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Title:
CONCRETE FIBER INJECTOR WITH FIBER BOXES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/036454
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fiber injector (8) has a fixed attachment (10) mounted to a material delivery boom. A rotary attachment (30) and a fiber distribution ring (40) are rotated around the fixed attachment by an electric motor (12). Fiber boxes are mounted to the rotary attachment (30). The fiber boxes (60) contain the fiber (62) being injected into a material flow stream. A fiber brake (24) is mounted for selectively moving to cover fiber delivery apertures (52) in the fiber distribution ring (40) to selectively stop injection of the fiber (62) into the material flow stream. The fiber boxes (60) each contain fiber (62) for injecting the fiber (62) into a material flow stream. Frangible elements (68) provide electrical continuity between respective pairs of contacts (64) and separate to break electrical continuity between the respective contacts (64) when portions of the fiber (62) are removed from the fiber boxes (60).

Inventors:
ROBBINS, Mark D. (PO Box 1369, Kingsland, TX, 78639, US)
Application Number:
US2018/046681
Publication Date:
February 21, 2019
Filing Date:
August 14, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ROBBINS, Mark D. (PO Box 1369, Kingsland, TX, 78639, US)
International Classes:
B28C5/40; B65H43/06; E04C5/07
Foreign References:
US20120192766A12012-08-02
US4023779A1977-05-17
KR19990078918A1999-11-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HANDLEY, Mark, W. (PO Box 97, Grapevine, TX, 76099, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A fiber injector for passing fiber into a materia) flow stream passing through a flow conductor, the fiber injector comprising:

a fixed attachment rigidly secured to the flow conductor;

a rotary attachment rotatably secured to said fixed attachment, with a motor powered to rotate the rotary attachment relative to said fixed attachment;

a fiber distribution ring secured to said rotary attachment, wherein said fiber distribution ring has a number of fiber box holders for securing fiber boxes to said fiber distribution ring;

said fiber distribution ring further having a plurality of fiber delivery apertures aligned with said fiber box holders for passing fibers from said fiber boxes through said fiber distribution ring and into the material flow stream; and

a plurality of said fiber boxes which contain said fibers for passing into the material flow stream, said fiber boxes being disposed in respective ones of said fiber box holders and aligned therewith for passing said fiber into said fiber delivery apertures.

2. The fiber injector according to Claim 1 , further comprising:

a fiber brake mounted to said fixed attachment for selectively moving between said material flow stream and said fiber distribution ring to cover said fiber delivery apertures and preventing said fibers from passing through said fiber delivery apertures and into said material flow stream.

3. The fiber injector according to Claim 1, wherein said fiber distribution ring is removably secured to said fixed attachment, attaching and detaching thereto, providing for loading additional fiber distribution rings during a material delivery.

4. The fiber injector according to Claim 1, further comprising a control handle secured to said fixed attachment for a user to manually locate an end of the flow conductor to control the location of the flow of the material flow from the flow conductor.

5. The fiber injector according to Claim 1 , further comprising a lock positioner having three detent positions, and a control handle having a handle lock set which engages with said lock positioner in said three detent positions, wherein:

in a first position said rotary attachment and said fiber distribution ring are stationary and not rotating relative to said fixed attachment, and said fiber is stationary within said fiber boxes and is not passing through said fiber delivery apertures and into the material flow stream; in said second position said rotary attachment and said fiber distribution ring are stationary and not rotating relative to said fixed attachment, and said fiber is passing through said fiber delivery apertures and into the material flow stream; and

in said third position said rotary attachment and said fiber distribution ring are rotating relative to said fixed attachment, and said fiber is passing through said fiber delivery apertures and into the material flow stream.

6. The fiber injector according to Claim 5, further comprising said control handle secured to said fixed attachment for a user to manually locate an end of the flow conductor to control the location where the material flow exits title flow conductor;

7. The fiber injector according to Claim 6, wherein said fibers are included into said material flow stream in various three dimensional relationships, controlled manually by means of said control handle and said handle lock set in relation to said three detent positions of said lock positioner, selectively passing said fibers into said material flow stream through sequentially selecting rotary action and non-rotary action of said rotary attachment and said fiber distribution ring.

8. The fiber injector according to Claim 1 , further comprising a feed tab for threading said fibers through said fiber delivery apertures.

9. The fiber injector according to Claim 1 , further comprising a frangible electrical conductor connected to a respective one of said fibers for detecting when said respective fiber is removed from one of said fiber boxes.

10. A fiber box for securing to a fiber injector for passing fiber into a material flow passing through a flow conductor and providing the fiber for injecting to the material flow, the fiber box comprising:

a fiber for injecting into the material flow;

an enclosure for containing said fiber for passing into the material flow;

an aperture providing a feed hole for passing said fiber from an interior of said enclosure to an exterior of said enclosure;

two contacts having ends disposed on a side of said enclosure, said ends being spaced apart for registering with mating contacts of the fiber injector;

a frangible element extending between said two contacts, said frangible element being conductive for providing electrical continuity between said two contacts; and

a second end of said fiber being secured to said frangible element, such that when said liber is withdrawn from within said enclosure said frangible element separates and breaks electrical continuity between said two contacts.

11. The fiber box according to Claim 10, further comprising a plurality of contact sets in addition to said two contacts, said contact sets connected to further frangible elements to provide an indication of an amount of said fiber withdrawn from said enclosure, wherein said frangible elements are disposed in relation to intermediate sections of said fiber to break continuity between respective ones of said contact sets which indicates a proportionate amount of said fiber withdrawn from said enclosure.

12. The fiber box according to Claim 11 , wherein said plurality of contact sets are disposed on said side of said enclosure for registering with mating contacts.

13. The fiber box according to Claim 11 , wherein said fiber is wound into coils which are laid one atop another within said enclosure with intermediate sections disposed between sets of said coils of said fiber, said intermediate sections defining connect loops which are secured to respective ones of said further frangible elements.

