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Publication numberUS3536199 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 27, 1970
Filing dateJun 27, 1969
Priority dateJun 27, 1969
Publication numberUS 3536199 A, US 3536199A, US-A-3536199, US3536199 A, US3536199A
InventorsBill G Cornelius
Original AssigneeBill G Cornelius, Mcrae Oil Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fire extinguishing oil slick separator
US 3536199 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

169-45. XR 395369199 512 T 14 United States Patent 1111 [72] Inventor Bill 6. Cornelius 1 References Ciied Houston, Texas UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 pp 837,091 1,591,024 7/1926 Dod 6 210/523 2 1 PM June, 1969 2,470,418 5/1949 Verner 210/523 1 Patemed Oct-27,197" 3,245,539 4/1966 Earle 210/242 I Asagnee Mc-Rfle Oil Corporalwn 3,314,540 4/1967 Lane 210/242 Houston, Texas a corporation of Colorado Primary Exammer-Sam1h N. Zaharna fractional part interest Assistant ExaminerT. A. Granger Attorney-William E. Ford ABSTRACT: A frame, carrying a cowled drum with cowl providing a chamber, is pivoted from a base, as a propelled means, (barge or tug), or a stationary means, (dock, slip or shore based structure), in manner that the drum is buoyed by [54] i gfiy q g SLICK SEPARATOR a heavier fluid carrying a lighter fluid, the drum bearing the a lighter fluid, as oil, on its surface into an enclosed cowl pro- [52] US. Cl 210/242, vided chamber designed to be kept substantially full and thus 169/2, 210/523 not well calculated to support combustion, the drum surface [51] lnt.Cl ..E02b 15/04, film of lighter fluid being scraped off by a scraper which B0 ld 17/02 deflects the lighter fluid into the chamber interior, a conveyor [50] Field of Search 2 l 0/ l 70, being provided to transfer the lighter fluid from the lower part 523, 242, 83 ofthe chamber in direction ofthe base.

. 3 2o r. 35a 34 42 I U: 34? I I 4134* g 24 36 1 a4 41 41b r. '\2 4 g Sheet l 01 3 1 K INVENTOR 1 W 25 BILL ca. CORNELIUS F/G.3 BY Zdhflfiv'zd/ ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 27, 1970 Sheet g 0T5 FIG. 4

INVENTOR 5! LL G. CORNEL/US Wm m Abwm m V B Patented Oct. 27, 1970 3,536,199

Sheet 5 of 3 I FIG. 7

(\g'w, g; 1 4 54? vi I INVENTOR 60 0000000 I 8 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BY 1 82 0000000 FIG. 70 v Fl I I ATTORNEY FIRE EXTINGUISIIING OIL SLICK SEPARATOR The invention relates to a separator, as an oil slick separator of the type comprising a rotated drum floated on oil slick water so that the drum picks up the oil and carries it into a chamber to be scraped off and to stand within the chamber which is thus not well calculated to support combustion, the oil from the lower part of the chamber being picked up by a conveyor to be carried on for further disposition.

As a primary object, the invention sets out to provide a separator of this class, as an oil slick separator which is designed with rotated drum to pick up oil from the water which carries it, and to carry the oil on drum surface into a cowl chamber to stand therein so that the chamber is not well calculated to support combustion, a scraper scraping off drum surface fluid and deflecting it into the chamber, and the oil being picked up from the lower part of the chamber by conveyor means which carries it on for further disposition.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a separator of this class, as an oil slick separator, in which the drum is supported by means on a pivot axis across an end of a propelled vessel, as a barge or tug.

It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a separator of this class, as an oil slick separator, which has a downwardly extending baffle on the conveyor side of the drum to encourage the building up of a reservoir of floated oil on the water to be picked up by drum rotation in direction away from the conveyor side.

It is also a further object of the invention to provide a separator of this class, as an oil slick separator with conveyor providing a universal joint therein within a flexible connection between conveyor housing parts and in alignment with the pivot axis between means supporting the oil slick separator and means mounting the drum.

lt is still a further object of the invention to provide a separator of this class, as an oil slick operator, which may be readily installed upon a propelled means, as barge or tug, and

as readily installed at a crossing, in a slip, or at any area where the oil carried by water may be readily impinged upon the surface of a rotated drum.

