US 3292347 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 20, 1966 F. P. HODGKINSON 3,292,347
DUST AND LINT DISPOSAL APPARATUS Filed Dec. 16, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 WMXW 1956 F. P. HODGKINSON 3,292,347
DUST AND LINT DISPOSAL APPARATUS Filed Dec. 16, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 1 N v E NTO R few 0s 2 Hgoqgm/sm/ v WWZZ L Km United States Patent 3,292,347 DUST AND LINT DISPOSAL APPARATUS Francis Piercy Hodglrirxson, Syracuse, N.Y., assignor to Ametek, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 16, 1964, Ser. No. 418,687 3 Claims. (Cl. 55-257) This is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 97,242 of Mar. 21, 1961, entitled Lint Disposal Apparatus, and now abandoned.
The present invention relates generally 'to laundry-drying apparatus, and particularly to a lint and/ or dust collecting and disposal apparatus for use in a laundry dryer.
It has long been known to provide laundry-drying equipment which is constructed with a rotary drum for containing the laundry and means for circulating air through the drum and thereafter exhausting the air into the atmosphere. This air which is to be exhausted into the atmosphere is laden with lint, dust and other particles which have become separated from the articles being dried, particularly when such articles are made of terrycloth and flannel, that cause a high concentration of lint to be dispersed in the drying air. Of the many devices which have been provided for removing the contaminants from the drying air, perhaps the most common device has been the provision of a filter located at the exhaust outlet which is fabricated of a screen of wire mesh material. A serious disadvantage encountered in these conventional types of filtering arrangements has been occasioned by the frequent removal of the filters which is necessary for cleaning, the necessity of replacing the filter element when cleaning will no longer effectively remove all of the particles, and the ineffectiveness of the filters in completely removing all of the contaminating particles from the drying air, particularly the very small particles which pass through the filter. Thus, it can readily be appreciated that the maintenance of conventional filtering devices has proven costly and time-consuming, and such filters have not proven effective in removing all of the airborne particles from the drying air.
Another system which has heretofore been used in dealing with this problem has been the provision of a centrifugal type separator which is operated in connection with a removable receptacle for collecting the airborne particles. This type of system is usually used in large buildings or on board ships which have centralized ventilating systems for supplying fresh air to the various compartments, and the exhaust air from the drying apparatus is usually introduced into the duct system supplying the fresh air. Although this exhaust .air coming from the drying tumblers is relatively free of lint, such exhaust air does contain other unhealthful contaminants and is also relatively hot and moist and would of necessity have to be exhausted outside of the building or enclosure in order to protect the comfort of the operating personnel. This presented a particularly difficult situation with respect to the use of laundry equipment on board ships, since of necessity, the exhaust air had to be exhausted directly into the room in which the equipment was located. The exhaust air could not be introduced into the ventilating system of the ship because there always was the possibility of any filtering system failing, and such a malfunction would result in an extremely dangerous fire hazard caused by the lint and dust-laden air that would be introduced into the central ventilating system. Thus, in the use of all types of conventional laundry drying equipment on board ships, it is necessary to exhaust the air directly into the compartment containing the equipment, which resulted in a great increase in the ambient temperature and relative humidity of the "ice compartment. The severity of this problem can be appreciated by the fact that on board ship it is common practice to rotate the operating crews in half hour intervals due to the unbearable heat and moisture.
While the present invention is particularly suited for use in connection with laundry drying equipment, it should be noted that the device which is to be disclosed herein is also capable of separating lint, dust, and other like airborne contaminants from diverse environments. Thus, the present invention can be used with a drying tumbler or separately, such as for example, to remove coal dust from the shaft of a coal mine.
Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a dust and lint disposal and collecting apparatus which obviates one or more of the aforesaid difficulties. Specifically, it is within the contemplation of the present invention to provide a lint disposal apparatus for use in commercial laundry equipment which is capable of effectively collecting and disposing of air-borne particles from air exhausted by a laundry dryer and which further provides for an appreciable amount of evaporative cooling within the confines of the lint disposal apparatus such that the exhaust air, because of its low temperature and relative humidity could be exhausted into the room containing the laundry dryers.
