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Патент USA US3085426

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April 16, 1963
Filed Jan. 10, 1961
4 Sheets-Sheet 1
April 16, 1963
Filed Jan. 10, 1961
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Patented Apr. 16, 1963
uring cell, the increased electric conductivity of which is
used as a measure for the quantity of water to be added
to the solution. This presumes, that the solvent, Perc
for instance, has a considerably smaller speci?c conduc
tivity than Water. This is not correct however consider—
ing that chemically purse water is also but a very poor
Emile D’Hooge, Ghent, Belgium, assignor to Ateliers de
Construction Emile D’Hooge S.P.R.L., Ledeberg,
Filed Jan. 10, 1961, Ser. No. 81,716
Claims priority, application Belgium July 15, 1960
9 Claims. (Cl. 68-13)
electric conductor. In fact, what one measures is main~
ly the concentration of salts or other electrolytes which
are dissolved in more or less constant proportions in the
10 water. Such measurements are consequently most un
The invention concerns a device for automatically ad
precise, as they may depend uponthe hardness of the
Water being used, as well as upon the largely variable
justing the composition of the bath in apparatus used
proportions of fatty acids and impurities which are present
for the chemical cleaning of textile or similar matter, and
in the solution; they may also be in?uenced by the nature
15 of the soap being used.
in particular of clothing and underclothing.
As is generally known, the method of steaming or
A further drawback of these measuring methods con
chemically cleaning clothing or similar matter consists
sists in the fact, that in practice it is not easily possible
of a treatment with a solvent of greasy substances, naph
to bring the measuring instrument into contact with the
tha being frequently used, despite the fact that it is highly
liquid of the bath at a point where aforesaid liquid has
in?ammable. It is much safer to use other organic sol 20 is effective composition. At such a point the danger
vents such as Tri (trichlorethylene), Perc or W.S., where
would exist of the electrodes of the measuring cell being
in soapsuds can be dissolved, in order to loosen dirt parti
shorted by textile ?bres or impurities present in the liquid,
cles. The clothing is placed in the drum of the wash
thus rendering the instrument totally useless. It is for
ing machine where it is mechanically rinsed in the clean
this reason that in practice the measuring cell is introduced
ing ?uid. During this method, the ?uid of the bath is 25 at a point in the circuit past the ?lter. At such a point
being continuously extracted in a closed circuit, to be
however, the composition of the liquid is no longer the
pumped back into the processing chamber after having
same as that in the actual cleaning drum, which represents
been passed through a cleaning filter.
another cause of Wrong measurements. This is most ap
it is most important to maintain a constant quality of
parent when moist clothing is introduced into the machine,
cleaning, which must be independent of the relative hu 30 the moisture being readily absorbed by the ?lter, which
midity of the surrounding atmosphere as well as of the
moisture content of the clothing at the moment it is
introduced into the machine. In order to obtain these
at that moment is still quite dry, so that the supply of
water is adjusted without taking into account the moisture
content of the introduced clothing. Such poor control can
easily give rise to oversaturation and consequently to
conditions, it will be necessary to bring the composition
of the processing bath, and most particularly its water 35 the known trouble due to this state of alfairs.
In order to obtain more trustworthy results for these
and soap content, to a predetermined value which will
be dependent upon the nature of the fabrics being treated,
measurements, propositions have already been made to
replace the electrolytic measuring cell by some hygromet
and to maintain this value within narrow limits.
This value is different for the various varieties of fab
ric device, not being in contact with the liquid itself, but
rics. 'It is generally accepted, that loosely woven or 40 merely with the vapour present above the liquid. For
knitted woolen fabrics as well as silk, may be processed
this purpose hair hygrometers are used, of which the
at a value of relative humidity no higher than 65%.
moisture sensitive element (hair) is not influenced by the
Carded wool, such as men’s clothing, can bear up to 78% ,
vapours of the solvents, but only by water vapour. When
and pure cotton, such as rain clothes for instance, can 45 this element absorbs moisture, its length varies and these
variations in length are transmitted to a pointer which
stand up to 85 or 87% of relative humidity. Should these
moves along a graduated scale. This scale may be
values be exceeded, the materials will ?rst start to crease,
calibrated for instance from 0 to 100% of relative humid
and next to shrink, to turn feltish, etc. If the cleaning
is to be carried outwith maximum efficiency so as to ob
tain optimum results and to have the lowest possible 50 . Such a device can now be used to measure the true
moisture content of the bath liquid and, according to the
need for subsequent spot removal, it will be essential to
maintain with accuracy the relative humidity which has
indications thereof, the quantity of pre~prepared soap
been determined for the processing of the material being
and water solution (standard suds) which is introduced
In the machines and installations used up till now, the 55
desired relative humidity is obtained by the addition of
water to the cleaning ?uid during the cleaning method;
this is however only possible when the solvent has been
into the circuit can be adjusted.
