July 29,1958 L. H. SMITH co'rwon CLEANING SYSTEM AND APPARATUS Filed July 27, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 R INVENTOR .Lol'towlid'nziih BY MJWE, W v
ATTORNEYS July 29, 1958 H. SMITH 2,844,847
COTTON CLEANING SYSTEM AND APPARATUS Filed July 27, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ATTORN E YS United States Patent COTTON CLEANlNG SYSTEM AND APPARATUS Lofton H. Smith, Chattahoochee, Ga.
Application July 27, 1951, Serial No. 238,820
Claims. (CI. 19-67) Generically this invention relates to cotton cleaning machines, but more particularly it is directed to an improved apparatus and method of effecting the pre-opening and cleaning of the cotton as it is delivered from a blending feeder or battery of feeders and prior to its delivery to the main cleaning machinery.
In a standard cleaning system as now in use, the common practice in the processing of textile fibers is to use the fiber from a plurality of tightly pressed bales of the cotton stock, wherein substantially large portions are placed in the hoppers of a battery of blending feeders, each feeder delivers semi-opened cotton or other fiber to an endless conveyor, which delivers a steady now of the semi-opened fibers to cleaning machinery which tends to separate the foreign matter from the cotton and deliver the stock to a picker operation.
Each standard hopper blending feeder is designed to deliver a predetermined quantity of the partiallyopened and cleaned cotton or other fiber stock to the conveyor per hour and the aggregate output of the number of the feeders employed during such time period is delivered to the main cleaning equipment. It is therefore apparent that the cleaning equipment in handling the only partially opened aggregate output of the feeders is operating under heavy load conditions, and at an obvious loss in cleaning effic'iency.
Therefore, one of the principal objects of this invention is the provision of an improved cotton cleaning. system in which a battery of pre-opening and cleaning devices located at the delivery ends of a corresponding number of blending feeders and which individually acts upon a comparatively small quantity of cotton in the given time period effects a greater opening and cleaning treatment of their respective output and, consequently, the accumulation or aggregate of the battery of feeders is delivered by the conveyor to the main cleaning equipment, which by reason of the added opened, cleaned and flufied stock, is in turn enabled to effect a greatly increased cleaning operation at a decreased operating cost, and the advantages of which are further reflected in the picking or lapper system to which such cleaned stock is delivered by the cleaning equipment.
Another important object of this invention is' the provision of a cotton pre-opening and cleaning unit comprising a casing including a passage therethrough having its lower end adapted to register with the discharge end of a hopper blending feeder, said passage being defined by a perforate top plate having cotton-engaging baflle means extending within said passage and a cotton grid structure, said structure comprising a fixed grid portion and an adjustable grid portion, the latter including a mounting for a plurality of freely and independently vibratory grid bars, means for effecting adjustment of said bars to vary the discharge openings or space the'rebetween without materially affecting the free and individual vibrating movement of the respective bars, and means in said passage adapted to effect a pre-opening and cleaning operation on said cotton as it is caused to traverse said passage by said means.
With these and other objects in view, which will become apparent as the description proceeds, the invention resides in the construction, combination, and arrangement of parts, hereinafter more fully described and claimed, and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which like characters of reference indicate like parts throughout the several figures, of which:
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic and fragmentary plan view of my improved cotton cleaning system.
Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view of a hopper blending feeder and the cotton pre-opener and cleaning unlt device operatively combined therewith.
Fig. 3 is a side elevation of the pre-opener and cleaning device and portion of the hopper feeder showing the drive means of the rotary cleaning elements and the main drive thereto in dash lines.
Fig.- 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of one of the rotary beaters with parts broken away and in section.
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary end elevation of the beater cylinder head cover and pins, and enlarged fragmentary side elevational view of the stationary and adjustable grid plates, with the grid bars loosely mounted thereon, in section.
Fig. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary detail view of the end mounting of one of the grid bars taken on the line VIVI of Fig. 5.
In the illustrated embodiment characterizing this invention there is shown a cotton hopper blending feeder A, of conventional construction including a suitable casing and comprising a horizontal platform endless feeder conveyor 1, a spiked elevator endless conveyor 2, a combing roll 3 mounted adjacent to the upper end of said elevator 2, rotating in a direction opposite to said elevator, and adapted to return loose surplus cotton to the bottom conveyor 1. Mounted opposite to said roll 3 is a larger doffer roll 4 rotating in a direction opposite to roll 3 and adapted to strip any adhering cotton from the elevator apron or conveyor 2. Said doffer roll 4 is mounted in the upper portion of the chamber 5 adapted to receive the cotton from the elevator 2 and deliver it through the opening 6 to the pre-opener and cleaning unit or device B shown operatively combined with the feeder A, Fig. 2. This figure shows the right sides of A and B removed.
