Title:
Extruding machine
United States Patent 2075450
Abstract:
My invention relates to a mill and more particularly to an extruding machine adapted to compress and force moldable materials through a die plate and to sever the extruded material into sections to produce pellets of uniform size. The principal object of my invention is to provide improved...


Inventors:
Meakin, Edgar N.
Application Number:
US2357435A
Publication Date:
03/30/1937
Filing Date:
05/27/1935
Assignee:
Meakin, Edgar N.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
425/107, 425/311, 425/331
International Classes:
B30B11/22
View Patent Images:
Description:

My invention relates to a mill and more particularly to an extruding machine adapted to compress and force moldable materials through a die plate and to sever the extruded material into sections to produce pellets of uniform size.

The principal object of my invention is to provide improved means for forming pellets from moldable materials.

Other objects of my invention are: To provide a pellet mill wherein materials may be compressed and rolled through a perforated die plate and thereafter cut off to form pellets; to provide such a structure wherein the main load bearings are positioned above and isolated from the vicinity of the material to be worked upon; to provide, in a device of the class described, improved means for handling thrust stresses; to provide, in such a mill, means for relieving the main frame from thrust stresses; to provide, in an extruding maSchine of the class described, for the lubrication of moving parts at a point remote from the extruding and feeding mechanism; to provide, in such a mill, improved means for facilitating inspection, removal and replacement of the compressor rolls; to provide, in such a mill, improved means for supporting the central portion of the die plate; to provide, in a device of the class described, means whereby the main parts of the driving mechanism may be immersed in a bath . of lubricant; to provide an extruding machine in which parts requiring change may be speedily and easily removed and replaced; to provide an extruding machine in which failure of parts is greatly reduced, and to provide an extruding man5 chine of simple construction.

The invention possesses numerous additional objects and advantages, some of which, together with the foregoing, will become apparent upon perusal of the following description of my invention. It is to be understood, however, that I do not limit myself to this disclosure of the species of my invention, as I may adopt variant embodiments thereof within the scope of the claims.

Referring to the drawing: Figure 1 is a view in vertical section of an extruding machine incorporating my invention.

Figure 2 i- a horizontal sectional view of the split connector for the upper and lower sleeve sections, the same being taken in the plane indicated by the line 2-2 of Figure 1.

Considered broadly, the structure of my invention comprises a substantially cylindrical frame or housing having an enclosed chamber formed in the upper portion thereof and a perforated die plate removably secured in the lower portion thereof. A stationary tubular column is provided, one end of which passes through an aperture in the end wall of the chamber, and its other end snugly fits within a centrally positioned aperture in the die plate. A transversely divided sleeve is provided for disposal about said tubular column and its upper section passes through the chamber aperture and its lower section terminates at a point adjacent the upper face of the die plate; Compression means, disposed on the lower section of the sleeve adjacent the face of the die, is provided for compressing and forcing material deposited on the face of the die through the perforations thereof. Means is further provided in the chamber for rotating the upper section of the sleeve and means is furnished for removably connecting the two sections of the sleeve together, whereby the rotating means will drive, through the sleeve sections, the material compressing means relative to the face of the die plate. Means is also provided whereby the sleeve sections may be moved into overlapping relationship, thereby permitting movement of the compression means away from the face of the die plate. Knives are disposed below the die plate to sever the strings of extruded material into pellets of suitable size, and means is provided, connected within the chamber with the sleeve rotating means, for actuating said knives.

Means is still further provided for making the chamber fluid tight in order that the mechanism within the chamber may be submerged in a bath of lubricant.

In greater detail and with reference to the preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawing, the structure of my invention comprises a housing or frame preferably formed with a lower section, generally indicated by the numeral 3, and an upper section, generally indicated by the numeral 4. The lower housing section is provided with a substantially cylindrical side wall 6 having a base flange 7 at its lower end, by means of which the housing may be secured to a floor or other supporting structure, and a top flange 8 at its upper end. In order to permit access to the working parts within such lower section, portions of the side wall 6 are removed to provide a plurality of relatively large apertures 9.

The upper housing section is formed with a cylindrical side wall I1, having cut-away portions to provide access apertures 12, and with a marginal flange 13, which joins the flange 8 at the planar surface 14, and is secured thereto by suitable means such as bolts, not shown. The upper portion of the side wall I is slightly increased diametrically at the point of Juncture thereof with a horizontally disposed wall 16 which provides, in conjunction with a cover plate I7, secured to the upper end of the side wall, ah enclosed chamber 18. The wall 16 is provided with a boss 19 having a central aperture 21 therein Joining the interior of the chamber 18 and the interior of the upper section of the housing. A liquid level indicator 20 is provided for the chAiber, by means of which the level of lubricant therein may be gauged.