t The manner in which these principles are being applied
in the propositions known until now has shown many a
failure in the practical application thereof, the device
having been the cause of a considerable slow-down and
(being insufficiently reliable in operation, so that it re
su?icient to absorb the required quantity of water. In 60 quires a constant supervision.
consequence, this procedure can only be applied in prac
The object of the invention is to provide a new and
tice to machines which operate with a permanent and
greatly improved device which, by using a hygrometer
constant concentration of soap, i.e. according to the
for determining the moisture content of the bath ?uid,‘
mixed beforehand with a predetermined amount of soap,
“charged system.”
The required quantities of water are introduced in the
circuit at a point preceding the pump, the water supply
being regulated by an electrically controlled valve in ac
cordance with the instantaneous measurement of prevail
eliminates the above-mentioned drawbacks and assures an
accurate control of that moisture content in all circum
According to the invention, the device for automati
cally adjusting the composition of the bath in apparatus
ing humidity. The water thus passes through the ?lter,
for the chemical cleaning of textile or similar materials,
where the ?ltering powder will be unnecessarily moist 70 where the bath fluid is circulated in a closed circuit
ened. In all known systems, the measurement of the
humidity is carried out by means of an electrolytic meas
through a ?lter unit and where water and chemicals
are added to this circulating ?uid under control of a
device for measuring relative humidity, is characterized
in the bath, it is essential that .the measuring instrument
effectively indicates the correct value. If for any reason,
such as the clogging of the supply pipe for instance, the
by the fact that the measuring device is located in a sep
arate control circuit which is independent of the ?lter
unit and in which the cleaning liquid is tapped straight
measuring instrument receives too small a quantity of
from the cleaning drum and fed into the measuring
bath ?uid, or even none at all, this might result in a con
equipment, eventually through an individual ?lter, whilst
the water and washing products which are added under
the control of this device are poured straight back into the
cleaning ?uid.
In a particularly favourable form of embodiment ac
cording to the invention, the measuring circuit comprises
tinuous additional supply of water.
To prevent such an
occurrence, a safety device is incorporated in the pipe
which returns the ?uid from the measuring equipment in
such -a manner that the water supply can only operate as
10 long as a pre-determined quantity of ?uid is being drained
from the measuring equipment. Such a safety device
a mixing device introduced into this circuit at a point
could for instance consist of a small bowl or cup con
past the measuring equipment, so that the bath ?uid cir
trolling a switching device by means of a lever, and into
culating in the measuring circuit can be mixed with a
which cup ?ows the ?uid leaving the measuring equip
quantity of aqueous soap solution controlled by the 15 ment. The weight of the ?uid then tilts cup and lever,
measuring equipment before it is returned to the cleaning
thus closing the contact device. A small hole is pro
drum. Preferably but a small quantity of the ?uid cir
vided in the bottom of the cup, so that the ?uid can
culating in the control circuit is actually fed as sample
drain away. As long however as a suf?cient volume of
to the measuring equipment, the remainder being led di
rectly to the mixing device.
In order to assure an inti
mate mixing, this mixing device has been built in the shape
of a venturi, whereby the bath ?uid coming straight from
the cleaning drum passes through the venturi jet, sucking
up the ?uid returning from the measuring equipment as
well as the controlled amounts of water and soap which 25
are supplied through separate pipes.
It is moreover an
advantage when the supply of water and of cleaning prod
?uid is evacuated from the measuring equipment, the
cup will remain full and the contact closed.
When on
the other hand, the ?ow of ?uid through the measuring
equipment is restricted for some reason or other, the
cup will empty itself, so that the lever will tilt over and
break the contact.
For added safety, signalling lamps or other warning
signals can be incorporated in the electric circuits, show
ing the positions of the various contacts and switches.
For instance, a red ?ashing light could be installed which
ucts, generally soap, can be controlled separately and
independently, so that it becomes possible to add soap
lights as long as the water supply is open, providing a
without water, as required for instance when the clothing 30 permanent check upon the functioning of the hygrometer
being introduced already contains suf?cient moisture
which must be absorbed by the added soap and com
bined with the solvent.
