US 2723790 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 15, 1955 N. E. SPIESS, JR., ET AL 2,723,790
GAS CHARGING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed April 5, 1950 4 Sheets-Sheet l F'lG.l
INVENTORS. NEWTON E. SP|ESS,JR. LAWRENCE C. WIDDOES KENNETH R. WEAVER 0 ATTORNEYS.
Nov. 15, 1955 N. E- SPIESS, JR ET AL 2,723,790
GAS CHARGING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed April 5, 1950 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 65 5 47 so I o 48 \x\\\\\\\\\\ k 2 I8 INVENTORS. NEWTON E. SPIESS JR. LAWRENCE c. wloobas KENNETH R. WEAVER fie/m ATTORNEYS.
Nov. 15, 1955 N. E. SPIESS, JR. ET AL GAS CHARGING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed April 5, 1950 j k k 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. 5 46 1 VENTORS. Z NEWTON E. SPIESS,JR. LAWRENCE c. WIDDOES KENNETH R. WEAVER 4 yjf -cv 113,4, ATTORNEYS.
Nov. 15, 1955 spn-gss, JR" ET AL 2,723,790
GAS CHARGING MACHINE AND METHOD Filed April 5, 1950 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG? INVENTORS. NEWTON E. SP|ESS,JR. LAWRENCE C. WIDDOES KENNETH R. WEAVER 4 1a; Wv ,6;
United States Patent GAS CHARGING MACHINE AND METHOD Newton E. Spiess, Jr., Oakda'le, Lawrence C. Widdoes, Bohemia, and Kenneth R. Weaver, West Scegville, N. Y., assignors -to National Dairy Research Laboratories, Inc., Oakdale, N. Y., a corporation of Delaware Application April 5, 1950, Serial No. 154,062 15 Claims. (Cl. 226-69) The present invention relates to apparatus and methods for charging the .liquid contents of a container with a gas under pressure, and embodies more specifically an apparatus and method of the above character wherein the charging machine and method accomplish the "solution of the gas in the liquid substantially simultaneously with the charging operation.
Containers of liquid have heretofore been charged with a gas under pressure, the operation having been performed, for example, by injecting the gas into the containerof liquid in the space above the level of the liquid :in the container. In these operations the gas does not dissolve asinjected unless the container is shaken simultaneously with the injection. If the container is not shaken, the pressure of ,gas in the container is relatively high, and the normal -or equilibrium value 'of the pressure is obtained only'by shaking the container subsequent- .ly to .cause the gas and liquid to intermingle, whereby the :gas is dissolved in the liquid.
:typical operation, as mentioned above, 'is one in 'which cream is packed in a container under the pressure of nitrous oxide gas so that, when the pressure is releaSed,"the dissolved nitrous oxide will expand, causingthe cream to fluff or expand into a product resembling whipped cream. A suitable-container for this ,product is a .tin can containing a self sealing flexible :plug (such as rubber) in one end of 'thecan; and through-which 'a hollow ineedle may be inserted to charge'the can with the gas or to =dispense 'the product when the cream is to be used. The processing of such a container is accomplished by filling the container to the desired level with cream, attaching-the open end'ofthe container, sealing the end, in- :serting a hollow 'needle through the flexible plug and drawing .a desired 'vacuurn-andzthen injecting the nitrous oxide into the containerthrough the hollow needle.
An object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus and method of the:above character wherein a :container'of the type above ireferred to may be filled and processed in such fashionasito avoid the occurrence of dangerous pressures and other objectionable conditions.
.A further object of the invention isitoprovide an apparatus and method of-the iabove :character wherein the lfilling operations may be controlled effectively so that theidesired'pressures may be:maintained at all times.
Yetianother object 0f the invention is to provide :an apparatus and method of the above character wherein the solution vof'the-gas inthetliquid 'is accomplished effectively :andwithout the necessity of treatment such 'as, agitation.
