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Title:
MULTI-DIRECTIONAL MODULATABLE FRAME FOR GALVANIC TREATMENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/064098
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Multi-directional modulatable frame (200) for galvanic treatments, constituted by at least four base elements (20) made of plastic material, adapted to be mutually engaged, forming a parallelepiped for supporting the lead wires (17) connected with the objects to be treated; said base elements (20) having a pair of short sides (21-21') and a pair of long sides (22-22') and having a pair of coupling projections (23-23') and a pair of coupling holes (24-24') configured for allowing the right-angle connection between said base elements (20) up to forming the parallelepiped; said long sides (22-22') having holes (26) for fastening the lead wires (17) arranged vertically or horizontally; at least one of said base elements (20) having at least one pair of eyelets (28-28') adapted to allow the engagement with a handle (10) constituted by an upper horizontal bar (14) connected with a pair of vertical descending elements (12-12') provided, on the lower part, with a locking device (15-15') for the connection with the eyelets (28-28') of a base element (20); said lower ends (12.a-12.a') being connected with a fixed lead wire (18) tied around the entire perimeter of said frame (200) in order to transfer the electric current to all said lead wires (17).

Inventors:
DEL MAZZA, Andrea (Viale Kennedy 129, Scarperia E San Piero, I-50038, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/056912
Publication Date:
April 04, 2019
Filing Date:
September 11, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
D.M.C. SRL (Viale Kennedy 129, Scarperia E San Piero, I-50038, IT)
International Classes:
B05C13/02; C25D17/08; C25D17/22; B05C3/10
Foreign References:
KR101487236B12015-02-02
US20140342092A12014-11-20
US3000806A1961-09-19
US0737162A1903-08-25
US3035999A1962-05-22
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FIAMMENGHI, Eva et al. (Via delle Quattro Fontane 31, Roma, I-00184, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Multi-directional modulatable frame (200) for galvanic treatments, adapted to be partially immersed in an electrolytic solution in which a common metal is dissolved which is adapted to be deposited, in a uniform manner, over the entire external surface of a plurality of metal objects reversiblv connected to said frame (200); said immersion occurring within suitable tanks containing said electrolytic solution, each tank being provided on the upper part with an electrified metal bar adapted to be engaged, in a stable and reversible manner, with said frame (200) in order to maintain the frame (200) itself at a predetermined immersion level in said electrolytic solution; said electrified metal bar also being adapted to transmit, to said frame (200), the electric current necessary for the galvanization treatment to be carried out; said frame (200) being characterized in that it is constituted by at least four base elements (20) adapted to be mutually engaged, in a stable and preferably reversible manner, so as to form a three- dimensional structure, with parallelepiped shape, adapted to support a plurality of lead wires (17); said lead wires (17) being separately engaged, in a stable and reversible manner, by means of suitable fastenings, with a plurality of objects to be treated; said fastenings being adapted to allow a predetermined freedom of movement to said objects to be treated, in a manner so as to allow a uniform deposition of the metal dissolved in said electrolytic solution contained within said tanks on each object; said base elements (20) being made of any one plastic polymer that can be found on the market which is incapable of sustaining the deposition of the metal dissolved in the galvanic solution on the base elements (20) themselves; each of said base elements (20) being constituted by a plate, with thickness comprised between 5 mm and 40 mm, preferably 20 mm, of rectangular shape with dimensions comprised between 15 cm X 30 cm and 50 cm X 100 cm, preferably 37 cm X 62 cm, wherein the pair of short sides (21-2Γ) and the pair of long sides (22-22') are two- by-two parallel to each other; said pair of short sides (21- 2Γ) being provided, at a first short side (21), with at least one pair of coupling projections (23-23') and, at a second short side (2 ), with at least one pair of coupling holes (24-24'); said coupling projections (23-23') and said coupling holes (24-24') being suitably configured between ail the base elements (20) constituting said frame (200) in order to allow the right-angle connection between the coupling projections (23-23') of a first base element (20) and the corresponding coupling holes (24-24') of a second base element (20) in a manner so as to form the three-dimensional structure with desired parallelepiped shape; said long sides (22-22') of each of said base elements (20) being provided with a plurality of holes (26) equidistant from each other, adapted to be engaged, by means of a suitable fastening, with said lead wires (17); said lead wires (17) being adapted to traverse said frame (200), in horizontal and/or vertical sense, connecting the corresponding long sides (22-22') of two base elements (20) that are parallel to each other; each of said base elements (20) also being provided with a plurality of lightening openings (27) arranged symmetrically on the body of the base element (20) itself, defining at least one central reinforcement (25) constituted by a solid section of said plate that constitutes said base element (20); said central reinforcement (25) having longitudinal direction and connecting said first short side (21) to said second short side (2Γ); at least one of said base elements (20), preferably each of said base elements (20), also being provided with at least one pair of eyelets (28-28'), placed along the central axis of said base element (20), in proximity to said short sides (21-21'); said eyelets (28-28') being adapted to allow the stable and reversible engagement of at least one base element (20) with a handle (10), preferably externally plasticized, made of any one metal or metal alloy, preferably of brass; said handle (10) being constituted by at least one upper horizontal bar (14), possibly plasticized, adapted to be grasped by an operator for the movement of said frame (200); said upper horizontal bar- (14) being provided with at least one pair of brackets (13-13') adapted to be engaged, in a stable and reversible manner, with said electrified metal bar placed above said galvanization tank; said handle (10) also being provided with at least one pair of vertical descending elements (12-12') connected on the upper part to said upper horizontal bar (14) and provided, at the respective lower ends (12.a-12.a'), with a common locking device (ISIS') adapted to allow the stable and reversible connection of said lower ends (12.a-12.a') of said vertical descending elements (12-12') of said handle (10) with said eyelets (28- 28') of one of said base elements (20); said lower ends (12.a-12.a') of said vertical descending elements (12-12') also being connected with at least one fixed lead wire (18), constituted by a common metal wire tied around the entire perimeter of said frame (200) and adapted to transfer the electric current to all said lead wires (17),