14. The fiber box according to Claim 10, further comprising a reel rotatably mounted within said enclosure, wherein said fiber is wound about said reel for spooling from said reel and passing through said aperture and into said flow conductor for dispensing into the material flow, said frangible element being electrically connected to respective contact tracks which are engaged by brushes, and wherein said brushes are electrically connected to said two contacts.

15. The fiber box according to Claim 14» further comprising a plurality of contact sets in addition to said two contacts, said contact sets connected to additional frangible elements for metering withdrawal of said fiber which is wound about said spool, wherein said frangible elements are disposed in relation to intermediate sections of said fiber for separating electrical continuity between respective contact sets which provides an indication of proportionate amounts of said fiber withdrawn from said enclosure when the respective intermediate sections are spooled from said reel, said additional frangible element being electrically connected to respective additional contact tracks which are engaged by additional brushes, and wherein said additional brushes are electrically connected to contacts mounted to said side of said enclosure.

16. The fiber box according to Claim 15, further comprising a brush card having conductive tracks formed thereon, and brush contacts extend from said conductive tracks to define said brushes and said additional brushes, wherein said brush card is mounted interiorly within said enclosure,

17. The fiber box according to Claim 16, wherein said brushes are defined by staples protruding from said brash card with one end of said staples electrically connected to said conductive tracks of said brush card.

18. The fiber box according to Claim 10, further comprising:

a fiber install tab secured to said first end of said fiber, and sized for fitting through a fiber delivery aperture extending into said fiber injector and said material flow; an angled lower end for cooperatively engaging with an angled interior surface for urging said two contact to electrically engage with two mating contacts; and

wherein said aperture providing said feed hole is disposed on an upper portion of a said side of said fiber box.

19. A fiber box for securing to a fiber injector for passing a single fiber into a material flow passing through a flow conductor, the fiber box comprising:

an enclosure for containing said single fiber for passing into the material flow; an aperture providing a feed hole for passing said single fiber from an Interior of said enclosure to an exterior of said enclosure;

a plurality of contacts having ends disposed on a side of said enclosure, said ends being spaced apart for registering with mating contacts of the fiber injector,

a plurality of frangible elements extending between respective ones of said contacts, said frangible element being conductive for providing electrical continuity between said two contacts; and

a second end and intermediate portions of said single fiber being secured to corresponding ones of said frangible elements, such that when said single fiber is withdrawn from within said enclosure a corresponding one of said frangible elements separates and breaks electrical continuity between respective ones of said contacts, wherein said frangible elements are connected to said second end and said intermediate sections of said single fiber to provide an indication of a proportionate amount of said single fiber withdrawn from said enclosure.

20. The fiber box according to Claim 19, wherein said single fiber is wound into coils which are laid one atop another within said enclosure with intermediate sections disposed between sets of said coils of said single fiber by winding said single fiber onto a mandrel having spacers separating separate ones of said coils, wherein each of said spacers defines a flange end with a connector tube extending there-between, said connector tube having a longitudinal slot extending therein for receiving said mandrel and said flanges having radially extending slots extending therein such that after said fiber is wound upon said mandrel, said spacers may be removed from said mandrel and said mandrel removed from extending within said coils such that said fiber coils may be laid within said enclosure with said intermediate sections disposed between said coils;

said flanges of said spacers having tabs defined by notches formed into circumferential edges of said spacers, said tabs and said notches providing connection points for winding said intermediate sections disposed between respective ones of said coils; and

wherein said intermediate sections define connect loops which are secured to respective ones of said frangible elements to provide a proportionate amount of said fiber withdrawn from said enclosure when the respective intermediate sections of said single fiber are removed from said fiber box.

Description:
CONCRETE FIBER INJECTOR WITH FIBER BOXES

INVENTORCS)

[0001] Mark D. Robbing a resident of the City of Kingsland, in Llano County, Texas, United States of America, and a citizen of the United States of America. TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates in general to concrete and enhancing the strength and versatility of concrete as used in various applications by allowing the controlled and quantified placement of various materials into a concrete delivery stream.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0003] The present application is a continuation-in-part of US. Patent Application Serial No. 15/911,089 filed 03 March 2018, entitled "FIBER BOXES FOR A CONCRETE FIBER INJECTOR," and invented by Mark D. Robbing, which is related as a divisional and

continuation-in-part application to U.S. Patent No.9,963,318, issued 08 May 2018, " having application Serial No. 15/676,546 tiled 14 August 2017, entitled "CONCRETE FIBER

INJECTOR, and invented by Mark D. Robbins.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The current style of placing concrete on a job site quite often uses a concrete pump, either a boom truck or a smaller trailered pump. Being able to use a pump to deliver the concrete aggregate some distance from the delivery truck, place it directly where it is needed without the manual labor of a wheel barrow, has significantly enhanced the productivity and efficiency of the concrete industry for all but the smallest jobs. The larger the job, the more is gained from using the larger boom trucks.

[0005] One thing that has not changed is lack of tensile strength for concrete. From stone aggregates to fiber, steel, and various other additions to the concrete mixture, many things have been tried to enhance the tensile strength of the concrete.

[0006] This period of time in history is marked by rapid advances in material science. For one example, the advancing science of graphene and carbon nanotubules, the strongest material ever manipulated by man, is sure to have significant effects in every kind of industry due to its strength and conductive properties. For example, steel was a commonly used structural material similar to those used at the beginning of the twentieth century such as ASTM A36 steel which has a tensile strength of 550 MPa. These days in the beginning of the twenty-first century carbon fiber materials have been developed such as graphene which has a tensile strength of 130,000 MPa.

[0007] The present invention advances the science of structural concrete by leveraging the use of concrete delivery systems and fibers, of various types, to uniformly embed materials of high tensile strength in the concrete aggregate. As used in this document, the term "fiber" refers to any of the following: titanium wire, copper wire, carbon nanotubules, braided graphene or any other natural or man-made substance. In addition, the invention allows the inclusion, if necessary, of conductive fibers, for example copper, or conductive carbon fibers, to create an electromagnetic wave barrier to enable creation of a Faraday Cage to exclude electromagnetic radiation. As computer security becomes more necessary, this capability will become more important.

