US 2981170 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 25, 1961 A. RBRAULT FILM DEVELOPING AND FIXING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 6, 1959 wR m5 R w E m N .H w 8 IL/ 9 2 @fihzJZn HTTORNEYS April 25, 1961 BRAULT 2,981,170
FILM DEVELOPING AND FIXING MECHANISM Filed Jan. 6, 1959 PUMP 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FF. 5'. 5 i:
INVENTOR. HNDRE R. BRF! ULT FITToRNEYs United States Patent Ofifice 2,981,170 p Patented Apr. 25, 1961 anisms, Inc., Mineola, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 6, 1959, Ser. No. 785,253
13 Claims. (CI. 95-89) The invention relates to a device or mechanism for developing and fixing a continuous film or film strip. This system is shown particularly forming a part of a system for photographing, developing and fixing the film and projecting so that any exposures or pictures which are taken may be projected and viewed shortly after exposure. The photographs may be that of the face of a picture tube such as a radar screen, an oscilloscope screen and the like where pictures are being taken continuously. The construction or system is applicable to a monobath or one cell device although the construction particularly shown is a two cell device in which the film is developed in one cell and fixed in a second cell. The film moves progressively through the device halting at each cell long enough to fix and develop. One or more duplicate cells may be added to provide one or more separate wash cells and steps if desired.
It isan object of the invention to construct a developing and fixing mechanism or device for film which is highly efiicient.
A further object is to construct this type of mechanism in which continuous flow of solution is provided and spraying is secured by pressure created in the fluid system by closing or blocking the fluid flow in the outlet line.
Another object is to construct a developing and fixing mechanism for film which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture.
A still further object is to construct a mechanism having parts which are easily and inexpensively replaced.
Another object is to construct a simple fluid spray cell.
Another object is to construct a device which does not use air pressure or vacuum to transport processing fluid.
A still further object is to construct a device which is vented to atmosphere.
Again any type of film or format area may be processed.
Other objects of the invention will be more apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment thereof in which:
Fig. 1 is a front elevation of the device;
Fig. 2 is a top view of the device with a part in section taken on line 22 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a vertical section through one of the cells and a solenoid and associated mechanism taken on line 3-3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is an enlarged view of one of the cells with the valve screen or diaphragm removed; and
Fig. 5 is a partial view of a flush arrangement for a cell.
It has been mentioned that the developing and fixing device is shown as it is used with a recording and viewing apparatus which photograph a picture and after developing and fixing may be projected. It has usefulness in other applications. The device includes a film guide means having a film track 14 along which a film is fed intermittently or constantly moving to bring successive portions of a film in front of a photographing aperture 11. A data recording aperture 12 is provided above the photographic aperture so that a photograph of some pertinent data may be photographed at the same time and usually a clock is photographed at the same time so that the actual time of exposure can be read from a photograph of a clock in reduced size. The clock is projected onto the film in any suitable fashion; that illustrated being projected through an aperture 13 onto an inclined mirror 14 and then onto the film. The film is fed past the developing and fixing station or stations so that the fourth station shown is at a projection aperture 15 where light is projected through the film and thrown onto a suitable screen. If the device is to be a three cell device with a wash cell in the fourth position then the projection aperture 15 would be located in the next or fifth position.
Film backing means is provided including a back plate 17 which backs up the film on the track. The backing means in known manner presses the film against the film track during periods when the film is stationary and is moved away therefrom on film transport so that the sensitive emulsion does not rub on the track during trans port. To assist this the film guide means carries film rails 18 to engage the face of the film at top and bottom edges thereof. The rails are secured to the film track by screws 19 and the rails are pressed forwardly by springs 20 to remove the emulsion face of the film away from the film track 14 during film transport. This provides the general structure for the mechanism or device.
The invention is directed particularly to a film treating means for developing and fixing the emulsion of an exposure on a continuous film. There are solutions which develop and fix the emulsion simultaneously in which event a single treating unit will suffice. A more common system is one in which the film is developed at one spray chamber and fixed at a second spray chamber adjacent thereto which provides a two unit device. In some cases it may be desirable to wash the film to doubly assure removal of fixing solution from the film in which event a three unit film treating mechanism may be provided in which the third unit provides a wash or rinse step. Again it may be desirable to flush between developing and fixing steps in which case a rinse unit may be provided therebetween for a four unit device.
