US 3422479 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1969 s. J EFFEE' 3,422,479
APPARATUS FOR PRQCESSING FILM Filed Dec. 29, 1964 Sheet of 2 60L VEN T TA /v/( //1/CZ UD/A/G m (/4 TRA so/v/c MEANS Jan. 21, 1969 9 s, JEFFEE 3,422,479
APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING FILM Filed Dec. 29, 1964 Sheet 2 of 2 United States Patent 3,422,479 APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING FILM Saul .lelfee, 619 W. 54th St., New York, N.Y. 10019 Filed Dec. 29, 1964, Ser. No. 421,913 US. Cl. 15-100 2 Claims Int. Cl. G03d 5/06 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A film processing apparatus comprising a solvent tank including ultrasonic means and a drier spaced from said tank. The film advances along a vertical path from the tank to the drier. Two pairs of pads are disposed on opposite sides of the film in staggered relationship along the path to wipe off solvent from the film. Each pad includes a core of solid material which is inert and impermeable to the solvent; an absorbent cover is provided on the core to engage the film. The cover includes a base with a cut pile on the base to engage the strip.
This invention relates to apparatus for the cleaning of film and more particularly to apparatus for removing solvent from a film which has been cleaned by the same.
In the processing of film such as disclosed in Patent No. 2,967,119, a film may 'be cleansed by one technique or another in a solvent tank and may thereafter be conveyed to a drying mechanism whereas solvent not previously removed from the film is dried to complete the processing of the film at least as regards the cleaning thereof.
To facilitate the drying of the film, there may be employed a technique in accordance with which some of the solvent is removed from the film intermediate the solvent tank and the drier. A principal technique for the removal of a portion of the solvent from a film cleaned by the same has involved a method of blowing the solvent from the film between the solvent tank and the drier. This technique, however, is deficient in several respects and involves certain difficulties which it is an object of this invention to avoid It is an object of the invention to provide a superior film cleaning means by combining an ultrasonic means with the mechanical means for wiping off solvent from a film which has been ultrasonically cleansed, as it has been found that an unexpectedly better cleaning is obtained in that the apparatus of the invention provides for removing fingerprints, oil sludge and the like.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved apparatus for removing solvent from an ultrasonically cleansed film, which improved apparatus economizes on the use of the solvent by avoiding massive evaporation.
Said improved apparatus limits evaporation thereby reducing hazards caused by the fact that the solvent is corrosive and toxic.
In generally achieving its objectives, the invention contemplates the provision of an apparatus wherein is employed a solvent tank in which a strip of film can be ultrasonically cleansed by a liquid solvent and wherefrom the strip can pass along a predetermined path. With said tank is operatively associated a wipe-off means, on opposite sides of the above-noted path, to engage the film and wipe solvent from the strip.
This wipe-off means comprises, for purposes of engaging the film, an absorbent non-linting material which is inert to the solvent and sufficiently soft to avoid scratch- .ing of the film. This material is adapted to wipe the solvent from the film and in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention the wipe-off means can 'be so disposed relative to the tank that the wiped off solvent returns to the tank for further use. The physical scrubbing action of the wipe-off cleans off heavy grease and smudges that normally are not removed by cleaning solely with sonic action of the solvent. This scrubbing action removes water soluble dirt and smears that do not readily come off in the solvent.
According to a more particular aspect 'of the inven tion there is operatively disposed with respect to the solvent tank a drier which is superposed in spaced relationship to said tank so that the strip can pass rectilinearly along a vertical path from the tank to the drier.
In this event, the wipe-off means comprises, for example, two pairs of pads, of which one of the pairs is in superposed relationship to the other, and the pads of each pair are in staggered relationship along the path whereby to be exposed to visual inspection.
Each of the aforenoted pairs, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, includes a solid core of material which is generally inert and impermeable to the solvent employed. Further, there is provided an absorbent cover on the core to engage the film and wipe and absorb solvent therefrom. This cover preferably includes a base and on this base a cut pile of a material which is soft relative to the strip and will therefore not scratch the same and which further is inert to the aforenoted solvent. The Wipe-off absorbent pad can also be made up as a traveling roll or endless loop.
Preferably the pile is of a certain thickness and is so disposed as to be in a position of interference with the strip of film being processed, the lowermost of the pads engaging with the film in tighter relationship than the uppermost of the pads, with, however, none of the pads or covers thereon engaging the strip of film with such a force as to 'be able to mar the same.
The aforegoing objects of the invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, as illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 diagrammatically illustrates an apparatus contemplated within the scope of the invention and comprising in combination a solvent tank and drier, with a wipe-off mechanism therebetween;
FIGURE 2 illustrates one specific form which the pad may take in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 3 illustrates in side view a further pad form which can be employed;
FIGURE 4 illustrates in side view a further variation of the pad; and
FIGURE 5 illustrates still a further pad form.
