US 3379368 A
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l N VEN TOR.
April 23, 1968 L.. E. GILREATH Filed Deo. 6, 1965 United States Patent O 3,379,368 CENTRIFUGAL SEPARATOR Lafayette E. Gilreath, Houston, Tex., assignor to Gilreath Hydraulics, Inc., Houston, Tex., a corporation of Texas Filed Dec. 6, 1965, Ser. No. 523,812 4 Claims. ((11. 233-7) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A centrifugal separator of the type having a longitudinally tapered barrel mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis and a longitudinally tapering rotor tapered to conform to the taper of the barrel and mounted for rotation in the barrel about the same axis and provided with a spiral ight extending from end to end thereof whose pitch increases and whose radial extent diminishes toward the smaller end of the barrel to form with the barrel and rotor a spiral passageway whose crosssectional area at any location is at least equal to the crosssectional area of the passageway at any other location closer to the larger end of the barrel. The barrel and rotor are adapted to be rotated in the same direction at somewhat different speeds to cause solids separated by centrifugal action to be moved toward the smaller end of the barrel, the volume of the passageway due to the increasing pitch and diminishing radial dimensions of the flight being effective to prevent clogging of the passageway by the separated solids While allowing the ow of liquid through the passageway toward the larger end of the barrel.
This invention relates to apparatus for separating particles from fluids and more particularly to separator mechanism of the centrifugal type for the rapid removal of solid particles from liquids.
In the centrifugal separation of solid particles from liquids it has been customary to make use of separator mechanism comprising an outer longitudinally tapered barrel which is mounted for rotation about a central axis, and an inner rotor in the barrel mounted for rotation about the axis of the same, and having a screw or spiral flight which is also tapered to conform to the taper of the barrel, to provide a spiral passageway for the material which is to be operated upon. The barrel and rotor in apparatus of this kind are rotatable at high speeds to cause the solids of the material under treatment to be separated from the liquid by centrifugal action, the material being introduced into the spiral passageway at some location mediate its ends and the solids being separated and discharged from the barrel at the small end thereof while the liquid is discharged at the large end of the barrel.
Due to the fact that the barrel is longitudinally tapered and the flight of the rotor is shaped to conform to such taper, there is a tendency, in separator apparatus of this type, for the separated solids to clog the passageway toward the smaller end of `the barrel, thus greatly reducing the capacity of the equipment. Under some conditions, it becomes necessary to slowly feed the material under treatment into the barrel to avoid clogging the passageway, vthus greatly reducing the e'iciency of the separator.
The present invention has for a primary object the provision of centrifugal separator mechanism of the type referred to which is constructed to prevent clogging of the passageway by the separated solids whereby the capacity of the equipment is greatly enhanced.
Another object of the invention is to provide centrifugal separator mechanism of the tapered barrel and rotor type wherein the capacity of the equipment is limited only by the amount of the material to be treated which can be supplied to the equipment.
Patented Apr. 23, 1968 A further object of the invention is the provision of centrifugal separator mechanism of the kind mentioned which is constructed in a manner such that any given length of the special passageway will be at least equal to the volume of any preceding portion of the same of equal length from the larger end of the apparatus to the smaller end thereof, whereby clogging of the passageway is effectively prevented.
The above objects and advantages of the invention may best be understood from the following detailed description constituting a specification of the same, when considered in conjunction with the annexed drawings wherein the single figure is a fragmentary, central, longitudinal, cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the centrifugal separator apparatus of the invention.
Referring now to the drawings in greater detail the apparatus of the invention comprises an outer, longitudinally tapered barrel 10, whose smaller end is closed by a cover or end plate 12, formed with a central, tubular extension 14 to provide a bearing sha-ft or hub for one end of the barrel, and whose larger end is closed by a cover or end plate 16 formed with a central tubular extension 18, whose outer end portion 21 provides a bearing shaft for the other end of the barrel.
The shaft 14 is rotatably supported on .a suitable be-aring such as the pillow block 20 and the shaft 21 is similarly supported on a pillow block 22, the 'blocks being carried on a suitable support structure, not shown, in the usual m-anner .to support the apparatus for high speed rotation about its longitudinal axis.
The shaft portion 18 of the plate or closure 16 is enlarged and the plate has an internal, central, tubular extension 24 to provide an inwardly opening counter-bore within which suitable bearing means such as those indicated at 26 and 28 are received to rotatably support a central operating shaft 30, extending through the extension 18 and which carries at its inner end Athe inner rotor 32 of the apparatus.