Another object of the invention is .to provide an apxparatus and method of the above character wherein a predetermined :quantity 30f gas may be charged into'the container, despite :substantial variationiof pressure within :the container.
fOther and further objects of the invention will the apuparent as'it is-described:in greater detail in connection with the accompanying :drawings, wherein Figure 11 :is aiplan view 'showingza filling: turretland can 2,723,790 Patented Nov. 15, 1955 feeding mechanism constructed in accordance with the present invention;
Figure 2 is an enlarged detail view showing the can filling and supporting mechanisms of Figure 1, the View being in front elevation;
Figure 3 is a View in transverse vertical section, taken on the line 33 of Figure 2, and looking in the direction of the arrows;
Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 3, showing the operation of piercing and evacuating the container;
Figure 5 is a view similar to Figure 3,,-showing the position of the parts during the gas charging operation;
Figure 6 is a view in reduced scale, partly diagramrustic, and showing the gas feed and vacuum conduits utilized in connection with the mechanism of Figure l; and
Figure 7 is an enlarged partial view in section, showing the piercing, evacuating and charging needle utilized in the device.
Referring to Figure 1, .a conveyor is illustrated generally at It), andmay be formed of any suitable structure such as, for example, of rollers and the like. The portion 11 thereof serves as an infeed conveyor and the portion 12 as an outfeed conveyor. A series of cans 13 are illustrated as being fed to the mechanism, and a series 14 as being discharged therefrom onto the outfeed conveyor .12. The cans 13 from the infeed conveyor are directed, as by means of a rotating wheel 15,.ontoa series of'platforms 16 (Figure 2) that are supported upon pedestals 18,.at the bottoms of which cam rollers 19 are rotatably mounted.
The platforms 16 and related mechanism are .mounted upon a rotatable turret 17, which is adapted to rotate either continuously or intermittently as desired in a manner which will be readily understood. The cam .rolls 19 ride .upon a cam track 21) that extends circumferentially beneath the turret and from the infeed point to the outfeed point where the cans are discharged onto the outfeed conveyor 12. The elevation of the :cam 20, as illustrated by the sloping surface 21 is varied as the cam extends around thetrack above mentioned in order toaccomplish the desired lifting or lowering operations upon the platform 16, as presently to be described.
As above mentioned, Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the manner in which the .infeed mechanism places cans .13 upon the platform .16. The cans are formed with sealing plugs .22, which may be of rubber, and the desired quantity of liquid 23 is contained therein. As illustrated in Figure 3, the quantity of liquid 23 is such that there is a space 24 within the can-above the level .of the liquid.
The turret 17 is formed with a lowercircumferential flange .25, Within which the pedestals .18 are slidably mounted and, above the flange v25, an upper flange 2 6 .is provided upon which a guide bracket 27 is located directly above each of the platforms 16. The guide brackets 27 slidably receive guide rods 28, at thelower extremities of which are secured needle guide plates 29. Springs 28 may be provided to urge the guide rods .28 normally into the position illustrated in Figure 2.
The needle guide plate 29 is provided with a needle guide fitting 3%) Within which a charging needle 31moves slidably. As illustratedin Figure 7, the charging needle 31 is hollow, and its lower extremity is formed with a ,piercingpoint 32 and one or more apertures ,33 in its .sidescommunicating with the hollow interior vportionof the needle. The apertures 33 discharge into thershallow concave portions 34 in the sides of the needle. As illus- =.trated in Figure 3, the needle 31 is mounted in a hollow slitting.35i.carriedby;the=guide bracket 27 the fitting .35
3 providing a fluid connection from the interior portion of the needle through a duct 36 to a conduit 37.
Above the bracket 27, a crosshead 38 is secured to the guide rods 28, being formed with a cutaway portion 39 in register with a vacuum control arm 40, on the extremity of which a roller 41 may be mounted. The crosshead 38 is provided with a pivoted arm 42 that is adapted to engage the roller 41 upon upward movement of the crosshead 38 and actuating vacuum control valve 43 through a link 44 that is pivoted to the arm 40. The pivoting of the arm 42 thus permits it to ride over the roller 41 on its downward stroke to prevent actuation of the vacuum valve during such motion.
At the upper end of the guide rods 28 a plate 45 is secured, this plate carrying a striking arm 46 that is adapted to engage a roller 47 carried upon a pressure control arm 48. A link 49 connects the arm 43 with a pressure control valve 50, thus causing this valve 50 to be actuated upon sufficient upward movement of the plate 45.
Suitable brackets 51 and 52 are provided on the turret 17 for pivotally mounting the respective levers 40 and 48, as is illustrated in Figure 3.