Flange 8 is provided with a depending tubular extension 22 terminating in an outwardly directed flange 23 formed with a central aperture having a bore 24 in which is seated the periphery of an annular die plate 26 having a central aperture 27 therein. Both the flange 8 and the lower portion of the upper housing section 4, adjacent the flange 13 thereof, are provided with large central apertures whose sides slope downwardly and inwardly to provide, in conjunction with the upper face 28 of the die plate, a substantially concave bowl 29. The die plate is provided with a plurality of vertically disposed apertures 30 and is removably secured in the bore 24 by means of a split ring 31 having a flange 32, which engages the upper surface of the flange 23 of the bowl, and a flange 33 which engages the lower face 34 of the die plate. The ends of each section of the ring are provided with lugs 36 having apertures therethrough adapted to receive bolts 37 by means of which the sections of the ring may be secured together to clamp the die plate to the housing.

Means are provided for compressing and forcing material deposited on the upper surface of the die plate through apertures 30. Disposed axially of the die plate is a r6tatable sleeve structure comprising an upper tubular portion 38, which is journaled in the aperture 21 of the wall 16 of the chamber, and a lower tubular section 39. The upper section 38 is provided with a flange 41 which is secured in the hub 42 of a spur gear 43 disposed within the chamber. Means for rotating this gear are provided in a pinion 44, which meshes therewith; the pinion being mounted on a shaft 46 projecting outwardly from the chamber and connected for rotation with a motor 47 secured to the outer surface of the chamber, through a suitable drive comprising a motor pulley 48, a shaft pulley 49 and a plurality of V belts 51 which engage peripheral grooves formed in the faces of the pulleys.

The lower section 39 of the sleeve structure is provided with diametrically opposed arms comprising radially disposed convergent webs 52 which are joined together at their outer ends by a vertically disposed wall 53. Each of the arms is provided with a depending bracket 54, the upper end of which is secured by suitable means such as screws, not illustrated, to the wall 53, and the lower end of which is provided with an aperture 56 which carries the outer end of a horizontally disposed shaft 57 whose inner end is disposed in an aperture 58 forrnd in the sleeve section 39. Each of the shafts 57 is provided with a pair of bearings 59 which support a roller 61 for rotation thereon. Suitable removable closures 62 are provided for sealing the bearings within the roller and to provide an enclosure for lubricant for the bearings.

Both the lower end of the sleeve section 38 and the upper end of the section 39 are provided, as is shown in Figure 2, with longitudinally disposed peripheral grooves 63 which are adapted to receive and hold a key 64 contacting corresponding grooves 66 formed in the sections 67 of a split connector generally indicated by the numeral 68 of Figure 1. The connector sections are r each provided with lugs 69 adapted to be secured together by means of bolts 71. It will be noted that since the keys 64 are secured in the grooves 63, those grooves 66 remote from the vertical -centerline as passed through Figure 2 are pro- 1o vided with side walls 72 disposed in parallel relationship with the centerline so that the sections of the connector may be readily withdrawn from the sleeve sections in a radial direction. It will thus be seen that the rollers 61 will be moved .1 over the surface of the die plate and about the vertical axis of the sleeve structure, when the motor 47 is energized, so that material deposited on the face of the die plate will be compressed between the converging surfaces of the die plate and rollers to effect extrusion thereof through the apertures 30.

"Means are provided for feeding material to be extruded onto the face of the die plate. Mounted on a pair of rails 73, secured to the housing 11, is a trough-shaped tank 74 provided with end walls 76, each formed with an apertured hub 77 which serves as a journal for a longitudinally extending shaft 78. This shaft is provided with radially extending arms 79, to the outer ends of 3: which are attached paddle blades 81. An extended portion 82 of the shaft is secured in the hub of a sprocket 83 disposed adjacent the outer surface of the end wall 76. The end wall is provided with an aperture 84 connected by means 33 of a chute 86 with the bowl 29.