Other and further objects will be apparent when the specification is considered in connection with the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of an embodiment of tire extinguishing, oil slick separator or skimmer operated from a tug or barge;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the barge or tug driven oil slick separator shown in elevational view in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a transverse elevational view, part in section, taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional elevational view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a sectional elevational view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevational view, showing a means for driving the oil slick pickup drum;

FIG. 7 is an elevational view, part in section, of another embodiment of the invention, showing an oil slick separator disposed to pick up oil across a stream or across a similar flow passage;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the embodiment of the invention shown in elevational view in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an elevational view, part in section, showing a pair of oil slick separators raised and lowered from opposite sides of a body of water bearing an oil slick, and together cooperative to dispose separator deposit drums across the body of water;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary, sectional elevational view showing details of deposit drum construction; and

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary, transverse elevational view of the deposit drum construction shown in front elevational view in FIG. 10.

Referring now to the drawings in which like reference numerals are applied to like elements in the various views, an oil slick separator 10 is shown in FIG. 1 which is disposed in a body of water by included mounting arms l2 which have upper ends pivotally mounted on pivot pins I3 which extend outwardly from mounting plates 14, one mounted on each side of the bow of a vessel, as atug or barge 15. Axially aligned axle ends 16 extend outwardly from the drum end closures 17, 17a of a drum 20, and are journaled in the lower ends of the mounting arms 12 whereby the drum is disposed floated in the water 11 forward of the barge bow 18.

The drum 20 is driven by a hydraulic motor in a water tight housing 19 mounted on the under side of the port arm I2, and as will be herein below described in further detail. The direction of drum rotation is clockwise as indicated in FIG. I, and oil on the surface of the water 11 is impinged upon, or adheres to, the surface of the drum as it is rotated through the surface oil slick or thin layer, and rotation carries the oil around to pass with drum rotation through an inlet space 21 within a cowl or housing 34 providing an enclosed chamber 22; the cowl 34 covering some bit more than the first quadrant of the drum in FIG. I, the chamber 21 being designed to oppose support of combustion.

Within the chamber 22 provided within the cowl 34 the oil is scraped off the drum 20 to fall into the bottom of the cowl 34 to pass into the lower conveyor housing section 240 of a conveyor housing 24 included by a conveyor assembly 25, to be further described herein below. The conveyor 24 of the conveyor assembly 25 picks up the oil from the bottom of the cowl chamber 22 and transfers it upwardly into a conduit 26 which is indicated in FIG. 1 as discharging the oil into space within the hold of the barge I5, for further disposition. A hydraulic motor 27 is indicated in part diagrammatically in FIG. 1 as mounted upon the upper end of the conveyor housing 24, and as being connected to discharge into the aforesaid conduit 26.

The arms 12 may be raised or lowered by hydraulic cylinder means to dispose the drum 20 at a desired elevation with relation to the surface of the water II. For each arm, a hydraulic cylinder 28 has a crosspin 28a from its base pivotally mounted on a lug 29 upstanding from the bow 18 of the barge I5 while the piston rod 30 from the piston within the cylinder 28 extends outwardly or forwardly for connection to a crosspin 31 which is journaled to pivot within a lug 32, as shown upstanding from the port side of the bow 18. The hydraulic cylinders 28, port and starboard, may be coordinated in lifting and lowering the drum 20 by having fluid from a common source pump 23 supplied to, and taken from, the selective ends thereof, conventionally through branched conduits, as controlled by selective manipulation of a 4-way valve 37, FIGS. 1 and 2.

At this point notice that a flexible sleeve 24b is indicated in FIG. 2 as being disposed between the conveyor housing sections 24a, 24b, and in alignment transversely with the pivot pins 13 upon which the arms 12 are pivotally mounted. Also, in FIG. 3 notice that the water tight housing 19 shown in FIG. 1 is omitted in order to show the hydraulic motor 19a therewithin with shaft 19b extending therefrom into the drum as will be further described hereinbelow, as aforesaid.

As shown in larger detail in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the clockwise rotation of the drum 20 picks up the oil 36 upon the water 11 and the drum with oil thereon rotates through the inlet space 21 under the top plate 34a of the cowl 34 with such a tolerance being provided under the plate 340 and above the outer surface of the oil 36 as a being calculated to extinguish any fire that may be burning upon the oil as it enters the inlet space 21 aforesaid.