Referring to Figure 6, the turret 17 is formed with a central hub 53 within which a stationary core 54 is received. The core is formed with an axial bore 55 that communicates through a radial port 56 with a circumferential manifold chamber 57, the bore 55 being connected to a suitable vacuum source, not shown. An upper axial bore 58 is connected to a suitable source of fiuid under pressure 59 and through a port 60 to a circumferential manifold 61. The manifolds 57 and 61 are formed within the rotatable hub 53 and are connected to conduits running to the respective vacuum and pressure control valves 43 and 50. For example, conduits 62 connect the manifold 57 with respective valves 43, whereas conduits 63 connect the manifold 61 with an annular manifold 64 which, in turn, is connected to the valve 50 through conduits 65.
Figures 2 to illustrate the sequence of steps in the operation of evacuating and charging the container 13 with gas. In Figures 2 and 3, the container 13 has been placed upon the platform 16, and the cam roller 19 rides over the cam surface 20. As the turret rotates, the roller 19 rides up the inclined surface 21 to elevate the pedestal 18 and platform 16. This causes the container 13 to be moved into the position illustrated in Figure 4, during which operation the needle 31 pierces the sealing plug 22 causing the needle ports 33 to communicate with the space 24 Within the container and above the level of the fluid 23. Simultaneously, the pivoted arm 42 engages the roller 41 and opens the vacuum valve 43, causing the source of vacuum to be applied to the space 24 through the conduit 62, vacuum valve 43, and a conduit 66 which communicates with the conduit 37.
As the roller 19 continues to ride over the cam 20, it engages a second inclined surface to further elevate the platform to the position illustrated in Figure 5. This moves the can upwardly and causes the needle to assume the position illustrated in Figure 5, at which time the strike plate 46 opens the pressure valve 50. During the movement of the can into the position shown in Figure 5, the pivoted lever 42 rides off the roller 41, and the vacuum valve 42 is returned to its normally closed position. Upon opening the pressure valve 50, the nitrous oxide or other charging gas is introduced into the respective conduits 67 and through the conduits 37, being charged into the can through the ports 33 of the needle 31.
As the turret continues to rotate and after the desired quantity of gas has been charged into the container, the height of the cam decreases, and the roller rides down to the original lower surface thereof, as illustrated in Figure 2. At this point, the can is discharged onto the outfeed conveyor 12, as illustrated in Figure 1. It is to be observed that, after the platform 16 and can 13 are restored to the position illustrated in Figures 2 and 3, the pressure control valve 50 is closed when the strike plate 46 descends sufficiently far and into the position illustrated in Figure 3. On the downward movement of the guide rods 28, the pivoted arm 42 does not actuate the vacuum valve 43, but rather pivots over it, and it is re stored to the normal position illustrated in Figure 3.
We have found that the pressure and velocity of the gas being injected are of great importance in effective and efficient operation of this mechanism. There is a relationship between the pressure of the charging gas and the pressure in the container which causes an instantaneous solution of the gas in the liquid during the charging operation when the needle is extended down into the liquid, as illustrated in Figure 5. This operation results because of the critical flow through the orifices or ports 33 and the consequent intimate and extended contact of the liquid and gas immediately upon introduction of the gas into the liquid. For example, we have found that nitrous oxide gas injected at a pressure of pounds per square inch or above through holes or apertures .005 to .06 inch in diameter resulted in a maximum pressure of only from 30 to 40% above the equilibrium or normal pressure in a twelve ounce can containing eight ounces of cream. The importance of this relationship will be apparent upon considering the fact that, under conditions otherwise the same, but where the gas was introduced into the container above the surface of the liquid, the maximum pressure during charging rose to 300% of equilibrium pressure, that is, 102 pounds per square inch. Upon substantially complete solution of the gas, the equilibrium pressure was 34 pounds per square inch. It is thus clear that under the old methods of charging, extremely high maximum pressures arise, requiring unnecessarily strong containers to withstand such pressures. As above mentioned, where the solution of the gas is accomplished instantaneously, the maximum pressure at no time exceeds a value greater than 30 to 40% above the equilibrium pressure.
