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‘Sept. 10, 1946.
‘ ' H. A. TEALE
Filed Aug. 15, 1943‘
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
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Harald ?. Era/e
Sept. 10, 1946.v
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Filed Aug. 13, 1943
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3 Sheets-Sheeti
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did 140,445
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Patented ‘Sept. 10, 1946
2,407,303 I
Harold A. Teale, Brooklyn, N. Y., assignor to Filter
Media Corporation, Irvington - on - Hudson,
N. Y., a corporation of New York
Application August 13, 1943, Serial No. 498,520
4 Claims. (01. 210-188)‘
The invention relates to slurry separators,
continuously removed from the slurry, thereby
continuously increasing the proportion ofsolids
thickeners, clari?ers or the like and more particu
larly to a new and useful apparatus for continu
ously decreasing the ?uid content of a solid and
?uid intermixture.
Objects and advantages of the invention will be
set forth in part hereinafter and in part will be
remaining in the slurry which may be recircu
lated or passed several times through the appa
ratus, as required, to bring about the desired pro
portion of solids-to-fluid therein. The inven
tion is of general application to practically any
obvious herefrom, or may be learned by practice
and all such slurries or intermixtures but is par
with the invention, the same being realized and
ticularly useful in cases where thickening of the
attained by means of the instrumentalities and 10 interm'ixture is impracticable or inefficient by
combinations pointed out in the appended claims.
The invention consists in the novel parts, con
usual means such as settling and decanting.
Hence the invention is applicable to the thicken
ing of many slurries where solids are very ?ne or
in a state of colloidal suspension, which cannot
structions, arrangements, combinations and im
provements herein shown and described.
The accompanying drawings, referred to herein
be thickened by settling or gravity action.
Many of the novel principles of the invention
are broadly and generally applicable to the sepa
and constituting a part hereof, illustrate one em
bodiment of the invention, and together with the
description, serve to explain the principles of the
ration or clari?cation orthickening of ?uids con
taining intermixed solids, including gas and solid
Of the drawings:
Fig. 1 is perspective view of an apparatus em
20 intermixtures. ~ In the succeeding
_ bodying the invention;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sec
tion, in expanded relation, of a plurality of typi
cal elements comprising the thickener apparatus
shown in Fig. 1;
however, particular reference will be made to the
treatment of liquid-solid intermixtures and for
convenience of reference the action of the appa
ratus will be referred to as thickening and the
Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary section of
the elements of Fig. 2 in assembled relation;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view of a
thickener plate taken on line 4--4 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of a
?lter plate taken on line 5—5 of Fig. 2; and
' Fig. 6 is a fragmentary vertical section through
apparatus itself as a thickener.
The invention employs exceedingly simple and
inexpensive~means, but by means of novel princi
ples, is enabled to produce very superior results in
relatively short time and at a low expenditure of
power and labor.
The thickening or liquid-removing action of the
invention depends upon the movement of the
slurry over or across the surface of a ?lter me—
one element of the assembled apparatus, dia
dium while under pressure su?icient to force liq
grammatically illustrating the nature of the 123 (it uid through said nledium, maintaining a state of
slurry ?ow therethrough; and
motion in the slurry travelling over said medium
Fig. '7 is an enlarged perspective view of a sec
such that no substantial amount of solid is de
tion of a plate ll showing the transverse nodes
posited out of the slurry to form as cake on Said
44' and the transverse valleys 45 on one side and
medium. In accordance‘with the invention the
the longitudinal grooves 25 as Well as their adja 40 state of motion induced in the slurry to effect this
cent lands 26;
desired action is brought about by exceedingly
Fig.‘ 8 is an enlarged partial view similar to
Fig. 6 but taken along the line 8-—8 in Fig. 7, but
with the ?lter medium 50 in place thereon, and
this ?gure illustrates what seems to happen to the 45
simple stationary means without the interposition
of any mechanical agitation or pulsation from
slurry particles in the channel 40;
slurry over the ?lter medium and the mainte
nance of desired pressures and velocities therein
are all effected by static and exceedingly simple
Fig. 9 is a plan view of a portion of a channel
40 and shows a modi?ed form of node; and
Fig. 10 is a partial perspective view of the modi—
applied mechanical means or forces.
