US 2271735 A
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Feb 3, 1942 w. F. HALL MACHINE FOR ELECTHOPROCESSING METAL STRIP Filed July 16, 1938 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 NPFFQQ BY ma 4% ATTORNEYS Feb. 3, 1942. w. F. .HALL 2,271,735 MACHINE FOR ELEcTRoPRo'cEssING .ETAL'scvRiPv Filed July 16, 1938 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Feb. 3, 1942.
W. F. HALL MACHINE FOR ELEcTRoPRocEssING METAL VSTRIP Filed July 16, 1958 4 sheets-sheet s 3, 1942. w. F. HALL MACHINE FOR ELECTROPROCESSING METAL STRIP Filed July 16, 1938 '4 sheets-smet 4 Y mi INVENTOR A TTORNE Ys- .LJIPI I.
- --.IVQ V QQA Patented Feb. 3, 1942 UNITED STATESl PATENT OFFICE MACHINE FOR. ELECTRO-PROCESSING METAL STRIP Wesley F. Hall, Matawan, N. J., assignor to'Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning Company, Matawan, N. J., acorporation of New Jersey Application `July 16, 1938, Serial No. 219,619
continuous lengths. Various electrolytes may also be used, depending upon the material being treated and the kind of treatment desired.
An important object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for electrocleaning, pickling or plating continuous strips of material at high current densities without the necessity of carrying the current through the strip for a long distance.l
Another object is to provide a novel electro' lytic cell for electroprocessing strip material on one side at a time while maintaining the opposite side free from contact with electrolyte by means of substantially non-Wearing seals of rubber or equivalent resilient synthetic resinous maan apparatus and kmethod for electrocleaning and plating a continuous strip at high current densities while protecting thev edges of the strip,
preventing excessive concentration of current therealong.
Another object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for electroprocessing metal wherein the metal is electrochemically treated on one side with an electrolyte while current is supplied to the strip on the opposite side by means of spaced dry electrical contacts. v
Another object is' to -provide an improved apparatus and method of electroplating continuous strip material while the stripis maintained either vertically on its edge or in a horizontal position.
Another object is to provide a method and apparatus for alternately electrochemically treating a moving metal strip or strips on one side and then on the other while continuously mov- I ing both the strip material 'and the electrolyte. Another object is to provide an apparatus -for electrocleaning and plating continuous strips which is arranged to economize spa'ceto the maximum without lowering the efliciericy of the machine.'
Another object is to provide a novel wheel arrangement wherein each sidg.` of the strip is alternately treated as it passes therearound.
Another object is'to provide an apparatus and method of electroprocessing strip material using high current densities, for instance on the order of 500 to 1000 amperes per square foot, whereby the marring or electric-spark marking of the surface of the strip being treated is avoided.
The construction and arrangement of this invention offers many advantages 4over the apparatus and the processes heretofore employed. In the use of the apparatus and method for electrocleaning and plating strip material of this invention a product is obtained having a more uniform and superior coating than has heretofore lbeen attained. `Moreover the use of insulating coatings `for protecting parts not to be plated, withtheir attendant removal, is eliminated.
Aside from the above mentioned improvements.
attained by this invention, very high current densities may be satisfactorily employed in electroprocessing materials by this invention. 'Ihis is -true whether the plating wheel arrangement is employed or the traveling belt substituted therefor. It will be understood, of course, that the wheel or belt apparatus may be arranged to handle the stripA in a horizontal or vertical position during the treatment.
In the use of this invention the electrocleaning and plating of material can be eiected in a much shorter time, increasing production with consequent lowering of electroprocessing costs.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent during the course of the following description. Referring to lthe drawings:
Figure 1-is a diagrammatic plan view showing n the cmplete electroprocessing apparatus of this invention. 'Ihe arrangement shown is merely illustrative and is not intended to limit the disposition of the different treating-V compartments, electrolytes or the sequence of treating the strip material;
Figure 2 is a view in section taken on the line 2-2 of- Figure 3 with certain parts broken away;
Figure 3 is a vertical section view taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 4;
Figure 4 is a longitudinal section View of the elec-troplating wheel construction;
Figure 5 is a similar longitudinal sectional view of a modified arrangement wherein rolling electrical contacts are employed;
Figures 6, 7 and 8 are detail `cross section views of a portion of the strip, illustrating its thick# ness before and after plating; and taken on the line. 6 6, 1-1 and 8-8 of Figure 1, respectively;
Figure 9 is a Vertical longitudinal section view ofJ a modification of the plating section, wherein a double deck traveling belt arrangement is provided for electrically contacting the strip while it is drawn through the horizontally disposed` troughs;
Figure 10 is a vertical section view taken on the line I U-I 0 of Figure 9;
Figure 11 is a letail view in section of the endless belt and electrical contact means;
Figure 12 is a detail View in section of the bearing and roller supporting the strip in the arrangement illustrated in Figure 9.