Each unit has a fluid chamber which preferably is a separate cell member 24 having a cavity 25 shown as rectangular and open on one side. An inlet connection 26 is provided at one end or the bottom thereof which is shown particularly as connecting with an inlet well 27. An outlet connection 28 is provided at the other end of the cell and particularly shown as the upper end which may have an outlet well 29 extending from the fluid chamber or cavity. The cell member may be molded in one piece of rubber, plastic or other material which is resistant to the solutions used and secured to the frame by the screws 19. Secured over the open face orside of the cell member is a perforate flexible membrane or wall 30 forming a combined valve and spray membrane. This flexible membrane may be about .020 inch thick andhas slits or punctures 31 through the wall and distributed throughout its face so that when the membrane is flat these slits or punctures are closed but upon fluid flow through the outlet tube 44 being closed, the membrane distends or bulges which opens the slits and provides a fluid spray therethrough. The perforations or slits may be cut or sliced without removing material to assure closure when the membrane is not distended. This spray projects the fluid onto the surface of the film F. When fluid flow is restored through the tube 44, the flexible membrane is restored to its flat condition which closes the slits and the spray ceases. The fluid cell is the cell member with the membrane over the open face.
The cell or cells and tubes are easily removed and replaced if any should become faulty or from extensive use.
The perforate flexible membrane or wall separates the fiuid cavity or chamber 25 from a spray chamber 34 provided in the film track 10. The spray chamber 34 is open at its outer end so that the film F to be developed or fixed is at the outer open end and of course the film supported by its backing plate closes this open end when spraying. The flexible membrane closes the opposite or inner face or end of the spray chamber. The spray chamber has an outlet or outlet tube 35 at the bottom thereof. The fixing or developing solution is sprayed on the film and flows into the outlet 35. It is desirable that it be withdrawn by a pump 36 and delivered to a solution container 37 or discarded.
The cell member inlet 26 is connected, such as by an inlet tube 41, with a pump 42 which pump is connected by a tube 43 with the solution container 37. The outlet connection 28 is connected by a flexible tube 44 to the container 37. The container preferably is heated and the temperature controlled by a thermostat so that the solution is at that temperature which is best for developing or fixing of the film. The pumps 36 and 42 may be of any suitable type. It has been found that, that type of pump which has a flexible tube within and lying against its arcuate casing. A roller means rotates into contact with the flexible tube to flatten and seal the same and propel the fluid through the tube is an inexpensive pump and provides adequate flow to distend the perforate membrane. The solution constantly circulates through the inlet line, the fluid chamber and the outlet line when not spraying and the pump is continuously in operation when processing.
The film track, cells and other mechanism of the device are mounted. upon a frame 47 of suitable bulk so that the temperature may be maintained within relatively narrow limits. This assures that the solution is not cooled in its transit in the system. The frame carries electric heaters 48 and a thermostat 49 in suitable cavities in the frame to maintain the frame at the desired temperature.
Valve means are provided to close the outlet connection from the fluid chamber to halt fluid flow through the outlet line and the means shown is particularly simple and efifective. It includes a tube clamp or finger 53 which is pressed down against the flexible outlet tube 44 and closes the tube against liquid flow or substantial liquid flow therethrough. With the pump continuing to operate, by-pass flow is created through the punctures or slits. The tube clamp is particularly shown as pivotally mounted on a hinge pin 54. The ends of the hinge pin are mounted in a bracket 52 secured to the frame. The tube clamp is moved downwardly by suitable valve operating means, that shown being a solenoid 55 mounted in a cavity in the frame and having an armature 56 connected with the tube clamp by a screw 57 which extends through a slot 60 in the clamp. The tube clamp and flexible tube is, therefore, a simple type of valve means. The tube clamp is moved downwardly by the solenoid in timed sequence between each film transport period. Any suitable timer may be used to energize the solenoid in timed sequence, that particularly used being a condenser and resistor controlling the firing of a space discharge tube. The resistor is adjustable to control thetime period. A transistor timing circuit may also be used. The solenoid is shown energized under the control of a timer by the closing of a switch 58 which may be operated from any source such as the film transport mechanism so that the switch for each clamp closes during the periods when the film is stationary or pressed against the film guide. The length of the cam land determines also the length of time in which the clamp or valve is closed and the length of time of the spray. The valve or clamp need not be adjacent the cell 24 but may be anywhere in the outlet line and may be operated remotely.
