US 3372703 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 12, 1968 A. B. CONARD, JR
TOBACCO MOISTENER Filed June 13, 1966 0 M+6 a Z 6 1 4 O 0 2 00 2 5 m m a\ E la flr E? T 0 8 8 0/0 4 o v a 7 V 6 2 5 7 6 Q 4 W 2T. 6 86 t 00 6 33w V v 0 7 Vm mm M v ,w
52 FIG. I
INVENTOR. ARTHUR B. CONARD, JR. BY
ATTORNEY United States Patent TOBACCO MOISTENER Arthur Bayard Conard, Jr., Shreveport, La., assignor to American Machine & Foundry Company, a corporation of New Jersey Filed June 13, 1966, Ser. No. 557,051 9 Claims. (Cl. 131-133) The present invention relates to tobacco moistening apparatus, and particularly to a tobacco steam-moistening apparatus.
A prior-art tobacco-steam-moistening apparatus is de scribed in US. Patent No. 3,124,142. Said prior-art apparatus comprises a housing with a compartment for enclosing a tobacco body, a steam supply system connecting to said compartment for moistening the tobacco body disposed therein, and a steam exhaust system connecting to said tobacco body for exhausting steam from the interior thereof including an exhaust header having a two-position probe with an electric powered drive.
One problem with said prior-art apparatus is the need for a plurality of major backup services including an electric service, a steam service and a vacuum service.
In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the need for a major electric service is eliminated by using a vacuum-powered probe drive instead of an electric-powered probe drive.
Accordingly, it is one object of the present invention to provide a tobacco moistening apparatus, in which the need for a major electric backup service is eliminated.
It is another object of the invention to provide an apparatus according to the aforementioned object, in which the apparatus exhaust flow is controlled by the apparatus probe.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an ap paratus according to the aforementioned objects, in which the apparatus probe is self-cleaning.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a process for moistening successive bodies of tobacco using an exhaust probewithout clogging the probe.
To the fulfillment of these and other objects, the invention provides a tobacco moistening apparatus comprising a housing with a compartment for enclosing a tobacco body, a steam supply system connecting to said compartment for moistening the tobacco body therein, and a steamexhaust system connecting to said tobacco body for removing steam from the interior thereof, said exhaust system including a cylinder with a longitudinal axis mounted on said housing, a piston disposed in said cylinder coaxially therewith and displaceable relative thereto, a piston-rod probe fixedly connected to said piston and extending into the housing for periodic insertion into said tobacco body and having an axial passage for evacuating steam from said tobacco body, and an exhaust header connecting to said cylinder for actuating said piston and coupled to said piston-rod passage for evacuating said tobacco body.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following description and the accompanying drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals throughout the several views, and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a sectional view of a tobacco moistening apparatus embodying features of the present invention; and
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG- URE 1.
Referring to FIGURE 1, one embodiment of the present invention is atobacco moistening apparatus 10, which includes a housing 12, a steam supply system 14 for supplying steam to said housing 12, and a steam evacuation and exhaust system 16 for removal of steam from said housing 12.
Housing 12 includes a bottom plate 18, a top plate 20, a pair of sidewalls 22, 24 and a frontwall 26, which together form a compartment 28. Frontwall 26 has a hinged door 34 for entry. Compartment 28 contains a tobacco body or bale 32, which is supported on a wagon or dolly 34.
Steam supply steam 14 includes a supply header 36, which has a shutoff valve 38. Header 36 extends through sidewall 24 for supplying steam to compartment 28.
According to the invention, exhaust system 16 (FIG- URE 1) includes a cylinder 40, which is supported by top plate 20 and which has a longitudinal axis 42, a piston 44, which is disposed inside cylinder 40 coaxially therewith and which is displaceable relative thereto, a hollow steam-probe piston rod 46, which is fixedly connected to piston 44 and which extends into compartment 28 for periodic insertion into tobacco body 32, and which has an axial passage 48 (FIGURE 2) for evacuating steam from tobacco body 32, and an exhaust header 50 (FIGURE 1), which is connected to cylinder 40 for actuating piston 44 and rod 46 in order to insert and extract rod 46 from tobacco body 32, and which is coupled to piston rod 46 for evacuating steam from tobacco body 32.
