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Патент USA US3079297

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Feb. 26, 1963
3,079,286
T. J. KEARNEY- ETAL
ENCLOSED cow SOLVENT SPRAY CLEANER
Filed March 2, 1962
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Feb. 216, 1963
1-. J. KEARNEY ETAI.
3,079,286
ENCLOSED COLD SOLVENT SPRAY CLEANER
Filed March 2, 1962
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INVENTORS.
T170017: J/K’arae 6:.
BY Brave 1.7011175,
621% 6249
ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent 0 ” ice
3,0793%
Patented Feb. 26, 1963
2
1
heating unit 63 connected to a steam supply line 6-4
?tted with a valve 66 which is connected to a thermostat
valve control 68 in the reservoir 56.
A conduit 70 from the reservoir 56 is connected to the
suction side of the pump of a pump and motor unit 72.
The discharge side of the pump is connected to a conduit
3,072,286
ENQLGSED ‘JOLD SOLVENT ShRAY CLEANER
Thomas J. Kearney, Detroit, and Bruce A. Young,
Lathrup Village, Mich, assignors to Detrex Chemical
industries, The, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Michi
gan
74 which extends to a turboblower 76 mounted on top of
Filed Mar. 2, 15562, Ser. No. 177,017
the washer 10. The conduit 74 is ?tted with two solenoid
10 illairns. (Cl. 134-42)
operated valves respectively designated 78 and 80-. The
This invention relates generally to means for removing 10 conduit branch 36 connects into the conduit 74 between
the valves 78 and 8t}.
soils from the surfaces of work pieces, and particularly
Extending from the bottom 20 of the washer 10 to the
to improved apparatus for and methods of degreasing
end wall 44 of the storage tank 38 is a conduit 82 in which
various utilities and electrical components.
is connected a valve, generally designated 84, having a
, , Vapor-type degreasers commonly include a vaporizing
chamber or boil sump for the solvent and a vapor zone 15 hinged valve plate 86 biased to closed condition by a
counterweight 88. Extending from the side wall 18 of
above the vaporizing chamber. They may also include
the washer 10 to the top wall 50 of the storage tank 3-8
a rinse or spray chamber in which liquid or vapor solvent
is a vent line 99, and connected in the line ‘90 is a sole
rinses or sprays are installed in a desired arrangement.
noid operated valve 91.
Such degreasers are commonly used for cleaning objects
Extending from the side wall 16 of the washer is a con
such as metal plates, castings, etc., which have become 20
duit 92 connected to an exhaust fan 24. The fan is con
contwinated with grease, oil, dirt, metal shavings, and the
nected by a conduit 96 to an activated carbon solvent
like. In the cleaning of such objects, the high tempera
recovery unit 98. Depending from the conduit 92 is an
electric motor 1114 provided with a shaft 106 which
tures at which a vapor degreaser is operated are not harm
ful to the objects, but in the cleaning of many other ob~
jects such high operating temperatures must be avoided.
For example, in the cleaning of assembled electric motors
and certain types of resistors and capacitors, such high
25 mounts a cam 1118. The cam works upon a follower 110
temperatures are likely to break down insulating materials
The apparatus also includes a ?lter unit, generally
designated 118, having a storage tank 120, a ?lter 122,
an auxiliary ?lter ‘124, and a ?lter powder dispenser 126.
The reservoir 58 in the storage tank 38 is connected
through a conduit 128, a solenoid operated valve 131},
and otherwise damage the objects.
In addition, still
other objects are unsuited for being cleaned by vapor ’
degreasing by reason of the fact that it is unnecessary to
resort to such high operating temperatures in order to do
an effective cleaning job. ‘Accordingly, an important ob
ject of the invention is to provide improved means for
cleaning objects which have become contaminated with
grease, oil, dirt, metal shavings, and the like, which ob
jects are unsuited for being cleaned by vapor degreasing.
Another object is to provide such means which employs
a liquid solvent spray phase followed by an air blow-oil
phase with negligible loss of the solvent.
