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Publication numberUS1180664 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 25, 1916
Filing dateMar 12, 1915
Priority dateMar 12, 1915
Publication numberUS 1180664 A, US 1180664A, US-A-1180664, US1180664 A, US1180664A
InventorsWilliam J Littlehales
Original AssigneeWilliam J Littlehales
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pneumatic pump-dredge.
US 1180664 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



APPLICATION FILED 111111.12. 1915.

Patented Apr. 25, 1916.


` T111: conumnm vLANm-.mwu 11n.A wAsHlNn'roN. n. c.


l PNEuMAnc PUMP DRI-:065.


Patented Apr. 2 5,




rivnnifiarrcV PUMP-Damen.


Application led March 12, 1915.

To all whom t may concern:

Be it known that I, WILLIAM J. LITTLE- IIALns, a citizen of the United States, residing at Dickinson, in the county of Stark and State of North Dakota, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Pneumatic PumpeDredges; and 1 do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

This invention relates to pneumatic pump dredges, and has for its object to provide an apparatus of this nature which will be comparatively inexpensive to construct and more eflicient and certain in action than those that have been heretofore proposed.

'Vith these and other objects in view the invention consists in the novel details of construction and combinations of parts, more fully hereinafter disclosed and particularly pointed out in the claims.

Referring to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification in which like numerals designate like parts in all the views- Figure 1 is a diagrammatic side elevational view partly broken away of an apparatus made in accordance with my invention; Fig. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view partly in elevation of the parts shown in Fig. 1; Fig. 3 is an enlarged detail partly sectional view of the lower end of the apparatus shown in Fig. 2; Fig. 4 is a side eleva` tional view of the parts shown in Fig. 3 but seen in a direction at right angles to the plane on which Fig. 3 is taken; Fig. 5 is an enlarged detail sectional view of the upper portion of the apparatus shown in Fig. 1; and Fig. 6 is a plan view partly in section of the parts shown in Fig. 5.

1 indicates any suitable pipe preferably made in sections joined together as by the flanges 2.

3 indicates a delivery of any suitable construction from the pipe 1 and 4 a pipepreferably located inside the pipe 1 adapted to convey air to a point near the lower end 5 of said pipe 1.

6 indicates any suitable pipe for supplying air to the system, 7 a valve controlling the admission of air to the pipe 4, 8 a pressure gage connected with the pipe 4 and 9 a valve rod extending through the `pipe 4 from one end to the other and connected with the valve 10 at the lower endof said pipe 4 as best shown in Figs. 2 and'B,

Specification of Letters Patent.

`lll'atented Apr. 25, 1916.

Serial No. 14,034.

The upper end of the pipe 1 is closed by any suitable plug such as 1.2 and this said plug l2 may be provided with the internal sleeve or collar 13 screw threaded into the plug 12 and itself receiving the internal and external screw threaded sleeve 14 in which the screw threaded portion 15 of the pipe 4 fits. The extreme upper end of the pipe 4 is provided with the stuiing box 16 through which the valve rod 9 passes and the screw threaded plug member 12 is provided with the yoke like members 17 having a seat 18 through which said valve rod 9 also passes and on which rests a spring 20. The upper end of the valve rod 9 is provided with the thimble like member 21 against which the upper end of the spring 20 rests and in which fits the internal screw threaded thimble like member 22, as shown. The extreme upper end 23 of the valve rod 9 is screw threaded as shown and fits the interior of the said thimble 22, and also receives the locking member 24 to hold said rod 9 in its adjusted position against the compression of the said spring 20. rIVhe said extreme end 23 of the rod 9 is also provided with the hand wheel or other member 25 for adjusting said rod 9 up and down as will be readily understood. The rod 9 may be conveniently made in sections joined together as at 26, and it may be screw threaded at its extreme lower end 2S and joined to the valve 10, or it may be otherwise rigidly attached thereto.

The extreme lower end of theair pipe 4 is conveniently provided with the valve member 30 having the spider or bridge member 31 through which the lower end of the rod 9 passes and also provided with the valve seat member 32, screwed or otherwise attached to the said member 30 and preferably having the inclined valve seat 33 against which the valve 10 fits, as shown.

The parts just disclosed constitute in themselves an effective air lift pump, in that when the pipe 1 is lo-wered beneath the surface of water in a well. or in the ocean, and air is admitted through the pipes 6 and 4 with a pressure sufficient to unseat the valve 10, the said air will escape upwardly beneath the surface of the water and force the water up through the pipe 1 and out of the delivery 3 in a well-known manner.

