US 3771539 A
A cabinet for cleaning pain spray gun equipment has stations for mounting a container in upside down position and a spray gun in normal operating postion. From a tank under pressure solvent passes through tubing to selected locations in the cabinet where it is directed to the stations. A trip extending through the cabinet wall is attached to the trigger of the spray gun and, when air pressure is turned on to the tank, cleaning solvent is directed on and into the container and the gun, and also injected into the gun passages where paint normally is drawn. A special check valve on the tank makes it possible to build up pressure rapidly in the tank and also to release pressure rapidly on completion of the cleaning operation so that dirty solvent can be passed through a filter back into the tank for reuse.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 91 De Santis PAINT GUN CLEANER  Inventor: Benito De Santis, 2601 W. Olive Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.
22 Filed: May 19, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 254,920
 US. Cl. 134/111, 134/102, 134/170, 220/44 A, 222/394  Int. Cl. B08b' 3/02, B08b 9/00  Field of Search 134/102, 111, 166 R, 134/166 C, 170, 171
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,682,273 611954 Roach ..134/1o2 [111 3,771,539 Nov. 13, 1973 797,983 7/1958 Great Britain 134/102 Primary Examiner-Daniel Blum Attorney-Vernon D. Beehler et al.
 ABSTRACT A cabinet for cleaning pain spray gun equipment has stations for mounting a container in upside down position and a spray gun in normal operating postion. From a tank under pressure solvent passes through tubing to selected locations in the cabinet where it is directed to the stations. A trip extending through the cabinet wall is attached to the trigger of the spray gun and, when air pressure is turned on to the tank, cleaning solvent is directed on and into the container and the gun, and also injected into the gun passages where paint normally is drawn. A special check valve on the tank makes it possible to build up pressure rapidly in the tank and also to release pressure rapidly on completion of the cleaning operation so that dirty solvent can be passed through a filter back into the tank for reuse.
9 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures 2,726,667 12/1955 Wigmore 134/102 2,745,418 5/1956 Balcom et a1 134/102 3,566,892 3/1971 Ferguson et a]. 134/166 R X 3,601,135 8/1971 Marlow et al..; 134/166 R X y FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 589,429 6/1947 Great Britain 134/98 mm ,U
Patented Nov. 13, 1973 Sheets-Sheet J Patented Nov. 13, 1973 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 jar- 3.
Patented Nov. 13, 1973 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 I90 6. 19
PAINT GUN CLEANER In the business of spray painting automobile bodies and comparable spray paint jobs which are customarily performed in a shop, one of the most time-consuming factors is that of cleaning of the spray gun. Should there be but a single color to apply, the cleaning problem is somewhat limited to that needed for cleaning up equipment after the job is done, or, for longer jobs, periodic cleaning so that paint smeared on equipment does not get too dry before there is an opportunity for cleaning up.
A greater problem arises when for a particular spray paint job numerous different colors are to be used. Under such circumstances the spray paint gun and its container, to mention the more important items of equipment, must not only be cleaned after a coat of one color has been applied and before application of another, but must be cleaned with such thoroughness that there will not be any inadvertent mixing of colors.
Although the spray painting operation itself is'relatively rapid when performed by skilled workmen, a tremendous amount of time is required for cleaning the equipment between coats of different colors. The time consumed in cleaning raises the cost of a spray paint job to the point where the cost becomes objectionable even when the cleaning operation is performed by relatively low-cost labor rather than skillful workmen. It is necessary not only to clean the outside portions of the paint gun and its paint receptacle but more especially to clean thoroughly all of the inside portions.
Further still, if cleaning is to be effective, either new clean solvent must continue to be employed or, if solvent isto be reused, some adequate means must be made use of to remove paint residue which accumulates in the solvent so that the solvent will be sufficiently clean for each new cleaning job.
