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Патент USA US2119192

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May 31, 1938.
Original Filed Dec. 11, 1929
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
May 31, 1938»
Original Filed Dec. 11, 1929-
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Patented May 31, 1938
John R. Alexander, Newark, N. J.
Application December 11, 1929, Serial No. 413,377
Renewed June 1l, 1935
19 Claims. (Cl. 141-6)
This invention relates to improvements in ma-'
ment from a source of water supply (not shown)
chines for- cleaning barrels or drums and is more ` and is provided with a suitable water-tight con
particularly concerned with a machine designed nection such asa McDonald or Wheaton swing
to automatically steam, wash, and ydry barrels
5 and drums, especially drums of the cylindrical
type and having a bung-hole in their tops.
Heretofore it has been the usual practice to
clean containers of this type, such as the gal
vanized iron drums commonly employed in the
shipment of petroleum oils, by placing the con
' tainer manually on a steam jet where it is sub
jected to a steaming operation for several min
utes. The container is then manually removed
'and placed in a machine where itis revolved in
l5 a bath of caustic solution to wash the outside
and interior. The container, when thrown from
the washing machine, is raised by hand and
placed in a vertical position with the bung upper~
most and the residual washing fluid siphoned out.
The drum is then placed by hand on a hot air
jet and dried.
These numerous manual and machine opera
tions are slow, ineñicient and costly. They are
extremely -wasteiul of the cleaning agents em
2-5 ployed, such as, caustic, steam, rinsing water and
hot air.
An object of the present invention therefore is
to reduce the manual labor and materials re
quired to a minimum. Another' object is the
30 elîective cleansing of the drum. A still further
object is a reduction in the rtime heretofore re-`
These objects are attained by the invention
described hereinbelow, a speciiic embodiment of
35 4which is illustrated in the accompanying draw
ings in which Figure l represents a plan view of
the entire machine showing the barrels in posi
tion. Figure 2 represents a vertical section taken
on the line 2_2 of lFigure 1, and Figure 3 is a
40 detailed sectional showing of the drum carriage
taken on the line 3_3 of Fig. l.
Similar nu
merals refer to similar parts throughout the sev
eral views.
t in the drawings a power shaft I (Fig. 1) is'
45 provided with a gear 22 adapted to engage `with
the large gear wheel 2 rigidly attached to the
exterior of the cylindrical drum 3, which, as
shown, is "rotatably supported on a stationary
base 4.' Friction-reducing bearingsv such, for ex
50 ample, as roller or ball bearings maybe pro
joint or Moran lieXíb'le joint adapted to permit
the drum to revolve. Joints of this type are well 5
known. A conduit II leads from a source of hot
air (not shown) axially through the bottom of
the drum into the lower compartment 9 and the
base of the drum is rotatably journaled thereon
by means of an air-tight joint similar to that at
the top of the drum. A third conduit I2, as
shown, is connected to a source of steam supply
and leads axially through conduit Il and com
partment 9 and plate E to the central compart
ment B. Where conduit I2 penetrates plate (i a 15
third rotatable joint of the type already described
is provided. Disposed adjacent to the drum 3 is
a container 25. This container is connected to
`steam line I2 Yby means of a valved conduit and
is adapted to,` contain chemicals to be discharged
into the steam line I2 for assistingvin cleaning
the interior of the drums.
Twelve radial arms I5 are rigidly connected by
any suitable means at equal intervals to the ex
terior of drum 3 and extend radially to operably
connect with the twelve drum carriages I t as
described hereinafter;
Each of these 12 arms
supports three conduits 26, 21 and 28 leading
respectively'from the Water, ‘steam and air com
partments to terminate, iny the embodiment
shown, in a single nozzle 29 disposed on the car
riage in position to introduce the cleaning fluids
into the bung-hole of the inverted drum. These
conduits are each provided with valves designed
to be automatically operated as described here
Surrounding the drum 3 at'a suitable distance
therefrom are provided two concentric annular
rails or grooves I3 and I4 which Vtogether form
a track adapted to receiveV the wheels 2l of the
drum carriages I6 to which power is supplied
through the arms I5 so that the drum 3 and car
riages rotate in unison, as will be described below.
