US 3549330 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 22, 1970 o. e. H. JUNGNER ETAL 3,549,330
APPARATUS FOR ANALYZING LIQUIDS Filed Oct. 22, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS OLOF G. H. JUNGNER BENGT G. I. JUNGNER BY ymfw 30 I ATTORNEYS D 22, 1970 o. G. H. JUNGNER EIAL 3,549,330
APPARATUS FOR ANALYZING LIQUIDS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 22, 1968 OLOF G.H.JUNGNER YBENGT G.I.JUNGNER Bar tsa ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,549,330 APPARATUS FOR ANALYZING LIQUIDS Olof Gunnar Hugo Jungner, Hovas, and Bengt Gosta Ingmar Jungner, Stocksund, Sweden, assignors to AB Autokemi Filed Oct. 22, 1968, Ser. No. 769,634
Claims priority, application Sweden, Feb. 16, 1968,
2,022/68 Int. Cl. B01] 1/00, 9/00 US. Cl. 23-259 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUNDFIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus for analyzing liquids; and in particular it relates to such apparatus wherein samples are arranged on a circular, rotatable support member.
BACKGROUND.DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART It is known to provide apparatus of the present type including a rotatable support for the sample liquid and means for supplying and removing liquid to and from these containers. However, heretofore, in such arrangements the sample liquid containers have been open to the surrounding environment or enclosed within a housing which is not sealed oif from the surrounding environment. Indeed, significant problems are encountered in the development of an air-tight chamber for the sample liquid containers. For example, it is necessary to provide movement of the containers from station to station and also to supply liquid to and remove liquid from the sample containers.
Thus, there exists a need for an arrangement of the type referred to wherein the samples may be retained in a sealed environment Whereat high temperature, high pressure or corrosive condition tests may be conducted.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, it is a purpose of the present invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for analyzing liquids. In particular, it is a purpose of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus wherein the samples to be analyzed may be maintained in an air-tight chamber while the samples are moved from station to station and 'while necessary liquids are supplied to and removed from the containers.
The purposes of the invention are achieved by providing an apparatus having an enclosed chamber containing a rotatable disc on which the sample liquid containers are mounted. The lid of the chamber includes a plurality of air-tight fittings through which tubular elements extend to supply liquid to and remove liquid from the containers.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention a shaft extends through the lid into the chamber for supporting the said disc, the shaft being rotatable for moving the containers from station to station. The apparatus includes further means for reciprocating the tubular elements, first moving the same downwardly into the containers for supplying and removing liquid thereto and therefrom and then upwardly to permit rotational movement of the said support member, thereby moving the containers to the next station.
According to another feature of the invention, the means for rotating the container support member and the means for reciprocating the tubular elements are interrelated so that rotational movement of the support member is brought about by upward movement of the tubular elements and so that rotational movement of the support is prevented when the tubular elements are moved downwardly into the sample containers.
Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for analyzing chemicals.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for analyzing chemicals under high pressure conditions.
It is still another object of this invention to provide an apparatus for enclosing sample liquids in a sealed chamber.
It is still another object of this invention to provide an arrangement wherein sample liquids are mounted on a rotational support member in a sealed chamber and wherein vertically movable means supply liquid to and remove liquid from the sample containers and wherein the movement of the support member and the movement of the tubular elements are interrelated.
' Other objects and the attendant advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description to follow.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS There follows a detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention to be read together with the accompanying drawings. However, it is to be understood that the invention is capable of numerous modifications and variations apparent to those skilled in the art.
FIG. 1 is a sectional elevational view of an apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a partially developed view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the figures, 1 designates a hermetically sealed chamber provided with a lid 2 mounted on the chamber 1 by means of a sealing means 3. The lid 2 may be of any suitable material but preferably glass or another transparent material. The chamber 1 may be filled with a suitable liquid, such as silicone oil, up to a level 4 and is provided with means for heating the liquid, indicated in the drawing in the form of electrical elements '5 connected to a current source. The chamber may also contain, in a manner known per se, thermostatically controlled means for maintaining the desired temperature of the liquid as well as means for stirring the same. To counteract condensation on the lid 2, heating of the same is provided, preferably by means of a metallic coating on portions thereof, which are supplied with electric current. Should condensation take place on the lid in spite of this, droplets are prevented from collecting above and falling down into the test tubes 14 owing to a circular notch 40 being provided on the underside and possibly also on the overlsjide of the lid centrally of the lead-ins 21 to be described elow.