In accordance with an illustrative embodiment demonstrating objects and features of the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for collecting and disposing of lint and dust laden air from a laundry dryer including an open-ended cylindrical housing and a cylindrical separator arranged coaxially of and within the housing for cooperating therewith to define a substantially annular air-cleansing space therebetween which has a closed end and an open end. There is also provided means for journaling the separator for rotation about a separator axis extending longitudinally of the housing, as well as means connected to one end of the housing and the adjacent open end of the air-cleansing space for introducing dust and lint laden air into the housing. The end of the separator contiguous to the one end of the housing is closed such that the lint laden air only is directed into the air-cleansing space. In a typical machine, provision is also made for introducing water into the air-cleansing space such that the lint from the lint laden air is washed down into a lower portion of the air cleansing space which serves as a disposal trap. The separator has apertures in communication with the air-cleansing space such that the cleansed air may be admitted into the interior of the separator, and a blower is placed in communication with the interior of the separator for drawing lint laden air into the air-cleansing space and cleansed air-into the separator. The provision of an air outlet in communication with the blower allows for the passing of cleansed air to the atmosphere, and drive means are operatively connected to the separator and blower.
The above brief description as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully appreciated by referring to the following detailed description of a presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiment, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view with parts broken away, of a typical laundry drying apparatus incorporating a lintdisposal device in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of the drying apparatus with directional arrows showing the movement of the exhaust air;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows and showing the spray apparatus used in connection with the dust and lint disposal unit;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5 and looking in the direction of the arrows to more clearly show the configuration of the slots provided in the separator drum.
Referring now specifically to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a typical lint and dust disposal apparatus, generally designated by the reference numeral 10, which is used in connection with a conventional laundry dryer D. Many of the details of the construction of the laundry dryer D are conventional and well known, and thus need only be referred to briefly for the purposes of illustrating the relation to the novel features of the lint and dust disposal apparatus 10. The laundry dryer D includes a large rotary drum or tumbler which is perforated and mounted on a shaft for rotation. A fragmentary view of the portion of the laundry dryer D to which the lint and dust disposal apparatus 10 is mounted, can be seen in FIG. 1 with the initial path of the lint and dust laden air L being shown by the directional arrows.
The lint disposal apparatus 10 includes a separator housing 12 which is cylindrical in shape and open at one end v.for connection to the laundry dryer D by means of a duct 14, and a cylindrical separator 16 is coaxially mounted in the housing 12. A blower housing 18 is mounted at the other closed end of the housing 12. Coaxially disposed within the blower. housing 18 is a cylindrical blower fan 20 which is operatively connected to a motor drive M and the separator 16 for drawing the lint and dust laden air L towards the separator 16 and through an outlet on the blower housing 18 which is in communication with the atmosphere.
Detailed reference will now be made to the structure of the lint and dust disposal apparatus 10 which is illustrated herein as being connected to the housing of the conventional laundry dryer D by means of the duct 14 which is provided with an exhaust opening E, disposed in communication with the dryer D, and a duct opening 22 which is in communication with the separator housing 12.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the separator housing 12 is of general cylindrical configuration and is provided with an annular shoulder 24 which is fixed to the separator housing at the open end thereof, and a sleeve 26, which extends from the inner periphery of the shoulder 24, is provided for seating the duct 14.
