US 1909384 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1933. H, K. WHITE DRY CLEANING APPARATUS Filed April 4; 1930 2 Sheets-Sheet l ATTORNEY5 May 16, 1933. H. K. WHITE DRY CLEANING APPARATUS Filed April 4, 1930 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEYS Patented Ma 16, 1933 PATENT OFFICE HENRY KIRK WHITE, OF OCONOMOWOG, WISCONSIN DRY CLEANING APPARATUS Application filed April 4,
This invention relates to the dry-cleaning of clothes and the like, and has for its object certain improvements in the drycleaning of clothes. The invention relates more particularly to improvements in the method of and the apparatus for dry-cleaning clothes. v
Various proposals have heretofore been advanced in both process and apparatus for dry cleaning clothes and the like. In many instances, the apparatus proposed is cumbersome and complicated, making the drycleaning operation a difficult one for the workmen who are conducting the same.
The process employed in the use of many types of apparatus is also complicated and cumbersome, thus making the dry-cleaning of clothes relatively expensive. For example, it has been proposed to employ separate apparatus for washing the clothes, extracting the liquid solvent remaining in the clothes after the washing operation, and for drying and tumbling the wet clothes. OW- ing to the transfer of the washed clothes from one apparatus to another, a considerable portion of the liquid solvent is lost, not to mention the unsatisfactory working conditions incident to a practice of this kind.
As a result of my investigations, I have 3 determined that the cleaning operation may be conducted with a minimum amount of cleaning solution, since the dirty liquid remaining after the clothes have been washed may be suitably treated to purify the same.
This cleaned liquid may be re-einployed for the cleaning of other quantities of clothes. The entire liquid purifying operation may be conducted in the same apparatus. Furthermore, the entire cleaning and purifying operation may be conducted substantially continuously.
The present invention accordingly contemplates improvements in the method of and apparatus for' dry-cleaning clothes and the like in which the washing, extracting,
drying and tumbling operations are all conducted in one and the same apparatus. The present invention also involves the subsequent treatment of the dirty liquid solvent employed in the washing operation to re- 1930. Serial No. 441,610.
cover substantially all of the same in a purified state, the purified cleaning liquid being adaptable for further use. In thepreferred embodiment of the invention, the entire process is made substantially continuous.
' The novel features of the invention will perhaps best be understood if reference is made to the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the following description, in which:
. Fig.1,is a side elevation of an apparatus illustrative of the invention;
Fig. 2 is a section in part on the line 2-2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is asection on the line 33 of Fig. 1; and
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary section showing a modified condenser arrangement.
Referring more particularly to Fi 1, the apparatus comprises a washing mac ine 10, consisting of a fixed outer cylindrical casing 11, provided with an air vent 11 at or near its top, resting on a plurality ofsupports 12. A rotatable perforated cylindrical drum 13 is mounted within and suitably spaced from the outer casing, and is adapted to rotate relatively thereto. This drum is provided with a large number of perforations 14. An appropriate number of inwardly projecting shoulders or ribs 15 are attached to the inside of the drum. These extensions are adapted to give a tumbling effect to clothes contained therein when the drum is rotoated.
A fixed steam coil 16 is interposed between the fixed casing and the rotatable perforated drum. The coil extends almost completely around the drum, except for a space at or near the top of the fixed casing to which a hinged door 17 is attached for the introduction and withdrawal of clothes. These coils are adapted for the passage either of steam or water, or both. Thus,
a valved steam feed-line 18 and a valved water feed-line 19 communicate with the coil at or near the upper end of the washer. A discharge pipe -20 connects with the coil at or near the lower end of the fixed casing for the withdrawal of steam and/or water. This pipe joins with a steam trap 21.
In order to drain away dirty cleaning liquid, a sump or trough 22 is located along the bottom of the fixed casing, in open communication with the interior of the washer. A condenser coil 23 is located within this sump or trough, having a valved feed inlet pipe 24 and a valved outlet pipe 25. This coll is adapted for the passage of a cooling medium therethrough, such as water.
