US 3716021 A
Apparatus for applying powdered porcelain enamel to a heated hollow article. Apparatus includes a tiltable, rotatable base having means for holding the hollow article for application of the powder. A support means for a seive applicator is mounted on the base for moving the applicator into the hollow article.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Fry Feb. 13, 1973  APPLICATOR MECHANISM FOR 2,926,627 3/1960 Demorest et a1. ..l18/308 X PARTICULATE MATERIAL 3,132,038 5/1964 Ward ...118/308 X 3,570,451 3/1971 Leheron et a1. ..118/308  Inventor: Ralph Fry, Warren, Pa.
Prima ExaminerJohn P. McIntosh  Ass1gnee: Ferro C0rp., Cleveland, Ohio 3; L Simmons  Filed: March 10, 1971  Appl. No.: 122,802 [571 ABSTRACT Apparatus for applying powdered porcelain enamel to a heated hollow article. Apparatus includes a tiltable,  U.S. Cl. ..1 181308, 1 18/318, 1 18/321 rotatable base having means for holding the honow [51 1111. C1. ..B05b 7/00, B056 5/00 ticle for application of the p A pp means 1 Field of Search 318 for a seive applicator is mounted on the base for moving the applicator into the hollow article.  References Cited 15 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIENIEUFEBHIQB 3,716,021
. SHEET 10E 3 INVENTOR,
ALPH FRY ATTORNEY PATENTEUFEB13|973 SHEET 2 OF 3 FIG.2
IIIIIIIIIIHII I I v INVENTOR- FRY BY Wfim RALPH FIG.4
ATTORNEY PATENIEI] FEB 1 a 1975 3.7161121 SHEET 30F 3 FIG. 3
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ATTORNEY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The application of powdered, porcelain enamel to certain sanitary ware appliances such as metal bathtubs, lavatories and sinks has traditionally been carried out by heating the article or casting to be coated to a temperature of from approximately l,400 0 to l,700 F., withdrawing the casting from the heating furnace, placing same in a cradle adapted to be tilted through a 90 arc and rotatable 360, with an operator standing over the hot casting manually sifting powdered porcelain enamel onto the heated article, and while it is manipulated in its cradle to present various surfaces to the cascading powdered coating material.
The heat of the base metal caused the porcelain enamel coming in contact therewith to fuse and adhere thereto, and the process was repeated, with reheating of the casting, two or three .times, until a sufficiently thick coating of vitreous enamel had been built up on the surface of the article, to thereby provide a protective coating having a pleasing smooth appearance, and high degree of chemical resistance.
The casting, following the above procedure, was then allowed to cool during which the vitreous coating became quite hard and glossy and the article was ready for distribution and installation.
However, one of the drawbacks to the conventional method of manually sifting powdered porcelain enamel onto a hot casting is that rising costs have rendered the manual operation prohibitively expensive.
Also, manual sifting of powdered enamel onto a hot casting to secure proper and even distribution thereof is a highly skilled art, thus resulting in extremely high wage scales for the skilled operators, as well as necessitating a rather lengthy and expensive training period for him. This, plus the fact that the absence of an operator for several days through sickness or otherwise, severly hampers production, militates toward substitution of mechanized means for traditional hand methods of coating.
SUMMARY OF Tl-IEINVENTION The present invention provides a mechanism for automatically applying a coating of particulate material to an article, such as a heated sanitary ware casting, during manipulation of the latter, to ensure an even and effective coating of the article with utilization of relatively unskilled labor, or possibly with no manual control of the mechanism whatsoever, utilizing instead automatic control systems such as for instance programmed computers, for obtaining automatic controlled operation of the coating applying mechanism.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an apparatus for the deposition of particulate material onto a predetermined area.
It is further an object of this invention to provide an improved apparatus for the deposition of particulate, powdered porcelain enamel to a cast metal substrate, particularly concavities and contiguous surfaces thereof.