Carriages I6 are provided with (two rollers or
Wheels, one of which is mounted on the inner rail
and the other on the outer rail. Supported in
vertical position from the axles of each of these
wheels is a frame.
In the embodiment illus
trated, each frame comprises a horizontal mem
ber I'l which carries the two vertical rods I8.` 50
vided in base`2 to- insure ready rotation ofv the
These rods support at their upper ends a second
drum thereon. Internally drum` 3 is divided by
the horizontal plates 5 and Evinto three iluid
tight superimposed compartments l, 8 and 9. A
conduit I0 leads `axially into the upper compart- Y
cross member or angle iron I9. -These two angle
irons I9` (one over each wheel) form a support
or base adapted to receive the drums or barrels
to be cleaned. Rods I8 are slidably connected
with the radial arms I5 in any suitable manner
such as by the horizontal members 20 which are
rigidly attached to the radial arms above each
rail and provided with spaced apertures- for slid
ably receiving the rods I8.
By means of this construction, it is possible
for the wheels to travel over the irregularly ele
vated track and raise or lower the carriage frames
with respect to each other and thus tilt the drum
10 support without tilting the frames and without
tending to raise the horizontal arms I5 or dis
turbing the central drum 3. At the same time,
rotation of the drum 3 is transmitted through
' the arms I5 and the members 20 to the carriages.
Alternative constructions for accomplishing the
same end will be obvious to a_ skilled mechanic.
a way as to open and close the valves to insure
the passage of steam, water and hot air to the
drums in the proper succession and for the de
sired duration as explained below.
'I'he self-closing valve 42 in the conduit from
the chemical container 25 isv likewise provided
with a cam rod 43 which, in the embodiment
illustrated, projects upwardly for contact with
the arms I5 as they revolve.
The operation of the machine is as follows:
(For the sake of simplicity, the operation will
be described in connection with one drum only,
but it will be understood that a plurality of drums
are being treated in various stages.)
Power is supplied to shaft I and transmitted
to the central drum 3. As drum 3 rotates it
In order to se'cure the desired tilting effect the ' carries with it the arms I5 and in turn the car
elevation of the tracks with respect to each other
has been 'carefully planned and will now be de
scribed. Starting at the line 0_0, the inner rail
I3 extends on an even grade, which for conven
ience will be called 0 elevation, for about 345°
at which point it inclines sharply upward for
about 31W to reach an elevation of 4 inches.
This level is maintained for 7 1/2° and the rail then
dips again to 0 elevation at the line 0_0. 'I‘he
outer groove or rail I4 in which the other roller
travels starting at the line 0-0 has an elevation
of minus 4 inches, but ascends during the next
15° to plus 4 inches. This elevation is maintained
for about 150°. While the carriage is traveling
over this part of the track, the inverted drum is
tilted toward the ‘center of the annular track on
an approximately 13° angle, by reason of the
elevation of the outer track with respect to the
inner. Thus tilted the drum is .at the proper
angle to thoroughly drain while it is being
steamed, cleaned and rinsed. Then for a space
of '7l/2°, the track I4 declines to an elevation of
0° where it travels for 15° at an 0 elevation. Dur
ing this interval, the drum is on a levelv and the
undrainedV liquid in the drum is spread over the
lower surfaces of the drum. For the next 'l1/2°
of travel track I4 inclines upwardly until a plus
4 elevation is attained thereby placing the drum
on a 13° angle again to again permit drainage.
The track then alternates between 0° and a plus
4. elevation for the next 150°.
By this means the drum on the carriage is
50 alternately tilted from a vertical position to an
angle of 13° and the rinsing water left in the drum
is thereby alternatively distributed over the inner
surface of the drum and drained to promote the
drying operation. At the end of this last 150°
travel, or 15° before completing the circuit, the
outer groove declines in 7 1/2° to a minus 4 eleva
tion. At this point, as already described, the
inner groove has attained a maximum elevation
of 4 inches and the carriage is suddenly tilted to
60 such a degree that the drum is overturned and
thrown from its support and out of the machine.