[0008] While this document specifically describes the inclusion of various materials into a concrete stream, the method is not limited to concrete but can be applied to any material stream.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Γ0ΘΘ91 A fixed attachment according to the present disclosure comprises three main parte which are appended to the end of a concrete pump boom nozzle or the end of a concrete truck delivery trough. A fixed attachment is rigidly attached to the end of the boom nozzle in stationary relation therewith. The fixed attachment has a control handle which is used both to control the loca tion of an end of the boom nozzle for concrete placement at the site and to control the distribution pattern of fibers via an electric motor. A rotary attachment is rotatably secured to a lower end of the fixed attachment The rotary attachment is rotated by an electric motor. A fiber distribution ring is removably secured to the lower end of the rotary attachment and may be rapidly detached from and rapidly reattached to the rotary attachment The fiber distribution ring has a number of fiber box holders which are reloaded repeatedly after each delivery, for example one concrete truck, with fiber boxes. The fiber boxes are boxed containers of the fiber being injected into the concrete stream. A fiber brake is a sleeve moveably disposed between the fixed attachment and the rotary attachment for selectively moving to cover fiber delivery apertures in the fiber distribution ring to control whether fiber is passing into material flowing through the boom or nozzle.

[0010] In essence, this device allows the addition of tensile enhancing materials into monolithic slabs which is essentially independent of the actual concrete mixture and its strength, adding additional properties, like EM shielding, without hampering die delivery efficiency of the concrete at the site.

[0011] The fiber boxes are secured to a fiber injector for passing fibers into a material. The fiber boxes each include an enclosure for containing one of the fibers for passing into the material flow, an aperture providing a feed hole for passing a one of the fibers from an interior of the enclosure to an exterior of the enclosure, and two contacts having ends disposed on an exterior of die enclosure, the ends being spaced apart for registering with mating contacts. A frangible element extends between the two contacts, the frangible element being conductive for providing electrical continuity between the two contacts. A second end of the fiber is secured to the frangible element, such that when all the fiber has been streamed into the material, the end is pulled free breaking the frangible conductor and breaking electrical continuity between the two contacts.

[0012] The fiber boxes further include a fiber install tab secured to the first end of the fibers, and sized for fitting through a fiber delivery aperture extending into the fiber injector and the material flow. An angled lower end is provided on the enclosure for cooperatively engaging with an angled interior surface for urging the two contacts to electrically engage with two mating contacts. The two contacts are disposed at a lower portion of a first vertically extending exterior surface of the fiber box. The aperture providing the feed hole is disposed on an upper portion of the vertically extending exterior surface of the fiber box.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] For a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying Drawings in which FIGS. 1 through 21 show various aspects for a concrete fiber injector made according to the present disclosure, as set forth below:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the fiber injector;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the fiber injector

FIG. 3 is a partial section view of the fiber distribution ring, a fiber box holder and a fiber box, taken along section line 3*3 of FIG. 1; FIG.4 is a perspective view of the fiber box;

FIGS.5, 6 and 7 are longitudinal section views of the fiber injector, taken along section tine 3-3 of FIG. 1, and show operation of the control handle for manually controlling operation of the fiber injector;

FIG. 8 is a partial exploded view showing mounting of the fiber distribution ring to the rotary attachment;

FIG.9 is a partial perspective view showing a rapid attachment release connector for releasibly locking the fiber distribution ring to the rotary attachment;

FIG 10 is a partial section view showing mounting of the fiber distribution ring to the rotary attachment, as viewed along the section line 10-10 of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 11 is a partial section view of the fiber distribution ring mounted to the rotary attachment, as viewed along the section Hnel0-10 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a second fiber box having electric contacts disposed on an outward surface at an upward end of the second fiber box;

FIG. 13 is a partially exploded, perspective view of a third fiber box having multiple frangible conductors connected to external electric contacts disposed at an outward surface of the third fiber box;

FIG. 14 is a partially exploded, perspective view of a fourth fiber box having multiple frangible conductors connected to external electric contacts disposed at an outward surface of the third fiber box;

FIG. 15 is a sectional view of a fiber reel and the fourth fiber box taken along section line 15-15, and showing the reel located within the fourth fiber box and a plurality of frangible conductors dividing sections of wound fiber mounted to the fiber reel;

FIG. 16 is a layout plan view of a contact brush card for mounting in the fourth fiber box, showing conductive tracks printed onto a surface of the brush card;

FIG. 17 is a partially exploded, perspective view of a winding fixture for winding fiber and loading the fiber into fiber boxes;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the winding fixture after spooling the fiber onto the winding fixture;

FIG. 19 is a longitudinal section view of an alternative fixed attachment having a first interiorly disposed fixed impeller;

FIG.20 is a sectional view of the alternative fixed attachment taken along section line 20-20 of FIG . 118; FIG.21 is a longitudinal section view of an alternative fiber distribution ring having a second interiorly disposed fixed impeller;

FIG.22 is a partial section view of an alternative fiber distribution ring, a fiber box holder and a fiber box, as would be viewed if taken along section line 3-3 of FIG. 1 , and shows a countersunk interior surface with a scalloped region disposed around the fiber delivery apertures; and

FIG.23 is a side elevation view of an interior surface of the fiber box holder, showing the countersunk interior surface with the scalloped region disposed around the fiber delivery apertures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0014] FIG. I is a perspective view and FIG.2 is an exploded view of a fiber injector 8 for mounting to a boom end of a concrete pump. The fiber injector 8 is mounted to the boom or to the dump trough of a concrete truck and is used for injecting fibers 62 having tensile strength into a flow of concrete material passing from the boom of from the dump tough and through the fiber injector 8. This method and apparatus for injecting various materials into a particular stream is not limited to concrete, but may be used for injecting fibers into various material flow streams conveyed by a flow conductor, such as the boom or the dump trough of a concrete truck. A fiber gather tool 90 is used to gather the fibers 62 together and fiber shears 92 to cut through the fibers 62. The fiber gather tool 90 and the fiber shears 92 are hanging from the handle 20 and are used to collect and then trim off the fibers 62 when pulling down on a control handle 20 to stop their streaming.