l to steel or metal rib sections 21 and 28 which y are in turn connected by a plate member 29 by Electroplating arrangement The electroplating part of the preferred form of this apparatus comprises two wheels I4 and I6 which are of substantially the same construction, one Wheel plating one side of the strip and the other plating the opposite side. Each wheel is made up of three sections which are connected to a Vertical axle shaft I8 which is supported by the frame Ia. The frame is insulated from the axle shaft I8 by means of the rubber shackles I8b. At the bottom of the shaft I8 is an insulating collar. or sleeve |80, as illustrated in Figure 3. The upper and lower sections I9 and 20 respectively turn with the movement of the strip as it passes around the periphery of the wheel.
The central hub portion 2| is fixed to the shaft I8 by means of a key or pin 22. Steel spokes 23 and 24 of Z-shaped cross section make up 4the upper and lower sections of the wheel and which sections rotate about the axle shaft I8 on the thrust bea-rings 25 and roller bearings 25a. The thrust bearings are provided for adjustment by means of the bolts 26.
The extremities of the spokes are connected means of the stud bolts 30. The rim parts are strip material may be thus treated prior to plating while in the horizontal position if desired. It will be also understood that either alkaline or acid electrolyte cleanersrmay be employed,
and any one or more `of the preliminary clean-- covered with rubber or the like, as indicated at 3|. Electrical contact is made with the strip I3 by means of copper strips 32 spaced around the rim and held yieldably in place by the attached brush bars 33. These bars are suitably secured tothe plate 29 by bolts 29a. The sliding brushes 34 contact the stationary rim 35. Split spokes 36 are bolted to the opposite sides of the stub spokes 31 which are integral with the central hub portion 2|. In this manner electric i current is carried to the middle xed portion of After the strip material is thoroughly cleaned it is guided around the plating wheel I4 by means of the guide rollers I5. One side of the strip is plated while it is moved around the periphery of thev wheel. The strip is then conducted around another plating Wheel I6 by the guide -rollers I1 andv the opposite side is electroplated. After leaving the plating wheel I1 the strip is turned to a horizontal position, and burnished, rinsed and dried as illustrated in Figure l.
'I'he strip material or the like to be treated is drawn through the apparatus from conventional unoilers, and after being electroprocessed land plated is wound up on similar coilers atthe delivery end. All of the treatments illustrated in Figure l may be performed on similar wheels as used for the plating, but it is not necessary to do so as the advantages of the wheels are mainly in connection with the plating or other electrochemical treatment wherein high current densities are employed.
the Wheel and to the shaft I8.
A plurality of spaced electrolyte cells or compartments 38 isl provided adjacent the outer surface of the strip I3. These cells are provided withl hollow cylindrical anodes 39 spaced from the strip. The forward section of the anode adjacent the face of the strip is slit or open as' at 40 to afford an entrance passageway for the electrolyte. On each side of the slit or opening are welded or otherwise fastened to and forming a pa-rt of the cylindrical anode 39, angle strips 4I. The angle members 4I are attached to the tubular anode to extend the face of the anode along in conformity with the curved path of the strip being treated, so as to speed up the plating of the strip and maintain a high efficiency of the .ducted into the compartments or cells at the back through an opening 43which is in communication with the pipe 44 of' the head member 45. The head 45 is attached to the cell 38 by means `of stud boltsl 46 andbetween which a gasket member 41 is interposed to prevent leakage of electrolytestherearound. Each of the plating cells is lined with rubber as indicated at 48 in Figure 2.
f The various plating cells are sealed olf from each other by means of the rubber orvsynthetic resin sealing blocks 49 which extend therebetween and contact the strip material drawn therethrough. The rubber'covere'd portions of the stripv I3 by the rollers 53 and yieldable contact brush members 54 which are joined, to the stationary rim 35.
For electroplating relatively narrow continuous strips of material the arrangement shown in Figure 9 vmay be employed. In this case the strip 55 lies flat and is conducted through the horizontally disposed trough 56 where one side is plated. 'I'he strip is then passed upward and over the idler roller 51 and backward through the plating trough 58 wherein the other side is plated. 'Ihe troughs may be disposed one over the other in the manner shown in Figure 9 or they may be positioned on diiferent floors or otherwise arranged.
