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US6009956: Method and apparatus for distributing fluid to a leach field surface
19 Claims, No Drawings
An apparatus for distributing fluid onto a hydrometallurgy leach field consists of individual modules having structure for operatively coupling the modules to one another to form the apparatus. Each module, which alone can form a fluid distribution apparatus, includes a frame and an elongated reel assembly on which a plurality of individual distributors, such as perforated hoses, are carried at axially spaced positions along the elongated reel assembly. A fluid supply conduit carries fluid from a fixed fluid supply line through the elongate reel assembly to each of the hoses carried on the elongated reel assembly and to an adjacent module. The frame is supported at its ends by frame translating mechanisms, preferably endless track crawler units, which serve to selectively move the apparatus forward and rearward. Adjacent modules are coupled at respective ends thereof to a common frame translating mechanism, thus coupling the adjacent modules to one another. To distribute fluid onto the leach field, the apparatus is moved forward over the leach field heap while simultaneously unrolling the plurality hoses to deploy the hoses in a closely spaced parallel arrangement over the leach field heap. With the hoses deployed, fluid is run through the hoses and out of the perforations thereof and onto the leach field surface. After leaching is complete, the hoses are then rolled onto the elongated reel assembly and the apparatus is moved to a different part of the leach field to re-deploy the hoses.
- 1. A mobile apparatus for distributing fluid onto a surface, said apparatus comprising:a plurality of elongated frames arranged end-to-end, each of said plurality of elongated frames having structure for operatively coupling opposed ends thereof to adjacent ones of said plurality of elongated frames;a frame propulsion mechanism associated with each end of each of said plurality of elongated frames for supporting each end of each elongated frame and for propelling said plurality of elongated frames in unison,each said elongated frame including propulsion mechanism coupling structure at each end thereof, and each said frame propulsion mechanism including frame coupling structure constructed and arranged to (1) be engaged by said propulsion mechanism coupling structure of a first associated elongated frame to operatively couple said first associated elongated frame to said frame propulsion mechanism and (2) to be engaged by the propulsion mechanism coupling structure of a second associated elongated frame adjacent to said first associated elongated frame to operatively couple said second associated elongated frame to said frame propulsion mechanism and to couple said second associated elongated frame to said first associated elongated frame; andan axially elongated reel assembly rotatably carried by each of said plurality of elongated frames, each axially elongated reel assembly being constructed and arranged to support thereon a plurality of lengths of flexible tubing wound upon said axially elongated reel assembly at different axial positions therealong, each said axially elongated reel assembly including:a fluid passageway extending along said axially elongated reel assembly,primary connection devices disposed at opposite ends of said fluid passageway, each primary connection device being constructed and arranged to couple an end of said fluid passageway in fluid communication with either an external fluid source or a fluid passageway of an axially elongated reel assembly of an adjacent elongated frame, anda plurality of secondary connection devices disposed at spaced apart positions along said fluid passageway, each secondary connection device being constructed and arranged to connect a length of flexible tubing in fluid communication to said fluid passageway.
U.S. Patent Documents