[0015] The fiber injector 8 has a longitudinal axis 9 and a fixed attachment 10 which is concentrically disposed with the longitudinal axis 9. The fixed attachment 10 is annular shaped and has an upper end 17 and a lower end 19. A fiber brake 24 is a cylindrical sleeve which is siidably mounted to a lower end of the fixed attachment 10. The fiber brake 24 is concentrically disposed around the longitudinal axis 9 and has a cylindrical shaped body 27, a lower terminal end defining a lower rim 29 and an annular-shaped stop 25 which protrudes outward from an upper end of the cylindrical shaped body 27. Two mounting pins 82 extend outward from the stop 25 on opposite sides of the fiber brake 24. A plurality of stanchion windows 74 are formed through the cylindrical shaped body 27 for passing stanchions 13. The stanchions 13 have needle bearings 15 and are fixedly mounted to the lower end 19 of the fixed attachment 10 after the fiber brake 24 is aligned in position for permanently mounting to the fixed attachment 10. [0616] A rotary attachment 30 is ring-shaped and rotatably mounted to the lower end 19 of the fixed attachment 10 concentric with the longitudinal axis 9. The rotary attachment 30 extends around an upper end of the fiber brake 24. The rotary attachment 30 is defined by a gear drive ring 32 having two gear ring halves 76 and 78 which are removably secured together with fasteners 38. The gear ring halves 76 and 78 each have exteriorly protruding gear teeth 80 to together define a cylindrical gear rack for engaging with the pinion gear 18. Two interiorly disposed protrusions extend from an inner surface of the gear drive ring 32 to define a bearing race 36 for fitting around the needle bearings IS, rotatably securing the rotary attachment 30 to the lower end 19 of the fixed attachment 10. The rotary attachment 30 is mounted around the stanchions 13 and needle bearings 15 after the fiber brake sleeve 24 and its attendant brake actuator rod 26 are slid into position on the fixed attachment 10. Fasteners 38 allow the two halves 76 and 78 of the rotary attachment 30 to be fastened around fixed attachment 10 supporting the part via the bearing race 36 which encases the bearing stanchions 13.

[0017] A fiber distribution ring 40 is annular shaped and has a cylindrical upper end 45 and a tapered lower end 47 which are concentrically disposed wim the longitudinal axis 9. The cylindrical upper end of the ring 40 is mounted to the rotary attachment 30 for rotating therewith about the fixed attachment 10 and the fiber brake 24. The lower end 47 is tapered at a taper angle 49 to the vertical. (Shown in FIG. S). Preferably the fiber brake 24 and the fiber distribution ring 40 are cooperatively configured such mat a lower exterior rim 29 of the fiber brake 24 will, when the fiber brake 24 is moved to a downward position, engage an interior transition region S 1 where the fiber distribution ring 40 transitions from the cylindrical upper end 45 to the tapered lower end 47. The transition region 51 is interiorly disposed within the fiber distribution ring 40 and engaged with the lower rim 29 of the fiber brake 24 to squeeze fibers 62 (shown in FIG. 4) there-between. (See also FIG. 5). A plurality of fiber box holders 50 are mounted circumferentially around an intermediate portion of the fiber distribution ring 40. Each of me fiber box holders 50 will hold a respective fiber box 60, with each of the fiber boxes 60 having one or more strands of fibers 62. The fiber boxes 60 are retained within the fiber box holders 60 by retainers 72, which are preferably provided by elastic straps. The fiber box holders 50 and fiber boxes 60 are discussed in more detail below in reference to FIGS. 3 and 4. The fiber ring connectors 33 allow the quick release/attachment of the fiber distribution ring 40, and are discussed below in reference to FIGS. 8-11.

[0018] A control handle 20 is preferably U-shaped and has two terminal ends which are pivotally mounted to a lower portion of the upper end 17 of the fixed attachment 10 by means of two pivot pins 28. The control handle 20 includes two mounting pins 21 which extend from opposite sides, offset from the two terminal ends, and are aligned for pivotaUy connecting respective ones of two brake actuator rods 26 which pivotaUy connect to the two mounting pins 82 protruding laterally outward and to the side of the stop 25 of the fiber brake 24. The brake actuator rods 26 provide links pivotaUy connecting from the two pins 21 to the two mounting pins 82 extending outward from the annular shaped stop 25 of the upper terminal end of the fiber brake 24.

[0019] A handle lock set 22 is slidably mounted to the control handle 20 and includes an elongate grip bar 86 which fits into an interior portion of the hand grip portion of the control handle 20. A lock pin 84 extends from a central portion of the grip bar 86 and has a terminal end to which an insert tab 88 is mounted. The insert tab 88 engages a lock positioner 23 which is mounted to a lower end of the upper portion 17 of the fixed attachment 10. The lock positioner 23 has three indentations formed into one side for providing detents 94, 96 and 98 for engaging with the insert tab 88 of the lock pin 88 to selectively position the control handle 20 in three selected positions rotated about the pins 28 and relative to the fixed attachment 10. Each of the detents 94, 96 and 98 are configured in cooperative relation with the control handle 20 and the brake actuator rods 26 to selectively position the fiber brake 24 in the three respective positions shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, and discussed below.