It is therefore among the objects of the invention to provide a new and improved spray paint gun cleaner which is quick and thorough, and sufficiently convenient so that the equipment can be thoroughly cleaned in a matter of minutes thereby permitting the same equipment to continue to be used for the application of numerous different colors on the same paint jobf Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved cleaner for spray paint gun equipment which is compact and convenient in its size and arrangement and of such character that it can be set up in a relatively small space immediately adjacent the location where the spray painting is being done thereby to minimize appreciably the time used for cleaning new and improved spray paint gun cleaner the cleaning of which takes place in a closed compartment under pressure, the same pressure supply being used both for applying cleaning solvent to the equipment and also forcing solvent through the spray gun, the cleaner being of such construction that when dirty solvent accumulates in the bottom of the container, it can be immediately passed out of the container back to an initial reservoir of solvent, while at the same time being capable of filtering out or otherwise removing paint in either solid or liquid form accumulating from the cleaning operation so that the solvent runs relatively clear back into the reservoir which supplies it to the operation.
Still further among the objects of the invention is to provide a new and improved pressure type spray paint gun cleaning device wherein pressure is set up in the equipment only when a cleaning operation is to take place, the pressure tank installed for that purpose being so connected to the system that after being operated at pressure for performing a cleaning operation, it readily assumes a non-pressurized condition so that the solvent, in clean condition, can flow back into the solvent supply ready for reuse.
With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in the construction, arrangement, and combination of the various parts of the device, whereby the objects contemplated are attained, as hereinafter set forth, pointed out in the appended claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the apparatus shown with the cabinet open and ready for reception of the spray paint gun and its paint receptacle.
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view on the line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the holder for the spray paint gun.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of a trigger means for operating the spray paint gun when it is being cleaned.
FIG. 5A is a fragmentary side elevational view of a paint catcher fitting.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view on'the line 6-6 of FIG. 1. 1
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view on the line 77 of FIG. 1 showing the bleed valve in open position.
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view on the line 88 of FIG. 7. p
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view on the line 99 of FIG. 7.
FIG. 10 is a longitudinal sectional view similar to FIG. 7 but showing the bleed valve in closed position. In an embodiment of the invention chosen for the purpose of illustration, there is shown a cabinet indicated generally by the reference character 10 having a front wall 11, a rear wall 12, side walls 13 and 14 and a bottom 15. The cabinet forms a chamber 16 and a cover 17 hinged at 18 and is adapted to close the chamber.
Louvers 19 are shielded by louver shields to provide ventilation for the chamber 16. A window 21 in the cover 17 permits the operation to be viewed from the outside when the cover is closed.
The cabinet 10 is supported by a frame consisting of legs 22, 23, 24 and 25 which carry upper supports 26, 27, 28 and 29 in engagement with the cabinet 10 and lower supports 30, 31, 32 and 33.
Cross beams, 35 and 36, support a tank 37 designed to contain cleaning solvent. Above the tank and below the cabinet is an accumulator 38.
The tank 37 is a closed tank and, in FIG. 6, is shown partially filled with a liquid solvent 39.
The tank can be placed under pressure by being connected to an air pressure line 40 in which is a shutoff valve 41 at the lower front of the front wall 11 of the cabinet 10. From the shutoff valve 41 an air pressure line 42 leads to a fitting 43 at the upper part of tank 37.
From the shutoff valve 41 there is a second air pressure line 44, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, which supplies an air pressure riser 45.
To pass liquid solvent from the tank 37 into the chamber 16 there is provided a lower horizontal liquid line 47 which supplies liquid line risers 48 and 49. The liquid line 48 communicates with a fitting 50 from which extend branches 51, 52 and 53. The liquid line riser 49 communicates with a fitting 54 from which extend branches 55, 56 and 57. A disposable filter plug 58 may be provided in the line 47 further filtering the solvent before reuse. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 there is provided a holder 60 for a substantially conventional spray paint gun 61. A cylindrical support 62 as shown in FIG. 6 serves as a for a paint receptacle 63.
The liquid branch line 51, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, supplies liquid solvent to flexible tubes 66 and 67 open ends 68 and 69 of which are directed to the exterior of the paint gun when it is to be cleaned. The liquid branch line 52 supplies a jet 70 which is adapted to direct cleaning solvent upwardly to the underside of a receptacle connector 71 on the paint gun. The branch line 53 supplies a flexible tube 72 which is directed into a stand pipe 73 which is a conventional part of the paint gun 61.