The chamber 1 is enclosed within another chamber 7 which is placed on supporting blocks 6 within the latter, the chamber 7 having a lid 8. Furthermore, the space 9 between the chamber 1 and the outer chamber 7 is filled with heat-insulating material. Finally, the outer chamber 7 is attached to a base plate 10 of the analyzer. Through a passage 11, which passes through a lead-in 12 which is sealed against the lid 2, the interior of the chamber 1 may be connected to means for maintaining a certain subpressure within the chamber.
' The chamber 1 ispreferably circular as shown in FIG. 2 and has provided therein a disc 13 which is rotatable in a step-by-step manner and which forms a support for a plurality of sample liquid containers such as test tubes 14, few of which are shown on the drawing. The disc13" ing means for causing vertical movement of the disc 15 t and for rotating the disc 13 with the test tubes 14 in a step-by-step manner.
The means for supplying and removing liquid comprise cannulas 19 connected to pumps 20 or the like, which are attached to the vertically movable disc 15. The cannulas 19 are inserted in lead-ins 21 which are sealed against the lid 2 and are provided with an O-ring or the like for sealing against the cannula 19. A
The disc 15 is attached via a lower supporting plate 22 to an axially movable piston and cylinder unit 23, piston 24, of which is stationary against vertical movement. The piston 24;is attached to a shaft in the form of a tube 25 which is joined to an upper supporting plate 26 which is carriedby the upper plate 18 in a rotatable manner via ball bearings 27. The piston 24 partitions the inner space of the piston and cylinder unit 23 into an upper chamber 28 and lower chamber 29, which are connectedvia passages 30 and 31 to a suitable valve member 32 such as a three-way valve. or the like, known per se, by means of which the chambers can be-alternately connected to a source of compressed air 33.
Through the alternate supply of pressurized fluid to the chambers 28 and 29 the disc 15, with the means for supplyingand removing liquid, is made to reciprocate in the vertical direction, the said means being guided bythe guidemembers 16 and 17, a pair of which are shown in FIG. 1, but which are preferably spaced around the circumference as shown in FIG. 2..
The elements 32 and 33 may be rigidly connected with the disc 15 andfollow its movements in the vertical direction, but they may also be stationary, in which case the passages 30 and 31 must be flexible.
. The upper wall 34 of the piston and cylinder unit23 is provided with means for stepwise rotation of the tube 25 during a certain portionof the vertical movement of the piston and cylinderunit 23 and for locking the tube 25 against rotation during another portion of the vertical movement of the unit 23, the arrangement being adapted to provide a stepwise displacement of the tube 25 when the cannulas 19 are located upwardly away from the test tubes .14 and to provide a locking of the tube 25 against rotation while the cannulas 19 are located in the test tubes 14.
For this purpose, guide pins 35'are provided on the 7 upper wall 34 cooperating with cam surfaces 39 and with recesses 38 formed between guide rails. 36 attached to longitudinal bars 37 which are attached to the upper support plate 26. These members are shown in more detail in FIG. 3.
As shown therein, the upper wall 34 is provided with evenly spaced guide pins 35. The guide rails 36 form a recessed vertical channel 38 as well as cams 39a. Above the pins 35are further cams 39b. In operation a stepwise 4 cams 39a in the vicinity of the upper end position of the vertical movement when the cannulas 19 are above the test tubes 14. The guide channel 38 is adapted to co operate with a guide pin 35 inserted therein to lock the members 26, 25, 13 and 14 against rotation during the portion of the operating sequence when the cannulas 19 are located in the test tubes 14.
The drawing shows means 19, 20 for supplying and removing liquid, and it may be assumed that one of these means, such as the left one is adapted to supply a mixture of sample liquid and reagent liquid to the test tubes 14. During the stepwise rotation of the disc 13 with the test tubes 14 into the position of the means for removing liquid, the desired reaction in the test tubes is assumed to take place. The liquid can then be removed and supplied to means for ascertaining the reaction that has taken place, said means comprising, for instance a photometer.