Another object is to provide such means wherein the
spray liquid is maintained at a temperature ranging be—
tween cold and warm, at most.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent
when the following speci?cation is read with reference
to the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic showing of a degreaser construct
ed in accordance with the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a schematic showing of the activated carbon
mounted upon a lever 112 which is connected by a link
114 to a damper 116 within the conduit 92.
and a conduit 132 to the storage tank 121)‘. Extending
from the storage tank is a conduit 134 connected to the
suction side of the pump of a pump and motor unit 13-6
?tted with a pressurestat 13-7. The discharge side of the
pump is connected through a conduit 13% and a solenoid
operated valve 140 to the bottom of the ?lter 122. Within
the ?lter 122 are tubular mesh elements 142 coated with
diatomaceous earth ?lter powder. The top of the ?lter
122 is connected through a conduit 144 and solenoid op
erated valves 146 and 147 to the front wall 40 of the
storage tank 38, as shown. The conduit 138 is connected
through a conduit 14-8 and a solenoid operated valve 151}
to the conduit 144-, as shown. The bottom of the ?lter
122 is connected through a conduit 152 to the bottom of
the auxiliary ?lter 124, which discharges through a con
duit 154 into the storage tank 121?. The ?lter unit 118 is
fully described in copending patent application Serial No.
50 105,379, filed April 25, 1961, in the names of Jack C.
Smith et a1. (assigned to the assignee of the instant appli
The apparatus includes a cold solvent washer, generally
cation), to which reference may be had for further de
designated 11), provided with an upright front wall 12, an
tails of the ?lter unit.
upright rear wall 14, upright opposite side walls 16 and
solvent recovery unit.
18, a bottom wall 211 sloping downwardly toward the cen
ter thereof, and a horizontally extending top wall 22. The
front wall 12 is ?tted with a transparent access door 24-.
The apparatus also includes a solvent still, generally
designated 160. The reservoir 56 of the storage tank
38 is connected by a conduit 161 to the suction side of
the pump of a pump and motor unit 162. The discharge
Within the washer are a set of brackets 26 which support
side of the pump is connected by a conduit 164 to the
baskets 28. The washer is ?tted With a lamp 30. Ar
still 161}. The still is ?tted with a suitable heating unit
ranged within the washer are a multiplicity of nozzles 3-2
carried by a spray manifold 34 connected to a branch 60 166 near the bottom thereof, a condenser unit 167 at
the top thereof and a trough 169 under the condenser unit
conduit 36.
167. The trough 169 slopes to one end of a conduit 168.
The apparatus also includes a solvent storage tank, gen
The opposite end of the conduit 168 is connected to the
erally designated 38, having an upright front wall 4:0,
pump of a pump and motor unit 170. The suction side
an upright rear wall 42, upright opposite end walls 44
and 46, a horizontally extending bottom wall 43, and a 65 of the pump is connected by a conduit 172 to the top
wall 50 of the storage tank 38, through which it extends
horizontally extending top wall 50. Within the tank is an
downwardly into the reservoir 56.
As stated hereinbefore, the conduit 96 is connected
clined apron 54. The partition 5-2 divides the interior
to the activated carbon solvent recovery unit 98. Re
of the tank into two reservoirs respectively designated 56
and 58. Extending from the end wall 46 is a ?anged neck 70 ferring particularly to ,FIG. 2, this unit comprises a lower
section 178 and an upper section 180. The section 180
69 ?tted with a cover plate 62. Extending through the
includes a pair of horizontally extending laterally spaced
‘plate 6-2 and the neck 60 and into the reservoir 56 is a
upright partition, generally designated 52, having an in
3,079,286
3
ducts 182, the rear ends of which are connected respec
tively to the conduit 96 and a diluting air intake 183}.
The fore ends of the ducts 182 are connected respectively
to a pair of fans 134, which are actuated by a motor
185.