In FIG. 1 is illustrated a solvent tank 10 and a drier 12. Tank 10 must provide for ultrasonic cleaning such as disclosed in Patents 2,784,119 or 2,967,119. The drier 12 is superposed in spaced relationship to the solvent tank 10, such that the film 14 is cleansed in the solvent tank 10 by means of a solvent such as trichlorethane, can pass along a predetermined vertical path of rectilinear form from the tank 10 to the drier 12.
The film 14, which is a conventional photographic film, will generally be of a thickness of about .006 inch, with a tolerance of about .001 inch. However, it will be apparent from the following discussion that various sizes of films may easily be accommodated within the scope of the invention.
Between the tank 10 and the drier 12 is positioned a wipe-off means 16, said means including elements on opposite sides of the path of strip 14 to engage the film between the tank 10 and drier 12 and wipe solvent from the strip.
It will be appreciated that if the solvent tank 10 is of the open tank form and the wipe-off means 16 is superposed thereabove, solvent wiped from the film 14 will at least in part drop under the influence of gravity into the tank and will therefore be conserved for future use. This constitutes one of the improvements of the invention with respect to the prior art, in accordance with which the solvent is evaporated and is not available for reuse unless conserved by extremely cumbersome and expensive conserving measures.
In accordance with the invention, there is mounted between the tank 10 and drier 12 a plate 18 of a material such as stainless steel or the like. On the plate 18 are mounted a plurality of pads 20, 22, 24 and 26.
Pads 20 and 22 constitute a pair which is superposed relative to the pair constituted by pads 24 and 26. It is to be noted that the pads of each pair are in staggered relationship along the path of the strip 14. This staggered relationship constitutes a further feature of the invention, in accordance with which each of the pads employed in the wipe-01f means of the invention is exposed to visual inspection by an operator.
Each of the pads, for example the pad 20, includes a core 28 atop of which is provided a cover 30.
The core 28 is of a substantially rigid material which is inert to the solvent being employed and which is substantially impermeable to this solvent, so that no swelling will occur. This affords a dimensional stability which is important to the invention, as will hereinafter become apparent. By way of example, it is possible to employ in accordance with the invention, phenolic resin as the material for the core (one such resin being Micarta). Certain metals can also be employed, such as, for example, stainless steel. However, if, for example, a solvent such as trichlorethane is employed, the use of aluminum is in this case prohibited, because of the formation of undesirable gases due to undesired reactions.
The cover 30 must be such that it can come into contact with the strip 14 without marring or scratching the same, while still having sufficient dimensional stability as to be able to remove oil and the like from the film. Further, the material of the cover is preferably absorbent and is nonlinting (i.e., does not give off lint when placed into contact with a film due to mechanical abrasion or electrostatic forces). The material must, moreover, be inert to the cleaning solution or solvent and is also preferably white, in order to facilitate visual inspection of the pad for cleanliness and wear.
A particular substance which has been employed is a nylon-rayon material known as white nylon velvet, which can be purchased as Nylavel No. l6794. This material is crush and shine proof and consists of 52% nylon and 48% rayon. It consists of a base on which is a cut pile, said pile measuring preferably about .065 inch, but lying generally in the range of .04.15 inch, inclusive of the dimension of the base which runs in the order of about .01 inch. The particular material just described has the further advantage that it is highly resistant to stretching, so that the cover on the core can be retained in intimate engagement therewith.
The aforenoted pads are mounted in position by fastening means 32, 34, 36 and 38, which as will become hereinafter apparent permit ready detachment and adjustment of the pads for relocating, exchanging and renewing the elements thereof.
In passing through the wipe-off means, as has been described above, the film first passes against the pad 26 and then against the pad 24, both of these pads being engaged by the film with a determinable force of engagement which is insuificient to deflect the film 14 from its course, this being permitted by engagement solely with the pile of the associated covers. Through such engagement the pads 24 and 26 wipe the major portion of the solvent from the film 14, the solvent dropping by gravity and returning to the solvent tank 10. Some of the solvent may be absorbed in the respective covers of the pads 24 and 26, but this is insufiicient to effect the generally improved efficiency of the technique. In any event, the engagement of the covers of pads 24 and 26 in combination with the ultrasonic technique is sufficient to agitate the solvent on the film to remove fingerprints and oil sludges therefrom, as well as like foreign matter, and this is accomplished without scratching or otherwise marring the film.
The film 14 thereafter passes between the pads 20 and 22, these pads being spaced somewhat less closely than pads 24 and 26, considered in elevation, so that pads 29 and 22 have less of an engagement with the film 14 than pads 24 and 26. However, considering that the thickness of the film 14 will ordinarily be in a range of .006 inch with a small tolerance, the difference in the spacing of the pairs of pads will not be very great. In this respect, pads 20 and 22 are intended to remove from the film a large portion of the relatively small quantity of solvent which has remained on the film despite contact of the film with pads 24 and 26. The film 14 thence passes to the drier 12, although in accordance with various other embodiments of the invention it would be possible to add additional pads for contact with said film.