These and further characteristics of this invention will
whilst the top part of the container is connected to a
iFIGURES 1 and 2 give a schematic representation of
the control and adjusting devices as used up till now;
\FIGURE 3 represents a schematic view of the control
be clari?ed by the following more detailed description,
Preferably the measuring equipment shall consist of a
which is merely informative and in no way restrictive of
cylindrical container, in the bottom part of which at 35 the scope of the invention, and by the appended drawings
least one inlet pipe and at least one outlet pipe are ?tted,
in which:
humidity measuring equipment which is in?uenced by
the vapour of the bath ?uid Without coming into actual
contact with the ?uid. This measuring equipment may 40 device, applied according to the invention;
consist of a hygrometer, a hair hygrometer for instance,
FIGURE 4 gives a general sketch of the control appa
the sensitive element of which is not in?uenced by the
ratus according to the invention, with indication of the
solvent vapours, but exclusively by water vapour. This
principal elements comprised therein;
hygrometer is equipped with an adjustable contact de
FIGURES represents a more detailed diagram of the
vice, preferably ?tted with an adjusting pointer, which
control devices according to the invention;
can be set in such a manner as to close an electric
FIGURE 6 is a large scale representation of the safety
contact as soon as a predetermined degree of relative
devices applied to the control apparatus;
humidity is reached, thus completing an electric circuit
FIGURE 7 is a more detailed view of the mixing device
which operates the interruption of the water supply.
incorporated in the control apparatus;
When certain materials such as cotton, which need a
FIGURE 8 is a simpli?ed diagram of the electric con
high relative humidity, have just been treated and it is re
trol circuits.
quired immediately afterwards to clean other materials
In FIGURE 1, which schematically represents a fre
such as light wool which can bear only a much lower
quently applied arrangement mainly suitable for the
“charged system,” 1 is the processing chamber of the
tion, that the vapour pressure of the water in the measur 55 washing machine in which the laundry contained in drum
ing equipment remains at a high value during a consider
2 is being rotated. The bath ?uid 3 contained in cham
able time, so that the pointer of the hygrometer will only
ber 1 is continually being evacuated through outlet pipe
degree of humidity, it is necessary to take into considera
recede very slowly. The new washing method may how—
ever not be started before the pointer of the hygrometer
indicates a much lower value of relative humidity, as
otherwise the water supply will not be properly con
In order to speed-up this method, a third pipe is ?tted
to the cylindrical container of the measuring equipment,
so as to enable a stream of dry air to be passed through
the container after each washing method, thus driving
away the remaining water vapour. The measuring instru
ment can then be provided with a second contact device,
closing an electric contact as soon as the humidity indi
cated by the hygrometer drops below a pre-determined
value, aforesaid contact controlling a circuit which shuts
off the dry air supply. Immediately afterwards, fresh
water for the new washing method may be supplied.
4 and thus arrives in collector pipe 5 from where it is
pumped through ?lter element 7 by means of pump 6 to
be returned into chamber .1 through mlet pipe 8. In order
to be able to add the required quantity of water to the
bath, water reservoir 9 is connected through an electri
cally controlled valve lib and pipe 11 to a point in the
circuit preceding pump 6. Past ?lter element 7, an elec
trolytic measuring equipment has been introduced in the
circuit, capable of deliveringa control potential depend
ent upon the conductivity of the ?uid passing at that
point. _This control potential is then sufficiently ampli?ed
in an amplifying circuit represented schematically at 13
to control valve 10 in such a manner as to close it as
soon as theconductivity measured by the electrolytic cell
exceeds a predetermined value.
‘Besides the drawbacks already mentioned in the intro
duction concerning the electrolytic method of measuring
supply is correctly dependent upon the relative humidity 75 the degree of humidity, this system further possesses
In order to be sure that the control of the water
among others the following disadvantagesi as the water is
introduced at a point preceding ?lter element 7, the latter
as well as the ?ltering powder it contains are quite use—
lessly moistened. Even if we presume that the measuring
equipment is capable of correctly determining the 'value
of relative humidity, the generated control potential would
less ?exible, considering one is obliged to add water, even
when soap alone is required. ‘Finally, there is always a
considerable delay between the end of one washing method
and the beginning of the next, considering that the hy
grometer as well as its cylindrical container must ?rst be
thoroughly dried before it is possible to obtain a trust
worthy measurement of the new bath ?uid. In practice
this delay seems to last approximately 12 minutes, during
be proportional, not to the relative humidity of the ?uid
contained in chamber 1, but rather to the relative humid~
ity of the ?uid returning to aforesaid chamber, which
which period no fresh water can be added.
