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Publication numberUS3690463 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 12, 1972
Filing dateJul 13, 1971
Priority dateJul 13, 1971
Publication numberUS 3690463 A, US 3690463A, US-A-3690463, US3690463 A, US3690463A
InventorsJohn A O'brien
Original AssigneeUs Navy
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floating suction head
US 3690463 A
Apparatus used for collecting spilled oil from the surface of the sea including primarily a floating suction head connected to a pump by a flexible hose. The oil-water mixture enter the head through a suction port, the latter being protected from debris by a series of screens.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent OBrien [54] FLOATING SUCTION HEAD [72] Inventor: John A. O'Brien, Rockville, Md.

[73] Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy [22] Filed: July 13, 1971 [21] Appl.No.: 162,108

[52] US. Cl. ..2l0/242, 2l0/DlG. 21 [51] Int. Cl. ..C02b 9/02 [58] Field of Search ..210/DIG. 21, 242; 415/7 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,534,859 10/1970 Amero et al ..210/242 [451 Sept. 12, 1972 2,891,672 6/1959 V eld et al. ..2l0/242 3,547,553 12/1970 Stanfield ..4 1 5/7 3,534,858 10/ l 970 Harrington ..2l0/242 Primary Examiner-Reuben Friedman Assistant Examiner-T. A. Granger Attorney-Gayward N. Mann et al.

[57] ABSTRACT Apparatus used for collecting spilled oil from the surface of the sea including primarily a floating suction head connected to a pump by a flexible hose. The oil water mixture enter the head through a suction port, the latter being protected from debris by a series of screens.

5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures FLOATING SUCTION HEAD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to apparatus for removing undesirable liquids from any aqueous surface and more particularly to floating suction devices adapted specifically to collect and remove spilled oil from the surface of the sea.

2. Description of the Prior Art The first oil pollution control measures included attempts at forced combustion, absorption by straw, sawdust and other natural materials and sinking the oil with sand. These attempts proved to be either inadequate, excessively costly or only of temporary value. Dispersants, especially detergents, are also employed, but since they are highly toxic and cause ecological damage to marine life they are not considered acceptable solutions. In certain areas, legislation prohibits their use and conservationists constantly attack their application.

It has become generally accepted that the only adequate method of dealing with spilled oil on the sea is through physical removal. To this end, various mechanical devices have been designed including rotating drums, endless belts and suction devices. Only the latter show promise of operating-satisfactorily and recent studies indicate they are the most cost effective method of collecting oil. Suction devices have been employed for the last several years with considerable success and it is believed that for efficient operation,

especially on high seas, a lightweight buoyant structure would be the most effective.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION STATEMENT OF THE OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION Accordingly an object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for removing oil from an aqueous surface.

Another object of the invention is to provide apparatus for removing spilled oil from an ocean surface which is easily adjusted to the thickness of the oil slick thus picking up maximum oil and minimum water.

Still another object is to provide a simple and economical apparatus for removing oil from an ocean surface which is exceptionally effective in operation.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF- THE DRAWINGS FIG.'1 is a simplified partial cross-sectional view of the apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention with portions cut away to show the head structure.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top plan view of the invention as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the preferred embodiment of the head.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the embodiment shown there is indicated a floating suction head 10 which is preferably circular with a plurality of suction ports 12 located about the periphery. It is constructed preferably of a sturdy lightweight plastic material and is about l8 inches in diameter and about 7 inches in height. The head 10 contains three tubes 14 into which weights 16 are inserted as needed to adjust the skimming depth. A central tube 18 interconnects with the ports 12 and a lightweight flexible and extendable hose 20 connects tube 18 to the floating suction hose'22 which leads to a pump not illustrated.

In the preferred embodiment the suction'ports 12 are tapered and V-notchedas shown in FIG. 3 in order to help prevent mechanical-emulsification of the oil-water mixture and thus aid in separation of the oil from the water. The head 10 comprises a cover and base'32 and '34 respectively. The base 34 includes the slanted land portions 36 and when the cover is positioned over the base and adhered thereto by an suitable means, the

open area between the lands provides the very important V-shaped ports 12.

A debris screen 24'preferably of about %-inch mesh circumscribes the head 10 and is used to protect the ports 12 from clogging and other damage. The screen 24 is supported independently of the head 10 by the triangular shaped screen angles 26 which have a circular float 28 attached at each of three corners substantially as shown.

The frame angles 30 are attached to each float 28 and to the tube 18 thereby providing additional strength to the framework formed by angles 26. The angles 30 also support the flexible hose 20.

In operation the oil-water mixter enters the head 10 through the suction intake ports l2 and is sucked through tube 18 by suitable pump means into hoses 20 and 22 thence into a storage area. Through a series of weights 16 which are added to head 10 as is required the skimming depth is maintained at between about /4. to 1 inch. This ability to adjust the skimming depth enhances the oil-to-water ratio so that the volume requirement for an oil-water separation system is reduced.