From the rear edge of the upper cowl plate 34a the cowl 34 continues as the upper rear cowl plate 34b which supports spring guide cups 38a at spaced apart distances along the inner surface thereof just above its lower edge. From this lower edge of the plate 34b, the lower rear cowl plate 34c extends downwardly and slightly rearwardly with lower edge to be joined by the forward edge of a substantially horizontally disposed top closure plate 34d for the reservoir 22a. Such r r L plate is of special configuration, as shown in plan in FIG. 2, and extends from the lower edge of the lower rear cowl plate 340 to contact at its rear center with the top of the conveyor housing 24.

Further rearward construction of the cowl 34 will be herein below described in detail; the bottom plate 343 extending forwardly therefrom and a lower, forward plate 34h: upstanding from the forward edge of the bottom plate 343 to form the forward wall of the oil reservoir that the cowl 34 encloses. A scraper 35 provides a scraper blade 35a that extends across the top of the plate 34h between the plate 34h and the rear surface of the clockwise rotating drum 20, the forward edge of the scraper blade 35a being beveled as indicated, better to fit against the drum surface.

As shown in FIG. 4 a thin film of oil 36 is indicated as being deposited upon the drum surface and upon the upper surface of the scraper blade 35a to fall downwardly upon the oil with reservoir at lowest depth, just above the cowl bottom plate 343. Such condition would represent a condition of minimal displacement of oil by the rotated drum, but in practice drum rotation and conveyor rate of displacement are so correlated that the oil stands to maximum height in the cowl, also as indicated by the reference numeral 36 apart from the oil film 36, and at this desired filled position any conflagration brought into the cowl chamber 22 will be snuffed out through lack of space into which to burn, and through lack of air from supporting conflagration.

As shown in FIG. 4, the scraper blade 35a extends across the cowl between end plates 35j and 35k, and has its rear end connected to a hinge pipe 35b which may pivot upon a hinge rod 35c. The hinge pipe 35b may also extend substantially across the cowl 34 with the hinge rod 350 being anchored at its respective ends in the cowl end plate 35j, 35k. Optionally, the hinge pipe 35b may be divided into several spaced apart hinge sleeves with the hinge rod 35c accordingly being divided into several hinge pins with ends just outwardly of each hinge sleeve being connected to the cowl plate 34h.

Springs 38 are provided for each spring guide cup 38a to bear upwardly against the upper rear cowl plate 34b and downwardly upon the upper surface of the scraper blade 35a whereby the scraper blade 35a is maintained yieldably urged against the drum surface to accommodate for wear in drum axle bearings or upon the blade point.

The rear closures for the lower portion of the chamber 22 comprise port and starboard rear closure plates 34c and 34f shown in FIG. 3 as extending from upper edge connection with the horizontally disposed plate 34d, downwardly and forwardly for lowermost connection with the bottom plate 343 for the reservoir 22a. The respective right and left edges of these plates 34e, 34f being relieved to fit about, and to be connected to the conveyor housing as it extends forwardly into the lower rear portion of the chamber 22. The cowl 34 may thus be seen to comprise a very complex and multifunctional mission with each of the plates 34a34k comprising the cowl 34 being disposed as shown, and having configuration indicated, thus to serve the purposes hereinabove described. In summation, in addition to other purposes, the cowl is designed to oppose support of combustion, and although not air tight, some great difficulty will be encountered in getting enough air thereinto to support combustion, as hereinabove described.

The conveyor assembly 25, FIGS. 4 and 5, includes a wier plate 40 across the lower portion of the forward, lower end thereof, (FIG. 4), and a conventional worm 41, comprised of central axle 41a and helix 41b connected therearound, is

shown disposed within the cylindrical conveyor housing 24 so shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 in the form of a channel extending between the arms 12 at a distance to the rear of the crosstie member 42.

Also, in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 a baffle 33 is shown extending downwardly and forwardly from the under sides of the arms 12, and therebetween, the baffle 33 extending across the separator from arm to arm except for a relieved or cut out central area for the rear portion of the cowl 34 and at the lower portion of the conveyor housing 242 to be received centrally therethrough. The baffle 33 is slanted forwardly in direction of barge travel and forms the dam or constraining wall against which may build up a reservoir or basin of floated oil 36a forward of the baffle 33 and to the rear of the drum 20. A short gusset 33a braces the baffle 33 from the under surface of the conveyor housing section 24a, and longer gussets 33b brace the baffle 33 from the under surfaces of each arm 12.

