Title:
DRUM ENCLOSURE FOR CONTAINING PARTICLES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An enclosure prevents the escape of fine powder paint during its removal from an open drum. The enclosure includes a transparent lid for covering the drum. The lid has an opening. A closure is secured to the lid around the opening. An aspirator removes the powder from the drum, while the closure allows the aspirator to move about within the drum relative to the lid and prevents the powder from escaping into the environment.



Inventors:
Kerbel, Darrell A. (Skokie, IL, US)
Rhee, Sang (Naperville, IL, US)
Pepevnik, Merethe (Arlington Heights, IL, US)
Application Number:
09/948104
Publication Date:
03/13/2003
Filing Date:
09/07/2001
Assignee:
KERBEL DARRELL A.
RHEE SANG
PEPEVNIK MERETHE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B05B7/14; B05B15/04; (IPC1-7): B65B31/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
DOUGLAS, STEVEN O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joseph W. Berenato, III (Bethesda, MD, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An enclosure for containing a powder during removal of the powder from a drum using an aspirator, said enclosure comprising: a substantially transparent lid for covering the drum, said lid having an opening; and a closure secured to said lid and disposed about said opening, said closure engageable with the aspirator for allowing movement of the aspirator relative to said lid.

2. The enclosure according to claim 1, wherein said lid includes a disk-shaped planar surface, in which said opening is formed.

3. The enclosure according to claim 1, wherein said lid includes a rim extending about said planar surface.

4. The enclosure according to claim 3, wherein said rim is disposed along the periphery surface of said lid.

5. The enclosure according to claim 3, wherein said rim extends from said lid.

6. The enclosure according to claim 1, wherein said closure includes a powder retaining sock.

7. The enclosure according to claim 6, wherein said powder retaining sock is tubular.

8. The enclosure according to claim 6, wherein said powder retaining sock is constructed from a flexible material.

9. The enclosure according to claim 6, wherein said powder retaining sock is secured to said lid and extends about said opening.

10. The enclosure according to claim 9, wherein said opening is circular.

11. The enclosure according to claim 1, wherein said closure is releaseably engageable with the aspirator.

12. The enclosure according to claim 1, wherein said closure includes a drawstring to create a releasable seal with the aspirator.

13. A system for containing a powder during removal of the powder from a drum using an aspirator, said system comprising: drum for containing the powder, said drum including a substantially transparent lid with an opening; and a closure secured to said lid and disposed about said opening, said closure engageable with the aspirator for allowing movement of the aspirator relative to said lid.

14. The system according to claim 13, wherein said lid includes a disk-shaped planar surface, in which said opening is formed.

15. The enclosure according to claim 13, wherein said lid includes a rim extending about said planar surface.

16. The enclosure according to claim 15, wherein said rim is disposed along the periphery surface of said lid.

17. The enclosure according to claim 15, wherein said rim extends from said lid.

18. The enclosure according to claim 13, wherein said closure includes a powder retaining sock.

19. The enclosure according to claim 18, wherein said powder retaining sock is tubular.

20. The enclosure according to claim 18, wherein said powder retaining sock is constructed from a flexible material.

21. The enclosure according to claim 18, wherein said powder retaining sock is secured and extends about said opening.

22. The enclosure according to claim 13, wherein said opening is circular.

23. The enclosure according to claim 13, wherein said closure is releaseably engageable with said aspirator.

24. The enclosure according to claim 23, wherein said closure includes a drawstring to create a releasable seal with said aspirator.

25. A method for removing powder from a drum, said method comprising the steps of: providing an aspirator; providing a powder containment system having a drum and a closure, the drum including a substantially transparent lid with an opening, the closure secured to the lid and disposed about the opening, the closure engageable with the aspirator for allowing movement of the aspirator relative to the lid; extending the aspirator through the closure and opening and into the drum; moving the aspirator; and aspirating the powder from the drum through the aspirator.

26. The method according to claim 25, including the step of fastening said lid to said drum.

27. The method according to claim 25, including the step of preventing the escape of powder from the containment system.

28. The method according to claim 27, including the step of closing a drawstring to create a releasable seal between said aspirator and said closure.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to a powder containment system. More specifically, this invention relates to a transparent lid having a closure, with the lid removably secured to a large container or drum containing fine powder particles. When the lid is placed on the container's opening, the powder may be removed from the container via an aspirator movable relative to the closure without particulate matter entering the external environment.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Currently, fine powder is removed from large drums through the use of an aspirator. The lid of the drum is removed, and an individual moves the aspirator throughout the drum to remove the powder. One drawback to the current method is that manual extraction agitates the powder within the drum, permitting some of the fine powder to escape into the environment. This loss increases costs, and also creates sometimes a less than desirable work environment.

[0005] Automatic systems for removing the powder also have inherent problems. For example, without the ability to visually inspect the powder removal and direct the aspirator within the drum, channels develop in the powder within the drum, reducing the effectiveness of the vacuum force and permitting excess air to become entrained with the powder.

[0006] It is desirable to provide a containment system to prevent powder or particulate matter from escaping into the environment during extraction from the drum. It is also desirable to develop a system permitting an operator to visually inspect and move the aspirator throughout the drum in relative safety.

[0007] The present invention provides a containment system virtually eliminating the release of powder into the environment during removal with an aspirator. The disclosed invention permits visual inspection of the aspirator and the interior of the drive, while also permitting movement of the aspirator relative to the containment system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is an object of the present invention to provide an enclosure preventing the escape of powder during its removal from a drum. The enclosure includes a transparent lid for covering the drum. The lid has an opening. A closure is secured to the lid around the opening. An aspirator remove the powder from the drum, while the closure allows the aspirator to move about within the drum relative to the lid and prevents the powder from escaping into the environment.

[0009] Another object of the present invention is to provide a system for containing powder during its removal from the drum through the use of an aspirator. The system includes a drum that contains a powder and a lid that is transparent and has an opening. A closure is secured to the lid about an opening through which an aspirator is inserted. The aspirator is releasably secured to the closure and may move about the drum relative to the lid in order to maintain the powder within the drum.

[0010] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a method for removing powder from a drum. The method includes providing an aspirator and a powder containment system. The powder containment system includes a drum and a sealable closure. The closure is secured about an opening in a lid. The aspirator extends through the closure, and the aspirator may be moved relative to the lid throughout the drum. The powder within the drum is removed via the aspirator without escaping to the environment.

[0011] The powder drum lid is used to prevent powder dust from escaping the confines of the drum during either the removal or collection process. The lid is cylindrical in shape with a flat top. The cylindrical wall and flat top are made of clear polycarbonate plastic. The cylindrical part of the lid fits loosely over the outside diameter of the drum. It has a center opening in the top, with a nylon fabric sock. The tube-shaped sock, which has a longitudinal seam, is attached to the plastic top with a round steel retaining ring. A nylon pull cord is sewn into the seam at the other end of the sock. The opening can be drawn closed by pulling the cord and releasing a camping-style quickrelease clamp. A tubular suction wand or overflow hose is typically inserted into the drum opening. The sock is drawn up tight around the wand or hose to prevent powder dust from escaping. Clear polycarbonate plastic is used to construct the cylindrical wall and flat top of the lid. The clear plastic allows the operator to view the level and location of powder in the drum during use.

[0012] These advantages, objects and other novel features of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] A better understanding of the present invention will be had when reference is made to the accompanying drawings, wherein identical parts are identified by identical reference numbers and wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a fragmentary elevational view partially in section of the containment enclosure of the invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a plan view of the lid thereof;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a plan view of a sock mounting ring;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a plan view of a powder retaining sock; and

[0018] FIG.5 is a fragmentary exploded view of the containment enclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0019] Substrate surfaces, such as metal strip surfaces, are often electrostatically coated with a fine powder. The powder is typically delivered to the coil coating facility from the powder manufacturer in large drums 1. Typically, the drums come in various sizes, such as 40 gallons and 55 gallons. In order to remove the powder, the top (not shown) of the drum 1 is removed. An operator, using a vacuum aspirator, removes the powder from the drum 1 by moving the aspirator 3 about the drum 1. The aspirator 3 provides a vacuum force, so that the powder is pulled from the drum 1 into the aspirator 3 for communication to a powder coating machine, such as provided by an electrostatic powder coater. During powder removal, the aspirator 3 agitates the powder. A cloud of powder sometimes is generated from such a method. Creation of the cloud is a maintenance issue, and also results in loss of powder. The powder can be relatively expensive, so that powder loss increases the cost of the resulting coated substrate.

[0020] Pursuant to the invention, after a drum has been prepared for powder removal, a lid 5 is positioned over the drum 1, as best shown in FIG. 1, to prevent the powder in the cloud from escaping the drum 1 and entering the environment. The lid 5 includes a circular planar disk 6, generally matching the diameter of the drum 1 to which it is to be mounted. The lid 5 is made preferably from a transparent material, such as Lexan®. The transparent lid 5 permits the operator to observe the contents of the drum 1 and the effectiveness of the aspirator 3 during removal of the powder contained in the drum 1. As the aspirator 3 continues to remove powder from the drum 1, the operator may observe where the remaining powder is situated within the drum 1 and thus make more effective use of the aspirator 3. Lids 5 of varying size are constructed depending on the particular size of the drum 1.

[0021] The lid 5 has a downwardly depending rim 9 extending perpendicularly to the planar disk 6 along the outer edge 8 of the lid 5. The rim 9 is provided about the perimeter of the lid 5 for positioning the lid 5 about circular top edge 10 of an open drum 1. As the lid 5 is fit onto the drum 1, the rim 9 slides over the drum 1 to prevent the lid 5 from moving during the powder removal process. A groove 12 for receiving the top edge 10 is circumscribed into the lid 5. As the lid 5 is seated on the drum 1, the top edge 10 fits within the circumscribed groove 12 in order to better seal lid 5 to drum 1.

[0022] As best shown in FIG. 2, an opening 7 is located proximate the geometric center of the lid 5. The opening 7 accommodates the aspirator 3 during removal of the powder. The opening 7 may vary in size, shape and location depending upon various factors, including but not limited to the size of the aspirator, the need of the user, etc. Further, the lid 5 has a series of holes 8 for securing a sock mounting ring 17, discussed hereafter.

[0023] Secured on one side of the lid 5 is a closure 11, as best shown in FIG. 1. The closure 11 permits an operator to move the aspirator 3 about the drum 1 relative to the lid 5 while preventing powder from escaping the entire system. The closure 11 is secured about the opening 7. The closure 11 provides a seal about the aspirator 3 to prevent the escape of powder into the environment during agitation of the powder by the aspirator 3. The closure 11 consists of a powder retaining sock 13, a drawstring 15, and a sock mounting ring 17, as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 4.

[0024] The sock mounting ring 17, as best shown in FIG. 3, is made from a rigid material. Such materials include but are not limited to stainless steel, polymers, wood, etc. Situated about sock mounting ring 17 are holes 19, which align with the holes 8 formed in the lid 5. The holes 19 in the sock mounting ring 17 and the holes 8 in the lid 5 have essentially the same diameter. In this way, bolts 31 and nuts 33, as best shown in FIG. 5, may secure sock mounting ring 17 and thereby closure 11 to lid 5. Alternatively, the holes 19 in the sock mounting ring 17 and the holes 8 in the lid 5 are tapped through. In this way, screws may secure the sock mounting ring 17 and thereby closure 11 to lid 5.

[0025] Powder retaining sock 13 is made from a flexible material, such as rip stop nylon or an equivalent material. As best shown in FIG. 4, powder retaining sock 13 is cut in the shape of a rectangle with two short sides 21 and two longer sides 23. Along one of the long sides 23 are inverted V-cuts 25. The other long side is straight. Grommets 27 are secured in the corners where the straight long side 23 and the two short sides 21 meet.

[0026] Drawstring 15 is positioned within the folded hem 29 of sock 13 and extends through the grommets 27. Hemline 30a and hemline 30b are aligned with one another. The hem 29 is then secured along the length of the hemline 30. Care is to be taken so as not to restrict the movement of the drawstring 15 within the hem 29 when securing the hemlines. Alternatively, the drawstring 15 may be fed in one grommet through the passage created by the hem 29 and pulled out from the other grommet.

[0027] The tubular shaped powder retaining sock 13 is fit around the opening 7 in the lid 5, as best shown in FIG. 5. The inverted V-cuts 25 are spread about the lid 5, so that each V-cut corresponds to a hole 8 in the lid 5. The sock mounting ring 17 is then fixed to the lid 5. Bolts 31 and locking nuts 33 secure the sock mounting ring 17 to the lid 5. The sock mounting ring 17 may be secured to the lid 5 through any method known to one skilled in the art, such as through use of rivets, bolts, etc. By fixing the sock mounting ring 17 to the lid 5 via the holes 8 and the holes 19, the powder retaining sock 13 is securely fastened to the lid 5.

[0028] As best shown in FIG. 1, aspirator 3 is inserted through the opening in the closure 11. Once the aspirator 3 has been inserted, the drawstring 15 is pulled tight to cinch the powder retaining sock 13 around the aspirator 3, thereby creating a seal. The aspirator 3 may then be moved about the drum 1 to remove the powder from within. Moreover, the aspirator 3 may be moved vertically relative to closure 11, because the drawstring 15 permits relative movement between aspirator 3 and closure 11. The operator is able to observe the effect the aspirator 3 is having on the powder, because the lid 5 is transparent. Once all the powder has been removed, the drawstrings 15 are untied and loosened to allow extraction of the aspirator 3. The closure 11 may then be removed from the drum 1 and placed on another drum and the process repeated.

[0029] While the foregoing invention has been shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that various changes in form and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.