengthwise of said longitudinals, by means veyor II will then continue in operation until
another cam 1| has reopened the switch 12, thus
of “endless” adjusting screws 56 suitably mount
ed` on or adjacent said Ways. These adjustable again automatically stopping the conveyor with
carriers I4 in the wells 26, 2|, 22.
brackets 54, 54 serve as “take ups” for independ
For handling liquid solvent and transferring it 15
ently adjusting the two chains 48, 48 to the de
from one part of the apparatus to another, as may
sired degree of ’tautness or slackness. For sus
taining the long uppermost chain runs between be required, there is shown a system including a
able chain ways or guides 51 may be provided,
20 mounted on the top structure 4I by means of
angle brackets 58, as shown in Figs. I and III.
There are also pairs of large sprockets 59, 66
on transverse shafts 6|, 62 which are mounted in
bearing brackets 63 projecting outward from the
25 lower uprights 35 at each end of the lower frame
section 36. These sprockets 59, 66 are so located
relative to the path of travel of the work and the
work carriers I4 that the shafts 6|, 62 do not
interfere with them. The upper portions 64 of
30 the shaft bearing brackets 63 are removable, so
that the shafts 6|, 62 and their >sprockets 59, 66
can easily be released and removed. 'I'his allows
the whole conveyor system Il to be lifted out of
or away from the vessel I6 and the lower frame
section 36, along with the cover I3 and the upper
frameA section 3| ,-which may normally be se
cured to the lower section 36 by bolts (not shown)
through their engaging members, or in any other
suitable way.
The conveyor system I I may con
veniently be driven by an (electric) motor 65
mounted on transverse angle bar members 66, 66
interconnecting the horizontals 36, through a
speed reduction gearing 61 and a chain and
sprocket drive 68 to a sprocket wheel 69 on the
outer end of the sprocket shaft 62, outside the
corresponding bearing bracket 63.
Preferably, the travel of the conveyor system
II is intermittent, with stationary periods while
the carriers I4 are in the wells 26, 2|, 22. Such
intermittent operation of the conveyor system ||
may be produced automatically, or semi-auto
matically, as preferred, by suitable control of the
electric supply circuit 16 of the conveyor motor
65 by the conveyor || itself.
As shown, the con
veyor || is provided with a cam device 1| for
each carrier I4, attached to one of the sprocket
chains 48 at the carrier I4 (or in suitable position
26, 2| and 22 controlled by suitable valves 82, 83, 20
84, and a delli ery line 85 having connections to
or above the upoer parts of said wells (above their
normal liquid le "els in ordinary operation) con
trolled by valves 86, 81, 88, and also an external
discharge connection controlled by a valve 89.
The pump 86 may be driven by an (electric) mo
tor 96 directly connected thereto, and mounted,
along with the pump, on transverse angle bar
members 9| (Figs. I and IV) interconnecting the
-longitudinal members of the base. By means of
the pump 86 and its connections above described,
liquid solvent can be transferred from any one of
the wells 26, 2|, 22 to any other, or discharged
from any or al1 of said wells, as may be desired.
Preferably the capacities of the wells 26, 2|, 22
are such that any two of them can hold all the
solvent used in the apparatus.
In ordinary operation, any liquid solvent over
flowing from well 2| over dam 24 into well 22 may
be periodically drawn out, so as to keep down the 40
liquid in well 22 to the level shown in Fig, 1I,
and preferably returned to well 26.
As a means
for doing this automatically by appropriate oper
ation of pump 86, there is shown (Figs. I and V)
an (electric) float switch 93 connected to well 22 45.
and responsive to the liquid level therein, for con
trolling the supply of (electric) power to motor
96: i. e., the switch 93 closes when its float is in
the full-line position of Fig. V, and opens when
the iioat is in the dotted position. For this pur
pose, valves 84 and 86 may be opened and an
(electric) switch 94 in the motor supply circuit
95 may be thrown into the full line position of
Fig. I, so as to interpose ñoat switch 93 betweenl '
the motor 96 and the system 95. When it is de
sired to use pump 86 in any other way, switch
94 may be thrown into the dotted position of Fig.
I, so as Ito cut out float switch 93“, and connect 5
relative thereto), and* the motormsupply circuit "motor
90 directly into tri-e systemes. For-any
16 includes a self-closing cutout or' “limit” 'switch
12 (shown as mounted on the chain guide 51)
adapted to be wiped and opened by each cam
1I,-thus stopping the motor 65 and the conveyor
|| each time a cam acts on the switch 12.
cutout switch 12 comprises a blade 13 pivoted at
14 and normally held against the contacts 15, 15
(so as to close the circuit 16), by a leaf spring 16.
There is also a (manual or push-button) switch
11 connected in parallel with the cutout switch
12, and thus adapted to close the circuit 16 in
70 dependently of the switch 12,-but preferably
self-opening as under the action of a spring 18;
The switch 12 always stops the motor 65 and
the conveyor || with three successive carriers I4
in treating position in the wells 26, 2|, 22. When
-. the resulting dwell of these carriers I4 in the
other position of switch 93,'motor 96 and pump
86 will be cut out of operation.
