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Publication numberUS3682396 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 8, 1972
Filing dateFeb 22, 1971
Priority dateFeb 22, 1971
Publication numberUS 3682396 A, US 3682396A, US-A-3682396, US3682396 A, US3682396A
InventorsGeorge W Morgan, Douglas S Whitney
Original AssigneeDouglas S Whitney, George W Morgan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refuse disintegrator
US 3682396 A
Abstract
A mechanism is provided for breaking open bundles and fluffing or shredding domestic refuse or the like. A feed hopper flows refuse into the throat between a pair of contra-rotating reels having spiders spaced along their length for contacting the refuse. One of the reels moves at a greater rate than the other, and teeth on the legs of the spiders engage the refuse for tearing open bundles or otherwise disintegrating the refuse. One of the reels is retractable and both are reversible for unjamming the mechanism. Each of the legs of each of the spiders has a replaceable slipcover having teeth along at least one edge thereof. Air jets along the length of the legs serve to clear refuse from the teeth, fluff the refuse, and permit drying, moisturizing deodorizing, or sanitizing of the refuse while it is being disintegrated.
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United States Patent Whitney et a1. [45] Aug. 8, 1972 1 REFUSE DISINTEGRATOR 3,578,252 5/ 1971 Brewer ..241/224 X [72] Inventors: Douglas S. Whitney, 2616 E. Norm Place, Anaheim, Calif. 92800, George W. Morgan, 1400 Douglass, Space 112, Anaheim, Calif. 92806 Filed: Feb. 22, 1971 Appl. No.: 117,492

1 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1911 Lyon ..24l/l87 2/1947 Udden ..241/230 X 8/1968 Liebman ..24l/236 X 8/1969 Brown ..24l/38 Primary Examiner-Granville Y. Custer, Jr. Attorney-Christie, Parker & Hale [57] ABSTRACT A mechanism is provided for breaking open bundles and fluffing or shredding domestic refuse or the like. Afeed hopper flows refuse into the throat between a pair of contra-rotating reels having spiders spaced along their length for contacting the refuse. One of the reels moves at a greater rate than the other, and teeth on the legs of the spiders engage the refuse for tearing open bundles or otherwise disintegrating the refuse. One of the reels is retractable and both are reversible for unjamming the mechanism. Each of the legs of each of the spiders has a replaceable slipcover having teeth along at least one edge thereof. Air jets along the length of the legs serve to clear refuse from the teeth, fluff the refuse, and permit drying, moisturizing deodorizing, or sanitizing of the refuse while it is being disintegrated.

. 16 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures REFUSE DISINTEGRATOR BACKGROUND This invention is related to US. Pat. application Ser.

No. 16,685, filed Mar. 5, 1970, entitled RECLAMA- TION METHOD AND APPARATUS, by George W. Morgan and Douglas S. Whitney, now US. Pat. No. 3,595,389, issued July 27, 1971, and also to US. Pat. application Ser. No. 71,958, filed Sept. 14, 1970, entitled CONVEYOR SYSTEM by George W. Morgan and Douglas S. Whitney. The subject matter of these patent applications is hereby incorporated by reference for full force and effect as if set forth in full herein.

In our present society, large volumes of domestic wastes are produced and discarded. This waste is a melange of articles found in our homes and industries, and includes many salvageable commodities, such as waste paper, rags, glass, cardboard, and a variety of reusable metals. Many of these articles are presently discarded and buried in sanitary fill dumps, or the like. It is highly desirable in order to preserve our natural resources and maintain the quality of the environment to reclaim and recycle as much of this reclaimable material as possible.

These waste materials are presently picked up in trucks or the like and hauled to a central dumping location where they are discarded. In order to reclaim such materials, it is desirable to present them to manual or automatic sorting equipment in a relatively steady, controllable flow. In order to accomplish this, means are required for conveying the materials from the trucks as dumped to some metering arrangement for controlling the fiow through the balance of the sorting system.

