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Title:
A FRAMELESS CONTAINMENT SYSTEM WITH MAGNETIC LOCKING MEANS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/134964
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a frameless containment system (1) with magnetic locking means (8) having an optimal magnetic strength.

Inventors:
NJAA, Torleiv (Nesttun, N-5225, NO)
Application Number:
EP2019/050152
Publication Date:
July 11, 2019
Filing Date:
January 04, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PINOVO AS (Sanddalsringen 3, Nesttun, N-5225, NO)
International Classes:
B24C9/00; B24C3/06; B08B15/02; B05B16/80
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PLOUGMANN VINGTOFT A/S (Strandvejen 70, 2900 Hellerup, 2900, DK)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A frameless containment system for providing a substantially dust-tight working space surrounding a work area, said frameless containment system comprising:

a flexible enclosure comprising one or more flexible sheets adapted to be placed around said work area, said one or more flexible sheets comprising an outlet for releasing gas and particles;

one or more gas inlet device;

wherein said flexible enclosure when placed around said work area, defines a dust-tight work space through magnetic means, located, at least partially, within the edge of said flexible enclosure, and wherein said magnetic means has a magnetic strength between 0.5 N/mm and 10 N/mm.

2. A frameless containment system according to claim 1, wherein said one or more gas inlet devices is adapted to introduce compressed fluids, such as gas or liquids, into said flexible enclosure, thereby keeping the frameless containment erected.

3. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said one or more gas inlet devices is adapted to introduce compressed fluids, such as gas or liquids, and particles, thereby allowing for introduction of materials suitable for surface treatment within said work area.

4. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said outlet for releasing gas and particles is configured for connecting a vacuum device for drawing gas and particles out of said flexible enclosure.

5. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising a vacuum device connected to said outlet for releasing gas and particles, said vacuum device suitable for drawing gas and particles out of said flexible enclosure. 6. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said magnetic means comprise permanent magnets or electromagnets arranged in a chain structure.

7. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said magnetic means are attached to said edge of said flexible enclosure.

8. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said magnetic means are located within sleeves at said edge of said flexible enclosure.

9. A frameless containment system according to claim 9, wherein said sleeves comprise metallic materials, such as metallic braids.

10. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims 8 and 9, wherein said sleeves comprise plastic, rubber or any other materials.

11. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising an inlet opening, such as a blasting hole, suitable for introducing compressed gas and particles.

12. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein, when assembled, said flexible enclosure comprises one or more wedge shaped elements between said magnetic means and said working area.

13. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said one or more wedge shaped elements comprise said outlet for releasing gas and particles and said one or more gas inlet devices.

14. A frameless containment system according to claim 14, wherein said one or more wedge shaped elements comprise magnetic materials.

15. A frameless containment system according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said magnetic means has a magnetic strength between 1 N/mm and 5 N/mm

Description:
A FRAMELESS CONTAINMENT SYSTEM WITH MAGNETIC LOCKING MEANS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a frameless containment system with magnetic locking means.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When performing maintenance work, such as abrasive blasting operations, it is often desirable to be able to reduce dissemination of particles, such as debris, dust or blasting media. To protect surrounding equipment, installations and nearby personnel, it is thus often necessary to build a containment system or enclosure around an area that needs to be maintained.

Enclosures of this type are often constructed from a large rigid frame covered by a membrane material.

As an alternative to the use of rigid frames, flexible enclosure have shown better versatility.

However, ensuring substantially dust-tight connection along the edges of the work area protected by the enclosure has proven to be difficult.

Abrasive blasting operations and other operations involving flying particles may also pose a serious risk of injury to the operator performing the operation. Thus, tightness of the enclosure around the edges of the work area is rather crucial to avoid undesired dissemination of particles in the vicinity of the working area.

Unfortunately, the joining of the edges of these enclosures around the edges of the work area is very often not sufficient, requiring more permanent additional sealing means to provide substantially dust-tight connection. However, more permanent additional sealing means reduced versatility and difficult removal of the enclosure when blasting operations are finished.

Furthermore, permanent additional sealing means, such as glue, also have the disadvantage that they may contaminate the work area, leading eventually to a less efficient treatment of the work area.

Hence, there is a need for a system ensuring dust-tight connection between the enclosure and the edges of the work area defined by the enclosure.