The automatic control of the cleaning iluids to
the drums will be now described.
As already stated, each of the Water conduits
26, the steam conduits 21 and the air conduits 28
is provided with self-.closing valves indicated by
the reference numerals 30, 3| and 32 respectively,
Depending from these Valves are cam rods 33, 34
and 35, as shown. These cam rods at their lower
70 end are provided with small castors 36, or other
means, adapted to operate in the .annular grooves
39, 40 and 4I, disposed about the central drum
in position to contact the cam rods upon revolu
tion of the machine.Y These grooves are elevated
and depressed in relation to the tracks in such
riages I6. When a carriage reaches the line
0_0, a drum is placed thereon in inverted posi
Ition with the nozzle 29 projecting into the bung 20
hole of the drum.
By reason of the depression of the outer track
the carriage here is tilted to an angle of 13° to
facilitate the loading of the drum. As the drum 3
revolves, it is tilted in the opposite direction by
the upwardly inclining outer rail and the cam
lever from valve 3| in the steam line 2l, after
a travel of 15°, is opened by contact with the bot
tom of groove 40 which, as shown, is elevated for
a space of 90°, thus permitting the flow of steam 30
into the drum on the carriage during the ñrst
quarter of revolution around the track. During
this interval, the valve 42 in the conduit from the
chemical container, which is disposed within the
steaming section as shown, will be operated by
Contact with the rotating member I5 and a clean
ing solution will be discharged into the steam line
toassist in the cleansing of the drum. Also, dur
ing this interval, as already noted, the outer rail
is elevated 4 inches «and the drum is held in the 40
proper tilted position for drainage. At the end of
90° of steaming, the bottom of groove 40 is de
pressed permitting the valve 2'I to close. At the
same time, the bottom of the groove 39 is ele
vated thus opening valve 30 and permitting the
flow of water into the drum which, by reason of
the elevation of the outer rail, is held still in a
tilted position for rinsing the same. After 45° of
travel groove 39 is depressed and valve 30 closed.
At the same time, the elevation of groove 4I 50
at this point causes valve 32 to open and permit
the ingress of hot air to the drums. This valve
remains open for 195° of travel, thus giving ample
time for the drying of the drum. As already ex
plained, by reason of the alternate lowering and 55
elevation of the outer track during these 195°,
the drum is tilted from the Vertical to a position
of 13° alternatively and the water thus distrib
uted over the surface of the drum to facilitate the
drying operation. At the end of the operation by 60
reason of the simultaneous depression of the
outer groove and elevation of the inner groove,
the drum is lifted off of the jet, overturned and
thrown out of the machine as already described.
The machine as described above has been suc 65
cessfully operated at a speed of 1 revolution in
every 12 minutes. Obviously, however, the rota
tion may be speeded up or slowed to adapt it to
the condition of the drums. When making a
complete revolution in 12 minutes, a clean drum
is thrown from the machine every minute.
It is to be understood that the embodiment de
scribed hereinabove is merely illustrative and
that various changes may be made in the particu
lar elements described. Thus, other means such
drums in succession and means automatically
controlled by the rotation of said system to suc
oscillation of the drums and other means for cessively open and close the valved conduits.`
4. In a drum cleaning mechanism, a rotatable
controlling the injection of steam, water and air
system comprising an annular conveyer adapted Ul
thereinto may be employed. Likewise, it is obvi
ous that instead of driving the carriages around to support a plurality of drums, an axially dis-`
the track by means of the radial arms I5, the posed source of cleaning fluid and drying gas,
carriages may be driven by a separate source of lmeansi‘or leading said iluid and gas from said
power. Ob-Viously, also they may be suspended source into each of said drums, means controlled
10 from an elevated rail. Also, instead of having the by the rotation of said system to permit the suc 10
arms l5 rigidly joined to the drum 3, these arms cessive introduction of cleaning iiuid and drying
may be hinged to the exterior of the drum 3 and gas into the drums, and means for-oscillating
to the carriages and the sliding connections with the drums during the introduction of the gas
as a crank shaft connected to the wheels of the
drum carriage may be employed for securing the
whereby the drying operation is facilitated.
the carriages dispensed with.