[0020] A switch 16 is preferably provided by a proximity switch which detects when the control handle 20 is angularly moved about the pin 28 to be disposed in the upper angular position shown in FIG. 7, which is discussed below. The switch 16 may be of the type which is magnetically actuated, optically actuated, or be a micro-switch of the type shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 having an arm which is engaged directly by the control arm 20 to throw and make or break electric contacts. Actuating the switch 16 preferably powers the motor 12, which is preferably electric. Powering the motor 12 rotates the pinion drive gear 18 which engages the gears 80 of the rotary attachment 30, which rotates the rotary attachment 30 and the fiber distribution ring 40 around the longitudinal axis 9. The motor 12 and the pinion gear 18 are mounted within a housing 14, secured to the upper end 17 of the fixed attachment 10. Preferably, conventional bearings are provided for securing the pinion drive gear 18 to the fixed attachment 10.

[0021] A control console 41 is provided on the upper end 17 of the fixed attachment 10. The control console 41 includes a control device 46 which designates how many fiber boxes should be loaded and active, thereby controlling density of material added to the material flow stream, and which is controlled by a control knob 46. In addition, it shows the LED status display 42 which indicates when a fiber box 60 has emptied and which fiber boxes 60 are still active. Hie LED status display 42 preferably has the LED status lights displayed in a circular pattern. In the center of the LED status display 42 is the system status LED 44 which designates whether the fiber distribution ring 40 currently has loaded the correct number of functioning fiber boxes. There is a battery 43 which powers the LEDs. Whenever the number of fiber boxes designated are not available to stream fiber into the concrete stream, the sustem status LED 44 will turn red and preferably sound an alarm. Preferably, the contacts 64 of the fiber boxes 60 on the fiber distribution ring 40 are connected to the control console 41 through a wireless connection, such that the control console 41 will correctly display the status of the fiber boxes 60 on the LED display 42. Preferably, a microprocessor based controller will control the wireless signal from the fiber distribution ring 40 corresponding to (he status of the fiber 62 in respective ones of the fiber boxes 60. Similarly a microprocessor based controller within the control console 41 will selectively power the LED display 42 according to the fiber box status wireless signal received from the fiber distribution ring 40.

[0022] FIG. 3 is a partial section view of the fiber distribution ring 40, the fiber box holder 50 and the fiber box 60, taken along section line 3-3 of FIG. 1. The fiber aperture ports 52 through which the fiber streams are visible within the fiber box holders 50. The two contacts 54 at the bottom of each fiber box holder 50 must be completed by contacts 64 on the fiber box itself to enable the LED status light system 42 to recognize the fiber box as installed and loaded. The angled lower ends 58 of the boxes 60, when combined in cooperating relation with the angled interior surfaces 56 of the fiber box holder 50, are designed to force the contacts 64 on the box

60 and the contacts 54 on the fiber distribution ring 40 to be intimate. Preferably, the retainer 72 is an elastomeric strap which pulls angled bottoms 58 of the fiber boxes 62 against the angled bottom surface 56 of the box holders 50. The fiber 62 is preferably streamed out of the fiber boxes 60 by contact with the concrete, or other material flow.

[0023] FIG.4 is a perspective view of the fiber box 60. The fiber boxes 60 has an enclosure

61 which may be formed of various materials, such as metal, plastic or cardboard. The fiber 62 is preferably installed by winding the fiber 62 in horizontal loops, with the loops stacked on top of one another from the bottom to the top of a fiber box 60. A fiber install tab 66 is installed on an outward terminal end of the fiber 62, as delivered from the factory so that it can be installed easily through the fiber delivery aperture 52. A feed hole 70 extends through an upper end on an inward end surface of the fiber box 60 for passing the fiber 62. Fiber status contacts 64 are provided on the lower end of the inward end surface of the fiber box 60. An inward terminal end of the fiber 62 located on the end of the bottom loop is attached to a frangible conductor 68 which completes a status monitoring circuit so mat when the fiber 62 comes to an end ft pulls apart the frangible conductor 68 to open a monitoring circuit which provides an electric signal indicating that the fiber box 60 is empty of the fiber 62. The frangible conductor 68 is shown as a single wire extending between the two contacts 64. Preferably the contacts 64 are rivets formed of conductive material.

[0024] In other embodiments, a conductive coating may be placed on a frangible element which extends between the two contacts 64, such as paper coated with a conductive coating. The end of the fiber 62 may be secured to the frangible element with an adhesive, a rivet, or tied around the frangible element, such that pulling the fiber 62 on the frangible element will tear the frangible element and break electric conductivity between the two contacts 64.

[0025] FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are longitudinal section views of the fiber injector 8, taken along section line 5-5 of FIG. 1, and show operation of the control handle 20 for manually controlling operation the fiber injector 8. The control handle 20 has three positions via a lock positioner 23: a DOWN POSITION, a MIDDLE POSITION, and an UP POSITION.

[0026] FIG. 5 shows the control handle 20 in the DOWN POSITION, in which the fiber 62 is not streaming, and the rotary attachment 30 and the fiber distribution ring 40 are not rotating relative to the fixed attachment 10. The insert tab 88 of the lock pin 84 is engaged in the detent 94 of the lock positioner 23. In mis position the brake actuator rod 26 has been pushed into a downward position, which moves the fiber brake 24 into a downward position in which the fiber brake 24 impinges on the fibers 62 and blocks the fiber delivery apertures 52. in the downward position the fiber brake 24 has two purposes in that it blocks the fiber delivery apertures 52 so they do not become clogged by the concrete material stream while not in use and it blocks the fibers 62 from passing through the apertures 52 and being deposited into the material stream. With or without the fiber distribution ring 40 installed, if the control handle 20 is in the DOWN position, the device does not change the functionality of the boom delivery system at all and allows the control handle 20 to act as a manual concrete placement assist. The fiber distribution ring 40 has a tapered lower end 47 which tapers at an angle 49 to decrease in diameter slightly in a downward direction, such that lowering the fiber brake 24 causes the body 27 of the fiber brake to cover the fiber apertures 52 and presses the lower rim 29 of the fiber brake 24 against the transition 51 region. This pinches the fibers 62 between title rim 29 and the sides of the distribution ring 40 at the transition region 51 to stop the fibers 62 from being injected into the material flow stream of concrete. [0027] FIG. 6 shows the control handle 20 in the MIDDLE POSITION, with the insert tab 88 of the lock pin 84 engaged in the detent 96 of the lock positioner 23. In the MIDDLE

POSITION the fiber brake 24 is raised to a tilted position, located above the fiber delivery apertures 52 so that the fibers 62 will pass through the apertures 52 and into the material flow stream. In the MIDDLE POSITION the switch 16 is not actuated, so that the rotary attachment 30 and the fiber distribution ring 40 are stationary and not rotating relative to die fixed attachment 10.