Due to all
might have its composition considerably altered by the 10 these circumstances, a complete. washing cycle will take
action of the ?lter. In fact, any increase in moisture con
tent will only be detected past the ?lter element with
considerable delay, so that it could easily happen that the
water supply is maintained longer than it should be.
'Should it be required to wash materials requiring but lit 15
about 20 minutes longer than the actual time required
by the washing method proper.
By applying the dispositions according to the invention,
which are schematically represented in FIGURE 3, all
tle moisture, such as light woolen fabrics, immediately
be made clear by the following description. As in the
after having processed materials which can bear a consid
erable amount of moisture, the bath ?uid having thus to
be renewed, the dry solvent will absorb moisture from
known methods previously described, the measuring in
these inconveniences are systematically eliminated, as will
strument in this case is also a hygrometer 12 connected
to the top end of a cylindrical vapour chamber 14, which
the ?lter element, so that in this case as well the results of 20 is thus capable of determining the relative humidity with
the moisture measurements will be wrong. Finally, when
out being in contact with the liquid itself. This hygrom
working with the “charged system,” a constant predeter
eter is however placed in 1a circuit which is totally inde
mined soap concentration is present, which already makes
pendent of main ?lter element 7, to which circuit water
it impossible to adjust the amount of soap used in corre
and soap can be added under control of the measuring,
spondence with the optimum supply of water.
25 equipment without being able to moisten ?lter element 7.
In ‘FIGURE 2 a more recent proposition is represented
The bath ?uid ?owing through outlet pipe 18 is pumped
by pump 20, through steel wool ?lter 19 into pipe 21.
The greater part of this ?uid reaches mixing device 24 by
means of pipe 22, whilst the remaining part reaches
schematically, all corresponding elements being indicated
by the same reference numbers as in FIGURE 1. ‘In this
case as well, bath fluid 3 flows through outlet pipe 4,
collector pipe 5, pump 6, filter element 7 and return pipe 30 vapour chamber 14 through a much narrower pipe 23- and
8 in a closed circuit. Samples of the bath ?uid are tapped
serves as sample for the measuring equipment, ?nally also
off at a point preceding ?lter element 7 and are led
?owing back into the aforementioned mixing device 24,
through outlet pipe 25 and safety device 26. In this mix
ing device 24, the bath ?uid is thoroughly mixed with the
the main circuit of the bath ?uid through pipe 17. In 35 eventually added quantities of water and soap supplied
the top of container 14 a measuring instrument is located,
from separate reservoirs 27 and 30' through pipes 29 and
which under normal circumstances will be in contact
32 respectively, before being poured back into the process
merely with the vapours, but never with the ?uid itself.
ing chamber through evacuation pipe 33. This addition
The measuring instrument used is a hygrometer, and
of water and soap can be controlled automatically by
preferably a hair hygrometer.
40 means of electrically operated valves 28 and 31 provided
As long as the degree of humidity remains below the
respectively in pipes 29 and 32.
required value, auxiliary pump 10’ is operated, being
By a proper choice of the diameters of pipes 21 and 22
stopped as soon as the relative humidity has reached the
and of the power of auxiliary pump 20, a powerful and
desired value. This auxiliary pump controls the supply
rapid circulation of the bath ?uid can be obtained. The
of standard soap solution from reservoir 9’ through pipe 45 ?uid
is thus rapidly brought close to measuring instru-‘
11 to a point in the circuit between collector pipe 5 and
through a simple ?lter 15 and a hand operated adjusting
cock 16 to a cylindrical container 14, to be returned to
ment 12, so that the latter can react without delay to any
main pump 6.
modi?cation of the composition thereof. This powerful
stream of liquid is further used in mixing device 24 to
obtain the intimate mixing of the (?uid with the added
quantities of water and soap. The safety device 26 is
This arrangement also has the disadvantage that the
added water moistens the ?lter content, so that difficulties
are encountered as soon as‘light woolen materials have
to be washed immediately after cotton fabrics.