Secured for rotation with the hub 42 of the gear 43, within the chamber 18, is a bevel gear 87 whose teeth mesh with those of a pinion 88 carried on a short shaft 89 which is journaled in a bearing bracket 90 secured in an opening 91 of the chamber side wall. The end of the shaft 89 projects beyond the outer end of the bracket and carries a sprocket 92 which is connected for rotation with the sprocket 83 by means of a chain 93.

It will thus be seen that when the motor is energized to rotate the gear 43, and move the rolls 61, the shaft 82 will also be rotated thereby causing movement of the paddle blades 81 which will cause any material contained in the tank 74 not only to be thoroughly mixed but also to flow therefrom through the aperture 84 and via the chute 86 into the bowl 29 of the mill where it may be acted upon by the moving rollers 61. In some instances it is desirable that the materials be heated to facilitate mixing and enhance consolidation during extrusion. For this purpose I provide a jacket 94 about a portion of the wall of the tank through which steam, or other heated fluid, may be circulated for maintaining the contents of the tank at the desired temperature.

It is to be observed that as the material is compressed between the faces of the die plate and rollers, tremendous stresses will be set up in the parts, particularly in the die plate which, being perforated, is not capable of withstanding the loads which may be borne by the other solid parts of the mechanism. To overcome this I have pirovided means for supporting the die plate from the center so as to more evenly distribute the load over the surface thereof.

Disposed axially of the aperture 27 in the die plate is a tubular shaft or column 96, the upper end of which extends into the chamber 18 through the aperture 21 thereof and the lower end of which terminates a distance below the lower surface of the die plate. A die block 97 is provided between the periphery of the column and that of the die plate aperture and a nut 98, provided at its upper end with a peripheral groove 99, is threaded on the column immediately adjacent the die block. A split-ring 101 is disposed in the groove 99 and is of a diameter sufficiently larger than that of the aperture 21 as to overlie the portions of the die plate immediately surrounding the aperture. The ring is provided with an annular bead 102, which projects upwardly into the aperture 27 contacting the surface thereof and the lower surface of the die block 97, and this bead, as clearly shown in Figure 1, serves to seat the split-ring in the groove 99 and the die plate aperture.

Means are provided for locking the nut 98 to the column to prevent relative rotation therebetween once the position of the nut has been determined. The body of the nut, adjacent its lower end, is provided with a transverse slot 103 and a capscrew 104 which is positioned adjacent the edge of the nut is provided for closing the slot and thereby causing a clamping action of the nut on the threads of the column so that relative movement therebetween may not readily occur.

The upper end of the column is provided with a nut 106 secured thereto by means of screw threads 107, and a thrust bearing comprising an upper plate 108, a lower plate 109, which is provided with a conically or spherically shaped bot:35 tom face III seating on a complementary shaped washer 112, and a roller assembly 113, is disposed between the lower face of the nut and the upper surface of the hub 42 of the drive gear 43.

It will thus be seen that forces exerted on the -l0 die plate, due to the compression of the material to be extruded between the periphery of the rollers and the upper surface of the die plate, will be transmitted through the column and through the thrust bearing to the upper end of 4-5 the sleeve structure.

Means are provided, actuated by the drive mechanism positioned in the chamber 18, for cutting off the extruded strings of material as they emerge from the die apertures 30 so as to divide the strings into sections or pellets.

Mounted axially of the column is a shaft 114 provided at its lower end, which extends beyond the lower end of the column, with a portion 116 of reduced diameter upon which is tightly secured, by means of a nut 117, the hub 118 of a spider provided with a pair of diametrically opposed arms I 19. These arms, at their outer ends, are each provided with an elongated aperture 121 which receives the shouldered end 122 of a vertically disposed ferrule 123 having a bore 124 extending axially therethrough and which receives a stud 126. Both ends of the stud are threaded, the upper end to receive a nut 127 and the lower end to receive a similar nut 128 which, in conjunction with a washer 129, clamps the ferrule to the arm 119. The upper extremity of the stud is transversely slotted to receive a knife blade 131 disposed so that its cutting edge 132 rests on, or closely adjacent, the lower surface of the die plate, and the body of the knife is positioned preferably at an angle thereto. It will be observed that the nuts 127 and 128 may be manipulated, to raise and lower the stud 126, to provide not only means for clamping the ferrule to the arms 119 but also for regulating the position of the cutting edge of the knife with respect to the surface of the die plate.