2. Multi-directional modulatable frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to the preceding claim 1, characterized in that said handle (10) is adapted to be connected, in a stable and reversible manner, with a metal section (16) placed below said base element (20) constituting the upper portion of said frame (200); said metal section (16) being suitably configured for transferring the electric current coming from said vertical descending elements (12-12') of said handle (10) to said lead wires (17) or to said fixed lead wire (18).

3. Multi-directional modulatable frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to the preceding claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said plastic polymer is polypropylene.

4. Multi-directional modulatable frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said lead wires (17) are made of copper.

5. Multi-directional modulatable frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said base elements (20) are provided with a thickness comprised between 5 mm and 40 mm, preferably 20 mm, adapted to prevent the bending of the base elements (20) themselves when immersed in the tanks, maintaining an angle of 90° between them when they are connected so as to constitute the three-dimensional structure of said frame (200).

6. Multi-directional modulatabie frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that, on said lead wires (17), a plurality of hooks (19) are arranged, provided with a common reversibly openable and closeable locking device, adapted to allow the quick connection and disconnection of said objects to be treated.

7. Multi-directional modulatabie frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said handle (10) is constituted by metal bars with thickness comprised between 4 mm and 20 mm, preferably 10 mm.

8. Multi-directional modulatabie frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said handle (10) is provided, in proximity to the lower ends (12. a- 12. a') of said vertical descending elements (12-12'), with common hinges adapted to render said handle (10) reversibly capable of being pulled down on the upper base element (20) of said frame (200).

9. Multi-directional modulatabie frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the external face (20. a) of said base elements (20) is provided with at least one common reversible connection device, adapted to allow the stable and reversible connection with the external face (20. a) of a base element (20) of a second frame (200); said first frame (200) being connected, in a stable but reversible manner, laterally or vertically with respect to said second frame (200).

10. Multi-directional modulatabie frame (200) for galvanic treatments, according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said objects to be treated are constituted by fashion accessories such as, by way of a non-limiting example, buttons, pins, buckles, chains, decorations and the like on whose surface a layer of gold, silver or palladium is deposited.

Description:
"Multi-directional modulatable frame for galvanic treatments"

Description Field of the art

The present invention operates in the field of surface treatments of metal objects, in particular of the galvanic processes obtained by means of immersion of the objects to be treated in an electrolytic solution. Still in more detail, the present invention has its best application in the treatment of small-size objects such as, for example, leather and clothing accessories.

Prior art

Galvanic processes are industrial working processes through which a coating of any one metal is applied on a metal manufactured item, in order to give it a coating with aesthetic and/or protective function. Such metal is situated dissolved in an electrolytic solution, i.e. a liquid through which electric current passes.

