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Publication numberUS3046214 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 24, 1962
Filing dateSep 8, 1958
Priority dateSep 8, 1958
Publication numberUS 3046214 A, US 3046214A, US-A-3046214, US3046214 A, US3046214A
InventorsRoss Herbert F
Original AssigneeChain Anodizers Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for continuously electrolytically treating flexible articles
US 3046214 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Ross 3,046,214

5 Sheets-Sheet 1 July 24, 1962 H. F.

APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUSLY ELECTROLYTICALLY TRRATING FLEXIBLE ARTICLES Filed Sept. 8, 1958 w M A Dm m O Y m P W m w T @A ERR JN A /M e i l l L. Aw Aw y :Hummm www A A July 24, 1962 H. F. Ross 3,046,214-


Herb er f 57. 112055 ATrorQwaYs.

July 24, 1962 H F Ross 3,046,214

APPARATUS FOR CON'IN'UOUSLY ELECTROLYTICALLY TREATING FLEXIBLE ARTICLES Filed Sept. 8, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INI/ENTOR. He/ef zZ )2O SS @MW/MW ATTORNEN/ 3 United States Patent Olilice 3,046,214 Patented July '24, 1962 v 3,046,214 APPARATUS FR CUNTINUOUSLY ELECTRO- LYTICALLY TREATING FLEXIBLE ARTICLES Herbert F. Ross, Barrington, RJ., assignor to Cham Anodizers Incorporated, a corporation of Rhode Island Filed Sept. 8, 1953, Ser. No. 759,621 2 Claims. (Cl. 204-210) This invention relates to a method and apparatus for continuously electrolytically treating some flexible article, such as a chain.

Heretofore electrolytic treating of articles has been by the piece or batch method, which comprises placing the articles on a frame and suspending the frame with the articles attached to it in the electrolyte. One such treatment may be for brightening the articles which is frequently referred to as electro polishing. This method, where long lengths of articles are to be processed, is slow and tedious and where chain is to be brightened requires the wrapping of the chain on a frame in a rather taut manner and then carefully applying the current for processing in order that the chain will not become burned or injured. Rack marks often occur where the chain contacts the rack in such process.

One of the objects of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus by which a liexible article, such as a chain, may be continuously fed into and out of an electrolytic bath while having current passed through the chain and electrolyte for the treating of the ilexible article.

Another object of the invention is to eliminate rack mark on the work and obtain uniform color.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus, with such timing as to the feeding of the work through the electrolyte, that it will remain in the electrolyte the desired time during which the current will be passed there through.

Another object of the invention is to provide a means by which the chain will be guided to properly be fed during its time in the electrolyte.

Another object of the invention is to prevent sparking or burning of the work as it travels through the electrolyte.

Another object of the invention is to provide for the passage of current to the work without interference from the electrolyte.

Another object of the invention is to conduct Vthe current in such a way that wear on the rotary parts is minimized.

With these and other objects in View, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, as will be more yfully described, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

`In the accompanying drawings:

FIGURE l is a sectional view largely diagrammatic showing the different steps in an electro polishing operation.

FIGURE 2 is a similar view but showing additional steps where anodizing and dyeing is done, t

FIGURE 3 is an end elevation of a feed roll.

FIGURE 4 is a fragmental view of a guide.

FIGURE 5 is an elevational view of a pair of feed rolls and their drive.

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view of a reeling mechanism for the work.

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view on substantially lines '7 7 of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 8 is a central sectional View of the reeling mechanism.

FIGURE 9 is a sectional view showing a guide pin associated with the reeling mechanism.

This invention is illustrated in connection with an electro polishing operation it lbeing one of the steps therein and also in connection with an anodizing operation it also being one of the steps in connection with the surface treatment of aluminum and the dyeing of aluminum.

