US 3807931 A
An apparatus for orienting elongated wood strands in the production of particleboard. The apparatus comprises a multiple number of vertical decks, each including stationary vertical fins arranged parallel to one another. The top edge of each fin is covered by a fin cap that is vibrated with both a vertical and horizontal component of movement. Adjacent fin caps in each deck are out of phase and moved oppositely at any given moment. Each deck comprises a multiple number of fins in relation to the deck immediately above it, with correspondingly spaced fin and fin cap assemblies being in vertical alignment. Provision is also made for vertical adjustment of the fin and fin cap assemblies relative to the receiving surface on which the oriented particles are deposited.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Apr. 30, 1974 1 APPARATUS FOR ORIENTING WOOD STRANDS  Inventors: Warren A. Wood, Lake Oswego,
Oreg.; John T. Fechner, Lewiston, Idaho  Assignee: Potlatch Corporation, San
 Filed: Aug. 20, 1971  Appl. No.: 173,550
 US. Cl....- 425/449, 19/65, 19/155,
- a WWJ Q JQM 51 ""iaroititiiiii3141:1111; 1329,-
5 Field of Search 425/30, 83, 100, 103, 449, 425/456; 209/97; 198/33 R, 33 AA;
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 736,781 1943 Germany 583,948 9/1959 Canada 425/83 Primary Examiner-J. Spencer Overholser Assistant ExaminerRonald .1. Shore Attorney, Agent, or Firm-We1ls, St. John & Roberts  ABSTRACT An apparatus for orienting elongated wood strands in the production of particleboard. The apparatus comprises a multiple number of vertical decks, each including stationary vertical fins arranged parallel to one another. The top edge of each fin is covered by a fin cap that is vibrated with both a vertical and horizontal component of movement. Adjacent fin caps in each deck are out of phase and moved oppositely at any given moment. Each deck comprises a multiple number of fins in relation to the deck immediately above it, with correspondingly spaced fin and fin cap assemblies being in vertical alignment. Provision is also made for vertical adjustment of the fin and fin cap assemblies relative to the receiving surface on which the oriented particles are deposited.
11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAIENTEnArnso m4 38WL931 v SHEET 1 BF 3 PATENTED APR 3 0 I974 SHEET 2 OF 3 FIG 2 FIG 3 Mmrsnmso an 3.87331 SHEET 3 OF 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention disclosed'herein relates to an apparatus for orienting wood strands or particles during the production of a mat for ultimate pressing and curing of particleboard. It utilizes multiple decks of vibratory fins or plates, with movement imparted to the upper surface of each fin assembly by means of independent fin caps. As the strands or wood particles fall through the two or more decks of such fin assemblies, they are progressively oriented between the vertical fins so as to be in substantial alignment parallel to the length 'of the fins.
Various devices have been previously proposed for orienting wood particles. One such device is shown in U. S. Pat.'No. 2,854,372 to Yan. Random particles are flattened in a vertical stream and then turned to the horizontal to orient the particles parallel to the board surfaces. The prior patents to Hughes, U. S. Pat. No.
3,040,801; Stokes, U. S. Pat. No. 3,115,431 and El-' mendorf, U. S. Pat; Nos. 3,202,743 and 3,478,861 each show restricted parallel passages through which particles are passed to cause the particles to be oriented in parallel paths. However, each shows orientation during passage through a single set of such passages, and in actual practice effective orientationon a commercial scale is difficult to achieve due to the practical quantity limitations of such devices.
Also relevant to the background of the disclosure is the U. S. Pat. to Orth, No. 2,186,652, which relates to the use of vibratory force for alignmentof particles in adjacent troughs, and the U. S. Pat. to Schultz, No. 2,671,550, which relates to orientation of other products by reciprocating parallel plate devices. A further disclosure relating to this general subject matter is German Pat. No. 736,781, patented in 1943.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION blies relative to the deck immediately above it. Each also ,includes correspondingly-spaced fin assemblies that are vertically aligned with the fin assemblies of the deck immediately above it. The upper and lower edges of the fin assemblies in each deck arecoplanar. Vibratory devices are utilized for imparting reciprocating motion to ,theu'pper edges of the fin assemblies, the diand horizontal components. As elongated wood particlespass 'throughthe decks," they are forced between the fin assemblies and then are maintained substantially parallel to one another by passage through the restricted areas'between the closely-spaced fins. Necessary turningof individual particlesis accomplished by the constant vibratory movement imparted to the upper surfaces of the fin assemblies.