In other
words, the required motion and movement of the
devices within the chambers where the ?ltering
?ed arrangement of Fig. 9.
50 action takes place.
The invention is directed to providing novel and
One object of the invention is to prevent the
useful apparatus for reducing the ?uid content
deposition of solid particles onto the ?lter medium
of a ?uid-solid intermixture (hereinafter called
by maintaining a substantial continuous turbu
a slurry) by virtually continuous ?ltering or
lence throughout the slurry as it travels in rela
straining action wherein a clear fluid product is 55 tively high velocity streams across the surface of
the ?lter medium thereby producing a substantial
scouring action of the liquid against the surface
of the ?lter cloth or other medium which prevents
the formation of any substantial amount of cake
or solid matter thereon. The invention also pro
desired'liquid-solid ratio. With many products,
vides for recurrently actively forcing or urging
the slurry against and into contact with the ?lter
however, a single pass of the slurry through the
unit It may be suf?cient to bring about the de
sired thickener action or on the other hand, the
slurry delivered by the pipe I8 may be passed
through a second unit similar to unit I 0 in series
or tandem therewith so that sequential thicken
ing actions on the progressively thickened slurry
medium as it travels thereover, thus providing
frequent surges or impulses in the slurry which
- may thus be effected,
cause the liquid in same to be driven against and 10
Referring super?cially to the construction of
through the medium.
unit Hi, same comprises a plurality of superposed
Another principle employed in the invention,
rectangular plate members or elements I l which
either as a concomitant of the foregoing or inde
are relatively long and narrow and which are
pendently thereof, is the maintenance of a sub
stantially constant velocity in the stream of Slurry
passing over a length of ?lter cloth, This func
mounted to colliectively form a rectangular stack
tion is preferably e?ected by causing the slurry
of inter-communicating elements or plates one
above the other, as shown, A bottom support
ing plate l2 and an overlying top plate l3 are
to travel through channels of decreasing cross
provided, same being somewhat greater in area
vsection so that, as the amount of liquid therein
than the element plates II, and the entire stack
decreases by the ?ltration effect, the loss in vol 20 is bound together by a plurality of vertical rods
ume of the stream of slurry is compensated for by
l'l. pairs of which at either side of the stack are
decrease in the size of the conduit, thereby ef
tied by top and bottom cross-members I‘! and
fectively maintaining a generally continuous ve
drawn together by nuts l9 at the threaded ends
locity which facilitates the maintenance of the
of the rods. Any other suitable means for com
flow of slurry over the ?lter medium, counter 25 pressing or drawing together the several super
acting the tendency of the solid particles to set
posed plates or elements of the unit Ill may be
provided, it being understood that the hydraulic
tle out on the ?lter cloth, and, when used in
combination with the turbulence-creating means
pressure for the thickening of most products is
above referred to, enhances the scouring and
relatively low compared with that used in a typi
anti-precipitating action as well,
30 cal ?lter press. Pressures of the order of about
One feature of the invention which greatly
15 lbs. per square inch have been used success
facilitates the successful operation thereof is the
fully and therefore an expensive and heavy duty
maintenance of a proper balance of forces and
clamping or pressure-maintaining means is not
?uid movements so as to build up and maintain
ordinarily required. However, for certain pur
a relatively thin deposit or “skin” of solid matter
poses and with some mixtures considerably higher
on the face of the ?lter medium. This skin of
pressures may be used and are sometimes desir
cake is established at the beginning of the opera
able and in such cases the clamping or pressure
tion and, is maintained substantially constant
maintaining means may be adapted to the higher
throughout the continuous recirculation of the
pressure operations without interfering with or
slurry through the apparatus. The maintenance
changing the basic design of the apparatus nor
of said skin of cake is effective in providing a
its internal functioning.
clear solid-free liquid product delivered through
The detailed constructionv of the several plates
the ?lter medium and the forces employed are so
making up the unit l0 will be seen in Figs. 2-5.