Hence, an improved containment system would be advantageous, and in particular a

containment system that ensures dust-tight connection between the edges of the work area and the areas surrounding the enclosure.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a dusttight containment system ensuring dust- tight connection between the edge of the containment system and the edge of the work area. In particular, it may be seen as an object of the present invention to provide a frameless containment system that solves the above-mentioned problems of the prior art with a removable sealing mean.

An object of the present invention may be seen as to provide an alternative to the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus, the above described object and several other objects are intended to be obtained in a first aspect of the invention by providing a frameless containment system for providing a substantially dust-tight work space surrounding a work area, such as a work area on a ferritic or magnetic surface, the frameless containment system comprising: a flexible enclosure comprising one or more flexible sheets adapted to be placed around the work area, the one or more flexible sheets comprising an outlet for releasing gas and particles; one or more gas inlet devices; wherein the flexible enclosure when placed around the work area, defines a dust-tight working space through magnetic means, located, at least partially, within the edge of the flexible enclosure.

The flexible enclosure is adapted to be placed, positioned or assembled around the work area.

The outlet for releasing gas and particles may release gas vapors and material originated from actions, such as surface treatments, performed underneath the flexible enclosure.

The outlet for releasing gas and particles may be connected to a suction hose so as to allow removal of gas and particles by suction.

The flexible enclosure may be composed of one or more flexible sheets having a plurality of edges adapted to be assembled, providing a main body section. The plurality of edges of the flexible sheets may be adapted for being assembled around structures extending in and out of the work space. The magnetic means may be located, at least partially, within the edge of the flexible enclosure defined by the boundaries or plurality of edges of the one or more flexible sheets.

In some embodiments, the one or more flexible sheets are made from a transparent polymer- based material. It is thus possible to see through the flexible enclosure during operation of the blasting nozzle or the like positioned inside the enclosure. More specifically the material may be a polyethylene composition comprising flame-retardants and/or antistatic agents. Antistatic or electrically dissipative properties may prevent dust from attaching to the inside of the flexible enclosure, hence, preserving visibility. In some further embodiments, the one or more flexible sheets are made of different materials. In some embodiments, the one or more gas inlet devices are adapted to introduce compressed fluids, such as gas or liquids, into the flexible enclosure, thereby keeping the frameless containment erect. The containment is thus kept erect without the need of a frame. In some further embodiments, the one or more gas inlet devices are adapted to introduce compressed fluids, such as gas or liquids, and particles, thereby allowing for introduction of materials suitable for surface treatment within the work area.

The one or more gas inlet devices may thus be used for both keeping the frameless containment system erect and for introducing materials to perform surface treatment.

In some embodiments, the one or more gas inlet devices comprise a second gas inlet device that is adapted to keep the frameless containment system erect. In some embodiments, the work area is a surface to be subjected to a surface treatment such as abrasive blasting or painting.

In some further embodiments, the outlet for releasing gas and particles is configured for connecting a vacuum device for drawing gas and particles out of the flexible enclosure.

Thus, the outlet may be configured for connecting to a suction hose.

In some embodiments, the frameless containment system further comprises a vacuum device connected to the outlet for releasing gas and particles, the vacuum device being suitable for drawing gas and particles out of the flexible enclosure.

In some further embodiments, the magnetic means comprise permanent magnets arranged in a chain structure.

For example, the permanent magnets may be block-shaped permanent magnets arranged in a chain structure.

In some embodiments, the magnetic means comprises electromagnets.

The chain structure may comprise nonmagnetic materials. In some embodiments, the magnetic means are attached to the edge of the flexible enclosure.

The magnetic means may be within the edge of the flexible enclosure or attached to or within the plurality of edges of the flexible sheets.

In some embodiments, the magnetic means are located within sleeves at the edge of the flexible enclosure.

The sleeves may comprise metallic materials, such as metallic braids.

The sleeves may also comprise plastic, rubber or other materials.

In some embodiments, the magnetic means has a magnetic strength between 0.3 N/mm to 30 N/mm, such as between 1 N/mm and 5 N/mm.

Magnetic means having magnetic strength between 0.5 N/mm and 10 N/mm have shown to have the optimal magnetic strength required by the frameless containment system of the invention.

Magnetic means having magnetic strength higher then 10 N/mm have the drawback that they cannot be easily handled as the high strength causes attachment to magnetic surfaces already at far distances from the magnetic means, leading to difficulties in operational handling of the frameless containment system.