The trucks commonly employed for handling domestic refuse employ hydraulic mechanisms for compacting the refuse as it is gathered in order to decrease the volume of the refuse collected and increase the effective capacity of the trucks. On a smaller scale, balers are sometimes used in homes and indus tries for reducing the volume of discarded trash. Further, much of the collected trash is tied in bundles or placed in cardboard cartons, sacks, plastic bags or other containers having mixed contents. In order to sort the waste materials into valuable components, it is necessary to break up the compacted refuse in bundles, and also to rip open cardboard boxes, and paper or plastic bags having mixed waste so that the manual or automatic sorting equipment may have free access to all varieties of the valuable components. Preconditioning of refuse may also be desirable for deodorizing or sanitizing when it is to be manually sorted, and drying or wetting as required may be desirable in either manual or automatic sorting stations.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Therefore, in practice of this invention according to a presently preferred embodiment, there is provided a refuse disintegrator having a pair of contra-rotating reels, each having a plurality of star-like spiders spaced along the length of the reel. The spiders on the two reels are interlaced for contacting refuse passing through the throat between the reels. Teeth on the legs of the spiders may be employed for engaging refuse for opening bundles or sacks, or breaking large objects. Means may be provided on the legs of the spiders for ejecting fluid, such as air, bearing conditioning additives for varying the properties of refuse. In a preferred embodiment, the teeth and fluid ejection means are arranged on slipcovers on the legs of the spiders for ready maintenance and replacement.

DRAWINGS These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred embodiment when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates in schematic cross section a refuse disintegrator constructed according to principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a portion of the disintegrator of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail of a reel on the disintegrator of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 illustrates the detail of FIG. 3 with a slipcover in place; and

FIG. 5 is a transverse cross section of the slipcover of FIG. 4.

Throughout the drawings like numerals refer to like parts.

DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 illustrates semi-schematically in end cross section a refuse disintegrator constructed according to principles of this invention. As illustrated in this presently preferred embodiment, refuse from a dumping station (not shown) is collected in a hopper 10 or silo to which it may be conveyed by a conveyor system such as, for example, that described and illustrated in the aforementioned US. Pat. application Ser. No. 71,958. Refuse as collected and conveyed to the hopper 10 is typically compacted to a significant degree so that the mixed components are squeezed and tangled together so that separation of the components would be difficult. A large proportion of the refuse is also contained in bundles, cardboard boxes, paper sacks or plastic bags so that access to the refuse therein is restricted.

A pair of doors 11 at the bottom of the hopper, shown in a fully open position and in phantom in a closed position, control or meter the flow of refuse from the bottom of the hopper 10. The doors 11 may be hydraulically controlled or regulated by any other conventional mechanism (not shown). Refuse from the hopper 10 falls through the opening between the doors 11 and into the throat between a pair of disintegrating reels l2 and 13.

Each of the reels 12 and 13 comprises an elongated axial drum or hollow shaft 14 of any desired length. Spaced apart along the length of each of the shafts 14 are a plurality of star-like spiders which in the illustrated embodiment each have six legs 16, radiating outwardly from the shaft 14. As best seen in FIG. 2, the spiders on one reel 12 are interleaved or interlaced between spiders on the other reel 13, and further, as

- seen in FIG. 1, the circles of revolution of the legs on the two spiders overlap.

- Preferably, one of the reels 13 is rotatable by a reversible motor 17 about an axis that remains fixed, which simplifies the coupling between the motor and shaft.

The reel 12 is also driven by a reversible motor (not shown), so that if the reels jam the direction of rotation of the reels can be reversed for unjamming. During typical operation the two reels 12 and 13 contra-rotate inwardly at the top and downwardly through the throat between the two reels as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 1. In order to obtain the best shearing action between the two reels, it is preferred that one of the reels l2 rotate at a greater rate than the other reel 13 so that its legs continually pass the legs of the slower moving reel. Typically, for example, the slower reel 13 may rotate at a rate up to about 60 RPM and the faster reel 12 at about twice that rate.