Other important advantages flow from the use of the small gas charging orifices. For example, during evacuation of the space above the liquid level in the cans, the air is removed at a relatively slow rate, thus reducing the tendency for the liquid in the can to foam. The time of evacuation may be limited by the travel of the turret 17, so that the pressure in the can will not drop sufficiently to cause excess foaming. A further important point is that the residual pressure in the container will be the same for a given evacuation time despite large variations of pressure in the vacuum line. This results from the use of the restricted orifices as above mentioned. A natural concomitant of the above is that the restricted orifices restrain the rate of evacuation of the container despite the variations in vacuum line pressure to provide a desired control against excessive foaming of the liquid with a resultant loss into the vacuum line.
The restricted orifices become important in the gas charging operation not only in accomplishing the rapid solution of the gas as above mentioned, but in providing a precise mechanism for determining the rate at which the gas is injected into the can. In this fashion, by timing the period during which the gas is injected, a precise and desired weight of gas may be injected into the container, and this weight will be substantially unaffected by the pressure within the container. We have found, through experiments, that the weight of gas charged into the container through restricted ports as aforesaid is the same regardless of widely varying internal pressures within the container, provided the container pressure never exceeds approximately one-half the pressure in the charging needle. The present invention, accordingly, enables a uniform weight of gas to be charged into a container despite variations in temperatures which will lead to pressure differences in the various containers.
It will be quite apparent that the amount of gas charged arranger) into "the containers and the degree *rif -evacuationmaybe varied either by changing the speed 'of rotation-inf the turret by varying the gas injection pressure, or varying the length of i the elevated "portions 'of the lift cam.
The structurehereinabove described provides amechanism by means 'of which a desired *control may be obtained over the time of :evacuation'o'f *the 'container and the injection of gas thereinto. The-operationsof evacuating and charging are easily varied to accomplish the conditions desired, and the "mechanism is such that should a can fail to appear at :a particular station, the rotation of-the turret will not cause the gas -or vacuum valves to open. In other words, these valves areacontrolled by the presence of a container upon the platform corresponding to the respective valves.
In addition to the foregoing, this invention assuresthat each container will be charged with .the same weight of gas and, this regardless of the internal pressure existing within the can provided that this pressure is below a certain maximum.
While the invention has been described with specific reference to the accompanying drawings, it is not tto be limited save as defined in the appended claims.
'We claim: it p 1. Apparatus for charging containers of lrglS-diSSOlV- ing product with gas, comprising a hollow piercing member, at least one restricted orifice in the piercing member, means to connect the member to a source of a gas under pressure, said orifice being of sufficiently small size with respect to pressure .in the meniber of the gas from said source to maintain pressure ton the upstream side of the orifice at a value not .less than twice the pressure within .the container during charging, a container supporting element, means to move the member and element relatively to cause 'the 'container to be pierced by the piercing member and the last named member to penetrate the container and occupy a charging position in which the member is a substantial distance into the container, whereby the orifice will be submerged in the contents of the container, and means to direct gas under pressure into the product in the container through the restricted orifice of thepiercing member when the member is in the charging position, whereby the discharging gas agitates the contents of the container to induce solution of the gas into the contents at an accelerated rate and whereby variation of the pressure ratio across the orifice during charging has no influence on the charging rate.
2. Apparatus, according to claim 1, said means to move the member and element causing the member to assume a plurality of successive positions in the container, one of said positions disposing the orifice within the container and above the contents thereof, Wherein means is provided to connect the piercing member with a source of vacuum when disposed in said position within the container above the contents thereof.
3. Apparatus for charging containers of a gas-dissolving product with gas, comprising a hollow piercing member having at least one restricted orifice therein, a platform aligned with the piercing member and adapted to receive a container, a source of vacuum and a vacuum valve communicating with the piercing member, a source of a gas under pressure and a pressure valve communicating with the piercing member, said orifice being of sufiiciently small size with respect to pressure in the member of the gas from said source to maintain pressure on the upstream side of the orifice at a value not less than twice the pressure within the container during charging, means to move the platform and container thereon toward the piercing member to cause the same to be pierced by the piercing member, and means actuated by the container to actuate the vacuum and pressure valves in sequence, said pressure valve being actuated When the piercing member is disposed to discharge directly into the contents of the container where- I ing members, axially movable shafts for the 6 by the contents are agitated by the "discharge and-"caused "to-dissolve gasat an accelerated'rate and wherebyvariation in the pressure ratio across the orifice has no'infiuence on the charging rate.
