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Publication numberUS3578936 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 18, 1971
Filing dateApr 23, 1968
Priority dateApr 23, 1968
Publication numberUS 3578936 A, US 3578936A, US-A-3578936, US3578936 A, US3578936A
InventorsGerber Howard L
Original AssigneeContinental Can Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container body separation utilizing radiation discrimination
US 3578936 A
Images(3)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Howard L. Gerber Chicago, lll. [2l] Appl. No. 450,391 [22] Filed Apr. 23, 1968 [45] Patented May 18, 1971 [73] Assignee Continental Can Company, Inc.

New York, N.Y.

[54] CONTAINER BODY SEPARATION UTILIZING RADIATION DISCRIMINATION 45 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs. [52] U.S. Cl 219/388, 83/170, 14S/9.6, 219/347, 225/2 [5 l] Int. Cl F27b 9/06, F27d 1 l/OO [50] Field ofSearch 219/l9.10, 68, 229, 347-9, 388; 83/16, 170; 148/96; 225/2, 96; 250/52, 65.1

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,332,099 10/ 1943 McKinnis 219/347UX 2,622,053 12/1952 Clowe et al. 2l9/347UX 2,699,113 1/1955 Hoover..- Z50/65.1

Primary Examiner-R. F. Staubly Attorney-Diller, Brown, Ramik & Holt ABSTRACT: An apparatus and method for separating tube portions from a continuous length of tubing is disclosed herein. The tubing is advanced past a marking station wherein a circumferential bank of heat absorbent material is applied to the tubing. The tubing is then advanced through a housing supporting radiant energy source provisions which direct radiant energy onto the tubing, the energy being absorbed by the circumferential band to effect severance of the tubing. A second conveyor moving at a slightly higher linear rate than the tubing engages the severed tubing portion to assist separation at the circumferential band. increase radiant energy absorption may, alternatively, be achieved by circumferentially scoring the tubing.

Patented May 18,1911

3 Sheets-Sheet .f5

CONTAINER BODY SEPARATION UTILIZING RADIATION DISCRIMINATION This invention relates to apparatus and method to achieve container body separation and more specifically to the use of radiated energy for the purpose of melting and separating container or tube portions from a continuous length of tubing to achieve the formation of container bodies.

A number of methods are known or have been proposed concerning the fabrication of tubular container bodies such as the familiar can utilized in the beverage and other industries. Basically, a known fonn of container vbody fabrication involves the severing of container blanks of the desired dimensions from a roll of container stock material. The container blanks are then advanced seriatim through a container body former to achieve a union of the two ends of the blank to form a container body. As the technology advanced, it was discovered that fabrication speeds could be increased and great economies effected by forming the container bodies directly from the roll of container stock material, which eliminated the step of severing the individual container blank from the roll of stock material. Accordingly, methods and procedures were developed for forming a continuous tube about an internal structure, commonly known as a horn, from the roll of container stock material. After the union of the two ends of the container material was achieved by welding or other means, it would then be necessary to transversely sever the tubing at preselected intervals in order to form container bodies having the desired length. The severing operation has been accomplished with some degree of success. One disadvantage in the step of severing the tubing was the requirement that the tubing be retarded in velocity or stopped in order to sever the tubing for forming the container bodies. Another disadvantage concerned the distortion of the container body during the severing operation so that a step of reforming was necessary after the severing had been performed. Other disadvantages are known and will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

The present invention proposes to overcome the past difficulties in severing rapidly advancing tubing by the utilization of directing a high intensity radiation source about the circumference of the tubing at the particular point where separation is desired. Such separation may be achieved by focusing the energy from a plasma source on the zone of separation which produces a melting of the material within the zone so that the container body may now be separated and formed from the continuous length of tubing.

Accordingly, it is the principal object of the present invention to improve container body fomiation techniques.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for rapidly and efficiently severing selected lengths of tubing from a continuous length of tubing.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for utilizing a radiation source to achieve separation of selected lengths of tubing from a continuous length of tubing.

Itis a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method utilizing a radiation source for achieving separation of selected lengths of tubing froma continuous length of tubing by the principle of selective reflection and absorption of the energy from the radiation source.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for achieving separation of selected lengths of tubing from a continuous length of tubing by causing a high energy radiation source to impinge upon a portion of the tubing which has been conditioned to absorb the radiation.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for achieving separation of selected lengths of tubing from a continuous length of tubing by directing a high energy radiation source upon a preformed dark stripe which tends to absorb the radiation and thereby pennit separation at the stripe rather than reflect the 'radiation and prohibit vseparation as will the undarkened areas of the tubing.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for achieving separation of selected lengths of tubing at a score mark from a length of continuous tubing so scored by directing a high energy radiation source upon the tubing at the score which corresponds to the desired container bodyk length.