In `the construction shown in Figure 9 the two tanks or troughs are supported one above the be made of wood or rubber covered steel. Cathode contacts to the strip are made by means of the endlessbelt 60 which travels around the- The pressure of are disposed in rubber covered U-shaped metal `sockets 16, as illustrated in Figure l2.
Electroplating' procedure In plating Athe strip on the plating wheels illustrated in Figures 4 and 5, the material is drawn through the plurality of electroplating cells disposed around the peripheryv of the wheel and oneside of the strip is plated. Excessive electric current concentration at the edges of the strip is prevented by the cushion of soft rubb er or resilient material against which the strip is held during its movement through the electroplating compartments. Further, electrical con- -tact isv made to the central portion of the strip as shown in Figure 3, which also tends t`o lessen the concentration of electric current-around the edges of the strip. The back side of the strip being treated is maintained free from electrolyte since the outeredges of the strip are sealed by the rubber cushioning member 3I, as shown n in Figure 3.
other by means of frame 59. The vtroughs may rollers at the end of the tank, as illustrated in Figure 9. The belt. itself may be formed of current conducting material or preferably made of rubber or the like composition and provided with metal or electric .current conducting bands 6I.
y the belt 60 travels. The central part of the trough is provided with a shallow chamber 61 extending lengthwise of the trough.v In this chamber is disposed an anode 68 which is preferably of carbon, and in use is maintained covered by electrolyte introduced' through the rubber lined pipe 69.
The cathode electrode 68a is disposed between the wheel 66 and a roller 68h provides la rolling contact against the contact lmember 6| of the belt 60. In place ofthe roller it willl be obvious that sliding brushes may be used, similar to that shown in Figure 4, for carrying the current to the back ofthe strip.
-Electrolyte is iiowed into the trougns near the center and after contacting the strip overflows the side Wall 10 of the trough into the gutter 'II adjacent the outer wall .12. Waste electrolyte is conducted from the gutters by the .return `pipe 13.
'Supporting rolls 14 are used when necessary to hold the strip up whileplating the under side, as illustrated in Figures 9 'and 12. The supporting rolls 14 are provided with graphite, rub- The back side of the strips directly connected to electric circuit at points closely adjacent to where the current enters the other'side from the electrolyte. vAs shown in Figures-i and 5, the electric circuit contact to the back of the strip is preferably made by means of sliding brushes or rollers, as shown in Figure5. In each of these instances the series of contacts travel along with the strip and in contact with both the strip and a series of stationary current collectors, such as the member 35 on Figure 4 and members 35 and 54 on Figure 5; These contactsvare arranged to move out of engagement with the collector while still'in engagement with the strip. In this way the current is broken between the contact and the sliding brush or roller, and not between the In the plating arrangement shownin Figures 4 and 5 the electrolyte `containing the salt of the metal to be plated on the strip is pumped or otherwise conducted from a storage tank or container to the various plating cells through the conduits 44, divides and flows around the anodes 39 and contacts the surface of the strip. After ,contacting the strip electrolyte flows back through tHe central opening 40 into the interior of the anode' and out through the bottom thereof.- The electrolyte is thereafter illtered, heated or cooled and replenished with the necessary chemical constituents and returned to the plating cells.
In operation the electrolyte fills the space between'the anode and strip at all times.l The anodes 39 are preferably formed of ay material vwhich is insoluble in the electrolyte, for example, carbon, lead or the like, whereas the auxiliary anodes 42 are preferably soluble in the electrober or other oilless bearings 15 which -are designed to voperate under water. The bearings 15 lyte to replenish the metal lplated out, as heretofore mentioned.
The anodes 39 are suitably connected with the positive electrode, and the stationary shaft I8 is connected to the negative or cathode electrode of a generator or source of electricity. In this mannei` the strip is madevthe cathode by means of the direct contacts made along the back of the strip. The strip is subjected to high current densities on the order of 500 to .1000:amperes'iper square foot and the strip is rapidly and' efficiently plated.
