US 2348574 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 9, 1944. T, o 2,348,574
STERILIZING VAULT Filed May 11, 1942 s SheerLs-Sheet 1 3o 2/ as A? j 15 Z8-- 517 ja 5 4 c9 25 L 45' a 32 44* v I I f. 46 Z 39 I Z5 a l I 7/20/0475 12 ,Qass
y 1944. T. D. Ross 2,348,574
STERILI Z ING VAULT Filed May 11, 1942 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Thomas 0- P055 Patented May 9, 1944 UNITED STATES PATENT 7 OFFICE STERILIZING VAULT Thomas D. Ross, Dallas, Tex.
Application May 11, 1942, Serial NQ. 442,461 6 Claims. (01. 21-436) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in sterilizing vaults.
This application is filed as a continuation-inpart of my co-pending application, Serial No. 315,540, filed January 25, 1940.
One object of the invention is to provide an improved sterilizing vault which is adapted to receive and sterilize articles, of various sizes, such as mattresses, furniture and the like and which is so constructed that the articles may be conveniently and readily inserted and removed therefrom.
An important object of the invention is to provide a sterilizing vault comprising an enlarged unobstructed chamber through which heated air for eifecting sterilization of articles within said chamber, is circulated, together with a unitary rack which is movable into and out of said chamber and which is entirely self supporting,
whereby rails or other supports for said rack within the chamber are obviated; the arrangement facilitating the sterilizing of various types of articles since the rack may be positioned within the chamber and may support certain articles, or said rack may be withdrawn from the cham her and the unobstructed chamber utilized to receive other and larger articles, such as furniture.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved vault, of the character described, wherein the unitary rack is arranged to co-act with the opening in the sterilizing chamber, through which the rack is insertable, such coaction effecting a seal at the opening when the rack is within the chamber and also when said rack is withdrawn or in an extended position outside of said chamber, whereby heat losses from within the chamber when the rack is either within or outside of the chamber, are minimized.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved sterilizing vault, of the character described, wherein heated air is constantly circulated through the sterilizing chamber so as to intimately contact and sterilize the articles therein, said vault lending itself to any suitable heating apparatus for heating the air and also being so constructed that the heating unit may be disposed in any desirable location adjacent thereto.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a sterilizing apparatus, wherein the unitary self-supporting rack is formed with enlarged end walls or plates which engage the marginal portions of the opening through which t e rack is slidable and which function, not
only to seal the opening when the rack is entirely within or fully extended from the chamber, but also act as stops to limit the sliding movement of said rack.
A particular object of the invention is to provide an improved vault, of the character described, which is prefabricated in sections, whereby shipment and storage of the vault is facilitated, the sections being readily assembled at the location where the device is to be used by unskilled labor and in a minimum amount of time.
A construction designed to carry out the invention will be hereinafter described together with other features of the invention.
The invention will be more readily understood from a reading of the following specification and by reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein an example of the invention is shown and wherein:
Figure 1 is an isometric View of a sterilizing vault, constructed in accordance with the invention,
Figure 2 is an enlarged, horizontal, crosssectional view of the vault with the rack disposed therein,
Figure 3 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view, taken on the line 3-'-3 of Figure 2, with the rack in an extended position,
Figure 4 is a reduced, transverse vertical sec- 'tional view, illustrating the air inlet and outlet openings in the chamber,
Figure 5 is an isometric view of the rack,
Figure 6 is an enlarged, sectional detail view of a portion of one of the end panels of the rack, showing the seal between the panel and the casing of the vault,
Figure 7 is a view, partly in section and partly in elevation, of a modified form of the invention, and
Figure 8 is a horizontal, cross-sectional view of the modification shown in Figure '7.
In the drawings, the numeral l0 designates a casing or cabinet which is constructed of side wall sections II and I2, end wall sections l3 and M, a top section l5 and a bottom section It. Each section is individually fabricated and includes spaced walls having heat insulating material ll therebetween. The sections are assembled to form the casing or cabinet and are secured to each other by any suitable means, such as angle bars l3 which are located at the corners formed by the meeting sections. The interior of the cabinet or casing formed by the various sections is entirely unobstructed and forms a sterilizing chamber A.
The end wall Id of the casing is provided with a rectangular opening l9 through which a unitary rack B is slidable. The rack is clearly shown in Figure and includes an inner end wall or plate 20 and an outer end wall or plate 2 I, these walls being constructed of a wooden frame work 22 covered by metallic sheets 23, as is clearly shown in Figure 6. Suitable insulating material 24 may be disposed between the metallic sheets of the end plates. Each end plate is formed with an outwardly projecting peripheral flange 25 and this flange is adapted to abut the wall section l4 around the opening IS; in other words, the flange portion 25 of each end plate 20 and 2| is of greater area than the opening I9.
The end plates 20 and 2| are connected to each other by longitudinally extending angle members or bars 26 which have their ends secured to vertical angle members 21, the latter being fastened to the inner surface of the end plates 20 and 2|. The longitudinal-angle members 26 are adapted to support transverse bars or slats 28 which extend between said members and which are adapted to support mattresses, or other articles to be sterilized. The rack B which is formed in the manner above described is supported by rollers 29 which are disposed at the corners of the rack, each roller being mounted within an offset casting 30 secured to the outer surface of the end plates 20 and 2|.