In general, container bodies are made of materials such as aluminum or tinplate steel and exhibit a high degree of reflectivity. As a result, container body separation may be attained by providing a means forv selectively absorbing radiated energy in the area which it is desired to separate a container body from the continuous length of tubing. Apparatus is disclosed and a method set forth for accomplishing the separation by at least two different techniques. The first technique employs the deposition of a thin black film at the desired area of separation. The circumferential thin black film may be deposited upon the periphery of the tubing at desired intervals by a paint applicator ring, which ring is in two mating sections, each half of which is advanced by the tubing towing device. The tubular body is then passed under an intense radiation source such as a heat or light generating means. The black film deposited upon the tube would absorb the heat and transmit it to the substrate body which 'is the advancing tube. The uncoated surfaced of the tube would reflect the radiated energy due to its high reflectivity. The tubing would then melt at the place where the black film was deposited and separation is assisted by container conveyors which are driven at a velocity slightly in excess of the tube conveyors.

The second technique employs the use of geometry along with the radiation source. The tubing is scored at the desired line of separation. Discrimination of the radiated energy can be attained by varying the angle of incidence of the applied radiation. The radiation would be reflected and absorbed within the score and this absorbed energy at the score would melt the substrate (the tube) to permit the more rapidly advancing container conveyors to separate the tubing at the score mark.

With the advent of plasma light beams and plasma jets, high energy radiation sources are available for the practice of the invention. A novel reflector and lens arrangement is disclosed for housing the plasma light source in addition to an actuable light shield to permit entry of the tubing into the light source cavity but providing protection of personnel to the high energy radiation. lf the tubing to be severed has been joined along its seam by a method wherein the seam is of slightly larger cross section than the remaining portions of the container body, then greater radiation may be concentrated in the seam area so that the tubing may be uniformly severed. The melting process of the tubing produced by the radiation energy would propagate across the weld area and achieve complete separation along with the remaining areas of separation.

The invention both as to its organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof will best be understood by reference to the following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which: y

FIG. l is a top perspective view with parts broken away for the purpose of clarity; v

FIG. 2 is a transverse sectional view of the radiation source shown in the FIG. I;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of the FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view transversely of the lens and taken along the line 4-4 of the FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a schematic elevational view of the light shield employed with the radiation source of the FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal view of a container body forming apparatus wherein the tubing is separated by circumferentially scoring the tubing before the application of the radiation ener- FIG. 7 is an electrical block diagram partly in schematic of the electrical circuitry employed in the practice of the invention; and, r

FIG. 8 is an elevational view illustrating the reflected radiation in a score.

With reference to the top perspective view shown in the FIG. 1, the system is mounted upon and supported by a substantially horizontal base member 10. The base member l supports a radiant energy source 12 midway between a tube conveyor 14 and a container conveyor 16. The tube conveyor 14 advances a section of tubing 18 from left to right through the radiant energy source l2. The separated container bodies are removed from the radiant energy source 12 by the cooperation of the container conveyor 16.

The tube conveyor 14 includes a pair of contrarotating towing devices which support split but mating elements for advancing and for marking the tubing 18. More specifically, one section of the tube conveyor 14 includes a pair of sprockets 24 positioned upon the base member and in spacial relation so as to support and advance a chain member 26 having a portion of its run substantially parallel to the path of the tubing 18, as shown in the FIG. l. The sprockets 24 are mounted within suitable bearings upon the base member l0 and advanced by any suitable means, well-known in the art.

Similarly, the second portion of the tube conveyor 14 includes a second pair of sprockets 28 mounted upon the base member l0 in such a manner that the sprockets 28 support and advance a chain member 30. The chain member 30 is sup ported in such a manner that a portion of its travel is parallel to the direction of travel of the tubing 18.

The chain members 26 and 30 support split but mating pairs of tube grippers 32, only one of which is shown for the purposes of clarity. The corresponding and mating tube gripper 32 supported by the chain member 30, has been removed in order to eliminate obs/curing portions of the invention and to show the gripper material 34 which is of a high frictional material and journaled within the tube gripper 32 in order to engage the tubing I8 and provide for its advancement. Additional pairs of tube grippers 32 would be appropriately spaced about the chain members 26 and 30 as found necessary to uniformly advance the tubing 18. In addition to the tube grippers 32, the chain members 26 and 30 support split and mating pairs of indicia applicator ring supports 36 and 36', supported by the chain members 26 and 3f), respectively. Each of the indicial applicator ring supports 36 supports within its inner circumference an indicia applicator ring 38 and 38 on the indicia applicator ring supports 36 and 36', respectively. The indicia applicator ring supports 36 and 36' would be spaced at appropriate intervals on the chain members 26 and 30, respectively, according to the length of the container bodies that are desired.