In its practical form of embodiment however, this in
arranged in such a manner as to operate, closing the water
supply, as soon as the ?ow from pipe 25 coming from the
measuring equipment ceases or becomes insut?cient.
stallation shows further important drawbacks: The by
pass pipe towards the measuring equipment being rela
This circuit is shown in greater detail in FIGURE 5,
tively narrow in view of the volume of the samples to be 55
all elements bearing the same reference numbers as in
tapped off, the hygrometer can but react with considerable
FIGURE 3. This ?gure more particularly shows the ?oat
delay to the modi?cations in moisture content of the bath
device 34 which is connected to the bottom of the process
?uid. Consequently, after the introduction of [fresh bath
ing chamber 1 and serves the purpose of determining the
?uid or after moist clothing has been placed into the
machine, a considerable time elapses, approximately 8 60 level of ?uid therein. This device can for instance be
connected up in such a manner to the supply system of _
minutes, before the hygrometer indicates the correct hu
bath ?uid as to shut off this supply as soon as the
midity. The supply of ?uid to the measuring equipment
level in processing chamber 1 has reached the required
is moreover dependent upon the pressure available at the
height P. The ‘device can also be interconnected in such
inlet of ?lter element 7. Should this rise inconsiderately,
the ?ow will become too great so that the sensitive ele
ment will be rendered inoperative by immersion. The
a‘ manner with the control circuit as to automatically start
65 pump 20 as soon as level P has been reached, after which
system will be totally out of order as long as this condi
tion prevails. To prevent such an occurrence, the feed
must be adjusted manually by means of cock 16 at each
new washing method.
Also, whenever auxiliary ?lter 15 gets clogged, stand
ards suds will be continually added from reservoir 9'.
From practical experience it has been found that this
?lter has to be cleaned several times a day. Moreover,
the addition of water and soap in a ?xed proportion is far
the control circuit for the water supply can also be pre
pared. As is also shown schematically in this FIGURE 5,
hygrometer 12 is provided with three pointers 35, 3'6 and
37 which can be displaced along a graduated scale which
has not been drawn. Among these, pointer 35 is the one
which is connected to the sensitive element, usually a hair,
38, in such a manner that it indicates the instantaneous
value of water vapour content in vapour container 14.
Pointers 36 and 37 can be displaced manually along the
dial graduations, pointer 36 being adjusted to the desired
minimum value of relative humidity and pointer 37 to the
desired maximum value.
These pointers :are ?tted re
spectively with contacts 36' and $7’, which cooperate in
such a manner with mobile indicator pointer 35 (see
FIGURE 8), that when this indicator pointer coincides
with the lower adjusted value, a contact is closed across
the secondary winding of a transformer 40, and that when
aforesaid indicator pointer coincides with the upper ad
vice 26, to the mixture. This mixture is next powerfully,
sucked up by the venturi action of jet nozzle 54, by means
of which the thorough mixing of the soap solution with
the bath ?uid is obtained.
The operation of this complete equipment can now be
explained with reference to the wiring diagram of FIG
URE 8. L1 and L2 now represent the power leads which
feed the control system through fuses Z.
At the beginning of a washing method, the necessary
justed value, a contact is closed across the secondary 10 quantity of solvent is introduced into the processing cham
winding of a second transfonmer 4-1.
ber and simultaneously, before the required level is ob
Besides the two previously mentioned pipes 23‘ and 25,
yet a third pipe 42 opens up into vapour chamber 14', lead
ing from a dry air supply and being ?tted with an elec
tained in aforesaid processing chamber, pump 20 is started,
thus pumping a continuous stream of ?uid through the
control circuit 21—-22--23—33. By means of ?oat de
trically operated control valve 43. This air pipe is opened 15 vice 34, the supply of solvent is stopped, by a procedure
up at the end of each washing method, thus supplying
which needs no further explanation, as soon as the de
a stream of dry air which thoroughly dries out the inside
of vapour chamber 14 and hygrometer 12. The arrange
ments are such, that the hygrometer will control valve 43,
more particularly by the action of indicator pointer 35
closing the contact elements 36’ provided on adjusting
pointer 36, in such a manner that this valve will close
and shut off the air supply to pipe 42, as soon as the
measured relative humidity corresponds to the lower ad~
sired level ‘P is reached in the washing chamber. A
small portion of the ?uid thus set in motion reaches the
measuring equipment through the by-pass pipe and then
?ows through pipe 25 intothe safety device, where it is
collected in cup 44, which at the time is still in hori
zontal position. Considering that normally more ?uid
is supplied through pipe 25 than can be evacuated through
the narrow opening 48, the level of ?uid will rise in the
justed value.
25 cup, until the latter is tilted down by the weight of the
In this case, pipes 22 and 23 are provided respectively
fluid accumulated therein, thus closing contacts 50 and
with adjusting cocks 39 and 39' in order to be able to
51. The overflowing ?uid then returns through pipe 4-9
adjust the flow through the corresponding pipes.
and mixing device 24 into the circuit.