It is a first objectof this invention to provide avibratory orienting device for elongated wood flakes or the like, having considerably greater, capacity over a given working area than has been available with prior single level devices.
Another object of this invention'is to provide an orienting apparatus that is relatively simple in construcrection of vibratory movementincluding both vertical tion and which can be easily modified or repaired as necessary.
Another object of this invention is to provide a multilevel orienting device with ready adjustment of the device in an elevational direction to accommodate the formation of mats of differing thickness.
Another object of the invention is to permit closer spacing of orienting fin assemblies than is possible with prior single level units, thereby increasing the degree of orientation in the resulting particle mat.
These and further objects will beevident from the following disclosure, taken also with the accomanying drawings, which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention. It is to be understood that the disclosed embodiment is presented only by way of illustration,
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top view of the apparatus;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken'through the apparatus along line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 44 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view through a fin cap and a portion of a supporting fin, as seen along line 55 in FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a side view of the apparatus as seen from the left in FIG. 1.
v DESCRIPTION'OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The apparatus disclosed in the drawings relates to an assembly for orienting wood strands, or other elongated particles of wood or the like, having one longitudinal direction substantially greater in dimension than the transverse dimension or thickness of the article. It is specifically designed to handle elongated wood flakes, strands or other particles that are desirably oriented parallel to one another to add directional strength to a resulting particleboard structure.
Orientation of the elongated strands is accomplished, according to this disclosure, by randomly depositing the strands on the upper edges of'a number of parallel fin assemblies 10 having vibratory upper edges. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the present structure includes an upper deck 11 and a lower deck 12, each comprising a series of equally spaced fin assemblies 10. the decks 11 and 12 have a differing number of fin assemblies 10. The lower deck 12 includes a number of fin assemblies 10 which is a multiple of the number provided in the deck 11 immediately above it. Thus, both decks l1 and 12 include fin assemblies 10 which are vertically aligned with one another, and the lower deck includes additional fin assemblies 10 to further refine and orient strands which have fallen between the fin assemblies 10 of the upper-deck 11.
The apparatus is designed to deposit oriented strands on a conveyor or the receiving surface of a caul shown generally at 13. The supporting framework for the apparatus includes a fixed frame including posts 14 at the respective sides of caul 13. A movable frame 15 is supported by posts 14 and straddles caul 13 at a location elevationally above the receiving conveyor surface.
Frame is constructed in the form of a rectangular box that is open at both the top and bottom. It includes side channels 16, which are connected by transverse mounting plates 17. The mounting plates 17 are at the respective ends of channels 16, and each mounting plate 17 includes both a horizontal flange and a vertical flange.
The frame 15 is elevationally supported between posts 14 by a hydraulic cylinder assembly 18 pivoted to a corss member 20 at 21. The upper end of cylinder assembly 18 is pivotally connected at 22 to the upper end of a bracket 23 that is joined integrally to frame 15. Frame 15 is further supported by a pair of side chains 24 anchored at their respective ends to posts 14 as shown at 25 and 26 (FIG. 6). Chains 24 are wrapped about a lower sprocket 27 at the one end of frame 15 and an upper sprocket 28 at its remaining end. These sprockets 27, 28 are rotatably carried by brackets fixed to the respective channels 16 at each side of the apparatus. Because the ends of the chains are anchored, and slippage between the chains 24 and the sprockets 27, 28 is not permitted, the chains 24 will maintain frame 15 in a horizontal position independent of the elevation of frame 15 as set by cylinder assembly 18. This horizontal position is further secured by ring brackets 19 rigidly fixed to side channels 16 for vertically slidable movement along corresponding posts 29 of the fixed framework. One can therefore vertically lift or lower the entire frame 15 and the components supported within it, without varying the attitude of frame 15. In addition, chains 24 provide a flexible support that does not transmit substantial vibratory forces from frame 15 to posts 14, 29 and adjacent equipment.
