US 2807948 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1957 G. w. BONNEY 2,807,948
PURIFYING AND LINT REMOVING METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING SOLUTIONS Filed May 11, 1953 (I) l 0. 11 .m
Transformer and Recflher 0. n g W H I \r' v I 1 I N N 1 Q I l S I F:
Gorge W. Bonney A TTOR/VE Y United States Patent George W. Bonney, Riverton, Wyo.
Application May 11, 1953, Serial No. 354,347
2 Claims. (Cl. 68-13) This invention relates to cleaning solutions and their use, such as the solutions used in the cleaning system of a dry cleaning plant for the cleaning of fabrics, garments and the like. Many of these cleaning solutions contain a soap substance to aid in removing dirt, grease, etc. from the material being cleaned. As the solution is used in the cleaning apparatus there is formed from the soap, and also from other substances cleaned from the fabrics such as a grease, certain fatty acids. These fatty acids produce odors which are undesirable and as they accumulate it is necessary to change the solution. The solution is generally cleaned by passing it through a steam still process, whereby the fatty acids are removed, together with the undesirable odors.
Also during the cleaning process for the fabrics whereby the dirt, grease and other substances are removed, particles and minute fibers of the material are removed which is commonly called lint. Some of this lint goes into the solution, but other clings to the garment being cleaned. I believe this clinging is caused by the presence of static electricity which has been created by friction, action between relative movable or rubbing substances, such as the fabrics against each other or against substances in which they may be contained, as bags or against other substances such as parts of the cleaning apparatus through which the fabrics pass during their cleaning process. Along with the clinging of the lint to the fabrics or other articles being cleaned there is an accompanying clinging of dirt and foreign material that is desired to be removed from the garments or other articles by the cleaning process.
The reason for the clinging of dirt and other foreign material is, to my understanding, caused by such being locked in by the clinging lint and the clinging of the lint results from static electricity caused by substances having different charges of electricity. Regardless of the theory of what is taking place to hold the lint, dirt and other elements desired to be removed from the fabric, the fact remains that all lint and all dirt and other substances are not removed by present dry cleaning processes. Consequently, the fabric, garment or other article is not fully cleaned and comes from the cleaning process in other than a desired fully cleaned condition, free of lint.
It is my belief that all of these unsatisfactory cleaning results flow from the presence of static electricity during the cleaning process and I have discovered that by eliminating the presence of static electricity all the fabrics, garments, etc. will be cleaned in a surprisingly satisfactory manner not before possible. Also, by eliminating the static electricity in my particular way, I have discovered that the cleaning fluid can be maintained in a purified condition free of accumulation of undesirable odors.
Therefore, one of the objects of my invention is to eliminate the harmful presence of static electricity in a cleaning system for garments.
Another object is to eliminate the clinging of lint on fabrics, garments and other articles being cleaned by a cleaning process wherein the clinging is caused by the presence of static electricity.
Yet another object is to eliminate, by draining ofl, static electricity which may be present during the cleaning of fabrics, garments and articles, by the use of a cleaning solution and thereby aid in the freeing of lint, dirt and other undesirable substances from the fibrous material being cleaned and thereby produce a cleaner article.
Still another object is to eliminate odors from cleaning solutions and thereby so purify the solutions that they may be employed for cleaning purposes for a longer period without the necessity of removing the solutions from use, while other commonly used methods are separately employed to recondition the solutions for continued use. Still. additional objects are to so condition a cleaning system for fabrics, garments and other articles that the cleaned material will be cleaner, free from lint, the cleaning solution will be used longer with less expense in purifying, less soap will be employed as well as less filter powder in the system, the cleaning solution will do a better job, and the cleaning of the articles passing through the system will take a shorter time.
With these and other objects in view, I have disclosed and am describing a particular apparatus embodying, by way of example, my invention whereby an improved method is carried out to accomplish the desired results.
In the drawing the single figure is a schematic view of a dry cleaning system having associated therewith a static electricity eliminating circuit for accomplishing my new and unexpected results, said figure also showing a rotating dryer employed in removing cleaning solution from a fabric or other dry cleaned articles with said dryer also having associated therewith the static electricity eliminator whereby lint and undesirable particles are caused to be prevented from clinging to the fabric or other articles being dryed.