A valved pipe 26 connects with the lower end of the sump or trough and leads to the suction side of a rotary pump 27 located at a level at or below that of the sump. This pump is provided with a belt'pulley 27. A pipe 28 connects with the discharge side of the pump and a storage tank 29, suitably vented at 29, located at a convenient level above the washing machine, at least above the normal liquid level maintained within the washer. This tank is adapted to retain a very substantial amount of the dirty liquid cleaning solution that comes from the washer.
A pipe 30 connects with the lower end of the storage tank and a distillation vessel 31 located immediately below the storage tank, so that dirty liquid may be drained from the storage tank to the distillation vessel by gravity. A float valve 32 is adapted to maintain a substantially constant level 33 of liquid within the distillation chamber. This distillation unit (see Fig. 3) contains a steam heating coil 34, having a valved feed inlet pipe 35 and an outlet 36. A valved outlet pipe 37 connects with the distillation chamber at or near its lower end, which is adapted for the withdrawal of concentrated dirty material that has collected at or near the bottom thereof.
If reference is still made to Fig. .3, it will be seen that a condenser unit, consisting of coil pipe 38 having an inlet 39 and a valved outlet 40, is placed to the side of the distillation unit, so that vapors rising from the distillation unit may pass through the free space 41 and contact with the condenser coils. A modified condenser unit is shown in Fig. 4. Thus, a water-cooling jacket 38 is built in one or more of the side walls, provided with a water feed line 39' and a valved outlet line 40'. Both type of condenser units may be employed at the same time, though one alone is normally sufficient.
A storage tank 42 is located immediately below the condenser coils for the accumula-.
tion of purified or clean liquid solvent. This tank may likewise advantageously be placed directly below the distillation unit.
The dirty-liquid storage tank, distillation unit, condenser coils, and storage tank for purified solution are preferably contained within a single structure, as shown in the drawings (see Fig. 3), in order to make the apparatus compact; and easily available for manipulation. This structure comprises an outer metallic casing 43, resting on supports 44. A transverse dividing wall or partition 45 separates the dirty-liquid storage tank from the distillation unit below. On the other hand, the distillation unit itself consists of a box like structure permanently fixed within and against one side and the ends of the outer metallic casing. The distillation receptacle comprises a bottom 46, and a side wall 47, the side wall extending slightly above the normal liquid level of the distillation unit. A second bottom portion 48 is spaced from the first bottom portion, in order to provide a heat insulating space 49. The condenser coils are placed above and to the side of the distillation unit, shown; or one or more of the side walls may be equipped with water jackets, such as shown in Fig. 4. The unitary structure contenn plated is such that the bottom of the enclosure defined by the outer metallic casing is employed as the storage tank for vapors that have been condensed.
An appropriately valved pipe 50 (see Fig. 1) connects with the lower end of the distilling chamber and with the fixed easing of the washing machine at or near its lower end. Communication is also made between this pipe and the storage tank for the purified liquid by means of valved pipes 51 and 52 spaced along the height of the storage tank.
A hot air forming device 53 rests upon a supporting structure 54. This device consists of a cylindrical metallic casing 55, having one end 56 perforated for the admission of outside air. A series of steam coils 57 are provided within the cylindrical casing, having a valved feed line 58 and a discharge pipe 59. The other end of the cylindrical casing 60 is provided with an outlet pipe 61 communicating with the suction side of a rotary fan 62 operated by a motor 63. A hot air pipe 64 connects with the discharge end of the fan and the fixed casing of the washer machine at or near its top portion.
The rotatable drum is provided with fixed trunnions at each of its ends which in turn (see Fig. 2) are supported in bearings 65 attached to the ends of the fixed casing of the washer. The far end of one of the drums trunnions fits into an appropriate gear 66, which meshes with a pinion 67, preferably of smaller size than the gear. The pinion is attached to a shaft 68 extending through the hubs of drive pulleys 69 and 69', and idling pulley 69". The other end of the shaft is supported in a bearing 70, which in turn is supported by a main frame member 71 rigidly attached to the outer casing of the washer machines.
