US 3904431 A
An arrangement for cleaning paint spray-guns by use of a small tank or vat with a confining hood at its top which is divided into a plurality of laterally disposed compartments by means of vertical partitions which extend downwardly from the top of the tank into a body of liquid chemical solvent or thinner, which floats above a body of water at the bottom of the tank. The partitions extend through the body of solvent and partially into the mass of water. A horizontal cover or shelf at the top of the tank separates the main portions of the hood compartments therefrom, leaving a communicating passage between each tank and hood compartment at the rear end of the latter. An opening in the shelf at the front thereof in each compartment permits an operator to insert the suction tube of the spray-gun into successive compartments for scavenging the spray-gun with successively cleaner masses of solvent as the gun is directed towards the rear of the hood, without discharging the paint impurities and thinner into the atmosphere. The impurities drop to the bottom of the tank into the body of water, for periodic removal, with or without the cleaning solvent.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Dinerman Sept. 9, 1975 1 SPRAY-GUN CLEANERS  Inventor: David Dinerman, 304 Brandywine 1 1 CT Savannah 31405 An arrangement for cleaning paint spray-guns by use  Fil d; A 3, 1974 of a small tank or vat with a confining hood at its top  U.S. C1. 134/88; 134/102; 134/109; 134/171, 134/182; 134/201  Int. CL' B08B 3/00; B0813 9/00  Field of Search 134/84, 88, 92, 102, 94, 134/104,109,171,172,182, 134/183, 201; 401/137  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,979,241 ll/1934 Albancsc ct a1. 134/201 UX 2,245,892 6/1941 Anschicks et 134/201 2,569,125 9/1951 Costantino 134/109 X 2,726,667 12/1955 Wigmorc 134/102 2,745,418 5/1956 Balcom ct a1. 134/102 2,948,285 8/1960 Poe ct a1 134/102 3,691,577 9/1972 Bliss 134/172 X 3,771,539 11/1973 De Santis 134/102 X Primary Examiner-Robert L. Bleutge I Attorney, Agenl, 0r Firm-Samuel Lebowitz which is divided into a plurality of laterally disposed compartments by means of vertical partitions which extend downwardly from the top of the tank into a body of liquid chemical solvent or thinner, which floats above a body of water at the bottom of the tank. The partitions extend through the body of solvent and partially into the mass of water. A horizontal cover or shelf at the top of the tank separates the main portions of the hood compartments therefrom, leaving a communicating passage between each tank and hood compartment at the rear end of the latter. An opening in the shelf at the front thereof in each compartment permits an operator to insert the suction tube of the spray-gun into successive compartments for scavenging the spray-gun with successively cleaner masses of solvent as the gun is directed towards the rear of the hood, without discharging the paint impurities and thinner into the atmosphere. The impurities drop to the bottom of the tank into the body of water, for periodic removal, with or without the cleaning solvent.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures This invention relates to an arrangement for Cleaning paint'spray-guns which' is simple in constructionand in operation.
It is the object of the present invention to provide a rugged shop tool of low cost "for operation wherever paint spray-guns are used, for example, in automobile repair and paint shops, so that the'spray-guns may be cleaned quickly and effectively to permit their continuous use for spraying paints of different colors without objectionable mixing or variation of the latter.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a compact paint spray-gun cleanerinstallationwhich occupies a minimum amount of space i n a shop, and which permits the sprayguns to be cleaned ,without harmful effects to the operators, and with the most efficient and economical utilization of the cleaning solvents. l I v i It is a further object of the invention'to provide a paint spray-gun cleaning-apparatus which minimizes fire and environmental hazards. I
Other objects and purposes will appear from the detailed description of the invention following hereinafter, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the spray-gun cleaner in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of FIG. 1 with part of the front wall broken away to illustrate the interior thereof;
FIG. 3 is a top view of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a left end view of FIG. 3 with a spray-gun in position for cleaning in accordance with the invention.
The drawings illustrate a spray-gun cleaner installation which consists essentially of a tank or vat V with a superposed hood H.
The unit is preferably formed of sheet metal, having a bottom 1, back and front walls 2 and 3, respectively, and end walls 4. The top 12 of the hood merges with the back wall 2 by way of a curved portion 13. A cover or shelf 5 extends transversely from the upper edge of the front wall 3 and extends to a rear edge 7 which is displaced from the back wall 2, by the open passage 8. Vertical partitions l and 11 extend from the top wall 12 downwardly through the hood and into the tank for most of its depth, which serves to subdivide both the hood and the tank into three compartments C, C and C. The cleaner unit may be subdivided into a lesser or greater number of compartments.