The pre-opener and cleaning device B comprises, in the present instance, a substantially square casing 7 including sides 8 and 9, ends 10 and 11, bottom 12 and top 13. The end 10 is formed with a rectangular opening 14 adapted to register with the discharge opening 6 in the feeder A. Suitably mounted in said casing and extending upwardly from the upper edge of the opening 14 is a top or cover plate 15 suitably secured at its ends to the sides 8 and 9 and formed substantially throughout with perforations 16. Said top plate 15 has an upstanding flange 17 engaging the end 10 and at a point slightly spaced from the top 13, said cover or top extends downwardly as at 18 and upwardly as at 19 tothe upper edge of the horizontally extending opening- 20 in the end wall 11. The top 13 extends rearwardly slightly beyond the end wall 11' and downwardly at an angle as at 21 and then downwardly as at 22 in parallelism with end 11 to a point below the opening 20 forming an exterior cotton discharge chute 23. A suitably secured member 24 constructed of sheet metal, plastic, or the like, forming in effect a continuation of the plate 15 extends between the sides 8 and 9 and from the upper edge of opening 20 outwardly and downwardly, conforming generally to the contour of the chute 23, and forming a dust inletpassage 25 from the chute 23 and communicating with the dust chamber 26. The top 13 is provided with an opening 27 and an upstanding nipple 28 received in the end of a pipe or like conduit 29 connected to a suction apparatus (not shown) for withdrawing the dust incident to the cotton pre-opening and cleaning operation as will hereinafter more fully appear.
Mounted on and connecting the sides 8 and 9 at the lower edge of the inlet opening 14 is a curved stationary grate or grid member 30 and mounted on said side walls 8 and 9 forming a continuation of grid member 30, in parallelism with cover plate 15 is an adjustable grid structure C, and defining with said cover plate a beater passage or cotton opening and cleaning chamber 31, said passage adapted to communicate at its lower end with the discharge opening 6 of a cotton blender A and at its upper end with the cotton discharge chute opening 20.
The adjustable grid structure C comprises a pair of fixed upper grid plates 32 formed in their bottom edges with a plurality of equi-spaced square recesses 33 adapted to loosely receive the upper thickened ends of the wedgeshaped grid bars 34. Said plates 32 are fixedly secured to the inner surfaces, respectively, of the casing sides 8 and 9 by screws or bolts 35. The lower sharpened or blade-like edges are adapted to supportingly engage in the spaced V-shaped recesses 36 formed in the upper edges of a pair of lower grid adjusting plates 37 complemental to the upper plates 32, so that said grid bars are loosely mounted to allow them to freely vibrate which prevents the accumulation of fibrous waste and renders the grid self-cleaning during the further opening and cleaning of the cotton within the passage or cleaning chamber 31 during its passage therethrough. Said lower plates are adjusted by loosening the securing bolt 38 extending through the slightly arcuate slot 39 formed in the arcuate enlargements 40 and through the sides 8 and 9 and adjusting said plates longitudinally with respect to the upper plates to vary the position of said bars to thereby effect a vibratory control and slight bafile effect with respect to the waste particles passing through said grid in accordance with operating requirements.
Mounted in the passage or chamber 31, in the present instance, are three rotary beaters 41 in equi-spaced ascending direction, the first or lowermost beater engages the cotton as it is delivered from the feeder A and passes it to the second beater which directs it up to the third, which delivers it to the discharge hood or chute 23, as and for a purpose directly more fully appearing.
Each of the beaters 41 (Figs. 2 and 4) comprises a hollow cylinder 42 having a head 43 mounted therein flush with each end and secured by rivets 44 or the like. In the present instance, said heads are formed with bored hub portions 45 through which is adapted to extend a supporting shaft 46 of greater length than said cylinder or drum and which is secured in said hub portions by set screws 47. Each of the cylinders 42 is provided with a plurality of cotton-engaging flattened spikes or pins 53 arranged over the cylinder surface in staggered relation with their narrow edges facing in the direction of rotation of the cylinders, and to which, in the present instance, they are welded as at 54. The flat surface construction of said spikes tends to prevent tangling of the cotton thereabout, chopping of the fibers, and also tends to direct said fibers lengthwise in the forward direction of travel of the stock during the cleaning operation, especially in view of the fact that these beaters rotate at high speeds.
All three of the heaters 41 are of similar construction,
except that in connection with the center or intermediate beater its shaft 46 has mounted on one end a main drive pulley connected to a source of power (not shown) by a belt 55 as shown in dash lines (Fig. 3), and has a double grooved pulley 52 on its opposite end and connected by a drive belt 56 with a pulley 57 mounted on the free end of shaft 46 of the lowermost beater 41, and by a drive belt 58 with a similar pulley 57 on the free end shaft 46 of the topmost beater 41, and which completes the drive from the source of power (not shown) through the intermediate beater to the lower and upper beaters which will be well understood. Suitably mounted on the right hand side 8 are the belt tightener idler pulleys 59.