To meet peculiar conditions, the duration of y
the steaming, rinsing and drying operations may
be varied and likewise the elevation of the rails
with respect to each other. One or more of the
above operations may be dispensed with when
20 circumstances permit. These and many other
possible modifications will suggest themselves to
a skilled -mechanic or engineer and are within the
scope of applicant’s invention.
Obviously the capacity of the machine may be
25 increased by increasing the length of the arms
and thereby giving a greater circumference for
5. In a drum cleaning mechanism, a conveyer 15
adapted to carry a drum, means movably asso
ciated with said conveyer for automatically and
successively introducing into said drum a clean
ing iiuid and a drying gas, and means for auto- '
matically oscillating said drum during the intro
duction of the drying gas.
6. In a drum cleaning mechanism, meansy for
successively introducing a cleaning fluid and a
drying gas into a drum, a movable carriage
adapted to support said drum in position to 25
receive said fluid and gas, and an annular track
for said carriage having its outer rail elevated
` the drums to travel around and at the same time
allowing an increase in the number of arms and , with respect to the inner rail during the portion
drum carriages. Obviously also the capacity of
30 the machine may be similarly decreased by de
creasing the length of the arms.
In order to retain the heat of the cleaning
fluids and guard against the escape of objection
able or'valuable -voltatile substances, the track
35 and carriages may be enclosed in a hood or tun
nel provided with means for discharging the col
lected fumes.
In actual operation it has Abeen found that the
machine may be operated by one man. More
40 over, the drums thrown from the machine are not
only cleaner but are more thoroughly dried than
drums washed by the methods ordinarily em
ployed at present.
In addition, the time, the
.amount of cleaning fluid, and heat required to
45 secure these results is tremendously decreased.
As many apparent and widely different embodi
ments of this invention may be made without de
parting from the spirit thereof, it is to be under
stood that I do not limit myself to the foregoing
50 examples or description except as indicated in
the following claims.
I claim:
l. In a drum cleaning mechanism, a movable
carriage adapted to support a drum, means mov
55 able with said carriage for introducing into said
drum a cleaning fluid, said carrier and means
being movable in a circular path in a substan
of> its course that the cleaning fluid is introduced
whereby the drum is tilted to permit drainage of 30
the cleaning fluid.
7. In a drum cleaning mechanism, means for
successively introducing` a cleaning fluid and a
drying gas into a drum, a movable carriage
adapted to support said drum in position to re
for said carriage having its outer rail alternately
lowered Yand raised with respect to its inner rail
during that portion of its course Where the dry
ing gas is introduced, whereby the drum is oscil
lated to facilitate the drying operation.
8. In a drum cleaning mechanism comprising
an endless undulatingV track, an axially disposedA
rotatable hub, spokes integrally connected with
said hub and extending radially therefrom, ver-` 45
tically disposed sleeves provided on the outer
extremities of said spokes, a drum carriage and
a vertically slidable connection between said drum
carriage and said sleeves whereby the rotation of
said hub may be transmitted to said carriage 50
and at the same time the carriage may be raised
or lowered with respect to said hub by the un
dulatihg track.
9. In a'drum cleaning mechanism, a rotatably
mounted cylindrical container, said container 55
being divided into three compartments, separate
conduits leadingaxially into each of said‘com
to automatically cause the cleaned drums to fall
partments for introducing therein respectively
water, steam and air, separate conduits leading
60 from said carriage.
2. In a drum cleaning mechanism, a rotatable
nozzle on each of a series of movable carriages
tially horizontal plane and tilting means adapted
annular conveyer adapted to support a plurality
of drums, separate valved conduits for each drum
connected for rotation with said conveyer for
65 leading a cleaning fluid and a drying gas into
said drums and cams adapted to operate said
valves `during the rotation of said conveyer to
cause the successive introduction of lcleaning fluid
and drying gas‘into each of said drums.