For the purpose of coaxially arranging the separator 16 within the housing 12, the separator is formed in the shape of a hollow drum 28 having an outer diameter which is smaller than the inner diameter of the housing 12 to thereby define a substantially annular air-cleansing space 30. The end of drum 28 adjacent the duct opening 22 terminates in a cover plate 32 which is conveniently attached by means of threaded bolts 34. As shown in FIG. 2, the cover plate 32 is formed with a bearing yoke 36 which has a through bore 37 for receiving a mounting shaft 38 which is fixed to the cover plate 32. The shaft 38 is journaled for rotation on the motor M and a bearing mount 40 which is spaced apart from the motor M. The drum 28 and cover plate 32 define a separating chamber 44 which communicates with the lint collecting area 30 by means of elongated slotted apertures 46 which are formed on the drum 28. It should be noted that configuration and dimensional size of the slots 46 play an important part in separating coloidal dust from the air L. Experience has shown that by providing slots which are substantially two inches in length and .06 inch in width, with 58 rows of three slots each disposed along the cylindrical periphery of the drum 28, and by forming the elongated edges of slots 46 with a beveled configuration, as best seen in FIG. 6, the micron size of the colloidal dust which passes into the separating chamber 44 will be relatively small in size. The aforementioned conditions i are predicated on the peripheral speed of the drum 28 i being such that the blower fan 20 will provide a suflicient cubic feet per minute flow of air through the dryer. D
so as to perform thedrying function in the required length of time, which is generally 1200 c.f.m. of air passing through the dryer to accomplish the drying function in the usual 20 to 25 minutes of time which is generally allotted. The slot configuration which will best accomplish this function can best be seen in FIG. 6 wherein the slots 46 are illustrated as being formed with beveled longitudinal edges 48, with the outer wall of drum 28 which forms slot 46 being inclined at an angle of sub.- stantially 15 degrees from the radial center line of the slots 46. Thus, by providing the configuration, dimensional size, and peripheral speed described herein, it is possible to exclude colloidal dust from the separating chamber 44 which would be deemed objectionable and would constitute contamination of the cleansed air.
For the purpose of drawing the lint laden air L out of the separating chamber 44, the exhaust fan 20 is mounted on the end of shaft 38 adjacent motor M. The separator housing 12 and blower housing 18 are each provided with an end-plate 50 and a bafiie plate 52 which are disposed in confronting relation when the blower housing 18 is mounted to the separator housing 12 by means of a series of spacer blocks and threaded screwarrangements 54. Prior to the assembly of the spacer block ar? rangements 54 to the separator housing 12 and blower housing 18, a cylindrically walled separator ring 56 is positioned over the outer periphery of the spacer blocks 54 so as to define an annular intermediate chamber 58 which is located between housings 12 and 18. The inter-. mediate chamber 58 communicates with the outer atmosphere by means of a series of apertures 60 which are formed along the circular periphery of the separator ring 56. The blower housing 18 is provided with an end plate 62 which is conveniently bolted to end wall 64 of housing 18 adjacent to the drive motor M.
A water dispersing system, generally designated 66,
that is connected to a source of water. As bestseen in FIGS. 1 and 4, the pipe network 66 includes a water supply line 70 which is controlled by a conventional needle valve arrangement which has not been shown. The supply line 70 is connected to inlet pipes 72 that are mounted on the housing 12 by means of fittings 74 which are positioned over apertures in the housing 12 that communicate with the air cleansing space 30. The fittings 74 also serve to connect elongated hose nozzles 76 to the inlet pipes 72, with the hose nozzles 76 being positioned within the air cleansing space 30 of separator housing 12, along the longitudinal axis of rotation of drum 28 and spaced apart from the drum 28 in confronting relation therewith. A series of pairs of opposing nozzle apertures 78 are formed on the nozzle hoses 76 which extend longitudinally along the length of the nozzle hoses 76, and as shown by the directional arrows in FIG. 3, a water spray is radially dispersed in the air cleansing space '30.
As will be more fully described herein, the dispersion of water through the system 66 results in an appreciable amount of evaporative cooling taking place in the lint disposal apparatus 10 such that the temperature of the air which is ultimately exhausted into the room containing the laundry equipment is lowered. A lint and water reservoir 80 is formed at the base of the separator housing 12 for collecting the water and lint solution S which is disposed of by means of gravity flow through a waste:
an outer cylindrical configuration. The fan 20 includes a series of blades 84 which extend longitudinally along the axis of rotation of shaft 38. The rotation of the fan 20 causes the air to be exhausted through an exhaust duct 86 which is provided in the lower portion of blower housing 18. The fan blades 84 are fabricated of steel and are radially curved as shown in FIG. 4 to direct the flow of air in a spiral toroidal path towards the exhaust duct 86.