Considering now FIGS. 1 and 3 with relation to FIG. 6, the details of how the drum 20 is rotated may be set forth in detail. ln FIG. 6, a flexible cord 46 is shown carrying the hydraulic fluid delivery conduit, controlled by valve 39a, and the hydraulic fluid return conduit to reservoir 72, FIGS. 1 and 2. The cord 46 is shown in FIG. 6 connected into the motor housing 19 shown attached to the under side of the port arm 12 as in FIG. 1. However, in FIG. 3, the motor housing 19 is not shown, in order to show the hydraulic motor 19a therein, for which the flexible cord 46 carries the aforesaid hydraulic connections. In this view the motor shaft 19b is shown extending into the left or port end of the drum 20, and in FIG. 6 a pawl 44 is shown mounted on the motor shaft 19b. Also, in FIG. 6, a planetary gear 45 is shown formed on the metallic port end closure 170, the teeth 44a of the pawl 44 meshing with the hardened, smoothed and durable plastic teeth 45a of the plastic annular gear 45, as the motor 19a drives the pawl 44 in clockwise direction, FIG. 6, 6 to rotate the drum 20 to pick up the oil 36.

The port end closure plate 34] has the outer face surface 45b of the planetary gear 45 passed thereover with very close rotational clearance to oppose the entry of air into thechamber 22, or to oppose oil leakage therefrom.

If FlG. 5 is now considered in relation to FlGS. l-4, hereinabove described it may be seen how the worm 41 that picks up the oil 36 from the'reservoir at the bottom of the chamber 22a (FIG. 4) and carried upwardly within the conveyor housing section 24a into a flexible sleeve 24c. A universal joint member 47a is shown connected to the upper end of the worm shaft 414 which terminates within the flexible sleeve 240. The upper end of the flexible sleeve 24c is shown fitted over the lower end of a conveyor housing section 24b which is indicated as being rigidly and fixedly held in position, as by being fixed to a support angle 48 forming an integral part of the barge structure. An upper worm 49 is shown within the conveyor housing section 24b with upper end of the worm shaft 49a extending through, and being journaled in the end closure plate 50 of the upper conveyor housing section 24b, with a large spur gear 51 being connected to the worm shaft end outwardly of the closure plate 50, which is driven to rotate the worm 49.

A universal joint member 47b is shown connected to the lower end of the worm shaft 49a, such universal joint member 47b, together with the aforesaid universal joint assembly 47a, with connection axis 470 being indicated as disposed within the flexible sleeve 24c to extend transversely and in coaxial alignment with axes of the pivot pins 13 (FIGS. 1 and 2) on which the arms 12 are pivoted to adjustably mount the drum 20.

A smaller gear 52 on the shaft of the hydraulic motor 27, FIG. 2, meshes with the aforesaid larger gear 51, to transmit drive thereto, as the hydraulic motor 27 is in turn driven by the hydraulic fluid permitted to pass thereto through the control valve 3% as supplied from the pump 23 which draws fluid from the reservoir 72 on the bow 18 of the vessel l5. Thus the upper worm 49 is driven and by the universal joint connection 47 drives the lower worm 41. The helix 41b thus picks up oil,

as aforesaid, to deliver it into the flexible sleeve 24c, from whence the helix 49b picks up the oil for further delivery upwardly. In FIG. 5 the conduit 26, indicated diagrammatically in FIG. 1, as taking discharge from the upper end of the upper container housing 24b, is shown in detail as connecting into the under side of the conveyor housing 24b, just aft of the upper end of the helix 49b. As indicated in FIG. 1, the conduit 26 continues to the rear to deliver the oil 36 for further disposition.

If the angle at which the arms 12 extend downwardly is changed with relation to the horizontal (or vertical), so as to dispose the drum deeper, (or less deeply), in the water 11, then the conveyor housing 240, which is rigidly connected with relation to the arms 12, must move according to this angle of change. On the other hand, the conveyor housing 24b, holds fixed position on the barge 15. The universal joint connection 47, between worm shafts 49a, 410, makes allowance for any shift in direction of drive thus created, while the flexible sleeve 24c accommodates to corresponding change in direction at which the conveyor housing section 24a must extend.