The rotor 32 is of generally longitudinally tapered configuration, having an external, spiralled, radially outwardly extending screw or flight 34 whose outer periphery is shaped to closely fit the inside tapering face 36 of the barrel. The rotor has at its larger end an end counterbore 38 which ts over the internal extension 24 of the closure plate 16 and is rotatably supported at its smaller end on an inner tubular shaft 40, as by means of bearings 42, which shaft also serves as an inlet pipe by which the material to be treated is supplied to an internal cavity 44 in the rotor. The tubular shaft 40 opens at its inner end into the cavity 44 and extends through the tubular shaft 14 of closure plate 12 and is provided at its outer end with a stationary cap 46 'having a side inlet opening 48 through which material to be treated from any suitable source may be introduced through the shaft 40.
The rotor 32 extends from end to end of the interior of the barrel between the closures 12 and 16, there being only sufficient clearance between the ybarrel and rotor to allow the rotor to rotate freely in the barrel.
The shafts 21 and 30 are suitably extended longitudinally from the larger end of the apparatus and are provided with suitable driving mechanism therefor, not shown, to separately rotate the barrel and rotor at any desired speeds.
The rotor is provided with openings 50 through Which the material under treatment may ow from the cavity or internal chamber 44 into the spiral passageway 52 formed by the ight 34 between the internal face 36 of the barrel and the external surface 54 of the rotor. The barrel also has one or more outlets 56 in the closure plate 16 through which the separated liqutid may be discharged from the spiral passageway 52, at the larger end of the barrel, while discharge openings 58 are provided at the smaller end of the barrel through which the separated solids may be discharged from the spiral passageway 52.
The depth or radial extent of the flight 34 may increase progressively from the smaller end of the rotor toward its larger end while the pitch of the spiral of the iiight may increase progressively from the larger end of the rotor toward its smaller end, as shown, so that the volume of the material which may move along any given length of the ight or screw will be the same as that which may move along any other portion of the same of. equal length.
The ilight may also be formed so that the volume of any given length of the passageway will be greater than any preceding portion of the same of equal length from the larger end of the rotor to the smaller end thereof, thus assuring that the passageway expands from the larger end of the rotor toward `the smaller end of the same, to eiectively prevent clogging of the passageway Iby separated solids.
In the operation of the equipment of the invention the barrel and -rotor are rotated in the usual manner at Iappropriate speeds to accomplish the most efficient separation of the solids from the liquid of the particular material to be treated, the relative speeds of the parts being such as to cause the separated solids to be moved toward the smaller end of the apparatus and to be discharged through the outlets 58, while the liquid will be discharged through the outlet 56 at the larger end of the apparatus. The material to be t-reated will be supplied through the pipe 40 and it will be apparent that due to the construction and arrangement of the parts a maximum volume of the material may be introduced without danger of clogging the passageway 52, the solids being separated out against the inner surface of the barrel under the intuence of the centrifugal force imparted by the rapid rotation of the apparatus.
It will thus lbe seen that the invention constructed as described above provides centrifugal separating apparatus which is of simple design and rugged construction and which may be operated at high etliciency for the separation of solids from the liquids of a wide variety of materials.
The invention is disclosed herein in connection with a particular embodiment of the same, which it will 'be understood is intended by way of illustration only, it being apparent that various changes may be made in the con- 4 struction and arrangement of the parts, within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus clearly shown and described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a centrifugal separator an interally longitudinally tapered barrel, having longitudinally spaced outlets, a rotor in the barrel shaped to conform to the direction of the taper thereof, means supporting the barrel and rotor for 'rotation at different speeds about a common longitudinal central axis, means on said rotor forming a spiral passageway between the rotor and barrel in communication with said outlets, the cross-sectional area transversely of the passageway at any location therein being at least equal to such cross-sectional area at any other location therein closer to the larger end of the barrel, and means introducing a material to be treated into said passageway mediate said outlets.
2. The centrifugal separator as set forth in claim 1 wherein said passageway is of decreasing radial width from the larger end of said barrel toward the smaller end thereof.
3. In a centrifugal separator an internally longitudinally tapered barrel, having longitudinally spaced outlets, a rotor in the barrel shaped to conform to the direction of the taper thereof, means supporting the barrel and rotor for rotation at different speed about a common longitudinal central axis, means on said rotor forming a spiral passageway between the rotor and barrel in communication with said outlets, the volume of said passageway throughout any portion of the length thereof being at least equal to the volume of any preceding portion of equal length from the larger end of the barrel to the smaller end thereof, and means introducing a material to be treated into said passageway mediate said outlets.
4. The centrifugal separator as set forth in claim 3, wherein said passageway is of lesser radial width at any location throughout the length ofthe passageway than at any location therein closer to the larger end of said lbarrel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,382,930 6/1921 Phillips 233--7 1,383,313 7/1921 L'andreth 233-7 1,563,491 12/1925 Hoyle 233-7 1,710,315 4/1929 Laughlin 233-7 3,143,504 8/ 1964 Schneider 233-7 HENRY T. KLINKSIEK, Primary Examiner.