The fans 184 discharge into a mixing chamber
135, which is connected by a collar 188 to a damper
housing 1%. The housing 1% is connected by a collar
192 to a horizontally extending duct 194. The opposite
Periodically, as required, the damper assemblies 1%
and "20 operate, closing oil the collar 188 and the con
duit 219, and a stripping operation begins. Steam is dis—
charged from the conduit 22% into the bottom of the
compartment 298, from whence it passes upwardly
through the carbon bed 216 and into the damper hous
ing 1%. Then it passes through the collar 192, the duct
194 and collar 197 to the condenser 1%, which is vented
at 23%. ‘i‘i’ater is supplied to the condenser at 232 and
collar 197. Within the damper housing 1% is a damper 10 discharged therefrom at 234. Thus the solvent laden
assembly 198 comprising a pivot shaft 2%, a lever 292
steam is condensed, and the solvent is recovered in the
ai?xed to the shaft, and damper plates 264 and 2% car
separator 236, from whence it is returned to the still.
ried by the lever. Within the lower section 178 is a com
The ?lter unit 118 operates continuously. Solvent and
end of this duct is connected to a condenser 196 by a
partment, generally designated 2%, including a horizon
tally extending lower wall 21%, and an upright rear wall
212. Disposed in overlying spaced relation to the wall
210 is a screen 214, over which is a. deep bed 216 of ac
tivated carbon. Depending from the wall 210 is a damper
housing 218 connected to a solvent free air vent 219.
Within the damper housing is a damper assembly 220
including a pivot shaft 222, a lever 22% ai?xed to the
shaft, and a damper plate 225 carried ‘by the lever. A
steam line 2255 is connected to the upright wall 212 for
supplyingsteam to the space between the horizontal wall
216 andv the screen 214. The condenser 1% is provided
with a vent 239, a water inlet 232, and a water outlet
234. Immediately below the condenser is a suitable water
separator 236.
In the operation of the apparatus, initially the valves
78, 8b, 86, and 91 are closed, the lamp 30 is on, and
soluble and insoluble soils ilow from reservoir 58 through
conduit 128, valve 13%} and conduit 132 to the storage
tank 12%. At this time, the upper section of conduit 132
is closed oil by valves 13%? and 147. The pump at 136
draws liquid from the tank 129 and pumps it. through
conduit 138 and valve 140 to the bottom of the ?lter 122.
The liquid ?ows from the outside of the tubular elements
142 to the inside thereof, in consequence of which the
insoluble soils collect on the exterior of the tubular ele
ments 142. The solvent and the soluble soils pass through
the mesh and through conduits 144 and valves 1% and
147 to the reservoir 56.
A backwash operation is initiated by the pressurestat
137 through controls, designated 174, when the pressure
against which the pump 136 must work reaches a pre
determined amount, due to the accumulation of soils on
the elements 142. Thereupon valves 140 and 146 close
the damper 116 is closed. The work to be cleaned is
placed in the baskets 28. Then the door is closed, where
upon the cycle begins. Valve '78 opens, and pump 72
draws liquid solvent from the reservoir 56 and directs it
and valve 150 opens. The flow is now through conduit
the conduit 74, conduit branch 36, manifold 34, and
the elements 142, whereupon the valves 130 and 147
operate again and restore the original circulation of liquid.
The solvent still 160 operates continuously at a high
134, pump 136, conduits 138 and 143, valve 150, and
conduit 144 to the top of ?lter 122. Then the flow is
from the interior to the exterior of the tubular elements
through conduit 7d, conduit branch 36, manifold 34, and
142 and from the bottom of the ?lter 122 through conduit
nozzles 32 onto the work in the baskets 28. After a
152 to the basket 153 in the auxiliary ?lter 124. Thus
predetermined period, in the order of about 15 to 45
the insoluble soils plus the ?lter powder coating are re
seconds, the valve 78 recloses and the valve 91 opens.
moved from the mesh of the tubular elements 14-2 and
Thus the liquid spray phase terminates and a drain phase
collected in the. revolving basket 153. The solvent and
begins. The fall-cit, i.e., solvent and soluble and in~ 40 soluble soils are returned to the storage tank 128! through
soluble soils, is drained to reservoir 58 through conduit
the conduit 154-.