In the illustrative embodiment of the lint disposal apparatus which is illustrated in FIG. 1, the motor M is shown with a double ended shaft with the forward end of the shaft driving the fan and separator drum 28 and the rearward end of the shaft being provided with a V-belt pulley arrangement for driving the tumbler of the drying unit D, which is not shown herein. In this connection, it should be noted that the lint and/or dust disposal apparatus 10 could equally as well perform the function of separating the lint and/or dust from the air without being used in connection with a laundry drying apparatus. An example of an environment that is totally different than that which is found in the laundry field, is a mine shaft in which the duct arrangement 14 could be installed in order to utilize the separator apparatus 10 to remove coal dust from the mine shaft. In such a situation, it would not be necessary to utilize a motor having a double shaft. Further, in conventional laundry drying apparatus, the tumbler basket is usually driven by a quarter horse power motor, and the separator apparatus 10 could easily be operated by a second motor which would in no way interfere with the function of the separator apparatus and would also make the separator nnit 10 compatible with existing laundry drying equipment.
In order to prevent the air in air-cleansing space 30 from passing into the blower housing 18, a labyrinth seal is formed by providing aslinger ring 88 which is mounted on the outer periphery of drum 28 proximate to the endplate 50. The slinger ring 88 is integrally formed with a relatively narrow cylindrical base 90 with an annular disc blade 92 extending outwardly from the rearward end of the base 90 and an annular baffie plate 94 extending inwardly from the forward end of the base 90. The baffle plate 94 is provided with a central opening 96 such that separating chamber 44 communicates with blower housing 18. The initial portion of the labyrinth seal is formed by the portion of disc blade 92 which is spaced apart from the end plate 50 to form a narrow channel or clearance space 98. An inclined rearward edge 100 is formed on disc blade 92 which is effective in rejecting substantially all of the dust and lint particles from air-cleansing space 30. The remaining portion of the labyrinth seal extends into the intermediate housing 58, and includes a clearance slot 102 which is disposed between intermediate housing 58 and blower housing 18. Since the slinger ring 88 is mounted for rotation on drum 28, pumping and sealing action takes place in clearance space 98 which would normally prevent the lint-laden air L from passing from the air-cleansing space 30 into intermediate housing 58. However, the air leaving the fan blades 84, manifests itself as kinetic energy or velocity pressure and creates a vortex which results in negative pressure acting on the clearance slot 102. In order to prevent a partial vacuum from being formed in the intermediate housing 58 due to this negative pressure in clearance slot 102, which would cause the moisture-laden air to pass through clearance space 98 and into the blower housing 18, the series of apertures 60 on the separator ring 56 have been provided. In this manner, it is possible to help break the partial vacuum that would otherwise be formed in intermediate housing 58, and also permit relatively cooler atmospheric air to be drawn through apertures 60 and into the blower housing 18 and air-cleansing space 30. In order to more fully appreciate the formation of the partial vacuum in intermediate housing 58, without the connection to the atmosphere provided through the apertures 60, it should be understood that the negative pressure outlined above acts against the sealings and pumping action created by the slinger ring 88 on clearance space 98. Thus, the provision of the apertures 60 prevent the lint-laden air L from being drawn from the air-cleansing space 30 through the clearance space 98 and clearance slot 102 into blower housing 18. Accordingly by means of the apertures 60, which are provided on separator ring 56, it is possible to reduce the negative pressure acting against the sealing and pumping action of slinger ring 88, which prevents lint-laden air from being drawn from the aircleansing space 30 into blower housing 18. Further, cool atmospheric air is drawn into intermediate housing 58, through the apertures 60, and is then drawn into blower housing 18 and air-cleansing space 30 by action of the reduced negative pressure in clearance slot 102 and the pumping action in clearance space 98, respectively.
