US 2454935 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov'. 30, 194s,
C. G. MILLER o'oNTINUoUs WI'RE AND STRIP ELEcTRoPRocEssING MACHINE Filed June 27, 1945 I 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 vic... 52er@ N Iwmd it: JSMS lJfffrff//f f /f r .1 r f In; C J l I I II I I I II I III IIIII I II I 0 I NI II II IIHN IIIllI II l III III I IL III Il I I I II..I I IIII n IIIII I II I I I I TI III l IIII I I II V I IIIIII@.IIIII/vm I Constantine G. Miller Nov. 30, i948. l c. G. MILLER 2,454,935
CONTINUOUS WIRE AND STRIP ELECTROPROCESSING MACHINE Filed June 27, 1945 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 lnvcnhr Constantzne G. P71 22er Attorneus CONTINUOUS WIRE AND-STRIP ELECTROPROQESSING MACHINE I.
Filed June 27, 1945 c. G# Mil- LER Nov. 30, 1948.
` 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 K Mtornega Patented Nov. 30, 1948 UNITED STATES PATENT CONTINUOUS WIRE AND STRIP ELECTRO- PROCESSING MACHINE Constantine G. Miller, Chicago, Ill.,assignor to lThe Meaker Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Application June 27, 1945, Serial No. 601,837
This invention relates generally to apparatus and particularly to improved methods for electroprocessing of metal. The more important aspect of the invention involves electro-chemically cleaning and electro-plating continuously moving articles and material such as wire. This application is a continuation in part of my co-pending application Serial No. 245,169, now Patent No. 2,431,065, led December 12, 1938.
The apparatus and method of this invention are specically adapted for electro-plating round or ilat Wire, strip steel, metal ribbons, cables, tubing and the like.
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved electro-plating method or process which will rapidly and completely Iclean wire or metal strip material and apply a uniform adherent metal coating thereto while the wire is moved through a suitable machine.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved electro-processing method for treating multiple strands of wire or strips wherein electric current is conducted to the strands by means of contact nger members which are selfadjusting and self-protecting.
A further object is to provide an improved electro-processing technique or method in which the distance between the cathode wire or Wires being treated and the anode or anodes is maintained substantially constant notwithstanding the wearing down or disintegration of the anode brought about by the electrolytic action. Another object is to provide an improved method for electro-processing wire, metal strip, metal ribbons or cables in which the electrical energy required to carry on the electrolytic action remains substantially the same throughout the entire operation.
A still further object is to provide apparatus of this nature and more particularly an improved method of operating such apparatus in which an electrical contact member is caused to insure electrical contact with the moving wire or' strip being treated at all times regardless of the smoothness or imperfections of the surface of the strip.
The above objects are carried out in brief by providing apparatus which lends itself to the improved methods of electroprocessing and in which the cathode wire being treated lis caused to be moved closer to the anodes as the latter wear down by the electrolytic action to thereby retain a given distance between the cathode or cathodes and anode or anodes and the same effective internal resistance of the electrolytic bath.
In order that the conductors which supply electric power to the cathode wire or wires will continue to make contact with these wires when the latter are shifted nearer the anode from time to time, a special frame is provided which insures firm contact between the `conductor and the wire or wires and this frame is mounted on a main frame which supports the cathode Wire or wires so that as the latter is moved toward the anode the power carrying conductor or conductors are moved in like manner.
