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Publication numberUS1120191 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 8, 1914
Filing dateApr 4, 1912
Priority dateApr 4, 1912
Publication numberUS 1120191 A, US 1120191A, US-A-1120191, US1120191 A, US1120191A
InventorsWilliam E Gibbs
Original AssigneeGibbs Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for electrolytic production of wire.
US 1120191 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



APPLICATION FILED APR.4, 1912. 1, 1 Q0, 1 9 1 Patented Dec. 8, 1914.



APPLICATION FILED APR. 4, 1912. 1, 1 20, 1 91. Patented Dec. 8, 1914.


ArmmvHS win/252% W. E. GIBBS.



Patented Dec. 8, 1914.






Patented Dec. 8, 1914.


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1, 1 20, 1 9 1. Patented Dec. 8, 1914.




Patented Dec. 8, 1914.






Application tiled April 4,

To all whom it may concern Be it known that I, \VILLIAM E. Glens, a citizen oi the. United States, and a resident of Plainfield, in the county of Union and State of New Jersey, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Apparatus for Electrolytic Production of Wire, of which the following isa full and clear specification.

My invention relates to the production of wire by electrodeposition and drawing as distinguished from the usual practice of forming a wire rod inthe rolling mill and drawing the rod down to Wire.

The apparatus is especially suitable for the'production of copper wire and will be described more particularly with reference to this kind of wire, it being understood, however, that the principles of my'invention may be employed in other analogous uses,"employing bther metals or combinations of metals-as when producing so-called lei-metallic wire.

An important object of my invention is to produce a wire'of high electrical con ductivity, and of superior quality which results from the exclusion therefrom of the various impurities (such as copper oxids) common in wire made by the usual processes of rolling and drawing from east copper Wire bars' I make marked saving over the present metliods of producing wire by substituting two simple operations; namely, lating and drawing, which may be carrie out either jointly, as shown in the diagrams, or'separately if preferred, for the operations of heatin rolling, pickling and drawing as carrie" out in presentpractice, this saving being a'rticularly marked in the production 0t fine wire. I also may save part of the presentcost of refining copper, as cathode'copper,'as produced at present in the ciiston'i'ary process for the refining of copper, is entire y suitable for anodes in my process, and under some'condi tion's impure anode copper can be used, the refining being done in the bitth"from which thewi're is plated;

A further object of my invention is to considerably lessen the cost of production of such" wire, partly'by the useof automatic devices in certain portions of the mechanism to insure continuity of the op erations and partly by other automatic deflpeeifloation of Letters I'atent.

Patented Dec. 8, 1914.

1912. Serial No. 688.349.

vices which act to control or stop the process in case of breakage of the wire. By means of such automatic devices a group of a number of machines may be operated bv one attendant thus greatly reducing the cost of labor per pound of wire produced.

Another important object of my invention is to convert into wire so large a proportion of the copper used as anodes, that the production of scrap copper shall be re ducod to a minimum and that the small proportion of scrap which is formed shall consist oi undissolved anodes upon which no energy has been expended.

Under the present methods of wire making the scrap forms an important item of expense, the more so as it accumulates at every stage of the process and has had various amounts of energy and labor expended on it. Therefore, in addition to the cost of getting it back into the form of copper bar, there must be added the further charge represented in the time and labor consumed in bringing it to the stage from which it was rejected as scrap.

A further object of my invention is to avoid the loss of copper which occurs in the usual rolling and drawing process due to the formation of oxid scale at the rolling temperature and dust or other finely subdivided material which is a constant source of considerable loss in every rolling mill plant.

Many proposals for the production of copper wire by electrolytic deposition have been made in past years, and it has been recognized for some time that there are a number of difliculties inherent to an electrolytic process for this purpose which must be overcome before commercial success can be gained. It "is thought that the essential features of the apparatus which I shall describe and the purpose of the various parts will be better understood it a few ol the more important considerations involved in the successful production of copper wire by electrolysis are briefly outlined.

The structure of the electrolytic wire as it comes from the depositing bath must be homogeneous and its surface, which should be as smooth as is possible under the circiunstances, should be of uniform texture, that is. the surface should be of a velvety grain, free from protruding crystals, lumps or warts. It is well known that copper may be deposited in a thin layer of the desired character, but that after a time as the layer grows thicker, imperfections such as those mentioned appear at' irregular intervals upon it. drawn. For this reason the Wire must receive a deposit limited in thickness and time by the appearance of blemishes. Before these appear, the wire must be drawn through a die in order to renew its surface, when another layer of copper ma be deposited on it and so on indefinite y. The wire must be kept in motion through the electrolyte. so that every part of it passes through the same cycle of operations, and no part of itmust remain at rest on any supporting or guiding roller, for if it does, the deposit will not be uniform in thickness. 1 meet these two conditions by carrying the wire through the electrolytic vat, as shown later, on a series of rollers at a constant 7 speed which is such that any point of the wire will enter the electrolyte and leave t again before the deposited layer of copper shows signs of irregularities. For a wire of .025 inch in diameter this time may be about an hour, during which a point on the wire travels about 2000 feet and increases in diameter to .029 inch. The deposit must be ductile and soft. lhe resistance of the electrolyte must below, so that the voltage between the anodes and the wire may not approach the value, at which gas is liberated on the wire, which would produce an uneven coating as well as waste energy, and because the conductivity of theelectrolyte determines the amount of copper deposited per unit of electrical energy. I meet the last two conditions by using an electrolyte which contains about 3.5% of copper and about. 102]. of sulfuric acid, maintaining the electrolyte at a temperature of about 140 l and keeping it in motion as shown later.