The invention is demonstrated by the attached drawings taken in conjunction with the accompanying description wherein:
FIG. I is a side elevational view of apparatus embodying the invention, and illustrating the sieve member of the apparatus in lowered position in the concavity of the article to be coated;
FIG. 2 is a partially broken, perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 illustrating the aforementioned sieve member in raised position;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perpsective view of the apparatus, with the sieve in the lowered position of FIG.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of one embodiment of sieve member;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary diagrammatic illustration of the lowered position of the sieve member in the concavity of the article being coated; and
FIGS. 6 and 7 are respectively perspective and fragmentary side elevational views of another embodiment of sieve member for use in the coating apparatus.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Refer now to FIGS. 1 and 3, there is illustrated the apparatus of this invention, with a single bowl sink 10 resting in cradle 12, and in their respective positions they would normally assume either just prior to the enameling operation, or subsequent thereto.
Cradle 12 may comprise upright portions 12a which underlie the laterally extending flange portions 10a of the bowl 10 and support the latter on the cradle. Cradle 12 is mounted on table 14 of tilting and rotating mechanism 16 which is adapted to position the bowl 10 in optimum position for application of the particulate coating material thereto.
The tilting-rotating device 16 may include legs 16a and 16b (FIGS. 1 and-2) which may be firmly bolted, or otherwise solidly attached to the floor. Openly journaled as at 17 across leg supports 16a, 16b is beam assembly 18 which supports thereon in rotatable relation aforementioned table 14.
Table 14 may be supported by rotatable column 20 journaled as at 22 to beam assembly 18. Table 14 and associated column 20 may be rotated through 360, while in an upright or in a tilted position, by any suitable power means such as for instance preferably reversible rotatable air motor 24. Motor 24 may be drivingly coupled to column 20 for rotation of the latter by means of gearing 26, and may be suspended from beam assembly 18 as at 28. Braking mechanism 30 may be provided for frictionally resisting free rotation of column 20 and associated table 14.
Beam assembly 18 and supported table 14 may be tilted sideways and with respect to a vertical plane passing through the lengthwise axes of the journals 17, by any suitable means, such as, for instance, double acting, reciprocal air powered motor unit 32. The piston rod 32a of motor unit 32 may be suitably coupled to curved lever 34 attached at one end thereof as at 35 to beam assembly 18. It will be seen that linear movement of the piston rod 320 will cause swinging movement of beam assembly 18 with respect to the aforementioned vertical plane passing through the lengthwise axes of journals 17, thus causing tilting of table column 20 and tilting of the bowl article 10 supported on cradle 12; The stroke of motor unit 32 is preferably such that beam assembly 18 and table 14 can be tilted approximately 50 to 60 with respect to the vertical plane passing through the axes of journals 17, although a tilt of approximately 45 is generally satisfactory for applying the powdered enamel to the concavity of the bowl and associated flange surfaces 100.
Aforementioned cradle means 12 is firmly fixed to support table 14, and may be designed to accommodate a given piece of sanitary ware, such as the single bowl sink depicted in the drawings. Cradle means 12 may conveniently be removably secured to support table 3 as by means of bolts, so that a cradle adaptable to support other types of articles to be coated, such as a double bowl sink, could be readily substituted for the cradle shown.
A support frame 36 is affixed to the cradle means 12 and in the embodiment illustrated such support frame comprises spaced uprights 38 projecting above the upper level of cradle 12. A generally horizontal shaft 40 may be mounted on the uprights 38 adjacent the latters upper ends, and as shown, with shaft 40 being rotatable on uprights 38 by any suitable means, such as for instance wheel 42 secured to one end of shaft 40.
Firmly fixed to rotatable shaft 40 and rotatable therewith, are laterally spaced sieve support arms 43 which carry adjacent their outer most extremities a sieve support bar or shaft 44.
Swingably suspended as at 45 from support bar 44 is sieve-like means 46 which, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through is an optionally partitioned, hexagonal (in transverse section), perforate housing of vertically elongated Configuration and preferably having a slightly outwardly or downwardly projecting bottom 48.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the hexagonal housing presents an arrangement wherein the walls of the concavity C of bowl are presented with confronting planar sides of the sieve housing and in a manner insuring effective cascading of the powdered enamel onto the concavity surfaces and associated contiguous flange surfaces upon vibrating movement of member 46. However, it will be understood that sieve housing member 46 could be of other configurations, such as for instance of octagonal configuration in transverse section, or of cylindrical configuration 46 as shown for instance in FIGS. 6 and 7. In such arrangement, the perforated bottom-wall 48' is preferably slightly convex as shown.
