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Title:
APPARATUS FOR CRUSHING GLASS OR CERAMIC MATERIAL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/095626
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Apparatus (62) for crushing glass or ceramic material, which apparatus (62) comprises a rotor (4), rotor blades (6) which are attached to the rotor (4), at least one stationary blade (8) which cooperates in use with the rotor blades (6) as the rotor (4) rotates, a chamber (16) for receiving crushed glass or ceramic material (18), and feed means (82) for feeding the glass or ceramic material (18) to the rotor (4), the apparatus (62) being such that the rotor (4) is upstream of the chamber (16), the feed means (82) feeds the glass or ceramic material (18) to the rotor (4) such that the glass or ceramic material (18) falls onto the rotor blades (6) as the rotor blades (6) are moving upwardly towards the falling glass or ceramic material (18) whereby the glass or ceramic material (18) is broken into fragments (20) on impact with the rotor blades (6), the fragments (20) are reduced in size and formed into cullet (22) by passing through a gap (24) between the rotor blades (6) and the stationary blade (8), the rotor blades (6) are attached to the rotor (4) such that the rotor blades (6) do not move with respect to the rotor (4) whereby the gap (24) is a fixed gap irrespective of rotational speed of the rotor (4), the rotor blades (6) extend lengthwise of the rotor (4) and at spaced apart angular intervals, and the gap (24), the rotor blades (6) and the stationary blade (8) cause the cullet (22) to be such that it will not cut, is safe for handling, and is suitable for further use without further processing, and the apparatus (62) being such that the chamber (16) comprises a multi-directional chute (64) for directing the crushed glass or ceramic material (18) to a plurality of containers (66) for removing the crushed glass or ceramic material (18) from the apparatus (62).

Inventors:
WHETTINGSTEEL STEPHEN (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2012/000015
Publication Date:
July 19, 2012
Filing Date:
January 09, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KRYSTELINE ENECO LTD (GB)
WHETTINGSTEEL STEPHEN (GB)
International Classes:
B02C19/00; B02C23/02; B02C23/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2001070408A12001-09-27
Foreign References:
US5242126A1993-09-07
DE19509521C11996-05-30
EP0943371A21999-09-22
EP1268073A12003-01-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRAHAM HENRY, Jones (77 Beaconsfield RoadBlackheath, London SE3 7LG, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Apparatus (62) for crushing glass or ceramic material, which apparatus (62) comprises a rotor (4), rotor blades (6) which are attached to the rotor (4), at least one stationary blade (8) which cooperates in use with the rotor blades (6) as the rotor (4) rotates, a chamber (16) for receiving crushed glass or ceramic material (18), and feed means (82) for feeding the glass or ceramic material (18) to the rotor (4), the apparatus (62) being such that the rotor (4) is upstream of the chamber (16), the feed means (82) feeds the glass or ceramic material (18) to the rotor (4) such that the glass or ceramic material (18) falls onto the rotor blades (6) as the rotor blades (6) are moving upwardly towards the falling glass or ceramic material (18) whereby the glass or ceramic material (18) is broken into fragments (20) on impact with the rotor blades (6), the fragments (20) are reduced in size and formed into cullet (22) by passing through a gap (24) between the rotor blades (6) and the stationary blade (8), the rotor blades (6) are attached to the rotor (4) such that the rotor blades (6) do not move with respect to the rotor (4) whereby the gap (24) is a fixed gap irrespective of rotational speed of the rotor (4), the rotor blades (6) extend lengthwise of the rotor (4) and at spaced apart angular intervals, and the gap (24), the rotor blades (6) and the stationary blade (8) cause the cullet (22) to be such that it will not cut, is safe for handling, and is suitable for further use without further processing, and the apparatus (62) being such that the chamber (16) comprises a multi-directional chute (64) for directing the crushed glass or ceramic material (18) to a plurality of containers (66) for removing the crushed glass or ceramic material (18) from the apparatus (62).

2. Apparatus (62) according to claim 1 in which the multi-directional chute (64) directs the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 to the containers (66) one at a time.

3. Apparatus (62) according to claim 1 or claim 2 in which the multidirectional chute (64) includes a plurality of chute outlets (68).

4. Apparatus (62) according to claim 3 and including gate means (70) for causing the crushed glass or ceramic material (18) to pass to a selected one or selected ones of the chute outlets (68).

5. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and including a surge hopper (72) which is positioned upstream of the multidirectional chute (64) and which is for accommodating excess crushed glass or ceramic material (18) waiting for being directed to the containers (66) by the multi-directional chute (64).

6. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and including control means (74) for controlling the amount of the crushed glass or ceramic material (18) directed to each one of the containers (66).

7. Apparatus (62) according to claims 4 and 6 or claims 4, 5 and 6 in which the control means (74) operates the gate means (70).

8. Apparatus (62) according to claim 6 or claim 7 in which the control means (74) is an adjustable control means 74 which is able to be adjusted to vary the amount of the crushed glass or ceramic material (18) directed to each one of the containers (66).

9. Apparatus (62) according to claim 8 in which the adjustable control means (74) is adjusted by a weight (76).

10. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims in which the multi-directional chute (64) is a bi-directional chute (64).

11. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims in which the feed means (82) is associated with switch means (84) for causing the apparatus (62) to be off when the feed means (82) is closed and to be on when the feed means (82) is open.

12. Apparatus (62) according to claim 1 1 in which the feed means (82) comprises a feed chute (86), and in which the feed chute (86) is pivotable between closed and open positions.

13. Apparatus (62) according to claim 12 in which the switch means (84) is a proximity switch and a magnet.

14. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims in which the rotor (4) rotates at 200 - 2800 revolutions per minute.

15. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims in which the feed means (82) feed the glass or ceramic material (18) to the rotor (4) at a feed speed of 3 - 75 metres per second.

16. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims in which the rotor (4) is rotated at 1550 revolutions per minute.

17. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims in which the feed speed is 3 metres per second.

18. Apparatus (62) according to claim 1 in which the rotor blades (6) are spaced apart at 90° angular intervals.

19. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims in which the stationary blade (8) is an adjustable stationary blade (8) for the purpose of adjusting the gap (24) between the rotor blades (6) and the stationary blade (8) in order to vary the size of the cullet (22).

20. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and including retention seals (36) for retaining dust in the chamber (16).

21. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and including drive means (38) for the rotor (4).

22. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and in which the feed means (82) includes a feed section (26) along which the glass or ceramic material (18) passes for correct presentation to the rotor (4).

23. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and including re-circulating means (100) for re-circulating graded cullet (22) of a certain particle size for re-processing into cullet (22) of a smaller particle size.

24. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and including a pre-breaking device for breaking up large pieces of glass or ceramic material (18) before the glass or ceramic material (18) is introduced to the remainder of the apparatus (26) for crushing.

25. Apparatus (62) according to any one of the preceding claims and including a stationary cleaning blade (54) which operates to clean the rotor blades (6) with a scraping action as the rotor (4) rotates.

Description:
APPARATUS FOR CRUSHING GLASS OR CERAMIC MATERIAL

This invention relates to apparatus for crushing glass or ceramic material.

The disposal of glass and ceramic material presents problems. More specifically, apparatus for crushing glass is known. The known apparatus crushes the glass with a view to reducing the volume occupied by the glass so that the glass can then be more easily handled. The crushed glass contains very sharp fragments which make the glass dangerous to handle. This in turn severely restricts any possible further use to which the glass fragments can be put. Currently, commercial uses for crushed glass are limited to asphalt grog for roads, and shot blasting media in small volumes. The vast majority of the crushed glass is simply disposed of as a land fill waste material. Such disposal of the crushed glass is not especially ecologically friendly, and the land fill sites must be such that the crushed glass is buried sufficiently deeply that its sharp edges cannot harm human and animals. Also, there are collection costs for collecting the crushed glass prior to disposal.

Ceramic material may also need to be crushed with a view to reducing the volume occupied by the ceramic material so that the ceramic material can then be more easily handled. If the ceramic material is glazed, the crushed ceramic material may contain sharp fragments, which then gives rise to the same type of problems as those mentioned above for glass. Some ceramic material is not glazed, but it is often not economically possible to separate glazed and non-glazed ceramic material.

Apparatus is known for shearing glass refuse such as bottles. The known apparatus is able to shear the glass refuse into small pieces to produce a glass aggregate, but the glass aggregate will contain sharp edges which renders the glass aggregate dangerous and unsuitable for many uses.