The branch line 55 supplies a flexible tube 74 an outlet end 75 of which is directed over the top and side of the paint receptacle 63. Similarly, the branch line 56 supplies a flexible tube 76 an outlet end 77 of which also is directed over the receptacle 63.
The branch line 57 supplies a jet 78 which is directed upwardly into the inside of the paint receptacle 63 as shown in FIG. 6.
In order to manipulate the paint gun 61 during the cleaning operation, a trip device, indicated generally by the reference character 80, is made use of. The trip device includes a handle 81 on the outside of the front wall 11 and a trigger engaging arm 82 on the inside. The handle 81 and trigger engaging arm 82 are interconnected and extend through a sliding sealed fitting 83 in the front wall 11. On the trigger engaging arm is a finger 84 which is adapted to engage the trigger 85 of the paint gun 61, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5.
For adjusting the holder 60, use is made of a threaded shank 86 on which are wing nuts 87 and 88, the shank extending through the front wall 11 at a location adjacent the trip device 80. To supply air under pressure from the air pressure line 40 to the paint gun 61, the air pressure riser 45, previously described, is connected to the spray paint gun at the location where the air pressure is customarily attached.
FIG. A shows a tube 95 in which are semicircular cuts 96 to catch dirty solvent accumulating on the handle 82 and allow it to fall into the chamber 16 by gravity thereby to eliminate need for a seal.
From the foregoing description it will be apparent that when the cleaning operation is to be performed, the paint gun 61 is set in the holder 60 where it is snugly retained by a friction pad 89. The finger 84 of the trigger engaging arm is placed in front of the trigger 85.
The air pressure riser 45 is connected to the paint gun in the manner just made reference to and the flexible tube 72 is inserted into the stand pipe 73. At the same time, the paint receptacle 63 is attached by means of its conventional bayonet fitting connection to the upper end of the cylindrical support 62. The cover 17 is then closed and the shutoff vavle 4] opened. Opening the shutoff valve supplies air at about 25 pounds gage pressure to the tank 37 and air at the same pressure also to the air pressure line 44.
As soon as the liquid 39 is placed under pressure, liquid solvent flows out of the open ends of the flexible tubes around the exterior respectively of the paint gun 61 and receptacle 63. Simultaneously the jet 70 sprays solvent to the underside of the receptacle connection 71, and the jet 78 sprays solvent into the interior of the paint receptacle 63. While this is taking place, the handle 81 is manipulated to withdraw the trigger 85 of the gun which then admits air pressure from the air pressure riser 45 into the interior of the gun in the manner normally used in a spray painting operation. This, assisted by pressure in the solvent from the flexible tube 71, sends solvent through the interior of the gun at locations where paint normally would be carried.
The entire operation just described can be accomplished in a matter of minutes or less and is sufficient to entirely clean the paint gun and its paint receptacle both inside and out sufflciently so that it can be used immediately for paint of a different color. Inasmuch as the solvent then becomes dirtied with the paint which has been cleaned, it is filtered before it is returned from the chamber 60 to the tank 37.
To accommodate the filtering operation, an opening 90 is provided in the bottom wall 15 of the cabinet as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6. A conical support 91 of screen material is mounted below the opening. The support of screen material is adapted to contain a disposable filter pad 92 which fits into it. The filter pad can be made of mesh sufficiently fine to trap paint which is carried by the liquid solvent. The liquid solvent thus filtered then passes into an accumulator chamber 93 in the accumulator 38 and from there passes downwardly through a check valve 94 into the tank 37. It is important to provide the tank 37 also with a bleed valve shown in detail in FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 10, the location of the bleed valve being shown in FIG. 1. The bleed valve includes a valve housing 101 providing a valve chamber 102 which is cylindrical in form. The valve housing has a threaded end 103 which is threaded into a boss 104 on the tank 37. A bore 105 through the threaded end 103 communicates between the tank 37 and the valve chamber 102. Bores 106 through a valve element 107 provide means for permitting the escape of air from the top of the tank 37 through an outlet orifice 108 in a plug 109 at the top of the valve housing 101. 5
At the lower end of the outlet orifice 108 is a valve seat 110 against which a conical valve element 111 on the valve element 107 can seat whereby to close the outlet orifice. The point of closure can be adjusted by threadedly shifting the plug 109 up or down as the case may be and locking it in position by means of a lock collar 1 12.