4. A device, according to claim 3, wherein thesaid means to'move the platform includes means to move said platform from a normal position into a plurality of positions, and in which the respective valves are actuated by means which are inturn actuated respectively in the respective positions.
5. A device, according to claim '3, wherein the said means to move the platform includes means to "move the platform into two positions spaced in a direction axially of the piercing member.
6. A device, according to claim 3, wherein the platform moving means comprises a three position ca'm means and mechanism for positioning the platform in three positions all axially spaced with respect to the piercing member.
7. A device, according to claim '3, wherein the platform moving means comprises a three position cam :means and mechanism .for positioning the platform "in :three positions all axially spaced with respect to the piercing memberyand wherein means is provided'to actuate the vacuum valve when the platform is in an interrme'diate position with the piercing member disposed in the zone in'the container above the contents.
8. Apparatus for charging containers with gas, "comprising a hollow piercing member having at least one restricted orifice therein, a stationary bracket mounting -=the piercing member, a source of vacuum and a-source of a gas under pressure, means to connect the 'piercing member to asource of gas under pressure, said orifice being of sufficiently small size with respect to pressure in the member'of the gas from said-source to "maintain the pressure on the upstream side of the =orifice "at a value not less than twice the pressure within the container during charging, a vacuum valve and a gas valve carried with the bracket, means on the bracket for actuating the valves, a platform beneath the piercing member adapted to support a container, an axially movable shaft supporting the platform, and means to move the shaft into a plurality of axial positions, the shaft moving means includes a cam formed to move the platform from a normal container receiving position toward and against the piercing member to cause initial penetration of the prising a rotatable turret, a plurality of hollow piercing members mounted on the turret, a source of vacuum and a source of gas under pressure mounted on the turret, a vacuum valve and a gas pressure valve on the turret for each of the piercing members, a container receiving platform on the turret for each of the piercplatforms, a circumferential cam beneath the turret for moving the shafts axially, slide members on the turret adapted to be engaged and moved by containers on the platforms upon axial movement of said shafts, and means carried by said slide members to actuate said valves.
10. A device, according to claim 9, wherein means is carried by the slide to actuate the vacuum valve upon initial movement of the platform toward the piercing member, and additional means is carried by the slide to actuate the gas valve upon final movement of the platform toward the piercing member.
11. A device, according to claim 9, wherein a pivoted arm is carried by the slide to actuate the vacuum valve upon initial movement of the platform toward the piercing member, and additional means is carried by the slide to actuate the gas valve upon final movement of the platform toward the piercing member.
12. A method of charging containers of a gas-dissolving liquid with a gas under pressure, comprising penetrating the container with a hollow member having a restricted orifice to cause the member to discharge into the liquid in the container, establishing and maintaining a gas pressure on the upstream side of the orifice at a value not less than twice the absolute pressure within the container, and directing the gas while under the said pressure through the orifice and into the liquid to cause the liquid to become agitated to enable it to dissolve gas at an accelerated rate.
13. A method of charging containers of a liquid with a gas under pressure, comprising penetrating the container with a hollow member having a restricted orifice, subjecting the interior of the container to a source of vacuum, submerging the orifice in the liquid, establishing and maintaining a gas pressure on the upstream side of the orifice at a value not less than twice the absolute pressure within the container, and directing the gas while under the said pressure through the orifice and into the liquid to cause the liquid to become agitated to enable it to dissolve gas at an accelerated rate.
14. A method of incorporating a uniform mass of a gas into a product in a closed space to raise the absolute pressure in the closed space, comprising penetrating the space with a member having a restricted orifice, establishing and maintaining a gas pressure on the upstream side of the orifice at a value not less than twice the maximum absolute pressure in the space throughout the gasing operation, and directing the gas while under the said pressure through the orifice into the space.
15. In a system for incorporating a uniform mass of a gas into a product under pressure in a closed space to raise the absolute pressure in the closed space, an injection member having at least one restricted orifice therein, and means to connect the member to a source of the gas under pressure, said orifice being of a sufficiently small size to maintain pressure of the gas on the upstream side of the orifice at a value not less than twice the pressure in said space on the downstream side of the orifice throughout the gasing operation.
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