[1 1 3,706,417 1451 Dec. 19, 1972 [541 LIQUID SPRAYING METHOD AND APPARATUS  Inventor: Keith H. Patrick, Montgomery, Ala.
 Assignee: King Around Products, Inc., Mont- .gomery, Ala.
 Filed: Jan. 29, 1971  Appl. No.: 110,834
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 686,425, Nov. 28,
1967, Pat. No. 3,552,650, and a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 43,352, June 4,1970, Pat. No. 3,655,130.
2,979,269 4/1961 Bals ..239/77 3,053,314 9/1962 McGillis et al. ..239/224 X 3,552,650 11/1971 Patrick ..239/8 2,157,416 5/1939 Kjos ..239/216 X Primary ExaminerLloyd L. King Assistant Examiner-Reinhold W. Thieme Attorney-Newton, Hopkins & Ormsby' [s71 ABSTRACT This invention relates to an improved liquid spraying method and apparatus for use in generating a fog-like array of sprayed material to be applied to foliage for pest control or for fertilizer distribution. More particularly, this invention includes a rotatably supported spraying head having an endless diffusion member concentrically mounted relative to the rotation axis of the spraying head. The diffusion member is provided with a plurality of perforations therein for separating into finely divided form, liquid passing therethrough. A liquid dispensing nozzle is in flow communication with the spraying head for introducing liquid into the inside surface thereof. An annular distribution and directing member is coaxially mounted with the spraying head for developing circulating currents of air pressure to effect an even distribution of the liquid introduced therein and for directing the liquid outwardly through the perforations in the diffusion member. An impellar means is operatively associated with the spraying head for producing a uniform blast of air axially in one direction along the outside surface of the diffusion member to generate a fog-like array of sprayed material in a radially and axially extending direction.
8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures LIQUID SPRAYING METHOD AND APPARATUS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending applications Ser. No. 686,425 filed Nov. 28, 1967, now US. Pat. No. 3,552,650 for a FLUID DISPENSING MECHANISM andan application filed June 4, 1970 for a SPRAYING SYSTEM, Ser. No. 43,352, now US. Pat. No. 3,655,130.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a liquid diffusion spraying mechanism and is more particularly concerned with an agricultural instrument which will finely divide liquids, such as liquid pesticides, and distribute the finely divided liquid over a relatively large area.
In the past, various instruments have been devised for dividing liquids and for distributing the same over relatively wide areas. Such devices have found wide application in creating fogs for the destruction of various pests, such as mosquitos, flys, boll weevils, and various other insects; fungi and bacteria. Such instruments may also be found useful in distributing liquid fertilizers.
The prior art devices have either distributed relatively large volumes of the liquid or have been relatively complicated and expensive. One such mechanism involves the generation of high temperature gases which pass at high velocity through a nozzle and entrain the liquid so that the liquid is also discharged at a high velocity from the nozzle. Of course, in finely dividing the liquid and in subjecting it to relatively high temperatures, there may be a breakdown of the chemicals in the liquid to be dispensed. Therefore, while such mechanisms are quite efiective in discharging relatively large volumes of liquid, their uses may be limited, especially when organic halogens are to be dispensed or where a small quantity of liquid per acre is to be dispensed.
Other types of prior art liquid spraying mechanisms have been used, and some have attempted to discharge low and ultra-low volumes of finely divided liquids. Such machines, known as the FISCHER and MAI-IN machines, employed the carburetor principle using a large volume of compressed air at low pressure. Another type of machine is known as the JOHN BLUE machine and works on the principle of blowing a large volume of air across spray nozzles which discharge fine sprays into the blast of air.
Various liquids, such as liquid fertilizers, which may be dispensed with such mechanisms, are quite corrosive and, therefore, may attack the mechanisms, par
ticularly where small orifices are involved. Therefore, maintenance of such prior art devices is a major factor and is at times expensive.