The invention will be better understood when reference is made to the drawings in which:
Figure l represents a general View of the cooling, circulating, and filtering system for maintaining the electro-galvanizing solution in proper working condition;
Figure 2 is a verticalsectional view transverse of the galvanizing tank with certain parts broken away, showing the adjustable contact finger frames and the mechanism by which the cathode wire or Wires in addition to these frames can be lowered in order to make up for the wear at the anodes; y ,y
Figure 3 is a vertical sectional View` taken along line 3-3 in Figure 2, and showing the particular construction of the adjustable contact fingers;A
Figure 4 is a detail view of the adjustable linger frame `taken on the line 4-4 in Figure 2 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
Figure 5 is a `detail view of the adjustable frame construction taken on the line 5-5 of Figure 2 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
Figure 6 is a detail vertical sectional view taken along line 6`B in Figure l, looking into the end of the galvanizing tank and showing the arrangement of the electrolyte return conduit means. y
Referring tothe drawings in detail, the numeral l designates'rthe pay-off and take-in reels or swifts employed for feeding the wires 2 as work pieces through the apparatus. These wires are passed under the guide or ducking sheaves 3 through an electrolytic solution contained in an electro-galvanizing tank 4. The wires constitute the cathode and are to be electroplated.r Thereaftenthey are run out oiA the galvanizing tank under the right-hand set of sheaves 3 and subjected to aspray rinse (not shown). y
The'electro-galvanizing solution asl, used inthe galvanizing tank 4 is constantly removed from the tank, cooled or'otherwise treated to replenish the metal, and returnedto the galvanizing tank, as illustrated in Figure l. In thisarrangementQthe circulating pumps 5 have their pressure pipes ii positioned at the forward `end of the electroplating tank so as to move the electrolyte through the tank and discharge it through the pipes 'i into the cooling tower 8. From the cooling tower, the electrolyte ows by gravity through the pipe or conduit f8 .fintoithe circplatingftariks Hl which are interconnected by the vpipes H. A
Provision is made for storing a certain amount of thev electrolyte in one of the circulating tanks l2. Entrance and exit of electrolyte from the tanks is Valve controlled throlL-tf fipsI i4 so that the electrolyte may be permitted tb 'flow directly into the circulatingtanksand/or receptacle l2 as required.k Eend4v t4,ijioigiHM common exit from the tanks of the electrolyte through the pipe i5 which forms L return inlet means for admitting electrolyte to tlialetro plating tank 4. The inlet pipe i5 is positioned .at the opposite end of theggank from which the elecmeans of the pump Il and Aijlte' minded .for .hy 18 cli;l
lieve .#138529 iene? teeaek .and Vconstant movement over the electrodes 'kept 'n and-theevires. a
iiiatteaeecilrial Current metete# eeli .f ...af "....tel el@ e@ i@ @from the eresie; tonen f @een it will ne cesena-tte@ s.; man. ufr
the electrical contact finger members 22 are mounted on the shaft 2S of the carrier frame generally designated 21. This carrier comprises the Contact finger shaft 2S and glass rod 28 which are positioned transverse of the tank and are retained in the iianged and supporting member 29.
.gehe glassgod' positions `the wires .2 .with respect tf the iingers 22 so that proper contact can be'made with the wires by the ngers.
The entire unit is vertically adjustable in the bracketsf by means of the threaded rod mem- 'llhlattextend through apertures in the' overhanging bracket portion 32, and are secured thereto by the nuts 33 threaded onto the `ends ,-ofltherods as yshown in Figure 2. By adn ArGilded'wl'flfa slot li for accommoclating` the venten mnyementbf the member. zsiandiriteg'rai iiange' portion 39, as l'shown in Figuresl Eand 5. angle iron supportsll are suitably anchored to thJinrie' Walls ofthe galvanizing 'tank'. as shown in Eig. 2. `v The metal .parts are rubber cov-` ieed'or `othe'i'fipvi-se `iiisulated against contact with the electrolyte'f 'Screw locked membersv- 4.1 are provided adjacent the ends of th glass lrod 2t.
The l.purpose of this adjustaloilityv of the contact .ng'er frame 2.'l` is to' maintain .a constant dista'r'ice`l'0i'21'`ille'n the Vwireor wires being glvan 'v' nd the ,surface of .the anode or anodes 2 3 which "are'fpositioned below the wire. As 'the anodes wear away",k that is, l decrease' in thickness.
