Patent application title: SOIL OR ROCK CONDITIONING MACHINE
Andrew Armstrong (Essex, GB)
IPC8 Class: AE02D300FI
Class name: Hydraulic and earth engineering soil remediation with treatment
Publication date: 2010-08-12
Patent application number: 20100202836
A soil and/or rock conditioning machine including a feed hopper to feed
material to be conditioned to a feed conveyor and a mixing chamber
including one or more rotors to accelerate the material particles direct
from the end of the feed conveyor against inclined surfaces in the mixing
1. A soil and/or rock conditioning machine including a feed hopper, a
conveyor to feed the soil or rock to a mixing chamber, means to feed
conditioning material to soil on the conveyor, at least one rotor in the
mixing chamber, said one of said rotors positioned adjacent the end of
the conveyor to cut the soil or pick the rocks from the end of the
conveyor and accelerate it to deflecting means to an outlet, and means to
convey the conditioned soil from the outlet.
2. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 1 characterised by two rotors in the mixing chamber, the second rotor being below and offset from the rotor adjacent the end of the conveyor
3. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 1 characterised by two rotors in the mixing chamber, the second rotor being below and directly beneath the rotor adjacent the end of the conveyor
4. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 2, wherein the rotors rotate in predefined directions to accelerate the material to the adjacent rotor.
5. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 1 wherein each defecting means is a door hinged at one end to the mixing chamber and adjustable means supporting the other end of the door whereby each door is adjustable to and from the adjacent rotor.
6. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 5 wherein each door is adjusted to a self cleaning position whereby the adjacent rotor removes excess clay from the door surface.
7. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 1 including means to blow air across the outlet and into the mixing chamber to blow air through the particles as they leave the rotor and fall through the outlet to assist in removing volatiles from the material
8. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 1, characterised in that the rotors may be mixing rotors for treating soil or hammer rotors for treating gravel or rocks.
9. A soil and/or rock conditioning machine as defined in claim 1 characterised by a cutting rotor adjustably positioned in the feed hopper cutting back surplus wet cohesive soils to provide a uniform thickness layer on the conveyor, the cutting rotor mounted on a rotatable are to permit removal from the feed hopper.
10. A soil and/or rock conditioning machine as defined in claim 1 characterised by a serrated cutting blade across the feed conveyor prior to the end of the conveyor to cut the material longitudinally prior to being cut from the end of the conveyor.
11. A soil and/or rock conditioning machine as defined in claim 10 wherein the serrated cutting blade includes oscillating means to oscillate the blade across the feed conveyor.
12. A soil and/or conditioning machine as defined in claim 3, wherein the rotors rotate in predefined directions to accelerate the material to the adjacent rotor.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a soil conditioning and crushing machine for conditioning or treatment of soil and rocks. Particularly the invention relates to the modifying or regenerating various soil type soils for which the machine can also perform as a crusher.
Throughout the specification and appended claims, where reference is made to the term soil, the term is intended to include all soil types and also material to be crushed in the machine such as stones and small rocks.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In this specification unless the contrary is expressly stated, where a document, act or item of knowledge is referred or discussed, this reference or discussion is not to be construed as an admission that the document, act or item of knowledge or any combination thereof was at the priority date, publicly available, known to the public, part of common general knowledge; or known to be relevant to an attempt to solve any problem with which this specification is concerned.
Clay soil creates problems in the building industry and also in earth works. It is well known that a soil conditioning material is spread over areas of clay, the conditioning material for example being lime, gypsum or cement. More recently machines are available to condition the clay soil. The clay is dug or scraped from the ground and loaded onto a conveyor belt of the machine. The clay with conditioning material is dropped onto a mixer where it is mixed and fed to a discharge conveyor. One example of such a machine is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,988,937 in the name of Komatsu Ltd.
This specification is primarily directed to the feeding of the soil to be conditioned and the feeding of the conditioning material prior to the materials being fed to the crusher. No detail is given of the crusher, the only disclosure being that on FIG. 2 where it is clear the materials are fed by a conveyor and feeder to drop the material on to the first of three crushing rotors whose rotation and operation are not described. The machine also incorporates a sieve to separate large rocks, stones or the like from the soil to be conditioned.