However, high magnetic strength is required to ensure tightness of the frameless containment system, when in operation.

In search for the optimal magnetic strength to achieve both appropriate tightness and safe handling, the inventors devised the frameless containment system having an optimized range of magnetic strength for correct and safe handling, and for appropriate tightness, so particle release is avoided.

The force measured when pulling the magnets from the surface, depends on the strength of the magnet and the distance from the magnet to the magnetic surface or to another magnet. The strength of the magnet depends on the quality of material and the size and shape of the magnet. The distance is defined by the thickness of the braid, such as a metallic braid, the sheeting thickness and the thickness of the surface treatment, such as the paint, or other surface substances, such as the one produced by corrosion. The resultant pull force is defined in N/mm, wherein the length measurement relates to the length of the magnetic means, such as a magnetic chain. In practical use, the desired pull force is typically between 0.3 N/mm and 2 N/mm. As the distance between the magnets and the ferritic surface or another magnet can typically differ from 0.1 mm to 15 mm depending on the thickness of the paint, braid and sheeting, the magnet force of the magnets measured when pulling the magnets from a plane steel surface, 5 mm thick, can differ between 0.3 N/mm to 30 N/mm, when measured on a row of magnets from 50 to 100 mm long.

Magnets come in different temperature classes and in order to work on hot surfaces a suitable temperature class should be chosen.

The magnets are assembled with alternated polarity.

The magnetic means have a magnetic strength between 1 N/mm and 5 N/mm when measured on a 5 mm thick steel plate with a roughness of 0-100 pm, wherein the length measurement relates to the length of the magnetic means, such as a magnetic chain.

The specific magnetic strength between 0.3 N/mm to 30 N/mm, such as between 1 N/mm and 5 N/mm, is necessary so as to allow for keeping the flexible enclosure attached to the work area during operation and at the same time allowing for removal after use.

In that, it is an optimized range in relation to the needs of the flexible enclosure, i.e. tight during operation but removable upon pulling action by the user.

Thus, the magnetic means may comprise a row of permanent block shaped magnets placed inside a metallic braided sleeve. The ends of the sleeves may be closed with tape. The magnetic means are thus flexible and can be bent and can be attached and removed easily. This in turn allows for efficient fastening of the frameless containment system to magnetic/ferrous structures with complex structures.

In some further embodiments, the frameless containment system further comprises an inlet opening, such as a blasting hole, suitable for introducing compressed gas and particles.

The particles may be blasting media or paint, thus blasting may be achieved through a separate line via the inlet opening.

In some embodiments, when the frameless containment system is assembled, the flexible enclosure comprises one or more wedge shaped elements between the magnetic means and the working area. In some further embodiments, the one or more wedge shaped elements comprise the outlet for releasing gas and particles and the one or more gas inlet devices.

The one or more wedge shaped elements may comprise magnetic materials.

The one or more wedge may thus be part of the magnetic locking system and provide a robust structure for the location of the outlet for releasing gas and particles and the one or more gas inlet devices.

The edges of the one or more flexible sheets may be adapted to be joined onsite during assembly of the flexible enclosure around the work area. Additionally, some of the edges, such as the edges of the parts of the flexible sheets defining the lower funnel-shaped section, may be pre-joined prior to delivery of the flexible enclosure.

The edges may also be adapted for being assembled around structures extending in and out of the work space, for example via magnetic means, such as one or more magnets or components comprising magnetic materials, located within the edges, to provide a substantially dust-tight connection.

In some embodiments, magnetic means may comprise additional magnetic means, such as one or more magnets located, at least partially, along the edges of the openings of the flexible enclosure so as to provide substantially dust-tight connection between the work area, such as a pipe, and the flexible sheets.

The first, and other aspects and embodiments of the present invention may each be combined with any of the other aspects and embodiments. These and other aspects and embodiments of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiments described hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The frameless containment system according to the invention will now be described in more detail with regard to the accompanying figures. The figures show one way of implementing the present invention and is not to be construed as being limiting to other possible embodiments falling within the scope of the attached claim set.

Figure 1A is a drawing of the frameless containment system comprising the magnetic means according to some embodiments of the invention.

Figure IB is a drawing of the frameless containment system comprising the magnetic means according to some other embodiments of the invention.