The rack B is slidable through the opening IS in the end wall H! of the casing and the rollers 29 which are secured to the inner end plate 20 of said rack ride upon flanged tracks 3| which are mounted within the casing on the bottom section It of said casing (Figure 4). The rollers 29 which are secured to the outer end plate 2| of the rack are slidable upon similar tracks 32 which are supported upon a suitable framework 33 disposed outside of the casing. The tracks 3| and 32 are in alinement with each other and in effect form a single continuous trackway for guiding th sliding movement of the rack. It is pointed out that if desired, the rails 3| and 32 may be continuous and may extend through the lower portion of the opening l9, whereby the separate tracks, as illustrated, would be eliminated.
When the rack B is in its inner position within the interior of the casing, as shown in Figure 2, the peripheral'fiange 25 of the outer end plate 2| of said rack engages the front wall of the end section I4 around the opening l9. A suitable packing material 34, such as felt may be secured to the section It so as to be engaged by the flange 25 of the plate 2|, whereby a positive seal will be effected at this point (Fig 6). Thus, when the rack is in its inner position within the sterilizing chamber A, the outer end plate 2| seals the opening I9 to prevent the escape of heat from said chamber. Suitable latches 35 are provided on the section M and the end plate 2| to lock the rack in its inner position within th sterilizing chamber.
When the rack is withdrawn from the chamber A and is moved outwardly along the rails 32, the inner end plate 20 of the rack B will strike the inner surface of the end wall section I4 and its flange 25 will coact with the wall to seal the opening N, as is clearly shown in Figure 3. The provision of the flange 25 also provides a stop, whereby the rack B cannot be completely withdrawn from the casing Ill. Although it is desirable that the inner plate 20 be utilized to seal the opening l9 when the rack is in its outer position, it is not essential that this be done in order to carry out the invention. It would be possible to eliminate th flange 25 on the inner plate 20 and to completely withdraw the rack B from said casing. In such instance, a door (not shown) would be utilized to close the opening 19 when the rack B is withdrawn therefrom.
The sterilizing chamber A maybe heated in any suitable manner but it is preferable to employ hot air. The heated air is introduced through an air inlet opening 36 which is formed in the upper portion of the wall section l2 and this air circulates across and downwardly of the interior of the chamber, the downward movement of the air being aided by a curved baffle 3'! which extends longitudinally of the chamber at the corner formed by the intersection of the wall I and the top l5 (Figure 4). The circulating air then escapes from the interior of the chamber through an air outlet 38 which is located in the wall l2 below the air inlet 36, as is clearly shown in Figure 3. It is preferable that the same air be constantly re-circulated through the chamber and to effect the re-circulation of such air, a heating unit 39 of any desired construction is mounted exteriorly of the casing ID. The lower portion of the unit 39 communicates through a flue 40' with the air outlet opening 38, while the upper end of said unit communicates through a similar flue 4| with the air inlet opening 35. A blower 42 is disposed in the flue M and is driven by an electric motor 43, or other means which is supported upon a bracket 44 secured to the exterior surface of the wall I2 adjacent the heating unit 39. In this manner, air is heated by the unit 39 and is then forced into the upper portion of the chamber A, circulates downwardly through the chamber and escapes back to the heating unit through the air outlet opening 38, from which point it is again re-circulated. Although it is desirable that the heating unit be disposed adjacent to the casing HI, it is not essential for said unit could be mounted at some remote point and connected to the inlet 36 and outlet 38 by elongate ducts, flues or other conductors. Also, it is pointed out that the air inlet and outlet openings may be provided in any of the wall sections, other than the side wall l2.
When the rack B is within the chamber A, it substantially fills said chamber and the rack is adapted to support various articles to be sterilized. The rack provides a plurality of shelves for receiving articles, such as mattresses, linens and the like. Of course, it is possible to remove all of the transverse slats or bars 28 except the lowermost slats, in which case the rack would form a box-like structure for the reception of larger articles. However, the particular article which could be received within the rack is limited by the size of said rack and larger pieces, such as chairs or couches or other pieces of furniture could not be sterilized within the rack because of their size. In such case, the rack is completely withdrawn from the sterilizing chamber A, being moved to the position shown in Figure 3, whereby the inner end plate 20 of the rack seals the opening IS. The interior of the casing then forms a large unobstructed chamber A and to permit the insertion of large articles to be sterilized within this chamber, the side wall I2 is formed with an access opening 45 which is normally closed by an insulated hinged door 35. When the rack B is moved to an extended position, the door 46 may be opened and large articles, such as furniture, may be readily inserted into the interior of the casing and may be efliciently sterilized within the chamber A. Thus, the device provides a sterilizing apparatus which is capable of accommodating any type of article which requires sterilization. The rack B is adapted to support any of the smaller articles, while the provision of the large door 46 permits access to the chamber A when the rack is in an extended position, whereby the larger articles may be readily inserted and removed therefrom. It is pointed out that although the door 46 has been illustrated as disposed in the wall l2 of the casing, said door could be mounted either in the opposite side wall H or in the end wall 13 of the said casing.