82 by gravity ?ow. When the head over the valve 86
Now a motor, designated 176, is actuated, and ?lter
reaches a predetermined height, the valve automatically
powder is added to the solvent. At the same time, valve
opens against the in?uence of the counterweight and
150 is reclosed, valves 149 and 146 are reopened, and
passes the fall-off, then recloses automatically under the
valves 136 and 14-7 operate. The ?ow then is through
influence of the counterweight. The pressures on opposite
conduit 134, pump 136, conduit 13S and valve 141} into
sides of the valve 86 are equalized by means of the con
the bottom of the ?lter 122. Then the ?ow is from the
duit or vent 91}, which places the interiors of the Washer
outside to the inside of the elements 142, through the mesh
10 and storage tank 38 in communication. The draining
and to the top of the ?lter 122. Then the How continues
operation may require about 10 to 30 seconds.
through the conduit 144, valves 146 and 147, conduit 132
The valve 91 now recloses, and the valve 86 opens,
and valve 130 to the storage tank 12%. After a short
initiating the air blow-elf phase. Air is blown through
time, the coating of ?lter earth is renewed on the mesh of
nozzles 32 onto the work. The valve 86 remains closed
under the in?uence of the counterweight 8%. Simultane
ously with initiation of the blow-off operation, motor 1%,
through cam 108, cam follower 110, lever 112, and link
114 opens damper 116,, whereupon the interior of the
washer it) is vented through the activated carbon solvent
recovery unit 93 to atmosphere. Upon termination of
the blow-off period, the valve 80 recloses, cutting off
the flow of air, and the motor 134 operates to reclose the
damper 116 whereupon the cycle is completed. The
air blow-oh‘. operation lasts for a predetermined period, in
the order of 15 to 45 seconds.
The fans 184 draw in vapor laden air through conduit
96 and diluting air through the intake 183. These sepa
rate streams of air are mixed in the chamber 186, from
distillation rate.
Solvent and soluble soils are drawn
from reservoir 56 through conduit 1161 ‘by the pump at
162 and pumped through conduit 164 into the still 160,
where they are heated by the unit 166. The solvent
vapors which are generated rise in the still and are con
.densed at 167 and deposited in the trough 169. The
pump at 170 draws the distillate from the trough through
conduit 168 and pumps it through conduit 172 to the
reservoir 56 in the storage tank 38.
The temperature in the reservoir 56 is controlled by the
thermostat valve control 68. The temperature is held
to about 140° F. However, it may be cold instead of
warm.
whence the air passes through the collar 188 and damper
housing 1% into the chamber 25%. Then the air passes 70
Any suitable solvent may be used, for example, methyl
downwardly through the activated carbon bed 216 and
ene, chloride, methyl chloroform, trichlorethylene, per
,screen 214 into the damper housing 21%, from whence
chlorethylene, or Freon.
it passes to atmosphere through the conduit 21%. The
The ?ow rates are arranged so that flow over the dam
solvent with which the air is initially laden is absorbed
52 is from the reservoir 56 to thereservoir 58.
by the activated carbon.
The control system (not shown) is designed for suit
8,079,286‘
5
able operation of the various elements of the system in
predetermined timed relation.
It will be understood, of course, that the present inven
tion, as described and shown, is susceptible to various
changes and modi?cations which may be made without
any departure from the general principles or real spirit
of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended to claim
6
ing with said nozzles, valve means in said conduit opera‘
ble for directing liquid pumped from said ?rst reservoir
to said nozzles for discharge therefrom onto said work
and alternately directing air from said blower to said
nozzles ‘for discharge therefrom onto said work, means
for draining liquid solvent and soluble and insoluble soils
‘from said chamber into‘said second reservoir, an acti
vated carbon solvent recovery unit, means for venting the
the present invention broadly, as well as speci?cally, as
interior of said chamber to atmosphere through said unit,
indicated in the appended claims.