Figure 2 is a drawing of the frameless containment system comprising the magnetic means according to some embodiments of the invention applied to work area having a complex geometry.

Figures 3A and 3B are the front view and the perspective view of two flexible sheets assembled around a pipe structure according to some embodiments of the invention.

Figures 4A and 4B are the perspective view and the front view of a frameless containment system assembled so as to surround a closed pipe structure according to some other embodiments of the invention.

Figure 5 is the perspective view of two flexible sheets assembled around a complex structure according to some further embodiments of the invention.

Figure 6 is a magnetic chain comprising a row of permanent block shaped magnets providing flexibility to the magnetic means according to some embodiments of the invention.

Figure 7 shows a graph defining the optimization of the magnetic strength range according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT

Figure 1A is a drawing of the frameless containment system 1 comprising a magnetic chain 8 contained within the sleeves at the edge of the flexible enclosure 9. The presence of the flexible magnetic chain allows for a dust tight environment around the work area, in this example characterized by the presence of structure 4.

The frameless containment system 1 further comprises an inlet opening 2 suitable for introducing compressed gas and particles or fluids via a blasting hose 3.

The frameless containment system 1 is characterized by the presence of a wedge shaped element 7 ensuring magnetic bond between the magnetic chain 8 and the underneath edge of the work area. The wedge shaped element 7 comprises the outlet 5 for releasing gas and particles configured for connecting a vacuum device for drawing gas, thus suitable for connecting to a suction hose. The wedge shaped element 7 also comprises the gas inlet device 6 adapted to introduce compressed fluids, such as gas or liquids, into the flexible enclosure.

Figure IB is a drawing of the frameless containment system 19 comprising a magnetic chain 20 contained within the sleeves at the edge of the flexible enclosure 21. The presence of the flexible magnetic chain allow for a dust tight environment around the working area, in this example characterized by the presence of structure 22.

The frameless containment system 19 further comprises an inlet opening 23 suitable for introducing compressed gas and particles or liquids via a blasting hose 24.

The frameless containment system 19 is characterized by the presence of a suction hose 25 entering the frameless containment system 19 at the edge between the magnetic chain 20 and the working area surface. The inlet 26 for introducing the gas inlet device is separated from the suction hose 25 and located in a different position on the frameless containment system 19.

Figure 2 is a drawing of the frameless containment system 13 comprising the magnetic means 14 fastening the frameless containment system 13 around a work area having a complex structure 18.

The frameless containment system 13 comprises an inlet opening suitable for introducing compressed gas and particles via a blasting hose 10.

The frameless containment system 13 comprises also a funnel-shaped section 15.

By a funnel-shaped section of the flexible enclosure is meant that the sides of the flexible enclosure are inclined and gradually incline toward each other when seen in the direction towards the outlet opening. The sides of the flexible enclosure thus provides a funnel or V-shaped hollow terminating in the outlet opening 12.

The gas inlet device 11 adapted to introduce compressed fluids, such as gas or liquids into the flexible enclosure enters the frameless containment system 13 also via the funnel-shaped section 15.

Figures 3A and 3B are the front view and the perspective view of two flexible sheets 27 and 30 assembled around a pipe structure 31.

This embodiment shows how two flexible sheets can be used to create a flexible enclosure defining a dust-tight working space around a pipe structure 31.

In this configuration, the magnetic chains 28 and 29 are attached to each other, thus allowing for the formation of a frameless containment system also around non-magnetic pipe structures, avoiding or at least reducing the need for other sealing means such as straps or tape.

In this configuration only one flexible enclosure, i.e. 27 has opening for suction hose 33, blasting hose 32 and gas inlet device 34.

Figures 4A and 4B are the perspective view and the front view of a frameless containment system 35 assembled so as to surround a closed pipe structure 36. In this embodiment, the flexible enclosure 37 is assembled so as to define a dust tight work area around the closed pipe structure 36. In order to do so, the magnets of the magnetic chain 38 are partially attached to each other and partially attached to the closed pipe structure 36. This configuration allows also for defining a dust tight work area around pipes that are not metallic as the magnets are, at least partially, attached to each other.

Figure 5 is the perspective view of two flexible sheets 39 and 40 assembled around a complex structure 41. The magnets of the magnetic chains 42 and 43 are partially attached to each other and partially attached to the surface of the work area. The suction hose and the gas inlet device are present but not shown for the sake of simplicity.