One of the reels 12 has its central shaft 14 mounted on bearings (not shown) between a pair of stout horizontal beams 18 for support within the region below the doors 11. The beam 18 is mounted on rollers 19 so that it can be retracted as desired in order to bring the reel 12 to a retracted position, as seen in phantom in FIG. 1. Retraction of the entire reel 12 permits jamming of refuse between the two reels to be cleared, where mere reversal of the direction of rotation of the reels is not sufficient. Retraction also permits maintenance and repair of the reel and replacement of slipcovers, as hereinafter described, with great facility. A door 21 in the side of the disintegrator permits the reel to be retracted or advanced as desired. A door 22 on the opposite side of the disintegrator permits access to the reel 13, which in the preferred arrangement is incapable of retraction, but which can also be provided with means for moving to a retracted position if desired.

Above the center of the reels and inclined inwardly and downwardly are deflection screens, each of which has a steel frame 23 bolted to a beam 24 extending along the length of the disintegrator. Within the frame 23 a heavy screen 26 is provided. The frames 23, having screen mounted therein, are wide enough to fit between adjacent spiders on each of the reels with significant clearance and approach the central shaft 14 of each of the reels, again with clearance, so as to assure that refuse is directed towards the throat between the two reels with full opportunity to be disintegrated thereby. The screens prevent large bundles or bags of refuse from bypassing the disintegrator, and yet permits some of the finer refuse to fall through at any point within the width of the disintegrator.

Arranged directly beneath the reels 12 and 13 so as to receive refuse passing therethrough is a conventional vibrating screen 27. Larger objects in the refuse are vibrated by the screen and exit through an opening 28, preferably onto a conventional conveyor belt or the like (not shown). Finer objects in the refuse may pass through the vibrating screen 27 and fall to a separate conveyor belt (not shown) from which some components may be removed prior to other disposal of the smaller particles of refuse. The larger refuse passing through the opening 28 is preferably passed to a manual sorting station such as described and illustrated in the aforementioned US. Pat. application Ser. No. 16,685.

The legs on the star-like spiders of each reel are preferably constructed in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 5, which illustrate the arrangement of one of the legs on a reel, and it will be understood that the other legs are substantially identical. Thus, as illustrated in FIG. 3, each leg is preferably formed of a conventional channel 29 (or in other embodiments an I- beam), the web 31 of which preferably has had a longitudinal tapering slit cut therefrom. The two sides of the channel are then bent together and welded along the seam 32 to form a tapered channel relatively wider at its base adjacent the central shaft 14 and relatively narrower near its tip. Preferably hard rubber bumpers or shims 33 are secured along the tapered faces of the channel at at least two points on each face. An end plate 34 at the outer end of the leg has a threaded stud 36 welded thereto.

A pipe 37 is provided through the hollow center shaft 14 and transverse pipes 38 lead therefrom to the root of each of the legs 16. A conventional fluid quick disconnect 39 is provided at the end of each of the pipes 38. If desired, the pipe 37 can be deleted and transverse pipes secured directly through the wall of the hollow central shaft 14. It will be noted that a rather crude connection is all that is required since substantial leakage can be tolerated.

An air compressor 41 is connected to the pipe 37 so as to apply compressed air thereto as desired. The air to the compressor has its composition adjusted by conventional means as indicated schematically by the labeled box additives 42. A variety of air composition treatments may be employed and are comprehended by the nomenclature additives." It should be preliminarily noted that the compressed air supplied to the pipe 37 is eventually ejected into material passing between the reels so that composition changes made in the compressed air affect the properties of the refuse.

In some cases such as, for example, in rainy weather, the refuse reaching the disintegrator may be undesirably high in water content and the additives station may in fact be a removal station for heating or dehumidifying the air so that warm, dry air is passed through the refuse. At other times, such as, for example, in hot dry weather, the refuse reaching the station may have an abnormally low water content so that it is dusty and difficult to handle in manual or automatic equipment. In that case, a suitable additive is steam or a spray of water droplets which tend to increase the water content of the refuse in the disintegrator. If manual sorting of the refuse is employed, it may be desirable to add sanitizing chemicals to the compressed air in order to at least partially sanitize the refuse. It may also be desirable where substantial amounts of organic materials are present to provide deodorizing additives in the compressed air.

Such treatments of refuse with humidifying, drying, deodorizing, or sanitizing additives are not effectively accomplished with bulk refuse since such additives then contact only the exposed surfaces of the refuse and do not affect the bulk thereof. In the preferred refuse disintegrator, on the other hand, the compressed air containing the desired additives is ejected into the material as it is contacted by the spiders on the reels. In this way, the additives are intimately mixed with the refuse as it is disintegrated and in its flufiiest state so that the most thorough possible mixing is obtained.

