US 3542250 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 2 Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-John J. Love Attorney-Harry O. Ernsberger 239/510 239/336X 239/336X 239/336X ABSTRACT: The disclosure embraces an apparatus for distributing or applying flakes of material, such as flakes or chips of paint, flakes of plastic film or flakes of metal foil onto a surface, the apparatus including a blower producing an air stream and a variable speed means for feeding flakes of material from a supply into the air stream and delivering the air entrained flakes of material onto surfaces such as floors, walls or ceilings  inventor Thomas P. McRitchie 955,294 222 Washington St., Port Clinton, Ohio 1,863,924 43452 3,096,225  Appl. No. 740,746 3,240,533  Filed June 27, 1968 3,252,658  Patented Nov. 24, 1970 3,347,469 3,366,066
 APPARATUS FOR APPLYING FLAKE MATEllIAL T0 SURFACES 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl. 222/193, 222/226; 239/398  Int. Cl. B67d 5/54  Field of Search 239/335, 336, 428, 329, 510, 511; 118/308, 309, 310, 311, 312; 1 17/33; 302/36; 222/193, 226
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS -240,265 4/1881 Palmer 302/36 of a room.
a? .29 6? I! 102 a ,4?
Patented Nov. 24, 1970 3,542,250
BY M Q May 4r ram/EV APPARATUS FOR APPLYING FLAKE MATERIAL TO SURFACES A recent development in coating or treating surfaces involves the use of flakes or chips of material delivered'onto a surface having a tacky or wet resinous coating by distributing the flakes or chips of paint onto the wet or tacky coating to provide a surface finish which, in a measure, resembles a terrazzo surface in appearance. Flakes of paint have been used for forming finish surfaces on floors or walls but the chips or flakes have been distributed manually onto a resin coated surface.
The flakes or chips of paint particularly for use for such surface application are made by continuously applying a thin film of paint onto a flight of a moving conveyor belt, and the paint film conveyed by the belt through a curing or dryingoven to dry or set the film of paint. The dried film is then removed from the conveyor in a manner fracturing the dried film into flakes or chips of various sizes. The chips are then placed in a grading tumbler where they are graded for size and mixed with flakes or chips of paint of various colors in order to obtain random patterns on a surface to be treated or coated with the flakes or chips. Difficulties have been encountered in endeavoring to obtain uniform deposition and thickness of a layer of chips or flakes of paint on surface areas by reason of inadequate control of feed and distribution of the flakes or chips.
The present invention embraces a readily portable unit apparatus having a supply hopper for the flakes of paint or other material and a controllable feeding means for feeding flakes of material into an air streamin a manner whereby to attain substantially uniform distribution and deposition of the flakes on a surface to be treated.
Another object of the invention resides in an apparatus for distributing and applying flakes of material wherein a supply of the flakes is contained in a hopper or container of a shape to assure controlled feeding of the flakes into an air stream in order to promote uniform distribution of the flakes of material onto a surface coated with a tacky material whereby the flakes of material may be more uniformly applied to the surface in a minimum length of time in a manner eliminating the tendency for bunching of the flakes so that the applied layer of flakes is of substantially uniform thickness.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a compact portable unit having an air blower for establishing an air stream in combination with a feeding means for feeding flakes of material into the air stream at a controlled rate, the apparatus including a supply container or hopper for the flakes of material of a configuration eliminating or minimizing the tendency for the flakes to bridge, a condition which would impair the uniform delivery of flakes of the material.
Further objects and advantages are within the scope of this invention such as relate to the arrangement, operation and Referring to the drawings in detail, the apparatus is inclusive of a frame or frame means comprising a base member or platform 10 to which. is secured an upwardly extending U- shaped tubular member 12, the leg portions 14 of the tube member being secured to the platform 10 in a conventional manner. The platform 10 is preferably of rectangular shape fashioned of sheet material such as sheet steel or sheet aluminum and includes a planar plate portion 16 and depending reinforcing members 18 at the sides of the platform and depending reinforcing members 20 at the front and rear ends of the platform 16.