The invention has to do particularly with the means of feeding llexible work such as a chain into and out of the electrolyte where electric current is passed through the work, and it comprises the disposing of the work for example about a reel in the electrolyte so that the work may be moved or passed continuously through the electrolyte and exposed to the electrolyte for a sufficient length of time. Current in a quantity dependent on the area of the work is supplied to the means for guiding the 'work in the electrolyte by extending a part of the guide through the container for the electrolyte and transferring electric current to the part which is outside of the container for the electrolyte. By this means, sparking is reduced which will burn and destroy the parts of the apparatus where it occurs.

With reference to the drawings (FIG. l) I have shown a series of electro polishing steps in which a reel 10 supplies the flexible work such as a chain to be fed to a degreasing tank 11 containing trichlorethylene for cleaning the same and thence to a tank 12 containing `an electrolyte of largely phosphoric acid for polishing followed by `washing tanks 13 and 14 of water and a drying step 15 containing maizort for removing moisture from the work while at 16 the work is reeled after completion of the various steps in this operation. Means are provided for feeding the work from one container to4 another so Vthat the chain will be continuously moving through all of the containers at the same time. The above case is particularly adapted for the electro polishing of stainless steel chain.

In some cases it is desirable to use lthe process and apparatus of this invention in the anodizing of aluminum chain; and in this case the steps up to the drying step 15 are performed on the aluminum chain, but in place of the drying at 15 as indicated above, the aluminum chain will pass through a series of steps shown in FIGURE 2 thus the chain will -be fed from tank 14 to tank 17 of sulfuric 'acid where the anodizing step occurs and then will be `washed or cleaned in the next three containers 18, 19, and 2t) of water and then pass into a tank 2 1 where any water soluble aluminum dye will be present after which it will pass through two additional tanks 22 and 23 of water for washing and a tank 24 of 1/2 nickel acetate for sealing; then `another tank 25 of water for washing with the completed anodized and dyed chain then reeled as at 26. Here as in FIGURE l means are provided for feeding the work from one step to another.

This invention deals primarily with the electrolytic operations which take place in tanks 12 and 17 and `which are substantially duplicates except for reel sizes and provide a means for continuously feeding the chain through this electrolytic part of this particular process whereby the same may be made continuous. Some modification occurs in the tank 2l; but generally speaking the dierent tanks and the order of the steps as illustrated have heretofore existed but will be remembered that although each of the tanks were present, there was no continuous movement of the work from one tank to another or of the work through the tanks. Instead, the work Iwas suspended on racks and dipped usually manually into the diierent tanks for sequential operation of the process.

The tank 1l which is designated as degrease trichlorethylene which is heated by heating coils 27 at the lower part of the container and cooled by water flowing through coils 28 yat the upper part of the container. Any vapor which rises inthe container will be chilled `and condensed to drop back into the container as the cleaning ofthe work occurs. The work is drawn from the reel l0 and fed into container l2 by the rolls L11i7 and 48.

The container l2 is provided with a lead lining 2.9 and cooling coils 30 through which water passes in order to absorb heat generated by the electrolytic action in this container. The electrolyte provided is approximately 90 percent phosphoric acid 'and 10 percent chron-lic acid which provides for the suitable electrolytic operation of stainless steel chain which is passed therethrough when current is applied to the work as the positive electrode while the container is the negative electrode. The voltage applied is to 18 volts and the current is 120 amps per sq. ft. The particular reel mechanism which is suspended in the container l2 is designated general 3l and will be described in greater detail hereinafter. A nozzle 32 directs water on to the chain as it leaves the electrolyte 33 in the container l2 and serves to wash the chain by moving down the chain toward tank l2 as it extends upwardly to the feed rolls 34 and 35 which serve to pull the chain from the tank lll over guide 49 about the reel 3l and from the tank l2. Thus this water dilutes the lacid immediately that it leaves the tank. The chain is led upwardly over the top of roll 34 then between rolls 34 Vand 35 where the nip is provided and then beneath the roll 3S on to the deflector plate 36. The water which is directed on to the `chain strikes the same as it `approaches the roll 34 and also strike the chain at the nip and as it passes between the rolls 34 and 35. This water is caught by the deflector plate which is at such an angle as to cause it to flow into wash tank 13. As the chain drops upon the deectoplate 36 which is inclined, the Wash Water traveling along this deflectoplate serves to carry the chain into the tank 13 where it drops down into the tank and is fed therefrom by feedrolls 37 and 38. `In order to provide another washing or rinsing for the chain, the feed rolls 37 and 38 feed the chain into tank M which yalso contains water and thence the chain is lead between pins `39 (see particularly FiGURE 4 Where there are a pair of pins projected from :a lboard 40) `and thence through a similar arrangement between pins 4l so that the work will be pulled across these boards between pins to the drying container 15 and beneath -a guide roll 42 Iand second roll 43 and thence through another pair of pins 44 to be reeled as `at lo by a driven mechanism. Within the container 15 there is provided a quantity of finely powdered maizort 45, which is essentially ground up corn cobs, and which container is steam heated by coils of steam 46 contacting the bottom thereof. This maizort serves to absorb any moisture which may remain on the chain so as to dry the same.