As is illustrated in detail in FIGS. 4 and 5, each of the legs of the spiders is preferably provided with a hollow removable slipcover 43, which has a tapered interior congruent with the taper of the channel 29 that is welded to the central shaft 14. An .end plate 44 in the smaller end of the slipcover 43 fits over the stud 36 and is held in place by a nut 46. This serves to bring the slipcover into tight engagement with the shims 33 on the channel. A lug 47 on one side of the slipcover is provided for a removal thereof from the tapered channel. A blow from a sledge hammer or the like readily disengages the slipcover from the tapered shims 33 and permits its removal. By connecting the slipcover to the channel at the outer end, the safety of maintenance personnel is enhanced since they require access only to the end of the legs of the spider and need not approach a position where inadvertent rotation of the reel during maintenance would jeopardize them. Thus, a slipcover can be put on from the end, tightened into position by the end nut 46, and also removed from the end after a blow on the lug 47. It will be apparent that a device akin to a wheel puller could also be used to remove the slipcover from the channel.

Extending along one edge of the slipcover 43 are a plurality of raised teeth 48, each of which has serrated edges to provide best tearing action when the teeth engage refuse or other material passing between the reels. Referring again to FIG. 1, the teeth 48 on the legs of the faster moving reel 12 are arranged on the leading edge of the leg, that is, so that the teeth face downwardly as the legs pass through the throat between the two reels. Conversely, the teeth 48 on the legs on the slower moving reel 13 are on the trailing edge of the legs so that they face upwardly as the legs move downwardly through the throat between the two reels. By having the teeth on the leading edge of the faster moving reel and the trailing edge of the slower moving reel, both sets of teeth may engage a bundle, sack, or other article of refuse passing through the throat, and the radial component of relative motion between legs on the two reels provides a shearing action that quite successfully rips open bags and boxes and disintegrates tight bundles of refuse. Although the teeth may effect some cutting action, it is believed that they serve mainly to keep refuse from moving along the length of the legs. The slipcovers are preferably made symmetrically so that a single style of slipcover can be used on both reels, even though when installed the teeth face in opposite directions.

Mounted within each of the slipcovers, as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, is a pipe 51 extending along the length and connectable to the quick disconnect 39 on the central pipe when the slipcover is installed. Transverse stubs 52 from the pipe 51 lead to nozzles 53 spaced along the length of the slipcover. The nozzles are arranged adjacent the teeth 48 so that the blast of compressed air tends to disengage refuse from the teeth. At the same time this blast of compressed air containing additives for modifying the characteristics of the refuse mixes thoroughly with the refuse as it is disintegrated for drying, humidifying, deodorizing or sanitizing as required. By having the air jets directed tangentially and in opposite directions on the two reels, significant tumbling of the refuse may be obtained with consequent exposure to the conditioned air.

It will be noted that the refuse disintegrator is a massive rather slow moving machine with large clearances between adjacent spiders. Thus it is different from a hammer mill or the like that shatters materials by impact of rapidly rotating hammers or a grinder that pinches material between a rotating mechanism and a fixed structure. Likewise, the spiders do not cut refuse as some shredders do. Instead the disintegrator provides a-slow tearing or shearing action that pulls bundles or bags apart. The legs are stout enough that many objects such as lumber may be broken or crushed by the disintegrator.

Although but one embodiment of refuse disintegrator constructed according to principles of this invention has been described and illustrated herein, many modifications and variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art. Thus, for example, auxiliary water sprays maybe added above the disintegrator so as to dampen dusty refuse and provide dust control for augmenting the water content of the compressed air in extremely dry weather. Other means may be employed for retracting one or both of the reels, such as, for example, beams mounted on a pivot for supporting the reel bearings wherein by proper selection of the pivot point, a degree of self regulation of the reels can be provided for minimizing the jamming that might occur as large, tough objects enter the disintegrator. If desired the volume of air discharged from the two reels can be different for effecting a net air flow in one direction. Many other modifications and variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art, and it is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

1. A refuse disintegrator comprising:

a first rotatable reel;

a plurality of star-like spiders spaced apart along the length of the reel;

means for rotating the first reel;

a second reel substantially parallel to, and spaced apart from, the first reel;

a plurality of star-like spiders spaced apart along the length of the second reel and interlaced with spiders on the first reel;

means for rotating the second reel in the opposite direction from the first reel;

means on the reels for ejecting fluid therefrom into material passing between the reels.

2. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 1 wherein the means for ejecting fluid comprises a plurality of fluid outlets spaced along each leg of each spider.

3. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 1 further comprising a plurality of' refuse engaging teeth on an edge of each of the legs of the spider; and wherein the fluid outlets are adjacent the teeth for disengaging refuse therefrom.

4. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 1 further comprising:

a slipcover on each of the legs of the spider;

means for temporarily securing the slipcover on the leg; and wherein the means for ejecting fluid comprises a plurality of fluid outlets spaced apart along an edge of the slipcover for ejecting fluid tangentially relative to the reel.

5. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 4 further comprising a plurality of refuse engaging teeth on an edge of each of the slipcovers; and wherein the fluid outlets are adjacent the teeth for disengaging refuse therefrom. 6. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 1 further comprising:

a feed hopper located above the reels;

means for regulating the flow of refuse from the feed hopper to the reels;

a plurality of guide means arranged below the feed hopper in a pair of rows extending along the length of the reels and spaced upwardly and outwardly therefrom, each of the guide means extending inwardly and downwardly for guiding refuse towards the throat between the reels; and

a vibratory screen arranged beneath the reels for receiving refuse therefrom and separating relatively coarse refuse from relatively fine refuse.

7. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 1 further comprising means for supplying compressed air to the means for ejecting fluid; and

means for modifying the composition or properties of the compressed air.

8. A refuse disintegrator comprising:

a first rotatable reel;

a plurality of star-like spiders spaced apart along the length of the reel;

a second reel substantially parallel to the first reel and spaced apart therefrom for defining a throat therebetween;

a plurality of star-like spiders spaced apart along the length of the second reel and interlaced with spiders on the first reel;

means for rotating the first and second reels in opposite directions inwardly and downwardly relative to the throat therebetween; and

means for retracting one of the reels laterally relative to the other reel for disengaging the reel from articles of refuse jammed therebetween.

9. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 8 further comprising means for reversing the direction of rotation of at least one of the reels.

length of the second reel and interlaced with spiders on the first reel;

means for rotating the second reel at a peripheral speed different from the peripheral speed of the first reel and wherein the means for rotating rotates the first and second reels relatively inwardly and downwardly through the throat therebetween; and

means along the legs of the spiders for inhibiting movement of refuse along the length of the legs.

11. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 10 wherein the means for inhibiting movement comprises reel and along the trailing edge of the relatively slower reel.

12. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 11 wherein the raised teeth each comprise a serrated edge for ripping refuse.

13. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 10 further comprising:

a slipcover on each of the legs of the spiders;

means for temporarily securing the slipcover to the leg; and wherein the means for inhibiting movement comprises a plurality of alternately raised and recessed regions along an edge of the slipcover.

14. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 13 wherein;

each leg comprises a tapered member secured to the reel; and each slipcover comprises:

an internal portion complementary to the tapered member;

means at the outer end of the slipcover for attaching it to the tapered member;

a plurality of raised teeth along an edge of the slipcover; and

a plurality of air jets along the edge of the slipcover adjacent the teeth.

15. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 14 further comprising:

means for supplying compressed air to the air jets;

and

means for modifying properties of the compressed air for drying, humidifying, deodorizing or sanitizing refuse.

16. A refuse disintegrator as defined in claim 10 further comprising:

a plurality of ejection means for ejecting compressed air adjacent the means for inhibiting for biasing refuse away therefrom.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification241/41, 241/230, 241/236, 241/166, 241/55
International ClassificationB03B9/06, C05F9/02
Cooperative ClassificationB02C2018/164, B03B9/06, C05F9/02, B02C18/0084
European ClassificationB03B9/06, B02C18/00W, C05F9/02