Orientation is accomplished by the previouslydescribed fin assemblies 10. As illustrated, upper deck 11 includes a plurality of fin assemblies 10 spaced from one another by a distance preferably about one-half the normal length of the strands which are to be oriented. Thus, any strand falling between fin assemblies 10 in the upper deck 11 will contact one or two fin assemblies unless its orientation is initially substantially parallel to the plate assemblies.
To facilitate turning of non-oriented strands as they come into contact with the fin assemblies 10, each assembly includes a thin vertical fin 30 and an independent fin cap 31, whose cross-sectional configuration is best seen in FIG. 5. The fin cap 31 rests freely on the upper edge of the supporting fin 30 and overlaps the side surfaces thereof. Its upper end projects vertically as an extension of the vertical fin 30.
To make maximum use of the movable fin caps 31, they are vibrated by a reciprocating vibrator unit 32 that operates through a spring-supported pad 33 connected to a plurality of the fin caps 31. The vibrator units 32 are fixed to the horizontal flange of the mounting brackets 17 in frame 15. The fixed fins 30 are anchored at their respective ends to the vertical flanges of brackets 17 through intermediate transverse rods 34. As can be seen in FIG. 1, adjacent fin assemblies 10 have their respective fin caps 31 connected, through cap mounting assemblies 38, to vibrator units 32 at opposite ends of frame 15. Each vibrator pad 33 rigidly supports a fin cap mounting assembly 38, the details of which are shown in FIG. 3. Each assembly 38 includes a pair of vertically opposed mounting plates 39, 40. Upper plate 39 includes spaced slots for accepting the upper end portions of fin caps 31. The lower plate 40 has similarly spaced upwardly extending ribs for communication with the lower end parts of caps 31. Bolts 41 threadably connect plates 39, 40 to rigidly secure fin caps'31.
The vibrator units 32 at the respective ends of frame 15 operate out of phase with one another in such fashion that the vibratory motion imparted to adjacent fin caps 31 at any moment will be opposite to one another.
As can be seen in FIG. 4, the preferred movement imparted to fin caps 31 includes both a vertical and horizontal component along the direction indicated by arrow 35. The lowermost position of fin cap 31 is shown in full lines in FIG. 3 and the uppermost position is shown is dashed lines. Thus, each cap 31 is moved both longitudinally and vertically to rotate and lift strands that come into contact with the surfaces of the fin caps. In addition, adjacent fin caps 31 are moving oppositely to one another, to impart a positive couple to each' strand, and prevent any strand from merely resting across two fin caps and not moving relative to them.
Lower deck 12 is spaced vertically below upper deck 11 (FIG. 2) a distance greater than the average length of the strands to prevent them from binding between decks thereby clogging deck 11. The lower deck 12 is constructed essentially the same as upper deck 11, although the lower deck 12 includes twice the number of fin assemblies 10. The plate assemblies 10 include fins 36 and movable independent fin caps 37. Fins 36 are substantially identical to fins 30, although they are illustrated as having greater vertical height so as to provide a downward reach into caul 13 thereby allowing varying clearances between the upper surface of caul 13 and the lower edges of fins 36. The fin caps 37 are identical to fin caps 31 and are powered by vibrator units 32 as previously discussed.
One of the principal problems with prior orienting devices of this general type has been their inability to accommodate large volumes of strands without piling the strands periodically on the top of the orienting grid. This has been solved by the present apparatus by multiplying the number of decksand progressively orienting the strands or particles as they fall through the decks. While we have illustrated two decks, obviously three, four or more decks can be used as dictated by the requirements of a particular installation. The addition of a second deck permits the ultimate spacing of the fin assemblies 10 to be much closer than would be practical in a single deck unit, since the lowermost deck is not required to orient all of the particles. A substantial number of particles will be oriented properly by passage through the wider spaces presented by the fin assemblies in the upper deck 11. These will not have any tendency to clog the top surfaces of the fin assemblies 10 in the lower deck 12, but will fall freely through the spaces separating plates 36 without further orientation. Only those strands not oriented by upper deck 11 will be engaged by the fin caps 37, which will turn them and permit these strands to fall between plates 36. To prevent duplication of effort in aligning the strands, it is important that the correspondingly-spaced plate assemblies 10 in the succeeding lower decks be vertically aligned with the plates in the decks above them. Thus, in an arrangement such as shown in FIG. 2, alternate fin assemblies in the lower deck 12 are vertically aligned with the fin assemblies 10 in upper deck 11. The intermediate fin assembly 10 in lower deck 12 are spaced equally between the fin assemblies of the upper deck 1 1.