All of these feed rolls are provided with a core 49 and =a rubber cover 50 as seen in FlGURE 3 whic rubber cover serves to provide a resilient grip on the chain holding it between the nip of two such rolls without injury to the chain. Each pair of nip rolls will be driven at substantially the same surface speed as will also the reels 16 so that the Work will be fed through the apparatus in all of its different steps substantially at the same speed. Various means may be provided to cause the same surface speed of the feed rolls. These rolls may be yall of the same size yand driven from a shaft 51 through bevel gears such, for instance, as indicated in FIGURE 5, at 52 and 53 for the lower roll the weight of the upper roll being sufficient for its drive it having slotted bearings to guide it, or the lower rolls may be driven by synchronous motors to accomplish the same end.

Guides for the work which are illustrated as supported on the container ll as at d@ and also on the container l2 having pins for guiding the work from one container to another will provide a sufficient tension on the chain so that it will be taut from the point of contact lof the support 40 to the nip of the rolls 34, 35 which feed it.

For the anodizing of aluminum chain and the dyeing of it as indicated above, the drying operation indicated yat l5 FIGURE 1 will 'be eliminated and the chain after passing through the steps in FGURE l at ll, "i2, i3 and M will pass into the anodizing container ll which will contain an electrolyte 55 of sulfuric acid of 20 percent strength. The voltage here is l5 to 18 volts and the current is 12 amps per square foot. Coils Se will be provided in this `container i7 for cooling `and a reeling apparatus 31 which will be substantially identical to that provided in tank l2, except for size, will be provided and hereinafter described in detail. A guide for the work is designated 57 for the leading of the work into the container and a guide 5d is provided for leading the work from the container. The work is lead from this container through feed rolls 59 land 60 which pull the chain about the reel #and from the wash tank .ld keeping it under tension yand thence to the washing and neutralizing steps in tanks 118, 1.9, 1and 20.

Water is supplied to was-h the chain through nozzle 6l which directs the water on to the chain adjacent the pins and deflects the water so utilized into the container i8. The next tank i9 is provided with some neutralizing solution and the chain is fed through it by feed roll 62 and 63 and then to the next wash tank 2d by feed rolls 64 and 65 4and from this tank over guide roll 67, into the dyeing tank 2l which will contain dye at substantially 130 F. This dye tank contains la freely rotatable reel 68 for facilitating a `continuous operation which will have ends in the form of a spider with cross bars about which the chain may be lead either one or more times and then out through feed roll 69 and 7i) which draw the work out of tank 20 and through the dye bath under tension 'and deposit the chain in rinse tank 22 vand from this rinse tank by feed rolls 71 and l2 into tank 23 ycontaining nickle acetate lat 210 F. and then fed by rolls 73 :and 74 into a tank 24 which contains hot water heated by coils 75 to a temperature of from 208 F. to 212 F. This is for sealing the dye to the aluminum metal and then the chain is fed by feed roll '76 and 77 through a rinse of water in tank 25 and thence through guides '78 to the takeup reel 26 for hatching the finished material. The drives for the feed rolls will be as set forth `above for the feed rolls of FiGURE 1.

