US 3325348 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 1%? W. N. BENNETT 3325,34
ULTRASONIC DEVICE FOR PLACING MATERIALS 1N SUSPENSION Filed 1%4 PazfQzW mi ww United States Patent 3,325,348 ULTRASONIC DEVICE FOR PLACING MATERIALS IN SUSPENSION William N. Bennett, Fitchburg, Mass, assignor to Fitchburg Paper Company, Fitchburg, Mass., a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 24, 1964, Ser. No. 399,039 21 Claims. (Cl. 162-416) This invention relates to an ultrasonic device for placing materials in suspension especially in fluids for emulsifying, and for making intimate mixtures in general. Ultrasonic means can be utilized for the suspension of mercury in water for instance and other materials are also successfully suspended. In particular, such materials as clays, fillers and pigment for various industrial processes as in the making of textiles, printing, paper making, etc. can be suspended in appropriate fluids.
The present invention relates to a continuous flow method of providing materials in such suspension, etc. so that the device may be placed directly in the flow of the industrial process being utilized and avoids the common necessity of using relatively unwieldy and costly batch methods where the materials have to be transferred from a vat to another position in which they are made use of during further processing. By avoiding the batch method, the materials placed in suspension may be substantially immediately utilized for their intended purpose. The particular device described herein will provide solids in suspension in a fluid medium for a relatively long period of time and are carried through in the process in substantially completely suspended condition, thus increasing the speed of the process in which the suspended material is utilized and also greatly improving the end product thereof, among other advantages.
Although this invention is capable of utilization in any industry, art or machine or process where desired, it is illustrated herein as particularly adapted for use in the paper making industry. Thus at the wet end of the machine where fibrous stock is flowed to the paper forming apparatus, the insertion of the ultrasonic device in the flow of the stock greatly enhances the dispersion of the fibers therein; and further, fillers, fines, colors, clay, etc. of any desired description may be inserted in the flow, passing through the ultrasonic device and thus becoming suspended uniformly throughout the stock so that the paper formation is greatly improved by having the filler, clay, etc. dispersed uniformly therein and avoiding the present difiiculty where the solids approach one side or the other of the formation of the paper.
Uniformity of product, i.e., particularly in paper, and uniformity of the paper formation is greatly to be desired and is commonly not obtained. For instance, in the formation of colored paper, it often happens that one side of the sheet is a dilferent shade from the other side of the sheet because the coloring material utilized is settled somewhat, i.e., been forced to one side or the other of the paper during the formation of the paper, and this can be cured by the use of the present invention because the coloring material is uniformly dispersed throughout the stock as it approaches the paper forming means, i.e., such as the Fourdrinier wire. Also fillers, clays, etc. being evenly dispersed throughout the stock by the utilization of the present invention do not settle to the bottom of the paper formation nor are they as sometimes happens forced to the top area thereof. In the prior art, when these things happen, the paper is actually in the form of laminations in one of which the fillers or fines are very heavily located, whereas in the remainder of the paper, i.e., forming a different layer, the filler materials are relatively scarce and widely dispersed, and this naturally militates against uniformity of the paper formation which is ex- 3,325,348 Patented June 13, 1967 tremely to be desired. It will be clear to those skilled in the art that materials in general can be easily and thoroughly mixed through proper suspension of particles in fluids by means of the present device. Also due to the invention herein, there is no interruption to flow of the fluid which is to be used in the manufacturing process and the batch method of mixing materials is done away With.
A further object of the invention resides in the provision of an ultrasonic device as stated which is located in an explosion box. The explosion box itself provides a very satisfactory dispersion of particles as for instance the fibers in paper stock, but when combined with the present ultrasonic device, the explosion box is made a great deal more effective as well as providing for dispersion of other matters in the fluid in addition to the fibers, i.e., such things as coloring materials, fillers, clays, etc.
Reference is hereby made to copending United States patent application Ser. No. 346,467 filed Feb. 21, 1964, illustrating an explosion box.
The figure illustrates the invention.
Referring now to the drawing there is shown a conduit generally indicated at 10. It is assumed that this conduit has in it material continuously flowing in the direction of the arrow, this material being a fluid in which is contained a solid or other material to be processed. This material can be substantially anything such as clays, fillers, coloring material, etc., particularly adapted for paper making and textiles, or any other material which is desired to be uniformly dispersed throughout the: fluid which acts in this case as a carrier. Relating to the paper making arts, the fluid will also have in it semi-dispersed stock fibers which however usually become flocculent due to being pumped through the pipe or due to being forced through a device such as a headbox slice or the like. In any event however, the pipe 10 has flowing through it under pressure a fluid material carrying semi-dispersed materials which are to be dispersed into a suspended state throughout the fluid. Also it is to be understood that the representation in the drawing of the pipe 10 can be in any desired location in any piece of machinery adapted for any purpose in which the fluid flows as stated and under the conditions mentioned.