Reference will now be made to the drawings for a detailed description of the construction and operation of the lint-disposal apparatus 10. By progressively inspecting FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be appreciated that the rotation of the blower fan 20 causes the air to move from the tumbler of the drying apparatus D through the interconnecting duct 14 into the air-cleansing space 30 of separator housing 12, then through the slots 46 into separating chamber 44, then through the central baffle opening 96 into blower housing 18, and the air is finally exhausted through the exhaust duct 86. The exhaust port 0 is preferably located in the room which contains the laundry equipment. This path of flow of the air from the laundry drying equipment D through the lint disposal apparatus 10 into the room containing the equipment is illustrated by the directional arrows shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In this respect, it will be appreciated that the air, from the interconnecting duct 14 which moves through the inlet opening 22, is very hot and is laden with dust and lint, and as this air enters the aircleansing space 30, the movement of the air begins to assume a cylindrically spiral path which is caused by the rotation of the lint separator drum 28. A substantially small amount of moisture is introduced into this whirling spiral toros of lintand dust laden, hot air by means of the hose nozzles 76, such that a substantial amount of moisture is absorbed preferentially by the lint and dust, thereby increasing the effective weight of the lint and dust laden air L. This increase in weight of the lint and dust laden air L assists the centrifugal force action and causes the majority of the lint and dust particles to be thrown outwardly against the wall of separator housing 12 to ultimately be washed from the walls into the lint collecting reservoir and out through the waste drain 82. A substantial amount of water that comprises the spray which is emitted from the nozzle apertures 78 is evaporated by the hot lint and dust laden air L, such that the temperature of the ar entering the separating chamber 44 is effectively reduced. This evaporative cooling is aided by the influx of relatively cooler atmospheric air into air-cleansing space 30. It should be noted that the colloidal dust which is not particularly effected by the addition of moisture in the foregoing manner, is prevented from passing through the slots 46 by the size and configuration of slots 46 as well as the peripheral speed of the separator drum 28. Thus, the micron size of the dust particles which will be admitted through the slots 46 is controlled by the adherence to the lip configuration 48 as previously described herein.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure and in some instances some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention herein.
What I claim is:
1. Apparatus for collecting and disposing of dust and lint-laden air from a laundry dryer comprising an open ended cylindrical housing, a horizontally oriented cylindrical drum forming a separating chamber which is arranged coaxially of and within said housing and cooperating therewith to define a substantially annular aircleansing space therebetween having a closed end and an open end, means journaling said drum for rotation within said housing about an axis oriented substantially parallel to the horizontal, means connected to one end of said housing and the adjacent open end of said air-cleansing space for introducing dust and lint-laden air into said housing, the end of said drum contiguous to said one end of said housing being closed such that said dust and lint-laden air only is directed into said air-cleansing space, perforated conduit means in said annular aircleansing space on opposite sides of and substantially parallel to and above said drum axis, said perforated conduit means being substantially coextensive in length with said drum and in spaced apart confronting relation with both said drum and housing, said perforated conduit means having nozzle apertures spaced along the .length thereof for introducing a spray of water into said aircleansing space such that the dust and lint from said dust and lint-laden air is washed downwardly by said water spray into a lower portion of said air-cleansing space serving as a disposal trap, said drum having elongated slotted apertures in communication with said aircleansing space such that the cleansed air may be admitted into the interior of said drum, a blower in communication with the interior of said drum for drawing dust and lint-laden air into said air-cleansing space and cleansed air into said drum, beveled edges formed on the elongated portions of said apertures for excluding colloidal dust particles from said separating chamber, an air outlet in communication with said blower for passing cleansed air to the atmosphere, and drive means operatively connected to said drum and to said blower.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said beveled edgesof said drum are inclined at an angle of substantially 15 degrees from the radial center line of said apertures for providing optimum conditions for excluding,
colloidal dust particles from said separator chamber.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said blower includes a cylindrical blower housing arranged adjacent said drum and in communication with the interior of said drum, a blower fan journaled in said blower housing space, a slinger blade mounted on said drum spaced,
apart from and in confronting relation to said baflie plate means to form a narrow channel communicating with said intermediate chamber thereby providing a labyrinth seal for preventing the passage of air from said air-cleansing space by passing said drum and flowing into said blower housing.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,898,807 2/1933 Barnes -91 1 2,195,707 4/1940 Nutting 55-223, 2,213,881 9/1940 Lauer 55-223 2,227,239 12/1940 Wieneke 210-217 2,269,412 1/ 1942 Sturtavant 55-400 X 2,273,341 2/1942 Vollmer 55-230 X 2,392,716 1/1946 Acheson 55-294 2,478,466 8/1949 Dohrer 55-408 2,482,642 10/1949 Sylvan 55-338 X 2,684,836 7/1954 Ake Arbergh et al 261-112 3,040,440 6/1962 Mellinger et al 34-79 X 3,081,554 3/1963 Long 34-79 X 3,127,256 3/1964 Boylan 55-242 X ROBERT F. BURNETT, Primary Examiner.
D. K. DENENBERG, Assistant Examiner.