Circular openings 6 are provided in the cover in 1 each compartment. adjacent to the front of the apparams, to permit a spray-gun G to be inserted successively into the respective compartments, with the suction tube T of the gun projecting into one of the circular openings 6, with the spray-nozzle end directed towards the curved wall portion 13 of the unit.
The tank is filled with a body of water W to a depth above the bottom edges of the partitions l0 and l l, and a liquid chemical solvent or thinner S is poured into the container which floats above the water W, and which extends to a level slightly below the shelf 5, so that in effect the container V and hood H are subdivided into a plurality of compartments having a common body of water at the bottom and masses of liquid solvent or thinner floating" in eachof the compartments above the body of water! In order to clean a spray-gun quickly and effici'ently,
the spray-gun is inserted into the first hood C with its suction tube passing through the hole 6 in shelf 5 and penetrating the body of solvent'or thinner. The paint in the is scavenged by direc'tin'giit against the concavely curved rear portion of the hood, wherefrom the solvent and paint impurities drop through the passage 8 beyond the edge7 of the cover to the mass of solvent in the first co'mpartrnentC' After several discharges of the thinned paint in thespraygun, the latter is inserted intothe hood C and'the operation isrepeated, which acts to further clean the interior of the gun with a cleaner body of the solvent, with the relatively fewer impurities dropping into the mass of solvent in the second compartment," and which eventually drops as sediment into the body of water W. The final cleaning of the spray-gun is executed in the third compartment C in the same. manner as the two previous operations, so that the final c'leaning results in acor npletely clean spray-gun which can be usedwith paint of an entirely different color, without" any intermixtu re of "color shades I V 'The mode of operation described above results in a tremendous saving of chemical solvent over the practices used heretofore where the solvent was sucked into the spray-gun from cups orjars and sprayed into the atmosphere. The desirability of the elimination of dangers from fire and toxic permeation of the atmosphere is obvious. Not only does the arrangement salvage all of the solvent for re-use, but the cleaning may be executed in a very short period of time. After a substantial period of use of the solvent the same may be disposed of, as by pouring off together with the water, and the container may be filled with a new batch of the materials.
The assembly in accordance with the invention, with no moving parts, may be fabricated at low cost and has a long operative life. The size thereof may be varied in dependence upon the size of the shop and the number of spray-guns which require cleaning in the operation thereof. Thus, an apparatus for a small paint shop may assume approximately the size of a breadbox, for example, 12 inches in length, 6 inches in width and 10 inches in depth, with a superposed hood of 4 inches.
Additional refinements may be applied to the installation if the quantity of solvent is large, and it is desired to effect savings in this area. Thus, the body of water with the paint sediment therein may be decanted by means of a petcock at the bottom of the tank, which may be fitted with sloping walls to permit this to be done more easily. Furthermore, the tank may be fitted with a sight-glass on the exterior, to render visible the interface between the body of water at the bottom and supernatant solvent above it.
Of course, the contours of the tank may be varied to adapt the apparatus to different needs. Also, in some shops, where the work is of a rough nature, a tank subdivided into two compartments may prove adequate to provide a single finishing flush after an initial rough scavenging. On the other hand, as stated above, more than three compartments may be provided for executing a larger number of cleanings with successively cleaner solutions. If desired, the dimensions of the compartments may be varied to accommodate different volumes of thinning liquids in the respective compartments, in which case it would be preferable to allot a larger volume to the first compartment C.
1; An apparatus for cleaning paint-spray guns, comprising a. a tank adapted to be supported on a bench or frame and constituted essentially by a closed container for receiving a body of water in the lower portion thereof with a supernatant layer of liquid chemical solvent in the upper portion thereof,
b. an enclosing hood across the top of the tank which is open at the front and closed at the rear whereat it merges with said container, covering means at the upper portion of the tank above the level of the liquid solvent having openings adjacent to the front edge at the open end of said hood, said covering means terminating short of the rear of the hood and tank to provide a passage therebetween,
d. at least one vertical partition extending from the front to the back of said tank substantially fromthe top to a point above the bottom thereof, and below the interface between the water and supernatant chemical solvent, to divide the tank into a plurality of compartments with one of said openings in each with progressively cleaner bodies of the solvent,'
which fall through said passage while the paint particles settle in the bottom of said tank in the body of water, for eventual removal.
2.,An apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein the hood at the top of the container above the passage therebetween is curved concavely to direct the paint impurities and thinner downwardly. V
3. An apparatus as set forth in claim 2, provided with two vertical partitions to divide the tank into three compartments.
4. An apparatus as set forth in claim 3, wherein the A vertical partitions are spaced equidistantly with respect to the ends of the tank to divide the tank into compartments of equal volume.
5. An apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein the vertical partition in the tank extends upwardly into the enclosing hood.