This configuration can also be used in combination with the funnel-shaped section as shown in figure 2 or with separate openings within the sheets for the suction hose and the gas inlet device

Figure 6 is a magnetic chain 17 comprising a row of permanent block shaped magnets 16 connected together and showing high degree of flexibility.

Figure 7 shows a graph identifying the optimal magnetic strength according to the invention.

Figure 7 presents in the X axis the pull force, in N/mm, between the magnetic means and the surface to be treated, such as the surface of a steel plate, or the magnetic surface underneath the surface to be treated.

The Yi axis represents the distance in mm between the magnetic means, such as a magnetic chain comprising several magnets connected together, and the surface to be treated or the magnetic surface underneath the surface to be treated.

Lines 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56 represent the behaviour of a magnetic chain having 15, 50, 120, 200 and 300 mm 2 of cross sections, respectively.

The relation between width and height are approximately 2:1, for instance W=10 mm H=5 mm. The graphs shown are based on neodymium magnets in grade 40. For other neodym magnets grades, or other types of magnets, the data and thus the graphs may have the same shape, but not the same values.

The cross section is defined as the width and the height of the magnets of the chain when viewed along the direction of the chain.

It can be noticed from the graph that the pull force of the magnetic chain is clearly related to the cross section of the magnetic means used.

For example, it can be seen that at the same distance from the surface to be treated, the wider the cross section, the stronger the pull force. It can also be noticed that similar pull forces, for example 2 N/mm, can be achieved by the magnetic means, such as the magnetic chain, having a wider cross section at a large distance, e.g. 200 mm 2 cross section at 3 mm distance, as by a smaller cross section at a closer distance, i. e. 50 mm 2 cross section at a distance of about 0.1 mm from the surface to be treated or the magnetic surface underneath the surface to be treated.

The distance from the magnetic chain to the surface to be treated, or the magnetic surface underneath the surface to be treated, is generally defined by the braided sleeve containing the magnetic chain, the enclosure sheet material, e.g. in the area between 0.5 and 1 mm, and the thickness of the coating and corrosion over the surface to be treated, e.g. 0.1 mm or more.

For pull force lower than 0.5 N/mm, the magnetic chain loses its grip on the surface to be treated, or the magnetic surface underneath the surface to be treated, and releases the particles created during the sand blasting process. In that, pull forces lower than 0.5 N/mm are not optimal.

Axis Y2 represents the manageability of the magnetic means.

Manageability can be divided into three categories:

(59), corresponding to single person handling, i.e. one person can handle the magnetic chain; the magnetic chain flexibly adapts around edges and corners;

- (58), corresponding to two people handling, i.e. two people are needed to handle the magnetic chain; the magnetic chain is less flexible in adapting around edges and corners; (57), corresponding to a magnet chain that is hard to handle, independently of the number of people handling it; the magnetic chain is not flexible and hardly adapts around edges and corner; furthermore there is a danger of pinching fingers during handling.

Handling of the magnetic chain relates to the handling of one or more magnet chains close to the surface to be treated, i.e. within 0 and 8 mm, or close to other magnetic objects.

Handling also includes assembling the magnetic chain and the flexible enclosure and mounting and removing the flexible enclosure comprising the magnetic chain.

Line 60 shows the pull force versus the manageability of the magnetic means.

It has been noticed that values over 10 N/mm are not acceptable from the manageability point of view.

In search for the optimal magnetic force, the inventors thus devised the invention limiting the magnetic force between 0.5 and 10 N/mm.

For best manageability and safe use, the weakest and thus smallest possible magnets still giving sufficient pull force are preferred. Within practical use for normal coating thickness up to 1 mm, magnetic means, such as magnetic chains having magnetic strength between 2 and 5 N/mm are preferred.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with the specified

embodiments, it should not be construed as being in any way limited to the presented examples. The scope of the present invention is set out by the accompanying claim set. In the context of the claims, the terms "comprising" or "comprises" do not exclude other possible elements or steps. Also, the mentioning of references such as "a" or "an" etc. should not be construed as excluding a plurality. The use of reference signs in the claims with respect to elements indicated in the figures shall also not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention. Furthermore, individual features mentioned in different claims, may possibly be advantageously combined, and the mentioning of these features in different claims does not exclude that a combination of features is not possible and advantageous.