Noticeably cases may arise where only a thin film of oil 36 is being picked up, so that the oil level may stand only slightly above the cowl bottom plate 34g, as the oil is transferred upwardly by the helices 41b, 49b to the upper end of the conveyor housing section 24b to discharge into the conduit 26. In such cases air may be carried along with the oil at the expense of air in the chamber 22, thus leaving the chamber 22 less capable of supporting combustion. However, to prevent the build up of air pressure in the upper end of the conveyor housing section 2411, a conventional relief valve, not shown, may be provided in the end closure 50, or in the uppermost portion of the conveyor housing section 2412, the relief valve being of the well known type with valve seat spring urged seated inwardly or toward conveyor housing interior.

The invention comprises drum means to pick up the oil from the surface of the water, means to transfer the oil, without conflagration, from the drum surface to be picked up by a conveyor means which transfers the oil onwardly, and by a means (on barge or ashore) to receive the oil thus transferred. A use of the invention is disclosed in FIGS. 8 and 9 in cases where oil that is water borne is being carried by a flowing stream or canal. In such a case a lift frame 54 carries a cowl 64 supplying journals for axle ends of a drum 60 driven by a housed motor 59 mounted on the under side of the outer transverse member of the frame 54 to drive the drum 60 correspondingly as shown in FIG. 6. Connection is made between frame and cow] by gusseted structures 55a from port side frame member to top of cowl, by gusseted structure 55b from frame outer transverse member to outer end of cowl, and by gusseted structures 550 from starboard side frame member to starboard side of cowl. The frame side members are pivotally mounted on pivot pins 56 carried by lugs 57 which extend into the right bank end of a slip 58a, 58b built to include the flowing stream or canal 61 across which the drum 60 operatively extends.

The lift frame 54, carrying cowl 64 with axles of drum 60 journaled therein, is raised and lowered by hydraulic cylinders 71 with bases having crosspins 62 extending transversely therefrom to be journaled in lugs 63 mounted to extend above the right bank slip surface 580, the piston rods 65 of the hydraulic cylinders 71 extending outwardly to have crosspins 66 journaled in pivot lugs 67 which upstand from the longitudinally extending frame members of the frame 54 just outwardly of their pivot bores which receive the pivot pins 66 therein. Movement of the pistons in the cylinders 71 may be conventionally coordinated, as by supplying fluid directed to opposite ends of the cylinders 71 through lines branched from common supply and return lines that branch to the respective cylinder means, comparably as in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The cowl 64 may be generally of the cross-sectional configuration shown in FIG. 4, with the exception that the conveyor housing section 70a has to be connectedinto the lower chamber section or oil reservoir below the scraper in manner that the conveyor axis extends parallel to the drum axis. This can readily be accomplished as a simple matter of design, while the determining factor of successful operation resides in the fact that the upper or outer end of the conveyor housing section 70a extends to some degree beyond the end of the drum 60 in the bay of the slip section 58a on the right bank of the stream or canal 61, there to connect with the flexible sleeve 70c which in turn connects with the conveyor housing section 70b comprising the discharge or delivery section. Noticeably in FIG. 7, the flexible sleeve 70c of the conveyor housing 70 falls to place the universal joint therein, which connects the conveyor worms, with its transverse axis in coaxial .alignment with axes of the frame pivot pins 56 through the lugs 57.

The conveyor housing section 70b extends through a trough 68, FIGS. 7 and 8, formed in the right bank slip section 580 to have the pawl or spur pinion of the upper worm, correspondingly as shown in FIG. 5, driven by a transmission 69 driven from a hydraulic motor 73. The hydraulic motor correspondingly as the hydraulic motor 27, FIGS. 1 and 2, is driven by controlled hydraulic fluid supplied thereto by apparatus, not shown, but located upon the right bank slip surface 58c. Also, correspondingly as indicated in FIG. 5, the oil brought to the discharge end of the conveyor housing section 70b delivers fluid through the under side thereof into a conduit 74, which delivers the oil into a reservoir or tank 75 shown within a circular pit 76.

When it is necessary to leave the stream or canal 61 free for craft or vessels to pass up or down, the separator may be raised by admitting hydraulic fluid into the ends of the hydraulic cylinders 71 adjacent the slip bay 58a, thus to pivot the frame 54 clockwise, about its pivots 56 as indicated by the dotted lines in FIG. 7. Also, the separator 80 may thus be maintained in raised position as a permanent condition until it becomes necessary to remove oil from the stream 61.