A further example is Japanese publication 54-58901.
However, both these machines are only suitable for soft soils and thus their use is limited.
OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to manufacture a soil conditioning machine which conditions the soil, and which can also be used as a rock crusher.
A further object is to provide a machine in which the material is fed by a conveyor to a mixing chamber having at least one mixing rotor positioned to cut or pick the material directly from the end of the conveyer.
A further object of the invention is to position adjustable doors adjacent to the rotor whereby the clearance between the door and rotary mixer or hammer is adjustable.
It is an object of the present invention to overcome, or at least substantially ameliorate, the disadvantages and shortcomings of the prior art.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, taking in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to the present invention, although this should not be seen as limiting the invention in any way, there is provided according to the invention a soil and/or rock conditioning machine including a feed hopper, conveyor means to feed the soil or rock to a mixing chamber, at least one rotor positioned in a mixing chamber, said one of said rotors positioned at the end of the conveyor whereby the said one rotor is positioned directly at the end of the conveyor to cut the soil or pick the rocks directly from the end of the conveyor.
Preferably the said rotor cuts the soil or picks the rocks in an upward direction.
Preferably the said rotor cuts the soil or picks the rocks in a downward direction.
Preferably there are two rotors in staggered arrangement with the second rotor spaced below the rotor at the end of the conveyor and rotating to accelerate the treated material back to the first rotor.
Depending on whether the machine is predominately being used as a mixer or crusher the rotor or rotors used will vary.
When used as a mixer preferably one or both of the rotors is a mixer rotor.
When used as a crusher preferably one or both of the rotors is a hammer rotor.
Preferably the mixing chamber has an adjustable door adjacent said rotor or each rotor whereby the clearance between the rotor and the door is adjustable depending on the material being conditioned.
Preferably the adjustable door or doors are cleaned by moving the adjustable door or doors to be adjacent the said rotor or rotors.
Preferably a cutting rotor is positioned in the feed hopper to cut cohesive soils to assist in providing a uniform mat or layer on the conveyor.
Preferably a serrated cutting blade is positioned above the material on the conveyor to assist in cutting cohesive soils.
Preferably the serrated cutting blade is oscillated across the conveyor.
Preferably the speed of rotation of each of the rotors is adjustable.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
By way of example, an employment of the invention is described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of the soil conditioning machine,
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of one embodiment of the mixing chamber showing two mixing rotors rotating in the same direction.
FIG. 2a is a cross sectional view showing a mixing rotor to cut or pick in an upward direction.
FIG. 2b is a cross sectional view showing a mixing rotor to cut or pick in a downward direction
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of a further embodiment of the mixing chamber showing a mixing rotor and a hammer rotor rotating in the same direction.
FIG. 3a is a cross sectional view showing a hammer rotor to pick in an upward direction.
FIG. 3b is a cross sectional view showing a hammer rotor to pick in a downward direction.
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of a further embodiment of the invention with two rotors and air flow across the treated material.
FIG. 4a is a similar view showing a single picking rotor to pick in an upward direction,
FIG. 4b is a similar view showing a picking rotor to pick in a down ward direction.
FIG. 5 is a partial view of the mixing chamber showing the adjustable doors in the open position.
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 showing the doors in the closed position.
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the mixing chamber showing the mixer rotors in vertical alignment rotating in opposite directions with a different door configuration,
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 but showing the hammer rotors in vertical alignment rotating in opposite directions with a different door configuration,
FIG. 9 is a sectional and cross section view of a serrated cutting blade in the feed hopper, and
FIG. 10 are three cross sectional views of an adjustably positioned cutting rotor in the feed hopper.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the preferred embodiments shown in the drawings.
The soil conditioning or crushing machine 1 shown in FIG. 1 is mounted on a trailer chassis 2 having a tow bar 3 and wheel bogie 4 whereby the machine can be easily transported from site to site.