u this frame can be lowered so' that thewirad Contact finger .canbe correspondingly lowered. Inftl'smannerga uniform distance canbernainftained latfall times htvieenV the ywires and the eed "'JIhS .Salvrs Dw and keeps 'theresi'si form. this connection: it will' he" appreciated tha'mansminay he' provided' for adjusting .the p 'sitioiiing" o'fthe'fanode relative to 'tliewi're or wir to'.achieve"the'saine effect. All that is nec'- esslary is .to havev the contactl fingers',A wires and anodes'initually adjustable so thattheir relative positions 'may be varied to Vprovide a predeterf nuneddistancegbetween theanodes and the wire. s a practical matter, itis better to move the contact nersfandwires rather ,than the anodes on accountfc'f `the fact that 'the anodes are guite heavyand cumbersomey and unyieldy structure might have' to be' 'employed in case the .anodes were .a ted with respect to the `ccnt'a` c`t .Yiingers and; u lrkpi'ece wires'. U
wlth'mac e is .iirst `started up or the anodes`J have 'been"renewed,'a'ssumingthat the anodes Aare 'about 4two inches thick. Vand the 'wire paseesfrom onzelinclflA .to -11/4'inches above the an? odesjfit hasbeenpbserved that'in a .matter 'off only'afew days the anodes dissolve from- .the top and `thereby reduce their. thickness. Therefore; more resistance isset vup land higher. Voltage must housed ton'aintain 4the'salire" current -density. .fort wineaiic'ofwdelosit, whichresults inlm'ore fcevffedper ln il metal @1555- an eigample; ffthe wire is .an average of ch awayatthestart and ifth anodes wear to'halft the thickness, .thenthewire Will be i .t wel@ ait-45935 require more voltage to force the current through fandg'reaterexpenditure of power to deposit the required quantity of metal. However, by the use of the adjustable cathode nger and frame, as each row of cathode fingers are adjusted separately, these can be lowered gradually from day to day vand the voltage remains the same and therefore the expenditure of power remains constant regardless of the size or thickness of the anodes.
Another advantage of being able to move the cathode and anodes with respect to one another and particularly in lowering the cathode in direct relation to the wear-down or disintegration of the anode is that the electrolytic action can be carried to a point where the anodes reduce to a mere sliver before they must be removed, thereby saving the expense of recasting large quantities of suitable anodes. A still further advantage is that in removing anodes, the small anode stubs can be piled on top of one another or on top of the new anodes and as many sections of cathode gures can be adjusted as desired just so they will maintain an equal distance relation between the cathode and the pile of small stubs throughout the tank.
The adjustability of the cathode wire or wires with respect to the anode or anodes also offers considerable advantage from the standpoint of cost production per ton of wire to be galvanized because the power consumed is maintained strictly constant notwithstanding the continual wearing away of the anode. Thus, the mill knows exactly what the power consumption will be per ton of wire for a given Weight coating after a rst trial run because this consumption will not change from day to day or from week to week.
Electrical Contact finger construction The improved construction of the electrical contact fingers 22 is shown in Figure 3. This member comprises a weight pressed finger or stem 42. The contact member may be made of brass or copper alloy or other suitable electrical conducting material having the required strength and hardness. The nger member is rotatably mounted on the shaft 26 which is vertically adjustable in the frame 27. Integral with or attached to the contact linger 22 is an arm 43 carrying a slideable weight 44. This weight may be positioned on the arm by means of a set screw 45 as shown in Figure 3.
Positioned around the finger member 42 there is a loosely fitted porcelain insulator covering 46. The covering is provided with a slot 41 which receives a cotter pin 46 driven tightly through the contact finger 42. Inasmuch asthe opening 41 is much larger than the shank of the cotter pin, the porcelain cover 46 is permitted to slide over the finger. At the lower end of the cover 46 there are overhanging ear portions 49 between which the wire or strip being processed or treated passes. An opening 50 in the bottom of the porcelain covering allows the end portion I of the contact finger member to protrude and contact the wire or strip 2. The end of the finger portion 5l may be grooved or shaped to t the surface of the strip or wire being contacted.