Separators 80a, 80b, in FIG. 9 are shown together bridging a stream, canal or flow channel 61a, with their frames 77 substantially in abutment in the center of the stream 61a. The landward ends of the frames 77 pivot on pivot pins 56a which extend transversely from lugs 57a, housed motors 78 drive the drums 60a journaled within the cowls 79. Hydraulic cylinders 71a with bases having crosspins 62a in shore based lugs 630 have the rods 65a from the pistons within the cylinders 71a extended sealably from the closed ends thereof adjacent the stream or canal 61a, to pivotally disposed crosspins 66a which are journaled in lugs 67a which upstand from the respective frames 77 which carry the cowls 79.

Movement of the pistons within the cylinders 71a toward cylinder pivots 62a or toward the stream or canal 61a, as effected by the admission of hydraulic fluid through fluid lines, not shown, respectively into the outer and pivoted ends of the cylinders, respectively raises and lowers the separators 80a, 80b. With the construction shown the drums 60a substantially bridge the stream or canal transversely, and deflectors, not shown, but of conventional design, may extend upstream from the drums 60a to the respective shores, and centrally of the flow, to deflect all of the oil that may be flowing on top of the water in the stream to the respective drums 60a. Conveyor .housing assemblies, corresponding with the conveyor housing assembly 70 hereinabove disclosed and described with relation to FIGS. 7 and 8, not shown in FIG. 9, are necessarily provided, one on each side of the flow stream 61a, to convey to storage the oil picked up by the respective drums 60a from their respective cowls 79.

The structure shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 and the structures shown in FIG. 9 .may obviously be floored over above the respective cowls to convert these respective structures into drawbridges. Or, obviously, the structures, 'as they stand, may serve as walkway drawbridges, by passage being taken over the longitudinally extending frame members which thus traverse the respective flow streams.

As shown in FIGS. and 11, any drum surface, as the surface of drum 60 indicated in FIG. 10, may be covered by a perforate plate 81. The perforations 82 thus form small reservoirs so that the drum, in each revolution, may pick up a volume of oil equal to the volume of all of the perforations in the covering plate 81 plus the volume of the film or deposit of impinged or adhered oil standing in thickness from the outer surface of the drum.

The invention is thus set forth as having various applications, as to pick up seaborne oil from blown out oil wells, as recently occurred off the California coast. Also it can be employed to pick up oil or any viscous fluid from slips or water filled inlets of restricted areas, or across any flowing stream or canal, as shown. Also, the viscous material or fluid need not be supported by water, but can be borne by any other type of liquid. For instance, the invention may have application in industrial work, refineries. and the like, or wherever it is necessary to pick up a more viscous material or liquid from a lighter material and transfer it, without conflagration, to a point off of the supporting liquid.

The invention is not limited to apparatus that will only pick up a floated viscous material or fluid from another lighter liquid, but also the structures hereinabove described may pick up fluids that are not very much heavier than their supporting fluid. For instance, the apparatus may pick up gasoline floated on water. The faster the drums may be rotated, the lighter the material may be that is picked up from a material or fluid that supports it. It has been found that a drum covered with a perforate plate 81 as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. is thus best equipped to pick up a relatively light fluid from one that is only slightly heavier, because the light, picked up fluid will more readily fill the minute reservoir or deposit cavities provided by the perforations 11.

Noticeably in FIG. 4 a film of oil 36 is indicated on the drum surface and on the upper surface of the scraper assembly or scraper 35 within the upper part of the chamber 22. Variables that enter into the relative build up of fluid in the chamber 22,

and in the conveyor housing assembly 35, are the rate of drum rotation, and the rotative speed of the worm assembly within the conveyor housing assembly 24.

Also, as to features of construction and apparatus, a pump ashore may be substituted for conveyor and drive therefor. Such a pump would take suction from the lower part of the cowl chamber 22, by means of a flexible conduit, and would discharge it as through a fixed or rigid conduit 26, FIG. 5, or 74, FIGS. 7 and 8.

As the speed of withdrawal (by pump or conveyor) can be controlled by means of the valve 39b, also the speed of the drum rotation by means of the valve 39a, it is possible, selectively, to run the apparatus with the cowl chamber 22 substantially full of oil, gasoline or other floated products, thus to inhibit conflagration. The invention thus has a wide range of structures for carrying out a wide range of applications, but all falling within the defining terminology that is properly applicable.