The dredge portion proper of my invention consists of the following parts: Connected to the air supply 6 is a `second air pipe 35 provided with a valve 36, and eX- tending down beneath the eXtreme lower end 5 of the pipe 1, where it enters the air chamber 37, as shown. This said air chamber is conveniently fo-rmed of a separate casting fitting the extreme lower end or foot of the dredge and is conveniently provided with the rests or shoes 38 in order to form a convenient support for the chamber 37. The extreme lower end 5 of the pipe 1 is preferably fiared as shown, and may be conveniently provided with a curved elbow like member 39 with a perforated bottom 40 oommunicating with the air chamber 37. The elbow member 39 is also conveniently provided with an extended lip member 41 projecting slightly beyond the upper portion of the elbow member 39 and also slightly beyond the mouth or delivery 42 of the said chamber 37. The chamber 37 is conven` iently secured to the elbow member 39 as by the bolts 43, and the perforated bottom 40 is preferably inclined as shown and the orifices 44 are also preferably inclined with respect to the bottom 40 as illustrated, in order that the air may be directed upwardly into the pipe 1.

yThe operation of the dredge portion of the invention will be readily understood but may be briefly summarized as follows: lhen air under pressureis admitted from the source 6 into'the pipe 35 it partly escapes from the chamber 37 through the orifices 44 and partly through the eXit or mouth 42. That portion of the air escaping through the mouth 42 serves to stir up the sand, mud, mineral or other material being dredged, and to force it away from the extending lip 41, whereupon it meets with the resistance of the surrounding water and tends to curve backward into the mouth of the elbow member 39. In the meantiue the lower end 5 of the pipe 4 is moved forward so that the lip 41 constantly seeks new material to be thus stirred up or dislodged andY thel action proceeds. As fast as the material thusl stirred up is received into the elbow member 39 it is caught by the air leaving the orifices 44 and is forced upward along the pipe l and is discharged through the pipe 3 into a boat or any other receptacle that may be provided. Of course thel suction created by the air leaving the valve 10 tends to draw the dislodged material surrounding the lip 41 into the mouth of the elbow, and therefore when a considerable volume of air is fed to the apparatus a large volume of material will be lifted.

Itis evident that as stated above, when it is not desired to dislodge material. at the bottom or when it is only desired to pump water or sand, air from the pipe4 35 may be entirely out off and air through the pipe 4 may be employed to operate the device as an air lift pump.

Vhen operating the apparatus as a dredge however it is convenient to suspend it from any suitable apparatus, such as a derricl, not shown, carried by a boat and from which a line may be extended to a collar such as 50. And in order to conveniently drag the device over the bottom a second line 54 is attached to a collar 51 near the bottom member 5 to move it in one direction and a third line 55 may be attached to the other end 52 of the collar 51 to move it in the opposite direction, as will be clear from the drawings. The pipe 35 may be made in sections and joined together as at 57 and the pipe 4 may be likewise made in sectio-ns and joined together as at 5S. It will thus be seen that by following the construction above disclosed I provide a dredge pump, which may employ any suitable air pressure and therefore may be made of great power and strength, while at the same time itslower end may drag over the bottom in deep waterk and thus bring up minerals, sand, mud or other material in a most efficient manner.

V My improved dredge should be carefully distinguished from the dredges heretofore proposed, in that it provides air under pressure delivered through the pipe 35 to lift gravel, stones, etc., after they have been dislodged by the lip 42, and this said compressed air gives them an acceleration or imparts to them a velocity alo-ng with the ascending column of water, which takes them well into the influence of the second column of air under pressure delivered through the pipe 4, which further accelerates the water, gravel, stones, etc., and which already are moving at a considerable velocity, so that the said gravel, stones, ctc., can be liftedv to relatively great heights depending of course entirely upon the amount of air pressure in the respective pipes 4 and 35. In other words, when suction alone is employed on dredges as has been heretofore customary, the height to which the water itself can` be lifted is limited, and heavy particles such as gravel, stones, etc., can only be lifted to much less heights. It results from this tha-t inl comparatively deep sea dredging for gold and other precious minerals the suction dredges are not adapted to bring up the minerals in a manner as efficient as is mine, even in shallow water, andthe said suction dredges cannot operate at all in water as deep as my dredge operates when the pressure is increased. As a matter of fact, in suction dredges heavy stones. soon settle back to the bottom of the dredge while in my apparatus the same stones can easily be liftedl from a depth of 200 feet of water andover. Further, owing tothe fact that when the column of water has once been accelerated to a high velocity as it soon is in my dredge, owing to the multiple air columns under pressure, this said water possesses considerable force in carrying the stones, gravel, etc., along with it, so that the momentum imparted to said stones is utilized in lifting the same well out of the dredge and into the boat or other receptacle provided for them. lt therefore follows that owing to the multiple air lifts spaced apart along the dredge pipe l my dredge operates to lift stone, gravel, etc., just as well in deep water as do suction dredges in comparatively shallow water, and that it will lift minerals from depths that suction dredges cannot lift at all.

rlhe above mentioned accelerated action is fa cilitated by the annular space between the pipes et and l5 combined with the annular form of the compressed air discharge from around the valve seat 33 into said annular space. ln other words, the tapered valve seat combined with the tapered valve l0, causes the compressed air to move upward and outward filling said annular space and striking the inside walls of the pipe l, thus accelerating the water, stones and gravel in the manner disclosed above. llhe said valve l() may loe adjusted through the means shown to that height above the perforations la that is found to produce the best results on the material being dredged.

Ars a mattei' of fact a fair limit for dipper and bucket dredges is only about forty or fifty feet of water in practical use, whereas in my dredge two hundred feetand over is easily reached, and minerals brought up as satisfactorily as in much mo-re shallow water.