Three suction head assemblies may preferably be used simultaneously with the same suction source to increase oil pickup efficiency.

In case of substantial decreased output flow, the head is easily cleaned by backflushing. Routine cleaning with diesel fuel or strong detergent and water effectively removes the sticky oil and small particles of debris that may plug the suction head 10 after severe use.

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention arepossible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

I claim:

1. A device to collect spilled oil from an aqueous surface comprising:

a buoyant suction. head having upper and lower surfaces interconnected with a peripheral wall, said wall having a plurality of tapered V-shaped suction intake ports positioned around the periphery, said V-shaped suction intake ports comprising a first inlet end, a second outlet end and having a generally triangular shape provided by walls connected at their longitudinal edges with said edges extending from said inlet end to said outlet end, the transverse dimensions of said walls being of greater length at said inlet end than at said outlet end whereby mechanical emulsification of the oil water mixture is prevented as the spilled oil is sucked into the ports from the aqueous surface;

a tube vertically oriented and centrally positioned within the buoyant suction head, said tube having a lower inlet end and an upper outlet end with said inlet end interconnecting with the outlet ends of said triangularly shaped intake ports, said central tube adapted to receive the waste oil sucked into the head through said ports and forward the same via flexible hoses attached to the outlet end of said central tube to a suitable area; a debris screen circumscribing said head to prevent clogging damage thereto;

a plurality of floats attached at spaced distances 'means to adjust the head and insure adequate skimming depth thereof. 3. The device of claim 2 wherein: said means to adjust the head includes a series of weights which are adapted to be placed in said head to adjust the skimming depth thereof and insure the correct oil-to-water ratio.

'4. The device of claim 1 wherein: a series of screen angles are adapted to support said screen independent of the head and, a separate series of frame angles are adapted to interconnect the floats with the head. 5. The device of claim 1 wherein the floats are three i I I l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2891672 *Aug 10, 1955Jun 23, 1959Cornelis In T VeldShip for receiving, transporting, and separating immiscible liquids of different specific gravities
US3534858 *May 31, 1968Oct 20, 1970John W HarringtonPollution control device
US3534859 *Mar 11, 1969Oct 20, 1970Gulf Research Development CoApparatus for removal of oil floating on water or the like
US3547553 *Dec 30, 1968Dec 15, 1970Acme Products IncFloating surface skimmer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3762557 *Aug 23, 1971Oct 2, 1973Watermaster Ind LtdFloating skimmer
US3836004 *Dec 7, 1972Sep 17, 1974U FavretApparatus for recovering oil substances from the surface of a body of water
US4024063 *Jul 9, 1975May 17, 1977Kabushiki Kaisha World ChemicalFloating-matter removing apparatus
US4049554 *Mar 15, 1976Sep 20, 1977Shell Oil CompanyOil spill cleanup system
US4107043 *Mar 3, 1977Aug 15, 1978Creative Dispensing Systems, Inc.Inlet conduit fluid filter
US4224162 *May 16, 1979Sep 23, 1980Giuseppe AyroldiApparatus for collecting liquids and/or slimes floating on liquid surfaces
US4974674 *Mar 21, 1989Dec 4, 1990Westinghouse Electric Corp.Extraction system with a pump having an elastic rebound inner tube
US5058669 *Sep 13, 1990Oct 22, 1991Westinghouse Electric Corp.Extraction system with a pump having an elastic rebound inner tube
US5108591 *Apr 3, 1991Apr 28, 1992Cs Participation Corp.Oil spill recovery system
US5118412 *Apr 17, 1991Jun 2, 1992Schmidt Richard JFluid recovery apparatus
US5888406 *May 17, 1995Mar 30, 1999Hnatiuk; Ihor V.Device for the removal of thin surface films of petroleum products from the water's surface
US6027313 *Jun 13, 1997Feb 22, 2000Enhanced Energy, Inc.Gas assisted fluid delivery system
US6358409 *Dec 23, 1999Mar 19, 2002Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc.Oil skimmer
US7384548 *Dec 7, 2004Jun 10, 2008Terrien Richard JManually controlled skimming of industrial oil contaminants
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US8631815Jan 25, 2011Jan 21, 2014Randal K. VanConettPump attachment interface providing a fixed link between a pump line coupled to a mobile tank and a line disposed in a reservoir
US9365995Aug 22, 2013Jun 14, 2016Michael H. JamesOil skimmer and vacuum recovery apparatus
US9416920 *Mar 8, 2013Aug 16, 2016Edgar VeinbergsAdjustable liquid strainer
US9592542Jun 2, 2014Mar 14, 2017Michael Henry JamesMethod and apparatus for cleaning the interior of an above ground storage tank
US9593676Jan 21, 2014Mar 14, 2017Randal K. VanConettRectangular pump attachment interface providing a portable fixed link between a pump line coupled to a mobile tank and a line disposed in a reservoir
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U.S. Classification210/242.3, 210/923
International ClassificationE02B15/10, E02B15/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S210/923, E02B15/106
European ClassificationE02B15/10G