[0028] FIG. 7 shows the control handle 20 in an UP POSITION and the insert tab 88 of the lock pin 84 engaged in the detent 98 of the lock positioner 23. In the UP POSITION the fiber 62 is streaming and the rotary attachment 30 and the fiber distribution ring 40 are rotating. When the control handle 20 is raised to the UP POSITION the fiber brake 24 is raised above the fiber delivery apertures 52, freeing the fibers 62 to move from the fiber boxes 60 through the fiber delivery apertures 52 and into the fiber distribution ring 40. Raising the control handle 20 to the UP POSITION actuates the switch 16 which applies power to the electric motor 12 to rotate the rotary attachment 30 and the fiber distribution ring 40. The purpose of having the fibers 62 laid out with a rotational component is to allow laying down the fibers 62 mat cross each other at regular intervals so as to distribute stresses across the Held in an organized, regular fashion.

[0029] FIG. 8 is a partial exploded view showing the mounting of the fiber distribution ring 40 to the rotary attachment 30. Four rapid attachment release connectors 33 provide four catches 102 (one shown) which are provided on the rotary attachment 30 and four latches 112 which are provided on the fiber distribution ring 40, each preferably spaced apart equal angular distances about the longitudinal axis 9. The catches 102 engage with respective ones of the latches 112 to secure the ring 40 to the rotary attachment 30.

[0030] FIG. 9 is a partial perspective view showing a rapid attachment release connector 33 for releasibly locking the fiber distribution ring 40 to the rotary attachment 30. The connector 33 includes the catch 102 and the latch 112. A vertically extending slot 110 receives the length of the catch 102. The catch 102 includes a stop 104 and a catch body 106. The catch body 106 extends downward from the stop 104. A recess 108 extends through a central portion of the catch body 106. The latch 112 includes a lock arm 114 which provides a clasp for engaging in the recess 108 of the catch body 106. The lock arm 114 has a first end pivotally mounted to the fiber distribution ring 40 and a second end which is secured to the ring 40 by a hold down member 118. A tapered shoulder 120 provides a cam surface to assure the latch 112 will fit over the lower end of the catch body 106 to engage within the recess 108. [0031] FIG. 10 is a partial section view showing mounting of flic fiber distribution ring 40 to the rotary attachment 30 taken long section line 10-10 of FIG. 8, and FIG. 1 I is a partial section view of the fiber distribution ring 40 mounted to the rotary attachment 30, also taken along section line 10-10 of FIG. 8. FIG. 10 shows the fiber distribution ring 40 being moved upward to engage the rotary attachment 30. The latch 112 will engage within the recess 108, as shown in FIG. 11.

[0032] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a second fiber box 132 which has several components that are similar to those described above for the fiber box 60 of FIG.4. The fiber box 132 has electric contacts 138 and 140 provided by conductive lands or pads which are disposed on an outward surface at an upward end of the second fiber box 132. Conductive tracks 134 and 136 extend from the contacts 64 to the contacts 138 and 140. The frangible conductor 68 extends between the contacts 64, and is connected to the fiber 62.

[0033] FIG. 13 is a partially exploded, perspective view of a third fiber box 146 having multiple frangible conductors 68 connected to external electric contacts 64 disposed at an outward surface of the third fiber box 146. The third fiber box 146 has an enclosure 148 within which a fiber 62 is disposed, preferably coiled into a plurality of coils. The fiber 62 is wound into separate coils ISO which are separated by intermediate sections 152. The intermediate sections 152 are formed to define connect loops 154. The frangible conductors 68 are preferably tied to the connect loops 154. The fiber 62 is dispensed from the enclosure 148 by feeding the fiber 62 through the feed hole 70, as discussed above. The coils 150 of the fiber 62 are partitioned by respective ones of the frangible conductors 68 being secured to the fiber 62 between the coils 150. The frangible conductors 68 will break as the fiber 62 is dispensed, providing an indication which may be monitored to determine the percentage of the fiber 62 has been dispensed from within the enclosure 148.

[0034] FIG. 14 is a partially exploded, perspective view and FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along Section Line 15-15 of FIG. 14, showing a fourth fiber box 160 which includes an enclosure 162 and a reel 168. The reel 168 is mounted to a spindle pin 164 which is rotatably mounted to bushings 166. Preferably, a single continuous fiber 62 is spooled around the reel 168 for dispensing therefrom. The bushings 166 are mounted to the enclosure 162 at opposite ends of the spindle pin 164. The reel 168 has contact points 170 which are paired in registered alignment on opposite sides of the reel 168, with respective frangible conductors 172 extending between corresponding ones of the registered pairs of the contact points 170. The frangible conductors 172 are connected to the fiber 62 at different layers wrapped around the reel 168 and provide an indication that a known length, or other amount, of the fiber 62 has been spooled off from die reel 168 when continuity between opposed ones of the contact points 170 is broken by the frangible conductors being broken. Similar to the configuration shown for the wound fiber 62 shown in FIG. 13 end the frangible conductors 64, the fiber 62 is wound about the reel 168 such that the respective ones of frangible conductors 172 will break when known lengths of the fiber 62 are removed. Preferably, intermediate sections similar to intermediate sections 152 of FIG. 13 are provided form said wound fiber 62 having connect loops 154 which are connected to said frangible conductors 172 for breaking an electric circuit through said frangible conductors 172 when the respective intermediate section 152 and connect loop 154 is spooled from the reel 168.