With continued reference to the FIG. 1, it will be noted that a pair of coating applicators 40 and 42 are positioned at the extremities of the base member 10 and in juxtaposition with the applicator ring supports 36 and 36' in their nonengaging positions (their open position as the applicator ring supports 36 and 36' are being returned to remark or engage the tubing I8). The coating applicators 40 and 42 support, respectively, coating rolls 44 and 46 and engage the indicia applicator rings 38 and 38 as they pass their respective coating rolls 44 and 46. Paint or other suitable coating material is supplied to the coating rolls 44 and 46 by any suitable means and the rolls may be advanced by a pulley and belt arrangement 48 which is driven by any suitable means. As the applicator ring supports 36 and 36' advance past their respective coating rolls 44 and 46, the coating material is transferred from its respective coat ing roll 44 or 46 to the indicia applicator rings 38 and 38' supported by their respective applicator ring supports 36 and 36. When the indicia applicator ring supports 36 and 36 reach the point of engagement with the tubing 18, the paint or other coating material will be transferred from the indicia applicator rings 38 and 38 to the tubing 18 to form the circumferential indicia 50 upon the tubing 18, as shown. Successive circumferential indicia 50 are placed upon the tubing 18 at distances from each other corresponding to the desired container body lengths. The indicia l5 may be dark paint.

After the tubing 18 is impressed with the circumferential indicia 15, it becomes a tubing 20 marked for separation and advances toward the radiant energy source 12.

As the tubing 20 marked for separation bearing the circumferential indicia 50 advances from left to right, an electrical in dication of the presence of a circumferential indicia 50 is generated by a photoelectric cell 52 positioned along the tubing path. To be discussed hereinafter, the function vof the photoelectric cell 52 is to alert the radiant energy source 12 and to actuate a pair of radiant energy shields 54 and 54', which shields 54 and 54 enclose the radiant energy source 12. The radiant energy shields 54 and 54 are shown in the FIG. 1 as broken away and are discussed in detail with reference to the FIG. 5. The radiant energy shields 54 and 54', triggered by the photoelectric cell 52, open so as to permit the entry of the tubing 20 marked for separation and bearing the circumferential indicia 50. If the radiant energy shields 54 and S4 were not of the openable type, then in the event that the circumferential indicia 50 was not dry, it would be smeared and thus retard or inhibit the separation process. The radiant energy source 12 is supported within a housing 56 containing a plurality of radiant energy tubes 58, 58 and 58", the later one not being visible in FIG. 1. The radiant energy source 12 is discussed in detail with later reference to the FIGS. 2, 3 and 4l.

With reference to the FIG. 1, as a tubing 20 marked for separation emerges from the radiant energy source 12, it is engaged by a pair of parallel belts 60 which comprise the container conveyors 16. The tubing 20 marked for separation now becomes a separated portion of tubing or container body 22, as shown, and is advanced by the container conveyor 16 to an output means, not shown. The means for advancing the container conveyor 16, not shown, operates at a greater linear velocity than the liner velocity of the tube conveyor 14 in order that the container conveyor 16 may assist in the separation process. As the circumferential indicia 50 upon the tubing 20 marked for separation absorbs the radiation from the radiant energy source 12, the substrate or metal under the circumferential indicia 50 melts and the accelerated velocity of the container conveyor 16 assists in pulling away or separating a container body 22 from the tubing 20 marked for separation.

The FIG. 2 is a transverse sectional view of the radiant energy source 12 and includes a housing 56 in the shape of three circular reflectors 62, 62 and 62" symmetrically joined to form a housing and reflector for three radiant energy tubes 53, 58 and 58", respectively. Although circular reflectors are shown, parabolic reflectors may also be employed and may even be more efficient than the circular reflectors shown. The

reflectors 62 are so joined as to permit the passage of the tubvdicia 50 by a cylindrical lens 64 (which may be of quartz) positioned within the housing formed in each of the parabolic reflectors 62, 62' and 62" and approximately midway between the radiant energy shields 54 and 54 A sectional view transversely of the lens 64 is shown in the FIG. 4. A pair of radiant energy shields 54 and 54', as shown in the FIG. 3,

i enclose the chamber formed within the three parabolic reflectors 62, 62' and 62" so that the radiant energy generated within the radiant energy source 12 is effectively concentrated, through the cooperation of the cylindrical lenses 62, 64 and 64", upon the circumferential indicia 50 borne by the tubing 20 marked for separation. As to be hereinafter discussed, the photoelectric cell and control 52 of the FIGS. 1 and 7 operates to trigger the radiant energy tubes 58, S8' and 58" when the circumferential indicia 50 on the tubing 211 marked for separation is positioned substantially below the cylindrical lenses 64, 64' 64". Through the cooperate effort of the three radiant'energy tubes 58, 58' and 58" and their associated cylindrical lenses 64, 64' and 64", radiation is effectively directed in the form of heat radiation is effectively directed in the form of heat radiation substantially the entire 360 about the tubing 20 marked for separation in the area of the circumferential indicia 50. The circumferential indicia 50, being of an energy absorbing composition, will absorb the radiation and thus melt the substrate (the tubing marked for separation) under the circumferential indicia 50 and, the energy directed upon the tubing 20 marked for separation other than upon the circumferential indicia 50 will be reflected and not absorbed. The separation of the tubing 20 marked for separation is then assisted by the container conveyor 16 which in effect accelerates the tubing 20 marked for separation away from its mating member, the tube now becoming a container body 22.