During the process of deposition, a dark,

' powdery coating, called anode slime, forms on the anodes when cast copper anodes are used. Specks of the coating, which consist of finely divided particles of copper and any insoluble impurities which are contained in the anodes, have a tendency to attach themselves to the wire, where they form nuclei for the growth of warts or crystals. ln order to prevent this action the electrolyte is arranged to flow in a cyclic manner into the ends of each depositing vat, thence along the wire and past the anodes to the bottom of the vat, whence a pipe near the center leads it to a pump and filter or other separator. l-lence clean electrolyte is always entering the vat, washing the wire and anodes and carrying the impurities away.

lln order to get the largest output of wire from a machine of a given size the density of the depositing current should be Such wire cannotbe satisfactorily as great as possible. Yet it must be kept below that value at which the deposit begins to lose its ductility. A low current density deposits the copper at a less expenditure of energy per pound, but on the other hand the whole plant has to be larger and more costly, so that the interest on the investment may more than balance the gain. I have found a current density of about 50 amperes per square foot :1. good mean value. lVith anodes one inch from the wire and a solution such as described, I get an output of more than six pounds of deposited copper per kilowatt-hour of current delivered to the vat. The wire which enters the electrolyte has always, in this process, previously passed through a drawing die, wheretherefore pass the wire through a boiling alkaline solution to remove any grease, thence over a pulley where a stream of water plays on it, and thence through a small tank containing the acid copper-sulfate electrolyte and a copper plate. In this tank, however, the direction of the'current is reversed, whereby the wire becomes the anode and is slightly etched, so that the crystalline character of surface necessary to retain a deposit of copper is given to it. Any trace of oxid on the surface is taken up by the free acid in the electrolyte. Thence thewire passes'through a tube into the deposltlng vat, passing beneath the incoming stream of clean electrolyte, which washes away any anode slime that may have formed on it during its passage through the etching bath.

After the wire enters the depositing vat, 1t is desirable to carry the convolutions of the wire on copper or other electrically conductlvc rollers, which form one pole of. the electro-plating source of current. The obvious device of glass or porcelain rollers and brushes for conveying the current to the wire fails because if the wire has a sliding contact with a brush or the like, articles of copper are ground 0d the brus and the wire, and form nuclei for irre lar growths. For a similar reason the gui es which has the wires evenly spaced, must be groove rollers or the like, for all comb-like guides either grinder, if they are hard like glass, 'pol1sh the wire and prevent adhesion of the -depos1t. Moreover, the hardest glass is seen out into grooves by the friction of the slightly rough surface of the wire. Since the supporting rollers in the vat must he of metal, it is necessary to protect them against continual growth by deposition of copper. For this reason I isolate them from the central portion of the vat by partitions of nonconducting material, preferably glass, leaving only narrow slots through which the wires pass. By this means I entirely prevent the deposition of copper upon said rollers. The same statement applies to the guide rollers when these are of metal.

In what has been said about the circulation of the electrolyte in the vat, it willbe seen that the filtered solution enters the isolated compartment at each end of the vat, and that it flows out into the central part of the vat by way of the same slots through which the wires pass. Consequently there is always a brisk current of clear solution flowing over the rollers, which keeps them clean and keeps impurities from entering the roller compartments, where they would be caught by the rollers and forced into close contact with the wire. The anodes are placed as near the wire as may bewithout danger of the wire touching them or ofthe formation of crystals which might bridge the space. By hanging a set of anodes on each side of the sheet of moving wire I am able to reduce the resistance of the system to two-thirds of that which it has when only a single set of anodes is used, and I also et a more eliicient scouring effect from the c1rculation of the electrolyte. As has been noted, every device which lowers the resistance of the system increases the output of wire per unit of energy expended.

My invention provides for the continuous feeding of a considerable length of wire through an electrolytic depositing vat in a series of loops passing around two rollers in such manner that each loop will be kept from contact with its fellows and at the same time held in position for receiving a uniform deposit of copper. In addition to this the wire must enter and leave the vat under constant tension, otherwise certain loops will become loose and tangle, or will become so tight that the wire breaks. On issuing from the depositing vat the wire must be washed to remove the electrolyte which would corrode the winding machinery, thence it should go to the outgoing tension control, and a device to regulate the speed of the winding block, whereby. any change in the rate of deposition changes the speed at which the wire is drawn. Thence it must pass through a lubricating bath and through the drawing die which reduces it to its original size again, after which it is coiled up on the block, and, when the machine is arranged to operate cyclically, it may be led through an unwinding device and thence back to the vat by way of the ingoing tension device and the cleaning and etching tanks. In the preferred apparatus,

the rollers which sup ort the wire, during its passage throu h tie depositing vat, re-

volve upon antiriction bearings, on vertical'shafts which depend from a horizontal beam arranged at such a height above the vat that the wire is stretched in two broad vertical sheets below the surface of the electrolyte. By means of adjusting screws, the distance between the two rollers may be altered, and they may be set parallel or at a slight angle to each other.

When the machine is in operation, the. wire that leaves the vat, is, by reason of the deposited copper, somewhat greater in diameter than that which enters, and as the deposition is at a constant rate, it will be seen that the wire in the vat is evenly taered from its entering to its outgoing end.

11 order to give a uniform motion to all parts of the wire and he] to keep its tension the same for its whole length, the rollers may be very slightly tapered, being smaller at the outgoing end of the wire. But in originally stringin up a new machine it is necessary to use wire of uniform diameter, which would not wind smoothly on the rollers under the above conditions. By giving the axes of the rollers a slight inclination I find that the straight wire can be wound on smoothly. (Vhen the wire is lowered into the hot electrolyte it expands. and it is then necessary to take up the slack by means of the screws which'separate the rollers. For the first few hours of operation it is necessary to manipulate one or the other adj ustment until conditions become normal, and generally to reject the wire which was wound on the machine byhand, because the deposited copper will not stick to it. The machine may be stopped at any time for removal of wire which has accumulated on the block, and since, after passing through the etching bath, the wire is not again exposed to the air until it leaves the depositing vat, the machine may be restarted without fear of a defective spot in the wire. The depositing current is carried from the generator to a framework which holds the anodes, thence through the electrolyte to the wire and thence by brushes on the axles of the rollers back to the generator.

Further mechanical features of my invention relate to safety devices intended to render the operation of the apparatus automatic as far as possible and to prevent tangling of the wire in the vat in case the wire should break at any point. These devices will be described more in detail in connection with the drawings which illustrate my invention.

