US 3801419 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Meek [ CORRUGATED SHEET MEMBER WITH A REINFORCING EDGE EXTENDING LENGTHWISE OF THE CORRUGATIONS  Inventor: George W. Meek, Fort Myers, Fla.
 Assignee: Aktiebolaget Carl Munters,
Sollentuna, Sweden  Filed: July 20, 1971  Appl. No.: 164,321
 US. Cl 161/44, 161/48, 161/68, 161/99, 161/133, 161/135, 261/112  Int. Cl. B32b 3/02, B32b 3/12, B32b 3/06, B32b 3/28, B32b 3/04, B01d 47/00  Field of Search 161/44, 68, 69, 99, 157, 161/133, 136, 48; 261/112, 29
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,786,004 3/1957 Schwartz et a1. 161/99 X 2,777,786 l/1957 Schwartz et al. 161/99 X 3,563,843 2/1971 wagers et a1 161/99 X 3,526,393 9/1970 Meek 261/112 X 3,260,511 7/1966 Greer 161/68 X 2,719,807 10/1955 Steele 161/68 1,942,989 1/1934 Thomson 161/68 3,627,623 12/1971 Downs 161/99 X 2,772,757 12/1956 Hammond 161/68 X Primary Examiner-Philip Dier Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Eric Y. Munson; Robert W. Fiddler Apr. 2, 1974  ABSTRACT A contact body element for use in forming fill or decking for a gas and liquid contact apparatus, such as a cooling tower; a method for use of the contact body element in such an apparatus, and an improved fastening member for maintaining the contact body elements in desired assembled operative orientation in the apparatus. The novel fill comprises a thin sheet of fibrous or plastic material. The sheet may be corrugated and the corrugations may run askew to a longitudinal axis of the sheet. A reinforcing ply is secured to the sheet, said ply formed by folding a portion of the sheet over on itself and/or by securing a separate strip to the sheet. The reinforcing ply is positioned along the sheet edge. In use, according to the novel method, these corrugated reinforced sheets have sufficient strength and rigidity, so that they may be shipped in a nested stacked package to a point of desired use, where they are assembled in a cooling tower by arranging the fill sheets to run with the corrugations spacing the sheets to provide for a plurality of spaced fluid flow channels. Fastening means may be provided for maintaining the assembled fill in desired operative orientation. The fasteners comprise an elongate skewer like member formed of sheet metal with a separable point at one end and tail pieces at the other end subject to being bent out of the plane of the skewer, after the skewer is inserted through the assembled fill sheets.
9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAFR 2 IBM HG. i.
, FIG. 3'. FIG. 4.
INVENTOR GEORGE MEEK M a! M ATTORNEYS.
CORRUGATED SHEET MEMBER WITH A REINFORCING EDGE EXTENDING LENGTHWISE OF THE CORRUGATIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the art of contact body elements for gas and liquid contact apparatus, and more particularly to an improved contact body element for use in forming fill for cooling towers, implementing the arrangement of the fill or decking in the cooling tower, reducing costs of the installed fill, increasing life expectancy of the fill; and facilitating the handling and installation of the fill.
In providing a heat exchange surface for a cooling tower or the like, a variety of different types of contact bodies have been evolved for use in forming cooling tower fills. Among the primary factors to be considered in providing fill for a cooling tower is that the fill provides a relatively large surface area per unit volume, with a high heat transfer rate per unit area of the fill. Additionally, fill employed should be compact, relatively light in weight, and not subject to deterioration by the elements, by the action of the water or other liqvuid applied to the fill; or by the action of accumulations of bacteria or fungi.
To this end, corrugated sheets of fibrous materials such as asbestos, or plastic materials have been employed, with the corrugations formed askew to the longitudinal axis of the fill, so that in the assembled contact body forming the fill or decking, desired air and liquid flow passages through the tower will be provided thus producing a maximum capacity per unit volume of fill, while at the same time attaining a minimum pressure drop in relation to capacity.
A variety of sheet materials have been employed in forming the corrugated sheets comprising the fill. Thus plastic materials such as sheet polyethylene, polystyrene, polyamine, polyvinylchloride, polycarbonate ranging in thickness between 0.005 inches and 0.025
' inches have been employed. Fire resistant fill, as disclosed in applicants prior U.S. Pat. No. 3,470,280 has been evolved employing resin impregnated asbestos, the resins employed being either phenol, melamine, or the like. I
In order to reduce costs, and minimize the weight of the resulting cooling tower structure or the air or gas scrubber which often must be supported on the roofs of buildings, it is desirable to make the fill as light as possible, and where corrugated sheets are employed this is accomplished by reducing the thickness of the sheet material employed in forming the corrugated sheets.