The pipe at 12 diverges, in the case shown, into a funnel-like flaring enlargement and this enlargement leads into any kind of a reservoir, flow box or the like, generally indicated 'by the reference numeral 14 into which the fluid flows from pipe 10. The box at 14 then is utilized to pass the fluids with the suspended matter therein and the dispersed material to Whatever process is desired to be utilized thereafter. The box 14 may contain the fluids for a relatively short period of time or pass them on continuously according to the conditions encountered in the particular art in which the invention may be used.
The enlargement at 12 is provided With what is called an explosion block 16. This explosion block is mounted on a stem 18 supported by overhead apparatus not shown and it may if desired be moved up and down in order to vary the passage 20 which surrounds block 16 and is contained between block 16 and the walls of the enlargement 12. The fluid of course flows through this passage into the box 14 and thus there is a clear continuous path for the fluid from the pipe 10 into box 14 and thence to Wherever the fluid is to be utilized. The passage 20 is restricted relative to the flow volume of pipe 10. The enlargement 12 and block 16 are preferably conical.
The member 16 is substantially solid but it contains therein a commercially manufactured ultrasonic device generally indicated by the reference numeral 22. This device is manufactured by Branson Instruments, Inc., Danb'ury, Connecticut. The construction and operation of these ultrasonic devices are Well known.
The point here is that the ultrasonic device 22 by reason of being located where it is in the conical member 16 creates thereby an agitation area in the region and substantially the shape depicted at approximately the area 24 in the pipe 10. In this area, any material in the stream in the pipe becomes thoroughly suspended in the fluid, or as a matter of fact generally immiscible fluids become emulsified, and the material in uniform suspended or dispersed condition flows continuously into the box 14 and thence into the subsequent areas of the machine and through the processes thereafter utilized. 7 In addition of course there is the explosion area in an annulus surrounding the member 16 as is indicated by the lines at 26 in the diagram and this further provides the explosive and mixing action which is due to the sudden eruption of the fluid material from the relatively high pressure area in the passage 20 to the low pressure area in the box 14 so that there are two mixing actions of different natures provided by the present invention as will be clear to those skilled in the art.
The effect of the present invention is to provide extremely improved uniformity of the end product which is being manufactured under the influence of fluid as described in the present invention regardless of the art or industry to which it is applied. It is believed that the paper making industry will immediately recognize the benefits to be derived and the resulting uniformity of the paper formation. The printer will recognize that printing will be more uniform without any lifting action and that the color of the paper will be uniform throughout rather than varying through the thickness of the paper. It is well known to the paper maker that the effect of additives such as fillers, fines, etc. is to unbalance the stock due to the drainage on the wire and in recent years the beating action of the pulp has tended to be speeded up and in some cases this results in poorer formation which is obviated by the present invention. The stock fibers are more uniformly dispersed and the filler itself is thereby better retained as there is less drainage when the fibers are square rather than relatively uneven because unevenness in the fiber formation provides holes through which the fillers can be easily drained by the suction boxes. Furthermore if the dyes are absorbed in the fibers and the fibers are relatively more evenly dispersed, the color is also more evenly dispersed, and for many other reasons not necessary to go into here the paper formation is greatly enhanced as it is made more uniform and the same is true as to materials of suspension in fluids throughout the arts and industries in general. Also, less carrier fluid need be used and the formation can be made much faster.
By placing an ultrasonic device in the conical member 16 so that the effective portion thereof is adjacent the apex as shown in the drawing, an uninterrupted flow therepast is made possible, and at the same time the ultra sonic device is protected from the fluid and held in position so that the entire stream of fluid flow is evenly and uniformly processed by the device. It is to be noted that the tip of the ultrasonic device coincides with the tip of the conical member 16 and as a matter of fact could protrude therefrom slightly if desired. In effect however the stream is a conical stream flowing about the member 16, and there is no interruption to the flow. The support and mount for the ultrasonic device is thereby provided and occasions no interruption of flow or problems concerned with respect to interruptions to the flow or ridges or shelflike members which might interfere with the flow or which might catch articles to become built up and plugged, so that it is seen that a greater uninterrupted flow of fluid material is occasioned by the construction herein while at the same time the explosion box effect is added to the effect of the ultrasonic device as described above.