[0035] Opposed sides of the reel 168 have conductive tracks 174 which are preferably printed traces that connect between the contact points 170 and respective ones of contact tracks 176 disposed on opposite sides of the reel 168. The contact tracks 176 are preferably extend with a circular shape and are printed on opposite sides of the reels 168, circumscribing a central rotational axis for the reel 168 and the spindle pin 164, Brushes 178 are conducti ve contacts which are mounted in stationary relation to the enclosure 162 and are biased with a spring-like force to press against the contact tracks 176 of the reel 168. In the preferred embodiment bias means for providing the spring-like force for pressing the brushes 178 against the contact tracks 176 in electrically conductive engagement is provided by two closed cell foam members 192. In other embodiments bias members may be provided by coil springs, leaf springs or the like rather than the closed cell foam members 192. The brushes 178 are preferably provided by metal staples pressed through brush card 180 to bom electrically engage the contact tracks 176 and brush pads 182 formed on the brush card 180. The brushes 178 are connected by means of the conductive tracks 184 and the conductive tracks 196 to the fiber box contact pads 194, which will preferably engage with contact pads located on the fiber distribution ring 40 (shown in FIG. 7). The contact pads 194 are shown at an upper end of the fiber box 160 in FIG. 14, but in other embodiments may be located at a lower end of the fiber box 160, such as shown in FIG.4 for the fiber box 60.

[0036] FIG. 16 is a layout plan view of a contact brush card 180 for mounting in the enclosure 162 of the fourth fiber box 160. The brush card 180 is preferably a flat sheet of material on which conductive brush pads 182, conductive tracks 184 and contact pads 188 are formed, preferably by printing conductive materials. Opposite ends of the brush card 180 have fold lines (one shown) for folding at a right angle to the main body for mounting the brush card 180 in the enclosure 162 as shown in FIG. 15. Preferably one or both opposite ends are stapled to the enclosure 162, with the staples 198 used on one side of the brush card 180 being conductive and passing through both the contact pads 188 of the brush card 180 and the circuit tracks 196 on the enclosure 162 to electrically connect respective ones of the brushes 178 to respective fiber box contact pads 194. A wear shield 190 is preferably applied to the surface of one side of the brush card 180 to cover the tracks 184 to prevent wear from abrasion should the reel press against the brush card 180 while rotating to spool the continuous fiber 62 from the reel 168.

[0037] FIG. 17 is a partially exploded, perspective view and FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a winding fixture 202 for winding the fiber 62 into coils 216, such as the coils 150 shown in FIG. 13, and used for loading the coils 216 of the fiber 62 into fiber boxes. The winding fixture 202 has mandrel 204, preferably provided by a rod or an axle having ends 206 which may be secured to a rotary shaft (not shown) for rotating the entire winding fixture 202. End flanges 208 are preferably mounted to the rotary shaft (not shown) and fitting over respective opposites ends of the mandrel 204 to define outermost ones of the spool regions 214. Spacer alignment grooves 210 are formed into the circumference of the mandrel 204 at regularly spaced intervals for aligning a plurality of spacers 212 with the mandrel 204. The spacers 212 arc mounted to the mandrel 204 at spaced apart intervals to define the spool regions 214 which are located in the spaces adjacent the mandrel 204 and between adjacent ones of the spacers 212, and between the outermost two of the spacers 212 and the end flanges 208. The spacers 212 are preferably configured to each have two opposed flanges 228 which are spaced apart and disposed in parallel alignment with a connector section 230 extending between the two opposed flanges 228.

[00381 Each of the connector sections 230 are preferably tubular in shape, and one side of the tubular shape is open to form a longitudinally extending slot 232 for receiving the mandrel 204, such that the tubular shape fits over the mandrel 204 to preferably snap in place and removably secure the respective spacers 212 to the mandrel 204. Each of the spacer flanges 228 have a radially extending slot 224 which extends from a circumferential edge of the respective spacer flange 228 to a center of the flange 228 for passing the mandrel 204 through the circumferential edge and into the center of the flange 228. This allows the spacers 212 to be removed from the mandrel 204 after the fiber 62 is wound about the mandrel 204 to form the coils 216, with the coils 216 formed in the spool regions 214 located between the spacers 212 and between the two end spacers 212 and adjacent ones of the end flanges 208. Located on opposite sides of the radially extending slots 224 at the circumferential edges of the flanges 228 are tabs 222 having notches 226 ate formed adjacent the tabs 222 and into the circumference of the flanges 228. The notches 226 formed into the tabs 222 which provide bosses for securing the loops 218 of the fiber 62 which extends between the coils 216. Preferably there are two or more loops 218 and an extended portion 220 for securing to a frangible conductor 172 or a conductive staple which will be pulled to break continuity when a respective extended portion 220 of the loops 218 are spooled from within a fiber box Into which the fiber coils 216 are loaded. It should be noted that one continuous length of the fiber 62 is loaded onto the winding fixture 202 to form the coils 216 and the loops 218.

[0039] After the fiber 62 is wound onto the winding fixture 202 » the fixture 202 is placed adjacent a formed fiber box, or an unformed fiber box prior to folding if formed of a folded material, such as a fiberboard, or card board. Once in fixture 202 and coils 216 are located in position adjacent the fiber box, each of the extended portions of the loops are first secured to the box, or unformed box, to a respective frangible conductor 172 or a respective conductive staple which will be pulled to break continuity when a respective extended portion 220 of the loops 218 are spooled from within a fiber box into which the fiber coils 216 are loaded during pouring of concrete, or other material into which the fiber is being injected. Once the loops 218 are attached to the respective frangible conductors or staples, the spacers 212 are removed from the mandrel 204 and the mandrel 204 is pulled from within the coils 216 of the fiber 62 and either packed into the preformed fiber box, or the fiber box is formed around the coils 216 of the single, continuous fiber 62.