In Figures 7 and 8, a slightly modified form of the invention is shown. In this case, elongate supporting rails 33a, having flanged guide tracks 32a mounted thereon are provided. A casing Illa which is similar in construction to the casing Hi is mounted on the inner portion of the rails 33a and is provided with an opening lQLZ in one end wall. The rack B which is constructed in substantially the same manner as the rack of the first form is slidable through the opening iSa, being supported upon the guide rails 32a. A side access opening 35a, is formed in the casing illa and this opening is normally closed by a door 36a. The rear end wall of the casing lfia forms the front wall of a heating unit 56 which has an oil burner type of heater disposed therein. An air outlet opening 380, is formed in the rear end wall of the casing Illa and communicates with the interior of the heating unit casing 56, whereby air is withdrawn from the sterilizing chamber. The upper end of the heating unit casing 58 communicates with the interior of the sterilizing chamber through an air inlet opening 38a which has a suitable flue 52 mounted therein. A fan 53 is mounted Within the flue 52 and is driven by a pulley 54 which is secured to the outer end of the fan shaft 55. A deflecting baflie 56 is disposed within the sterilizing chamber adjacent the air inlet opening 360:, and serves to deflect the air forced into the chamber upwardly toward the top of the chamber.
It will be obvious that the form shown in Figures '7 and 8 operates in substantially the same way as the first form of the invention. Although not illustrated, the walls of the casing [Ba may be suitably insulated in any desired manner. The end plates of the rack B co-act with the opening Ida of the casing to seal said opening when the rack is in its innermost position within the sterilizing chamber and also when the rack is withdrawn and is disposed in its extended position. The rails, as well as the guide tracks 32a of this form are continuous and extend throughout the length of the casing Eta and also beyond the end wall of said casing to accommodate the rack when in its extended position. In both forms of the invention a suitable thermometer 51 may be mounted at some point on the exterior surface of the casing so as to indicate the temperature of the air within the sterilizing chamber A.
1. A device of the class described comprising a vault, rails supporting the vault, the front wall of the vault having an opening therein, a rack including end plates, said plates being of greater area than said opening, bars rigidly connecting said plates, said plates being adapted to alternately engage the opposite sides of the front wall upon moving the rack in said opening, a heat confining chamber, one wall of the vault forming the front wall of the chamber and having upper and lower openings therein affording communication between the vault and chamber, a tubular duct in the upper opening, a fan in the duct, a baflle plate adjacent the duct to force heated air from the duct upwardly in the vault upon operation of the fan, said fan serving to draw air from the vault into the chamber and force the same from the duct, means for heating air in the chamber during circulation thereof, and rollers carried by the rack for engaging the rails.
2. A sterilizing apparatus including, a casing having an opening in one wall thereof, a unitary self-supporting rack for receiving articles to be sterilized slidable through said opening whereby said rack may be disposed entirely within the casing or may be withdrawn therefrom, and means for closing the opening when the rack is withdrawn from the casing, a heating unit communicating with the interior of said casing through an air inlet in the upper portion of one wall and an air outlet in the lower portion of the casing wall, and a bafiie disposed within the casing opposite the inlet for directing the hot air from the heating unit downwardly into the interior of said casing.
3. A sterilizing apparatus including, a casing having an opening in one wall thereof and having its interior entirely unobstructed, means for heating the interior of the casing, spaced rails mounted on the floor of said casing, alined rails disposed externally of said casing beyond the opening in the wall of the casing, a unitary selfsupporting rack movable into and out of the interior of the casing, the rack being of a size to substantially fill the interior of said casing when disposed therein and having supporting shelves for receiving articles to be sterilized, the interior of the casing providing a large unobstructed sterilizing chamber for receiving other articles when said rack is withdrawn from the casing, the inner end of the rack being utilized to seal the opening when said rack is withdrawn from the interior of said casing, and rail engaging means carried by the ends of the rack for slidably supporting the same, the rail engaging means being mounted on the external surfaces of said ends so as to be disposed externally of said rack, whereby the inner means engage the interior rails and the outer means engage the external rails.
4. A vault of the class described having an opening in one end wall thereof, a rack slidable in the opening and including end plates of greater area than that of the opening for closing the opening when the rack is extended from the vault or confined therein, spaced rails on the floor of the vault, alined rails disposed externally of said vault beyond said opening, and rollers mounted on the exterior of each end plate for engaging the rails to slidably support the rack thereupon, the inner rollers engaging the internal rails and the outer rollers engaging the external rails so that neither of said rollers pass thrfiugh the opening upon movement of said roc 5. A vault as set forth in claim 4 wherein the lower end of the opening is disposed above the upper surfaces of the rails so as to prevent the rollers from passing through said opening.
6. A vault as set forth in claim 4 wherein the rollers are offset downwardly relative to the end plates so as to be disposed in a plane below the lower ends of said plates, whereby the plates need close only the opening.
THOMAS D. Ross,