Mounted by. the side reinforcing members 18 is a transversely extending axle or shaft means 22 at the rear of the platform, the axle or shaft means mounting rear wheels 25. Caster wheels 27 of the conventional swivel type are mounted at the forward region of the platform 16. The wheels 25 and 27 render the apparatus readily portable for ease of application of the flake or chip material. Mounted upon the platform 16 is a hopper construction 30 adapted to contain a supply of the flakes or chips of dried paint. The hopper comprises side walls 32, a front wall 34 and a rear wall 36.
function of the related elements of the structure, to various details of construction and to combinations of parts, elements per se, and to economics of manufacture and numerous other features as will be apparent from a consideration of the specification and drawingof a form of the invention, which may be preferred, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view illustrating a form of materi al distributor of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an end view of the construction shown in FIG. 1 with the material conveying tube removed for purposes of illustration;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the construction shown in FIG.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view illustrating the material feeding means; and
FIG. 5 is a detail view of speed reducing means for the material feeding means.
While the material distributor or applicator of the invention has particular utility in spraying or distributing flakes or chips of dried paint upon a surface, it is to be understood that the apparatus may be utilized for spray application or distribution of other materials in flake or chip form.
The lower region of the side walls 32 have inwardly and downwardly inclined or angular portions 38 connected with comparatively short vertical wall portions 40 providing a substantially rectangular chamber 42 at the bottom of the hopper. The angular rear wall 36 of the hopper is joined with a vertical wall portion 44 which is parallel with the front wall 34, as shown in FIG. 1. Journally mounted in openings in the front wall 34 and thewall portion 44 are parallel shafts 46 and 47, the shafts respectively mounting rotatable members 48 and 49 which provide a feed means for the chips or flakes of material.
As particularly shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the member 48 is fashioned with radially projecting vanes or blades 50 and the member 49 fashioned with radially extending vanes or blades 51. The members 48 and 49 are secured on the respective shafts 46 and 47 by setscrews 53. As shown in FIG. 4, there are six vanes on each of the members 48 and 49 and the members adjusted so that the blades or vanes of one member are in staggered or offset relation to the blades of the other member. In FIG. 4, the vanes or blades 50 and 51 are illustrated in nonoverlapping relation but they may be proportioned to overlap dependent upon the size of flakes being used. The member 48, as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 4, rotates in a clockwise direction, and the member 49 rotates in a counterclockwise direction whereby the vanes or blades feed the flakes or chips of paint downwardly between the members 48 and 49. The vanes or blades 50 and 51 are of a radial length to provide spaces accommodating downward movement of the flakes or chips of paint without liability of appreciably fracturing them.
The sectional view, FIG. 4, is approximately one-half actual size of the paint flake feeding means and illustrates the spacing for the feeding of the flakes or chips. The paint flakes or chips 55 are delivered downwardly by the rotating vanes 50 and 51 of the feeding means into the chamber 42 in which they are entrained in an air stream for distribution as hereinafter described.
A driving or motive means for rotating the feeding devices 48 and 49 is of a variable speed type with speed reducing gearing for rotating the members 48 and 49 at a comparatively slow speed. Mounted upon a support or platform 57, which is carried by the base platform 16, is a variable speed motor 60 in combination with a conventional speed reducing mechanism contained in a housing 62 provided with a driven output shaft 64. The output shaft 64-, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, is equipped with a pinion 66 which drives a gear 67, the latter being mounted on the shaft 46 carrying the feed member 48.
The gear 67 is in mesh with a gear 68 of the same size, as shown in FIG. 5, for driving the other feed member 49 mounted on the shaft 47. The feed motor 60, in conjunction with the speed reducing mechanism in the housing 62, provides a maximum speed of rotation for the output shaft 64 of about 21 revolutions per minute. The drive pinion 66 is preferably a gear having 12 teeth and each of the gears 67 and 68 has 48 teeth. This arrangement reduces the speed of the feed members 48 and 49 to a maximum speed of slightly over revolutions per minute.
