US 3356254 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 5, 1967 w. w. BECKER GLOVE PORT FOR DRY BOX Filed July 30, 1965 INVENTOR. WALTER W. BECKER United States Patent 3,356,254 GLOVE PORT F OR DRY BOX Waiter W. Becker, Shoreham, N.Y., assignor to the United States of America as represented by the United States Atomic Energy Commission Filed July 30, 1965, Ser. No. 476,218 4 Claims. (Cl. 220-85) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A glove port for a dry box consisting of a pair of concentric gloves with a space therebetween for pressurization with a flowing inert gas for the purpose of sealing and detecting leaks. Monitoring of the pressure of the inert gas will indicate the presence of a leak.
The invention described herein was made in the course of, or under a contract with the US. Atomic Energy Commission.
The present invention relates to a glove port fora dry box and more particularly to a glove port in which it is possible to monitor for leakage.
Certain types of technical operations require the maintenance of controlled environments to insure safe operation and that the results will be as predicted. For example, the welding and handling of certain materials require an inert atmosphere, as in the use of high purity argon to prevent contamination of sodium and sodium amalgams which must be handled in atmosphere totally lacking of oxygen.
Typically, these special operations are conducted in a sealed container commonly known as a dry box. To permit handling of the tools and materials within the dry box, remote handling equipment may be provided, or glove ports may be utilized. In a glove port, an opening is provided in the dry box and a glove of gas impermeable material is mounted to cover and seal same, so that the workman can use his hands in the dry box while maintaining proper sealing of the container.
The glove port is a convenient and eflicient way of accomplishing operations within a dry box. Further, as is readily apparent, the glove port is far more economical than is remote handling equipment. However, in the case of a glove port, in time there may be some leakage which can go undetected until substantial damage to or interference with operations within the dry box occurs. The present invention is directed to the maintenance of the advantages of the glove port but at the same time to improve the ability of the glove port to maintain the sealing of the dry box.
In accordance with this invention, the glove portion of the glove port consists of a pair of spaced glove elements. The annular space between the glove elements is filled with a pressurized inert gas which in a preferred embodiment will flow outwardly in the event of a leakage. With proper detection equipment it is then possible to detect a leak long before any damage can occur within the dry box.
It is thus a first object of this invention to provide an improved glove box.
It is another object of the invention to provide an improved sealing arrangement for glove ports in dry boxes.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will hereinafter become readily apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment of this invention taken with reference to the accompanying drawing.
The figure illustrates a partially sectioned isometric view of a preferred embodiment of this invention.
Referring to the figure there is shown a portion of a dry box 10 having a circular opening 12 around which is mounted and welded or otherwise integrally attached to the box an inner ring 14. An intermediate ring 16 is mounted on inner ring 14, clamping the beaded, peripheral edge 17 of outer glove 18. An outer ring 22 is mounted on intermediate ring 16 clamping the beaded edge 24 of an inner glove 26. A series of threaded bolts 28 passing through openings in rings 16 and 22 into inner ring 14 insure proper clamping and sealing of gloves 18 and 26. Gloves 18 and 26 would be made from a gas impermeable flexible material.
An inlet gas line 32 and an outlet gas line 34 passes through intermediate ring 16 to communicate with the annular space separating gloves 1S and 26. A valve 36 in line 32 controls the flow of gas into this annular space. A pressure gage 38 connected to line 34 indicates any changes in pressure which may occur.
In the use of the apparatus just described, the inert gas such as argon supplied by gas line 32 will be in a preferred arrangement at a pressure exceeding that which is within inner glove 26 and outside that of outer glove 18. If desired the pressure may be at some point between the two values if they differ, or even slightly exceeding both the inside and outside pressures. Thus, any leak developing in glove 18 or 26 will elfect the pressure of the gas leaving the annular space by way of line 34. In addition, if desired, provision may be made to monitor the exhaust gas for the presence of impurities which would also indicate the development of leaks. Also the interior of box 10 may be monitored for the presence of the gas supplied to the annular space in the event the gas used there differs from that within box 10. Thus the arrangement can be very sensitive to small leaks so that it is possible to detect and correct same before any damage can occur within dry box 10.
It is thus seen that there has been provided a unique glove port with improved sealing capability and provision for detecting leaks as soon as they are developed. While only a preferred embodiment of the invention is described it is understood that many variations may be made without departing from the principles of this invention so that the scope thereof is to be defined only by the appended claims.
1. An improved glove port on a dry box having an opening comprising means surrounding said opening in said box supporting a pair of inner and outer gloves of gas impermeable flexible material extending into said box through said opening, gas flowing means flowing gas through the annular space formed between said gloves to prevent direct leakage between the interior and exterior regions of said box, said gas being maintained at a pressure within said annular space above that of the interior and exterior regions of said box, and means to monitor said box so as to detect immediately any leakage of gas from said annular space.
2. The glove port of claim 1 in which said monitor means includes means to measure the pressure of said gas leaving said annular space.
3. The glove port of claim 2 in which said supporting means for said gloves includes a plurality of rings bolted together and clamping the edges of said gloves therebetween.
4. The glove port of claim 3 in which the ring closest to said box is integrally attached thereto surrounding said opening, a second ring is spaced on said first ring and clamps the edge of the outer glove extending into said box, a third ring mounted 011 said second ring clamps the edge of the inner glove, and means bolting said rings together to maintain said gloves sealed to the outer edge of said opening.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Kissinger 73-46 Trexler 20647 Bosshard 22046 Turner 220--46