|Publication number||US2706863 A|
|Publication date||Apr 26, 1955|
|Filing date||Nov 7, 1952|
|Priority date||Nov 7, 1952|
|Publication number||US 2706863 A, US 2706863A, US-A-2706863, US2706863 A, US2706863A|
|Inventors||Jones George M|
|Original Assignee||Jones George M|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (15), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
April 6, 1955 G. M. JONES 2,706,863
SURFACE ICE MELTING MACHINE Filed Nov. 7. 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR GEORGE M fa/v55 ATTOR EY April 1955 e. M. JONES 2,706,863
SURFACE ICE MELTING MACHINE Filed NOV. 7, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 l 4 q J6----l 1 +44- I Rig-J 2 e 71 m fl 56 i q 1 mm F v 54 L,
r lb f 2 I l 78 ,-6'5@f' 6 35- 4 42 INVENTOR. GEO/86E Mja/ve's,
BY WW, fim k ATTORNEY United States Patent SURFACE ICE MELTING MACHINE George M. Jones, Salt Lake City, Utah Application November 7, 1952, Serial No. 319,370
4 Claims. (CI. 3712) This invention pertains to an ice melting machine suitable especially for the removal from roads, airport runways and the like of the residual ice layer which remains after conventional snow and ice removing equipment has cleared the surface to a partial extent. While the invention is especially valuable in connection with coldweather operation of military and civilian airports, it will be seen as the description proceeds that it will also be useful on surfaces of other types.
Travelling roadway or surface heaters have been employed for a long time for various purposes, such as (for example) the heating of asphaltic or like materials in preparation for planing or smoothing operations. The rapid increase in use of aircraft requiring substantially clear runways for landing and take-off operations has suggested that similar devices might be employed for removing the residual layer of snow and ice which remains after conventional snow-removal operations such as scraping, plowing or the like. This residual layer of ice, while usually thin (of the order of a half inch in thickness) presents a real hazard during the landing and take-off of aircraft, particularly where high landing speeds are involved. Also, since it is ordinarily quite solid and compact, being the lowest layer of compactable material beneath a fall of snow, hail or sleet, its removal by purely mechanical operations is difiicult and injurious to the underlying paved or unpaved surface.
Preliminary tests indicated that while the heating and melting of ice layers of the type indicated could be accomplished in a feasible manner, substantially complete removal of the water resulting from the melting operation was essential to practical success. Such water cannot be left to re-freeze or the operation would be valueless, and neither time nor slope are usually available so that natural drainage would remove the water before re-freezing sets in.
It was hence thought that some artificial water pickup system could be employed to enable the water to be continuously and forcibly ejected away from the area to be cleared, and efforts were made to utilize a suction manifold dragged or carried close to the surface, and behind the heating furnace. Various sizes of suction orifices were tried in this connection, but in all cases the pick-up action rapidly became insufficient, due to clogging of these orifices, either by stones, gravel, grass or similar substances unavoidably present in or beneath the layer of ice. This was true even though large-sized orifices with suitable screens were employed.
A collateral problem which arose in connection with these efforts was the necessity for providing some way of localizing or holding the water produced by the melting of the ice in position for eflicient pick-up by the suction manifold. Rubber squeegee blades proved utterly worthless for this purpose, largely due to the uneven nature of the surfaces being treated. An air squeegee was also tried, with a set of pipes arranged with a plan view profile of square U configuration, open towards the front direction, and each pipe being provided with a slot inclined at 45 to the ground surface, from which compressed air was ejected to drive the water against the suction manifold. This proved impractical because of leakage at the (open) corners of the U, and when the pipe arrangement was made continuous at the corners, it failed to follow the surface contour satisfactorily, and also produced excessive turbulence and leakage at the corners, where the jets interfered with one another.
The present invention concerns a design and arrange- 2,706,863 Patented Apr. 26, 1955 ment for an ice-melting device of this general type which overcomes all of the above-noted objections, and which provides an efiicient and practical solution to the problem of picking up and disposing of the considerable quantity of water resulting from the melting operation.