In the drawings, Figure 1 is a diagrammatic elevation of the essential parts of a complete system for the production of wire by electrolytic deposition, Fig. 2 is a side elevation of a modification of the ingoing plates.

tension control apparatus and safety'cutout, Fig. 3 is a perspective thereof, Fig. 4 is a side elevation with parts in section of the washing bath, the plating d or etching bath and the intake end of the main depositing tank, Fig. 5 is a top plan View of the plating off or etching mechanism, Fig. 6 is a bottom plan view of the supporting rolls or drums in the cleaning tank shown in Fig. 4, Fig. 7 is a top plan view of the main de ositing vat, Fig. 8 is a side elevation of to same with the side and end walls in section, Fig. 9 is a detail plan view with parts in section of a form of guard device for keeping the wire from coming into contact with the anode Fig. 10 is a detail'plan view with parts in section of one of the main supporting rolls and a safety throwout operatlng in conjunction with one of the guide rollers. Fig. 11 is a central vertical section taken longitudinally of the depositing vat of one of the main supporting rolls and its adjustable mounting, Fig. 12 is an end elevation of the same, showing one of the guide rollers, Fig. 13 is a central vertical section through the drawing machine, F i 14 is a die. rammatic plan view illustratlng the circu ation and showing a group of units for the production of wire by electrodeposition, and Fig. 15 is a vertical section and Fig. 16 a plan view of a special form of winding block which may be employed in the drawin machine.

eferring to Fig. 1 it will be seen that the system comprises in general the feeding-in tension control apparatus A, the washing apparatus B, the plating-ofi or etching apparatus C, the main depositing apparatus D, the outgoing tension control apparatus 1], and the winding block and drawing apparatus 1 In Fig. 1 T have shown the feeding-in tension control apparatus as comprising in general the idle brake roller or pulley 20, around which the wire passes and from which it runs down to and around a drop pulley 21, from which it runs over a stationary pulley 22 to the preliminary washing apparatus to be described. The brake roller has coiiperating with it a weighted brake lever 23 pivoted at 24 and carrying an adjustable counterweight 25 and brake shoe 26 which latter engages the brake ulley- 20 or a part connected therewith. uitably attached to the outer end of the brake lever 23 is a core piece 27 of a solenoid coil 28,- which is in circuit through conductors 29 and 30, contact rollers 31 and 32 and resistance pieces 33, 34 and 35 with a source of current 36. The resistance pieces 33, 34 and 35 are supported from an arm 37 which depends from the axle or journal 38 of the drop roller 21, so that if the wire is fed too fast the dro pulley 21 descends and cuts out a portion 0 the resistance pieces'33, 34, thereby strengthening the current passthe brake to the brake roller 20. 1f the wire feeds too slowly the drop pulley 21 ascends and thus adds resistance to the solenoid circuit and weakens the current in the solenoid, thereby relieving the brake roller 20. It will be seen that this tension control thus operates in a continuous manner and tends to maintain a constant rate of feed or admission of the wire. llmay employ in lieu of this form of feeding-in tension control apparatus the apparatus illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3. Thisapparatus is mounted upon the standard 38 and comprises the pulleys 39, 40 and 41, which are analogous in their functions to the pulleys 20, 21 and 22 respectively. The pulley 39 is fixed upon one side of the frame 42 upon a shaft 43 which also has fixed on it a toothed wheel 44. The toothed wheel 44 meshes with a spur gear 45 which is fixed on a shaft 46 journaled in the frame 42 and carrying a brake disk 47. The brake lever 48 is pivoted upon a support 49 projecting from the frame 42, and carries the brake shoe 50, engaging brake wheel 47, and the adjustable counterbalance weight 51.

ing through solenoid coil 28, and applying The outer end of the brake lever 48 has attached to its. tension spring 52, the other end of which is suitabl secured through a chain orthe like 53 to t e carriage 54' of the drop pulley 40. Carriage 54 carries a suitable weight 55 and is in the form of a sleeve slidably mounted uponthe vertical rod 56 which is secured by brackets 57 and 58 to the main standard 38. The wire passes around the pulley 39, then down and under the drop pulley 40 and up over the guide pulley 41 from which it is led into the washing apparatus as will be described. It will be apparent that the weighted drop pulley 40 is supported by the wire and that as the wire feeds faster the drop pulley descends and increases the tension upon the tension spring 52 thus applying the brake shoe 50 more firmly to the brake disk 47 to retard the feed of the wire. As the wire feeds more slowly the drop pulley 4O ascends and relieves the tension on the spring 52 and diminishes the braking efiect so that the pulley 39 may revolve faster. The arrangement of the braking action through a geared down system relieves the operation from sudden shock and conduces to a more gradual and even regulation. Mounted above and in the path of the drop pulley carriage 54 is a throw-out switch 59 which normally engages the contact 60. Similarly mounted below the carriage 54 is a throw-out switch 61 which normally engages the contact 62. Contacts and 62 are electrically connected by means of the conductor 63, and leading to the switch arms 59 and 61 are conductors 64 and 65 respectively, which lead to the main driving clutch in the depositing apparatus to be described. Should the feed of its too

the wire stop or slow down below the critical point, due to entanglement or other cause in that portion of the wire which is advancing toward the pulley 39, the' dro pulley 40 ascends and throws out the switcli 59, thereby disconnectin the main driving clutch and stopping the urther operation of the feed. Should the wire break between the winding block and the entrance to the depositing vat the drop pulle 40 falls and throws out the switch 61 whic has the same result.