A belt shifting mechanism is cooperatively associated with the drive pulleys. It
consists of an upright arm 100 pivoted to "worm gear 102 mounted the main frame member. A horizontal belt shifting arm 101 is attached to the upper end of the upright arm. It is adapted to move two spaced pulley belts simultaneously in order to reverse the direction of the cylindrical drum within the washer, the pulley shifting device is equipped with areversing mechanism which consists of a on the pulley shaft that is adapted to move the eccentric cam 103. The cam is adapted to move the upright arm to the left and then to the right. Since the upright arm and the horizontal arm work in conjunction with oneanother, a left or right movement of the upright arm causes a corresponding movement in the horizontal arm. The reversing mechanism in the present practice of the invention is designed to reverse the direction of the cylindrical drum every six revolutions.
A structure 72 (see Fig. 1) is employed to support the driving mechanism, whic comprises a motor 73, provided with a driving belt pulley 74. A belt 75 connects the motor pulley with a main drive pulley 76 located at a suitable elevation. An axle extends completely through the hub of the latter pulley, at one end of which is attached two smaller pulleys 77 adapted to drive the rotatable drum of the washer machine by means of belts 78 and 78. Another, and somewhat smaller, pulley 79 is attached, to the other end of the main drive pulley axle, which is adapted to rotate the pump by means of a belt 80.
A hand driven mechanism (see Fig. 1 is provided to bring the door (not shown 1 of the rotatable drum in alignment with the door of the outer fixed casin for the introduction and withdrawal 0 clothes to be cleaned. This mechanism consists of a shall gear 81 attached to a trunnion 82 fixed in a bearing attached to the outer metallic casing. The gear meshes with the driving gear of the rotatable drum. A hand wheel 83 is attached to the outer end of the trunnion. The drum may be suitably turned by turning the hand wheel manually.
The above described apparatus may be operated as follows in the practice of the process of the invention:
The door 17 of the washer machine is opened, and the door (not shown) pf the perforated rotatable drum 13 is brought into alignment by suitably turning the hand wheel 83. Clothes to be cleaned are then introduced through the registering openings of the two doors, after which both of the doors are closed.
A suitable amount of appropriate cleaning liquid, preferably one that is non-explosive, is then introduced into the washer machine through the pipe or otherwise when first starting-up the machinery. Under normal operations, sufficient liquid is thus introduced temperature.
completely to cover the clothes. Any of the well known and better cleaning solutions may be employed. In the present preferred practice of the invention, I employ solvents with vapors heavier than air. v
The motor 73 is then started, and the driving mechanism is set in motion. The revolving motion of the motors axle is duly transmitted by means of the belted driving pulleys 74, 76, 77 or 77, 69, or 69 or 69", the pinion 67 and the gear 66 to the rotatable drum 13. As the drum is made to rotate, say six times in one direction and six times in the other, within the fixed casing 11, the clothes are set in motion and swished through the cleaning solution.
After the clothes have been thus sub: jected to appropriate Washing, the dirty cleaning liquid is drained from the sump or trough 22 through the pipe 26. The pump 27 is set inmotion and the dirty cleaning liquid. is forced through the pipe 28 into the storage tank 29. This pumping action is continued until substantially all of the readily drainable excess liquid has been transferred from the washer to the storage tank. I
In order to dry the wet clothes in the washer machine, steam is introduced into the coils 16 by means of the feed pipe 18. The rotatable drum continues to tumble the wet clothes as the heating operation takes place. The liquid remaining in the clothes is gradually raised to a temperature adapted to vaporize the same. At thesame time, relatively cold water is passed through the condenser coils 23, located in the sump or trough 22. The suctionaction of the pump tends to draw the volatilized vapors through the sump or trough among the cold condenser coils. On contact with the coils, the vapors are condensed to liquid, the liquid being withdrawn by the pump and forced to the storage tank above.