‘ 3. In a drum cleaning mechanism, a rotatable
vsystem comprising an annular conveyer adapted
to support a-plurality of drums, an axially dis
posed source of cleaning fluid and drying gas,
and separate valved conduits for leading said
fluid and gas from said source into each of said
ceive said iiuid and gas, and an annular track
radially from each of said compartments to a 60
adapted to support a single drum in position to
receive said nozzle, an annular track for said
carriages, means for rotating said central con
tainer and said carriages in unison, and means 65
operated by the rotation of said central con
tainer to successively control the flow of steam,
water and air individually into ‘each of said
10. In a drum cleaning mechanism, a rotatably 70
Ámounted vertically disposed cylinder having its
interior divided into three superimposed com-`
partments, respective means for injecting steam,
water and air into said compartments, an indi-`
vidual support for each drum adapted to rotate 75
with ` said cylinder, radially disposed conduits
leading from each of said compartments to said
support, valves in said conduits, valve stems de
pending from said valves and adapted to contact
with a series of annular successively disposed
cams whereby, upon the rotation of said cylin
der, the steam, water, and air conduits are suc
cessively opened and closed and each individual
drum thereby successively steamed, rinsed and
10 dried.
11. In a drum cleaning mechanism, an annu
lar track, a container rotatably disposed at the
center of said track, separate compartments in
said container for steam, Water and hot air, drum
f“ carriages mounted on said track, radial arms con
necting said rotatable container and carriages
for unitary rotation, a nozzle on each of said car
riages and separate valved conduits connecting
one of said nozzles respectively with each of said
compartments and adapted to move with said
carriages and container.
12; In a drum cleaning mechanism, an annu
lar two-rail track, a container’rotatably disposed
at the center of said track, separate compart
ments in said container for steam, water and hot
air, drum carriages mounted on said track, radial
arms connecting said rotatable container and
carriages for unitary rotation, nozzles on said
carriages, separate valved conduits connecting
each of said nozzles individually with each of
said compartments and adapted to move with
said carriages and container, valve stems depend
ing from said valves, and a series of annular
stationary cams contacting with said valve stems
upon the rotation of said conduits and succes
sively permitting the flow of steam, Water and
air to said nozzles.
13. The mechanism set forth in claim 12 in
which a portion of the annular track has one rail
40 vertically disposed with respect to the other so as
to maintain the drums in a tilted position dur
ing the steaming and rinsing operations.
‘ 14. The mechanism set forth in claim 3, com
prising in addition a container for chemicals, a
duct connecting said chemical'container with
said source of cleaning fluid, a valve in said duct,
and means to open and close said valve to inter
mittently discharge a chemical into said source.
15. In the mechanism set forth in claim 12, a 5
stationary container for chemicals, a duct con
necting said chemical container with said steam
compartment, a valve in said duct, and operat
ing means for said valve controlled by the move~
ment of said drum carriage.
16. In a machine for cleaning a rigid container,
a horizontally movable support for said con~
tainer, means moving with said support for in
troducing a fluid into said container and means
associated with said support to vary the angle
of the support from the horizontal during the
introduction of the ñuid.
1'7. In a machine for cleaning rigid containers,
a plurality of supports for said containers, driv
ing means connecting said supports to move them 20
in unison in a horizontal direction and means as
sociated With said supports to cause said con
tainers to be tilted from side to side upon such
horizontal motion.
18. In a drum cleaning mechanism, a movable 2.5
carriage adapted to support a drum, a jet, for
introducing a cleaning agent, movable with said
carriage and adapted to project upwardly into a
drum supporte-d on said carriage and means to
automatically lift the clean drum from said jet 30
and cause the drum to fall from said carriage
While it is in motion.
19. In a machine for cleaning a container, a
support for said container horizontally movable
about a vertical axis, nozzle means horizontally
movable with said support about said vertical
axis for introducing a ñuid into said container,
and means for changing the inclination of the
container and nozzle means relatively to each
other during the introduction of the fluid to bet
ter distribute’the iluid on the interior of the
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