Before the wire is subjected to electrodeposition, it is necessary, as has already been stated, to provide the proper kind of surface so that the deposited copper will adhere firmly. The washing apparatus B and the platin off or etching apparatus C are consequent y arranged in the system immediately preceding the main depositing vat and they will now be described with reference to Figs. 1, 4, 5 and 6. From the guide pulley 22the wire passes under the guide pulley 66 which is mounted upon the beam-67 secured in the uprights 68. A floor or other supporting means 69 is also secured in the uprights 68 and upon it is placed the washing tank 70 in which is maintained a body of alkaline solution 71 heated by steam coil 72. Dependent from the beam 67 are a pair of studs or shafts 73, 71 upon which are journaled the supporting rolls or drums 75 and 7 6 immersed in the bath. From the guide pulley 66 the wire is led around the supporting rolls 75 and 76 a suitable number of turns, the several turns being guided therein by means of suitable guide combs or the like 77 which are suspended from the beam- 67. The steam coil 72 maintains the alkaline solution at a water boiling temperature, so that any grease which there may be upon the surface of the wire, as for example from the drawing lubricant, is entirely removed. The wire is then taken off around the guide pulley 78 which is also supported upon the beam 67, and passing over the guide pulley 66 is led around a guide pulley 79. The wire is here rinsed to remove the remnant of alkali by means of a stream of water which is delivered upon the wheel from a pipe 80 and drains away through the drain pipe 81. The wire then passes down under a guide pulley 82 which is mounted on a beam 83 supported in the uprights 68. Below the beam 83 a floor or other supporting member 84 is secured to the uprights and upon this is disposed the electrolytic bath tank 85 which contains the bath 86 for plating off or etching. Shafts or studs 87 and 88 have journaled on them the electrically conductive supporting rolls or drums 89 and 90 immersed in the electrolytic bath 86 and around them the wire passes a number of times through the insulating guides'llland 92, which protect said drums from electrolytlc action. A copper plate 93 is suitably supported in the bath 86 within the s ace mclosed by the wire and is connecte by binding post 94 with a source of current, so

as to form a cathode. The supporting rolls or drums 89 and 90 are suitably connected with the other pole of the circuit so that the wire forms .the anode and plating ofi' from the wire to the copper plate occurs, thus removing any oxid and etchin the surface of from an outlet opening 96 of the plating off tank to an inlet opening 97 of the depositing tank 98, below the level of the liquid in the two tanks.

I prefer to mount all of the operating parts of the depositing apparatus so that they may be moved as a unit to introduce the wire, anode plates and associated parts into the tank or to withdraw them therefrom. Accordingly a pair of channel beams 99 and 100 are supported upon suitable u rights 101 and 102, and extend longitu inally over the tank 98. Mounted between the channel beams 99 and 100 is the sleeve 103, the construction of which is illustrated in detail in Fig. 11. Referring to Fig. 11, it will be seen that the upper portion or head of the sleeve 103 has disposed upon it a bearing ring 1041 upon which run the thrust bearings 105. A hearing collar 106 rests upon the bearings 105 and is fixed to a rotary shaft 107 which is disposed within the bearing ring 104 and sleeve 103. A flanged collar 108 is secured on the lower end of the shaft 107 immediately beneath the sleeve 103 and to it is secured, by means of screws 109, a hollow cylinder'llO which is closed at the bottom and open at the top. Bearing rings 111 and 112 are secured respectively to the sleeve 103 and cylinder 110, and between them are the ball bearings 113. Similar bearing rings 114, 115 and ball bearings 116 are disposed at the lower end of the sleeve 103, so'that the cylinder 110 rotates freely about the sleeve 103. A collar 117 fits loosely around the sleeve 103 and is secured upon the cylinder 110, the joint being provided with an insulating packing 118. The collar 117 is preferably of lead as the electrolyte does not creep by capillary attraction on 'a lead surface, and thus I provide against the entrance of the liquid or crystals unto the inner construction of the supporting roll. The supporting roll at the outgoing end of the tank is preferably arranged so as to be adjustable in angle and distance from the other roll, to accommodate the varying tension in the wire due to I than that at the top.

the increase in its passage through the tank, and its expansion when lowered into the hot liquid. As alread explained the wire becomes thicker and t iclzer as it advances and hence the tension near the bottom of the roll, if the two supporting rolls were exactly parallel, would be much greater On the other hand when the wire is first introduced into the tanlr u on the commencement of operations,

it is c equal thickness throughout. To se cure these adjustments the sleeve 103, which acts as a sup ort for the roll 110, is provided with t e head 119 throu h w ich passes the so" porting bolt 120 w ich rests in slots 121 termed in the channel beams porting roll 110 may thus be-moved toward or away from the supporting roll at the opposite ends of the tan and to effect this movement ll provide an adjustin screw 126 which operates against a cross piece 127 secured on the ends of the channel beams. The angular adjustment is provided for by a projecting lug or nose 128 on the head portion 119 of the supportingslecve 103 I against which operates an adjustment screw 129 secured in a plate 130 extending across the to of the channel beams. The operation 0 the adjusting screw 129 thus swings theshaft 107 through a slight angle about :the sup orting bolt 120. The supporting shaft 10 the e aring collar 106 the flanged c llar 108 and the hollow cylinder 110 are al of electrically conductive material, so as to lead the current from the wire which runs upon the cylinder. Brushes 131 which bear against the collar 106 are connected with the negative'side of the source of, current by the conducting segment 132 andconductor 133.

to fired to the bevel gear 137 and the ()lih1..i her 153,

At the feeding-in end of the tank Tarrange the supporting roll 134: which is similarin construction and mounting to the supporting roll at the other end 'of the tank, with the exception that the adjustments referrcd to are unnecessary in case. of-this roll.- The driving power is, however, a plied at --this end of the tank, and I, there ore, provide the-rotary shaft with an extension 135 upon which is fixed a bevel gear 136 runmug in mesh with a bevel gear 137 which is free on the drive shaft 138 vreceivin the power through belt wheel 139. In or or to couple the bevel gear 137 with the drive shaft'138 llvpreferably employ an electromagnetic clutch, one member 1410 of which is aaaonei clutch by contactrings 1412 and 1413 which are engaged by brushes lt-tand 145 to which are connected the conductors 6t and 65, re-

terred to in connection with Figs. 2 and 3.