Cylinder 40 has a pressurized-gas supply header 52, which is connected thereto for ease of actuating piston 44. Header 52 contains pressurized air, or steam, or the like. Header 52 is also coupled to piston. rod 46 for cleaning tobacco particles from passage 48. Exhaust header 50 preferably carries its gas at a pressure below atmospheric pressure, and air header 52 preferably carries its gas at a pressure above atmospheric pressure.
Cylinder 40 includes a peripheral wall 54, an upper wall 56 and a lower 'wall 58 which are axially-spaced along axis 42, an intermediate partition wall 60, which is axially-spaced between end walls 56, 58 and which together form upper cavity 62 and a lower cavity 64. Piston 44 is disposed in upper cavity 62 co-axially therewith for displacement relative thereto dividing cavity 62 into variable-volume upper chamber 66 and lower chamber 68 for alternately positioning rod 46 in extended and retracted positions.
Cylinder 40 has a first exhaust passage 70 with a shutoff valve 72, which connects upper chamber 66 to exhaust header 50; and has a second exhaust passage 74 with a shutolf valve 76, which connects lower chamber 68 to exhaust header 50. Cylinder 40 also has a third exhaust passage 78 with a shutolf valve 80, which connects lower cavity 64 to exhaust header 50.
Cylinder 443 also has a first air passage 82 with a shut off valve 84, which connects upper chamber 66 to air header 52; and has a second air passage. 86 with a shut oif valve 88, which connects lower chamber 68 to air header 52. When piston 44 is retracted, air enters through passage 86 through chamber 68 to probe 46 for expelling and cleaning debris from the interior thereof.
Piston rod 46, which has a tubular construction and which extends through walls 58 and 6 0 into compartment 28, has a closed axially inner tube end 90, which is fixedly connected to piston 44. Rod 46 also has an axially outer tube end 92, which has a pointed tip portion 94 for ease of driving rod 46 into tobacco body 32. Outer tube end 92 has a plurality of outer openings 96, which connect to axial passage 48 for flow of steam from tobacco body 32 to passage 48. Inner tube end also has a plurality of inner openings 98, which connect to axial passage 48 for flow of steam from axial passage 48 to exhaust header 50. Inner openings 93 face lower cavity 64, when rod 46 is in its extended position. Inner openings 98 are shorter in axial length than lower cavity 64,
'2 a which is itself shorter in axial length than upper cavity 62, thereby forming an automatic shutoff connection between passage 48 and header Exhaust header 50 has an air exhaust passage Hit) With a shutoff valve 192, which connects header 50 to compartment 28 for exhausting air at a start up condition.
Air header 52 has a shutoff valve 1%. Air passages 82, 86 have respective vent passages H56, 167 with respective shutoff valves 108, 139 which are located downstream of their respective valves 84, 88 for actuating piston 44 using exhaust header 50 only, when air header 52 is shut down.
Walls 53, 60 have respective openings flit), 112 with respective O-ring seals 114, 116. As shown in FIGURE 2, peripheral wall 40 preferably has a smaller diameter betweenwalls 58 and 60 than it has between walls 56 and 60 for ease of manufacture. Wall 4 is fabricated using seal welds 118, or like connections.
The following is one method of operation of apparatus (1) Position tobacco body 32 by wheeling dolly 34 with tobacco body 32 into compartment 23 and closing door 30.
(2) At start-up, remove the air from compartment 28 by closing all valves and then opening valves 38, 102.
(3) Insert probe 46 by closing all valves and then opening valves 104, 84:, W9.
(4) Moist-en tobacco body 32 by closing all valves and then opening valves 33, 86.
(5) Extract and clean probe by closing all valves and then opening valves '72, 88, 164.
In summary, this invention provides a tobacco moistening apparatus iii, in which the need for a major electric back-up service is eliminated, in which the apparatus exhaust flow is controlled by the apparatus probe 46, and in which the apparatus probe 46 is self-cleaning. In addition,'thislinvention provides a process for moistening at least one body 32 of successive bodies of tobacco using an exhaust probe 46 without clogging the probe 46.
While the present invention has been described in a preferred embodiment, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications can be made therein within the scope of the invention. It is intended that the appended claims cover all such modifications.