The fixing cell and associated construction is identical with that described for developing except that for cornpactness in a two cell device, the cell has been inverted which brings the upper outlet and lower inlet connections adjacent to each other and is similarly numbered. It operates identically as described and at the same time such as when the film is stationary or moving and having developing fluids sprayed on the film by the first cell or treating unit, the fixing solution is also sprayed on the film at its spray chamber or treating unit at the same time. The fixing solution has its own container with heaters and thermostat. If a third or wash unit is provided, it may be identically constructed and it will have its own particular flush solution or water.
Each cell may be provided with a wash or flush connection as illustrated in Fig. 5. This may be a by-pass system showing a flush inlet 63 connected with the inlet such as connection 26 or tube 41 and a flush outlet 64 connected with the outlet 28 or tube outlet 44 between the tube clamp 53 and the cell 24. The flush outlet is a flexible tube and is closed by a manual tube clamp 65 or a clamp similar to the tube clamps 53 and may be operated by a solenoid. The flushing of the cell is performed when film is not being developed or fixed. The flush Water is pumped from any source through the system by a suitable pump 67 shown in the inlet line in order to flush out each cell of any solution remaining therein. When flushing the valve or clamp 53 is closed, the valve or clamp 65 opened and the pump 67 operated.
It has been described that the film moves intermittently, however, it may be a continuously moving film in which event the film backing up means may 'be a movable belt. The device is also applicable as an attachment to a camera or as a separate portable unit. Although the cell is particularly shown with a perforate membrane wall secured to the open face of the cell member, it may be a completely molded cell. Although spraying of the solution is preferred the flow through the perforated membrane may be great enough to produce flooding. The device described operates without pressure or at most any pressure developed by closing of the outlet line is preferably very slight.
This invention is presented to fill a need for improvements in a film developing and fixing mechanism. It is understood that various modifications in structure, as Well as changes in mode of operation, assembly, and manner of use, may and often do occur to those skilled in the art, especially after benefiting from the teachings of an invention. This disclosure illustrates the preferred means of embodying the invention in useful form.
What is claimed is:
1. A developing and fixing mechanism for film comprising a body, film guide means carried by the body including a film track; and film treating. means of at least one unit, each unit including a spray chamber in the film guide means and open at the film track, an outlet at the bottom of the spray chamber, the body having a fluid chamber for each spray chamber in alignment with the spray chamber and having an inlet line and an outlet line, one line being connected on one side and the other on the opposite side of the fluid chamber, a flexible membrane separating the fluid chamber and the spray chamber and having perforations therein which open upon halting of liquid flow in the outlet line, a valve in the outlet line solely, and valve operating means to open and close the valve in timed sequence.
2. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 1 including a pump connected in each inlet line.
3. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 1 in which the outlet line is a flexible tube, the valve is a clamp engaging the tube, and the valve operating means is connected with the clamp to press the same against the tube to close the same.
4. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 3 in which the valve operating means is a solenoid, and
means to energize the solenoid in timed sequence with the film movement.
5. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 1 including a pump connected with the spray chamber outlet.
6. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 5 including a pump connected in the inlet line of each unit.
7. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 1 in which the film treating means is plural including a fixing fluid chamber and a developing fluid chamber spaced apart a distance corresponding with the film spacing.
8. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 1 in which the fluid chamber is a one piece molded cell.
9. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 1 including an inlet flush line connected with the inlet line, an outlet flush line connected with the outlet line, and a valve in the outlet flush line.
10. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 9 including a pump in the inlet flush line.
11. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 1 in which the film treating means includes two units, each fluid chamber is a one piece molded cell with the outlet 6 and inlet at one vertical edge thereof, one fluid chamber being inverted to bring the connections adjacent each other.
12. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 11 in which the outline line is flexible and extends horizontally rearwardly from the fluid chamber and rests on the top of the frame, and the valve being a clamp engaging the flexible outlet line to squeeze the same closed against the frame.
13. A developing and fixing mechanism as in claim 12 in which the valve operating means is a solenoid mounted in the frame, and a pump connected in the inlet line.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 818,938 Crane Apr. 24, 1906 1,641,778 Overton Sept. 6, 1927 2,431,041 Hassler Nov. 18, 1947 2,582,182 Tuttle et al J an. 8, 1952 2,587,350 Maiwald Feb. 26, 1952 2,771,320 Korwin Nov. 20, 1956