The reel designated generally 3l is shown in greater detail in FIGURES 6, 7, and 8; and in FGURE 6 is shown as suspended in tank 12 which is lead lined as at 29. The reel comprises a U-shaped frame which has depending arms S and 82 connected 'by bridge portion 83. These arms Si and 82 are turned outwardly at their upper ends as at 84- so as to rest upon the outwardly extending flanges 85 of the tank 12 from which they are insulated as at 85. These arms are bolted to these yflanges by bolts S6. The function of these arms is to support a guide for the work and where a considerable quantity of the work is to be exposed to the electrolyte at one time this guide will ibe in the form of one or two reels about which the work will be wrapped so as to expose an extended amount of the work at one time to the electrolyte. The Work on both reels will be below the surface of the electrolyte. The size of these reels will depend upon the speed with which it is desired that the work shall travel continuously through electrolyte solution, the surface of the work which is exposed or desired to be treated, the amount of current available, it being necessary to proportion the current to the surface area of the work to be done and the conduction of the electrolyte which is provided. These all being factors which are usually taken into consideration by an experienced operator of electrolytic treatment of metal. ln the present instance it has been found satisfactory to utilize an electric circuit of 20 volts passing 600 amperes to stainless steel jewelry chain of one eighth by one sixteenth inch cross section which has twenty-six feet in a solution of phosphoric acid and 10% chromic acid at one time and which is passing through the A the chain will be led out of the container.

solution at the rate of twenty-six feet per minute or at a speed in feet equal to the number of feet wrapped on the reels so as to give an exposure time of the chain in the solution of one minute.

Two reels are utilized in this showing, each being substantially the same and comprising heads 90 generally circular and provided with openings 91 in order that they may be lighter in weight. Between these heads there extends bars 92, eight in number disposed equally about the heads 90 and extending between them. The upper reel is fixed upon a shaft 93 which is freely rotatably mounted in a non-electrical conducting bearing 94 such as Teflon or Rulon located in the frame 82 and having a large portion 95 to limit the end movement of the reel 90 axially of the shaft 93. The lower reel is substantially identical with the upper reel having heads 90 and cross bars 92 extending between heads 90 and lfixed upon a shaft 96 which yis freely rotatably mounted in electrically nonconducting bearings 97 such as Teon or Rulon mounted in the arms 82 and 83. An enlargement of the bearings as at 98 is provided of a narrower axial extent as it is immaterial whether this lower reel moves axially or not.

The bearing for the upper reel at the left as shown in FIGURE 6 is designated as 100 and -is located in the arm 81, but in this case this bearing extends completely through a side 101 of the tank or container 12 and has a somewhat larger bore 102 than the bore for receiving the shaft 93 in order that a larger shaft 103` which is a continuation of shaft 93 may be accommodated. The shaft is made of a larger diameter in order that -it may act as a conductor of a heavy current 4which will be transferred to the reel 89. A non-conducting bearing 100 is surrounded .by a plastic boss 104 which is recessed as at 105 and 106 to receive 0-rings :107 and 108, on either side of a recess 109 to which conduits 110 and 111 lead so that cooling liquid may be injected into this recess 109 drawn therefrom to reduce the temperature of the shaft 103. This boss 104 is suitably attached to the casing by a collar extending from a plate 112 which is welded or in someway suitably secured to the container 12. A plate 113 is secured to the end of the shaft and prevents outward movement of the boss 104. Current is transferred to the shaft 103 by a number of brushes I114 the number depending upon the amount of current to be transferred. I have here shown four such carbon brushes which will divide the current so that excessive heating will not occur. Each brush is pressed by leaf spring 115 attached at one end to the boss.