Safety device 26 provided in pipe 25 between the
In this manner the measuring equipment is continually
measuring equipment and mixing device 24 is represented
fed with a certain quantity of bath fluid and is conse
separately and on a larger scale in FIGURE 6. It mainly
quently capable of indicating the correct moisture con
consists of a cylindrical container with funnel shaped bot
tent of the bath. At the same time, the closing of the
tom which leads into outlet pipe 49‘ returning to mixing
mercury switch has prepared the control circuit for the
device 24. In this container, a cup 44 is located under
addition of water, which condition is signalled by the
outlet opening of pipe 25 and ?xed to the end of a lever 35 lighting of a green pilot lamp 56.
45, the latter being free to pivot about ?xed pin 46. The
When the clothing which is to be cleaned comes into
other end of this lever is provided with a mercury switch
represented symbolically in the drawing by mercury tube
This mercury switch comprises two independent
contacts, shown as 50 and 51 in FIGURE 8, which close
when the cup tilts down under the weight of the contained
?-uid. When however this cup is empty, or almost empty,
contact with the solvent, three cases are possible:
(1) The clothing contains the same degree of moisture
as the solvent and no modi?cation of the degree of hu-'
midity occurs, so that the hygrometer pointer does not
(2) The clothing is less moist than the bath ?uid and
absorbs moisture from the bath, so that the hygrometer
the lever will be tipped to the horizontal position by the
weight of the mercury tube and eventually of added
pointer will recede;
counter-weights, thus opening the contact. As to the 45
(3) The clothing contains more moisture than the bath
mention of added counter-weights is meant that the lever
fluid and gives off some of it to the bath, so that the hy
includes counter-weights in addition to the mercury tube
grometer pointer advances.
in case the weight of this mercury tube is not sufficient
The time required to obtain equilibrium between the
to hold the lever in its horizontal position when the cup
degree of humidity of the clothing and that of the bath
is empty. An evacuation hole 48 is provided in the
is of the greatest importance. Theoretically one should
bottom of cup 44, the ?ow through this opening being
wait till the hygrometer pointer is at a standstill, before
chosen in such a manner, that as long as a suf?cient ?ow
proceeding with the eventual addition of water. In
of liquid from the measuring equipment reaches cup 44
favourable circumstances this will last at least one min
from pipe 25, the level of liquid will rise in the cup‘ and
ute. ‘In practice, with automatic machines, the addition
over?ow the edge thereof into container as, the cup thus 55 of water is made dependent on the reaching of the desired
remaining in its tilted down position. Should however
level in the processing bath, i.e. that no water can be
the ?ow from pipe 25 cease, the liquid in the cup will
added before the required quantity of solvent is available.
drain away through opening 48, so that the lever will tilt
The washing bath thus consists of a ?xed quantity of
back to the horizontal position, thereby opening the mer
solvent which is introduced into the drum and of which
cury switch.
60 a sample is sent to the hygrometer equipment during at
The mixing device 24 incorporated according to the
least one minute.
invention in the adjusting circuit is shown on a larger
After this adjusting period, Water can be added if
scale in FIGURE 7. This mainly consists of a cylindrical
required, i.e. if at that moment the indicator pointer 35
closed container 52, to the bottom of which a funnel
of hygrometer 12 has not yet reached adjusting pointer 37.
shaped part 53‘ is ?tted, the latter being connected to out 65
In a manner which need not be described here, power
let pipe 33' which leads back to processing chamber 1.
is applied to terminals 57v and 57—-see FIGURE 8—the
Pipe 22 leading straight from auxiliary pump 29 is ter
?rst of which is directly connected to the feed of control
minated by a jet nozzle 54 placed close to and concen
valve 31 and also via closed mercury contact 50 and
trically with funnel shaped part 53‘ of the container bot
closed relay contact 60 to the feed control valve 28. Con
tom. Three pipes 29, 32 and 4-9 open up in the top of 70 sequently both control valves 31 and 28 are opened, so
cylindrical container 52, the ?rst of which leads via con
that soap as Well as water is supplied to the mixing device
trol valve 28 from water reservoir 27, the second being
24, which means that these products are fed into the bath
connected via control valve 31 to the soap reservoir 36,
?uid in the form of an emulsion, having been thoroughly
whilst pipe 49‘ is the one returning the sample of bath
mixed. The opening of the water supply is made known
?uid from the measuring equipment, through safety de 75 by the lighting up of a red pilot lamp 62.