With the reduction in thickness,.there is a resulting loss in strength, and the sheets comprising the fill, particularly at their edges, are often subject to damage, either during handling, or as a result of the initial impact of the water or other liquid flowing through the cooling tower or scrubber on the edges of the fill or due to damage from the structure supporting the fill at its lower end.
In use, these previously evolved corrugated cooling tower fill or scrubber sheets present a shipping problem in that the relatively light weight, and flexible sheets must be assembled into the desired fill package at the fabricating plant, since the handling of unassembled sheets at the point of installation at the tower, generally damages the conventional relatively fragile sheets. As a result, the assembled fill occupies rather large volumes, increasing shipping costs, and presenting handling problems.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION It is with the above considerations in mind, that the present improved contact body element particularly adapted for use in forming cooling tower fill and scrubber media has been evolved, which is of sufficient strength to resist any damage to the fill during installation and operation and facilitates the handling of individual sheets without damage thereto when the contact body elements are shipped in a nested fashion, for ready assembly into a desired cooling tower fill or decking arrangement at the point of installation. An improved method of assembly, along with a novel fill fastening member has also been evolved.
It is accordingly among the primary objects of this invention to provide an improved contact body element, or heat exchanger element suitable for use in forming the fill or decking of cooling towers or the like.
It is an additional object of the invention to provide a contact body element having a life expectancy better than that of presently available cooling tower fill.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a contact body element subject to ready and economical shipment as an individual element without being damaged, and adopted for installation and assembly into a cooling tower fill package or decking at the cooling tower site.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved contact body element subject to fabrication of conventional sheet materials such as generally employed in producing such contact body elements.
A further object is to provide an improved method of forming a contact body element.
An additional object of the invention is to provide an improved method for shipping and installing a contact body element into an assembled fill package for cooling towers, or the like.
It is also an object of the invention to provide an improved fastening member for use in joining contact body elements into an assembled contact body for use as the fill or decking of cooling towers or'the like.
A further important object of the invention is to provide a contact body element for use in forming cooling tower fill, or decking in which the contact body element is particularly adapted for arrangement into an assembled fill package provided with desired drainage tips implementing the flow of air and water through the fill of the cooling tower.
These and other objects of the invention which will become hereafter apparent are achieved by forming a contact body element of a sheet member having a plurality of spaced corrugations extending thereacross. These corrugated sheets, when made in accordance with the teachings of the invention, may satisfactorily be made in a size of 3 feet by 6 feet or 4 feet by 8 feet. One or more strips of sheet material, of the same, or a different material than that of the corrugated sheet are secured in overlapping relationship to the surface of said corrugated sheet to form a reinforcing ply. According to the invention, these reinforcing plies are preferably secured along the edges of the corrugated sheet, extending at an angle to the direction of the corrugations. The ply reinforced edges of the corrugated sheets are then ,cut at an angle to the plane of the sheet so as to form desired drainage tips on the contact body element. Additional reinforcing plies may be formed at the center of the sheet as desired. According to the invention, it is preferred to form the sheet by forming folds in the sheet at the desired location of the reinforcing plies, with said folds deforming the sheet to provide the desired number of plies of material at the desired points of reinforcement. Thereafter the folded sheet is corrugated, and cut to desiredsize. In use, the formed sheets may be shipped in nested condition, thus occupying no greater volume than is required by the material of which the sheets are formed. At the site of installation, the sheets are assembled to provide the fill or decking package of a cooling tower or the like. One sheet at a time may be positioned in the cooling tower or scrubber, with the corrugations spacing the sheet to provide desired flow channels through the tower. These sheets may be held in desired position in the tower by utilizing a fastening member comprising a skewer-like body formed by an elongate strip of sheet metal bent about a longitudinal axis thereof to provide desired rigidity. One end of the skewer is pointed and split, with the pointed end inserted through the contact body elements, and the split end splayed to form retaining ears, while the other end is similarly split and splayed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The specific details of the invention, and their mode of functioning will be particularly pointed out in clear, concise, and exact terms in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
. FIG. 1 is a perspective partial view of a contact body element made in accordance with the teachings of this invention, showing the element formed with edge reinforcing plies;
FIG. 2 is a perspective partial view of a contact body element showing edge reinforcing plies, and the drainage tips;
FIGS. 3, a, b, and c, are cross-sectional schematic views through an edge of a sheet showing some suggested folding arrangements for the reinforcing plies;
FIGS. 4, a, and b, are cross-sectional schematic views showing the use of additional reinforcing plies, formed of separate sheet material strips;
FIG. 5 is a perspective detail view showing a fill package or contact body looking at the top (or bottom) edge of the body made in accordance with the teachings of this invention;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view on line 6-6 of FIG. 5 showing the staggered arrangement of the contact body elements in a fill package to permit contact between the peaks of the corrugations of adjacent fill elements, simultaneously exposing the drainage tips and increasing the air entry openings; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a fastening member employed for forming the fill package shown in FIG. 5.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Referring now more particularly to the drawings, like numerals in the various figures will be employed to designate like parts.