The upper part of the finger l2-.terminates in an enlarged portion 52 which is provided with a rectangularly shaped socket opening for receiving the member 53. The latter forms a bell crank with the member 43 and is adapted to rotateabout the shaft 26. It will be understood that the ringer 42 and the member 53 may be integral, if desired. The members 52 and 53 are bolted or secured together by means of a bolt 54 to which is also secured the electrical terminal 55. A flexible electrical conductor 56 connects the terminal 55 with the other terminal 57 which is in turn secured to the bus bar 58. The electrical connections are made in this manner to the negative side of the electric current generator (not shown) so as to make the wire the cathode in the electro-plating solution. The lower end of the finger or stem 42 is accurately grooved to snugly receive the wire cathode.
` When the wire or strip 2 is not passing through the jaws of the insulated member 46, the latter drops" down and protects the end of the contact finger portion 5l from acquiring a layer of deposited metal. This avoids interference with the electrode function of the contact nger when a wire or strip is passing through the electroplating solution. When the contact finger is in place and is riding on the wire, the latter holds up the porcelain cover 46 and allows the brass or contact finger portion 5I to ride directly on the wire. In this position the tip of the contact finger may become coated with metal which is being plated on the wire, but as the splices and imperfections on the wire pass along, the porcelain cover is moved up and down knocking off the loose spongy metal and thus maintaining a clean electrical contact. There is thus provided a novel selfcleaning and self-protecting electrical contact nger mechanism. It is apparent that the substantially stationary contact nger and reciprocably movable porcelain cover structure is more effective in its cleansing and protecting functions than would be the case if the covering were maintained stationary and the contact finger were permitted to move. Moreover, by always insuring an absolute and firm contact between the nger 42 and the wire or strip 2 due to the urge of the weighted member 44 sparking and other electrical complications are avoided at the contact between the finger and the wire workpiece. Itis, therefore, advantageous to assign the selfcleaning and self-protecting functions to the covering and not to the contact finger because the covering can be readily permitted to move over the contact finger without causing any disruption of contact between the finger and the wire.
It will be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact details oi' construction and operation since obvious modifications may be made in the disclosed method of galvanizing or in the apparatus for carrying out that method without departing from the spirit and scope of the description.
Having thus fully described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
Apparatus for electroplating simultaneously a plurality of strips comprising a tank containing electrolyzing solution, a plurality of fixed soluble anodes in said solution, means for moving said strips through the solution, and means for maintaining a relatively constant distance between said strips and anodes, said last mentioned means comprising a frame including an upper and a lower rod extending in parallel relationship across said tank, said lower rod comprising a supporting member located beneath the strips and adapted to be located beneath the surface of the electrolyzing solution andfsupporting said strips in parallel relationship,Y said frame having means for adjusting said lower rod and the strips supported thereon toward said anodes as said anodes become smaller, a plurality of conducting ngers sliepen@ thereon. e pair 0f mqllipted. screws y ,andnuts mounted lon Iseid frame, siiiscrews. extending iiiiQiigh seid breciiets :and i, sims ifeimirig Rafts si seid fie-nie @iid-extend' sdowriwardli' 9910.111 poste sides of trie aindlfconnectng ltogether rigid v:lisisiifiiisiifir Seid imper- 'aiid ifiwfii rods ioi 'aid-insiemi' maintaining iii@ posiiiin Qi Sii ,frsmefviiiciwiingss Q fisiwe rQQLaIid-suidss the opmsiie vertical .sides `Qi said tank ffii giiidrig rsai-cl pair of arms, said lower rod and said con-.-
between the lower Aends of said fingers andsaid lower rod.
CONSTANTINE G. l MILLER.
The efnl `awing; references are `of record v1x1-the lfile of this patent:
a SIATES, ,BATENT Number Name VDate 667,498 Chapman Feb. 5, 1901 :1,515,092 oWper=Co1es "Nov.l1 1, 1924 :1,803,691 Brockway May 5, `1931 11.0 1,953,484 Ireden Apr. 3,1934 11,991,817 Nachtman Feb. 19, y1935 2229,423 vSchueler et, al Jan. 21, 1941 2,312,452 Taylerson Ivfirqz,4 1943 2,338,795 Berqust Jan. 1**1, -1944 Drummond etal. June A12, 19,45 FQREIQN PLTENTS