From the plating otl or etching tanlr previously described, the wire is is on to the supporting rolls under a guide pulley 1 16 supported from the tank wall, and over the uide pulley 147 which is journaled in the hanger 1418 dependent from the channel beam 99. This arrangement of a-r'" pulleys provides for the removal o the su porting rolls and associated parts from t e tank without disturbing the position of the turns of wire upon the rolls. Four rows of anode plates 1 19 are arranged in pairs to form-alone at each side throu h which the wire travels so that it is sub ected to deposition at both sides. These are sup orted from conducting arms 150 to whic the positive pole of the. source of current is con nected; n order that the anode plates may with safety be placed at a minlmu'm distones from the wire 1 may employ glass or otlier'non-conducting rods, rollers or the like 151, forming guards or fenders which prevent the contact of the wire with the anode plates 149 as illustrated in the detail view Fig. 9. v

in or er to safely accommodate as many turns of the wire as possible upon the supporting rolls it is necessary to rovide special guides so that each turn 0? the wire is kept clear of those adjacent to it and delivcred to its proper place on the rolls. For

this purpose I provide adjacent to each supporting roll, at the side where the wire is running on, a grooved idle roller 152 'which turns freely'upon an arbor 153 supported in block 154 which is clamped on to the bottom of the channel beams 99 and 100 by bolts-155 and 156. The grooved roller 152 thus spaces the turns of wire upon the su porting roll. Adjacent to the roovcd ro or 152 I mount a sleeve or the ike 157 which is free to turn with slight friction upon the rod 158 fixed in the block 154. The sleeve 157 has a pair of jaws 159 in which is mounted a glass or othersuitable bar 160 in close proximity to the grooved roller 152 but not in engagement therewith. The sleeve 157 has projecting from it a finger 161 which rests normally against an adjustable stop bolt 162, and carries a bridge piece 163 w ich is normally held in contact with the contact pieces 16 1 and 165 of the "circuit which leads through the main driving clutch shown in Fig. 7. During the normal operation of the parts, the wire passes through the grooves of the grooved roller 152 w ich turns freely upon the arz natdoea not some incontact with the glass bar 160 so that the sleeve 157 remains stationary. Should the tension of any turn of wire become so low as to per 'mit it to sag and run out of its groove on the roller 152, the wire becomes wedged between the roller and the bar 160 and turns the sleeve 157 upon its supporting rod, thus opening the circuit through the contact pieces 164 and 165 and deiinergizmg the main driving clutch so that the machine is stopped. The same result occurs if the wire breaks or becomes snarled or has any abnormal projection upon its surface which would interfere with the proper travel of the wire through the grooves in the roller 152.

In view of the fact that the current is led from the wire by way of the supporting rolls, provision must be made against any deposition of copper from taking place upon them or uponthe conducting parts with which the wire comes in contact. For

this reason and for purposes of circulation,

as will hereinafter appear, I screen 011' by suitable insulating means the two ends of the tank beyond the space occupied by the anode plates 1219. A glass lining 166 is placed upon the floor and the end and side walls at each end of the tank. Suspended from a frame 167 and cemented therein are a pair of inner parallel glass plates 168 and outer parallel glass plates 169, arranged so that the wire has just suilicient space between the plates 168 and 169 at each side to pass through without rubbing. Also cemented into the frame 167 are the inner transverse glass plate 170 and the outer transverse glass plates 171, the plates 171 being at right angles to the plates 169 to serve with them as an inner support for diagonal glass plates 172, the outer ends of which are retained by the lugs 173 or other suitable means. By this construction it is apparent that the only communication between the space at each end of the tank and the main inner space where the deposition takes place is through the narrow slots or passageways through which the wire runs. The parallel plates 168 and 169 serve the purpose of elongating this space so as to increase the ohmic resistance through the electrolyte therein, and to confine and direct the circulation of the electrolyte, as will be explained, for a suitable distance along the wire. The apparatus suspended in the tank from the channel beams 99 and 100 is normally held as a unit in the proper position by pegs or the like 174- inserted in the uprights 101 and 1052, upon which the channel irons rest. For raising the apparatus from the tank any suitable means such as eye-bolt 175 may be provided on the frame work to attach a hoisting cable or other desired means, and the apparatus may thus be lifted and if desired permitted to rest out of the solution, upon egs inserted in the upper perforations 176 of the uprights 101 and 102. The electrolytic bath is introduced into the insulated compartment at each end of the tank through a supply pipe 177. From each compartment is passes through the restricted passageways between the plates 168 and 169 to the exterior or depositing portion of the vat, and is withdrawn through the outlet pipe 178. The liquid thus washes the wire while passing throu h the restricted passageways between t e plates referred to, and tends to prevent any of the suspended particles of undissolved matter from adhering to the wire, or being carried into contact with the supporting rolls, where they would tend to interfere with the proper feed of the wire. The direction of circulation being all toward the center of the vat, the undissolved matter is continuously taken off with the solution and withdrawn through the outlet pipe 178. I prefer to provide for the settling, filtration or other clarification of the'bath outside of the depositing tank, somewhere between the outlet 178 and inlet 177. The heating of the solution is also accomplished better outside inasmuch as the application of heat within the depositing vat might interfere with the preferred circulation of the bath. The plates 168 and 169 serve to direct the fresh clarified solution into the lanes formed between the two rows of anode plates, so that the space in which the wire travels and receives its deposit is kept relatively free of suspended undissolved particles, while the main body of the solution being more nearly at rest, facilitates the settling out of the suspended matter, so that it is taken off in the manner described through the outlet pipe 178. The clarification and heating of the solution, referred to above, are illustrated in diagram in Fig. 14, which also serves as an illustration of the group ing together of several wire making units. Referring to this figure, it will be seen that the circulation takes place through the inlet pipes 177 and depositing tanks D, outlet pipes 178, the common outlet conduit 179, the heating tank 180, supplied with heat by steam coil 181 or the like, pump 182, return pipes 183 branching therefrom, filters or other clarifying devices 18% and common supply pipes 185 from which lead the individual supply pipes 177.