regulated and balanced as to prevent the build
_ As shown, the top plate or head stock I3 is pro
ing up of said skin of cake beyond a predeter
vided near one end with the vertical port 20 for
mined very low maximum thickness, yet to estab
the reception of the inlet pipe 6, the lower por
lish and maintain same throughout the operation
tion of said port being counter-bored at 2|. The
and in spite of a continuously increasing propor
port 2ll—2l is alined with a similar port 22 in
tion of solid content in the slurry.
the ?rst or head plate 23 of the unit Ill, said head
It will be understood that the foregoing gen
plate being smooth and flush on its top face to
eral description and the following detailed de
match with the bottom surface of the overlying
scription as well are exemplary and explanatory
head stock 13. The underface of head plate 23,
but are not restrictive of the invention. Referring
however, is provided with a plurality of longi
now in detail to the present preferred embodi
tudinal grooves 25 and lands 26 which serve as
' channels for the filtrate after same has ?ltered
ment of the invention, illustrated by way of ex
ample in the accompanying drawings, a general
through the ?lter medium 50 overlying said lands
view of an apparatus embodying a preferred form
and grooves. As shown, each groove 25 begins
adjacent the inlet slurry port 22, and terminates
of the invention is shown in Fig. 1. Same com
prises in general a tank 8 for containing the
at 28 in a recessed cross-conduit 29. Said cross
supply of slurry which is drawn preferably from 60 conduit thus communicates with all the dis
charge ends of the clearate grooves (Fig. 5) and
near the bottom thereof by conduit 2 on the in
in turn communicates with an upwardly in
take side of a motor driven pump 3 and forced
thereby through pipe 4 past pressure gauge 5 into
clined central duct 30 which directs the ?ltrate
into a discharge channel which, in the head plate,
the top of the thickening unit Ill by means of inlet
begins with the enlarged socket portion 3| which
pipe 6. The solid-free ?ltration product of the
is alined with similar capacity ports in the other
thickening unit l0, hereafter conveniently called
?ltrate, is delivered therefrom at one or more
plates just below.
The next plate or element II is typical of all
points by delivery pipes I5 into a suitable recep
tacle l6, while the thickened slurry, constituting
those for making up the unit It], except for the
the mixture which has passed through the unit 70 head plate 23 and the tail plate 35 hereinafter
described. That is, a plurality of said plates ll
Ill, is delivered therefrom by one or more outlet
similar in construction thereto, will all be super
pipes l8 which, as shown, feed back into the tank
posed to make up the unit It] and in practice a
In for re-mixture with the original batch and
typical unit may include thirty of ' such plates
re-circulation through the unit ID as many times
as may be required to reduce the slurry to the 75 combined as shown in Fig. l.
In the preferred construction, as shown, each.‘
and by itself ‘in preventing settling out all the
of the element plates l l is provided on its upper
solid material ‘ and consequent choking and
blinding of the channels. The same is true to
surface (as disposedin the unit ID) with a plu
rality of channels or conduits for the travel of
an even greater extent of the other features of
the slurry therealong while in contact with the
the invention previously described, i. e. the pro
?lter medium 50 lying against the lands of the
vision of Wavy surfaces in the slurry channels to
?lter grooves 25 of the plate just above. Prefer
promote turbulence or ripples in said flow. That
ably, in a unit of the general shape and dimen
is, each of said features can be used independ
sions shown, the plate will be provided with three
ently of the other and when so independently
parallel channels 40, the inlet ends of which 10 used will improve the thickening action and ef
communicate with the slurry ‘port 22 of the
?ciency of the unit. However, I prefer that
plate just above. Each of said channels 40 ex
they be used together, the combination of the
two features contributing to the improved opera
tends from said inlet end to communicate with
a down port 4| near the opposite end of the
tion of the unit. Of the two such features, how
plate H so that liquid reaching said end travels 15 ever, I regard the provision of the ripple or turbu
downwardly through the port M to the next
lence-creating elevations and depressions in the
plate below. As will be apparent from Fig. 4 the
conduit as being more important and, with some
three channels 4!] of the plate are separated by
materials, capable of efficient independent use,
partitions or lands 43 which extend parallel for
in which case the slurry channels 40 may be of
the length of said channels 40. '
20 uniform depth and width (except for the nodes
and valleys) throughout their length.