In order to gain access to the refuse compartment 60 underlying the grid structures 30 and C a suitably mounted and secured removable door 61 is provided on the respective right and left hand sides 8 and 9, Also it would be well to note that the cover plate 15 is formed with right angularly depending air and cotton check baffles 62 coincident with the width of the cover plate 15 and which prevent the fiber from traveling in the wrong direction downwardly over the heaters, and the arrangement of the cover plate prevents the fibers from getting out of range of the beaters. In connection with the beaters it might be well to note that the cylinder head cover 62 (Fig. 5) may or may not be used as desired, without afiecting the operation of the cylinder. My improved cotton cleaning system and apparatus is diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 1, and while any number of hopper feeders may be employed, usually from two to eight, but for the purpose of illustration and description, three are shown in Fig. 1. In this figure there is diagrammatically shown a battery of hopper feeders A, with a like number of pro-opener and cleaning devices or units B located at the cotton or other fiber delivery ends of said feeders, and with their discharge chutes or hoods 23 overlying a common endless conveyor 63 adapted to deliver the aggregate output of the feeders to the main cleaning machinery D in a much more open and cleaned condition than would have been possible without the interposition of the devices B, and by reason of such further opening and cleaning the main machinery D is enabled to effect a far better cleaning operation on the pre-cleaned aggregate than it possibly could otherwise have done, so that the cotton or other fibers are then delivered through the discharge pipe or other delivery means 64 to the picking or lapper mechanisms, etc. (not shown).
In connection with the particular operation of the preopener units B, as to each of these units, it should be noted, that by the arrangement of the cover plate 15, the stationary grid portion 30, the adjustable vibratory grid structure C, and the construction and arrangement of the beaters 41 in the cleaning passage or chamber 31, together with the arrangement of the air and fiber baflles 62, considerable waste will be forced through grid section 30 as the stock is delivered from the feeder A, in view of the minimum flow of fibers through the device. The operation of the beaters forces more leaf, seed, shale and other foreign refuse through the vibrating self-cleaning grid structure C, than it is possible to do both in the hopper feeder and in the now standard cleaning operation. This is because the instant operation thoroughly opens, blooms and fluffs the stock, and the dust which results incident to the cleaning operation is drawn through the perforation 16 into the dust chamber 26 and therefrom through the opening 27 by a suitable suction apparatus, the remaining dust reaching the hood or chute 23 is drawn simultaneously into dust chamber 26 through passage 25, so that thoroughly cleaned, opened, bloomed, fiutfed and cleaned stock is delivered from each of the devices B to the common conveyor 63 and delivered to the standard cleaning machinery D, which enables such machinery to effect a far greater cleaning thereof than would otherwise be possible, and with a reduction in operating cost.
Although in practice it has been found that the form of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawings and referred to in the above description as the preferred embodiment is the most efficient and practical, yet realizing that conditions concurrent with the adoption of the invention will necessarily vary, it is well to emphasize that various minorchanges in details of construction, proportion and arrangement of parts, may be resorted to within the scope of the appended claims without departing from or sacrificing any of the principles of the in ventiofi.
Having thus described my invention,- what I desire protected, by Letters Patent is as setoforthv in the following claims,
1. A- cotton cleaning system which comprises the combination with a blending feeder having an intake for receiving cotton and a discharge end having a discharge opening for discharging a partially opened cotton output from the said feeder of a cotton pre-opem'ng and cleaning unit comprising a substantially closed casing having an intake end and a delivery end and comprising top, bottom end, and side plates interconnected to form the easing, the intake end of the casing having an intake opening registering with the discharge opening of the blending feeder and the discharge end of the casing having a discharge opening, a series of rotary cotton pre-opening and cleaning instrumentalities mounted in the casing and extending transversely thereof from adjacent to the intake opening to adjacent to the discharge opening, a cover plate spaced above the said instrumentalitiesv and extending from upper edge portions of the intake opening to upper edge portions of the discharge openings, baffle members depending from the cover plate intermediate the rotary instrumentalities, the said cover plate extending transversely across the casing and secured to opposite side plates thereof and being provided with perforations forming air passages through the cover plate, the said cover plate dividing the casing interiorly into an upper dust chamber, grid means below the rotary instrumentalities and uniformly spaced therefrom and defining with the cover plate a passage for cotton to be cleaned, the said passage extending through the casing from the intake opening to the discharge opening and including the said rotary instrumentalities, the grid means extending transversely of the casing and defining the bottom of the said passage and also defining beneath them a refuse-collecting compartment in lower portions of the casing, certain of the grid means being rigidly mounted and defining a stationary grate sump portion adjacent to the intake opening of the casing, the remaining grid means defining an adjustable grate portion including a plurality of freely and independently vibratory grid bars having interstitial spaces therebetween, means in connection with the adjustable grate portion for angularly varying the slope of the grid bars and correspondingly angularly varying the slope of the interstitial spaces between the grid bars, beater means on the said rotary instrumentalities for opening and separating in conjunction with the grid bars, refuse from cotton moving through the said passage, means for rotating the rotary instrumentalities in a direction to efiect movement of the cotton through the passage, and means communicating with the casing for producing drafts of air through the casing and grate portions.
2. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1, but wherein the discharge opening for the casing is at a higher elevation from the bottom of the casing than is the intake opening, the passage for the cotton sloping correspondingly upwardly from the intake opening to the discharge opening, with the said rotary instrumentalities axially disposed on a corresponding slope, the said rotary instrumentalities repeatedly projecting portions of the cotton upwardly through the passage sequentially from one of the rotary instrumentalities to the next thereof in the series until the cotton reaches the discharge opening in the casing, the said cover plate having a downwardly sloping portion adjacent to the discharge opening for guiding the cotton from the rotary instrumentalities into the discharge opening.
3. The apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein the top of the casing is extended beyond the discharge opening and terminates in a downwardly directed section substantially parallel with the discharge end of the casing to define a discharge chute for the cotton exterior of the casing, the cover plate also being extended beyond the top edge portions of the discharge opening and substan tially parallel with the extended top of the casing forming with the extended top a dust intake passage located interiorly of the discharge chute and communicating with the dust compartment in the casing. v
4.- A cotton cleaning system which comprises the combination with a blending feeder having an intake end for receiving cotton and a discharge end for delivering a partially opened cotton output, of a cotton pre-opening and cleaning unit comprising a casing having an upwardly extending passage therein having an upper end and a lower end, the lower end of the passage communicating with the discharge end of the blending feeder for receiving the partially opened cotton output from the blending feeder, the said passage being defined between a perforate top plate and grid means spaced from the top plate and in parallelism therewith, the said grid means including an assembly having a fixed grid portion and an adjustable grid portion, the latter including a fixed grid plate and a plurality of spaced freely and independently vibratory grid bars loosely received in the fixed grid plate which defines a mounting for the upper ends of the grid bars, a cooperating adjustable grid plate receiving bottom ends of the grid bars, and means for adjusting the adjustable grid plate relative to the fixed grid plate and to the grid bars for angularly varying the slope of the grid bars and correspondingly angularly varying the slope of the interstitial spaces between the grid bars while maintaining unimpeded free and individual vibrating movements of the respective bars; a series of sequentially operating cotton preopening and cleaning instrumentalities mounted in the passage and coacting with the grid means for progressively passing cotton through the passage from the lower end to the upper end thereof while subjecting the cotton to successive and sequential pre-' opening and cleaning stages as the cotton moves upwardly through the passage, and a discharge chute communicating with the upper end of the passage for receiving the pre-opened and cleaned cotton from the said passage.
5. A cotton cleaning system which comprises the combination with a blending feeder having an intake for receiving cotton and a discharge end for delivering a partially opened cotton output from the discharge end, of a cotton preopening and cleaning unit comprising a casing having apassage therein having a lower end and an upper end, the lower end of the passage communicating with the discharge end of the blending feeder for receiving the partially opened cotton output from the blending feeder, the said passage being defined between a perforate top plate and grid means spaced from the top plate in parallclism therewith, cotton-engaging baffle means extending from the perforate top plate into the passage, the said grid means including a fixed grid portion and an adjustable grid portion, the latter including a fixed grid plate and a plurality of spaced freely and independently vibratory grid bars having upper ends loosely received in the fixed grid plate, an adjustable plate spaced below the fixed grid plate receiving lower ends of the grid bars and maintaining the bars loosely received in the fixed grid plate, and means for adjusting the plate and grid bars relative to the said fixed plate for adjustably varying the angular slope of the spaces between the bars while maintaining unimpeded free and individual vibrating movements of the respective grid bars; a series of cotton preopening and cleaning instrumentalities mounted in the passage and coacting with the grid-means for progressively passing cotton through the passage from the lower end to the upper end thereof while subjecting the cotton to successive and sequential pro-opening and cleansing stages as the cotton moves upwardly through the passage, and a discharge chute communicating with the upper end of References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Wilson Apr. 9, 1889 Potter Sept. 6, 1892 Arnfield June 4, 1895 Hale etal. Sept. 15, 1914 Langevin May. 9, 1916 Williams et a1. Feb. 21, 1922 Jolly Dec. 14, 1926 Hancock May 28, 1929 Curley et a1 Oct; 13, 1936 Farr Nov. 26, 1940 Deems et a1. June 3, 1947