Other problems of the prior art spraying heads were often created because the liquid being sprayed was not evenly distributed over the spraying head, thereby utilizing only a small area of the spraying head which would become easily clogged during a spraying operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present machine is different both in structure a spraying head rotatably mounted and driven by a power motor means. The spraying head includes an annular member having passageways formed therein for separating into finely divided form, liquid passing therethrough. The annular member is concentrically mounted relative to the rotational axis of the spraying head. A liquid nozzle dispensing means is provided for introducing a liquid into the inside surface of the diffusion member with the introduced liquid flowing along a path coaxial to the axis of rotation of the diffusion member and in the direction the material is sprayed. A liquid distribution and directing member if located internally of the diffusion member for developing circulating currents of air pressure around the dispensing nozzle to effect an even distribution of the liquid outwardly through the diffusion member. An impellar means is fixed to the rotary spraying head for producing a uniform blast of air axially in one direction along the outside surface of the diffusion member.
It is a primary object of this invention to provide a spraying means which is capable of distributing a very, very small quantity of liquid over a large area.
Another object of this invention is to provide a liquid spraying mechanism which will create air pressure around 'a dispensing nozzle to aid in cleaning liquid material from the dispensing nozzle.
Another object of this invention is to provide a liquid spraying mechanism which will create air pressure around a dispensing nozzle to aid in an even distribution of the liquid dispersed from the nozzle.
A further object of this invention is to provide a liquid spraying mechanism which will evenly finely divide liquid and entrain it in a flow of air so that the liquid may be deposited over a relatively wide area.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a liquid spraying mechanism which may be readily and easily arranged to be operated in conjunction with other similar mechanisms.
Another object of this invention is to provide an improved method of spraying liquid material.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a liquid spraying means which may be readily and easily disassembled and reassembled for cleaning purposes.
An additional object of this invention is to provide a liquid diffusion spraying means which is simple in construction, economical to manufacture and reliable in operation. These and other objects and advantages in the details of construction will become apparent after reading the following description of one illustrative embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters have been used to refer to like parts throughout the several figures of drawing, and wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES 0F DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a supporting boom having a pair of spraying heads mounted thereon;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of one of the spraying heads, with certain parts being omitted and with certain parts broken away for purposes of clarity;
FIG. 3 is a further exploded perspective view of the spraying head illustrated in FIG. 2 with certain parts being omitted for purposes of clarity;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken substantially midway through the diffusion chamber;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially midway through the diffusion chamber;
FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the spraying head;
FIG. 7' is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken substantially midway through the spraying head illustrated in FIG.-6; and
FIG. 8 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially midway through the spraying head illustrated in FIG. 7.
' DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT Referring'now particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the improved spraying mechanism will be described with reference to-a supporting means 10-, a power drive means 20 and a rotary drive spraying'head 30.
As shown in FIG. l, the support means 10 includes an elongated boom supporting structure 11 having a pair of laterally extending support brackets 12. Fixed to each of the brackets 12 is a plate 13. Plates 13 are secured to brackets 12 byconventional means (not shown). Extending radially outward from plate 13 is a series of supporting arms 14, each of which includes an axially formed end portion 15. Secured to an extended end of each of the formed end portions 15 is an annular rim 16 detailed for surrounding an impellar means of the spraying head for providing protection therefor as will be described in more detail herein below.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the spraying heads includes'a power driven motor means 20 which is secured to plates 13 by means of conventional connecting bolts (not shown) which are inserted through openings 21 provided in plate 13 and are threadably received in complementary threaded openings 22 of motor 20. Motor-20 is hydraulically driven by fluid pressure furnished by a high pressure supply line 23 with the hydraulic pressure being exhausted through a return line 24. The hydraulic motor 22 includes a rotary driven sleeve 25 extended outwardly therefrom, as shown inFIG. 2, with sleeve 25 being provided with a threaded end portion 26. The sleeve 25 with threaded end portion 26 is detailed for rotatably supporting the spraying head as will be described in more detail herein below.
. Extending through the motor means 20 and coaxially supported relative to the rotary driven sleeve 25 is a fluid dispensing nozzle 27. Nozzle 27 is connected by means of a supply line 28 to a chemical supply means (not shown). A liquid chemical to be dispensed flows through a series of orifices 29 provided in the nozzle 27 Reference is made to applicants copending application for a SPRAYING SYSTEM filed June 4. 1970 for the details of construction of the boom support means 10, the hydraulic motor drive means 20 and the chemical dispensing nozzle 27.
