US 3511547 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 12, 1970 H. H. SCHMIEDER ETAL 3,511,547
DEVICE FOR HANDLING OBJECTS IN A GLOVE BOX Filed June 20, 1966 INVENTOR. HfLMl/T l1- 5(flM/EDER P/RM/N SCHWAB 13,400 KNOBLOCH United States Patent 3,511,547 DEVICE FOR HANDLING OBJECTS IN A GLOVE BOX Helmnt H. Schmieder, Karlsruhe, Pirmin Schwab,
US. Cl. 3121 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A construction is disclosed for safely handling active materials, as for example aor .fi-active plutonium constituting a glove box. The construction is particularly designed to avoid the type of accidents such as generally occur when it is attempted to withdraw the arm out of the glove box and the sleeve portion of the glove has been pulled forward and over the finger portion. In accordance with the invention the sleeve portion is made adjustable with respect to the distance as to which it can extend into the box by means of elastic devices responsive to the forces applied in handling for automatic adherence to a preset length and namely to the shortest effective length.
The invention relates to a device for handling objects located in a closed room paritcularly of the design of a glove box, by means of sheath, i.e., gloves which can be inserted into and withdrawn from the box.
For handling material which is alpha or beta active, e.g. plutonium, so-called glove boxes are used in which the active materials are investigated, processed, or handled in other ways. These glove boxes consist essentially of thin gas-tight walls effecting a gas-tight seal between the laboratory space and the room containing the active materials and the objects to be manipulated. To facilitate work in a glove box its walls contain openings into which flexible indentations with glove-like ends penetrate which are designed to hold the hands and arms of the manipulating person and, at the same time, safeguard a gas-tight seal between the interior space of the glove box and the laboratory space.
In the operation of this type of glove box it has been shown that, especially with boxes operated at a negative pressure relating to the outside, there may be difficulties in retracting the arm out of the glove box due to part of the indentations being pushed above the glove-like end and thus impeding operation and, possibly, giving rise to accidents connected with contamination.
It is the aim of this invention to create a device for handling objects especially in glove boxes, which ensures a safe performance of the operations in the glove box and avoids accidents of the type described above.
In the device according to the invention for handling objects located in a closed space, especially designed like a glove box, by means of sheaths which may be pushed into the space and can be adjusted in their (effective) length extending into the space, the invention provides for elastic devices yielding to the forces applied in handling (manipulation forces) for the automatic adherence to a preset length, in particular the shortest effective length.
In this respect it is an advantage to design the sheath at least partially as a spring bellows which can be expanded by the manipulation forces.
In a specially simple and advantageous way the device according to the invention is designed so that gloves with cuffs are provided as the sheaths with the upper part of the cult being drawn above a spring extending beyond the space and adapted to the cuff and the lower part being drawn reversely through the interior of the spring so as to point into the space. In this connection it proved to be useful to make the length of the spring in its rest position equal to one third to one half of the length of the cuff and, moreover, to design the spring so that its inclination is adapted to the tapering of the cuff of the glove.
'It is useful to fabricate the spring of a corrosion resistant material in order to allow also the performance of chemical reactions in the glove box with the active materials to be treated without any corrosive attack on the spring. A material suited to this type of application is stainless steel. However, it is possible also to use a spring of normal spring steel and cover it with plastic material or a spring consisting of plastic material either entirely or at least on its surface.
The exact nature of the invention will be apparent from the following description when considered with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatical view of one embodiment of the invention showing the box and glove, the latter 'in the withdrawn position.
Above the conical spiral spring 1 secured to the glove box 3 by means of a snap ring 2 the cuff of the glove indentation 4 is drawn which seals the glove box gastight in position 5.
At the end of the conical spring 1 pointing away from the glove box the end of the cuff of the glove is indented so as to extend into the spring and may be introduced into the glove box by elastic compression of the spring in the direction of the glove box. The length of the spiral spring is about one third to half of the entire length of the cuff of the glove and the inclination of the spiral spring should roughly correspond to the taper of the cufl? of the glove.
Now, by using the device according to the invention it is possible in the simplest way to handle radioactive material in a glove box without any disturbance by the cuffs of the gloves and resulting accidents with radioactive contamination.
1. Apparatus adapted for the handling of objects in a sealed box comprising in combination such a box and at least one glove of adjustable length adapted for insertion into and withdrawal from said box comprising:
a sealed box adapted for carrying out reactions therein having at least one access opening, a glove for movement into and out of said box being arranged in each of said openings in air-tight sealing engagement with said box, said glove being adjustable with respect to the distance as to which it can extend into said box, elastic means secured to said glove, said glove being disposed within said elastic means, the latter being adapted to receive said glove and to provide for the insertion and withdrawal of said glove from said box, said elastic means being responsive to the forces applied thereto for automatic adherence to predetermined length.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said glove is formed of a cuff portion and a finger portion.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said elastic means is responsive to the forces applied thereto for automatic adherence to the shortest effective length.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1 including means for sealing said glove in air-tight sealing engagement into the opening in said box.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said glove is at least in part designed as a spring bellows expandable by the forces applied thereto.
6. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said elastic means comprises spring means, the upper portion of said cult being drawn over said spring means at the portion thereof furthest from said box and being attached thereto at said portion, the finger portion of said glove being drawn through the interior of said spring in a reversed direction so as to point into said box.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the length of said spring means in its rest position is equal to /3 to /2 of the length of said cufi.
8. Apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said spring means is a conical spring adapted to conform to the taper of said cuif.
11. Apparatus according to claim 9 wherein said spring means is constructed at least at the surface thereof of a plastic material.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,558,533 6/1951 Bell 2270 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner J. KOHNEN, Assistant Examiner