The valves 39a and 39b for controlling the rate of drum and conveyor speed, respectively, may be located to be controlled by a single operator, as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2, where such valves are shown adjacently disposed on the bow of the barge 15. Also, the 4-way valve 37 is shown in these views as located adjacent the valves 39a, 39b, so that the same operator may control the raising and lowering of the separator 10. Thus the phantom dotted direction lines indicate the directions the hydraulic fluid has been taking through the piping circuits to lower the separator 10 into the position shown. Then the handle of the 4-way valve 37 has been turned say 45 to an intermediate or fluid locked position, with the fluid channels occluded. Then the control valves 39a and 3911 are manipulated first to fill the cowl chamber 22; then the operator manipulates these valves in endeavor to keep the oil transferred at the rate the drum carries it into the cowl 34.

The base or support surface 58c, FIGS. 7 and 8, and the base or support surfaces 58d, 58a, FIG. 9, on opposite sides of the stream 61a, are indicated for the support of valves, pumps, prime movers, reservoirs and piping circuits, not shown, but in correspondence with those shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, and in FIG. 9.

Note also the slot 82, FIG. 7, and the opposed slots 84, FIG. 9, as indicative that the frame pivot lugs 57 and 57a, respectively, may be mounted adjustably in elevation, to accommodate for the heavier fluid or supporting water elevation, as responsive to floods and/or tides. Obviously the vertical adjustment of the frame pivot lugs in slots may be accomplished by any conventional means. For instance, a hydraulic cylinder may be mounted on a base across the top of each slot with piston rod extending through a bore in the base for connection to the respective lug guidably, vertically slidably disposed in the slot therebelow. Thus admission of controlled fluid into the aforesaid cylinder, above or below the piston therein, respectively lowers and raises the frame pivot lug in vertical adjustment.

Obviously the disclosures made hereinabove are not all inclusive, but by way of illustration of the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for separating a lighter fluid from a heavier, supporting fluid without transferring conflagration, as a fire extinguishing oil slick separator, and comprising a frame including a cowl carried thereby, a drum located closely adjacent the forward end of said cow] to define a narrow opening therein to exclude air, said drum disposed upon said fluids with axle ends journaled in said frame and driven by frame supported drive means to rotate lighter fluid contacting surface into a chamber formed by said cowl and drum, a scraper within said chamber to bear against the drum surface on the chamber side of said drum, and to deflect the lighter fluid into said chamber, conveyor means for transferring the lighter fluid from the lower portion of said chamber onto a frame supporting base including means thereon on which said frame is pivotally mounted, and frame position adjustment means for disposing said apparatus with said drum in selective fluid buoyed relationship.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said frame supporting base comprises a waterborne vessel.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said frame supporting base is upon a bank of a lighter fluid carrying flow stream.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said conveyor means comprises a worm assembly in a tubular conveyor housing.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said conveyor means includes pump means connected to take suction from said lower chamber.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, in duplicate with said frame supporting bases upon opposed banks of a lighter liquid carrying flow stream, said duplicates extending complementally thereacross.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which the surface of said drum is covered by a perforate plate.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 which additionally includes a reservoir on said frame supporting base into which said conveyor means discharges.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 which is adapted to separate oil as the lighter fluid.

10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 which is adapted to separate gasoline as the lighter fluid.

11. The combination as claimed in claim 1, which additionally includes baffle means extending across said frame and downwardly below the surface of lighter fluid, whereby to build up a depth of the lighter fluid to be transferred by drum impingement and drum rotation in direction of said cow] and away from the depth of lighter fluid.

12. The combination as claimed in claim 1, in which said scraper is hingedly mounted with relation to said cowl, and in which said scraper is yieldably urged into drum surface contact.

conveyor means contains relie t valve means in the uppermost portion of the end thereof away from said chamber.

15. The combination as claimed in claim 1, in which said frame position adjustment means includes means for selective positioning thereof in elevation.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3685584 *May 12, 1971Aug 22, 1972Gracia EbertoArrangement for forming a water shield to extinguish fires in water covered areas
US3693805 *Apr 22, 1970Sep 26, 1972Fmc CorpShrouded drum skimmer
US3838775 *Feb 28, 1972Oct 1, 1974A LarssonDevice for collecting loose material from a surface, particularly oil floating on water
US4151081 *Jul 20, 1976Apr 24, 1979Seaclean SaPollution control
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U.S. Classification210/242.2, 210/523, 210/923, 169/69, 210/776, 169/45
International ClassificationE02B15/10, E02B15/04
Cooperative ClassificationE02B15/103, Y10S210/923
European ClassificationE02B15/10D