The drying operation may be materially aided by the introduction into the washer machine of relatively hot air. In order to obtain the hot air, steam is introduced into the coils 53 by way of the inlet pipe 58. The motor 63 is set in motion, and outside air is sucked through the perforated end 56 of the cylindrical casing by means of the suction fan 62. As the air passes among and over the steam coils, it is elevated in The resulting hot air passes through the outlet pipe 61 into the fan 62,. and from thence through the pipe 64 into the washer machine and eventually passes out of the washing machine through the' vent 11'.
If it is desired to cool the washer machine, the steam feed pipe 18 is closed, and water is introduced through the feed pipe line 19. This cooling operation may lie/de sirable before the cleaned and dried clothes are removed from the drum.
In order to purify the dirty cleaning liquid that has been pumped from the washer machine, a regulated amount of the same is permitted to drain by gravity from the storage tank to the distillation vessel 31, by means of the pipe 30, the flow being regulated by the float valve 32 in order to maintain a normal liquid level 33 best adapted for the distillation operation. Steam is introduced into coils 34, and the dirty liquid is raised to its boiling point. The rising vapors pass through the space 41 and are brought in contact with or in close proximity to the condenser coils 38 and/or water-cooling jacket 38'. The condensed vapors collect as a liquid in the storage tank 42.
When further amounts of cleaning liquid are required in the washer machine, the valve in the feed line 50 is opened and purified liquid is passed by gravity from the storage tank 42 to the interior of the washer machine. In this manner, the cleaning solution is made to travel through a complete and closed circuit.
From the foregoing description, it will be evident that the process may be made substantially continuous. This is particularly true with respect to the rocess employed for the purification o the dirty cleaning liquid. The storage tank 29, for the dirty cleanin liquid, may be made relatively large so t at it will contain a considerable amount of cleaning liquid. The distillation process ma be so arranged adequately to provide su cient clean liquid to permit maximum use of the washer machine.
Due to the fact that the washer machine must be stopped from time to time to introduce dirty clothes and to withdraw clean clothes, the machine is necessarily operated intermittently. The machine, however, lends itself to the prompt introduction and withdrawal of clothes. It will therefore be seen that while short stops are required, the washer machine may be operated substantially continuously.
It will thus be seen that in the practice of the process and apparatus of the invention, the cleaning operations may be closely correlated, not only with respect to their sequence but also with respect to the space in which they are made to take place. The apparatus employed may be arranged compactly and simply, thus taking up a minimum of space. Since the entire clothes washing and liquid purifying steps take place successively and substantially continu-.
ously, it should be evident that important economies may be effected. I claim: v 1. An apparatus for dry cleaning clothes and the like comprising a casing, means within said casing for agitating the clothes to cause the cleaning of the same, a sump formed at the bottom of the casing, an outlet for said casing leading from said sum a pump connected to said outlet for wit drawing both liquid and vaporized cleaning reagent, and cooling means in said sump for cooling the liquid cleaning reagent as it is withdrawn and for condensing vaporized'cleaning reagent as it is withdrawn.
2. An apparatus for dry cleaning clothes and the like comprising a fixed outer cy lindrical casing, an inner perforated washer drum adapted to rotate relatively to said casing, means between said casing and said drum for supplying heat to the interior of the drum in amount adapted to vaporize liquid cleaning reagent from clothes confined therein, a sump formed at the bottom of the casing, an outlet for said casing leading from said sump, a pump connected to said outlet for withdrawing both liquid and vaporized cleaning reagent, and cooling means in said sump for cooling the liquid cleaning reagent as it is withdrawn and for condensing vaporized cleaning reagent as it is withdrawn.
In testimony whereof I affix my signature.
' H. KIRK WHITE. 4