Referring now to the figure in detail, the dry cleaning system disclosed, by way of example as having associated therewith my invention, comprises a combination washer and tumbler W of general cylindrical form having a housing 10 provided with an access door 11. Within the housing is a rotatably mounted washing and tumbling cylinder 12 into which the goods to be cleaned are placed. This cylinder is perforated, as shown, and may be driven in any suitable manner as by the pulley 13 on the end of its mounting shaft 14. The cleaning solution is indicated at S and fills about one-half of the washer.
In order to clean the solution its bottom is connected to a lint trap T by a pipe 15. From here, by suitable piping 16 and a pump P driven by a motor M, the solution to be cleaned is transferred to a filter tank F. This filter is of well known construction, having therein filter bags 17 of fabric mounted on an outlet pipe 18 at its bottom, said pipe leading back to the washer W. Suitable filter powder is employed with the bags. Also valves, as shown, can be employed to control the flow of the solution.
As the cleaning system just described is used, soap erein begins to deteriorate and fatty acids are formed which produce undesirable odors. The odors become noticeable in a few days and as cleaning continues, such odors become stronger. The fatty acids and resulting odors are not removed by passing the solution through the filter tank, as this only removes the dirt, lint, etc. from the solution. When the odors become too strong, the solution must be put through a steam still and followed by suitable filters to remove the acids. This is, of course, expensive as it requires additional equipment and is also time consuming. The odors from the fatty acids are highly objectionable and as they develop the quality of cleaning becomes poorer or less. eflicient. With the cleaning system employed, lint is always present in the washer and because of created static electricity resulting from garment rubbing and also contacts from relatively moving parts. Because of the static electricity, the lint clings to the garments and other articles being cleaned. This clinging lint locks in dirt, grease and other foreign substances in the weave of the fabric and prevents the thorough cleaning desired.
In accordance with my understanding, I have discovered that the fatty acid odor can beeliminated by eliminating the polarity thereof that is neutralizing the electrical charge of its particles. I can accomplish this by connecting the apparatus of the cleaning system into a low voltage direct current circuit, preferably one in which the direct current is of the pulsating type. I have also discovered. that by properly connecting the cleaning apparatus in this type of electrical circuit that all static electricity can be eliminated from the garments, etc. being cleaned and also from the solution, with the result that a marked superior job of cleaning can be accomplished, and further all danger of explosions removed which might occur from a sparking caused by a build-up of a charge of static electricity which has a negative and positive charge, as is well known.
My circuit which I connect to the cleaning system shown in the figure comprises a suitable source of electricity. which may be regular 110 A. C. from a commercial source. This A. C. electricity I connect to a transformer and rectifier setup of known construction to produce a low voltage pulsating type of direct current. The transformer and rectifier are indicated in a box form with the letters TR.
The produced pulsating D. C. electricity is now connected into the cleaning system to produce a circuit. As shown, one conductor 19 by branch conductors is connected to the washer and tumbler W at two points below the solution level in order to produce the desired circuits through the solution. The other conductor 20, to completethe: circuit, is connected to the filter F at two points, one being at the bottom where the filtered matter is concentrated and the other at the top of the filter where the solution enters to pass through the filter bags. As the solution circulates during cleaning, the cleaning apparatus is constantly connected into the low voltage circuit and consequently the solution is constantly carried into contact. with the metal of the cleaning apparatus, which will have a. definite polarity.
I have discovered that the fatty acid has a definite polarity and as it contacts the metal thepolarityof' the fatty acid is neutralized. By neutralizing the polarity of the fatty acid, I have discovered that the objectionable odors no longer exist. I assume that this theory is correct, but; regardless of the theory involved, I' do know that: theobjectionable odors no longer exist, being fully eliminated. Tests show that a solution which has been used for 30 days showed no objectionable odor which, prior. to. the installation of a system embodying my invention, showed odors after three or four days.
With my D. C. current circuit, I have also discovered that I' have eliminated static electricity from the system and its destructive possibilities. As garments and like articles move through the cleaning apparatus, woolen fabrics, rayons, etc. rub together and against other substances such as container bags. Consequently, static electricity develops. The positive and negative charges on the garments including lint, etc., result in the usual attraction relation and consequently with the lint having an opposite charge from that ofthe garment, it tends to cling to the garment. The result is detrimental, as this clinging; iolds in the dirt, grease'and other foreign matter that is desired to be freed from the garment forgood' clean ing: it the. dirt, etc. are not removed, a goodcleaning job is not done.