Having passed through the depositing vat and received its coating of new copper, the wire passes oil under a guide pulley 186 and out over a guide pulley 187, from which it passes-under a guide pulley 188 immersed in Water189 where it is washed of any remaining sulfate solution. The wire is now in condition for drawing, to convert its increment in diameter to a lengthwise increllli ment of wire. a it may be removed and drawn-independently of the depositing step,

but it is usually preferable to draw it as. it comes from the depositing tank. The drawing of the wire in continuity with the dopesition of copper upon; the core involves a number of mechanical considerations for which provision must be made. The return of the wire from. the drawing machine in a continuous manner necessitates additional expedients. In the first place it is difficult to so re ulate the speed of drawing the rate of eposition and the speed of travel of the wire through the depositing vat as to keep them in equilibrium. lit is therefore necessary to have the operation of the drawing machine dependent upon a tension control. interposed between the depositing vat. and the drawing plate. lln passing through the draw plate the wire receives a considerable lengthwise increment so that the Winding block must be capable of taking on wire at greater speed than the wire is removed from. it for return to the deposition.

The tension control of the drawing machine is illustrated diagrammatically in 1. The wire as it leaves the bath 189 F1 v is led over a pair of guide pulleys 190 and 190 from which a loop is taken under a drop pulley 191. The wire then passes over the guide pulley .192 and under the gu de pulley 193 to' the drawing machine wluch will be described. A. gravity piece 194 hangs from the drop pulley 191, so that the tension of the wire as it issues from the depositing tank is kept constant. lhe gravity piece is constructed with resistance pieces 195 bridged by conductor 196, msulating portion 197 and conducting portion 198. Contact rollers 199 normally engage resistance pieces 195, thus regulating the current from battery 200 or the likethrough conductors 201, 202, 203 and 20a to a clutch 205 of the drawing machine which will be described more in detail. Contact rollers 206 normally engage the insulating portion 197 of the gravity piece, thus keeping open the circuit from the battery 200 through conductors 207, 208, 209 and 210 to the drawing machine brake 211 which will be described further. As the drawing machine tends to take the wire faster than it issues from the depositing vat the gravity piece 194 ascends, thus increasing the effective length of the resistance rods 195 and reducing the current in the drawing machine clutch 205, whereupon the drawing machine slows down. Should the drawing machine still take the wire faster than the depositing apparatus gives it up, the gravity piece 194-. continues its ascent until the resistance pieces 195 moves entirely clear of the contact rollers 199, which latter then engage the non-conducting portion 197, so that the clutch is entirely manner disconnected and the contact rollers 206 of the magnetic brake 211 contact with the conducting ortion 198, thereby sending the current trough the magnetic brake and applying the maximum l'iraking force. This operation is sometimes occasioned by residual magnetism of the magnetic clutch 205 or the momentum of the moving parts. Should the drawing machine not operate fast enough to take up the wire delivered by the depositing apparatus, the gravity piece 194: descends thus shortening the eft'ective length of the resistance pieces 195 and increasing the current through the magnetic clutch 205, whereupon the drawing machine speeds up. In practice the speed of the drawing machine is preferablyso regulated as to take the wire up at a slightly excessive speed, so that the automatic regulation is mainly necessary to slow it down. I also arrange a positive throw-out for the main driving clutch in connection with the out-going tension control described. This device may comprise for example the chain or cord 212 which runs over uide pulleys 213 and 214 and is connected at one end with an eyelet 215 of the gravity piece 194 and bears at its other end a counterweight 216. The cord 212 passes through. the perforated or slotted end 217 of a contact lever as 218 which is pivoted at 219 and normally closes the main driving clutch circuit through the terminals 220 and 221. Should the wire break anywhere between the depositin vat and the drawing machine the drop piece 190 falls and thus the counterweight 216 ascends and throws the pivoted contact lever 218 out of engagement with the terminal 221 thereby opening the circuit through the main driving clutch.

The drawing machine is illustrated in vertical section in Fig. 13. The wire is taken in'undcr the guide pulley 222 and a drop pulley 223 of an automatic gripping lever 224-. which is pivoted in a bracket 225 and operates against a flange 226 thereof. Normally the drop pulley 223 is supported by the wire which is under tension, so that its grip lever 224 is held clear of the wire. Should the wire break at the draw plate its tension is relaxed, so that the drop pulley 223 swings downward thus bringing the grip lever 224 into engagement with the wire and holding the wire securely against the flange 226 to prevent it from running back through the tension control device. From the pulley 223 the wire passes under a guide pulley 227 which is journalcd in a bracket 228 and immerscd in a vessel 229 which supplies the lubricant'for the draw-plate. Brackets 225 and 228 are secured to a cross brace 230 in the main frame 231 of the drawing machine. The cross brace 230 isperforated at 232 to permit the passage of the wire on its way to the draw plate which is shown at 233. Draw plate 233 is positioned against the lower end of ashaft 234 which is perforated longitudinally at 235 and recessed longitudinally at 236. Shaft 234- has a lowenbearing 1n a cross brace. 237 upon which runs the thrust,

rame are secured. 'Clampe upon the shaft 234 above the gear plate 239 is a slotted revolving arm 241. Tightening bolts 242* and 243 passing through the slotted portion of the revolving ar'm serve to secure it place upon the shaft. The bolt 243 also serves as a journal for a. ide pulley 244 which guidesthe wire longitudinall of the shaft ,as it comes from the draw p ate 233.

One end of the slotted arm 241 carries a' uide pulley 245 which is jburnaled in a ollow fork 246 adjustably secured at the proper angle in the socket 247 by meansofa set screw or the like 248. The other end of the slotted arm 244 has journaledin it a shaft 249. which has fixed on it a gear wheel 250 in mesh with the fixed ear plate 239 and a gear wheel 251 in mes with a gear plate 252 which surrounds shaft 234 above the slotted arm 241. The gear plate 252' is thus held against rotation and secured to it is the block 253 u on which the wire is to be coiled. The bloc rests upon the upper end of shaft 234 and thus supports the ear plate 252. A tilting ring 254- surrounds t e base of the block 253 and is; tilted at the proper angle by meansof a roller 255 (see Fig. 1), which is also carried by the revolving arm 241, to facilitate the layin of the wire at the bottom of the coil alrea y formed on theblock. As the .arm 241 revolves, the wire which is led from the guide pulley 243 through the hollow fork 246 and around the guide pulley 245 is carried around the block and thus is wound thereon, the block being held stationary by means of the gear plate 252 to which it is secured. The operation of the tilting ring 244 always provi es a space below the lowermost turn of wire in the coil and into this space the wire is directed by the guide pulley 245 of the revolving arm. The effect of this is to build u the coil from below and constantly crowd t e wire toward the upper end of the block, so that the upper turns of the coil are free to be taken off as will be described later.