A bar 120 extends between the arms 81 and 82. From this bar there protrudes into a position beyond a common tangent to both of the reels, pins 121 which are spaced at uniform distances along the bar 120 on one side while similar pins are on the bar I122 on the other side. The arrangement is such that chain 125 may be lead into the container 12 about both of the reels in a pseudo helical manner and then from the reel to the nip rolls 34 and 35. Two extents of chain are designated 125 and the other 125 may be provided to run at the same time as shown in FIGURE 6. A chain will be lead between the pins on the bar 120, thence around the lower side of the lower reel and thence up between another pair of pins or bar 122 on the opposite side and thence over the upper edge of the upper reel and thence downwardly in an adjacent space between pins and so on until the required amount of chain has been placed about the two reels and then The chain will be under tension and will be tightly engaging against the cross bars 92 as it is wrapped around the reels. Thus current which is supplied to the shaft 103 will be transferred to the heads `90 and thence to the bars and the 6 chain against them. This chain will be the positive electrode of the electric circuit which will pass from the chain through the electrolyte to the container which will be negative.

Each of the pins 121 is provided with a metal core 126 covered with an insulating material l127 as shown in FIG- URE 9. Such, for instance, as Teflon so as to prevent sparking and consequent burning of the work as it is guided in its passage about the reels. It is also to be noted that it is of importance that the bearings for the reels be nonconducting material in order that they may be preserved from erosion by current passing from the shaft to the negative container.

The metal of reel 31 is titanium which stands up better than other metal in this use.

By this arrangement work may ybe continuously fed tlnough an electrolyte while current ispassing through it making mechanical operation possible .and eliminating rack marks on the work.

I claim:

1. In an apparatus for the continuous anodizing of a exible aluminum work piece, a container having metallic walls and an open top for an electrolyte in said container, a shaft extending through one of the walls of the container below the top of the tank and the surface of the electrolyte, means electrically insulating the shaft from the container, a guide on said shaft for contacting the work, lmeans for introducing the flexible work through the top of the container spaced from the walls thereof to a position below the surface of the electrolyte and about said guide and means comprising the wall of the container as the cathode and the guide as the anode contact for passing current to the work below the surface of the electrolyte and from the work through the electrolyte to the container whereby no current passes through the work outside of the electrolyte, said guide comprising a reel rotatably mounted on said shaft and a second reel rotatably mounted on a parallel shaft about both of which the work is disposed and fixed axially spaced pins between said reels to direct a narrow length of work in a pseudo helical path about both reels.

2. In an apparatus as in claim l wherein there are means and bearings for the shaft outside of the container through which uid circulates for absorbing heat from the shaft outside of the container.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 394,056 Cameron Dec. 4, 1888 1,157,288 Bau Oct. 19, 1915 1,766,201 Thormann June 24, 1930 1,816,617 Schveler July 28, 1931 1,853,437 Kuttner Apr. 12, 1932 2,134,457 Tainton Oct. 25, 1938 2,370,973 Lang Mar. `6, 1945 2,461,556 Lorig Feb. 15, 1949 2,495,695 Camn et al Ian. 31, 1950 2,535,966 Teplitz Dec. 26, 1950 2,538,317 Mason Jan. 16, 1951 2,708,181 Holmes et al May 10, 1955 2,715,095 Cohn Aug. 9, 1955 2,719,820 Allen Oct. 4, 1955 2,725,353 Strobel Nov. 29, 1955 2,725,355 Gray Nov. 29, 1955 2,751,342 Guggenberger June 19, 1956 2,764,542 Pullen Sept. 25, 1956 2,828,250 Hurd Mar. 25, 1958 2,844,529 Cybriwsky et al. July 22, 1958

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3652428 *Apr 26, 1968Mar 28, 1972Araya KumakichiMethod of electroplating a chain
US4470884 *Aug 7, 1981Sep 11, 1984National Ano-Wire, Inc.High speed aluminum wire anodizing machine and process
US6261437 *Nov 4, 1997Jul 17, 2001Asea Brown Boveri AbAnode, process for anodizing, anodized wire and electric device comprising such anodized wire
U.S. Classification204/210, 205/139
International ClassificationC25D17/00, B21C47/26, C25D7/06, B65G49/00, B65G49/04
Cooperative ClassificationC25D7/06, C25D17/00, B65G49/0404, B21C47/265
European ClassificationC25D7/06, C25D17/00, B21C47/26C, B65G49/04A