The radiation source of the FIGS. 2 and 3 may be of any commercially available plasma light beam, plasmadyne, or plasma jet apparatus. Generally these light energy radiation systems comprise a cooled cathode 59 and a cooled anode 6l, as shown in theFIG. 3.' A gas, such as helium, argon, nitrogen, is admitted into the area between the electrodes 59 and 6l by a pair of conduits 63 and 63. The gas leaves via an aperture 65 in the anode 6l. Radiant energy comes from a high-pressure plasma jet that is sealed inside a pressure vessel. The cathode 59 and the anode 6l produce an arc in the flow of an inert gas that leaves the vessel as a plasma jet.

The chamber formed within the parabolic reflectors 62, 62' and 62" is effectively sealed by radiant energy shields 54 and 54 as shown in the FIG. 3 and in detail in the FIG. 5. The primary purpose of the radiant energy shields 54 and 54' is for the protection of personnel. In addition, the energy shields 54 and 54' may be employed to effectively seal the chamber within the parabolic reflectors so that an inert or other atmosphere may be employed during the separation process, if such is desired. As shown in the FIG. 5, each of the radiant energy shields 54 and 54 are supported by any suitable base such as the square U-shaped base member 66. Positioned upon each of the terminal members of the base member 66 are solenoid coils 68 and 68. T-shaped armatures 70 and 70 pass through the solenoid coils 68 and 68', respectively. The top of the T of the armatures 70 and 70 are positioned externally from their respective solenoid coils 68 and 68' with the lower portion of the T connected to a split ring section 72 and 72', respectively. Linkage arrangements 74 and 74' are pivotally connected to the split ring sections 72 and 72 and are urged l together by the spring members 76 and 76', respectively. On the inside circumference of the split ring sections 72 and 72 are sections of linings 78 and 78', such as felt, which are in sliding engagement with the tube 20 marked for separation while the radiant energy shields 54 and 54' are closed and are retracted away from the tubing 20 during entry and exit of the circumferential indicia and the separated area under the circumferential indicia 50 after separation. If the felt lining 78 is not retracted away from the tubing 20 marked for separation during its entry into the radiant energy source l2, then the circumferential indicia indicia 50 may bevsmeared in the event that the indicia 50 has not dried as yet. In addition, the felt lining 78 is retracted by its associated split ring sections 72 and 72' after separation since the area of separation would be at the melting temperature of the tubing and thus bum or in other ways be deleterious to the lining 78.

As shown in the FIG. 5, suitable voltage applied to the solenoid coils 68 and 68' would cause the armatures 70 and 70 to be driven outwardly, thus enlarging the opening between the split ring sections 72 and 72' and pemiitting the entry of the circumferential indicia 50 bearing member 20 without a possible smearing or other way spreading'of the circumferential coating material.

The FIG. 7 shows the electrical circuitry, partly in block diagram and partly in schematic, employed in the practice of the invention. A suitable voltage is applied to the pair of input terminals 77 and 79 for actuating the elements shown in the FIG. 7. A motor 80 would be coupled by any suitable means to advance the sprockets 24 and 28 of the FIG. l to provide a means for advancing the chain members 26 and 30 and the elements supported by the chain members. A second motor 82 would be coupled to advance the container conveyor 16 of the FIG. l. It will be noted that the motor 80 and the motor 82 do not produce indentical revolutions per minute to their respective shafts. Normally, the motor 82 would be driven at an r.p.m. in excess of the r.p.m. of the shaft of the motor 80 in order that the container conveyor 16 would assist in the tube separation process by a gentle urging of the container body 22 away from the tubing 20 marked for separation. In this manner, complete separation of the tubing 20 by the radiant energy source l2 is not required in that the container conveyor 16, advancing at a rate slightly in excess of the tube conveyor 14, will urge the container body 22 away from the tubing 20 at the point of separation which is the circumferential indicia 50.

With further reference to the FIG. l7, a light source 84 would be positioned in such a manner adjacent the photoelectric cell 52 of the FIG. l, so that the photoelectric cell and control 52 would detect and indicate the passage of the circumferential indicia 50 on the tubing 20 marked for separation. The output from the photoelectric cell and control 52 of the FIG. 7 is applied to a delay circuit 86 which delays the signal an interval of time equal to the time of passage of the circumferential indicia 50 in front of the photoelectric cell 52 to immediately in front of the radiant energy shield 54. At that time, a signal on the conductors 88 from the delay 86 would actuate the light shield armatures 68 and 68' (best shown in the FIG. s) to open the split ring sections 72 and 72'. Both the energy shields 54 and 54' would be actuated, the energy shield 54 being opened to permit the section of the tubing 20 that has been heated to melting to exit, thus not damaging the lining 78 of the energy shield 54 and, the energy shield 54' would open to admit a new section of tubing 20 so as to not smear or otherwise spread the circumferential indicia 50 upon the tubing 20.