As best seen in FIG 1, the contact body element 10 is formed of sheet material having a plurality of spaced corrugations 12 extending across the sheet at an angle to the axis of the sheet. The sheet material employed may be sheet plastics such as polyethylene, polystyrene, polyamine, polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate, ranging in thickness between 0.005 inch and 0.025 inch, or may be made of an asbestos or other fibrous sheeting, impregnated with resins such as phenol, melamine, or the like. The edges of the corrugated sheet are formed with edge reinforcing plies 14, which comprise strips of sheet material secured to the surface of the sheet forming the contact body element.
In producing the contact body element 10 of FIGS. 1 or 2, it is preferred to fold the edges of the sheet over on themselves to form reinforcing plies 14. Thereafter the corrugations 12 are formed in the sheet to extend across the sheet at a non-perpendicular angle to the edges of the sheet. The edges of the sheet may be cut in a plane askew to the plane of the sheet to form downwardly extending drainage tips 16, as best seen in FIG. 2. The angle of cutting of the sheet at its edges to form the drainage tips 16 is preferably such as not to intercept the plane of the sheet beyond the boundary line of the edge strip 14, so that the entire drainage tip 16 will be of at least a double thickness as compared to the thickness of the sheet.
In FIG. 3 some suggested fold forms are shown schematically illustrating how the sheet material is deformed to form the desired edge ply 16 (as seen in FIG. 3 a). Multiple reinforcing ply thickness can be obtained by folding in the configurations illustrated in FIGS. 3 b and 3 0.
FIGS. 4 a and b show some suggested arrangements for reinforcing ply utilizing an auxiliary strip of sheet material, which may be of the same material as the sheet forming the contact element 10, or may be of another type of sheet material.
It is of course understood that the fold configurations illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 are to be viewed as indicating the sheet condition prior to final formation, at which time overlapping plies will touch each other.
The contact body elements 10 formed with the reinforcing plies 14 are assembled into a contact body or fill package 20. Contact body elements may be held in the assembled fill package orientation, by the use of adhesives between individual contact elements, or by virtue of the geometry of the tower in which the elements are positioned, or preferably by the use of fastening members 25, as illustrated in FIG. 7.
These fastening members 25 are formed as skewers or push pins preferably of a relatively rigid moisture impervious material, such as vinyl sheet plastics, nonrusting metals, or the like. Galvanized iron, or zinc plated sheet steel, or stainless steel is found particularly suitable. Elongate strips of the selected sheet material are bent about a longitudinal axis, a right angle being here illustrated, but it being apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of different angulations between the strips on either side of the bending axis may be employed. Thus fastening member 25 is formed by bending strip segments 26 and 27 at an angle to each other about a longitudinal axis of the strip to form an elongate skewer or push pin having point 28 at one end thereof and relatively flat end at the opposite end of the skewer. Pins have been formed in practical length from 10 inches to 20 inches of 0.025 inch galvanized iron; 0.010 stainless steel; and 1/16 inch and l/32 inch plastic. Serrating the edges has also been sometimes found desirable. The skewer shaped push pin fastening mem ber 25 is split at pointed end 28 and flat end 29 along the longitudinal fold line so as to permit-the pointed end and the flat end to be splayed to the dotted line position illustrated in FIG. 7.
OPERATION In practicing the invention, the contact body elements are fabricated from sheet material, of the type above set forth. Sheets are formed with edge folds and desired corrugations are formed in the sheet. An edge of the corrugated sheet may be cut at an angle to the plane of the sheet to form the contact tips 16 as above described.
The individual contact body sheets are of sufficient durability so that they may be handled individually without damage, even though they may be larger than conventionally employed fill sheets, and there is no need to preassemble the sheets into a fill package to provide desired structural strength.
As a result, shipping of the sheets to the point of installation in a cooling tower or the like is accomplished by stacking the sheets in a nested orientation so as to occupy a volume substantially equal to the volume of the material in the sheets, permitting the formation of a relatively compact palletizable load.