What is claimed is:
1. A tobacco moistening apparatus comprising:
a housing with a compartment for enclosing a tobacco body;
a steam supply system connecting to said compartment for moistening the tobacco body therein; and
a steam exhaust system connecting to said tobacco body for removing steam from the interior thereof, said exhaust system including:
a cylinder with a longitudinal axis mounted on said housing,
a piston disposed in said cylinder coaxially therewith and displaceable relative thereto,
a probe fixedly connected to said piston adapted to be retracted therewith into said cylinder and extended into said tobacco body, said probe having an axial passage,
a pressure header and an exhaust header connecting to said cylinder for actuating said piston and means coupled to said probe passage for evacuating said tobacco body when said probe is extended therein and for evacuating steam through said probe from said pressure header when in said retracted position.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, in which said cylinder has a peripheral wall and a pair of axially-spaced end walls and an intermediate partition wall axially-spaced between said end walls together forming upper and lower cavities,
said piston is disposed in said upper cavity forming respective upper and lower variable-volume cham' bers for alternately positioning said rod in extended and retracted positions,
said lower cavity being connected to said exhaust header, and
said probe has an axially inner end portion with an opening therethrough connecting said axial passage to said lower cavity whereby said steam is evacuated from said axial passage through said lower cavity to said exhaust header.
3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, in which said lower cavity is shorter than the stroke of said piston in an axial direction and is longer than said inner opening in an axial direction whereby the apparatus exhaust flow to saidexhaust header is automatically controlled by said apparatus probe.
4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, in which said cylinder has a first exhaust passage with a shutoff valve connecting said upper chamber to said exhaust header and has a second exhaust passage with a shutoff valve connecting said lower chamber to said exhaust header 7 for reciprocating said piston using vacuum pressure.
5. An apparatus as claimed in claim '2, in which said cylinder has a pressure-gas supply meansconnecting thereto for ease of actuating said piston and connecting to said hollow piston rod for cleaning tobacco particles therefrom.
6. An apparatus asclaimed in claim 2, in which said cylinder has a pressurized-gas supply header with a passage connecting to said upper chamber for driving the piston and also with a passage connecting to said lower chamber for retracting the. piston and for simultaneously cleaning the piston-rod probe.
7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, in which said exhaust header has a passage with a shutoff valve connecting to said housing compartment for exhausting air therefrom at startup.
8. A process for successfully treating at least one of succession of bodies of tobacco, as follows:
successively inserting and withdrawing a perforated exhaust probe into a tobacco body and exhausting gas therefrom while said probe is inserted; and
with drawing the probe from said tobacco body while simultaneously cleaning the probe of articles lodged therein.
9. A tobacco moistening apparatus comprising:
a steam supply system; and
a steam exhaust system;
said housing including a bottom plate, a top plate, a pair of sidewalls, and a frontwall together forming a compartment with said frontwall having a door and with said compartment containing a tobacco body which is supported on a dolly;
said steam supply system including a supply header with a shutoff valve;
said exhaust system including a cylinder with a piston and a longitudinal axis and having a steam-probe piston rod with an axial passage therethrough, and including an exhaust header and also a pressurizedgas supply header;
said cylinder also including a peripheral wall and an upper wall and a lower wall and an intermediate partition wall disposed between said end walls which together form an upper cavity and a lower cavity;
said piston being disposed in said upper cavity forming an upper chamber and a lower chamber;
said cylinder having a first exhaust passage with a shutoff valve connecting upper chamber to exhaust header and having a second exhaust passage with a shutoff valve connecting lower chamber to exhaust header and having a third exhaust passage with a shutoff valve connecting lower cavity to exhaust header;
said cylinder also having a first air passage with a shutoff valve connecting upper chamber to air header and having a second air passage with a shutoff valve connecting lower chamber to said air header;
said piston rod having an axially inner tube end fixedly connected to piston and having an axially outer tube end with a tipped portion which is driven into said tobacco body;
said outer tube end having a plurality of outer openings and said inner tube end having a plurality of inner openings, said inner openings facing lower cavity when said rod is in an extended position;
said exhaust header having an air exhaust passage with a shutoff valve connecting said exhaust header to said housing compartment;
said air header having a shutoff valve and having a vent passage disposed downstream of said shutoff valve; and
said cylinder lower wall and partition wall having respective openings through which said piston rod extends and having respective seal members engaging said piston rod.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 160,682 3/ 1875 Johnson 60-545 2,864,381 12/1958 Rowell 131-135 3,124,142 3/1964 Philbrick et a1, 131-135 3,131,700 5/1964 Radwan 131-140 3,240,186 3/1966 Dobell 119-5 3,262,458 7/1966 Lindstrom 131-133 ALDRICH F. MEDBERY, Prim-my Examiner.