The burnishing or polishing section is provided with brushes having fine Wire, mineral wool or .the like bristles, to thoroughly burnish and polish the plating. Instead of burnishing rolls the -plating may be followed'by iiuxing or heating medium for improving the physical characteristics of the Figures 9 and 10,'11; win be understood that thy wheel members 66 may be connected to the negative or cathode side of a source of electricity and current supplied through the belt contact members 6I and62 which contact the `back of the strip.` Preferably this cathode contact is made to the back of the strip by means of rollers 68h which contact the cathode electrode 68a and transfer current tothe endless belt 60 and thence to the back of the strip material, as shown in Figure l0.`
It will be obvious that the details of this apparatus and the method of electroprocessing strips may be Widely varied while preserving the principles of this invention, and it will be understood that suchmodiflcations as come within-the scope of the disclosure and claims are comprehended to be within this invention.
Having thus fully described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In an electroprocessing machine for processing long metal strips, a wheel member disposed and rotatable on avertical axis for supporting and guiding said long metal strips around theV periphery thereof, a plurality of`cells having an open face juxtaposed along at least a portion of the periphery of said wheel member, each of said cells being interlocked with its adjacent cell and separated from it by a common sealing means, each of said cells including hollow insoluble electrodes, auxiliary soluble electrodes within said hollow electrodes, said strip forming a closure for the open faces of each of said cells While the strip is moved along, means for flowing electrolyte through said celis and in contact with said strip, and means for electrically connecting the back of said strip to a source of electrical voltage to electrochemically treat said strip as the same is moved along through the open faces of said cells.
2. In an 'electroprocessing machine, a plurality of arcuate cells having one face open, a Wheel member disposed and rotatable on a vertical axis having a periphery surface for supporting and moving a metal strip across the open` faces-of said cells, said strip forming a closure for the open faces of said cells while the strip is moved along supported on the surface of said Wheel member, each "of said cells being interengaged with its adjacent cell and separated from it by a common wall, each of said cells including hollow insoluble electrodes, auxiliary soluble electrodes Within said hollow electrodes,
means for flowing. electrolyte through said cellsand against said strip, and means for electrolytically connecting the back of said strip to a source of electrical voltage to electrochemically treat said strip as the same is moved along while supported on the periphery of said wheel member.
3. In an electroprocessing machine, means for supporting longmetal strip material to be treated, said means comprising a.V Wheel disposed Vand rotatable on a vertical axis, a plurality Vof cells having an open face juxtaposed adjacent the periphery of said wheel member, each of said cells being interengaged with its adjacent cell and separated from it by a common wall, said strip material forming a closure for the op'en faces of said cells while the strip is moved along supported on the periphery wheel surface, means for flowing electrolyte through said cells and in conta-ct with the outer surface of saidr strip, each of said cells comprisingtubular insoluble electrodes disposed therein, auxiliary soluble electrodes arranged in said tubular electrodes, and means for electrically connecting the back of said strip to a source of electrical voltage to electrochemically treat said strip as the same is moved along through the open faces of said cells.
4. In an electroprocessing machine, means comprising a wheel member disposed and rotatable on a Vertical axis for supporting metal strip material togbe treated, a plurality of cells having an open face arranged in juxtaposed position around the periphery of said wheel member, said strip material forming a closure for theopen faces of said cells While the strip is moved along supported on the periphery of said wheel member, each of said cells being interlocked with its adjacent cell and separated from it by a common\sealing wall, each of said cells including insoluble electrodes which are ar- -ranged adjacentv to the open face of said cells i Yand shaped to substantially -conform with the curved path of the strip being treated, auxiliary soluble electrodes in said cells, said auxiliary electrodes being substantially surrounded by said first mentioned electrodes, means for flowing electrolyte through said cells and against the surface of said strip, and means for electrically connecting the back of said strip to a source of electrical voltage to electrochemically treat said strip asthe same is movedalong through the open faces of said cells.
` 5. In an electroprocessing machine for treating long continuous strips of material comprising 'a circular member disposed and rotatable on a vertical axis, said strip being supported on the periphery surface of said circular member and guided simultaneously therealong by the rotary movement of said member, a plurality of cells for containing electrolyte arranged adjacent theperiphery of said member and hav-- ing an open face juxtaposed thereto, each of said cells being interengaged with its adjacent cell and separated from it byl a. common sealing means, said cells having insoluble electrodes arranged therein, auxiliary soluble electrodes in said cells, said auxiliary electrodes being substantially surrounded by said -rst mentioned electrodes, said strip forming a closure for the open faces of said cells as the strip is moved along while supported on-the periphery of saidA circular member, means for owing electrolyte through said cells vand in contact with said strip, and means for electrically connecting the back of said strip and said electrolyte in circuit to electrochemically treat said strip ,with high 'density current aslthe strip isl moved .along through the open'ifaces of said cells.
WESLEYy F, H ALL.