As shown in FIGS. 3 through 5, each of the spraying heads 30 includes a rotary impeller means 31. Rotary impeller means 31 is provided with a central flat portion 32 detailed for supportingthe dispensing and diffusion chamber. Extending radially outward from the impeller central portion 32 are a pair of impeller blades 33, 34. The impeller'blades 33, 34 are detailed in design such that when rotated they will create or Impeller 31 is provided with a conventional threaded bushing 35 mounted within an opening 36 by conventional means, such as welding (not shown). As shown in FIG. 4, the bushing'35 is threaded onto the end 26 of rotary sleeve 25' and is locked thereon by means of a locking nut 37. Thus, it can be seen that rotation of sleeve 25 bymotor 20 will effect a corresponding rotation of the impeller 31. The dispensing and diffusion chamber includes a bottom plate 40 having a substantially circular flat surface 41 with an upturned flange portion 42. Spacer means 43 is supported on the bottom plate 40 and includes two annular rim portions 44, 45 held in axially spaced relationship by a series of integrally formed legs 46. A cover plate 47 is provided to overlie the annular rim 44 of the spacer means and includes a downturn flange portion 48, as shown in FIG. 4. Supported around spacer element 43 is an annular screen element 50. Screen 50 includes a network of finely spaced openings extending therethrough for allowing the droplets of fluid chemicals dispensed to be directed outwardly by centrifugal force therethrough into the orbital streams of air pressure created by the impeller 31.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 4 and 5, the diffusion and dispensing chamber is provided with an annular distribution member 52. The annular distribution member 52 is smaller in diameter than the spacer 43 and screen element 50 and is fixed in coaxial relationship relative to screen 50 by connecting the distribution member 52 to the bottom plate 40 by conventional means such as welding (not shown). The distribution member 52 is detailed in axial dimensions to be substantially equal to the axial length of the spacer 43. Distribution member 52 is provided with a series of axially extending vanes angularly spaced around the circumference of distribution member 52. Vanes 53 are detailed in form to provide elongated passageways 54 therebetween, with the flow axis of the passageways being angularly oriented relative to the radial axis of the spraying head.
The above described dispensing and diffusion chamber is maintained in place on the central flat portion 32 of the rotary impeller means 31 by means of a series of connecting bolts 50 which are detailed to extend through a series of openings 56 in cover plate 47 and bottom plate 0, and which extend through openings 57 provided in the circular flat portion of the rotary end propeller 31. The connecting bolts 55 are maintained in place thereon by a series of complementary connecting nuts 58.
As shown in FIG. 4, the diffusion and dispensing chamber is detailed such that the upturned flange 32 and the downturned flange 48 surrounds opposite ends of the annular screen element50. This will insure that the screen element 50 is maintained in a proper position on the rotary impeller 31. The screen member 50 is preferably a perforated webb or wire screen which 'separates the liquid into flnely divided form.
tions which would become clogged within the screen element 50. The diffusion and dispensing chamber illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8 is identical to the diffusion chamber illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 5 with the exception that the annular screen element 50 and the spacer means 43 has been omitted. A squirrel cage type diffusion and dispensing member 60 has been substituted for screen 50 and spacer 43. In an assembled relationship as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the squirrel cage type diffusion and dispensing member 60 is supported in the same position as the screen element 50. Squirrel cage diffusion and dispensing member 60 includes a series of axially extending vanes 61 angularly spaced around the circumference of member 60. Each of the vanes 61 are spaced and formed angularly outward to provide an elongated passageway 62 therebetween. The flow axis of passageways 62 are angularly oriented relative to a radially extending axis of the spraying head 30.
OPERATION After the spraying heads 30 have been supported on spraying boom 10 for a spraying operation substantially as shown in FIG. 1, energization of the hydraulic motor drive means is effected by passing a supply of fluid under pressure through the supply lines 23 into motor 20 thereby rotating the sleeve 25. Hydraulic fluid exhausted from motor 20 will be returned along exhaust lines 24 to a supply reservoir. Rotation of sleeve 25 by the hydraulic motor 20 will effect a corresponding rotation of the rotary impeller 31 and the spraying head 30. After rotation of the spraying heads has been initiated, a spraying operation is effected by introducing fluid chemicals along a supply line 28 into the dispensing nozzle 27 from conventional fluid chemical supply means (not shown). Fluid chemicals introduced into the nozzle 27 will be directed radially outward through orifices 29.