The upper end of shaft 114 is extended beyond the nut 106 and is fitted with a key 133 which engages a keyway formed in a hub 134 which is journaled in a bushing 136 mounted in an apertured boss 137 formed in the cover plate II of the chamber. The hub 134 is provided with a pair of radially and downwardly extending arms 138 connected together, at their lower ends, by an annular ring flange 139 which is secured to the bevel gear 87 by bolts 141 which connect the flange, the bevel gear and the hub of the drive gear 43 together.

It will be seen, therefore, that since the shaft 114 is connected for rotation with the drive gear, through the arms 138, the knives 131 will be caused to move over the lower face of the die plate when the mill is in motion thereby passing transversely across the lower ends of the apertures 30 and separating the extruded strings of material into pellets.

In extruding machines of the type illustrated it is necessary that provision be made whereby the rollers and die plate may be readily reached for inspection, repair and replacement. I, therefore, provide means for moving the rollers from their operative positions in the bowl to a position elevated therefrom where both the rollers and the surface of the die plate are exposed to view. This is accomplished by providing the upper end of the lower sleeve section 39 with an enlarged bore 142 which is sufficiently greater in diameter than that of the lower portion of the section 38 as to telescope thereover when the clamp collar :;s 68 is removed and the lower section of the sleeve, and its roller assemblies, is elevated from the position shown in the figure to that indicated by the dotted lines 143. With these parts of the mechanism elevated it will be apparent that a mechanic may readily observe their condition through the apertures 12 of the housing and may, if necessary, easily remove or replace the rollers, or any of their associated parts.

The removal and replacement of the die plate !5 may be accomplished just as readily as that of the rollers. The procedure followed is to first remove the knife assembly from the shaft 114, then the split-rings 31 and 101, whereupon the die plate may be moved downwardly, the aper- 5n ture 27 thereof passing freely over the nut 98, and withdrawn from the lower section of the housing through the apertures 9.

Means are provided for preventing contamination of the material, to be extruded, by lubri- :, cants which might leak, or be thrown, from the moving parts. This is accomplished by providing the boss 19, at the lower face thereof adjacent the point of emergence of the sleeve 38, the lower end of the sleeve 39, and the lower end of the (;o column 96, with oil seals 144 of the conventional type consisting of a ring 146 of angular cross section which is urged into contact with the parts to be sealed by means of an annular coiled spring 147. This type of seal is well known in the art (e5 and requires no other identification than that given.

The rollers 61, since they contain lubricant and are located in intimate relationship with the material under treatment, are also provided with oil seals 148 at each end thereof where the shaft 57 emerges.

It will be seen, therefore, that the seals, especially those of the sleeve 38 and the sleeve 39, prevent the passage of oil from the partially filled chamber 18 from passing downwardly, either between the periphery of the upper portion of the sleeve and the bore of the boss 19, or between the sleeve and the column 96, and entering the bowl. From the foregoing description of my invention it will be seen that I have provided a novel con- ; struction for extruding machines, of the general character illustrated, by moving the thrust bearing, which constitutes one of the most vital parts of the machine structure, from a position adjacent the die plate, or from a position below or adjacent the path of flow of the material through the machine, to a position remote therefrom where it may not be clogged and subsequently damaged by finely comminuted material finding its way thereinto, and where it is immersed in a bath of lubricant which insures that it is always operating at maximum efficiency. Furthermore, by reason of such placement, the thrust bearing may be of large dimensions in order to care for the tremendous stresses set up during extrusion, all without interfering with the accessibility or design of the extruding mechanism.

It is to be further observed that my structure is such that when the rollers are elevated above the face of the die plate for inspection, repair or replacement, no axial movement of the sleeve 38 takes place. Thus the oil seals 144 are not disturbed so as to permit leakage of the lubricant from the chamber and upon the material to be extruded, nor are the parts within the chamber and in association with such sleeve subjected to displacement so as to cause breakage or undue tie-up of the machine for repair or adjustment. :;, Another distinct feature of my construction is that no stresses of any kind, attendant upon the extrusion of material by the rollers through the die plate, are transmitted by the frame or housing of the machine; the only stressed parts of the device, other than the rollers and die plate, being the column 96 which is stressed tensionally when the machine is in operation, and the sleeve structure which is subjected to compressive stresses.

I claim: 1. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a column associated with said die plate, a rotatable sleeve disposed adjacent said column and having an upper and a lower portion, said lower portion being movable into .o overlapping relationship with respect to said upper portion, a roller depending from the lower portion of said sleeve and adjacent one face of the die plate for compressing and forcing material through said perforations, and means for ro,.s tating said sleeve and roller about the column axis.

2. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a column associated with said die plate, a rotatable sleeve surrounding said column .;o and having an upper and a lower portion, said lower portion being provided with an enlarged annular end whereby the same may be moved into telescopic relation with said upper portion, a roller depending from the lower portion of said (;0 sleeve and adjacent one face of the die plate for compressing and forcing material through said perforations, and means for rotating said sleeve and roller about the column axis.

3. In apparatus of the class described, a per7o forated die plate, a column associated with said die plate, a sleeve disposed adjacent said column and having an upper and a lower portion, removable means securing said portions together, a roller depending from the lower portion of said sleeve and adjacent one face of the die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations therein, means disposed on said lower portion of the sleeve whereby said portion and said roller may be moved away from the face of said die plate, and means for rotating said roller about the column axis.

4. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a shaft secured to said die plate, an articulated sleeve disposed about said shaft, means mounted on said sleeve for movement thereabout adjacent a surface of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations thereof, means for rotating said sleeve, and means disposed adjacent one end of said shaft and sleeve for preventing relative axial movement therebetween.

5. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a shaft secured to said die plate, a sleeve having a plurality of relatively movable sections disposed about said shaft, means mounted on one of said sections for movement thereabout adjacent a surface of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations thereof, means for rotating one of said sections, and means for securing said sections together for preventing relative movement therebetween.

6. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a shaft secured to said die plate, a sleeve having a plurality of relatively movable spaced sections disposed about said shaft, one of said sections being provided with an enlarged central bore for receiving an end of an adjoining section whereby said sections may be moved from spaced relationship into overlapping relationship, means mounted on one of said sections for movement about the axis thereof adjacent a surface of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations thereof, means for rotating one of said sections, means disposed between another of said sections and said shaft for preventing relative axial movement therebetween, and means for securing said sections together in spaced relationship.

7. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a shaft secured to said die plate, a sleeve having a plurality of relatively movable sections disposed about said shaft with ends thereof in adjacent relationship, means mounted on one of said sections for movement thereabout adjacent a surface of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations thereof, means for rotating one of said sections, means for securing said sections together for unitary rotation, said means comprising a collar removably engaging the adjacent ends of said sleeves, and means disposed between one of said sections and said shaft for preventing relative movement therebetween.

8. In apparatus of the class described, a tubular column, a perforated die plate having an aperture through which said column passes, a sleeve disposed about said column, means supported by said sleeve and adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations therein, a shaft disposed in said column, a knife mounted on said shaft and adjacent the other face of the die plate for severing the material into pellets as it is extruded through said perforations, means for rotating said shaft, and means for rotating said sleeve and material compressing means about the shaft axis.

9 In apparatus of the class described, a stationary tubular column, a perforated die plate having an aperture through which said column passes, means removably mounted on said column for supporting said die plate at the inner edge thereof, a sleeve disposed about said column, a roller supported by said sleeve and adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations therein, a shaft disposed in said column, a knife mounted on said shaft and adjacent the other face of the die plate for severing the material into pellets as it is extruded through said perforations, means for rotating said shaft, and means for rotating said sleeve and roller about the shaft axis.

10. In apparatus of the class described, a tubular column, a perforated die plate having an aperture through which said column passes, a sleeve disposed about said column, a roller supported by said sleeve and adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations therein, a shaft disposed in said column, a knife mounted on said shaft and adjacent the other face of the die plate for severing the material into pellets as it is extruded through said perforations, and means for simultaneously rotating said shaft and sleeve about a common axis.

11. In apparatus of the class described, a tubular column, a perforated die plate having an aperture through which said column passes, a sleeve disposed about said column, a roller supported by said sleeve and adjacent one face of the die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations therein, a shaft disposed in said column and extending beyond each end thereof, a knife mounted on one end of said shaft and adjacent one face of the die plate for severing the material into pellets as it is extruded through said perforations, means connected to the other end of said shaft for rotating said shaft, and means for rotating said sleeve Sand roller about the shaft axis.

12. In apparatus of the class described, a housing, a chamber in said housing having an aperture opening into said housing, a perforated die plate mounted in said housing, a column secured to said die plate and extending through said aperture, an articulated sleeve disposed about said column and extending through said chamher aperture, means for preventing thp leakage of fluid between said column and the periphery of said chamber aperture, means mounted on 5said sleeve and adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations therein, means for rotating said sleeve, and means disposed within said chamber and adjacent the ends of said column and sleeve for transmitting thrust stresses therebetween.