To provide additional means for lifting the valve element 111 to closed position when air under pressure is to be supplied to the tank 37, there is provided a pressure tube 1 15 which extends through the threaded end 103 so that a bore 116 in the pressure tube 115 communicates with the interior of the tank. The pressure tube has a sliding fit in a cylindrical recess 117 in a downwardly directed extension 118 of the valve element 107. As a consequence, air under pressure directed to the upward bottom of the cylindrical recess 117 has a lifting effect on the valve element 107 to drive it to closed position thereby shutting off the outward flow of air.
When air pressure is released from the tank 37, the weight of the valve element 107 will cause it to move downwardly by gravity in order to open the outlet orifice 108 but this downward movement will be gradually resisted by residual air under pressure in the tank 37 exerted on the underside of the valve element 107 in the manner described.
On the tank 37 there is also provided a sight gage 1 19 and a conventional pop off valve 120 thereby to insure the safe operation of the tank 37 in case the pressure should build up to an amount too great to be safe.
On those occasions when it might become desirable to drain the tank 37, use is made of leg extensions 125 which can be extended downwardly to lift the entire frame to a higher elevation so that a suitable container can be placed beneath a drain valve 126 at the bottom of the tank.
While the invention has herein been shown and described in what is conceived to be a practical and effective embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to. the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices.
Having described the invention, what is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent is:
l. A device for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment comprising a cabinet forming a cleaning chamber and a movable closure for the chamber, a closed tank for cleaning solvent and valve controlled means for supplying air under pressure to said tank, a mounting station in the chamber for a trigger actuated air pressure motivated spray paint gun of the type employing a connection for a paint container, a standpipe and an air pressure connection, solvent lines in communication with the tank and extending into the chamber, an outlet of at least one of said lines having a position directed toward the exterior of the gun, a holder in the chamber for the gun and a trip device extending from the exterior of the cabinet to the interior at a location adjacent said holder, said trip device having a handle on the exterior of the cabinet and a trigger engaging means on the interior adapted to actuate the trigger of the gun, an outlet from another of said lines having a location adjacent the holder adapted for attachment to the standpipe of said gun.
2. A device for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according to claim 1 wherein there is a bleed valve device in communication between the tank and the atmosphere, said bleed valve device having a valve element movable upwardly against gravity to closed position.
3. A device for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according to claim 2 wherein there is a cylindrical valve chamber in the valve device, a substantially cylindrical plunger vertically reciprocatable in said chamber and having a valve element thereon, a valve seat above said valve element having an outlet therefrom, and an inlet to" said chamber below said valve seat.
4. Adevice for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according torclaim 3 wherein said inlet is located below said plunger and there is constantly open passage'f means through said plunger of cross-sectional'area less than the cross-sectional area of said chamber.
' 5. A device for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according to claim 1 wherein there is an air pressure line from said valve controlled means to the air pressure connection on said gun.
6. A device for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according to claim 1 wherein there are a plurality of solvent lines having openings adjacent the holder, said lines being directed respectively under and over the location of the paint gun whereby to simultaneously clean all portions thereof.
7. A device forthe cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according to claim 1 wherein there is a retainer for a paint receptacle and a plurality of solvent lines having outlet openings respectively above and below said retainer whereby to direct solvent over all portions of said receptacle.
8. A device for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according to claim 1 wherein there is a solvent return line from the chamber to the tank, a check valve in said return line adapted to close in a direction upstream relative to return flow in said return line, and a removable filter in said return line.
9. A device for the cleaning of spray paint gun equipment according to claim 8 wherein there is an accumulator chamber in said solvent return line, saidcheck valve being located between the accumulator chamber and the tank and said filter being located between the cleaning chamber and the accumulator chamber, said filter comprising an upwardly open substantially pervious pocket member and disposable filter means adapted to be retained on said pocket member.