Among the vaiious techniques of fastening and mounting for the galvanic process, one of the most widespread is that so-called "with frame", typically used for the treatment of particularly delicate objects, which would be damaged after any other type of more traumatic/intensive treatment. Galvanization with frame consists of fastening the vaiious objects, one by one, by means of metal wires which retain them with a suitable freedom of movement. This is due to the fact that an overly tight fastening would involve "shadow zones" in the deposit of the finish material and hence a non-uniform final product with poor quality. Subsequently, the frame is lifted by an operator, who places it in the various tanks in which the surface treatment occurs. Said tanks contain vaiious electrolytic solutions which not only allow the deposit of the metal, but also provide for the preparation of the surfaces, for their final washing and for all the other steps that are necessary for the production of perfectly- worked objects. From one tank to the next, the frame is manually moved by the operator. Presently, said frames are entirely made of metal coated with plastic in order to prevent an excessive metal deposit on its surface. This involves two main problems: firstly, the weight of the frame is rather high and for the operator assigned to move the various frames in the various tanks, the work can be quite tiring; secondly, the inevitable deposit of the metal dissolved in the electrolytic solution on the metal parts of the frame which project from the plastic coating involves a considerably waste of material, which must then be recovered by means of further industrial chemical processes that are costly in terms of time and money.

Some international patents have the object of improving the productivity of the galvanization plant, such as for example the patent CN 2006 041 859 A. This refers to a type of frame for electrolytic galvanization configured for reducing the corrosion of the structure by acids and alkaline substances, thus increasing the useful lifetime of the frame and amortizing the company investment.

However, this and the other currently existing patents regarding galvanic treatments with frame do not at all resolve the abovementioned problems.

The object of the present invention is therefore that of describing a new and innovative type of frame, modulatable and multi-directional and provided with solutions that prevent any metal waste, speeding up the production and avoiding all processes for the recovery of the metal deposited thereon.

Description of the invention

According to the present invention, a multi-directional modulatable frame for galvanic treatments is made which effectively resolves the abovementioned problems.

Among the main advantages of the frame described in detail hereinbelow, there is modularity: indeed, it is constituted by the assembly of at least four base elements plus at least one handle. This allows the production of only one type of base element for making any- type of frame, each time being adapted to the needs given by the geometry of the objects to be treated. Said base elements, moreover, are made of any one plastic polymer that prevents the deposition of the metal on the base element itself, preferably made of polypropylene. The electrical conductivity, therefore, remains only in the handle, which is always emersed from the electrolytic solution in which the galvanization occurs, and in the lead wires with which the objects to be treated are tied.

Advantageously, due to the frame of the present invention, no deposit of metal occurs on the components of the frame, but only on the objects to be treated and a little bit on the lead wires, which are made of copper. These however are so thin that they can be melted, and the recovery of 100% of the material deposited thereon can be obtained.

The frame of the present invention, therefore, allows completely preventing the waste of gold, silver, palladium or other metals dissolved in the electrolytic solution in which the galvanization occurs.

Advantageously, in order to make a frame, according to the present invention, it is necessary to assemble only four base elements, forming angles of 90° between them, up to making a three-dimensional structure with parallelepiped shape adapted to support said lead wires which in turn are tied with the objects to be treated. It must be specified that the fastening must allow a certain freedom of movement of the objects, so as to prevent the formation of "shadows", i.e. non- uniformity in the deposition of the metal over all the external surfaces of the object to be treated.

In a still more advantageous embodiment, said lead wires are provided with a plurality of quick coupling and uncoupling hooks, with which the objects to be treated are stably and reversibly constrained and with the proper freedom of movement.

Said base elements are constituted by a plate, with thickness comprised between 5 mm and 40 mm, preferably 20 mm, of rectangular shape with dimensions comprised between 15 cm X 30 cm and 50 cm X 100 cm, preferably 37 cm X 62 cm. The thickness of the base elements is suitably calculated in order to prevent bending of the elements themselves and for the constant maintenance of the right angle between one element and the next.

This characteristic, which might appeal- to be a commonplace calculation for determining the optimal thickness of the base elements, determines a further advantage brought by the present invention to the state of the ait. Due to the selection of a similar thickness, in fact, it is possible to prevent the presence of reinforcements inside the structure of the frame which, in addition to weighing it down and making it more complex and costly for the construction thereof, cause the "shadow zones" which could compromise the perfect surface treatment of the objects.

Said base elements, therefore, are provided with a pair of short sides and with a pair of long sides two-by-two parallel to each other. A first short side is advantageously provided with at least one pair of coupling projections and a second short side is advantageously provided with at least one pair of coupling holes. The above -described latter elements are standardized among all the base elements in order to allow, advantageously, the right-angle connection between the coupling projections of a first base element and the corresponding coupling holes of a second base element up to forming the three-dimensional structure with parallelepiped shape that constitutes the present frame.

