US 3921653 A
A washing and degreasing machine which comprises essentially a pair of superposed tanks, the lower tank being a reservoir and having a low floor with a high point in the center. The upper tank comprises the washing and cleaning chamber and it contains a spout for leading the degreasing solution upwardly from the reservoir. The pump intake and filter are directly above the high point. There is a drain for the used cleaning solution, also directly above the high point of the floor, to guide flow into the lower tank where dirt and particles will gradually move downwardly from the central high point thereof to the lower level, peripheral, or outside edges where the same can be easily cleaned or removed. The upper tank has a lid with spring rod means to hold it in an overbalanced position and a fusible link so that the lid will automatically close and completely cover the cleaning chamber for the purpose of smothering possible fires.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Ducharme Nov. 25, 1975 WASHING AND DEGREASING MACHINE  Inventor: Paul H. Ducharme, Dudley, Mass.  Assignee: Fabco Metal Products, Inc., Dudley,
 Filed: July 30, 1973  Appl. No.: 384,126
 U.S. Cl. 134/102; 134/111; 134/200  Int. Cl. B08B 3/06  Field of Search 134/102, 109, 111,200
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,305,735 6/1919 Morris 134/111 X 2,135,043 11/1938 Seman 134/102 UX 2,352,356 6/1944 Albertson i 134/111 2,440,619 4/1948 St. Laurence 134/200 X 2,653,617 9/1953 Zaber 134/200 X 3,378,019 4/1968 Riolo et al. 134/111 Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Attorney, Agent, or FirmPearson & Pearson  ABSTRACT A washing and degreasing machine which comprises essentially a pair of superposed tanks, the lower tank being a reservoir and having a low floor with a high point in the center. The upper tank comprises the washing and cleaning chamber and it contains a spout for leading the degreasing solution upwardly from the reservoir. The pump intake and filter are directly above the high point. There is a drain for the used cleaning solution, also directly above the high point of the floor, to guide flow into the lower tank where dirt and particles will gradually move downwardly from the central high point thereof to the lower level, peripheral, or outside edges where the same can be easily cleaned or removed The upper tank has a lid with spring rod means to hold it in an overbalanced position and a fusible link so that the lid will automatically close and completely cover the cleaning chamber for the purpose of smothering possible fires.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures U.S., Patent- Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet10f2 3,921,653
US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet2of2 3,921,653
42 l/ l/l/ WASHING AND DEGREASING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There have been many proposals for handling combustible cleaning fluids. solutions. etc., in cleaning and degreasing machines. Most of them are relatively expensive, hazardous as to fire, and difficult to clean. Obviously in degreasing, a great deal of smudge. dirt. etc.. is removed from the articles being degreased and the solution therefore has to be changed frequently or some means provided for filtering the sludge.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present case it has been found advantageous and relatively inexpensive to provide e.g.. two tanks. the lower tank being a reservoir and having a low flattish pyramidal floor, with an upright truncated pyramid or cone at the center, with a filtered pump on top. The upper tank has a flexible pipe on a swivel to receive the solution up from the reservoir under pressure in order to be used to spray onto and clean articles needing degreasing. This of course produces dirty solution in the upper tank and a drain is provided for this material to descend by gravity to the reservoir tank below wherein the sludge and dirt gradually slides down the inclines of the pyramid or cone and the floor, collecting the dirt and sludge around the edges of the reservoir.
Preferably the intake for the pump is directly over the highest point of the floor so that the cleanest part of the solution is returned to the cleaning tank above.
An aerator is provided in the upper tank. This conveniently takes the form .of a pipe having fine holes in it and the pipe is connected to a source of air under pressure by a flex hose, so the aerator can be moved wherever desired. The aeration facilitates cleaning of parts in the solution in the upper tank even without attention on the part of the operator. This action is enhanced by cracking the drain while setting the inflow to compensate, dirty solution then constantly going out and clean solution in.
A hand, foot, or knee operated switch is used to control the pump and special means is provided to keep this switch closed without attention.
One of the bad features of prior art machines of the class described is that they are particularly hazardous as to accidental fire because the cleaning solutions are combustible. In order to provide against this in the present case the upper tank is provided with an overbalanced lid which would normally close the upper tank by gravity and means is provided for holding this lid in its open but overbalanced condition, said means including a fusible link which upon release due to fire in the cleaning tank will let the lid go and it will automatically shut, smothering the flames in the upper tank. The lower tank has very little access to oxygen in any event and does not readily support combustion because of this fact.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in elevation with parts broken away and in section, illustrating the device;
FIG. 2 is an end view looking in the direction of arrow 2 in FIG. 1, parts being broken away in order to more clearly show the invention;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the bottom of the lowe tank; and
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the-upper'tank. PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Although this invention might be encompassed in a single tank having a floor and an intermediate partition it is found easier and less expensive to provide two tanks, a lower solution holding tank 10 and an upper superposed-cleaning and washing tank'l2. These tanks may be arranged in any convenient way and the bottom 14 of the upper tank with the interior walls thereof forms a chamber for cleaning articles. Thesolution in the uppertank can be drained into the lower tank .through a sink drain l6.