While FIG. 1 diagrammatically illustrates one form of a pad which may be employed in accordance with the invention, FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate still further forms of pads which may be employed.
In FIG. 2 the pad illustrated comprises a core 40 having two lobe-like extremities 42 and 44. A cover 46 of a material such as has been noted above is wrapped around said core, and the extremities thereof are positioned in a recess 48 defined between the extremities 42 and 44. A plate 50 of metal or the like is provided which can be accommodated in said recess 48, to trap the extremities 52 and 54 of the cover 46, in such a manner as to hold the cover 46 tightly against said core. A fastening means, such as the wing-nut 56 and bolt 58 can be employed to hold and lock the plate 50 in position.
FIG. 3 reveals a pad structure in accordance with which a core 60 is employed in combination with a cover 62, locked to the core 60 by means of a plate 64 and fastening means 66. In this embodiment of the invention, however, a soft felt backing or intermediate layer 68 is provided which fits between the core 60 and the cover 62 so as to facilitate engaging the strip of film without damaging the same. This intermediate layer is preferably of an order of about of an inch in thickness, and although felt is preferred, various soft materials which are inert to the cleaning solutions employed may also be used.
In both FIGS. 2 and 3 are illustrated knurled nuts 70 or 72 which cooperate with threaded bolts 74 and 76 to lock the related cores against the associated support plate, as for example, seen in FIG. 1. The related pads, when locked in position, present a surface of an absorbent nonlinting material inert to solvent and sufiiciently soft to avoid scratching the film which is being dried.
From what has been described above, it will be appreciated that in accordance with one aspect of the invention there is provided a wipe-off apparatus to wipe solvent from a strip of photographic film, which wipeotf apparatus comprises at least one pad including a solid core of a material generally inert and impermeable to the solvent employed and an absorbent cover on the core to engage the film and wipe an absorbed solvent therefrom, said cover including a base and on this base a pile of a material inert to the solvent employed and sufficiently soft to avoid scratching the film.
Preferably, all of the pads present for engagement with the film being processed, arcuate faces composed of a material having the characteristics described above.
As has been noted hereinbefore, the method of the invention contemplates the cleaning of a strip of photographic film with a solvent in a tank and passing the film to a drier, whereat the film is dried and brought to ambient temperature, and between the tank and drier, mechanically wiping the solvent from the film.
The method of the invention, according to a further aspect thereof, comprises wiping the solvent from the film at a position located above the solvent tank, so that the solvent at least in part returns to the tank under the infiuence of gravity.
FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawing illustrate further forms which may be assumed by the pads employed in accordance with the invention.
In FIG. 4 appears a core 78 of the aforeindicated type in operative association with a cover 80. Said cover 80 which is of the aforedescribed type takes the form of an endless belt or loop. This loop may be held in position relative to the core 78 by virtue of a plurality of rolls of which are shown by way of example rolls 82 and 84 in facing but spaced relationship and a further roll 86.
In this latter embodiment the cover 80 may be moved relative to the core 78 and may be so adjusted as to present sequentially different operating zones to the film to be processed.
FIG. 5 illustrates a core 88 in operative association with a cover 90. In this embodiment of the invention there is provided a feed roll 92 and a take-up roll 94. The cover 90 is fed from roll 92 to roll 94 so that the cover 90 can always be conveniently adjusted to present sequentially different and clean zones thereof to the film to be processed.
There will now be obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications and variations of the structures and methods set forth above. These modifications and variations will not depart, however, from the scope of the invention if defined by the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with an upwardly open solvent tank including ultrasonic means whereby a strip of film can be ultrasonically cleansed by a liquid solvent and a drier superposed in spaced relation to said tank whereby said strip can pass reetilinearly along a vertical path from the tank to said drier: wipe-off means on opposite sides of said path to engage said film between said tank and drier and wipe solvent from the strip so that the solvent at least in part drops back into said tank; said wipe-01f means comprising two pairs of pads, the pads of each pair being in staggered relation along said path whereby to be exposed to visual inspection, each pad including a solid core of material inert and impermeable to said solvent and an absorbent cover on said core to engage the film and wipe and absorb solvent therefrom and an intermediate layer of soft backing between the core and cover, said cover including a base and on said base a cut pile to engage said strip, said pads having arcuate faces facing said path to engage said strip, the pads of both pairs being spaced to engage said strip with the associated piles only.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein said core includes two lobe-like extremities defining a recess therebetween, said apparatus further including a plate accommodated in said recess to lock the cover therein.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,724,705 8/1929 Frankenberg 15-100 1,933,084 10/1933 Allison 15100 2,351,371 6/1944 Smith 15100 X 3,099,584 7/1963 Walsh 134-1 3,158,886 12/1964 Grimes 15-100 3,186,838 6/1965 Graff et al. 15-100 X SAMIH N. ZAHARNA, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.