During the continued rotation of the disc 13 with the test tubes 14 it is furthermore assumed that the test tubes are rinsed in known manner, after which fresh test liquid with reagent liquid can be supplied once more through the left-hand means 19, 20. The means 19, 20 for supplying and removing liquid do not have to be diagonally positioned, as shown in FIG. 1, but may be placed anywhere around the circumference of the line of test tubes 14 as shown in FIG. 2 so as to provide suitable reaction times for the desired reaction to take place.
Owing to the fact that disc 13 carries two concentric lines 14a and 14b of test tubes 14 cooperating with separate means 19, 20, it is possible to perform in the analyzer two different kinds of chemical reactions on liquids that are supplied to the outer and to the inner line of test tubes, respectively.
Although the invention has been described in considerable detail with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof,
it should be apparent that the invention is capable of numerous modifications and variations apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.
1. An apparatus for analyzing liquids under controlledpressure conditions comprising a substantially air-tight chamber, a disc mounted insaid chamber for rotation about an axis, said disc including means for holding a plurality of liquid containers for liquid to be analyzed, means for supplying liquid to and removing liquid from said containers while said containers are held by the disc in the chamber, and means for establishing fluid communication with the interior of the chamber for controlling the pressure therein.
2. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said means for supplying liquid to and removing liquid from the chamber includes at least one tubular element mounted for sliding movement through an air-tight fitting in the top of the chamber, towards and away from said containers.
3. An apparatus according to claim 2 including moving means for moving the tubular element vertically at least between a lowered position whereat the tubular element enters a container for supplying or removing liquid therefrom, and a raised position for permitting rotation of the disc about a vertical axis relative to the tubular element.
4. An apparatus according to claim 3 including a support member located above the chamber, and including a plurality of tubular elements held by said support member, and wherein said means for moving the tubular element moves the said support member.
5. An apparatus according to claim 4 wherein each tubular element includes a pump mounted on the support member for causing fluid flow through its respective tubular element.
6. An apparatus according to claim 5 wherein said means t r moving mpr ses a twowa piston and cylinder unit connected to said support member for causing vertical movement thereof.
7. An apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the support member is connected to the cylinder, the piston is fixed against vertical movement, and including means for supplying pressurized fluid to each side of the piston to selectively raise and lower the cylinder.
8. An apparatus according to claim 7 including a shaft passing through the piston and cylinder unit and connected to the disc to cause rotational movement thereof, cam means at the upper end of the shaft for effecting step-bystep rotation of the disc, and guide pins connected to the cylinder for engaging the cam means to rotate the shaft and the disc one step each time that the support member is raised.
9. An apparatus according to clairn,8 wherein the upper part of the shaft is surrounded by a tubular sleeve attached to the shaft, and said cylinder includes a member from which the said guide pins project towards the interior surface of the sleeve, and said cam means being located on the interior surface of said sleeve.
10. An apparatus according to claim 9 including vertical channels formed on the interior of the sleeve below the cam means, wherein said guide pins enter the channels to prevent rotation of the shaft when the support member is moved to the lowered position.
11. An apparatus according to claim 4, said disc being mounted for step-by-step rotational movement, and where- 6 in said moving means includes means for rotating the disc one step when it moves the support member to the raised position.
12. An apparatus according to claim 11, including means for preventing rotation of the disc when the support member is moved to the said lowered position.
13. An apparatus according to claim 1 including a liquid in the chamber such that the said containers are partially immersed therein, and including means for heating the liquid.
14. An apparatus according to claim 13 wherein the chamber is of a double wall construction, the space between the inner and outer Walls being filled with a thermally insulating material.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,583,454 1/1952 Wiese 23253X 2,879,141 3/1959 Skeggs 23253 3,484,206 12/ 1969 Loebl 23259X 3,486,859 12/1969 Greiner et al. 23-253X MORRIS O. WOLK, Primary Examiner R. E. SERWIN, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 23-253