Power is applied to the shaft 234 from a beltpulley 256 on shaft 257 journaled in bearing 258 and having fixed on its inner end a bevel gear 259. Bevel gear 259 meshes with a bevel gear 260 which is free to turn upon the shaft 234 and supported thereon by the bearing collar 261 which is fixed on the shaft 234. Splined on the shaft 234 ,above the-bevel gear 260 is the field piece 262 ,of the magnetic clutch which has a magnet coil 263 supplied with current .through the contact rings 264 and brushes 265. The field piece 252 coiiperates with an armature iece .brake comprising the stationary field piece 267 andthe revolving armature 268 which 1S"S%llned on the she t the caring collar 269 secured on the shaft 234. When the magnetic brake is'energized the .rotation of the shaft is thus retarded.

Surroundin the upper portion of the sta- 1 tiona'ry. bloc 253 and resting upon the coil of wire therebn isaretaining ring 270. A guide pulley 271 is mounted in a fork 272 whichis journaled in a revolving arm 273 pivoted in the end plate or cap 274 of the lock 253. The fork 27 2 has extendin from its outerends the grooved fingers 2 5 between which the wireis led to the guide pulley 271. From the guide pulley 271 the wire passes under a, 1de pulley 276 which is mountedin a for r 27 7 secured to or integral with the revolving arm 273.

Referring to Fig. 1 it will be seen that the wire is drawn, by the supporting rollers in the depositing tank, through theleading oflt' guide device of the winding block 253 and over a guide pulley 278. The retaining ring vent the coil of wire on the b ock 253 from becoming tangled and guides the wire from the coilto the guide pulley 271, which latter, with its supporting device, thus revolves about the block as the wire is being drawn off. In this connection it should be pointed out that the draw plate 233 being in engagement with the revolving shaft 234 removes the torsion or twist which the wire receives between the guide pulley 227 and the draw plate, so that the wire which is laid about the block 253 is not under torsional strain. The retaining ring 270 refcrably has some freedom or play upon t e block 253 and as the wire is withdrawn by the revolving guide devices the ring is tilted. When working with small wire there is some tendency for the loose turns of wire to enter into the space between the retaining ring and the block and interfere with" its proper operation. To avoid this difliculty I may employ a slotted or grooved bloclewvith a retaining ring having fingers projecting into the slots or grooves of the block. Such a construction is illustrated in Figs. 15 and 16. The block is formed of a base 279 on a reduced portion of which is seated a sleeve or shell 280 which is 234 andbears upon provided with a suitable number of slots 281 into its inner face and rejecting into the slots 281 of the shell. he pins 283 thus prevent the entrance of the wlre into the space between the shell and ring. In operation, the increment of wire accumulates upon the winding block. When the block is full, the wire is cut above the block, the unwinding device is removed and all but a few turns of the wire are lifted ed the n block in a compact coil. The Wire is then but below the coil the unwinding device relaced, the end of the wire remaining on the iilock is threaded through its pulleys and brazed to the trailing end of the cut wire.

The movement of the wire must be stopped for this purpose, but the operation 1s so quickly done that it is not necessary to 1nterrupt the process of dcposit1on. Consequently there is no loss in the eiliciency of the process due to removal of finished wire.

What I claim is:

1. A system of the character described, comprising in combination a depositing a paratus, a drawing apparatus receivlng t e wire therefrom, and automatic means for maintaining the wire at uniform tension between the depositing a paratus and drawing apparatus and control mg the operation of said drawing apparatus,

2. A system of the character described,

comprising in combination a depositing aparatus, a drawing apparatus, means for eading the wire from the depositing apparatus to the drawing apparatus and from the drawing apparatus back to the depositing apparatus, and automatic means for regulatmg the tension of the wire as it enters and leaves the depositing apparatus.

3. A system of the character described,

comprising in combination a depositing apparatus, means for properly supporting a supply of wire for the apparatus, means for leading the wire from the wire supply means to the depositing apparatus, and automatic means for regulating the speed of the wire from the supply means to the depositing means and maintaining it at uniform tension.

4. A system of the character described, comprising in combination an electrolytic depositing apparatus having means for supporting a relatively great length of wire, a drawing apparatus and means for leadin the wire at uniform tension into and throng the depositing apparatus and to the drawing FT apparatus.

5. A system of the character described, comprising in combination a depositing apparatus,-a plating ofi' apparatus, means for supplying current thereto and means for leading the wire continuously through the plating off apparatus and. the depositing apparatus while maintaining the wire immersed.

, 6. A system of the character described,

6 comprising in combination a depositing apparatus, a plating ed apparatus and means .01 moving the wire to said ,dgpositing apparatus from. said lating o apparatus without exposure'to t e atmosphere.

7. A system of the character described, '7 comprising in combination a depositing apparatus, a plating off apparatus, and means for leading the wire through the plating ofi' apparatus to the depositing apparatus contilnuously without exposure to the atmos- 3 p iere.

8. A system of the character described, comprising in combination a depositing apparatus, a driving connection therefor, means for leading the wire to the depositing b apparatus and automatic means for interrupting said drivin connection upon interruption of the supp y of wire by said wire leading means.

9. A system of the character described, 5 comprising in combination a depositing apparatus, a driving connection therefor, means for leading the wire to the dc ositing apparatus and an automatic contro device supported by the wire on its way to the de- 5 positing apparatus for interrupting said driving connection when the wire being led to the depositing ap aratus breaks.

10. A system. of t e character described, comprising in combination a depositing ap- 5 paratus, a driving connection therefor, means for leading the wire to the depositing apparatus and an automatic control device supported by the wire on its way to the depositing apparatus for interrupting said driving connection whenthe tension of the wire being led to the depositing apparatus becomes excessive.