With my low voltage circuit connected to the cleaning system there is provided a path through which the static electricity can be removed or drained off" from the cleaning apparatus. With this leaking ofi of the static electricity, the negative and positive charge conditions no longer exist and consequently the lint will not have an attraction to the garment and be held in the weave thereof. With this freeing of the lint it no longer is functioning to lock in the dirt, grease, etc. in the weave of the fabric and, therefore, the solution will effectively free it. The result is a very well cleaned garment free from lint. Tests show that fabrics, garments, etc. cleaned by apparatus connected into my circuit are surprisingly cleaner than by the usual method, free from lint and really have a new look.
Thus, I have accomplished with my invention embodied in a cleaning apparatus two distinct results, one of which is the purification, or rather the preventing of the putrifying, of the cleaning solution, and the other is the obtaining of a better cleaning job whereby the cleaned articles are free from lint and really cleaner. More dirt, grease and foreign materials have been removed. Furthermore, all danger from explosion has been removed. By eliminating or leaking off the static electricity charge, apotential can not build up to produce a spark causing any explosion.
Also shown in the figure is a dryer D of the tumbler type whereby garments can be put in a rotating perforated cylinder 21 and any remaining cleaning solution in the garments removed by the action of centrifugal force. This tumbler rotates at a not too high speed and under most conditions hot air can be blown through the dryer. As the solution is removed, there is also created additional lint from the centrifugal action. If static electricity is not removed during the drying and tumbling action, the lint will continue to cling to the garments or accumulate below the cylinder 21. Eventually, negative and positive charges will be so built up that in the event of sparking, an explosion will occur when the solution used is of the type that its vapors will be explosive.
As shown in the figure, I connect the dryer D into the same circuit as the cleaning system. This provides a circuit which removes the static electricity and all its detrimental effects and possible harmful conditions. The tumbler is connected in parallel with the circuit of the cleaning system, although a separate circuit may be provided if desired. As shown, a conductor 22 is con-- nected to the single bearing 23 of the tumbler shaft and a conductor 24 from the bearing completes the parallel circuit. With this circuit all static electricity is given a path to flowfrom the dryer and thus its harmful conditions are eliminated.
In the circuit, if it is desired to control the voltage and current, lamps 25 can be inserted therein as desired.
I am aware that my method and apparatus can be modified to fit conditions and the circuit can be established in a manner other than that disclosed, all without dcparting from the fundamental principles of my invention. Therefore, I do not intend that the scope of the invention be limited in any manner except in accordance with the terms of the appended claims and equivalents thereof to which I am entitled.
What is claimed is:
1. In a dry cleaning system, a fabric receiving ap paratus having a rotatable member for containing and tumbling fabric articles and a housing for said member and also containing a cleaning solution, a source of low voltage direct current electricity, and means for connecting the apparatus to the source of electricity so to establish a circuit in which the rotatable member is a part and current will be capable of passing through the solution in the housing, a filter for cleaning the solution associated with said apparatus,.and means for elect connecting one terminal of the source to the filter whereby 5 a current path exists in the filter at least below the solution level during filtering operations.
2. In a dry cleaning system, a fabric receiving apparatus having a rotatable member for containing and tumbling fabric articles and a housing for said member and also containing a cleaning solution, a source of low voltage direct current electricity, means for connecting the apparatus to the source of electricity so as to establish a circuit in which the rotatable member is a part and current will be capable of passing through the solution in the housing, a filter for cleaning the solution associated with said apparatus, means for electrically connecting one terminal of the source to the filter whereby a current path exists in the filter at least below the solution level during filtering operations, a dryer associated with said apparatus 6 and filter for drying the fabric articles, and means for connecting the source of electricity to the dryer during the drying operation.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 672,074 Burton Apr. 16, 1901 857,027 Burton June 18, 1907 1,020,828 Jones Mar. 19, 1912 OTHER REFERENCES Lopez et al.: Amer. Dyestuff Reporter, Feb. 18, 1952, pages 105-109. See pages 106 and 107 particularly.