In accordance with the invention the course
of the slurry travelling along a conduit 40 it con
In the preferred construction shown it will be
tinuously disrupted and changed in velocity so
noted that the slurry is caused to travel through
as to impart a disrupting turbulence therewithin
as the liquid travels along said channel. For
this purpose the bottom surface of the channel
is preferably formed as a wavy surface compris
ing successive nodes 44 and valleys 45 which,
as illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 6, cause
a constant turbulence and scouring activity
within the stream of slurry ?owing along said
channel. The number, depth and spacing of the
valleys 45 and nodes 44 do not appear to be
especially critical although it is important to‘
make frequent changes in the depth of the chan- nel to thereby cause the slurry to be forced up
wardly through narrow passages close to the
overlying ?lter medium 5!] (Fig. 6) and then to
quickly expand into zones of greater volume in
the valley portions 45.
For example, in plates ll of the general shape
shown, having an overall length of about 5' with
relatively long and narrow passages 48 with rever
sals of ?ow direction at the end of each pass. The
relatively sharp and. sudden reversals of direction
have been found to contribute bene?cially to the
prevention of solid precipitation, in that said
changes in direction assist in breaking up the
continuity of ?ow and the maintenance of turbu
lence in the streams of slurry. The invention is
not limited to use of relatively long passes of
slurry in each compartment or section of the unit
as, if desired, the pnitmay instead comprise a
larger number of relatively short sections whereby
the reversals of direction of slurry ?ow occur very
frequently and thereby contribute of themselves
in a relatively greater extent to the turbulence
creating action desired.
One important feature of the invention is to so
regulate the turbulent or rippling flow of the
slurry that a relatively thin skin or layer of solid
grooves All of 4.8" in length, the approximate
matter is formed promptly on the adjacent sur
length from node to node is preferably about 4".
face of the ?lter cloth and thereafter no increase
However, it will be understood that the invention 45 in the thickness thereof takes place. In practice,
is not limited to any particular shape or number
it has been found that with many substances a
of elevations or depressions in the slurry guid
skin or cake thickness of about 1/2;" is the op
ing channels and that same may vary with dif
timum, said skin acting as a “?lter-aid” to in
ferent types of materials, with different hy
crease the clarity of the ?ltrate while being suffi
draulic pressures and other factors. It will be 50 ciently thin as not to interfere with the prompt
found by practice with the invention that cer
passage of liquid through the ?lter medium at a
tain optimum arrangements of the general de
relatively high and constant rate. In this con
signs hereinbefore disclosed will obtain‘ with
nection it has been found that the construction
various materials and mixtures of slurries but
and shape of the nodes 44 is of importance in
that a wide latitude may be had in the arrange 55 creating a recurrent upward surging of the slurry
ment and number of the elevations and depres
‘or its bombardment against the overhead canopy
sions in the grooves without departing from the
of ?lter medium and its adherent skin of solid
essential principles of the invention.
particles. That is, the upwardly-directed kinetic
impact of the slurry passing over each rise or node
Another feature which has been found helpful
in facilitating the desired continuous thickening 60 in the channel imparts recurrent dashings of the
and prevention of solid precipitation, is the con
slurry against the ?lter medium and thereby
materially contributes to forcing liquid through
struction of the slurry flow channels 49 in such
manner that they decrease in capacity or vol
the skin and the ?lter medium.
ume in the direction of flow of the slurry there
Such kinetic impact of particles of the slurry
along, thereby to maintain substantially constant
against the ?lter medium is illustrated in Fig. 8 of
the general velocity of flow of the slurry in said
the drawings, wherein the horizontal arrows at
channels and thus oppose any slowing down of
the right hand of the ?gure indicate the in?owing
the slurry ?ow which in t?rn would promote
slurry, while the V-shaped bent arrows indicate a
settling action of the solid particles. As shown
de?ective path taken by a slurry particle as it
in Fig. 2, for example, the channels 4|] in plate
strikes a rise or node 44 in the channel 40. The
I l are of maximum depth at the in?ow or right
A-shaped bent arrows indicate a de?ective path
hand end and taper to a relatively shallow depth
taken by a slurry particle as it strikes the ?lter
at the delivery or left-hand end thereof.
medium 50 and bounds away therefrom. The cir
This feature of narrowing or tapering of the
cular arrows indicate eddies and other disturb
slurry channels has been found to be helpful in 75 ances created or set-up in the flowing slurry due
to these: bounds and rebounds indicated by the
filter medium and constituting therewith a con
bent arrows. This seems to be an explanation of
duit for the flow of slurry therethrough, said con
the scouring action of the flowing slurry that
duit having an undulating bottom surface pre
keeps down the thickness of the ?lter cake 5| on
the ?lter medium 50 from growing thicker than
that at which the cake normally stabilizes itself
to the conditions of ?ow and kinetic impact.
senting nodes and valleys for imparting turbu
lence to a stream of slurry passing through said
conduit, and also having outlet means for passing
slurry from said conduit.
The nodes or elevations 44 in the channels ea
may be modi?ed as shown in Fig. 9, which differs
2. In a slurry thickener comprising a stack of
elements, a plate element, having on its lower side
from the arrangement of Figs. 4 and 7, for in 10 a downwardly open recess for the reception and
stance. In those ?gures, the. crest or ridge of each
flow therethrough of ?ltrate, a ?ltrate outlet pas
node extends continuously transversely of the
sage, and having on the upper side a channel for
channel 40, whereas in the. arrangement of Fig. 9,
the passage therethrough of slurry, said channel
having an undulating bottom face presenting
ity of individual nodes culminating in crests 44a, 15 nodes and valleys, and slurry outlet means at the
Mb, 44c, 44d and so on, respectively, with these
end of said channel.
each general node 44 maybe made up of a plural
crests forming a broken or irregular line more or
In a slurry thickener a stack of plate ele
less transversely on the channel 40. These irre
ments, each plate element having on its lower side
gular crests create further scouring eddies or tur
a downwardly open recess for the reception of ?l
bulence as indicated by the curved arrows shown 20 trate, and on the upper side a channel for the
in Fig. 9. Fig. 10 shows how these irregular crests
passage therethrough of slurry, said channel hav
ing an undulating bottom face presenting nodes
For most purposes it will be found that wood is a
and valleys, a ?lter medium interposed between
suitable material for construction of the units
adjoining faces of any two such plate elements,
especially because the pressures of operation are
and passage means in said plate elements whereby
ordinarily not high or critical. However, the ele
slurry passes from the end of a channel in one
ments of the thickener unit may be made of
plate element into a corresponding channel of the
molded or laminated “Bakelite” or other similar
next lower element and whereby the direction of
material, and such plastics are especially effective
flow of the slurry is reversed, a slurry inlet pas
where. chemicals corrosive to wood, metal or other
sage for the: ?rst channel of said stack of plate ele
materials are present, in the slurry to be thickened.
ments, a slurry outlet passage for the last conduit
Metal or any other available material may, of
of said stack of plate elements, and means for re
course, be used where called for.
moving the ?ltrate from said recesses.
The invention in its broader aspects is not lim
4. A slurry thickener including in combination
ited to the speci?c mechanisms shown and de
a ?lter medium, ?ow conducting means constitut
scribed but departures may be made therefrom
ing with the underside of said ?lter medium a con
within the scope of the accompanying claims
duit for passing therethrough a stream of slurry
without departing from the principles of the in
along and past said underside, said conduit hav
vention and without sacri?cing its chief advan
ing an undulating bottom surface presenting
nodes and valleys for imparting turbulence to said
stream passing through said conduit, inlet means
for passing slurry into said conduit, outlet means
plate having recesses on the lower side, means for
for passing thickened slurry from said conduit,
removing ?ltrate from said recesses, a ?lter med
and conduit means for removing ?ltrate passing
ium under said recesses and constituting there 45 upwardly through said ?lter medium.
What I claim is:
1. In a slurry thickener in combination a ?lter
with ?ltrate conduit means, and a slurry flow di~
recting plate adjacent to the underside of said
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