The lower tank is provided with side walls and it has for a floor a flattish pyramid construction shown at 18. The apex, or high point of the pyramid is approximately in the center of the floor as at 20. A truncated pyramid or cone l9 of' sheet material having sharply inclined sloping walls is set on the floor. It mounts a pump P having a filter intake F within the pyramid or cone and located directly over the point 20. The solution passes through a flexible tube 22 to a swivel fixture 24 for a flex pipe 28havin'g a nozzle 30. This flex pipe. cancover the'jentire floor of theupper tank due to its flexibility and the swivel fixture 24.
Fromt'ime to time the dirty solution in the tank 12 is drained through the drain opening at 16 into the lower tank and the level of thesolution in the lower tank will at all times be above the apex 20 of the pyramidal floor 18 so as to be taken in by filtered intake F. The solution of course becomes dirty. In the present case however the dirt, sludge, etc., gradually slides by gravity down the slopes provided by the pyramid or cone, and the floor, so that the dirt collects along the edges of the lower tank, the filter intake taking in the cleanest part of the solution and filtering it. Thus the solution is used much longer than would otherwise be possible.
When not in use a pivoted lid 31 closes the upper tank protecting the same against accidental ignition of the solution therein, the lower tank being protected by the floor 14 of the upper tank which effectively shuts off oxygen to the lower tank. The lid 31 is normally arranged in overbalancing condition which is clearly shown in FIG. 2 so that without something to hold it in place it would not stay in open position. A chain or the like 32 can be used to hold the lid open in the FIG. 2 position and this chain may be applied with a fusible link so that if a fire should start in the tank 12 the fusible link would let go and the lid would descend by gravity to smother the fire. On the other hand in order to place the fusible link in'a more vulnerable position to flames in tank 12, a spring pressed rod 34 may be utilized to hold the lid open, the rod being secured to the back of the tank or to the side walls thereof as for instance at 36. The fusible link is placed as at 38 and of course rising flames would disrupt the means holding the lid.
Extra features of this invention comprise an aerator in the form of a pipe 40 having fine holes in it and receiving air under pressure through a flex 42 connected through a valve 44 to a source of air. This aerator can be moved where desired to suit different parts being cleaned and the effect is that the air bubbles wash the dirty part continuously and clean it, without any attention. Additionally, the drain can be cracked and the intake set to compensate for the solution thereby lost, and the cleaning effect is enhanced with the effluent passing down through the drain and clean solution con- 3 tinuously entering.
The pump can be controlled by a push type selfopening switch 46, having a magnet in it, by either foot or knee. or this switch can be closed by wedging it in a pocket caused by a rim 48 on the tank. Hence the pump will continuously operate, see 46, FIG.'2, or it can be closed at will.
In practice an inch or so of water can be placed in the lower tank. The solution is lighter and does not mix, so the water receives the descending dirt and the solution stays clean. As a practical matter. the lower tank can be steel, the switch clinging to it, and the upper tank may be stainless. A bag for the solution and water can be used in the lower tank to prevent corrosion.
l. A cleaning and degreasing'machine including a reservoir chamber and a superposed cleaning chamber with a bottom, the reservoir chamber having a sloping pyramidal floor with a central high point and lower level outside edges, means pumping the cleaning solution up from the reservoir chamber to the cleaning chamber, said means including a pump, filter and solution intake directly above the highest portion of the sloping floor of the reservoir chamber, and including a flexible tube in said cleaning chamber supplied with so-.
lution thereby, and a drain leading from the cleaning chamber to the reservoir chamber centrally located in the bottom of said chamber directly above the said high" point of the floor. 1 g I 2. The machine of claim 1 including water in said, res-, ervoir up to the level of said highest point for particles.
3. The machine of claim 1 including an aerator in the I said lid in normally inclined over-balanced condition; f but permitting manual closure of said lid. failure of the holding means causing the lid to drop completely, shutting the cleaning chamber,
a fusible link connecting said spring rod means to said lid whereby upon occurrence of flames in the cleaning chamber, the fusible link will fuse disrupt- I ing the connection of said spring rod means to said lid and allowing the lid to shut by gravity smother ing any flames therein.
5. The machine of claim 1 including an upright holi 7 low truncated pyramid of sheet material located directly above the high point in said floor. the pumping means being located thereon above the floor, thesolution intake being located within the hollow memberat a predetermined level above the level ofsaid high. point.