At the site of installation, the corrugated contact body elements 10 are positioned in the cooling tower, which will have a decking section accommodating fill of the size of the sheet which in the above described situation may be of a 3 feet by 6 feet size. Each of the contact body elements are positioned in the decking portion of the cooling tower with one of the reinforced edges of a sheet at an elevation above the other edge. Conventional installations will have the contact body elements in a substantially vertical plane. However, it will be appreciated that any sort of angular orientation of the fill sheets may be employed. Adjacent sheets are superimposed one over the other, with the corrugations of one sheet preferably crossing the corrugations of the other as in Bredberg US. Pat. No. 3,262,682. However, any suitable orientation of the corrugation is possible. It is preferred that the crossed orientation be employed. Alternate sheets may be staggered, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 so that every other sheet extends the same distance above and below the assembled till package. In this way drainage may be obtained by the downwardly projecting edges 19. Cutting off the edges at an angle to the plane of the sheets, as shown in FIG. 2 to provide a taper contour in longitudinal cross-section through the corrugation at the sheet edge which, may be used in addition to improve the drainage under high water load in counterflow operation. It is an advantage to have the opposite edge of each sheet formed in the same way, so that only one style of sheet need be produced for a given depth of fill, to achieve the desired drainage. At the same time this arrangement serves to provide a better air-water interface situation at the top because of the widened entry opening.
The assembled contact body elements 10 after positioning in the tower, may be held in desired orientation by pushing fastening member through the sheets, and splaying entry tip 28 and tail end 29 to the dotted line orientation illustrated in FIG. 7, so as to hold the sheets in position. As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, fastening members 25 are provided of a length such as to pass through a number of the contact body elements, and retain them in desired contacting orientation when the end of the fastening member is splayed. Fastening member lengths of between 10 inches and 20 inches have proven satisfactory.
When the contact body elements of the invention are employed in a packaged tower or scrubber (one assembled for delivery to a remote installation site), the tower casing itself provides the lay-up fixture, thus eliminating the requirement for separate fixtures, and eliminating the requirements for adhesive, handling, storage and transport of the assembled pack. Where a packaged tower is being assembled, it is preferred that the tower casing be tilted to about l520 to the horizontal to facilitate maintenance of the contact body elements in desired orientation as they are being positioned.
In large field errected towers, in hyperbolic towers, and in large scrubbers, it is of course not possible to tilt the tower to facilitate placement of the sheets, and the fastening members 25 are employed during installation. After each group of sheets is positioned, the fastening members of a length equal to the thickness of the positioned sheets is inserted.
It is thus seen that an improved contact body element has been provided permitting the use of relatively large sheets in forming cooling tower fill, the sheets subject to nested palletized shipment, and requiring only a single sheet size to provide desired drainage tips and wide air entry openings in the assembled fill. Shipping costs as well as assembly and maintenance costs are reduced by eliminating the need for pre-assembly of the fill.
It is evident that the reinforcing effect of the plies can be used with a fill arranged for cross flow (such as in Bredberg US. Pat. No. 3,262,682) or counterflow (such as in Norback, et al. US. Pat. No. 3,395,903, FIG. 1) operation. In cross flow operation the edge reinforcement may be important on that face of the fill, where the air enters and which is often exposed to the action of foreign matters, such as hail.
What is claimed is:
l. A contact body element for use in forming the fill of a gas and liquid contact apparatus to produce interaction between a gas and liquid flowing through the apparatus, said contact body element comprising: a corrugated sheet member having a plurality of linearly extending corrugations running across said sheet askew to a longitudinal axis of said sheet; and a longitudinally extending edge of said sheet member folded over on a longitudinally extending edge of said corrugated sheet member to provide a strip of sheet material secured in overlapping relationship to the surface of said corrugated sheet member to form a reinforcing ply.
2. A contact body element as in claim 1 in which said sheet member has a plurality of spaced corrugations extending thereacross, said reinforcing ply extending along an edge of said sheet member in a direction across the direction of said corrugations.
3. A contact body element as in claim 2 in which said contact body element is formed with a taper contour in longitudinal cross-section through the corrugation at the sheet edge and reinforcing ply.
4. A contact body comprising a plurality of contact body elements as in claim 1 secured to each other by means spacing said elements to form flow channels between said elements.
5. A contact body as in claim 4, in which said elements are at least in part corrugated to form flow channels between said elements.
a longitudinal axis of said strip; and split along said longitudinal axis at said point to form ears at said point.
8. A contact body element as in claim 1 in which said edge of said sheet member is folded more than once to provide a multiple layer reinforcing ply.
9. A contact body element as in claim 1 in which an auxiliary strip of sheet metal is sandwiched between said folded over edge and said sheet member.