The machine 1 comprises a feed hopper 5 feeding a conveyor 6 to transport the soil to a mixing chamber 7. A hopper 8 to contain conditioning material can deposit regulated amounts of conditioning material on the soil prior to entering the mixing chamber. The soil as it is being conditioned passes downwardly through the mixing chamber 7 where it is mixed and conditioned by rotors 9 and 10, as later described, onto a discharge conveyor 21. The machine is driven by an internal combustion engine 11 driving a hydraulic pump. The conveyors and rotors are driven by variable speed hydraulic motors, the hydraulic circuit and control valves being conventional and is not described or shown.
Turning now to FIG. 2 showing the mixing chamber 7 in more detail with front wall 7a and rear wall 7b, the rotors 9 and 10 in this embodiment are shown as mixing rotors with both rotating in the same direction. The rotor 9 has its centre of rotation at about the level of the conveyor 6, with the picks 12 passing closely adjacent to the end of the conveyor 6. The mixing chamber has doors 13 and 14 against which the severed pieces of soil are thrown. Door 13 has portion 15 extending across and downwardly and angled portion 16 and deflecting portion 17 to deflect the soil pieces onto rotor 10. Similarly door 14 has portion 18 extending downwardly and portion 19 to deflect the soil portions to outlet 20.
Both rotors rotate in the clockwise direction and rotor 9 cuts the soil directly off the end of the conveyor and accelerates the pieces of soil against door 13 which deflects the soil portions onto the rising picks 12 of rotor 10. Some of the soil portions would be accelerated back onto rotor 9 to maximise the amount of sheer (energy) that is put into the process.
As noted above while the conditioning machine is primarily for conditioning soil, it can also be used as a crusher in which case one or both mixing rotors with picks can be replaced by a hammer rotor.
FIG. 2a is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing a further form of the invention. In this instance the mixing chamber houses only one mixing rotor 12 rotating to pick the soil upwardly from the end of the conveyor to accelerate the soil against door 13 from which the conditioned soil falls to the discharge conveyor 21.
FIG. 2b is a view similar to FIG. 2a with the mixing rotor rotating to cut the oil in a downward direction, the conditioned material being deflected by wall 7b to the discharge conveyor 21
As shown in FIG. 3 the rotor 9 is replaced by hammer rotor 22 which again cuts the soil or picks the gravel, stones or rocks form the end of the conveyor 6.
FIG. 3a shows a single hammer rotor 22 to cut or pick the material, whether soil or granular material, from the end of the conveyor upwardly from the conveyor 6 to accelerate the material against door 13 to fall on the discharge conveyor 21
FIG. 3b is a similar view to FIG. 3a whereby the hammer rotor 22 accelerates the material downwardly against wall 7b to fall to the discharge conveyor 21.
For materials contaminated with hydrocarbon contamination it has been found by blowing compressed air 34 through rear wall 7b into the outlet 20 as the mixed soils, pellets or small balls fall onto the conveyor 21 aids the process of vaporizing the hydrocarbon materials, and this is illustrated in FIG. 4. FIG. 4 shows the embodiment with a hammer rotor 22 adjacent the conveyor 6 and a lower picking rotor 10.
FIG. 4a is another embodiment illustrating the supply of compressed air 34 to the material falling from a single mixing rotor 9 cutting the material upwardly against door 13, while FIG. 4b shows the embodiment of supplying compressed air to the material falling from mixing rotor 9 cutting the material downwardly from the conveyor 6.
The doors 13 and 14 are adjustable in position. FIG. 5 shows the doors in the open position and FIG. 6 in the closed position. Door 13 is supported by hinge 23 and hydraulic ram 24 and door 14 is supported by hinge 25 and hydraulic ram 26.
Also when the doors are in the extreme closed position, the rotors remove the soil which has been deposited on the doors, thus in effect the mixing chamber is self cleaning, leaving only a thin layer of soil on the doors.
