Title:
APPARATUS FOR THE SEPARATION OF WIRE AND ITS INSULATING MATERIAL AND RECOVERING THESE AS RAW MATERIALS
United States Patent 3647149


Abstract:
Wire bundles are cut and fed along an elongated rapid cooling unit while being sprayed with a low-temperature gas. From the cooling unit, the wire passes to a separating device having a levelling unit, a feeder and hammering arrangement striking the now brittle wire. The material is then fed to an impeller, moves across slanting plates to effect gravity separation of the insulation material from the wire. Conveyor means on the impeller output side collect and carry away the separated wire and insulating material.



Inventors:
Morita, Shichiro (Saseho, JA)
Shimazu, Hiroshi (Saseho, JA)
Saito, Tsutomu (Saseho, JA)
Nakamura, Hiroshi (Saseho, JA)
Maeda, Torata (Saseho, JA)
Application Number:
05/029868
Publication Date:
03/07/1972
Filing Date:
04/20/1970
Assignee:
SASEBO HEAVY INDUSTRIES CO. LTD.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
241/79, 241/DIG.37
International Classes:
H01B15/00; (IPC1-7): B02C19/12
Field of Search:
241/17,18,23,30,79,65
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
Custer Jr., Granville Y.
Claims:
We claim

1. A device for separating wire from its insulating material, comprising in combination:

2. A device as claimed in claim 1 said slanting plates defining a staircase section (63, 64, 65), said carrier conveyor means (70) traveling in said flow direction.

3. A device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said carrier conveyor means (22, 22') travel along a path normal to said flow direction.

4. A device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said carrier conveyor means (74) travels in said flow direction, a core material selecting unit (122) at the end of said conveyor means (74) and a vertical wall section defining an insulating material collecting unit (123) downstream of said core material selecting unit, a second conveyor means (82') for carrying away said collected insulating material, and a cyclone shaped dust collector (124) downstream of said collecting unit (123).

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the separation of wire-insulating material from its wire and more particularly to the elimination of the insulating material so as to recover not only the content, i.e., copper wire but also the insulating material without contaminating the wire material or the insulating material so that these may be reused as raw materials.

BRIEF REVIEW OF THE PRIOR ART

Among the conventional processes for recovering electric wire is a method of recovering only copper wire by burning the wire, or of passing the wire cut in a suitable length between rollers to divide the insulating material in the longitudinal direction. The former has a drawback in that gas generated from the insulating material such as vinyl chloride and the like smells badly and is poisonous and further causes public hazards. In addition thereto, the cinders thereof are liable to adhere to the copper wire and in the reprocessing they become impurities and therefore the reuse of the insulating material is impossible. The latter has a limitation in treating ability because it must allow the wire to pass between rollers one by one depending on the diameter thereof. There are other methods of treating the wire by pulverization or by chemical process, but any of these methods are not adapted to the practical use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Generally speaking, the present invention contemplates separating the copper wire from the insulating material by contacting the insulated wire with a low-temperature coolant such as nitrogen in a liquid atomized state, and, striking the insulating material while at a low temperature of from -20° C. to -70° C. so as to crack the insulation while it is brittle. The brittle material and the freed wire are then separated and carried away by conveyor means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Fig. 1 is a longitudinal side plan of a device showing one embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 2 is a side elevation drawn to an enlarged scale showing a main part of the device as shown in FIG. 1;

Fig. 3 is a front elevation drawn to an enlarged scale showing the same part as in FIG. 2;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary view drawn to an enlarged scale showing a main part in FIG. 2;

Fig. 5 is a longitudinal side view showing a second embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 6 is a side elevation drawn to an enlarged scale showing an essential part of the device as shown in FIG. 5;

Figs. 7a and 7B are longitudinal side views showing a third embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 8 is a side elevation drawn to an enlarged scale showing an essential part of the device shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B; and

Fig. 9 is a front elevation drawn to an enlarged scale showing the same part as in FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The first embodiment of the present invention will be explained hereafter by referring to the accompanying drawings FIGS. 1 to 4. Reference numeral 1 designates a cutter which cuts the bundle 3 of the wires carried by a supply conveyor 2 to a suitable length, and 4 an oscillation feeder which supplies the wire material 3' to a rapid cooling unit 6 to which a rotatable screen-shaped levelling unit 5 is attached.

The rapid cooling unit 6 is provided with a netlike conveyor 8 carrying the wire material 3' by winding within an insulating box 7 endlessly, an injection nozzle 12 atomizing a low-temperature coolant flowing therein from a storing tank 9 of low-temperature coolants such as liquid nitrogen and the like through a valve 10 and a pipe 11 and spraying it to the wire material 3', and a circulating pipe 13 precooling the wire material 3' by circulating a cool gas stream flowing in reverse to the carrying direction of the conveyor 8. There is a fan 14 for circulating the coolant stream provided within the circulating pipe 13, and a fan 15 for agitating gas within the insulating box 7.