[0040] FIG. 19 is a longitudinal section view and FIG. 20 is a sectional view taken along section line 20-20 of FIG. 19 of an alternative fixed attachment 234 having interiorly disposed fixed impellers 236. The fixed impellers 236 are mounted in fixed relation to the interior surface of the fixed attachment 234 to impart rotation to a material flow stream passing through the fixed attachment 234 for alternate embodiments in which a fiber distribution ring 234 is not rotated relative to the fixed attachment 10 when dispensing fiber into the material flow stream, such as when the motor 12 is not powered in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-7. Imparting rotation of the material flow stream is provided to wrap the fiber being dispensed around the dispensed material of the material flow stream to form elongate lengths of fiber encased material. When dispensing concrete as the material in the flow stream, this is akin to creating elongate lengths of a fiber encasing a length of solid concrete mass for depositing into a form to cure and provide a structure.

(0041 { FIG .21 is a longitudinal section view of an alternative fiber distribution ring 242 having interiorly disposed fixed impellers 244 (one shown). Preferably three or more of the fixed impellers 244 are provided, to provide the fiber distribution ring 242 with a cross-section similar to that shown in FIG. 20 for the fixed attachment 234. The fixed impellers 244 operate in similar fashion to the impellers 236 of FIGS. 19 and 20, to impart rotational movement of the material flow stream relative to the fiber delivery apertures 246 and encase the material flow in the fiber 62.

[0042] FIG. 22 is a partial section view of an alternative fiber distribution ring 242, a fiber box holder SO and a fiber box 60, as would be viewed if taken along section line 3-3 of FIG. 1. FIG. 23 is an enlarged Side elevation view of an interior surface of the fiber distribution ring of FIG. 22. FIGS. 22 and 23together show countersunk interior surfaces provided by a concave recess 250 providing scalloped region 252 disposed around respective ones of adjacent fiber delivery apertures 52. A plurality of scalloped regions 252 are shown as the fiber apertures 246 in FIG. 21. The scalloped regions 252 are preferably self-cleaning and allow the fiber 62 to easily pass into the material flow stream passing through the fiber distribution ring 242.

[0043] In typical usage, fiber injector S is affixed to the boom end

example a concrete pump. At the start, a fiber distribution ring 40 is fully loaded with the appropriate type and number of fiber boxes 60 attached to the fiber distribution ring 40 of the fiber injector 8. In general the fiber boxes 60 would be scaled to require no mid-service reloads. For example, the fiber boxes 60 would be scaled to complete a ten yard, or whatever is typical, load from a concrete truck, the used fiber distribution ring 40 is then snapped off and a new pre-loaded fiber ring would be installed and the next load would commence. In order to be most efficient, each system would have two fiber distribution rings 40 so that one could be loaded while the other is being used. The fiber boxes 60 would be pulled out, and the fiber end, fiber install tabs 66 of the new boxes 60 would be threaded though fiber apertures 52, the box inserted validating that the LED is active showing proper installation. After all the boxes 60, or whatever number of the boxes 60 required are loaded, the status LED registers green, then it is ready to be attached to fiber injector 8 for the next load.

[0044] In alterative embodiments, the LED status lights of the control console 31 may be mounted on the fiber distribution ring 40, and then a contacts 54 of the fiber box holders 50 may be connected directly to the LED Status lights 42 by hard wiring, to directly connect the contacts 64 of the fiber boxes 60. Other embodiments may use pneumatic or hydraulic components, such as for the motor 12, or for actuating operation of the fiber brake 24. For example, the brake actuator rod 26 may be replaced by a linear actuator, such as that operated by an electric solenoid, stepper motor, pneumatic actuator or hydraulic actuator, connected directly to the fixed attachment 10.

[0045] Λ fiber injector (8) has a fixed attachment (10) rigidly secured to the end of a material delivery boom. The fixed attachment (10) has a control handle (20) for controlling the location of the boom and distribution of fibers (62) into the material flowing through the boom. A rotary attachment (30) is rotatably secured to the fixed attachment (10) and is selectively rotated by an electric motor (12). A fiber distribution ring (40) is removably secured to the rotary attachment (30) and has a number of box holders (50) for receiving fiber boxes (60). The fiber boxes (60) contain the fiber (62) being injected into a material flow stream. A fiber brake (24) is mounted for selectively moving to cover fiber delivery apertures (52) in the fiber distribution ring (40) to selectively stop injection of the fiber (62) into the material flow stream.

[0046] The fiber boxes (60) each contain fiber (62) and are removably mounted to a fiber injector (9) for injecting the fiber (62) into a material flow stream. The fiber boxes (60) each have an enclosure (61) for containing the fiber (62), preferably a single fiber (62). An aperture 70 provides a feed hole (70) for passing the fiber (62) from an interior of the enclosure (61 ) to an exterior of the enclosure (61 ). Contacts (64) have ends disposed on a side of the enclosure (61 ), spaced apart for registering with mating contacts (54) on a fiber distribution ring (40). A frangible element (68) extends between the contacts (64) and provides electrical continuity between the two contacts (64), such that when the fiber (62) is fully withdrawn from within the enclosure (61 ) the frangible element (68) separates and breaks electrical continuity between the two contacts (64).

[0047] As the concrete is delivered to the deeper areas of the form, the fibers are delivered via either the rotational aspect, or directly without rotation. For example, the typical install for flatwork versus structural columns versus cantilevered structures will evolve. The type, number, and style of fiber application will be dependent and enhanced with further research. As the delivery approaches the upper finished inch, that is, the upper surface of the concrete being deposited, the handle will be put in the DOWN position, stopping the fiber injection, so that the final finished surface is without fibers protruding.

[0048] The present invention describes a new way to apply various materials in a quantitative way to pumpable materials, which is in this example concrete. While the current application is described using concrete pumps as an example, there is no reason it cannot be expanded to any number of applications.

[0049] The increase in utility of concrete due to the inclusion of more technically superior products, such as carbon graphite fibers, eventually graphene and carbon nanotubules, in such a uniform and quantifiable means controlled at the point of deli very has unlimited growth potential.

Although the preferred embodiment has been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alterations can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.