The cleaning cycle for the doors is variable depending on material type. The doors need to be cleaned at varying durations dependent on how thick the material is. The operating position of the doors is determined by the material being conditioned. The position of the doors and the closing for cleaning and return to the operating position can preferably be computer controlled. The frequency of cleaning and the duration of each cleaning can be determined and programmed so that the cleaning takes place automatically with the doors returning to their pre-determined position.
The cleaning operation can take place during the operation of the machine, or alternately the feed conveyor can be stopped while the cleaning operation takes place.
If for any reason the machine has to be stopped, an auto stop sequence is installed. This stops and reverses the belt 6 slightly prior to the machine stopping. This prevents material at the end of the belt 6 falling down onto the rotor thus preventing the rotor from stalling and failing to restart.
The embodiments just described illustrates the rotors being staggered, the lower rotor being spaced below and to one side of the upper rotor.
However the lower rotor can be positioned directly below the upper rotor as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 being a partial section of the mixing chamber 7.
Rotor 9 is positioned to cut the clay material from the end of the conveyor and accelerate the cut clay pieces onto door 13 to direct the clay pieces onto rotor 27 which rotates in an anti-clockwise manner to accelerate the clay pieces back onto rotor 9. The mixing chamber 7 has a baffle 28 leaving a small clearance to the rotor 27 to deflect and prevent the clay pieces from passing to outlet 20.
Door 29 deflects and directs the clay pieces to the outlet 20, the door situated on the opposite side of the mixing chamber to the previous embodiment. The door is similarly angled and hinged at 30 to the chamber and supported by hydraulic ram 31 at its lower end.
FIG. 7 illustrates the use of two mixing rotors whereas FIG. 8 illustrates the use of two hammer rotors 32 and 33.
However when very cohesive soils fed onto feed conveyor 6, it is preferred the material is passed to serrated cutting blade 32 positioned above the feed conveyor belt 6 to assist in cutting the material coming along the belt. The cutting blade is particularly important when processing very cohesive soils for it cuts the soil longitudinally before it is cut from the end of the conveyor 6. The serrated blade 32 is preferably oscillated across the material to further enhance the machines ability to deal with very cohesive soils.
Furthermore it is preferred with very wet cohesive soils a cutting rotor 33 can be positioned in the hopper 8 cuts back surplus material so that the cutting edge deals with a relatively uniform layer or mat of material. This reduces pressure on the serrated cutting blade 32 and this means that very wet cohesive soils can now be dealt with in the hopper where they would not have been with just the serrated cutting blade. The form of the rotor 33 can vary from the form shown. The cutter 33 is mounted on an arm 34 pivoted on an axle 35 housed in bearings 36 in the wall of the hopper 8. The position of the cutter 33 can be varied depending on the material being treated or completely removed from the hopper 8 if granular material is being conditioned by a hydraulic ram 37.
Thus it can be seen there is provided a versatile soil conditioning machine which can be adapted to be a crusher by the substitution of one or both of the mixing rotors with hammer rotors, the mixing and hammer rotors can be in any configuration, mixer and hammer, or hammer and mixer. The rotors can be changed from one type to the other in a short period of time, thus enhancing the versatility of the machine.
The double rotor concept provides efficient mixing of the clay with the conditioning material of lime or cement, by accelerating the particles into the path of the other rotor to maximise the amount of sheer (energy) that is put into the mix process. The incoming material does not fall into a mixing chamber, but is cut by the upper rotor directly from the end of the conveyor and accelerated onto the door which then directs the material onto the second rotor. The blowing of compressed air into the mix chamber aids the vaporisation of any hydrocarbon materials. The air is blown through the pulverized soils as they leave the rotor and the process of the material flying through the air maximises the contact of the compressed air with the soil particles to release hydrocarbon contamination.
The adjustable doors for each rotor permit the clearance to be adjusted for each type of soil being conditioned, the doors also being adjusted to self-cleaning position. The use of hydraulic motors permits infinite speed adjustments depending on soil types and/or operation made, e.g. mixing or crushing, e.g. mixing 200-500 RPM, crushing 800-1000 RPM.
Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures can be made within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details described herein but it is to be accorded the full scope of the appended claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.
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