Having thus described our invention, we claim as fol 10 means for drawing liquid solvent and soluble and in
soluble soils from said second reservoir, ?ltering out the
lows:
insoluble soils and directing the solvent and soluble soils
1. Degreasing apparatus comprising a ?rst reservoir
for liquids, a second reservoir for liquids, means provid
into said ?rst reservoir, and means for drawing liquid
ing a chamber for receiving work to be cleaned, an array
solvent and soluble soils from said ?rst reservoir, distill
of spray nozzles in said chamber, means for drawing 15 ing off said solvent and returning the same to said ?rst
liquid from said ?rst reservoir and discharging it through
reservoir.
said nozzles upon said work and alternately blowing air
5; Degreasing apparatus comprising a ?rst reservoir
through said nozzles upon said work, means for draining
for liquids, a second reservoir for liquids, means pro
liquid solvent and soluble and insoluble soils from said
viding a chamber for receiving work to be cleaned, an
chamber into said second reservoir, an activated carbon 20 array of spray nozzles in said chamber, means for draw
solvent recovery unit, means for venting the interior of
ing liquid from said ?rst reservoir and discharging it
said chamber to atmosphere through said unit, means for
through said nozzles upon said work and alternately
drawing liquid solvent and soluble and insoluble soils from
blowing air through said nozzles upon said work, means
said second reservoir, ?ltering out the insoluble soils and
for draining liquid solvent and soluble and insoluble soils
directing the solvent and soluble soils into said ?rst res 25 from said chamber into said second reservoir including
ervoir, and means for drawing liquid solvent and solu
‘a normally closed valve controlled by the head of liquid
ble soils from said ?rst reservoir, distilling o? said solvent
over said valve, an activated carbon solvent recovery
and returning the same to said ?rst reservoir.
unit, means for venting the interior of said chamber to
2. Degreasing apparatus comprising a closed storage
atmosphere through said unit, means for drawing liquid
tank including a partition dividing the interior of said 30 solvent and soluble and insoluble soils from said second
tank into ?rst and second reservoirs disposed in over?ow
reservoir, ?ltering out the insoluble soils and directing
communication with each other, means providing a cham
the solvent and soluble soils into said ?rst reservoir, and
ber for receiving work to be cleaned, an array of spray
means for drawing liquid solvent and soluble soils from
nozzles in said chamber, means for drawing liquid from
said ?rst reservoir, distilling o? said solvent and return
said ?rst reservoir and discharging it through said nozzles 35 ing the same to said ?rst reservoir.
upon said work and alternately blowing air through said
nozzles upon said work, means for draining liquid solvent
and soluble and insoluble soils from said chamber into
said second reservoir, an activated carbon solvent re
covery unit, means for venting the interior of said cham
ber to atmosphere through said unit, means for drawing
liquid solvent and soluble and insoluble soils from said
second reservoir, ?ltering out the insoluble soils and di
recting the solvent and soluble soils into said ?rst reservoir,
and means for drawing liquid solvent and soluble soils
from said ?rst reservoir, distilling oil said solvent and
returning the same to said ?rst reservoir. '
3. Degreasing apparatus comprising a closed storage
tank including a partition dividing the interior of said tank
into ?rst and second reservoirs disposed in over?ow com
munication with each other, means in said ?rst reservoir
for maintaining the contents thereof at a predetermined
temperature below boiling, means providing a chamber
for receiving work to be cleaned, an array of spray noz
zles in said chamber, means for drawing liquid from said
6.
tank
tank
?ow
Degreasing apparatus comprising a closed storage
including a partition dividing the interior of said
into ?rst and second reservoirs disposed in over
communication with each other, means providing
a closed chamber for receiving work to be cleaned, an
array of spray nozzles in said chamber, means for draw
ing liquid from said ?rst reservoir and discharging it
through said nozzles upon said work and alternately blow
ing air through said nozzles upon said work, means for
intermittently draining liquid solvent and soluble and
insoluble ‘soils from said chamber into said second reser~
voir including a normally closed valve controlled by the
head of liquid over said valve, and means placing the
interiors of said closed storage tank and closed cham
ber in communication for equalizing pressures, an acti
vated carbon solvent recovery unit, means for venting
the interior of said chamber to atmosphere through said
unit, means for drawing liquid solvent and soluble and
insoluble soils from said second reservoir, ?ltering out
the insoluble soils and directing the solvent and soluble
?rst reservoir and discharging it through said nozzles upon
soils into said ?rst reservoir, and means for drawing
said work and alternately blowing air through said nozzles
liquid solvent and soluble soils from said ?rst reservoir,
upon said work, means for draining liquid solvent and
distilling olf said solvent and returning the same to said
soluble and insoluble soils from said chamber into said
second reservoir, an activated carbon solvent recovery 60 ?rst reservoir.