Reference numeral 16 designates an exhaust pipe which exhausts gas after heat exchange outside the insulating box 7, and 17 a separating unit which separates the insulating material from the copper wire and is provided with a reciprocating feeder 18, a hammering unit 19, a separating impeller 20, and a screening blower 21. Reference numerals 22 and 22' designate conveyors for carrying the separated copper wire and insulating material outside the unit 17.

At the inlet side 17a of the separating unit 17 there is provided a guide chute 24 on which an upper frame 23 is mounted, and a limiting plate 26 pivotally supported in a freely rotatable manner by a pin 25 is provided inside the guide chute 24 to prevent the accelerated wire material 3' from passing without receiving a blow of a hammer. Reference numeral 27 designates a screen-shaped levelling plate which is pivotally supported by a pin 28 in a freely rotatable manner. The reciprocating feeder 18 is loosely fitted in a shaft 33 of a lever 32 oscillating around a shaft 31 as a fulcrum by the rotation of a camshaft 30 driven by a motor 29 by means of an engaging member 34.

The motive power of the motor 29, on the other hand, is transmitted to a cam 38 for driving the hammer through a chain wheel 35, a chain 36, and a chain wheel 37, and levers 41 and 42 each one end of which is axially supported by pins 39 and 40 which are positioned and fixed therein move vertically by the rotation of cam 38, and at the other end of levers 41 and 42 the metal fittings 45 for the hammer connected thereto by pins 43 and 44 move vertically. The hammer 46 is fitted in a dovetail groove formed at the lower part of the metal fittings 45 for the hammer at its neck portion so that it can not be removed but can move slightly vertically. When the reciprocating feeder 18 moves back, the gap between said feeder and the limiting plate 26 increases and the wire material 3' becomes mounted on the reciprocating feeder 18, thereafter the wore material 3' is carried by the advance of this feeder. The camshaft 30 and the cam 38 for driving the hammer are associated with each other so that the wire material 3' receives the impact of the hammer 46 at the end of its forward stroke. The impact force of the hammer 46 is received by an anvil block 47.

The impeller 20 for separation is supported by a bearing 48 and it is rotated by a motor 49 through a shaft joint 50. At the upper part of the impeller 29 for separation there is provided a wallplate 51 and receiving plates 52 and 52' curved with an involute curve are secured thereto. At the lower part thereof there are provided slant plates 53 and 54. The screening blower 21 is incorporated in a lower frame 55 and absorbs air through a hole 56 at the side surface of the frame. Reference numeral 57 designates a partition plate, and 58 a cover plate opening as shown by a two-dotted chain line while in operation.

The structure of the device according to the first embodiment of the present invention has been explained in the foregoing, and its operation will now be described.

The bundle 3 of the wires is carried to the cutter 1 on supply conveyor 2 where it is cut into a length suitable for treatment, and fed into the rapid cooling unit 6 as it is levelled into a layer of a predetermined thickness by means of the oscillating feeder 4 and the levelling unit 5. The wire material 3' fed into the rapid cooling unit 6 is carried by the netlike conveyor 8 within a tunnel of the insulating box 7, and gradually cooled by being exposed to the circulating cool gas stream. Furthermore, when said material proceeds and reaches the vicinity of the terminal of the conveyor, it receives a low-temperature atomized coolant such as liquid nitrogen and the like exhausted from the injection nozzle 12, and is rapidly cooled by the evaporation-heat thereof, and therefore the insulating material of the wire such as vinyl chloride and the like becomes brittle in an extremely short time. In one or two minutes the wire material 3' is fed into the separating unit 17, it is cooled by uniformly cooling gas agitated by the gas stirring fan 15.

Then, the wire material 3' fed into the separating unit 17 is transmitted to the reciprocating feeder 18 through the guide chute 24. At this time wire material 3' is again levelled to a uniform thickness by the levelling plate 27 provided at the inlet port of the unit 17. The descending speed of the wire material 3' within the guide chute 24 is reduced by the limiting plate 26 to prevent the wire material 3' from passing without receiving an impact directly below the hammer 46.