Advantageously, at the long sides of each of said base elements, a plurality of holes are aixanged that are equidistant from each other. The lead wires are tied thereto by means of a suitable fastening.

Due to the fact that all the long sides are provided with said holes, it is always possible to weave said lead wires in horizontal sense or in vertical sense, without requiring a frame change.

At the center of the plate that constitutes said base elements, moreover, lightening openings are advantageously placed which are symmetrically arranged in the body of the base element, defining a central reinforcement constituted by a solid section of said plate with longitudinal direction.

Once the four base elements are assembled to form the frame, one selects the element that will be the upper element and this is connected with the handle. It is advantageously possible to select any one of the base elements since all are provided with the necessary arrangement for the reversible coupling of the handle. Such arrangement is simply constituted by a pair of eyelets placed along the central axis of said base element, in proximity to said short sides.

Advantageously, said handle is entirely made of any one metal or metal alloy, preferably of brass, with thickness comprised between 4 mm and 20 mm, preferably 10 mm,

Advantageously said handle is constituted by at least one upper horizontal bar, adapted to be grasped by an operator for moving the frame. Said bar is provided with at least one pair of brackets, also made of metal, adapted to be engaged, in a stable and reversible manner, with the electrified metal bar placed above the galvanization tank. Laterally with respect to the upper bar, said handle is provided with at least one pair of vertical descending elements having, at the respective lower ends, a common locking device adapted to allow the stable and reversible connection with said eyelets.

Advantageously, also said handle with said horizontal upper bar can be plasticized, leaving only the brackets with the metal part exposed.

Advantageously, based on the quantity of electric current necessary for the galvanization to be carried out and based on the warping of the lead wires, said lower ends of said descending elements of said handle can be connected with a fixed lead wire or with a metal section. Said fixed lead wire is advantageously constituted by a common metal wire tied around the entire perimeter of said frame in order to transfer the electric current to all said lead wires; said metal section, instead, is constituted by a plurality of metal bars suitably configured and sized for transferring the electric current coming from said vertical descending elements to said lead wires or to a fixed lead wire.

Other still more advantageous embodiments of the present invention can provide for the capability of the horizontal bar and of the vertical descending elements of the handle to be pulled down, by simply arranging a pair of common hinges in proximity to the lower ends of said vertical descending elements.

In addition, the modularity of a plurality of frames according to the present invention, in vertical and/or horizontal sense, can be advantageously provided by means of at least one common reversible connection device placed on the external face of each base element. Due to the present invention, not only does the use of polypropylene in place of metal make the frame considerably lighter, to the advantage of the employees for the binding and moving of the frames, but the frame manufacturing cost is also lowered 35-40% with respect to the known frames. The maintenance costs are also advantageously eliminated. While a frame pre-dating the present invention required renewal work every 6-7 months, the frames described in detail hereinbelow do not require any maintenance.

The advantages offered by the present invention are evident in light of the description described up to now and will be even clearer from the enclosed figures and relative detailed description.

Description of the figures

The invention will be described hereinbelow in at least one preferred embodiment, as a non- limiting example with the aid of the enclosed figures, in which:

- FIGURE 1 shows a front view of a base element 20 in which the following are indicated: the short sides 21--2Γ, the long sides 22- 22 * with the respective coupling projections 23-23' and coupling holes 24-24 ' . On the body of the base element 20, also the lightening openings 27 can be seen which define a central reinforcement 25 and the two eyelets 28-28 " . On the long sides 22-22', the holes 26 which allow the passage of the lead wires 17 are seen.

- FIGURE 2 illustrates the lateral perspective view of a base element 20.

- FIGURE 3 shows the top view of a base element 20.

- FIGURE 4 shows a three-dimensional view of the base element 20 of the preceding FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.

- FIGURE 5 shows a three-dimensional view of the mounted frame 200 constituted by four base elements 20 according to the preceding FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 and by the metal handle 200 which transfers the electric current to a fixed lead wire 18. The frame 200 is seen with the lead wires 17 woven in vertical sense.

- FIGURE 6 shows a three-dimensional view of the frame 200 in which a metal section 16 is coupled to the metal handle 200; such metal section 16 increases the electrical conductivity. In this case, the lead wires of the frame 200 are woven in horizontal sense and are provided with quick coupling hooks 19.

Detailed description of the invention

The present invention will now be illustrated merely as a non-limiting or non-binding example, making use of the figures which illustrate several embodiments relative to the present inventive concept.