13. In apparatus of the class described, a substantially tubular housing having end walls spaced to provide an enclosed fluid receiving chamber, one of said end walls being provided with an aperture opening into said housing, a perforated die plate mounted in said housing and having an aperture therethrough disposed in alinement with the aperture of said chamber end 15 wall, a column passing through each of said apertures and secured at one end thereof to said die plate, a sleeve disposed about said column and extending through said end wall aperture in contact with the periphery thereof, means disposed adjacent said aperture and said end wall for preventing escape of fluid from said chamber through said aperture, means mounted on said sleeve for movement thereabout adjacent a surface of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations of said die plate, means disposed within said chamber for rotating said sleeve, and a thrust bearing disposed between the ends of said sleeve and said column, in said chamber, for preventing relative axial movement therebetween.

14. In apparatus of the class described, a substantially tubular housing having end walls spaced to provide an enclosed fluid receiving chamber, one of said end walls being provided with an aperture opening into said housing, a perforated die plate mounted in said housing and having an aperture therethrough disposed in alinement with the aperture of said chamber end wall, a column passing through each of said apertures and secured at one end thereof to said die plate, a sleeve having an upper section disposed about said column and passing through said end wall aperture in contact with the periphery thereof and an alined relatively movable lower section spaced therefrom and provided with an enlarged central bore for receiving the end of said upper section whereby said sections may be moved into overlapping relationship, a roller journaled on said lower section and movable over the surface of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the perforations thereof, means for rotating one of said sleeve sections, means for securing said sections together to prevent relative movement therebetween, and a thrust bearing disposed in said chamber and Interposed between the ends of said column and the upper section of said sleeve for preventing relative axial movement therebetween.

15. In apparatus of the class described, a substantially cylindrical housing having a pair of spaced end walls providing an enclosed chamber, one of said end walls being provided with an aperture opening into said housing, a perforated die plate mounted in said housing and having an opening therein disposed in alinement with said aperture, a tubular column passing through said aperture and said opening and secured at one end to said die plate, a sleeve disposed about said tubular column and having an upper portion extending through said aperture in contact with the periphery thereof and a lower portion in alinement with and spaced from said upper portion, said lower portion having an enlarged central bore for receiving the adjacent end of said upper portion whereby said portions may 50 be moved from spaced relationship into overlapping relationship, a roller journaled on said lower portion of said sleeve and disposed for movement over a surface of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through the 55 perforations of said die plate, means for connecting the portions of said sleeve together to prevent relative movement therebetween, means disposed in said chamber and interposed between the ends of said tubular shaft and said sleeve for preventing relative axial movement therebetween, a gear disposed in said chamber and secured to said sleeve, means for rotating said gear, a shaft extending axially through said 6g tubular shaft, means for connecting said shaft for rotation, at one end thereof, with said gear, a plurality of knives disposed for movement over the lower face of said die plate for cutting material forced through the perforations thereof into pellets, and means for securing said knives to said rod.

16. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a stationary column supporting said die plate at the central portion there- 78 of, an articulated sleeve positioned immediately adjacent said column, compression means supported by said sleeve and adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through said perforations, and means for moving said compression means about the column axis.

17. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a stationary column connected to and supporting said die plate at the central portion thereof, an articulated sleeve positioned adjacent said column, a roller disposed on said sleeve and adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through said perforations, and means for moving said sleeve and roller about the face of the die.

18. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a column connected to said die plate adjacent the axis thereof, an articulated sleeve positioned adjacent said column, compression means supported by said sleeve adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through said perforations, and means for moving said compression means about the face of said die.

19. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate, a fixed column connected to the central portion of said die plate, a transversely divided sleeve positioned immediately adJacent said column, a roller disposed on said sleeve and adjacent one face of said die plate for compressing and forcing material through said perforations, and means for moving said sleeve and roller about the column axis.

20. In apparatus of the class described, a perforated die plate having an axially disposed aperture, a stationary column passing through said aperture, means removably secured to said column and adapted to bear upon the lower face of said die plate for supporting the same, a sleeve disposed about said column, compression means supported by said sleeve and adjacent the upper face of said die plate for corpressing and forcing material through said perforations, and means for moving said compression means about the face of the die plate.

EDGAR N. MEAKIN.