While the sieve housing in FIG. 4 is shown with vertical baffles 50 which divide the interior of the housing into a plurality of sections or chambers, as aforementioned the baffles may be eliminated thus resulting in one single chamber being defined by the housing. The baffles when used, preferably terminate at lower level 52 (FIG. 5) of the housing, and thus preferably do not extend all the way down to the bottom surfaces of thesieve housing, though this is a matter of choice.
Mounted on the sieve housing and coacting therewith is a suitable power means 56 for vibrating or shaking the sieve-like housing member 46. Such power means may be, for instance, an electrically driven vibrator for uniformly shaking housing 46. Vibrator 56 may be of the variable speed type for controlling the degree of vibrating movement of the housing member 46.
Too, separate vibrators may be positioned within each partitioned segment, optionally programmed to vibrate at the same time, or to sequentially vibrate only the lowermost baffled compartment, or segment, during rotation of sieve member 46.
A counter balancing and locking bar 60 may be fixed to sieve housing 46 for the purpose of fixing member 46 generally immovable or non-swingably within the concavity of the article to be enameled, when the apparatus is in lowered operating position, as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 3. Bar 60 may have a recess 64 formed therein which is adapted to receive shaft 40 in the lowered position of arms 43. Suitable latching mechanism 66 may coact withrecess 64 for latching the bar 60 to shaft 40, thus holding sieve housing 46 non-swingable in the lowered position thereof. Latch 66 may be, for instance, a spring loaded plunger device adapted for automatic coaction with means, such as an opening in shaft 40, in the lowered position of housing 46.
Refer now again to FIGS. 1 and 3, the entire apparatus can be observed in its lowered operating position whereat, viawheel 42, the arms 43 and associated sieve housing assembly have been lowered to the point where the sieve housing 46 is disposed within the concavity of the sink 10. It is desirable that the planar faces of the sieve housing 46 be maintained roughly equal distantfrom the confronting defining surface of the bowl to be enameled, with the bottom of the sieve housing approximately the same distance from the confronting bottom surface of the sink to be enameled, and substantially as shown in FIG. 5.
The lowermost progress of sieve-like housing 46 into the concavity C may be fixed by any convenient and suitable means such as for instance, stop means 70 fixed to a respective upright 38, and as by means of removable fasteners (e.g. bolts) so that changing of the position of the stops 70 on the uprights 38 provides for the adjustment of the maximum depth to which sieve housing 46 extends. Stops also may be provided to limit the maximum rearward swing of arms 43 upon movement of the sieve housing to a raised position (e.g. FIG. 1). In the raised position a feeder hose or chute 72 coupled to a storage source (not shown) of the powdered enamel may be provided for filling the sieve housing with a supply of the particulated material to be dispensed thereby.
In operation by, for instance, conventional fork means, a heated sink 10 which has been heated to the vicinity of l,650 F. in a suitable enameling furnace is quickly withdrawn therefrom, and placed in the cradle 12. The sieve-like member 46 via rotatable wheel 42 may then be quickly lowered into the concavity of the sink to be enameled and automatically locked into place with respect thereto by means of bar 60 and associated latching mechanism 66.
For the particular item illustrated, the table 14 and associated cradle and sink are preferably tilted to an angle of approximately 45, and rotation thereof about the axis of shaft 20 is commenced simultaneously with actuation of vibrator 56 on sieve housing 46.
The sieve housing 46 protrudes above the top of the concavity of the article to be enameled preferably a distance of approximately one-third the depth of the concavity in the lowered position of 'housing 46, in
order that, as the apparatus rotates about an axis roughly through the center of the item to be enameled, flange surfaces a thereof will receive a sufficient cascade of powdered enamel material from that portion of the sieve means protruding above the concavity. In other words, with reference to FIG. 5, an effective relationship to accomplish expeditious coating of both the concavity surfaces and the flange surfaces without wasting of the powdered enamel, is to have the distance X be approximately one-third the distance Y.
