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US4046548: Apparatus for producing spherical particles

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Thomas K. Wood · Alan R. Margreither ·
Assignee(s) Potters Industries, Inc. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Robinson, Jr.; Lee C. ·
Primary Examiner Lindsay, Jr.; Robert L. ·
Application Number US5681189
Filing date 04/28/1976
Issue date 09/06/1977
Predicted expiration date 04/28/1996
U.S. Classifications 65/142  · 432/223  · 65/355  ·
International Classifications C03B 1910  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 432223 ·
19 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

A system for producing glass spheres in which the combustion air introduced into the furnace is preheated. The furnace has a shroud enclosing at least a portion of its outer surface, and ambient air is introduced to the space between the outer surface and the shroud by means of a fan generating a slight positive pressure. Preheated air is removed from the shroud by a plurality of ducts leading to the source of heat.

Independent Claims | See all claims (19)

  1. 1. Apparatus for producing spherical particles comprising, in combination:a vertical draft tube having an infeed opening adjacent its lower end;heat source means disposed within said draft tube intermediate its endsan expansion chamber communicating with and extending above said draft tube, said heat source means maintaining the interior of the expansion chamber at an elevated temperature;means for introducing particles of sphere forming material into said draft tube above said heat source means, the introduced particles being carried upwardly into the expansion chamber by the heat from said heat source means and being shaped by surface tension into spherical form;enclosure means disposed about the expansion chamber in spaced relationship therewith, the enclosure means having at least one infeed opening therein;means for introducing combustion supporting gas into the infeed opening of the enclosure means, the gas introduced through said infeed opening flowing into the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and being raised to an elevated temperature by the heat from said heat source means; andmeans for withdrawing the heated gas from the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and for feeding the withdrawn gas to the infeed opening of said draft tube.
  2. 2. Apparatus for producing spherical particles comprising, in combination:a vertical draft tube having an infeed opening adjacent its lower end;heat source means disposed within said draft tube intermediate its ends;an expansion chamber communicating with and extending above said draft tube, said heat source means maintaining the interior of the chamber at an elevated temperature;means for introducing particles of sphere forming material into the draft tube adjacent said heat source means, the introduced particles being carried upwardly into the expansion chamber by the heat from said heat source means and being shaped by surface tension into spherical form;enclosure means disposed about the expansion chamber in spaced relationship therewith, the enclosure means having at least one infeed opening therein;means for introducing combustion supporting gas into the infeed opening of the enclosure means, the gas introduced through said infeed opening flowing into the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and being raised to an elevated temperature by the heat from said heat source means; andmeans including a plurality of upstanding discharge ducts for withdrawing the heated gas from the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and for feeding the withdrawn gas to the infeed opening of said draft tube.
  3. 5. Apparatus for producing spherical particles comprising, in combination:a furnace including a vertical draft tube having an infeed opening adjacent its lower end heat source means disposed within said draft tube intermediate its ends and an expansion chamber communicating with and extending above said draft tube, said heat source means maintaining the interior of the chamber at an elevated temperature;means for introducing particles of sphere forming material into the furnace adjacent said heat source means, the introduced particles being carried upwardly into the expansion chamber by the heat from said heat source means and being shaped by surface tension into spherical form;enclosure means disposed about the expansion chamber in spaced relationship therewith, the enclosure means having a plurality of infeed openings therein;means including a pair of infeed ducts respectively communicating with said openings for introducing combustion supporting gas into the enclosure means, the gas introduced through said infeed openings flowing into the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and being raised to an elevated temperature by the heat from said heat source means; andmeans for withdrawing the heated gas from the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and for feeding the withdrawn gas to the infeed opening of said draft tube.
  4. 9. Apparatus for producing spherical particles comprising, in combination:a vertical draft tube having an infeed opening adjacent its lower end;heat source means disposed within said draft tube intermediate its endsan expansion chamber communicating with and extending above said draft tube, said heat source means maintaining the interior of the expansion chamber at an elevated temperature;means for introducing particles of sphere forming material into the draft tube adjacent said heat source means, the introduced particles being carried upwardly into the expansion chamber by the heat from said heat source means and being shaped by surface tension into spherical form;enclosure means disposed about the expansion chamber in spaced relationship therewith, the enclosure means having a plurality of infeed openings therein;means including a pair of infeed ducts respectively communicating with said openings for introducing combustion supporting gas into the enclosure means, the gas introduced through said infeed openings flowing into the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and being raised to an elevated temperature by the heat from said heat source means; anda plurality of upstanding discharge ducts for withdrawing the heated gas from the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and for feeding the withdrawn gas to the infeed opening of said draft tube.
  5. 12. Apparatus for producing glass beads comprising, in combination:a vertical draft tube having an infeed opening adjacent its lower end;heat source means disposed within the draft tube intermediate its ends;an expansion chamber communicating with and extending above said draft tube, the source of heat maintaining the interior of the chamber at an elevated temperature;enclosure means disposed about the expansion chamber in spaced relationship therewith;a plurality of upstanding discharge ducts, each of said discharge ducts communicating at a first end with said enclosure means and communicating at a second end with said draft tube at its infeed opening;a plurality of infeed ducts, each of said infeed ducts communicating at one of its ends with said enclosure means;plenum means communicating with the opposite ends of said infeed ducts; andmeans for introducing air at ambient temperature into the plenum means under positive pressure, the introduced air flowing through the infeed ducts into the space between the enclosure means and the expansion chamber and being raised to an elevated temperature by the heat within said chamber, the thus heated air flowing through the discharge ducts to said draft tube.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US1973688 AMCO INC Geer Sep 1934
US2838881 UNION DES VERRERIES MECANIQUES Plumat Jun 1958
US2945326 WOOD THOMAS K Wood Jul 1960
US3097832 MURDOCK JOHN B Murdock et al. Jul 1963
US3829285 MC QUAY PERFEX INC Beck Aug 1974

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