While various modes of operation and use of
the apparatus will be apparent from the fore
going description, one preferred mode of oper
ation is as follows:
The wells 26 and 2| having been initially filled
with pure liquid solvent such as trichlorethylene
about to the levels shown in Fig. II, and steam
being supplied to the coil 25, the solvent in well
26 may be heated up to any temperature desired
for treating the work, and even kept boiling.
Vapor rising from the solvent in well 26 will rise
above dams 23, 24 and spread or ñow toward the
right (by gravity) into well 22, displacing the
(lighter) air. Water (or other cooling medium) 75
will be circulated through the jacket 21. As the
accumulating vapor in the upper portion 28 of
the vessel reaches the cool area produced by the
jacket 21, it will begin to condense, and will thus
4be prevented from rising more than about mid
height of this condenser 21, and, a fortiori, from
overflowing or escaping from the open vessel III,
-since the vapor is heavier than air. In other
words, the condenser at 21 will draw and keep
10 down the -vapor level well'below the top of the
`vessel I0 andthe cover I3.
densate, and one for solvent vapor; means for
heating and vaporizing liquid solvent in said hot
solvent well, and thus supplying solvent vapor to
said solvent vapor well; means above the wells for
retaining and condensing the solvent vapor; and
means for collecting the condensate and supply
ing it to said unheated well lto the exclusion of
the solvent vapor well.
2. Apparatus of the character described, for`
treating things or work therein with volatile sol- j
vent whose vapor is heavier than air, comprising
in combination an air-excluding treating vessel
motor 65, will travel in a closed course including open at its upper portion for the introduction and
upright loops of approach and recession down y removal of work, and provided with means afford
ing in said vessel separate wells for hot solvent, i
15 around the large (sprocket) wheels 59, 60 and up
condensed solvent, and for solvent vapor; a
again, to the left and to the right of the vessel
I0; an intermediate work-treating path of travel travelling conveyor for carrying Work into treat
The endless conveyor system I2, driven. by the
with runs down into, through, and up out of
vessel I0, and up and down into and out of each
20 of the wells 20, 2 I, 22; and a return path/of travel
connecting said loops of approach and recession
above the vessel and the top structure 4I.
In the well I0, the work will be initially cleaned
of grease and dirt by the (hot) solvent. In the
25 well 2i, any dirty solvent clinging to the work
will be rinsed off by the much purer and cooler
condensed solvent supplied thereto from the con
denser 21 and trough 28. Having been heated
up in well 20 by the hot solvent and cooled ofi
30 again considerably in well 2|, the work will en
ter well 22 cooler than the vapor in the latter,
lng position in each of said wells, one after an
other; means for automatically stopping the con
veyor with a given piece of work` carried thereby
in each of said treating positions, one after an
other; means for heating and vaporizing liquid
solvent in said hot solvent well, and thus supply
ing solvent vapor to said' solvent vapor well;
means above said wells for retaining and con
densing the solvent vapor; and means for col
lecting the condensate and supplying it _to said
condensed solvent well to the exclusion of the
solvent vapor well.
3. An apparatus of the character described for
treating things or work with volatile solvent
which will therefore condense on the work and whose vapor is heavier than air, comprising in
thus rinse it exceedingly clean of any last traces combination a framework including open side
of grease. Ascending from the well 22, the work frames; an air-excluding treating vessel mounted
in said framework substantially below its top
will dry ofi’ by the time it leaves the vessel I0.
The'work to be treated and cleaned can be' and between said side frames, and open upward
placed on the carriers I4 while the latter are at for the introduction and removal of work; an
the loop of approach around wheel 59; and the endless conveyor for carrying the work suspended
therefrom, and means for operating said con
cleaned work can be removed at the loop of re
veyor over a closed circuit with a return run and
40 cession around wheel 60. Preferably, the con
veyor II will be (automatically) stopped (as
above explained) with each carrier I4 in treating
position near the bottom of each of wells 2II, 2i,
22, successively,'--long enough each time for the
45 solvent toA act on the grease and dirt. Thus the
travel of the conveyor I I to carry each carrier I4
from one treating position to the next may be
quite rapid-_much faster than would give ade
quate treating time in each well if the conveyor
50 travelled uninterruptedly.
Having thus described my invention, Í claim:
1. Apparatus of the character described, for
treating things or work with volatile solvent
whose vapor is heavier than air, comprising in
55 combination an air-excluding treating vessel open
at its upper portion for the introduction and re
moval of work, and provided with means afford
ing in said vessel separate solvent wells, one for
hot solvent, one, unheated, for liquid solvent con
guide means therefor mounted on the side frames
at the top of the frame, and with'a primary
course including upright approach and recession
loops guided by means on the opposite ends of
the frame beyond the ends of the vessel, extend
ing down from upper guide means and up again
substantially to the top of the frame, guide means
mounted on the side frames at the top of the
framework furthe conveyor travel from and to
said loops, and a work-treating- path of travel
between said latter guide means at opposite ends
of the frame including runs downward and up
ward into and out of the open top of the vessel;
and means for retaining solvent vapor in the
vessel and preventing overflow thereof, including
condensing means exposed to the vapor substan
tially below the top of the vessel for correspond
ingly drawing down the vapor level in the vessel.
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