Fundamentally, the invention is based upon the use of a particular arrangement of pneumatic squeegee elements, carried integrally by the same travelling framework or vehicle which carries the ice-melting furnace, and being so sectionalized as to follow the contour of the travelled surface with sufficient precision to prevent leakage of water away from the pick-up zone, in combination with a novel form of water pick-up device operating as a continuously rotating absorbent or spongy roller, from which water is expressed by a wringer roll in pressure engagement therewith. This combination has proved its efficiency and value in actual practice.
The invention itself, and its principles of operation, as well as various advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following detailed specification of a preferred embodiment thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a plan view, partly schematic, of a preferred form of the complete apparatus,
Fig. 2 is a side elevational view thereof,
Fig. 3 is a plan view, to a larger scale, of the water pick-up portion of the machine,
Fig. 4 IS a side elevation of the parts shown in Fig. 3,
but to a larger scale, and
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary schematic view illustrating the water pick-up action of the blotter roll and associated parts. J
Referring first to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the machine itself is shown as a trailer type of device, intended to be drawn along the surface being treated by any convenient prime mover. It could also be selfpropelled. In order to indicate the scale of the machine, one embodiment is capable of treating a strip 10 feet in width at each pass, although larger and smaller machines could be built. A machine of this size may conveniently employ as its basic framework a motor grader frame of generally goose-neck form, having longitudinal frame elements as indicated by numeral 10. The converging forward portions of the frame elements are supported by road wheels 12, and a draft arm 14 is provided for coupling to the prime mover. Rear wheels support the opposite end of the frame. The elevated forward portion of the frame, indicated at 16, has suspended therefrom a heating furnace 18 comprising an open-bottomed structure supplied as by a duct 20 with air under pressure for combustion of fuel oil supplied by fuel line 24 and atomized by jets 22. The fuel may be carried as in a tank 26 connected to fuel line 24, and usual fuel pump 28 and air blower 30, respectively, are provided and connected to duct 20 and line 24 in an obvious manner.
The furnace 18 may desirably be of double-wall construction for heat conservation, and the inner wall 32 may be of stainless steel or other corrosion and flame resistant material. The details of construction of the furnace itself are unimportant for the purposes of the present invention.
Disposed rearwardly of the furnace 18 (the arrow in Fig. 2 indicating the direction of travel of the machine) are the water pick-up elements, suitably suspended or mounted upon frame 10 in a manner to be detailed hereinafter. These elements include a sponge-covered roller 34 extending substantially the width of the machine, and journalled for rotation in contact with the travelled surface, and a wringer roll'36 mounted for rotation on an axis parallel to that of the sponge roller 34 and in pressure contact therewith so as to express therefrom water picked up from the surface. A trough 38 is disposed across the width of the machine, and arranged to receive the water wrung out of the sponge roller 34, as best shown in Fig. 5, and this water is removed from the trough and disposed of in any convenient manner, as by a pump delivering such water to a storage tank or to a fire nozzle to direct the same away from the surface being treated.
As shown in Figs. 3 and 4, it is preferred to provide a positive drive for the sponge roller 34, because if it is attempted to drive the same by means of its contact with the surface, the sponge (which is preferably a well-known commercial form of cellulose or rubber sponge cemented to a metal drum forming the core of the roller 34) may be rapidly torn and worn so as to destroy its further usefulness. While some kind of synchronous drive could be utilized to rotate the roller 34 in time with the movement of the machine along the surface, a simpler and more reliable device is the provision of traction wheels such as 40, 42, which may be grooved or tired so as to be driven by contact with the surface, and carried by a trans verse shaft 44 connected as by pulleys and a link-belt 46 to the shaft 48 of roller 34. The latter may conveniently be divided in two equal parts and driven at its center pulley, as shown.
Rollers 34 and 36, trough 38 and traction wheels 40, 42 are preferably all carried by sub-frames indicated by numera150, which may be adjustably supported or suspended from the main frame It? as by cables 52. A link or links 54 ensure stability of position of the subframe.
Turning now to the pneumatic squeegee portion of the assembly, this comprises a set of closed-end pipe sections 56 loosely supported (for limited vertical motion) transversely of the machine, and rearward of the sponge roller 34, and a similar set of similar pipes 58, 60 extending along each side of the machine and so as to embrace the area of water pick-up on three sides. The use of independent pipe sections of limited length (such as four feet or less) instead of single sections or a single bent pipe, provides for accurate conformance to the uneven surfaces encountered in this work, and minimizes leak age of water onto adjoining areas. The closed ends of the pipe sections are preferably bevelled as indicated at 62 (Fig. 3) to provide a cross-blast of air especially at the corners and ends of adjacent members of the pipe assembly and thereby further to reduce leakage of water.