By applying power to terminal 58, current will also
?ow through relay ‘winding R3, connected in series with
the primary winding of transformer 41. Due however to
the high impedance of this transformer, the value of the
are maintained. The invention covers all these possible
What I claim is:
1. Dry cleaning apparatus in which the goods to be
cleaned are washed and a dry cleaning solvent composi-.»
tion is circulated in a closed circulation path, comprising
a rotatable washing drum, a ?lter and a pump in pipe
meter 12 has not yet reached the position of adjusting
communication with each other and to the drum, a
pointer 37. By the addition of water however, the in
humidity measuring device having an inlet and an outlet,
dicator pointer will start to rise until it ?nally touches
contact 37' of adjusting pointer 37. This then short 10 a by-pass pipe interconnecting an outlet of said pump and
said inlet of said humidity measuring device to divert a
circuits the secondary winding of transformer 41, so that
small stream of circulating solvent composition to said
the impedance in series with relay R3 is reduced to a
humidity measuring device, a reservoir for water, a res
very low value, thus energizing the relay. The relay then
current is kept so low, that the relay can not operate.
This is the case as long as indicator pointer 35 of hygro
ervoir for washing materials, each of said reservoirs hav
operates, opening the energizing circuit of water control
valve 28 at point 60. The soap supply still remains open, 15 ing an outlet, control means responsive to said humidity
measuring device to regulate the ?ow of said Water and of
as long as terminal 57 is under power. If right vfrom the
said washing materials to said circulating solvent com
start the bath contained su?icient water, so that pointer
position, a mixing device for mixing said water, said
35 of the hygrometer had already reached the required
washing materials and said circulating solvent composi
tion of the Water supply system, also right from the start, 20 tion, said mixing device including a container provided
position, the relay would have prevented the energiza
so that the application of power to terminals 57 and 58
with one outlet and four inlets which are connected to the
outlet of said ?rst-mentioned reservoir, the outlet of
said second-mentioned reservoir, the outlet of said meas
In this manner the desired relative humidity, set by
uring device and the outlet of said pump respectively, and
means of pointer 37, can be obtained in each case, after
which the washing method can be continued under opti 25 the outlet of said mixing device being connected to said
wash-ing drum.
mum conditions. It is advisable to apply a washing period
2. Dry cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, in
of approximately 8 minutes, in order to assure perfect
which two electrically operated valves are provided with
the outlets of said ?rst and second reservoirs being
The washing method is followed by rinsing, preceded
or not by drainage of the bath ?uid. As soon as the 30 connected to said mixing device by the ?rst and second
would have opened the soap supply exclusively.
predetermined washing time has elapsed, power Will be
mentioned electrically operated valves respectively, said
valves being each individually controlled.
cut oft" from terminal 58, thus stopping pump motor 55
3. Dry cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, in
which is connected to it. Simultaneously power is applied
which the said container is formed as a cylindrical body
to terminal 59, thus energizing air supply control valve
43 via closed relay contact 61. A current also ?ows 35 ?tted with an evacuation funnel in its bottom, said ?rst,
second and third-mentioned inlets terminating in the top
through relay coil R4; due however to the high im
of said cylinderical body, with the fourth-mentioned inlet
pedance of the primary winding of transformer 40 which
extending lengthwise through said cylindrical body and
is connected in series with a aforesaid coil, this current
terminating close to the opening of the funnel, and in
is so weak, that the relay can not operate. By the intro
duction of dry air via pipe 42 and control valve 43 into 40 which a jet pipe nozzle is provided mounted in said open
ing of the funnel.
the measuring equipment 12, the latter is being dried, so
4. Dry cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, in
that indicator pointer 35 starts receding and ?nally touches
which a hygrometer is provided connected to said humidity
contact 36’ of adjuster pointer 36. The secondary wind
measuring device and which is unin?uenced by the va
ing of transformer 40 is thereby short-circuited, reducing
the impedance in series with relay winding R4 to such a 45 pours of said solvent composition but reacts only to
the water vapours mixed therewith.
low value that it can no longer prevent the relay from
5. Dry cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, in
operating. This opens the energizing circuit of the air
which an electrically operated valve is provided, the said
supply system at 61. The hygrometer is thus automatical
measuring device being mounted in a cylindrical container
ly prepared in the correct manner for a following wash
50 ?tted with a supply pipe which is coupled with a source
ing method.
of dry air by means of the electrically operated valve.