After the short delay by the delay circuit 86 of the FIG. 7, an additional delay is provided by a delay circuit 90 which delays the signal a sufficient period of time to permit the circumferential indicia 50, best shown in the FIG. 3, to be positioned approximately under the cylindrical lens 64 in order to receive the greatest amount of radiant energy from the radiant energy tubes. As shown in the FIG. 7, the delayed signal from the delay circuit 90 is applied to trigger a power supply 92 whose output excites the radiant energy tubes 58, 58' and 58". The power supply may include suitable capacitor storage means (not shown) su'icient to excite the radiant energy tubes in such a manner to cause melting of the metal in the area under the circumferential indicia 50 which has absorbed the radiation to a greater extent due to its darker color than the remaining portions of the tubing 20, marked for separation, which are generally reflective surfaces.

FIG. 6 shows a longitudinal view of a container body forming means and an alternate manner in which the separation is accomplished. A roll of container body material equal in width to the desired circumference of a container body is indicated at 94. Continuous tubing 18 is formed from the roll 94 by a seam former 96 which may be of a type well-known in the art. Instead of applying a coating, such as the circumferential indicia 50 as noted in the FIG. l, a tube scorer 98 is employed to score the periphery of the tubing 18 at the score intervals 100 equal to the desired container body length. Such a tube scoring device may be of one well-known in the art wherein the indicia applicator ring supports 36 and 36' of the FIG. l would have their indicia applicator rings 38 and 38' replaced with circular scoring dies. As the scored tubing 20' marked for separation approaches the radiant energy source l2, the radiant energy shields 54 and 54' (FIG. 5) may or may not be actuated according to the possibility of damage to the energy shields. With such a score as the score l() applied to the tubing of the FllG. 6, discrimination between the reflecting areas and the absorbing areas can be attained by varying the angle of incidence of the applied radiation. As the radiation impinges upon a surface in the score, some energy is reflected and some absorbed. Because of the many reflections in the score, more energy is absorbed in a score than in the case of a flat surface. The FIG. 8 is illustrative of the energy reflections in a score. The radiant energy source 12 would be triggered in such a manner that maximum absorption of the radiated energy would be directed to the score area 100 thus melting the tubing in that area while the radiated energy would be reflected from the smooth surfaces of the tubing 20 scored for separation. A container conveyor 16, such as that employed in the FIG. l, may assist in the separation of the container body 22 of the FlG. 6.

Thus, there has been described a container body separation apparatus and method wherein a rapidly advancing tubing i8, advanced by the tube grippers 32 directs the tubing to a radiant energy source l2. Positioned before the source l2, are the means including the indicia applicator ring supports 36 and 36 which house the indicia applicator rings 38 and 38 and transfer a coating material, such as black paint, from the coating rolls 44 and 46 to preselected circumferential areas of the tubing 18. With the tubing 20 now marked for separation by the circumferential indicia 50, the approach of the indicia 50 to the radiant energy source l2 is detected by a photoelectric cell 52 which actuates, after a suitable delay, the radiant energy shields 54 and 5d' which enclose the energy source l2. After a further delay, the radiant energy tubes 5b, '58' and 58" housed within the radiant energy source l2 are triggered to concentrate their radiation upon the circumferential indicia 50. The circumferential indicia 54D will absorb sufficient heat to causing a melting of the tubing at which time the container conveyor 16 will assist in the separation of a container body 22 from the continuous section of tubing. The photoelectric cell 52 again detects the approach of the next circumferential indicia 50 at which time the radiant energy shields 54 and 54' are opened thus being removed from engaging the discharged container body 22 or the new section of tubing 20 marked for separation.

ln a second embodiment shown and described in the present invention, a tube scoring device is substituted for the application of the circumferential indicia. ln this manner, with the application of the radiant energy from the radiant energy source 12, tube separation is accomplished along the score marks in a manner similar to that accomplished by the application of the black strip or circumferential indicia 50 of the FlG. l.

Thus, the present invention may be embodied in other specific fomts without departing from the spirit and the essential characteristics of the invention. The present embodiment is, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of the equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

lclaim:

l. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for applying to the tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbentv material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing and means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting and separation of the tubing in the area of the coating.

2. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for applying to the tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect melting of ther tubing in the area of the coating and means for engaging the tubing to effect a removal of a portion defined by the melted area.

3. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said means for engaging the tubing is a conveyor for urging the portion to be separated away from the length of tubing.

4. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for applying to the tubing at selected intervals a circumferential coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing and means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting and separation of the tubing in the area of the circumferential coating.

5. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing having an energy reflective surface comprising means for applying to the reflective surface at preselected intervals a darkened material having energy absorbent properties greater than the energy absorbent properties at said reflective surface to produce on the surface of the tubing alternate areas of reflective and darkened surfaces, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing so that energy is reflected from the reflective surfaces and absorbed by the darkened surfaces to effect melting of the tubing surface under the darkened material, and means to remove the portion to be separated from the length of tubing.

6. The combination as defined in claim 5 including means cooperating with the means for directing radiant energy for maximizing the energy to the darkened areas and minimizing the energy to the reflective surfaces.

7. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the absorbent material, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portions of the tubing to be separated.

The combination as defined in claim 7 wherein the means for assisting the separation includes means for advancing said means at a velocity greater than the velocity of the means for advancing tubing.

9. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, a longitudinal housing through which the coated tubing is advanced, radiant energy means positioned within the housing for directing energy upon the tubing primarily in the area of the coating of energy absorbent material to effect melting of the tubing in the area of the material, and means for assisting the separation of the tubing by engaging the tubing as it emerges from the longitudinal housing.

l0. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, a pair of split tubing markers, cooperating coating means supported by said tubing markers, means for advancing the split markers into mating cooperation with the tubing for transferring to the tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the absorbent material, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

l1. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, a pair of split tubing markers, cooperating coating means supported by said tubing markers, means for advancing the split markers into mating cooperation with the tubing for transferring to the tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, a longitudinal housing through which the coated tubing is advanced, radiant energy means supported within said longitudinal housing for directing radiant energy upon the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of emerges from said longitudinal housing.

l2. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing,

;means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, a plurality of parabolic reflectors circumferentially spaced from a center point through which the tubing is admitted, radiant energy means positioned within each of said parabolic reflectors for directing radiant energy upon said advancing tubing substantially in the area of the energy absorbent material, and means for assisting in the separation of the tubing by engaging the tubing as the tubing emerges from the plurality of parabolic reflectors.

13. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for applying to the tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing and means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting and separation of the tubing in the area of the coating, the last said means including a radiant energy generator comprising a plurality of reflectors circumferentially spaced from a center point through which tubing may be admitted, a radiant energy source positioned within each of of said reflectors, and means cooperating with the reflectors for concentrating the energy from said radiant energy means to areas spaced equidistant from the center point about which said reflectors are spaced.

14. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for applying to the tubing Vat selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the materialof said tubing and means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting and separation of the tubing in the areaof the coating, the last said means including radiant energy generator comprising a plurality of parabolic reflectors circumferentially spaced from a center point through which tubing may be admitted, radiant energy means positioned within'each of said parabolic reflectors, and a lens within each of said reflectors and cooperating with said parabolic reflector `for concentrating the radiant energy from said radiant energy means in 'areas spaced equidistant from the center point about which thev plurality of parabolic reflectors are spaced.

15. The combination as defined in claim 14 wherein said means cooperating with said parabolic reflector is a quartz lens having a partially cylindrical surface.

' 16. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, a'radiant energy source having an entrance and an exit and adapted to surround the tubing, protective means positioned juxtaposed the entrance and exit of said radiant energy source, said radiant energy source capable of directing energy on the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the absorbent material, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated, 17. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, means for applying to theadvancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, a radiant energy source having an entrance and an exit and adapted to surround the tubing and capable of directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the absorbent material, a first shield surrounding the tubing and adjacent the entrance of said radiant energy source for protecting personnel from radiation, a second shield surrounding the tubing and positioned adjacent the exit of said radiant energy source and for protecting personnel from radiation,

and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

18. The combination as defined in claim 17 wherein each of said shields has a first position in sliding engagement with the tubing and a second position spaced away from the tubing.

I9. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, a radiant energy source having an entrance and an exit and adapted to surround the tubing and capable of directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the absorbent material, a first shield and a second shield surrounding the tubing and positioned adjacent the entrance and exit, respectively, of the radiant energy source for providing protection to personnel, each of the shields having'a first position in sliding engagement with the tubing and a second position spaced away from the tubing, said shields assuming their first' position as their normal position, means for detecting the passage of the coating of energy absorbent material on the tubing for causing said first and said second shield to momentarily assume their second position, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

20. The combination as defined in claim 19 wherein said means for detecting the passage of the coating of energy absorbent material is a photoelectric cell.

l2l. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, means for scoring the advancing tubing at selected intervals for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality thereat, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing at the score to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the score, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

22. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for applying to the tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of' said tubing and means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect amelting and separation of the tubing in the area of the coating, the said last means including a radiant energy shield comprising a base member having a pair of parallel projections, a solenoid coil supported on the end of each of said parallel projections, a pair of split rings, and an a armature passing through each of said solenoid coils and supporting said pair of split rings.

23. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for applying to the tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of' higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing and means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting and separation of the tubing in the area of the coating, the last said means including a radiant energy shield comprising a base member and a pair of mounting means, a pair of split rings adapted to surround tubing, means for mov ing said split rings toward and away from the exterior surface of tubing including solenoid coils supported by each of' said mounting means, an armature supported by each of said solenoid coils, each of said armatures extending through said solenoid coil and in engagement with one of said split rings of said pairs of split rings, and means for resiliently coupling said split rings to each other for permitting the split rings to have a first position wherein the diameter of the split rings is substantially equal to the diameter of tubing to be surrounded, and a second position spaced away from the first position.

24. The combination as defined in claim 23 including a lining member secured to the inside of each of said split rings,

said lining member having heat insulating properties.

25. A method for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising the steps of advancingthe tubing to be separated, conditioning the advancing tubing for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality of conditioned portions relative to unconditioned portions thereof at selected intervals, directing a radiant energy from a source on to the tubing at the point of conditioning to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of conditioning, and assisting the separation of the tubing by momentarily accelerating the advancing tubing to be separated.

26. The method as defined in claim 25 wherein the step of conditioning the tubing is by applying energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing.

27. The method as defined in claim 25 wherein the step of conditioning is by scoring.

28. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing at one velocity, means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the absorbent material, means positioned before said means for directing radiant energy for detecting the passage of the tubing having a coating of energy absorbent material thereon, means coupled between said means for detecting and said means for directing radiant energy to trigger said means for directing radiant energy after a predetermined delay.

29. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing at one velocity, means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the absorbent material, means positioned before said means for directing radiant energy for detecting the passage of the tubing having a coating of energy absorbent material thereon, means coupled between said means for detecting and said means for directing radiant energy to trigger said means for directing radiant energy after a predetermined delay, and means for assisting the separation by engaging and advancing the portion of the tubing to be separated at a second velocity greater than the first velocity of said means for advancing tubing.

30. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing at a first velocity means for applying to the advancing tubing at selected intervals a narrow circumferential coating of energy absorbent material of higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, a radiant energy source having an entrance and an exit and adapted to surround the tubing and capable of directing its energy on the narrow coating of energy absorbent material upon command, shield means positioned juxtaposed the entrance and exit of said radiant energy source and surrounding the tubing, said shield means having a first normal position in sliding engagement with the tubing and a lsecond position away from the advancing tubing, means for detecting the passage of a narrow coating of energy absorbent material and generating a signal therefrom, means for utilizing said signal to cause said shield means positioned juxtaposed the radiant energy source to momentarily assume its second position after a predetermined delay, and means for triggering said radiant energy source from said signal after a second predetermined delay.

3l. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing at a first velocity, means for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality of the tubing along narrow circumferentially extending portions of the tubing occurring at predetennined spaced intervals along the length of the tubing, radiant energy source means surrounding the path of movement of the tubing and having an entrance and an exit for passage of the tubing therethrough, said radiant energy source means including a plurality of plasma productive light radiant energy sources and reflector means associated with said sources, means for actuating said radiant energy means to direct light radiant energy upon said narrow crcumferentially extending tubing portions of increased absorbent quality to melt the material of said tubing only at said circumferentially extending portions.

32. Apparatus according to claim 3l wherein said means for actuating comprises means for signalling proper alignment of said circumferentially extending portions with said plasma productive light radiant energy sources and means energizing said plasma productive light radiant energy sources upon alignment of said sources with said circumferentially extending portions.

33. Apparatus according to claim 32 further comprising conveying means downstream from the exit of said radiant energy source means for engaging said tubing and conveying said tubing away from said exit at a second velocity in excess of said first velocity to assist severance of portions of said tubing.

34. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing tubing, means for applying to said tubing at selected intervals a coating of energy absorbent material of a higher energy absorbent quality than the material of said tubing, means for directing radiant energy on to portions of said tubing to effect a melting and separation of the tubing in the area of the coating, and radiant energy shield means adjacent said means for directing radiant energy, said shield means comprising a pair of split rings supported on opposite sides of the path of travel of said tubing and having edge portions conforming to the circumferential configuration of said tubing and means for alternately moving each of said split rings closely proximate the exten'- or surface of said tubing, whereby radiant energy applied to said tubing by said means for directing radiant energy is confined substantially to the side of said shield means at which said means for directing radiant energy is located.

35. A method of separating tubular portions of a tubular workpiece comprising the steps of increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality at a preselected circumferentially extending area of a tubular workpiece at which separation is to be effected, thereafter directing radiant energy on to the workpiece to effect a melting at the preselected area, and bodily separating a first tubular portion of said tubular workpiece from a second tubular portion of said tubular workpiece at said preselected area while melted.