It is essential thatthe speed of the paint chip feeding means be rotated at a comparatively low speed in order to minimize, as far as practicable, the breaking or fracturing of the paint chips or flakes. The motor 60 is supplied with current from conductors encased in a sheath 70, the conductors being connected with a speed .control means contained in a panel or control box 72, the speed control means being regulated by a control knob 74 mounted on the control box 72. By manipulating the control knob 74, a conventional speed varying means operated thereby regulates the speed of the motor 60.
Thus, while the maximum speed of the output shaft 64 is about 21 revolutions per minute, this speed may be greatly reduced in order to proportionately reduce the speed of rotation of the feed members 48 and 49 to an extremely slow speed, if desired. Through this control the delivery rate of paint flakes or chips into the air stream may be accurately regulated by varying the speed of rotation of the flake feeding members 48 and 49.
One wall of the hopper 30, viz. the wall 34 is substantially vertical or normal to the axis of rotation of the feed members while the opposing wall 36 of the hopper is disposed at an angle of about 60 with respect to the plane of the horizontal platform 16 of the base frame, although the angularity of the wall 36 may be varied, if desired.
It is found that by fashioning one wall of the hopper 30 in a vertical plane and the opposite wall 36 at an angle thereto, the tendency for the flakes or chips of paint in the hopper to bridge at the .region of the feed members 48 and and 49 is substantially eliminated so as to secure uninterrupted feeding of flakes or chips from the supply.
In order to provide adequate support for the upper region of the hopper the tubular frame member 12 is fashioned with a portion 76 preferably of the same angularity as the Wall 36 of the hopper which is secured to the upper region of the hopper providing additional support therefor. The transverse or bight portion 78 of the frame member 12 provides a handle or grip means for moving the apparatus to a desired area of use.
The apparatus includes an air blower 80 in which the rotatable impeller is driven by a motor 82, the impeller housing being supported on the horizontal platform 16 of the frame 10. The blower is of conventional construction and the impeller is rotated in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1. to deliver an air stream through an outlet tube 84 connected with an air conveying tube 86 preferably of tapered configuration as shown in H6. 1 for directing the air stream from the blower through the chamber 42 thence through an outlet pipe 88 joined with the forward wall 34 of the hopper.
The motor 82 is provided with a control means or switch 90 for changing the speed of the blower motor 82. The blower motor 82 is preferably of the two speed type and manipulation of the switch 90 changes the speed of rotation of the blower motor. Secured to the frame member 12 is an electric receptacle or connecter 92 which is adapted to be connected with a conventional current supply by conductors enclosed in a conventional insulating sheath 94. Conductor means 96 conducts current from the receptacle 92 to the control panel 72, the conductors 96 being connected with a control switch means 98 carried by the control panel.
The switch means 98 is connected by current conductor means 100 with the control box 102 on the blower motor for conducting current to the blower motor 82. The switch 98 is also connected with the variable speed means controlled by the knob 94 for controlling the feed motor 60. By moving the switch 98 to an on position, the feed motor 60 is energized through the control 74 and the blower motor energized through the conductor means 100, the speed of the blower motor being selected by manipulating the control 90 on the motor control box 102.
A flexible tubular means is provided for directing the air entrained flakes or chips of paint to a desired surface for treating or coating the surface. Secured to the outlet tube 88 at the lower region of the hopper 39 is a flexible tube 108, the flexible tube 108 being of a character wherein the diameter of the tube may be slightly reduced by elongating the tube. The tube of this character is marketed under the trademark Plyaduct, which is a ridge wall flexible tube produced by the DayCo Corporation.
