This invention relates generally to fluid jet cleaning systems, and
more particularly to a fluid jet which may be adjusted to control the cleaning
position and intensity of the device.
US-A-4 836 455 discloses a fluid jet cleaner with a rotatable nozzle
body with a single nozzle for dispersing fluid, the nozzle being angularly adjustable
relative to the nozzle body to control a radius in which fluid exiting the nozzle
will produce on a surface to be cleaned.
DE-U-90 05 919, which forms the base for the preamble of claim 1,
discloses a high pressure jet cleaner for cleaning concrete slabs and the like,
where a horizontal rotating spray bar carries nozzles at each end which are equally
spaced from the vertical axis of rotation of the spray bar, thereby to produce
a circular spray pattern of even intensity.
EP-A-0 356 587 discloses a dish or glass washer which includes a
spray bar with a plurality of nozzles equally spaced along the length of the bar
so as to provide an even cleaning intensity to glasses or the like placed above
the spray bar.
According to the present invention, there is provided a fluid jet
cleaner comprising a nozzle body adapted for continuous rotation about an axis
during operation, with a plurality of nozzles mounted on the nozzle body at attachment
points for dispersing fluid along a centreline of each nozzle and angular adjustment
of the centreline for each nozzle relative to the nozzle body axis controls a radius
which fluid exiting each nozzle will produce on a surface when the surface is a
fixed axial distance from the nozzle body, characterised in that at least one
of the plurality of nozzles is mounted on the nozzle body at a distance from the
rotational axis of the nozzle body different from the distance from said rotational
axis at which at least one other nozzle is mounted on the nozzle body to provide
a non-symmetrical arrangement of nozzles along the nozzle body.
For a better understanding of the invention and to show how the same
may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the
accompanying drawings, in which:-
- Figure 1 is a cross-sectional side view illustrating a first embodiment of
fluid jet cleaner;
- Figure 2 is a cross-sectional side view illustrating a second embodiment of
fluid jet cleaner;
- Figure 3 is a top view of a surface, illustrating the geometries of a plurality
of the nozzle fluid jet cleaners acting on the surface;
- Figure 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the fluid jet cleaner illustrating
an adjustment portion to orientate its nozzle means;
- Figure 5 is a cross-sectional side view of the fluid jet cleaner and further
including one form of an adjustable portion to adjust a section which introduces
abrasives to a fluid stream; and
- Figure 6 is an enlarged view illustrating another form of adjustable portion
to adjust a section which introduces abrasives to a fluid stream.
Figure 1 illustrates a fluid jet cleaner 10 which includes a nozzle
body 12 and a plurality of adjustable nozzles 14 (in this specification, the terms
"nozzle" and "nozzle means" will be used interchangeably). This fluid jet cleaner
is of a jet fan nozzle type, even though this invention applies to nozzle configurations
of other types. The nozzle body 12 forms a reservoir 16 which contains fluid under
pressure. The fluid contained within the reservoir is in fluid communication with
nozzle apertures 18 formed within the nozzles. Fluid escaping from the reservoir
16 through the nozzle apertures 18 will be projected, for all practical purposes,
along a centreline 20.
Adjustment means 22 is included to adjust the centreline direction
of each nozzle relative to the nozzle body 12. The adjustment means typically comprises
a plurality of radially disposed longitudinally extensible rod members 24, selectively
extendable to align the centreline 20 of each individual nozzle 14. The function
of the adjustment means is described in greater detail below.
Figure 2 illustrates another embodiment of fluid jet cleaner 50 which
has a nozzle body 52 which is rotatable about an axis 54. There are at least two
nozzle means 56 positioned within the nozzle body to expel fluid along a centreline
57. This approximates the orientation of projection of a fluid stream from the
nozzle means 56, as previously described.
Referring also to Figure 3, to control the cleaning intensity of
the fluid jet cleaner 50, the pressure within a reservoir 58 formed in the nozzle
body 52 is altered, the angle 60 at which the fluid acts upon a surface 61 to be
cleaned is changed, the length 64 which separates the surface 61 along the axis
54 is modified, the number of nozzle means 56 acting on the surface is altered,
or the dimensioning of a nozzle orifice 59 is changed. Many of the above controls
of the cleaning intensity are cross-related.
A distance 66 is measured along the surface 61 from where the axis
54 intersects the surface, to where the centreline 57 intersects the surface. This
distance 66 will generate a radius 68 of a cleaning circle 70 when the nozzle body
52 is rotated about the axis 54. The smaller the radius 68 (assuming the nozzle
body is rotating at a constant speed) the more time the fluid is acting on a constant
length 71 of the cleaning circle 70, and the more intense the cleaning action
of a fluid jet will be.
The angle 60 at which the centreline 57 (or fluid stream) intersects
the surface will also affect the cleaning intensity since the greater the angle
60, the greater the energy intensity of the fluid jet imparted upon the surface
61 will be.
To alter the angle 60 of the centreline relative to the axis 54 and
maintain a constant cleaning circle 70, a nozzle distance 72 (which is the length
along the nozzle body, normal to the axial direction, from the axis 54 to the nozzle
means 56) must be altered. For this reason, the nozzle distances 72 between two
nozzle means 56 are different.
The adjustment means used may be any device, which is well known
in the art, which adjusts the nozzle stream relative similar to that described
in U.S. Patent No. 4,836,455, which discloses using adjustment means for fluid
jet systems. One such adjustment structure is illustrated in Figure 4, in which
the nozzle or nozzle means 14, includes a body section 80 and a stem portion 82.
The nozzle 14 contains a centre bore 86 whose orientation determines, for all practical
purposes, the orientation of the centreline 57. To adjust the relative position
between the centreline 57 of a nozzle and the nozzle body 12, the radially disposed
extensible rod members 24 are retracted. The stem portion is then aligned as desired,
then the radially disposed extensible members 24 are then extended to lock the
nozzle into position.
The longitudinally extensible rod members 24 are typically set screws.
However, they may be any device which extends to lock the nozzle means 14 into
a longitudinal direction by acting on a side of nozzle stem 82. Any number of members
24 may be used, even though two to four substantially evenly spaced, in the same
plane, have been found optimal. Two radially disposed members 24 are disposed on
opposite sides of the nozzle stem 82, the rod members are radially aligned with
the axis of rotation (see Figure 3).
Fluid jets may be aimed in two ways. Initially, the operator may
line up the angle 60 of the centreline by observation. Alternatively, as illustrated
in Figure 4, a shim 120 may be inserted into a nozzle stem recess 122 which the
nozzle stem 82 projects into. Actuation of the nozzle stem 82 by the adjustment
means, to force the nozzle stem 82 into contact with the shim 120, results in precise
and reproducible alignment of the nozzle stem 82 and thereby precise alignment
of the centreline 57.
Figures 5 and 6 illustrate the application of the adjustability feature
to abrasive cleaners. In Figure 5, a first set of adjustment means 130 angularly
position the adjustable nozzle 14. A second adjustment means 132, which may be
similar to the adjustment means on the above mentioned U.S. Patent No. 4,836,455
(as is well known in the art) is applied to a focussing tube 134 to align an opening
136 of the focussing tube 134 with the centreline 57 of the nozzle.
Figure 6 illustrates an alternative embodiment for focussing an abrasive
fluid jet cleaner. A unitary abrasive nozzle structure 140 includes an adjustable
nozzle 142 and a focussing tube 144. The entire unitary abrasive nozzle structure
140 may be adjusted by adjustment means 132 as described above. The unitary abrasive
structure 140 has a chamber 146 which communicates, through an aperture 148, to
a well known abrasive injection device (not shown).