The green and red pilot lamps, respectively 56 and 62,
6. Dry cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, in
can be used as safety devices for the correct operation of
which the said humidity measuring device is provided
the apparatus. Green pilot lamp 56 lights as long "as the
with a hygrometer which is unin?uenced by the vapours
mercury switch is closed. This is normal as long as pump
20 is in operation, producing a constant flow of ?uid 55 of said solvent composition but reacts only to the water
vapours mixed therewith, and in which an adjustable
reaching safety device 26 via measuring equipment 12.
contact device is provided for the hygrometer and which
Should this pilot lamp however remain lighted several
closes an electric contact as soon as the measured humidity
minutes after the pump has stopped, this would indicate
reaches a predetermined value, and another contact device
that evacuation opening 48 of cup 44 is clogged, prevent
60 closes a second electric contact as soon as the measured
ing the draining away of the liquid.
humidity drops below a predetermined value.
The red pilot lamp lights as long as the water supply is
7. Dry cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, in
opened. Should this however last an abnormally long
which the said humidity measuring device is provided
time, i.e. when pointer 35 has already reached contact 37'
with a hygrometer which is not in?uenced by the vapours
and the water supply nevertheless remains open, this water
supply will immediately have to be shut off by means of 65 of said solvent composition but reaches only to- the water
vapours mixed therewith, and in which said hygrometer
a manual cock (not shown).
is ?tted with an indicator pointer moving along a grad
It will be quite clear, that the above detailed descrip
uated scale, and a further pointer is provided manually
tion only relates to one particular form of the many pos
adjustable along said scale, said pointers having control
sible forms of embodiment of this equipment according
70 parts of an electric contact device which is closed as
to the invention. Remaining within the scope of the in
soon as the relative humidity indicated by said indicator
vention, it is obvious that either the detailed construc
pointer reaches the value determined by said adjustable
tion of the various elements or the manner in which these
elements work together can be modi?ed in various ways,
8. Dry clean-ing apparatus according to claim 1, in
as long as the principles laid down in the claims below 75 which the said humidity measuring device is provided
with a hygrometer which is unin?uenced by the vapours
of said solvent composition but reacts only to the water
vapours mixed therewith, and in which-the said measur
ing device is mounted in a cylindrical container ?tted
with a supply pipe which is coupled with a source of dry
air by means of "an electrically operated value, and a
ing device is mounted in acy-lindrical container ?tted
with a supply pipe which is coupled with a source of dry
air by means of an electrically operated valve, and a con
tact device closes an electricrcontact as soon as the meas
ured humidity drops below a predetermined value, and
in which a second contact device is provided constituted
by a mercury switch which is operated by a pivoting
contact device closes an’ electric contact as soon as the
measured humidity drops below a predetermined value,
in which control means are provided including ?rst
lever capable of turning between two extreme positions
determined by stops, and to one end of which a small ?uid
and second electric contacts and ?rst, second and third 10 cup is attached, the latter tending by means of its weight
electrically operated valves, and said ?rst-mentioned
electric contact being coupled with said ?rst-mentioned
electrically toperated valve, whereas the second-mentioned
and the ?uid therein to move the lever towards one of
‘its extreme positions at which the switch is closed, a
counterweight return device pulling the lever towards
electric contact is coupled with said third-mentioned elec~
its other extreme position at which the contact is open
trically operated valve so that when said ?rst-mentioned 15 so that as long as the cup contains a predetermined quan
electric contact is closed and ?rst-mentioned valve is
tity of liquid, the switch will be maintained closed by
operated thus shutting off the ‘air supply, and in which
the weight of the cup and the predetermined quantity of
the control means includes a safety device incorporated
liquid, whereas the switch will vbe opened, closing the
in the pipe connecting said outlet of said humidity meas~
water supply, whrenever the quantity of liquid in the
urting device and said third-mentioned inlet of said mixing 20 cup drops below said predetermined value, the tilting
device, the safety device controlling a third contact device
?uid cup being ?tted inside a container provided with
which is coupled with said ?rst-mentioned electric contact
an outlet pipe leading to the mixing device, the outlet
and said ?rst-mentioned electrically operated valve so
of the measuring device ending;r in the said vlast-mentioned
that the water supply can only be opened when and as long
container just above the cup.
as a predetermined minimum quantity of solvent com
position ?ows from said humidity measuring device.
9. Dry cleaning apparatus according to claim 1, in
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
which the said humidity measuring device is provided
With a hygrometer which is not in?uenced by the vapours
Mathews et a1. ______ __ Nov. 24, 1959
of said solvent composition but reacts only to the water
vapours mixed therewith, ‘and in which the said measur
Henderson‘ __________ __ June 14, 1960
Reitz ________________ __ Jan. 3, 1961
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