If the conical block 16 should be omitted, the explosion is lost but the suspension or emulsification is retained. Also, the effective area 24 is displaced upwardly, but still the entire flow is past the ultrasonic device. If
the latter is merely placed in a vat, the adjacent fluids are processed, but more remote fluids are not, but by placing the device directly in the stream in a relatively restricted area, all the fluid is affected.
Also, the explosion block 16', as a block, can be omitted, with the probe itself formed into a similar shape, i.e., to generally correspond with the side walls at 12 forming the restricted path or passage at 20, and the same results and advantages are obtained. Such a construction merely makes the explosion block as a part of the probe, rather than as a separate part. Furthermore, energy below ultra sonic ranges can be useful to process certain materials, especially thick ones, and where the ultrasonic term is used, it is to be understood that some virbrations also are included.
Having thus described my invention and the advantages thereof, I do not wish to be limited to the details herein disclosed, otherwise than as set forth in the claims, but what I claim is:
1. The method of dispersing material in a fluid material comprising:
(a) moving said material and said fluid material along a unidirectional path through a passageway of predetermined configuration;
(b) disposing in said passageway an obstruction so as to be spaced from and unconnected with the walls of said passageway;
(c) disposing within said obstruction a source of ultrasonic energy; and
(d) passing said material and said fluid material past said source of ultrasonic energy so as to uniformly agitate and disperse said material and said fluid material with respect to each other.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein:
(a) said configuration of said passageway, and said configuration of said obstruction, are tubular; and
(b) said source of ultrasonic energy includes a probe which is disposed within and concentric with said tubular passageway.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein:
(a) said tubular passageway and said tubular obstruction includes flared out and tubular conical portions adapted to provide a restricted annular orifice of variable size;
(b) said probe forming a part of said obstruction.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein said probe faces downstream.
5. The method of dispersing fluid material comprising:
(a) subjecting the fluid material while in a first area to a first pressure of a first predetermined magnitude; and
(b) passing the material from said first area to a second area wherein the material is subjected to a second pressure the magnitude of which is sufliciently lower than said first predetermined magnitude of said first pressure to create an explosive type of action upon, and a dispersion of the material as the material passes from said first area to said second area; and
(c) exposing said material to a uniform source of vibrating energy while passing from said first area to said second area to initially disperse said material in advance of the passage thereof into said second area.
6. The method of dispersing flocculent fluid paper stock comprising:
(a) passing the flocculent fluid paper stock into a first portion of a headbox wherein at least a portion of the flocculent fluid paper stock is subjected to a first pressure of a first predetermined magnitude;
(b) passing said portion of the flocculent fluid paper stock subjected to said first pressure to a second portion of said headbox wherein said portion of the flocculent fluid paper stockis subjected to a second pressure the magnitude of which is sufliciently reduced when compared to said first predetermined magnitude of said first pressure to result in an explosive movement of said portion of the flocculent fluid paper stock into said second portion of said headbox and a dispersion of the flocculent fluid paper stock;
(c) subjecting said flocculent fluid paper stock to a uniform source of ultrasonic energy while passing said stock from said first portion of said headbox to said second portion of said headbox to initially disperse said stock in advance of the passage thereof into said second portion of said headbox.
7. The method of claim 6 including:
(a) separating said first portion of said headbox from said second portion of said headbox by an adjustably disposed partition forming a passageway of re- 6 fluid material receiving means from said second fluid material receiving means and to provide a passageway permitting the movement of said fluid material from said first fluid material receiving means to said second fluid material receiving means;
(d) fluid moving means for moving the fluid material into said first fluid material receiving means, said passageway, and said second fluid material receiving means; and
(e) a source of vibrating energy disposed in advance of said passageway so as to uniformly act upon all of the fluid prior to passage therethrough to initially disperse same prior to passage thereof into said second fluid material receiving means.
stricted configuration between said first portion of 14. The fluid material dispersing apparatus of claim said headbox and said second portion of said head- 13 wherein: box; (a) said second fluid material receiving means is in the (b) passing said portion of the fiocculent fluid paper form of a box-like receptacle;
stock subjected to said first pressure through said (b) said first fluid material receiving means is in the passageway during movement thereof from said first form of a tubular member opening into the bottom area to said second area to thereby effect the velocity of said box-like receptacle and having at least the of movement thereof; and portion thereof proximate said box-like member of (c) selectively adjusting said partition to vary the conincreasing diameter to form a cone the base of which figuration of said passageway and the effect on the is in the plane of the bottom of said box-like memfloccullent fluid paper stock passing therethrough. ber; and 8. The method of claim 7 wherein: (c) said separating means has a conical configuration (a) said adjustably disposed partition and the portion substantially conforming with that of said conical of said passageway in juxtaposition thereto are coniportion of said first fluid material receiving means, cal in configuration; is being disposed concentrically therewith, and car- (b) the portion of said passageway in advance of said ries said source of vibrating energy.
partition being tubular; and
'15. The fluid material dispersing apparatus of claim (c) said source of ultrasonic energy includes a probe carried by said partition so as to face said tubular portion of said passageway.