7. Degreasing apparatus comprising a ‘?rst reservoir
unit, means for venting the interior of said chamber to
for
liquids, a second reservoir for liquids, means pro
atmosphere through said unit, means for drawing liquid
viding a chamber for receiving work to be cleaned, an
solvent and soluble and insoluble soils from said second
array of spray nozzles in said chamber, means for draw
reservoir, ?ltering out the insoluble soils and directing
ing
liquid from said ?rst reservoir and discharging it
the solvent and soluble soils into said ?rst reservoir, and 65
through said nozzles upon said work and alternately
means for drawing liquid solvent and soluble soils from
blowing air through said nozzles upon said work, means
said ?rst reservoir, distilling off said solvent and return
for draining liquid solvent and soluble and insoluble soils
ing the same to said ?rst reservoir.
from said chamber into said second reservoir, an acti
4. Degreasing apparatus comprising a ?rst reservoir
for liquids, a second reservoir for liquids, means pro 70 vated carbon solvent recovery unit, means operable for
venting the interior of said chamber to atmosphere
viding a chamber for receiving work to be cleaned, an
through said unit, said vent being open while air is be
array of spray nozzles in said chamber, a blower, a pump
ing supplied to said nozzles and being closed while liquid
having its suction side communicating with said ?rst reser
is being supplied to said nozzles, means for drawing liquid
voir and its discharge side communicating with said
blower through a conduit having a branch communicat 75 solvent and soluble and insoluble soils from said second
8,079,286
55
reservoir, ?ltering out the insoluble soils and directing
soils into said ?rst reservoir, drawing liquid solvent and
the solvent and soluble soils into said ?rst reservoir, and
means for drawing liquid solvent and soluble soils from
said ?rst reservoir, distilling off said solvent and return
ing the same to said ?rst reservoir.
soluble soils from said ?rst reservoir, distilling o?? said
solvent ‘and returning the same to said ?rst reservoir,
and regulating the ?ow of liquid to and from said reser
voirs to provide for unidirectional over?ow from said ?rst
8. The method of degreasing comprising subjecting the
work to a spray of liquid solvent from a ?rst reservoir
and alternately to air blow‘oft', passing the blow-off air
through an activated carbon solvent recovery unit, col
lecting the liquid solvent and the soluble and insoluble
soils removed by the liquid solvent from the Work in a
to said second reservoir.
’
10. The method of degreasing comprising subjecting
the work to a spray of liquid solvent at a temperature
substantially below boiling from a ?rst reservoir and al
ternately to air blow-0E, passing the blow-off air through
an activated carbon solvent recovery unit, collecting the
liquid solvent and the soluble and insoluble soils re
moved by the liquid solvent from the work in a second
second reservoir, drawing liquid solvent and‘ soluble and
insoluble soils from said second reservoir, ?ltering out
the insoluble soils and directing the solvent, and soluble
resenvoir, drawing liquid solvent and soluble and insoluble
soils into said ?rst reservoir, and drawing liquid solvent 15 soils from said second reservoir, ?ltering out the insolu
and soluble soils from said ?rst reselvoir, distilling 05 said
ble soils and directing the solvent and soluble soils into
solvent and returning the same to said ?rst reservoir.
said ?rst reservoir, and drawing liquid solvent and sol-u
9. The method of .degreasingcomprising subjecting the
ble soils from said ?rst reservoir, distilling oil’ said solvent
work to a spray of liquid solvent from a ?rst reservoir
and returning the same to said ?rst reservoir.
and alternately to air blow-off, passing, the blow-off air
through an activated carbon solvent recovery unit, col
References Cited in the ?le of this patent >
lecting the liquid solvent and the soluble andinsoluble
soils removed by the liquid. solvent from the work in a
second reservoir, drawing liquid solvent and soluble and
insoluble soils from said second reservoir, ?ltering out 25
the insoluble soils and directing the solvent and soluble
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,201l,729
2,698,627
Hood _______________ __ May 21, 1940
Kearney ______________ __ Jan. 4, 1955
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