Then, the wire material 3' placed on the reciprocating feeder 18 gradually proceeds by the reciprocating motion due to its inertia and the pushing movement of the subsequent wire material 3', and receives the impact of the hammer 46. Furthermore, at the time of the backward motion of the reciprocating feeder 18 the gap between said feeder and the limiting plate 26 increases and the wire material 3' is supplied. Since the insulating material of the wire material 3' is already in the brittle state, when it is subjected to the impact of the hammer 46, it is cracked to pieces by the impact force. The impact of the hammer 46 on this occasion is carried out at a time when the reciprocating feeder 18 is at the end of its forward movement and simultaneously with the backward movement of the feeder the hammer 46 rises and therefore the wire material 3' creeps along between the intervals of the impact. The wire material 3' rolls on a slant face 47a of the anvil block 47 and is accelerated by striking against the vane of the separating impeller 20 which is rotating, and jumps out from the rotary zone by its centrifugal force and hits a wallplate 51 and the receiving plates 52 and 52'. The wire material 3' proceeds in its and also hits against the separating impeller 20. In this manner, the wire material 3' makes reciprocating motion between the separating impeller 20 and the receiving plates 52 and 52' or the wall plate 51, and receives a number of impacts while traveling along the sawtooth shape course, whereupon a core material 59 such as copper wire is separated from the insulating material 60. The thus separated core material 59 and insulating material 60 drop through the slant plates 53 and 54 receiving air blown from the side by the screening blower 21, so that they are screened and collected on the carrier conveyors 22 and 22' and carried outside the device.

Since the method according to the first embodiment of the present invention has the aforementioned structure and operation, the wire material 3' can be continuously treated in an extremely short period of time, and therefore it has advantage as compared with the conventional method that the amount to be treated is rapidly increased. Furthermore, since it is a physically separating method, it has a second advantage in that the quality of the copper wire is not impaired and further the broken pieces of the insulating material such as vinyl chloride can also be collected and reused.

The second embodiment is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Reference number box, 62 a netlike conveyor, 63, 64, 64', 65 and 65' slant plates, 66 and 66' impellers for separation, 67 and 67' receiving plates fitted to wallplates 68 and 68', 68 and 68' wall plates provided around the impellers 66 and 66' for separation, 69 a separating box, 70 a conveyor, and 3' a wire material.

The impellers 66 and 66' for separation are provided respectively in a rotatable manner and the power, the rotating direction, the rotating speed and the like thereof are predetermined. The wire material 3' cooled and made brittle as being carried by the netlike conveyor 62 provided inside the insulating box 61 rolls on the slant plate 63 and is accelerated by striking against rotating impeller 66 for separation, and jumps out from the rotary zone by its centrifugal force and hits on the receiving plate 67 and the wallplate 68. The wire material 3' hit on the wallplate 68 proceeds in the reflecting direction and then hits again on the separating impeller 66.

As mentioned before, while the wire material 3' makes in a reciprocating fashion between the separating impeller 66 and the receiving plate 67 or the wallplate 68 until it reaches the slant plates 64 and 64', the wire material 3' receives a number of impacts. Thus, the core material such as copper wire is separated from the insulating material made of synthetic resin. However, since the wire material 3' carried to the slant plates 64 and 64' still remains in a low-temperature range, it can be completely separated into the core material and the insulating material by again receiving the same separating action by impeller 66'. The separated insulating material and core material then drop through the slant plates 65 and 65' onto the conveyor 70. Then these materials are carried outside the separating box 69 by the conveyor 70.

According to the second embodiment, wire is directly separated into a core material and an insulating material by impact force only due to the rotation of the separating impellers 66 and 66' so that both the vibration and the noise are exclusively reduced and a coolant is efficiently used, therefore this device being very efficient for the practical use. Further, if required, it is possible to omit one of the two separating impellers 66 and 66'.

FIGS. 7 to 9 show the third embodiment of the invention. Reference numeral 1 designates cutter which cuts the bundle 3 of the wires carried on a supply conveyor 2 to a suitable length, and 4 an oscillation feeder which feeds a wire material 3' into a rapid cooling unit 6 to which a rotatable screen-shaped levelling unit 5 is attached.

The rapid cooling unit 6 is provided with a netlike endless conveyor 8 carrying the wire material 3' within an insulating box 7, an injection nozzle 12 atomizing a low-temperature coolant flowing therein from a storage tank 9 of low-temperature coolants such as liquid nitrogen and the like through a valve 10 and a pipe 11 and spraying it on the wire material 3', and a fan 75 for agitating cool gas within the insulating box 7 to precool the wire material 3' and keep it at a low temperature. Reference numeral 73 designates a curtain for shuting the gas at the outlet of the insulating box 7.

Reference numeral 76 designates an exhaust pipe which exhausts gas after heat exchange outside the insulating box 7, there is also a separating unit 77 which separates the insulating material from the copper wire and is provided with a reciprocating feeder 78, a hammering unit 79, and a separating impeller 80.