9. Apparatus for dispersing fluid material comprising (a) a tubular conduit for conducting a moving body of fluid unidirectionally from a first location to a 14 wherein said source of vibrating energy includes a suitably actuated ultrasonic probe disposed in said separating means so as to be contiguous with at least the tip thereof.
16. A headbox for dispersing flocculent fluid paper stock comprising:
second location; and (b) a source of ultrasonic energy disposed in said con- (a) a plurality of vertically disposed and spaced walls interconnected with and rising from a bottom wall duit so as to be spaced from the walls of said con- 40 and forming therewith a box-like receptacle adapted duit and unconnected therewith and so as to unito receive fluid paper stock;
formly act upon all fluid material passing through (b) said bottom wall of said receptacle including an said conduit. opening of predetermined cross-sectional configura- 10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein: tion;
(a) said conduit is of circular cross section and in- (c) a stock intake pipe extending from beneath and cludes a conical portion flaring out in the direction towards said bottom wall of said receptacle and havof fluid flow; and ing a cross-sectional configuration which is similar to (b) a conical shaped obstruction means is movably said predetermined cross-sectional configuration of disposed for coa-otion with said conical portion of said opening but which for at least a portion of its said conduit to provide therebetween a restricted paslength is smaller than said opening; sageway for said material; (d) said stock intake pipe further including a connect- (c) said source of ultrasonic energy being carried by ing portion having a crosssectional configuration said obstruction means. which is similar to said predetermined cross-sectional 11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein: configuration of said opening and which increases in (a) said source of ultrasonic energy includes a subsize as it approaches said opening until it coincides stantially cylindrical probe; there-with and connects with said bottom wall of said (b) said probe extending towards said first location. receptacle thereabout;
12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said probe (e) an explosion block adapted for disposition proxiterminates contiguous with a substantially conical tip of mate said connecting portion of said stock intake pipe said obstruction means. and having a configuration similar thereto and 13. Apparatus for dispersing fluid material comprising: adapted to form with the opposed surfaces thereof (a) a first fluid material receiving means adapted to a passageway for controlling the flow of fluid paper receive fluid material and to subject at least a portion stock from said stock intake pipe to said receptacle; of said fluid material to a first pressure of a first (f) pump means adapted to pump flocculent fluid paper predetermined magnitude; stock through said stock intake pipe and to apply a (b) second fluid material receiving means adapted to predetermined pressure thereto such that as said fluid receive said portion of said fluid material from said paper stock emerges from said passageway it is disfirst fluid receiving means and to subject same to persed with an explosive type action; and a second pressure the magnitude of which is sulfi- (g) ultrasonic means carried by said explosion block ciently reduced with respect to the magnitude of said to uniformly sonify the fluid paper stock as same first pressure to create an explosive type dispersing moves through said stock intake pipe towards s-aid action as said fluid material enters said second fluid explosion block. material receiving means; 17. The headbox of claim 16 wherein:
(c) separating means disposed to separate said first 7 (a) said explosion block is hollow; and
7 8 (b) said ultrasonic means includes a probe adapted to References Cited be energized from a source of suitable power and UNITED STATES PATENTS disposed in said hollow of said explosion block. 18. The headbox of claim 17 wherein said probe faces 251119 1/1962 Rawdmgtowards said intake Pippa 5 1,992,938 3/1935 Chambers et a1 259 4 X 19. The headboX of claim 16 wherein said cross-sec- 24782O7 8/1949 Robmson 259-4 tiona'l configuration of said opening, said Stock intake 2,652,234 9/1953 Feldman 2594 pipe including said connecting portion, and said explo- 3,169,013 2/1965 Jones 259 4 sion block, are substantially circular. FOREIGN PATENTS 20. The headbox of claim 16 wherein said passageway 10 650 434 10/1962 Canada diminishes'in size as it approaches said receptacle and then enlarges in size as it enters same. WALTER A, SCHEEL, Primary Examiner.
21. The headbox of claim 16 wherein said explosion block is disposed for selective adjustment with respect to JENKINS BELL Assistant Examiners said connecting portion of said stock intake pipe to change 15 the size of said passageway.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,325,348 June 13, 1967 William N. Bennett It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 5 line 26, the claim reference numeral "7" should read 6 Signed and sealed this 14th day of April 1970.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.
Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents