Transportable multi-bay sink assembly
Kind Code:

The inventor discloses a multi-bay sink assembly to replace the military standard 32 gallon garbage cans with immersion heaters for cleaning eating and cooking utensils in a field kitchen environment. The sinks, when in use, can be continually refreshed with clean water. Waste water is removed through a waste manifold. immersion heaters are completely eliminated. The multi-bay sink can be assembled and disassembled into individual sinks with no tools. The sinks are made to nest within themselves leaving a small footprint for storage. Assembly time of sinks from packing crate to operational is less than 30 minutes. The full sink assembly can be appended to a separate waste handling and removal system to completely modernize field mess sanitation.

Fellencer, Paul B. (Spring, TX, US)
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Publication Date:
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International Classes:
A47K1/02; (IPC1-7): A47K1/00
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:

I claim:

1. A transportable multi-bay sink assemblage comprising a plurality of sinks, a water source and a waste collector; each of said sinks having an inflow end, into which water is added, an outflow end, a plurality of sides and a bottom; each of said sinks removably connected to at least one other of said sinks at an inter-sink joint; said joint having said outflow end of a first sink mated atop said inflow end of a second sink; each of said sinks having a plurality of legs; said legs having at least one top end, which removably attaches to said sink and at least one bottom end; said bottom end having a foot device adjustably attached, said legs fitting inside said sinks when disassembled, each of said sinks further having a drain hole in said bottom, and a stop valve to close said drain hole; said stop valves connected to a drain manifold to empty said water from said sinks into said waste collector; said sinks nesting inside each other when disassembled for shipment.

2. The transportable multi-bay sink assemblage of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of heater elements attached to said bottom of at least one of said sinks, a low water cut-off mechanism controlling each of said heaters and a protective shield placed above said heater elements.

3. The transportable multi-bay sink assemblage of claim 1 further comprising. a surge pump to agitate said water in said lowest sink.

4. The transportable multi-bay sink assemblage of claim 1 further comprising a control link between said water level sensor and said stop valve in said lowest sink.

5. The transportable multi-bay sink assemblage of claim 1 further comprising a control link between said water level sensor and a flow control device attached to said water source.

6. The transportable multi-bay sink assemblage of claim 1, the lowest of said sinks having a water level sensor,

7. The transportable multi-bay sink assemblage of claim 6 further comprising a food waste handling mechanism which becomes part of said waste collector and which treats and recycles water discharged through said manifold.



[0001] Historically, in military field eating facilities, the personnel have standard equipment and procedures to clean eating utensils. The following discussion lays out the current method of field sanitation for military field dining facilities.

Washing and Sanitizing Procedures

[0002] In the field, eating utensils and mess kits must be scraped, washed, rinsed, and sanitized in that order. Utensils are scraped to get rid of excess food so that food does not get into the wash water. Utensils are washed in hot soapy water (120-150° F.) to get them clean. They are next rinsed in near-boiling water to wash away the suds. Utensils are then sanitized in boiling water and air dried. This process is followed by each GI after he or she is finished eating.

[0003] The following information was copied from: http://www.seabeecook.com/sanitation/field/ih_battery.htm

[0004] The field dishwashing battery must be located at least 50 feet from any food preparation, serving, or eating area. This is needed so carbon monoxide, smoke, and soot [from the immersion heaters, see below] do not blow back into food service area . . . . It is best to locate mess kit batteries close to the exits of the mess tent and the pot and pan washing battery in close proximity to the galley and serving tents. Make sure that sufficient drainage is provided to prevent standing water.

[0005] The five 32-gallon corrugated garbage cans are set up in a straight line as follows:

[0006] First can—Scrap can: used to collect garbage; if available, line with plastic trash can liners.

[0007] Second Can—Pre-wash: contains hot soapy water and a log-handled brush for the first wash.

[0008] Third can—Wash: contains hot soapy water and a long-handles brush for the second wash.

[0009] Fourth Can—First rinse: contains clear boiling water for the first sanitizing rinse.

[0010] Fifth can—Final rinse: contains clear boiling water for the second, or final, sanitizing rinse.

[0011] Note that the Army uses a four-can set up, including one waste can and three cans with immersion heaters, [omitting a second wash sink].

Cleaning Individual Mess Gear

[0012] 1

1.Scrape food from the mess kit, canteen cup, and
eating utensils into the first can (garbage). Scrape
mess gear thoroughly. This will keep the wash water
as clean as possible.
2.Slip the canteen cup, mess kit cover, and eating
utensils over the handle of the mess kit pan.
3.Wash the mess gear in the second can (pre-
wash) using the long-handled brush. Thoroughly scrub
all surface areas of the mess gear. Make sure that no
food remains after washing.
4.Repeat step 3 at the third can (wash).
5.Immerse the mess gear in the fourth can (first
rinse) to rinse for 30 seconds. Shake off excess water.
6.Immerse the mess gear in the fifth can
(sanitizing rinse) to sanitize for 30 seconds.
7.Shake off excess water from the mess gear and
allow to air dry.
8.As soon as the mess gear is dry, reassemble
the mess kit and put the canteen cup away.

Marking Garbage Cans

[0013] Each 32-gallon garbage can must be permanently marked to identify its use. Once marked, these cans must never be used for any other purpose.

[0014] In order to provide the necessary temperatures for the wash and rinse baths, the military uses immersion heaters, which are bulky and difficult to clean. Fuel fired immersion heaters also present a fire and soot hazard, as noted above. In use, the garbage cans must be filled and emptied by hand, which creates its own problems of weight, mobility, and trafficability.


[0015] 2

Compact kitchenware washingCrane, et alU.S. Pat. No. 6,092,541
Cleaning method and cleaningDohku, et al.U.S. Pat. No. 5,501,240


[0016] An object of this invention is to provide a replacement for the water filled garbage cans with immersion heaters. The invention must also provide for the addition of clean water and the removal of gray water.

[0017] A further object is to provide a sink assembly that can be easily transported, quickly erected and rapidly packed for shipping.

[0018] All Single Bay Sinks or garbage cans in a mess tent should be replaced by one multi-section sink assembly, which has been assembled from individual sections. Immersion Heaters should be replaced by sink heaters mounted in the base of the Sanitize and the Rinse sinks with protective shield over heaters. All water delivery and removal will be confined to piping (the details of which, are not an object of this invention), which eliminates handling problems. The entire sink assembly should be stored in nested form, packed into a single small-footprint container for ease of storage and handling.

[0019] The new invention contains the following features:

[0020] One multi-bay sink assembly made of multiple individual sinks that snap together with no tools. Each succeeding sink is elevated above the sink adjacent, which creates a waterfall effect and allows the sinks to be filled from one faucet, the water flowing from the highest sink to the lowest sink

[0021] The highest sink will have sink heaters to insure proper water temperature.

[0022] Cascading water from sink to sink will keep each lower sink's temperature at the desired level, the rate of flow of the water being adjusted for temperature.

[0023] Each sink bay will have a waste valve connected to a drain manifold for easy waste removal.

[0024] A water level gauge in the Wash sink can activate an automatic valve to periodically remove excess wash water during use.

[0025] If the sink assembly is to be connected to a Pulper (not a part of this invention), an inline pump will be connected to the Wash sink drain to pull any solid waste to the Pulper for processing. This action provides for the recycling of the sink water and eliminates the necessity to clean out the wash sink during the usage period.

[0026] The Wash tank may have a power surge unit to circulate the water and to aid in cleansing the mess kits.

[0027] All legs will have adjustable feet.

[0028] The sink assembly disclosed herein utilizes a single incoming water line, a single drain line with a manifold having easy-connect fittings, and one electrical line for the heaters.


[0029] FIG. 1 is a side view of a single sink. The sink basin (2) has the legs (4) with adjustable feet (6) attached to the sink ate the removable connection (14). The inflow end (8) of the sink is where the water enters, leaving at the outflow end (10). The sink may have a heating element (16), which, when present, is protected by a shield (20). Each sink has a waste valve (18) in the bottom.

[0030] FIG. 2 is a detail of the legs. Each pair of legs (4) has a connecting spline (24) attached with a connector (22).

[0031] FIG. 3 is a detail drowing of the outflow end of each sink. The sink basin (2) has sides (32) to which a flow tray (26) is attached. The flow tray (26) laps over the inflow end (8) of the adjacent sink and is snapped into place by the lip of the tray (28) fitting over the edge of the inflow end (24) (not shown).

[0032] FIG. 4 shows a three-bay sink assemblage. Each of three sink basins (2) is mounted on the leg assemblies (4), successively overlapping the inflow end (8) of the lower sink with the outflow end (10) of the adjacent (higher) sink. The highest of the sinks (Sanitize) is provided with a water source (46) (which may be heated). Water then flows into the entire assemblage, overflowing from the higher sink to each successive lower sink until the assemblage is full. This may be indicated by a water level sensor (34) in the lowest sink. Heating elements (16) are placed in the highest (inflow end) sink and covered with a protective shield (20). The drawing also shows heating elements and protective shield mounted in the second sink. The waste valves (18) of each sink are attached (42) to a waste discharge manifold (40), which removes the waste water to a waste collector (44) (not shown). Optionally, the water level sensor (34) in the lowest sink may be used to provide control to an automatic waste valve (38) which pulls water out of the lowest sink to lower the water level. Also optionally, the water level sensor (38) may be used to control water inflow from the source (46) (control device not shown). Finally the lowest sink (the Wash sink) may have a water agitator device (36) to keep the wash water moving, to assist cleaning.

[0033] FIG. 5 shows the same three-bay sink assemblage of FIG. 4 from a plan view. The overlap between the flow tray (26) of the higher sink overlaps the edge (12) of the inflow end of the successively lower sink. The heating elements (16) are shown in position, covered by a shield device (20< which in this illustration covers the entire basin (2) bottom. The waste valves (18) are shown connected at 42 to the waste manifold (40) (shown as a hidden line). The lowest sink has the water level sensor (34), the agitator (36) and the automatic waste valve (38) shown with no detail.

[0034] FIG. 6 shows three sink bays nested inside each other for shipping. The sink basins (2) fit together leaving room in the bottom of the lower sinks to leave the heating elements (16) and protective shields (20) in place. Also, the leg assemblies (4) detach from the sinks and stow in the bottom of the basins (2). In the highest sink in this illustration, the agitator (36) and the automatic waste valve (38) are removed and stowed inside the basin.

[0035] FIG. 7 shows a plan view of a single basin (2) (the Wash sink) stowed for shipment, with the leg assembly (4), the agitator (36) and the automatic waste valve (38) shown stowed inside the basin. This illustration also shows the water level sensor (34) still in place. This figure does not illustrate the packing of the other sinks, which would be below the Wash sink when packed. There are no removable items except the leg assemblies to pack inside the other sinks.

[0036] FIG. 8 shows the preferred embodiment and is discussed below in that section.


[0037] The most likely configuration of this invention is with three sinks in the assemblage. This is the configuration used by both the Army and the Air Force in their field mess environments. The Navy and Marines use four wash/rinse sinks, but that configuration follows easily from the three-bay configuration by simply adding a second interior sink.

[0038] When configured for three sinks since each sink has a different function, it is possible to make the sinks of different size and shape (slightly) to emphasize the nesting feature, which makes the entire assemblage somewhat more optimal for transport and storage.

[0039] FIG. 8 shows an illustration of the preferred embodiment. Notice that the sinks have each been constructed differently. The Sanitize sink has a permanent adaptation to allow for the water soure to be mounted on the sink. The Wash sink has no flow tray, as its outflow is done differently than the other sinks. The illustration also shows the agitator working in combination with the automatic waste valve and removing water from just below the low water line. The most obvious change in this embodiment is the use of sinks of different depths. Each sink has been optimized for the volume of water needed by its unique function. Finally, while not shown, the length and width dimensions of each sink are slightly different to maximize the “stackability” of the three basins. The footprint of the shipping container needs to be just large enough to contain the Wash sink with agitator removed.