Rotation of impeller 31 will effect a corresponding rotation of the annular distribution and directing member 52. As the annular distribution and directing member 52 rotates the angularly oriented and axially extending vanes 53 will contact air surrounding the annular distribution and directing member thereby drawing the air through passageways 54 into the inside v thereof. Air passing through passageways 54 will develop circulating currents of air pressure around dispensing nozzle 27 thereby aiding in cleaning the fluid chemicals which are dispensed through orifices 29. Also, the air pressure created within annular distribution and directing member 52 will separate the chemical particles directing them radially outward and evenly distributing the particles over the screen as they are directed outwardly into the blast of air developed by the rotary impeller means 31.
Operation of the modified form of spraying head illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8 is similar to the operation of the spraying head illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 5. Rotation of the members 52 and 60 will both operate to direct air inwardly towards the dispensing nozzle 27 creating an air pressure around the dispensing nozzle to aid in cleaning chemicals introduced by the nozzle'27 and also separating the chemical particles into an even distribution within the air currents created within the diffusion chamber and thereafter directing the chemisun cal particles radially outward by centrifugal force through the passageways 54, 62, respectively.
It now becomes apparent that the above described illustrative embodiments are capable of obtaining the above stated objects and advantages. It is obvious that those skilled in the art may make modifications in the details of construction without departing from the spirit of the invention which is to be limited only by the scope of the impending claims.
What is claimed is: y
1. An improved liquid spraying mechanism for use in developing a fog-like array of sprayed material comprising in combination;
a. a rotatably supported spraying head;
b. a pair of endless diffusion members concentrically mounted relative to the rotational axis of said spraying head, with one of said diffusion members being located radially inwardly of the other diffusion member, and wherein each of said diffusion members includes a plurality of liquid flow passageways for separating into finely divided foam liquid passing therethrough;
c. means for introducing a liquid into said spraying head at a point spaced radially inward of said pair of diffusing members;
. means for rotating said spraying head to direct said introduced liquid outwardly through said pair of diffusion members and;
e. means for producing a uniform blast of air axially in one direction along the external surface of the outwardly spaced diffusion member, whereby said liquid passing through said diffusion members will be entrained in said blast of air and directed axially and radially outward to form a fog-like array of sprayed material;
f. both of said diffusion members including a plurality of air deflecting members detailed for developing circulating air currents around said liquid introducing means to aid in evenly separating and directing said introduced liquid.
2. An improved liquid spraying mechanism as in claim 1, further characterized in that both of said diffusion members are formed as annular elements having a plurality of axiallyextending air deflecting vanes angularly oriented relative to the rotational axis of said spraying head, with said vanes being circumferentially spaced around said annular elements to define said liquid flow passages therebetween.
3. An improved liquid spraying mechanism comprising in combination;
a. a rotatably supported spraying head;
b. a pair of endless diffusion members concentrically mounted relative to the rotational axis of said head with one of said diffusion members being located radially inward of the other, and with each of said diffusion members including a plurality of liquid flow passageways for separating liquid passing therethrough into finely divided foam, and with the inner diffusion member comprising a plurality of axially extending air deflecting vanes angularly oriented relative to the rotational axis of the spraying head, said vanes being spaced circumferentially around said inner diffusion member to define said liquid flow passageways and being detailed for developing circulating air currents within said inner diffusion member;
. means for introducing a liquid into said spraying head at a point spaced radially inward of said inner diffusion member;
means for'rotating said spraying head and said diffusion members to directly send introduced liquid outwardly through said diffusion members, and
. means for producing a uniform blast of air axially in one direction along the external surface of the outwardly spaced diffusion member whereby said liquid passing through said diffusion members will be entrained in said blast of air and directed axially and radially outward to form a fog-like array of sprayed material.
' 4. A spraying mechanism as in claim 3 wherein said means for introducing liquid into said spraying head comprises a dispensing nozzle extending axially of said spraying head within said inner diffusion memberQsaid nozzle being provided with a plurality of axially spaced end portion formed in an axial direction to extend sub- I stantially equal to the height of said liquid spraying head.
8. A spraying apparatus as in claim 7, wherein the means for rotating said spray head is a hydraulic motor.