Various modifications might be made with respect to the details of the illustrated assembly without deviating from the basic concepts disclosed herein. For these reasons, only the following claims are intended to restrict or to limit the scope of this disclosure.
We claim 1. An apparatus for orienting wood strands or the like in parallel directions during deposition of the strands to form a mat, comprising:
a supporting framework;
' a plurality of vertical fin assemblies spaced parallel to one another by a distance less than the length of the wood strands, said fin assemblies grouped vertically in at least two decks, with each deck having a multiple number of fin assemblies spaced thereon relative to the deck immediately above it and including fin assemblies vertically aligned with the fin assemblies of the deckimmediately above it, the
upper edges of the fin assemblies in each deck being coplanar and horizontal; power means on said framework operatively connected to the fin assemblies for imparting vibratory motion to the upper edges of the fin assemblies;
and receiving means immediately below the lowermost deck of said fin assemblies for receiving wood strands after passage thereof between said fin assemblies.
Z. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein each fin assembly includes an upright-elongated fin'cap slidably mounted'to the upper edge of a fin fixed to the framework, said power means being connected to said fin caps.
3. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein each fin assembly-includes an upright elongated fin cap slidably mounted to the upper edge of a fin fixed to the framework, said power means being connected to said fi'n caps, the vibratory motion imparted to the fin caps having both vertical and horizontal components.
4. An apparatus asset out in claim 1 wherein each fin assembly includes an upright elongated fin cap slidably mounted to the upper edge of a fin fixed to the framework, said power means being connected to said fin caps, the vibratory motion imparted to the fin caps having both vertical and horizontal components;
the vibratory motion imparted to the fin caps of adjacent fin assemblies across each deck being out of phase such that the momentary vertical and horizontal directions of movement thereof are opposed to one another.
5. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein the fin assemblies are mounted to a rigid frame movably suspended above said receiving means and forming part of said framework;
said power means being mounted to said frame.
6. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein the fin assemblies are mounted to. a rigid frame movably suspended above said receiving means and forming part of said framework;
said power means being mounted to said frame, and operatively connected to upright elongated fin caps respectively covering the upper edges of vertical fins fixed to the rigid frame.
7. An apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein the fin assemblies are mounted to a rigid frame movably suspended above said receiving means and forming part of said framework;
said power means being mounted to said frame;
said frame being suspended for vertical motion relative to said receiving means while maintaining a constant orientation relative thereto;
and lifting means in said framework operatively connected to said frame for adjusting the elevation of the frame relative to said receiving means.
8. The apparatus as set out in claim 1 wherein each deck has twice the number of fin assemblies as the deck immediately above it, with alternate fin assemblies vertically aligned under the fin assemblies of the deck immediately above it.
9. An apparatus for orienting wood strands or the like in parallel directions during deposition of the strands to form a mat, comprising:
strand receiving means for supporting strands deposited thereon during formation of a mat;
a fixed framework straddling said strand receiving means;
a frame moveably mounted to said framework at a location elevationally above the strand receiving means;
a plurality of vertical fins mounted to the frame and spaced parallel to one another by a distance less than the length of the wood strands, each fin having an upper edge and a lower edge, the fins being arranged in a plurality of decks vertically stacked one above the other in adjacent locations, each deck containing a multiple of the fins in the deck immediately above it, with correspondingly-spaced fins of each deck being in vertical alignment.
10. An apparatus as set out in claim 9 further comprising:
an individual fin cap mounted along the upper edge of each fin and overlapping the side surfaces thereof, said fin caps extending along the full length of the fins and extending upwardly therefrom as a vertical extension of the fins;
and power means mounted to the frame and connected to the fin caps for imparting to each fin cap a reciprocating vibratory motion having both vertical and horizontal components.
11. An apparatus as set out in claim 10 wherein adjacent fin caps across each deck are vibrated by separate power means located at opposite ends of the frame, the motion imparted to the adjacent fin caps being out of phase and opposite to one another.