With reference to FIG. 5, one of the possible embodiments of the frame 200 according to the present invention is shown. For clarity of representation, the lead wires 17 are represented as being rectilineal- between one base element 20 and the next even if such representation is not entirely true. Indeed said lead wires 17 are adapted to be tied with the objects to be treated, by means of their twisting carried out manually by an operator, before the immersion of the frame 200 in the tank containing the electrolytic solution necessary for the desired treatment. In the embodiment represented in FIG. 6, said lead wires 17 are provided with a plurality of hooks 19 adapted to be engaged, in a stable and reversible manner, with said objects to be treated. By means of this preferred embodiment, the times and deriving costs of the fastening operations are completely eliminated; such operations are presently rather long.

Above the frame 200, a handle 10 is visible, preferably plasticized, which can be fixed or is capable of being pulled down due to the arrangement of at least one pair of hinges in proximity to the lower end 12. a- 12. a' of the vertical descending elements 12-12'. This handle is provided with an upper horizontal bar 14, possibly plasticized, provided with at least one pair of brackets 13-13'. The latter are adapted to be engaged with the electrified metal bar, which is placed above the tank in which the electrolytic solution is contained, in which the galvanization occurs, in order to cause the passage of electric current through all the components of the handle 10 which are all metallic. In particular said handle is preferably made of brass with thicknesses that vary from 4 mm to 20 mm, preferably 10 mm. Laterally with respect to the upper horizontal bar * 14, which is what is grasped by the operator for moving the entire frame 200, two vertical descending elements 12-12' are fixed, at whose lower ends 12.a-12.a' common mechanical locking devices 15-15' are present which serve for engaging with the upper base element 20 of said frame 200.

The identification of an upper base element 20 is merely random, since said base elements 20 all have the same configuration.

These are made of rectangular plates of polypropylene with thickness comprised between 5 mm and 40 mm, preferably 20 mm, of rectangular- shape with dimensions comprised between 15 cm X 30 cm and 50 cm X 100 cm, preferably 37 cm X 62 cm.

Said locking devices 15-15', then, are stably and reversibly inserted within suitable eyelets 28-28' arranged on the upper base element 20, like on all the other base elements 20.

Still with reference to FIG. 5, below said base element 20, a fixed lead wire 18 is visible which is constituted by a common metal wire tied around the entire perimeter of said frame 200 and adapted to transfer the electric current to all said lead wires 17.

With reference to FIG. 6, instead, below the upper base element 20, a metal section 16 is visible which is constituted by the same material as said handle 10 and is suitably sized and configured for transferring the electric current coming from said vertical descending elements 12-12' of said handle 10 to said lead wires 17 or to said fixed lead wire 18.

We will now describe the configuration of a base element 20, the technical drawings thereof being represented in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Each base element is made by means of a polypropylene plate with thickness comprised between 5 mm and 40 mm, preferably 20 mm. This sizing is aimed to prevent the bending of the base elements 20, when the frame 200 is mounted, maintaining an angle of 90° between them.

On a first short side 21 of each base element 20, at least one pair of coupling projections 23- 23' are present, and on the second short side 2 at least one corresponding pair of coupling holes 24-24' are present. These elements are suitably configured in an identical manner among all the base elements 20, constituting a same frame 200 in order to allow the right- angle connection between the coupling projections 23-23' of a first base element 20 and the corresponding coupling holes 24-24 " of a second base element 20 up to forming the three- dimensional structure with desired parallelepiped shape. However, on the long sides 22-22', a plurality of holes 26 are present that are equidistant from each other, adapted to be engaged, by means of said fastening, with said lead wires 17.

For the purpose of making the frame 200 easier to handle and for facilitating the work of the operator, said base elements 20 are provided with a plurality of lightening openings 27 aixanged symmetrically on the body of the base element 20 itself and defining at least one central reinforcement 25, i.e. a solid longitudinal central section.

In a further preferred embodiment, finally, the external face 20. a of said base elements 20 is provided with at least one common reversible connection device, adapted to allow the stable and reversible connection with the external face 20. a of a base element 20 of a second frame 200. In this manner, it is possible to obtain the modularity of multiple frames 200 one next to the other and/or one on top of the other.

The working for which the frames 200 made according to the present invention are to be considered optimal is, as a non-limiting example, the deposition, by means of galvanization, of gold, silver or palladium on small metal objects - fashion accessories, such as buckles, buttons, chains, etc.

Finally, it is clear that modifications, additions or variations that are obvious to the man skilled in the ait can be made to the invention described up to now, without departing from the protective scope that is provided by the enclosed claims.