11. A system of the character described, comprising in combination a depositing apparatus, means for properly su porting a supply of wire therefor, means or leadmg the wire from said supply means to the depositing apparatus, a tension control mem- I b er suspended in a loop of the wire being led to the depositing a paratus, and-a retarding device controlled by the position of said tension control member for regulating the supply of wire to the depositing apparatus. 12. A system of the character described, comprising in combination a depositing apparatus, a drawing apparatus having a driving connection and a brake, means for leading the wire from the depositing apparatus to the drawing apparatus, automatic means for regulating the tension of the wire as it leaves the depositing apparatus, and

means overned by said tension regulatin means or controlling the operation of said connection and said brake.

13. A system of the character described, comprising in combination a depositing apgaratus, a driving connection therefor, a

rawing apparatus, means forleading the. m0

wire from the depositing apparatus to the drawin ap aratus, automatic means for regulating t e tension of the wire as it leaves the depositing apparatus, and means overned by said tension re lating means or disengaging said driving connection when the wire breaks on its way to the drawing apparatus.

14. In apparatus of the character described, the combination with the depositing apparatus, the draw plate, and means for drawing the wire from the depositing apparatus through the draw plate; of means for maintaining a uniform tension upon the wire as it leaves the depositing1 apparatus and a gripping device normally el 1noperative by t e tension of the wire on its way to the draw plate, but adapted to grip the wire when the wire breaks at the draw plate.

15. In apparatus of the character described, the combination of a depositing vat, supporting rolls for maintaining and carrying the wire therein, and means for effecting ad ustment of said supporting rolls with respect to each other. I

16. In apparatus of the character described, the combination of a depositing vat, supporting rolls for maintaining and carrying the wire therein, and means for varying the distance between said sup orting rolls.

17. In apparatus of the c aracter described, the combination of a depositing vat, supporting rolls for maintaining and carrying the wire therein, and means for effecting ad uStment in the angular relation of sai rolls to each other.

18. In apparatus of the character described, the combination of a depositing vat adapted to contain the bath, a sup orting frame suitably disposed abovethe ath, a sup orting sleeve mounted therein and exten in downward normally below the level of the ath, a shaft in said sleeve, means for supportin closed at t e bottom but open above suitably secured to the bottom of said shaft, and inclosing a portion of said supporting sleeve and bearings dis osed between said supportin sleeve an said hollow cylinder.

19. n apparatus of the character described, the combination of a depositing vat adapted to contain the bath, a sup orting frame suitably disposed above the ath, a sup orting sleeve mounted therein and exten ing downward normally below the level of the bath, a shaft dis osed within said supporting sleeve, means or supporting said said shaft, a hollow cylinder shaft a hollow cylinder closed at the bottom but open at the top suitably secured to the lower end of said shaft and surroundin said supporting sleeve, bearings mounted between the sleeve and hollow cylinder, and a collar loosely surrounding said supporting sleeve and closing the upper end of said hollow cylinder.

20. In apparatus of the character described, the combination with a depositing vat, suitably mounted supporting rolls for maintaining and carrying the wire therein, and a driving connection therefor; of rotary guide devices for guiding the wire to said rolls and automatic means associated with said rotary guide devices for interrupting said driving connection upon the escape or projection of the wire from its normal position in said rotary guide device.

21. In apparatus of the character described, the combination with a depositing vat, suitably mounted supporting rolls for maintaining and carryin the wire therein, adapted to conduct electric current from the wire, and anode plates having suitable electrical connections and mounted in proper relation to the wire between said supporting rolls; of an insulatin screen extendin across the vat between t e anode plates and the supporting roll at each end of the vat, having restricted passageways through which the wire runs.

22. In apparatus of the character described, the combination with the depositing vat, suitably mounted supporting rolls for maintaining and carrying the wire therein and ada ted to lead current from the wire, and ano e plates arranged at either side of the wire in each side of the vat between said supporting rolls forming lanes through which the wire travels; of a screen disposed across the vat between the anode plates and the supporting roll at each end of the vat, having restricted wire assa es in line with the lanes formed by sai ano e plates, means for introducing the fresh electrolytic bath into the end compartments of the vat formed by said screens, whereby the circulation of the fresh bath occurs through said restricted wire passages and said lanes between the anodes, and means for withdrawing the bath from the lower portion of the vat between said screens.

WILLIAM E. GIBBS. Witnesses:


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2445675 *Jun 20, 1944Jul 20, 1948William C LangApparatus for producing coated wire by continuous process
US2576074 *Jun 11, 1946Nov 20, 1951Nachtman John SMethod and apparatus for continuous strip metal treatment
US2580801 *Apr 10, 1946Jan 1, 1952American Steel & Wire CoMethod of making lustrous steel music wire
US2716007 *Nov 17, 1951Aug 23, 1955Morgan Construction CoApparatus for coiling wire
US2739931 *Feb 17, 1953Mar 27, 1956Rhondda Plating Works LtdAnodizing metal articles
US3474009 *Mar 7, 1966Oct 21, 1969Kennecott Copper CorpProcess and apparatus for the production of elongated metal articles
US3947343 *Apr 3, 1974Mar 30, 1976International Standard Electric CorporationElectrotinning wire
US4390377 *Jan 12, 1981Jun 28, 1983Hogg James WNovel continuous, high speed method of galvanizing and annealing a continuously travelling low carbon ferrous wire
US4395320 *Feb 5, 1981Jul 26, 1983Dainichi-Nippon Cables, Ltd.Apparatus for producing electrodeposited wires
US4470884 *Aug 7, 1981Sep 11, 1984National Ano-Wire, Inc.High speed aluminum wire anodizing machine and process
US4510027 *Jan 4, 1984Apr 9, 1985Freeport Minerals CompanySimultaneous leaching and electrodeposition of precious metals
U.S. Classification72/5, 204/238, 72/39, 72/278, 72/4, 72/19.2, 205/138, 204/239, 204/207, 72/47
Cooperative ClassificationB21C1/12