At the inlet side 77a of the separating unit 77 there is provided a guide chute 84. Reference numeral 87 designates a screen-shaped levelling plate which is pivotally supported by a pin 88 in a freely rotatable manner. The reciprocating feeder 78 is loosely fitted in a shaft 93 of a lever 92 oscillating around a shaft 91 as a fulcrum by the rotation of a camshaft 90 driven by a motor 89 by means of an engaging member 94.

The motive power of the motor 89, on the other hand, is transmitted to a cam 98 for driving the hammer through a chain wheel 95, a chain 96, and a chain wheel 97, and levers 101 and 102 one end of each of which is axially supported by pins 99 and 100 which are positioned and fixed therein move vertically by the rotation of said cam 98, while at the other end of levers 101 and 102 are metal fittings 105 for the hammer connected thereto by pins 103 and 104 move vertically. Reference numeral 101' designates a roller which is arranged to contact the cam and provided at the lever 101. The hammer 106 is fitted in a dovetail groove 121 formed at the lower part of the metal fittings 105 for the hammer at its neck portion so that it can not be removed but can move slightly vertically according to the variable thickness of the wire material 3'. The wire material 3' on the slanting damper 85 is carried by its weight and the advance of the feeder 78. The cam shaft 90 and the cam 98 for driving the hammer are associated with each other so that the wire material 3' receives the impact of the hammer 106 at the end of its advance. The impact power of the hammer 106 is received by an anvil block 107.

The impeller 80 for separation is supported by a bearing 108 and it is rotated by a motor 109 through a shaft joint 110. At the upper part of the impeller 80 for separation there is provided a wall plate 111 and receiving plates 112 and 112' curved with an involute curve are secured thereto. At the lower part thereof there are provided slant plates 113 and 114.

In operation, the bundle of wires 3 is carried to cutter 1 by conveyor 2 where it is cut into lengths suitable for treatment and fed into the rapid cooling unit 6 as it is levelled into a layer of a predetermined thickness by means of the oscillating feeder 4 and the levelling unit 5. The wire material 3' fed into the rapid cooling unit 6 is carried by the netlike conveyor 8 within the tunnel of the insulating box 7, and gradually cooled by being exposed to the cool gas stream agitated by the fan 75. Furthermore, when said material proceeds and reaches the vicinity of the terminal of the conveyor, it receives a low-temperature coolant such as atomized liquid nitrogen exhausted from the injection nozzle 12, and is rapidly cooled by the evaporation-heat thereof, and therefore the insulating material of the wire such as vinyl chloride and the like becomes brittle in an extremely short time. In 1 or 2 minutes the wire material 3' is fed into the separating unit 77, it remains cooled by uniformly cooling gas agitated by the fan 75.

Then, the wire material 3' fed into the separating unit 77 and is carried to reciprocating feeder 78 through the guide chute 84. The wire material 3' on the reciprocating feeder 78 gradually proceeds by the reciprocating motion due to its inertia and pushing movement of the subsequent wire material 3', and receives the impact blow of hammer 106. Since the insulating material of the wire material 3' is already in the brittle state, when it is subject to the impact of hammer 106, it is cracked. The blow of hammer 106 is carried out when the advance of the reciprocating feeder 78 is terminated and simultaneously with the backward movement of said feeder the hammer 106 is rises, and therefore the wire material 3' is carried by creeping along between the intervals of the impact. The wire material 3' rolls on a slant face 107a of the anvil block 107 and is accelerated by striking against the vane of the separating impeller 80 which is rotating, and jumps from the rotary zone by centrifugal force and hits a wallplate 111 and receiving plates 112 and 112'. The wire material 3' proceeds in its deflecting direction and then hits against the separating impeller 80. In this manner, the wire material 3' makes reciprocating motion between the separating impeller 80 and the receiving plates 112 and 112' or the wallplate 111, and receives a number of impacts while migrating along in a sawtooth course so that a core material such as copper wire or the like is separated from the insulating material. The thus separated core material and insulating material drop through slant plates 113 and 114 on a belt conveyor 74 and are screened and separately collected on carrier conveyors 82 and 82' by a core material-selecting unit 122 which is provided with a slant plate, an insulating material collecting unit 123, and a blower 81, and thereafter are carried outside the device. Furthermore the air which streams from the blower 81 is exhausted through a dust collector 124 outside the device.

Since the method according for the third embodiment of the present invention has the aforementioned structure and operation, the wire material 3' can be continuously treated in an extremely short period of time, which is an advantage as compared with the conventional method that the amount to be treated is increased. Furthermore, since it is a physically separating method, it has a second advantage in that the quality of the copper wire is not impaired and further the broken pieces of the insulating material such as vinyl chloride or the like can also be collected and utilized again.

Besides, according to this embodiment, the completely separated core material and insulating material are automatically screened in the core-material-selecting unit, and thereafter the insulating material is automatically collected in the insulating material collecting unit and a dust collector.