The flexible tube 108 is secured to the outlet pipe 88 by a conventional clamp 110. Secured to the other end of the flexible tube 108 is a delivery nozzle 1 12 provided with a handle or hand grip 114 to enable the operator to direct the stream of flakes or chips of paint to a desired area. The nozzle 112 is preferably equipped with a deflector 116 of generally U- shaped having its wall portions pivoted to the opposite wall regions of the nozzle by rivets or pins 118.
The deflector 116 is connected by a rod 120 with a manipulating member or lever 122 pivotally supported by the handle 114 upon a pin 124. By manipulating the arm or lever 122, the deflector 116 may be adjusted so that the bight portion of the deflector may be varied with respect to the outlet end of the nozzle 112 to deflect the flakes of material in a desired direction.
In the application of the flakes of material, a wall or other surface to be treated is first coated with a wet and tacky resin. The flakes are delivered from the nozzle 112 onto the surface and are distributed as desired over the surface by the operators control of the nozzle. The flakes may be of various colors to obtain a terrazzo effect or any other desired patterns. The air-entrained flakes adhere to the wet or tacky resin on the wall surface. After the resin coating is set so as to retain the flakes, one or more'flnish coats of resin may be placed over the flakes on the treated surface.
In the operation of the apparatus of the invention for distributing the flakes or chips of material, the operator first fills the hopper 30 with a quantity of' chips or flakes of the size desired for surface treatment application. The switch 98 is manipulated to energize the blower motor 82 and the feed motor 60. It is found that a blower 80 of a type adapted to deliver about cubic feet of air per minute is satisfactory for entraining and distributing the chips or flakes 55.
The operator manipulates the control member 74 to obtain the-desired feed of chips or flakes into the air stream moving through the chamber. 42 at the base of the hopper. The chips or flakes fed into the chamber 42 are entrained in the air stream from the blower 80 and are delivered from the outlet of the nozzle 112 and directed to the surface being treated through the operators control of the nozzle 112. The paint fed members48 and 49 having vanes 50 and 51 are effective to provide a seal at the bottom region of the hopper because the feeding of the paint chips by the vanes 50 and 51 is a positive feed.
The slow speed of the feed means for the paint chips or flakes substantially eliminates breakage or fracturing of the flakes or chips. The angular wall 36 of the hopper assures a continuous feed of the flakes or chips as the angular position of the wall 36 in conjunction with the vertical wall 34 prevents bridging of the paint chips or flakes in the hopper.
The frame components and the hopper are preferably fashioned of aluminum to reduce the weight of the apparatus. The feed members 48 and 49 are preferably fashioned of alummum.
The wet resin coating on the surface to be treated may be of latex, epoxy, polyester or acrylic resin. The flakes or chips may be of various materials and colors, for example, the paint or material may be of vinyl, latex, casein or other plastic fashioned in film form, the film dried and then broken into flakes or chips. The flakes may be of metal, such as aluminum foil, and the metal flakes may be mixed with the paint or plastic flakes to secure decorative effects. The flakes are of irregular contour and may be in a range of from about oneeighth inch to 1 inch.
The flakes or chips are preferably in a range from 2 mils to mils or greater in thickness depending upon the end use for the treated surface. Floors, walls, ceilings and the like may be treated in the manner described and provide a generally smooth surface in which there are no seams and which is moisture resistant. The apparatus of the invention may be used for treating other surfaces such as furniture and the like with chips or flakes.
It is apparent that, within the scope of the invention, modifications and different arrangements may be made other than as herein disclosed, and the present disclosure, is illustrative merely, the invention comprehending all variations thereof.
1. Apparatus for processing flakes of material including, in combination, support means, a hopper mounted on the support means adapted to contain a supply of flakes of material, said hopper having an air passage in a lower region thereof, rotatable flake feeding means disposed in said hopper adjacent the air passage said flake feeding means including a pair of members rotatable about horizontal axes in opposite directions, each member having radial vanes, means for rotating said members for advancing flakes of material into the air passage, means for varying the speed of rotation of the flake feeding means, an air blower mounted by the support means for establishing an air stream through the air passage, and a flexible tube connected with the air passage for conveying airentrained flakes of material for distribution onto a surface.