Sieve means 46 when in the raised position depicted in FIG. 2, and during which time the sink article being enameled has been either removed from cradle 12 for return to the heating furnace or has been removed for final cooling, may be filled through the open top thereof to a predetermined level with suitable powdered porcelain enamel, as by means of aforementioned supply hose 72.
In operation then, it will be readily observed that, while the entire cradle and associated sieve support assembly rotates relatively slowly in a tilted position, the sieve means 46, containing powdered porcelain enamel, is vibrated, and therefore there is provided a substantially constant, smooth cascade of powdered porcelain enamel from the continually changing tilted portion of the sieve housing which faces the confronting lowermost tilted portion of the article being enameled, the latter also comprising a continually changing interior surface of the concavity and associated contiguous flange.
After a time sufficient to have deposited the required amount of enamel on the item to be enameled, the vibrator mechanism 56 may be stopped, and the table 14 and cradle 12 quickly tilted back to the horizontal, while sieve means 46, via its rotatable or swingable supporting structure 43 being moved out of and away from the enameled concavity. By conventional lift fork means, the enameled article may be removed from cradle 12 either to be returned to the furnace for reheating, for subsequent application of a second or third coating of enamel, or the coated article may be placed in a cooling area if the coating applied has been the final one.
it will be understood that the process of this invention includes the fixing of sieve-like means within the concavity to be enameled, but out of physical contact therewith, tilting both the item to be enameled, and the sieve means disposed therewithin, to a predetermined angle with respect to the vertical (e.g. 45) rotating the entire assembly through 360, the while, via said sieve like means, applying particulated material in an even or uniform manner to the rotating concavity of the item to be enameled and its contiguous flange surfaces. If, for instance, a double bowl sink comprised the article to be coated, a pair of laterally spaced sieve housing members, each having its respective vibrator mechanism, may be mounted on the shaft 44 for simultaneous coating of the respective concavity of the sink.
From the foregoing description and accompanying drawings it will be seen that the invention provides a novel apparatus and process for the application of particulated material, such as powdered enamel, to a heated metal article, and with such apparatus comprising a movable sieve and sieve support assembly mounted for movement on a rotatable and tiltable base assembly for automatic application of a uniform cascade of the particulated material to the tilted and rotating article being coated.
While the description of the apparatus and drawings disclose various manual operations in connection with the coating process, such as for instance the swinging of arms 43 by manual wheel 42, it will be understood that the apparatus could be actuated and controlled by an automatic motorized control circuit, which could be programmed for completely automatic operation utilizing known computer mechanism or the like.
Although this invention contemplates an emergent portion of sieve member 46 to provide a source of material for coating a sink or lavatory flange during rotation, it is to be understood that certain items might not have a flange, or one of such vestigial dimensions, that an emergent section of sieve member 46 would not be essential.
Too, since the bottom configuration of some sink designs, combined with a rather large drain opening, particularly in the case of a kitchen sink with a drain large enough to accommodate a garbage-strainer,-
results in a minimal bottom surface, it is conceivable that the bottom, convex portion of the sieve member 46 could be either imperforate or only partially perforate around its outer periphery.
As will be apparent, depending upon the design and configuration of the lavatory, sink, or other sanitary ware item having a concavity, the apparatus and method of this invention are fully compatible for use in conjunction with certain steps of conventional application methods.
That is, a preliminary manual dusting of powder could be quickly accomplished on the flanges and bottom of the sink illustrated in FIG. 1, before sieve member 46 is inserted, thereby permitting certain conventional enameling steps to take place, preceding the utilization of the novel method hereof, such conventional steps to be used supplementary and cooperative- 1y with the method and apparatus of this invention.
