US 3013959 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 19, 1961 J. VENTRE 3,013,959
RACK FOR SUPPORTING FLAT METAL SHEETS IN ELECTROLYTIC OPERATIONS Filed May 27, 1958 Joseph LOUIS Ventre,
United States Patent Ofitice 3,013,959 Patented Dec. 19, 1961 The present invention relates to article supporting racks or hangers, and more particularly to such racks or hangers especially adapted to support relatively flat sheet members within electrolytic baths for electroplating or anodizing purposes and the like.
In the electrolytic treatment of flat sheet members, difiiculty is encountered in maintaining proper electrical contact between the rack and the sheet, such improper contact resulting in poor electrolytic results, defective products and considerable loss in scrap and the like. This is particularly true since electrolytic treatments such as electroplating, anodizing and the like require successive treatment in cleaning, plating or anodizing, washing and similar operations as well as agitation during these treatments with the result that the electrical contact between the work and the carrier may be interrupted or broken. It is also desirable to support the sheet member in such a manner that it may be readily inserted or removed from the rack without unnecessary handling or the necessity of contacting the surface being treated or coated.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a novel rack for supporting objects and flat sheets in particular, in electrolytic operations which will provide support while maintaining good electrical contact.
It is a further object of the present invention to pro vide a rack for supporting flat aluminum sheets during an anodizing operation in a simple and effective manner which will permit maintaining good electrical contact and at the same time permit ready insertion and removal of such sheets with a minimum contact and handling.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent from a consideration of the following specification, the drawings relating thereto, and the appended claims.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view illustrating the rack of the invention having a pair of sheets supported thereon ready for immersion in an electrolytic bath.
FIGURE 2 is an end elevational view of a portion of FIGURE 1 illustrating the clamping portion of the rack.
FIGURE 3 is an end elevational View illustrating the clamping arrangements of FIGURES 1 and 2 when not used for clamping purposes.
FIGURE 4 is an end elevational view illustrating a modified form of clamping arrangement.
As illustrated more particularly in FIGURES 1 and 2, the rack of the invention shown at is formed of metal or other conductive material and is provided with a loop or hanger portion 11 adapted to engage a bus bar or other conductive member above an electrolytic tank and provide the main support for the rack. The rack is formed of a framework upon which the articles are supported, also made of conductive material in which a cross bar 12 is provided with vertical members 13, 14, 15 and 16 attached thereto at the top of the rack, these members being afiixed to a corresponding cross member at the bottom of the rack which is not shown. The framework may be of'any desired shape or configuration but for purposes of illustration is shown as a rectangular member. The rack itself is provided with a plurality of clamping members which may be spaced or positioned in any desired manner. As shown, two pairs of clamping members are provided, each pair being spaced apart in such a manner that each will support a separate sheet of metal 23 or 23a which is to be electrolytically treated as by electroplating or by anodizing. As shown in greater detail in FIGURE 2, each clamping member is positioned at opposite sides of the' rack so that each may be supported on each side by engagement with the clamping members. As illustrated in FIGURE 2, two such clamping members are arranged back to back and affixed to a vertical portion of the frame. The respective clamping members are formed of a metal base 17 which is attached to the frame of the rack and which is provided with outwardly extending arms 19 and 20. These arms are spaced from each other to provide a recess therebetween, the purpose of which will be described hereinafter. Furthermore, arm 20 is positioned at an angular relationship with respect to the portion of the frame to which base 17 is attached to provide a recess into which an article engaging means 21 may be positioned and retained in that position by means of a resilient or spring member 25 which is attached to a ring or other anchoring device 28 positioned at the opposite side of the frame. The opposite clamping member positioned on the other side of the frame is formed with a base member 18 riveted to the frame and being provided with outwardly extending arms 19a and 2011, providing recesses corresponding to those on the other side of the rack and designed to engage an article engaging member 22 which is held in position by a resilient or spring member 26. This resilient member is attached by means of ring 27 which is af fixed to the base 17. Article engaging members 21 and 22 are formed of such a size and shape that they will be drawn into the recess provided between members 20 and 14 and 20a and 14 respectively by means of the resilient t'ensioning members 25' and 26 so that they will exert a wedging action upon an object placed between these members and the frame member of the rack 14. As
shown in FIGURE 2, flat sheet members 23 and 24 are positioned in engagement with the rack and held in' such engagement by the wedging pressure exerted by members 21 and 22, respectively, as they are drawn into their respective recesses and engage the inner surfaces of members 20 and 20a and the exposed contact surfaces of the sheet members which are interposed between article engaging members 21 and 22 and frame portion 14 of the rack.
gree of tension so that they will exert pressure upon members 21 and 22 at the same time exerting a continuous pressure against the sheet members held in.posi-- tion between these members and the frame of the rack.- Preferably members 21 and 22 are of resilient nonconductive material such as moderately soft rubber or plastic so that they will yield slightly under tension of the elastic members thereby maintaining the sheets in firmer engagement. Furthermore, being of non-metallic and non-conductive material, they will be unaffected by the or any number of these clamps may be utilized where sufiicient support and contact is provided thereby. Preferably, arms Ztl'and 20a define an-angle of less than between which the article engaging members may be wedged, to exert a satisfactory clamping action, how- Members 25 and 26 are formed of rubber or other spring material having a certain de-' Q U ever the angle may be any which is suitable for the purpose.
