US 2594445 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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FREDERICK w. KE|TH,JR. BY
ATTORNEY April 29, 1952 F. W. KEITH, JR
CENTRIFUGAL MACHINE vAND PROCESS Filed Oct. 23, 1946 FIGI Patented Apr. 29, 1952 CENTRIFUGAL MACHINE AND PROCESS Frederick W. Keith, Jr., Haverford, Pa., assignor to The Sharples Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Application October 23, 1946, Serial No. 705,121
. 10 Claims.
This invention relates to the separation of the constituents of an intimate mixture, suchl as an emulsion, through the application of centrifuga-l force.
Although it is well known that centrifugal machines and processes are efcacious in separating constituents from mixtures of liquids and from liquid-solid mixtures, it has been difficult or impossible in many instances to effect successful centrifugal separation of intimately mixed materials such as emulsions of oil and water and suspensions of fine solids in liquid. Consequently more expensive and more troublesome means, such as the addition of chemical agents, or other special and relatively costly procedures, have been adopted in cases in which the separation could not be effected by conventional centrifugation.
An object of this invention is to provide a mechanical adjunct to centrifugal force which will enhance the value of centrifugal means in separating the constituents of intimate mixtures.
Another object is to provide a centrifugal process for the separation of the constituents of intimate mixtures which is more effective in causing such separation than processes heretofore available.
A further object is to furnish a centrifugal machine which will satisfactorily separate and separately discharge the constituents of intimate mixtures such as emulsions.
Additional objects will be apparent after reading the following specification in the light of the attached drawings in which,
Figure 1 is a side elevation of a centrifugal separator with parts broken awa;7 and parts illustrated in section to show the feature of the invention, and
Figure 2 is a similar view illustrating application of the invention to a centrifugal bowl of a different type.
In the embodiment illustrated in Figure 1, the emulsion or mixture to be treated is fed to a centrifuge I through the stationary conduit II. From a nozzle I2 the liquids are discharged into a rotating bowl or rotor I3 of the centrifuge. The liquids impinge on a plate I4 which deects them outwardly toward the periphery of the rotor I3. Situated between an open inner chamber I6 and a wall I5 of the rotor in the path of the deflected liquids is a bed of glass fibers or other fibrous material I1. Under centrifugal force the liquids pass through this bed I1 onto the wall I5. The inflow. of liquids forces the liquids along the wall of the rotor towards the top of the machine. Centrifugal force acting on the liquids as they pass along this wall carries the heavier liquid to the outside 'forcing the lighter liquid toward lthe center. The liquids, thus separated, are separately discharged through conduits I8 (for the lighter liquid) and I9 (for the heavier liquid).
In the form of the invention illustrated in Figure 2, the material to be treated is fed from a chamber 20 into a feedsection 2| of a rapidly rotating centrifugal rotor 22. Under centrifugal force, the liquids flow from the feed section 2I toward an inner wall 23 of the rotor. A bed of glass fibers 24 is placed in the path from the feed section to the wall. The liquids pass through this bed 24 under centrifugal force and out through ports 25 into the main separating chamber 2B of the rotor. After centrifugation to separate the heavier liquid from the lighter liquid, the heavier liquid is discharged from the rotor through the annular opening 21, and the lighter liquid is discharged through the annular opening 2B.
The bed of fibrous material, preferably glass ber, when inserted inside of a centrifugal rotor is preferably in the form of a. loosely woven mat. Multiple thicknesses of woven glass clOth may be used to build up such a mat.
The full reason for the action of glass fibers in aiding a centrifuge to separate the constituents of intimate mixtures is unsettled. If the bed of fibers is properly inserted in the feed section of the centrifugal bowl there is some evidence that it is effective in creating more desirable flow conditions for the liquid during its passage into the rotor. These flow conditions at the entry are critical, and the benefits obtained in improvement of such conditions doubtless contribute to the effectiveness of the fibers in facilitating centrifugation. However, greater benefits than would appear to be attributable to this factor alone are obtained when the fiber bed is inserted in the centrifuge, and I do not therefore wish to be limited to any theory as to the effectiveness of the invention.
Various modifications are available to the person skilled in the art, and I do not therefore wish to be limited except by the scope of the following claims.
l. The process of separating from a liquid a material intimately mixed therewith, which comprises introducing the mixture into the center of a rotating zone, centrifugally forcing said mixture from said central zone of relatively low sion into the center of a rotating zone, centrifugally forcing said mixture from said central zone of relatively low centrifugal force radially outwardly through a zone of fibrous material into a zone of relatively high centrifugal force, sub- `iecting said emulsion to further centrifugation to separate said oil from said water, and separately discharging said oil and said water.
8. A centrifugal machine for separating emulsions and the like, comprising a rotor, means for feeding a liquid to a central zone in said rotor,
walls defining a separation zone around the ininto the center of a rotating zone, centrifugally forcing said liquids from said central zone of relatively low centrifugal force radially outwardly through a zone of brous material into a zone of relatively high centrifugal force, subjecting said liquids to further centrifugation to separate said liquids from each other, and separately discharging said liquids.
5. The process of separating aliquid emulsion into its component parts, which comprises introducing the emulsion into the center of a rotating zone, centrifugally forcing said emulsion from said central zone of relatively low centrifugal force radially outwardly through a zone of fibrous material into a zone of relatively high centrifugal force, subjecting said emulsion to further centrifugation to separate said emulsion into its component parts, and separately discharging said component parts.
6. The process of separating a liquid-liquid emulsion into its component parte, which comprises introducing the emulsion into the center of a rotating zone, centrifugally forcing said emulsion from said central Zone of relatively low centrifugal force radially outward through a zone of fibrous material into a zone of relatively high centrifugal force, subjecting said emusion to further centrifugation to separate said liquids from each other, and separatenT discharging said liquids.
7. The process of separating an oil-in-water emulsion, which comprises introducing the emulner periphery of said rotor and radially spaced from the central, iced zone, and a bed of fibrous material carried by the rotor, said bed ybeing located between the central feed zone and the sepalration zone whereby liquid fed to the feed zone is centrifugally forced outwardly through the bed.
9. A centrifugal machine in accordance with claim 3, in which the bed is formed of glass fibers. 10. A centrifugal machine in accordance with claim 8, in which the bed is formed of a woven mat of glass bers.
FREDERICK W. KEITH, JR.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS