US 3496086 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1970 s. STALSON ETAL ,0
APPARATUS FOR CLEANING METAL STRANDS Filed June 8, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS STANLEY L. STALSON may 0 24M E5 gm 'Aflorney Feb. 17, 1970 s. L. STALSON ETAL 3,496,086
APPARATUS FOR CLEANING METAL STRANDS 6 ARLES 0);? CKER By M Aflorney Feb. 17, 1970 s. L. sTALsoN ETAL 3, 9
APPARATUS FOR CLEANING METAL STRANDS Filed June a, 1867 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Q/NVE/VTORS STANLEY L. STALSO/V and f, RIC/(ER A Ham ey United States Patent Oflice 3,496,086 Patented Feb. 17, 1970 3,496,086 APPARATUS FOR CLEANING METAL STRANDS Stanley L. Stalson, West Richfield, and Charles D. Stricker, Shaker Heights, Ohio, assignors to United States Steel Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed June 8, 1967, Ser. No. 644,637 Int. Cl. C23]: /68; B01k 3/00 U.S. Cl. 204-208 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an improved apparatus to electrolytically cleaning metal strands.
It is known that the surface of metal strands (rod or wire) can be cleaned advantageously by an electrolytic process in which the strand travels continuously through an acid electrolyte and alternately becomes a cathode and an anode. T o avoid arcing and consequent surface damage, it is known to introduce electric current to the strand only via the electrolyte. Reference can be made to Yerger et a1. Patent No. 2,165,326 for a showing of a process of this type and a detailed explanation of its advantages. As applied to rods which subsequently are to be drawn into wire, electrolytic cleaning may follow a scale-removing operation. conventionally most scale is removed from rods in a mechanical breaker, such as shown in Carlson et al. Patent No. 2,730,791. Small scale particles which remain on the rod surface can be washed away with water jets and the surface dried with air jets, for example as shown in Stalson Patent No. 3,044,098. Thereafter an electrolytic process can be used to effect a final cleaning before wire-drawing lubricant is applied. As applied to wire, an electrolytic process can be used for removing the residue which remains on the surface after a drawing operation.
An object of our invention is to provide a simplified unitary apparatus which effects both water-washing and electrolytic cleaning of metal strands in a continuous operation.
A further object is to provide an apparatus of the foregoing type which includes a series of electrolytic cells and means for continuously circulating acid electrolyte through the cells.
A further object is to provide an apparatus of the foregoing type in which the end walls of each cell form electrodes encompassing the strand but out of physical contact therewith, and the electrodes of adjacent cells are separated by insulator blocks.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of our apparatus;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view thereof;
FIGURE 3 is an end elevational view thereof from the left of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 4 is a vertical section on a larger scale on line IV-IV of FIGURE 1.
As FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 show, our apparatus includes in succession a first water-washing section 10, an electrolytic-cleaning section 12, and a second water-washing section 13, all supported on a rigid frame 14. A strand S travels continuously from left to right through these sections. Each water-washing section 10 and 13 has respective outer and inner air inlets 15 and 16 and a water inlet 17 intermediate its two air inlets. We connect the inlets to air and water lines 18 and 19 (FIGURES 1 and 3). The water-washing sections have air and water outlets 20 (FIGURES 2 and 4) which lead to tanks 21 in the lower portion of frame 14. The electrolytic-cleaning section includes a series of alternating cathodic and anodic treatment cells 22 and 23 (three of each illustrated). The first cell of the section is cathodic and the last anodic. We connect the cathodic cells to a positive bus bar 24 and the anodic cells to a negative bus bar 25, whereby the strand becomes a cathode in the cathodic cells and an anode in the anodic cells. We continuously introduce an acid electrolyte (for example a 15 to percent sulfuric acid solution) to the bottom of each cell from an inlet header 26 and discharge it from the top into a return header 27. The headers lead to an acid supply, not shown.
As FIGURE 4 shows, the water-washing section 10 is formed of cylindrical nozzle holders 28, 29 and 30 and an acid overflow chamber 31, preferably of transparent plastic, held together with tie rods 32 and bolted to frame 14. The outer end of the nozzle holder 28 carries a guide die 33 and a plate 34 holding the die in place. The nozzle holder 28 has a central bore within which we insert a tubular air nozzle 35. The air inlet 15 communicates with the nozzle through a vertical passage 36. Nozzle 35 has a plurality of openings 37 which extend through its wall at an angle of about 30 to its central axis. The nozzle holders 29 and 30 are alike. Each has a respective chamber 38, counterbore 39 and vertical passage 40 through which the water and air inlets 17 and 16 communicate with the counterbore. We insert double water and air nozzles 41 and 42 in the counterbores .of the nozzle holders 29 and 30 respectively and hold them in place with plates 43. These nozzles have a plurality of openings 44 which extend through their walls at right angles to their central axes. The acid overflow chamber 31 contains a vertical baflle 45 supported by rods 46. At its exit end the chamber carries a guide die 47. The other water washing section 13 is of similar construction, except that the parts are reversed, and the openings which correspond with openings 37 extend at right angles to the central axis of the nozzle.
The cells 22 and 23 all are of similar construction. Each includes a respective inverted plastic T 52 which has an opening 53 in its bottom. A hose 54 connects the inlet header 26 with the T through the opening 53. Elbows 55 and a hose 56 connect the top of the T with the return header 27 We insert flanged tubular electrodes 57 in each horizontal arm of the T. O-rings 58 prevent leakage of electrolyte between the electrodes and T. We bolt the flanges of the electrodes to plastic insulator blocks 59, or those at the ends of the series to the Walls of the acid overflow chambers 31. We bolt the blocks 59 to the frame 14. We place metal rings 60 over the flanges to assist in holding the parts together. The back edges of the flanges have tabs 61 which we connect to the bus bars 24 and 25 through cables 62.
In operation, we pull the strand S continuously through the apparatus. First air jets from nozzle 35, water jets from nozzle 41 and air jets from nozzle 42 act on the strand to remove loose foreign material and blow off the water. After passing through the acid overflow chamber 31, the strand enters the first cathodic treatment cell 22 where current is introduced from the electrodes 57 through the electrolyte without direct contact between the electrodes and strand. The current flows through the strand, the electrolyte in the adjacent anodic treatment cell 23, and the electrodes 57 of the latter cell. Electrolytic action in the cathodic cells removes most remaining foreign material from the surface of the strand, but deposits a smut. Electrolytic action in the anodic cells removes the smut. The air and water jets in the second water-washing section 13 remove electrolyte from the strand and dry it, leaving a perfectly clean surface. Electrolyte flows continuously through the cells and thus carries away material cleaned from the strand. The acid overflow chambers 31 receive electrolyte which leaks past the strand at the ends of the electrolytic-cleaning section. The bafiles 45 direct such electrolyte downwardly through pipes 63 into the return header 27.
From the foregoing description it is seen that ourapparatus afl ords a simple effective means for cleaning a strand electrolytically, as well as washing it with water jets. The electrodes fully encompass the strand without directly contacting it. Hence the current reaching the strand is uniform throughout the circumference and there is no arcing, as would damage the surface. The entire apparatus is enclosed, preventing acid fumes from escaping to the atmosphere.
While we have shown and described only a single embodiment of our invention, it is apparent that modifications may arise. Therefore, we do not wish to be limited to the disclosure set forth but only by the scope of the appended claims.
1. An apparatus for cleaning metal strands, said apparatus comprising in succession:
a first water-washing section, an electrolytic-cleaning section, and a second water-washing section through which sections a strand may travel continuously;
said electrolytic-cleaning section including:
a series of alternating cathodic and anodic treatment cells, each of which is formed of:
an inverted plastic T having an opening in its lower end, and
a pair of annular electrodes inserted in the arms of said T to encompass the strand out of direct contact therewith;
insulator blocks between said cells to which said electrodes are fixed, the electrodes at the ends of the series being fixed to the respective water-washing sections; means for continuously introducing acid electrolyte to the openings in the lower ends of said TS and discharging the electrolyte from the tops of said TS; and
positive and negative current supply means connected to the electrodes of said cathodic and anodic treatment cells respectively;
said water-washing sections having overflow chambers for receiving electrolyte from the end cells of the series.
2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which said electrodes have flanges at their outer ends, said flanges being fixed to said blocks and said water-washing sections.
3. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which said water-washing sections each include a plurality of chamhers and air and water nozzles between said chambers for directing air and water jets against the strand.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,355,521 10/ 1920 Alexander ct al. 204-210 XR 1,068,411 7/1913 Chubb 204207 XR 1,745,912 2/1930 Richardson 204--210 XR 2,244,423 6/ 1941 Hall 20428 XR 2,267,146 12/1941 Wilson 204-206 2,445,675 7/1948 Lang 204228 XR 2,725,352 11/ 1955 Strobel 20428 2,876,132 3/1959 Worden et al. 204l45 XR 3,359,189 12/1967 Cooke et al. 204-28 3,414,501 12/ 1968 Kruger 204-2(l6 3,429,798 2/ 1969 Beck et al. 204-212 XR JOHN H. MACK, Primary Examiner W. B. VANSISE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.