36. Apparatus for separating portions of a tubular workpiece including means for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality at a preselected circumferentially extending area of a tubular workpiece at which separation is to be effected, means for directing radiant energy on to said workpiece to effect melting at said preselected area, and means for bodily separating a first portion of said workpiece from a second portion of said workpiece at said preselected area while melted.

37. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing including a radiant energy generator according to claim 14, means for conveying tubing through said generator concentrically therewith, said means for conveying passing the wall of said tubing through said areas equidistant from said center point about which the plurality of parabolic reflectors are spaced.

38. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing the tubing, means for scoring the advancing tubing at selected intervals for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality thereat, means for directing radiant energy on tubing at the score to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the score, the last said means including a radiant energy generator comprising a plurality of reflectors circumferentially spaced from a center point through which tubing may be admitted, a radiant energy source positioned within each of said reflectors, and means cooperating with the reflectors for concentrating the energy from said radiant energy means to areas spaced equidistant from the center point about which said reflectors are spaced, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

39. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing the tubing, means for scoring the advancing tubing at selected intervals for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality thereat,

means for directing radiant energy on tubing at the score to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the score, the last said means including a radiant energy generator comprising a plurality of parabolic reflectors circumferentially spaced from a center point through which tubing may be admitted, radiant energy means positioned within each of said parabolic reflectors, and a lens within each of said reflectors and cooperating with said parabolic reflector for concentrating the radiant energy from said radiant energy means in area spaced equidistant from the center point about which the plurality of parabolic reflectors are spaced, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

40. The combination defined in claim 39 wherein said -meanscooperating with said parabolic reflector is a quartz lens having a partially cylindrical surface.

4l. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing `comprising means for advancing the tubing, means for scoring the advancing tubing at selected intervals for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality thereat, means for directing radiant energy on tubing at the score to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the score, the last said means including radiant energy shield comprising a base member having a pair of parallel projections, a solenoid coil supported on the end of each of said parallel projections, a pair of split rings, and an armature passing through each of said solenoid coils and supporting said pair of split rings, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

42. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing the tubing, means for scoring the advancing tubing at selected intervals for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality thereat, means for directing radiant energy on tubing at the score to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the score, the last said means including radiant energy shield comprising a base member and a pair of mounting means, a pair of split rings adapted to surround tubing, means for moving said split rings toward and away from the exterior surface of tubing including solenoid coils supported by each of said mounting means, an armature supported by each of said solenoid coils, each of said armatures extending through said solenoid coil and in engagement with one of said split rings of said pairs of split rings, and

means for resiliently coupling said split rings to each other for pennitting the split rings to have a first position wherein the diameter of the split rings is substantially equal tothe diameter of tubing to be surrounded, and a second position spaced away from the first position.

43. The combination as defined in claim 42 including a lining member secured to the inside of each of said split rings, said lining member having heat insulating properties.

44. Apparatus for separating portions of tubing from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing the tubing, means for scoring the advancing tubing at selected intervals for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality thereat, meansfor directing radiant energy on the tubing at the'score to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the score, the last said means including radiant energy shield means adjacent said means for directing radiant energy, said shield means comprising a pair of split rings supported on opposite sides of the path of travel of said tubing and having edge portions confonning to the circumferential configuration of said tubing and means for alternately moving each of said split rings closely proximate the exterior surface of said tubing, whereby radiant energy applied to aid tubing by said means for directing radiant energy is confined .substantially to the side of said shield means at which said means for directing radiant energy is located. l

45. Apparatus for separating portions of tubmg from a length of tubing comprising means for advancing the tubing, means for scoring the advancing tubing at selected intervals for increasing the radiant energy absorbent quality thereat, means for directing radiant energy on the tubing at the score to effect a melting of the tubing in the area of the score, the last said means including a radiant energy generator comprising a plurality of parabolic reflectors circumferentially spaced from a center point through which tubing may be admitted, radiant energy means positioned within each of said parabolic reflectors, a lens within each of said reflectors and cooperating with said parabolic reflector for concentrating the radiant energy from said radiant energy means in` area spaced `equidistant from the center point about which the plurality of parabolic reflectors are spaced, and means for conveying tubing through said generating concentrically therewith, said `means for conveying passing the wall of said tubing through said areas equidistant from said center point about which the plurality of parabolic reflector are spaced, and means for assisting the separation by engaging the portion of the tubing to be separated.

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Referenced by
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US3695498 *Aug 26, 1970Oct 3, 1972Ppg Industries IncNon-contact thermal cutting
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Classifications
U.S. Classification219/388, 83/170, 225/2
International ClassificationH05H1/48, H05B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationH05H1/48, H05B3/0033
European ClassificationH05B3/00L, H05H1/48