2. The combination according to claim 1 including means for controlling the speed of the air blower to vary the air flow through the air passage and flexible tube.
3. The combination according to claim 1 including a plurality of supporting wheels journally mounted by the support means.
4. Apparatus for applying flakes of material onto a surface including, in combination, support means including a platform, a hopper mounted on the platform adapted to contain a supply of flakes of material, said hopper having a first wall substantially normal to the angularly disposed wall terminating at its lower end in a wall portion substantially parallel to the first wall providing a chamber in the lower region of the hopper, an air blower mounted by the support means arranged to direct an air stream through the chamber in the lower region of the hopper, variable speed motive means feeding means in said hopper disposed above the chamber, said feeding means including a pair of rotatable members each having radial vanes, second variable speed motive means for rotating said flake feeding members and in directions to advance flakes at a desired rate from the hopper into the air stream moving through the chamber, and a flexible tube connected with the chamber for conveying and applying the flakes fed into the air stream onto a surface to be treated with the flakes.
5. The combinationaccording to claim 4 wherein the support means includes tubular means extending upwardly from the platform and engaging the hopper, said tubular means having a hand grip portion.
6. The combination according to claim 4 including a plurality of wheels mounting the support means rendering the applane of .the platform and an opposed wall angularly inclined with respect to the first wall, said paratus portable,
exit end of the flexible flake conveying tube.
5 justable to vary the direction of delivery of the flakes from the driving the air blower, flake nozzle member, lever means for adjusting the position of the deflector, and a rod connecting the lever means with the deflector means.
8. Apparatus for applying chips of paint onto a surface including, in combination, support means having a platform portion, support wheels journally mounted on the support means rendering the apparatus portable, a hopper adapted to contain a supply of chips of paint mounted by the platform ortion, said opper having a irst wall normal to the plane of t e platform and a second wall opposing the first wall angularly inclined with respect to the first wall, said angularly inclined wall at its lower end joining a wall portion parallel to the first wall providing an air chamber at the lower region of the hopper, a motor-driven air blower having an air outlet opening into the chamber for directing an air stream through the chamber, rotatable chip feeding means including two rotatable members journally supported in the hopper adjacent the air chamber, said members having radially arranged vanes to advance chips of paint into the air stream, a variable speed motor for rotating the chip feeding members, speed reducing means between the motor and said chip feeding members, and
a flexible tube having connection with the chamber for conveying and delivering the chips of paint entrained in the air stream onto a surface.
9. The combination according to claim 8 including tubular means extending upwardly from the platform of the base member and engaging the hopper, said tubular means having a transversely extending portion providing a hand grip, a tubular nozzle member secured to the end region of the flexible tube, and adjustable deflector means at the outlet of the nozzle for controlling the direction of flight of the chips of paint delivered from the nozzle.
10. Apparatus for applying flakes of paint onto a surface coated with a wet resin including, in combination, a base support having a platform portion, support wheels carried by the base support rendering the apparatus portable, a hopper adapted to contain a supply of flakes of material mounted by the platform portion of the base support, said hopper having a first wall normal to the plane of the platform and a second wall opposing the first wall inclined with respect to the first wall at an angle of about thirty degrees, the lower end of said angularly inclined wall joining a wall portion parallel to the first wall providing an air chamber at the lower region of the hopper, an air blower mounted by the platform portion having an outlet opening into the chamber for directing an air stream through the chamber, a first variable speed motor driving the air blower, rotatable flake feeding means including rotatable members journally supported in the hopper above the air chamber, each of said members having radially arranged vanes delivering flakes into the air chamber, a second variable speed motor for rotating the flake feeding members, speed reducing means between the motor and said flake feeding members, and a flexible tube having connection with the chamber for conveying flakes entrained in the air stream for delivery onto the wet resin on a surface.
and a nozzle member connected with the