The terms and expressions which have been used are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of any of the features shown or described, or any portions thereof, and it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for applying particulate material to an article having a concavity and associated contiguous surfaces, said apparatus comprising a rotatable and tiltable base, means on said base adapted for holding the article to which particulate material is to be applied, support means coacting and movable with said base, sieve-like means movably mounted on said support means and being movable by said support means into and out of said concavity, and means coacting with said sieve-like means for dispensing particulate material therefrom onto said article when said sieve-like means is in predetermined operative positional relationship with respect to the article.
2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said support means comprises a frame fixed to said base, a support arm swingably journaled to said frame, said sieve-like means being swingably mounted on said support arm for swinging movement with respect to said arm in a plane disposed generally parallel to the plane of the arc of movement of said arm.
3. An apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein said sieve-like means is swingably mounted to said arm by a shaft supported on said arm and means rotatably mounting said sieve-like means to said shaft whereby said sieve-like means can swing in a generally vertical plane relative to said shaft.
4. An apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein said means for dispensing particulated material from said sieve-like means comprises a vibrating mechanism mounted on said sieve-like means and adapted to vibrate said sieve-like means upon actuation thereof.
5. An apparatus in accordance with claim 4 wherein said sieve-like means comprises a generally vertically elongated enclosure of polygonal configuration in transverse cross section, said enclosure having a downwardly projecting bottom wall and being swingably coupled to said arm adjacent the upper end of said enclosure, said enclosure being perforated for the passage therethrough of particulated material upon vibration of said enclosure.
6. An apparatus in accordance with claim 5 wherein said enclosure includes baffle means therein dividing the interior of said enclosure into a plurality of separate chambers.
7. An apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein said base comprises a first support member swingable about a generally horizontal axis, a second support member mounted on said first support member for movement therewith and extending generally perpendicular to a horizontal plane containing said horizontal axis, said means for holding an article being mounted on said second support member,and means for rotating said second support member with respect to said first support member whereby the article with the concavity therein may be tilted and rotated when in supported relation on said second support member.
8. An apparatus in accordance with claim 7 wherein said first support member comprises an elongated beam having trunions at opposite ends thereof, bearing means supporting said trunions for swinging said beam about said generally horizontally axis, power means operably coupled to said beam for selectively swinging said beam about said axis, said second support member comprising a turntable support mounted on said beam for rotation about an axis extending generally perpendicular relative to said beam, and about the axis of said turntable support, other power means mounted on said beam and coacting with said turntable support for rotating said turntable support with respect to said beam, and said means on said base for holding an article comprising cradle means mounted on said turntable support.
9. An apparatus in accordance with claim 8 wherein said support frame is secured to said cradle means for movement therewith.
10. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 including power means for rotating said base through 360 and for tilting said base with respect to the vertical through at least approximately 45.
11. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said sieve-like means comprises a vertically elongated perforated housing member ada ted forreceiving the particulated material therein, suc as for instance powdered porcelain enamel, and baffle means in said housing dividing the latter into a plurality of chambers.
12. Apparatus in accordance with claim I wherein said support means comprises a frame section fixed to said base for rotation and tilting therewith, and an arm pivoted to said frame section for movement in a generally vertical plane, said sieve-like means being swingably mounted on said arm and comprising a verti cally elongated housing mounted adjacent the upper end thereof to said arm, said housing being open at the top and comprising perforated side and bottom walls for dusting particulated material from said housing onto an article to be coated.
13. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said means coacting with said sieve-like means comprises a vibrator mounted on said sieve-like means for shaking said sieve-like means in a manner to cause dusting of particulated material from said sieve-like means upon actuation of said vibrator.
14. An apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said sieve-like means includes means for latching said sieve-like means with respect to said support means in an operative position of said sieve-like means with respect to the article, whereby said sieve-like'means is prevented from inadvertently engaging the interior of the concavity of the article.
15. Apparatus inaccordance with claim 1 wherein said latching means comprises an arm secured to said sieve-like means and projecting generally laterally therefrom, and a latch on said arm adapted for coaction with means on said support means for locking said sieve-like means against swingable movement with respect to said support means in the lowered operative position of said sieve-like means with respect to said base member.