When the clamping members are not in use, they are drawn from their position between arms and 20a and frame portion 14 by pulling outward on the resilient members and 26, thus releasing the flat sheets and at the same time permitting members 21 and 22 to be drawn over arms 20 and 29a which pass through the looped portion of the rubber bands and then retracted into the position illustrated in FIGURE 3 in which the clamping members 21 and 22 are retained between arms 19 and 20 and 19a and 20a respectively. When ready for use in clamping further sheet members, these are then drawn outwardly by pulling the rubber band or spring members 25 and 26 outward and over arms 20 and 20a, whereupon on release, these members will be engaged in recesses defined between arms 20 and 20a and 14 as described above, at the same time clamping sheets temporarily held in position against these portions of the rack. Whereas members 21 and 22 are preferably formed of resilient rubber or plastic, they may also be formed of metal or any other desired material since suificient wedging action will be exerted when positioned in the manner shown to cause suitable contact between metal sheets and the rack itself.
As illustrated in FIGURE 4, the clamping members themselves may be of a different shape than the cylindrical form illustrated in FIGURES l to 3, inclusive. Although the cylindrical shape may be preferred because of the fact that the force exerted is concentrated along a relatively small area of contact. Satisfactory results may be obtained by utilizing wedge shapes or other shapes which will give the necessary surface contact between the sheet member and the rack. In the forms shown in FIGURE 4, wedge-shaped members may be utilized, conforming in shape to the recess defined between rack portion 29 and angularly positioned arms 30 and 30a, respectively. While wedge-shaped members may be urged into contact by elastic or rubber bands of the type shown in FIGURES 1 to 3, they may also be urged into clamping position by spring members and 35a, as shown in FIGURE 4. As illustrated, sheet member 23b is clamped against the rack by a wedge member 34a which is urged in position between 29 and 30a by a spring member 35a. At the same time the clamp on the other side of the rack is not in use and wedge member 34 is retained in position ready for use between arm members 30 and 31 and held therein by means of spring member 35.
For use in anodizing metal sheets, particularly in the case of aluminum, it has been found that the rack is advantageously also constructed from aluminum but it will be understood that the rack can be made from other conducting metals depending on the type of electrolytic operation being carried out. When used for the anodizing of aluminum sheets, for example, the clamping members are drawn forward away from the rack by exerting the necessary degree of pull upon the spring members to which the clamps are attached, thereby permitting the insertion of the sheets between the clamping members and the rack thereupon upon release of the tension the clamping members engage the sheets against the rack as described above. Where the rack is designed to accommodate a plurality of sheets, these are all p-ositioned in the same manner in contact with the rack and the rack then positioned in the electrolytic unit for further treatment in the conventional manner.
It will be understood that various changes in the form, proportion, size and other details of construction of the rack may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of the invention being defined in the appended claims.
The inventor claims:
1. A rack for supporting fiat metal objects in an electrolytic bath, said rack including the combination of an electrically conductive frame member having means affixed thereto for supporting said member in said bath, an arm affixed to said frame member and extending outwardly therefrom and defining an angular zone of less than an electrically non-conductive resilient member for engaging said fiat metal objects, an anchoring member affixed to said frame member at a point displaced from said arm, and an elastic retaining member affixed to said anchoring member and to said engaging member, said elastic member urging said engaging member into said angular zone between said arm and said frame, whereby a flat metal object is supported in electrical contact with said frame.
2. A rack for supporting fiat metal objects in an electrolytic bath, said rack including the combination of an electrically conductive frame member having means affixed thereto for supporting said member in said bath, a first arm affixed to said frame member and extending outwardly therefrom and defining an angular zone of less than 90, an electrically non-conductive resilient member for engaging said fiat metal objects, a second arm affixed to said frame and extending therefrom at a point displaced from said first arm, an elastic rubber element afiixed to said second arm and to said engaging member,
whereby said engaging member is urged into said zone to thereby support a fiat metal object in contact with said frame member.
3. A rack for supporting fiat metal sheets in an e1ectrolytic bath, said rack including the combination of an electrically conductive frame member having means affixed thereto for supporting said member in said bath, a pair of brackets non-removably afiixed in aligned relationship to opposed surfaces of said frame member, each of said brackets including first and second arms extending outwardly from said frame member and defining a space therebetween, said first arm being disposed with respect to said frame member to provide an angular zone of less than 90 therebetween, a pair of electrically nonconductive engaging members, an elastic member affixed to each one of said second arms and connected to one of said engaging members disposed on the opposite surface of said frame, whereby each of said engaging members is urged by said elastic member into said angular zone to thereby support a flat metal sheet in electrical contact with said frame, each of said engaging members being removable from said angular zone to said space between said arms when not in use.
4. A rack for supporting flat metal articles during an electrolytic operation comprising: an electrically conductive frame member; a plurality of clamping means at tached to said frame member; said clamping means each comprising an electrically non-conductive resilient article engaging member; an outwardly extending arm positioned on and affixed to said frame member; and an elastic member affixed to said frame member at a point displaced from said arm, said elastic member being connected to said article engaging member for urging said article engaging member into engagement with said frame member and said arm, whereby a fiat metal article is frictionally retained between said engaging member and said frame member.
5. A rack according to claim 4 wherein a second outwardly extending arm is positioned adjacent to and spaced from said first named arm to provide a defined space between said arms for retaining said clamping members when they are not in use.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,789,909 Ratfelson Ian. 20, 1931 0,440 Beebe Feb. 13, 1940 .36 .228 Wright Nov. 7, 1944 ,821 Hubbell Nov. 21, 1950 ,463 Gutzmer Sept. 16, 1958