An important feature of the invention resides in the fact that the valve l0 is provided with the controlling spring 20, which keeps it normally seated when the pressure is not suflicient to overcome the force of the spring, and therefore keeps sand from settling in the lower end of the pipe a. That is to say, as is well known to those familiar with the operation of air lifting pumps, when pumping mud or sand the pipe l being full of material thel sand will natu- .'ally settle toward the bottom when the pump is stoppedJ lt therefore follows that should the air be cut olf in the pipe la certain portion of the sand will be of course carried up into the pipe 4 which will settle at the bottom of the pipe t and clog it up unless some means is taken to prevent it. The same action occurs to a greater or less extent when the pressure in the pipe Ll falls somewhat below the pressure of the head of water on the outside of the pipe l. In other words, when operating pumps of this kind if the pressure varies to any great extent in the pipe 4, sand is liable to stop up the bottom of said pipe 4 unless special precau tions are taken and when such stoppage occurs it gives rise to a great deal of annoy- .always closed to the admission of sand.

That is to say, when the valve l0 is opened air is escaping past it, and no sand can enter, while when air is not passing the valve 10 the spring automatically closes the said valve and still no sand can enter. lt results from this that a pump provided with an automatic valve such as l0 is not subject to break downs and annoying stoppages which are experienced by the pumps heretofore proposed.

In order to regulate the pressure necessary to unseat the valve l0 l provide the ad justing hand wheel. 25 on the upper end of the valve rod 9,- and l further provide the locking nut member or lever 24 to hold the valve l0 under the particular pressure to which it has been adjusted.

lt is obvious that those skilled in the art may vary the details of construction, as well as the arrangements of parts without departing from the spirit of my invention and therefore lf do not wish to be limited to the above disclosure except as may be required by the claims.

`What l claim is:

l. In a pneumatic dredge, the combination of a conduit pipe for the dredged material having a downwardly flaring lower end, an elbow member on said lower end provided with a lateral receiving opening and with a downwardly inclined bottom eX- tending past such opening to form ay downwardly inclined projecting lipn said bottom being provided with a series of apertures inclined to direct air jets upwardly through said elbow member to said conduit pipe, an air chamber communicating with suoli apertures and provided with an exit for directing air under pressure against the lower face of said downwardly inclined lip.` means for supplying air under pressure to said chamber, and means within the lower end of said conduit pipe for directing air under 'pressure upwardly in the path of the air jets from such inclined apertures of said bottom* 2. ln a pneumatic dredge, the combination of a conduit pipe for the dredged material having a downwardly iiaring lower end, an elbow member on said lowerend provided with a lateral receiving opening and with a downwardly inclined bottom ex! ite tending past such opening to form a downwardly inclined projecting lip, said bottom being provided with a series of apertures inclined to direct air jets upwardly through said elbow member to said conduit pipe, an air chamber communicating with such apertures and provided with an exit for directing air under pressure against the lower face of said downwardly inclined lip, an air pipe within the lower end of said conduit pipe for directing air under pressure upwardly in the path of the air jets from such inclined apertures of said bottom, means for supplying air under pressure to said air pipe and bottom chamber, and independent means for controlling such air supply to said pipe and chamber.

3. In a pneumatic dredge, the combination of a conduit pipe provided with a liaring lower end, means for directing a series of air jets into said iaring end for feeding the dredged material thereto, an air pipe opening within the lower end of said conduit pipe for directing air under pressure upwardly in the path of such series of air jets, an air valve controlling the opening of said air pipe, adjustable means for automatically closing said air valve at any predetermined pressure within said nir pipe, and means accessible at the upper end of said conduit pipe for adjusting said automatic valve-closing means.

In testimony whereof I aix my signature, in presence of a witness.


Witness T. A. VVrrHnRsrooN.

Copies of this patent may be obtained for ve cents each, by addressing the Commissioner of Patents, Washington, ZD. C.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3184866 *Nov 2, 1962May 25, 1965Olympia Oyster CompanyShellfish gathering machine
US3451149 *Dec 10, 1965Jun 24, 1969Munsch Research & Dev CorpEarth mover with gas ejecting means cooperating with digging edge
US3462858 *Aug 12, 1968Aug 26, 1969Francklyn Gilbert WShellfish harvesting machine
US3521386 *Aug 7, 1969Jul 21, 1970Francklyn Gilbert WShellfish harvesting machine
US3599354 *Oct 18, 1968Aug 17, 1971Larson Winston CApparatus for removing weeds from soil under water
US4600338 *Jul 6, 1983Jul 15, 1986De Ondernemingen S.B.B.M.Mud removal process and apparatus
US5212891 *Jan 25, 1991May 25, 1993The Charles Machine Works, Inc.Soft excavator
US5361855 *May 21, 1993Nov 8, 1994The Charles Machines Works, Inc.Method and casing for excavating a borehole
US6618966 *Nov 7, 2001Sep 16, 2003Omega Tools Inc.Fluid lance apparatus
U.S. Classification37/309, 37/308, 37/322
Cooperative ClassificationE02F3/907