Each of the pipe sections is provided with a slot, of width of the order of ,0, of an inch, and directed at an angle of approximately 45 to the ground surface, this slot being illustrated at 64 in Fig. 5. Each pipe section is supported by one or more risers 66 which pass loosely through vertical guide sleeves such as 68, welded to the subframe 50, and these risers serve not only for guiding the pipe sections in their vertical motions, but also to conduct air under pressure thereto, by means of suitable fittings and flexible hose connections such as 70, leading ultimately to the air compressor 72. The action of these pneumatic squeegee pipes in piling up water for removal by thse sponge roller 34 and wringer 36 is best shown in Fig.
The water accumulated in trough 38 is removed by a suction pump 74 and delivered temporarily to a storage tank 76, the trough having a flexible connection 78 with the tank. Pump 74 is shown as discharging to auxiliary tanks 80 which are connected with a conventional pres-- sure pump delivering the water to a fire nozzle 82 for dispersal in any desired direction away from the surface being treated. Automatic controls for the water disposal system are provided, but since they form no part of the present invention, they are not described herein. The manner in which the various pumps and compressors are operated is also not important to the present invention, and they are shown generally as individually powered by electric motors fed from a central electric generator 84 driven from a single large Diesel engine 86 supplied with fuel from a tank such as 88.
The essential feature of the present invention which distinguishes it from prior art machines for the same purpose lies in the combination of a blotter roll for initial pick-up of the water resulting from the melting operation, in combination with a pneumatic squeegee for final removal of the water behind the blotter and for building up a sufficient level of water at the blotter roll to ensure its efiicient operation. The division of the air squeegee pipes into separate units, with freedom for relative vertical movement, ensures that the air jets are maintained close enough to the ground surface to prevent leakage, because precise linear contact is unnecessary as would be the case with any mechanical sweeping device. It has been found that a moderate pressure, for example of the order of 30 pounds per square inch, from a compressor delivering 630 cubic feet of air per minute, is adequate to supply the jet slots of inch width in a total length of about 16 feet of squeegee pipe, which is sufficient for a machine capable of treating a ten-foot width of runway.
Having disclosed and described herein a preferred and exemplary embodiment of the invention in considerable detail, so as to enable those skilled in the art to make and practice the invention, it is to be understood that minor modifications and changes could easily be made in the details thereof, and that the invention is not to be considered as limited to such details except as required by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a surface treating machine adapted for travelling a surface and provided with means for melting ice upon said surface, a water pick-up arrangement disposed rearwardly of the melting means and comprising an absorbent roller supported by said machine for pressure contact with said surface and rotatable upon a horizontal axis lateral of the direction of machine travel, a wringer roll disposed for free rotation on an axis parallel to said absorbent roller and in pressure contact therewith rearwardly of the roller axis, a trough mounted beneath said wringer roll for receiving water expressed from said absorbent roller by said wringer roll, means for removing water collected in said trough, and pneumatic squeegee means extending across said absorbent roller at its rear portion and along at least part of the side portions thereof; said squeegee means comprising a plurality of air pipe sections loosely supported for independent and limited vertical movement to conform to the contour of the travelled surface, said sections together forming a substantially U- shaped enclosure about the rear of said absorbent roller.
2. A machine in accordance with claim 1, in which said pipe sections are provided with bevelled closed ends at their points of adjacency.
3. A machine in accordance with claim 1, in which each of said pipe sections is carried by a pair of spaced vertical riser pipes loosely sliding in fixed sleeves.
4. A machine in accordance with claim 3, in which said riser pipes are in communication with said pipe sections, and pressure supply conduits connected to said riser pipes.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,391,754 Bair Sept. 27, 1921 2,312,851 Siebert Mar. 2, 1943 2,642,601 Saffioti June 23, 1953
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|U.S. Classification||37/227, 126/271.20A, 126/343.50R, 15/98, 37/232|