EP 1268073 discloses improved apparatus for crushing glass or ceramic material. The apparatus comprises a rotor, rotor blades which are attached to the rotor, at least one stationary blade which cooperates in use with the rotor blades as the rotor rotates, a chamber for receiving crushed glass or ceramic material, and feed means for feeding the glass or ceramic material to the rotor. The glass or ceramic material is broken into fragments on impact with the rotor blades. The glass or ceramic material is imploded. The fragments are reduced in size and formed into a cullet. The cullet is such that it will not cut, it is safe for handling, and it is suitable for further use without further processing.

It is an aim of the present invention to provide an improvement or improvements to the apparatus disclosed in EP 1268073.

Accordingly, the present invention provides apparatus for crushing glass or ceramic material, which apparatus comprises a rotor, rotor blades which are attached to the rotor, at least one stationary blade which cooperates in use with the rotor blades as the rotor rotates, a chamber for receiving crushed glass or ceramic material, and feed means for feeding the glass or ceramic material to the rotor, the apparatus being such that the rotor is upstream of the chamber, the feed means feeds the glass or ceramic material to the rotor such that the glass or ceramic material falls onto the rotor blades as the rotor blades are moving upwardly towards the falling glass or ceramic material whereby the glass or ceramic material is broken into fragments on impact with the rotor blades, the fragments are reduced in size and formed into cullet by passing through a gap between the rotor blades and the stationary blade, the rotor blades are attached to the rotor such that the rotor blades do not move with respect to the rotor whereby the gap is a fixed gap irrespective of rotational speed of the rotor, the rotor blades extend lengthwise of the rotor and at spaced apart angular intervals, and the gap, the rotor blades and the stationary blade cause the cullet to be such that it will not cut, is safe for handling, and is suitable for further use without further processing, and the apparatus being characterised in that the chamber comprises a multi-directional chute for directing the crushed glass or ceramic material to a plurality of containers used for removing the crushed glass or ceramic material from the apparatus.

The apparatus of the present invention is extremely advantageous in that the produced cullet does not have sharp edges. The cullet can be safely handled without fear of persons or animals being cut. Thus the cullet can immediately be used for a wide variety of purposes and there is no need for the cullet to be used as a land fill waste material. The cullet of the present invention may be used instead of sand on golf greens as a drainage material which allows water to pass through the drainage material. The cullet may also be used as an in-fill material for drainage ditches. The cullet may still further be used as decorative finishes in horticulture, and also as a slug repellent material. Generally, the cullet may be used for a wide variety of purposes, and with the advantage that the cullet is a cheap material that would otherwise have just gone to waste.

The apparatus may be one in which the multi-directional chute directs the crushed glass or ceramic material to the containers one at a time. If desired however the multi-directional chute may direct the crushed glass or ceramic material to more than one container at a time.

The multi-directional chute may include a plurality of chute outlets.

The apparatus may include gate means for causing the crushed glass or ceramic material to pass to a selected one or selected ones of the chute outlets.

The apparatus may include a surge hopper which is positioned upstream of the multi-directional chute and which is for accommodating excess crushed glass or ceramic material waiting for being directed to the containers by the multi-directional chute.

The apparatus may include control means for controlling the amount of the crushed glass or ceramic material directed to each one of the containers.

The control means may operate the gate means when the gate means is present.

The control means is preferably an adjustable control means which is able to be adjusted to vary the amount of crushed glass or ceramic material directed to each one of the containers. The adjustable control means is preferably adjusted by a weight. The amount of the crushed glass or ceramic material is preferably dispensed by weight. If desired however the amount of the crushed glass or ceramic material may be dispensed by volume.

The multi-directional chute may be a bi-directional chute. The chute may direct the crushed glass or ceramic material into more than two containers if desired.

The apparatus may be one in which the feed means is associated with switch means for causing the apparatus to be off when the feed means is closed, and to be on when the feed means is open.

The apparatus may be one in which the feed means comprises a feed chute, and in which the feed chute is pivotable between closed and open positions.

The switch means may be a proximity switch and a magnet. Other types of switch means may be employed.

The apparatus will usually be one in which the rotor is positioned above the chamber. The rotor may however be positioned elsewhere if desired. Preferably, the rotor blades are spaced apart at 90° angular intervals.

Preferably, the stationary blade is an adjustable stationary blade for the purpose of adjusting the gap between the rotor blades and the stationary blade in order to vary the size of the cullet. Cullet of different sizes may have different further uses. For example, cullet for use in place of sand on golf greens will generally be of a smaller particle size than cullet for use in drainage ditches. The apparatus may be one in which the rotor is rotated at 1200-2800 revolutions per minute, and/or the glass or ceramic material is fed to the rotor at a feed speed of 3-75 metres per second. Such rotational speeds for the rotor and such feed speeds for the glass or ceramic material help to produce the required cullet. The rotor may be rotated at 1550 revolutions per minute, and the feed speed may be 3 metres per second.

The apparatus of the invention may include retention seals for retaining dust in the chamber. The dust is formed as a result of the crushing of the glass or the ceramic material. The dust is generally formed of silica in the case of crushing glass. The retention seals may be located around a drive shaft for the rotor.

The apparatus of the present invention may also include drive means for the rotor. The drive means may be hydraulic, electrical, electromechanical, belt drive or gear drive. Any suitable and appropriate type of drive means may be employed.

The apparatus of the present invention may be one in which the feed means includes a feed section along which the glass or ceramic material passes for correct presentation to the rotor. In one embodiment of the present invention, the feed section is an elbow feed section. Such a feed section may be designed for the manual feeding of bottles and it is preferably designed such that a person cannot put their arm so far into the feed section that the rotor can be engaged.

Preferably, the feed section includes a lining for preventing erosion of the feed section adjacent the rotor. The lining is thus able to deal with the effects of the imploding glass or ceramic material in the region of the feed chute adjacent the rotor. Preferably, the lining is a ceramic lining, a composite lining, or a wear-resistant steel lining. Other types of lining may however be employed.

Depending upon the type of construction of the apparatus, the feeding of the glass or ceramic material to the rotor by the feed means may be by gravity feeding or force feeding. The gravity feeding can be done manually. The force feeding can be done b a conveyor or a bucket on a vehicle such as a tractor.

The apparatus of the present invention may include cullet grading means for grading the cullet into different predetermined particle sizes for different predetermined further uses.

The cullet grading means may be a rotary screening device, or a vibration screening device. Other types of cullet grading means may be employed.

The apparatus of the present invention may include filter means for removing dust from the apparatus. The dust will usually be silica dust in the case of glass being crushed by the apparatus.

The filter means may remove the dust firstly at a base part of the crushing chamber, and secondly at the grading screens when grading screens are employed.

The apparatus may include re-circulating means for re-circulating graded cullet of a certain particle size for re-processing into cullet of a smaller particle size. The apparatus may include filter means for filtering any fluid contained in the glass or ceramic material prior to crushing, the filter means being such as to separate contaminates from water whereby the water can be freely discharged to waste. For example, the glass initially delivered to the apparatus of the present invention may be in the form of bottles containing contaminates such for example as alcohol or oil. Such contaminants cannot be discharged down normal local drainage systems and so they need to be separated. By separating them from the water, the water can be discharged and only the relatively small volumes of contaminants need to be retained for specialised disposal.

The apparatus may include a pre-breaking device for breaking up large pieces of glass or ceramic material before the glass or ceramic material is introduced to the remainder of the apparatus for crushing. The use of the pre- breaking device is advantageous where the glass or ceramic material is initially in the form of large sheets which are oversize for feeding to the rotor.

The pre-breaking device may be a crusher or a shredder. Other types of pre-breaking device may be employed.

The apparatus may include a ferrous/non-ferrous separator located at the pre-breaking part of the apparatus.

The apparatus of the invention may be constructed to be mobile if it is desired to take the apparatus to various sites. Alternatively, the apparatus may be constructed to be stationary in which case the glass or ceramic material has to be brought to the apparatus. Where the apparatus is constructed to be mobile, the apparatus may include coupling means for coupling the apparatus to a vehicle, thereby allowing for easy use of the apparatus in more isolated areas.

The apparatus may be one in which there is one of the rotors for each one of the chambers. Alternatively, the apparatus may be one in which there are two or more of the rotors for each one of the chambers. The number of rotors is chosen to give the required crushing surface between rotor blades and stationary blade.

The apparatus may include a cleaning stationary blade which operates to clean the rotor blades with a scraping action as the rotor rotates.

The apparatus may include a post process drier for drying the cullet.

The apparatus of the present invention is able to operate with glass or ceramic material of a wide variety of types, shapes and sizes. Thus, for example, the glass may be in the form of bottles, jars, windscreen glass, laminate glass, plate glass and window glass.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described solely by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows schematically apparatus for crushing glass as disclosed in EP 1268073;

Figure 2 shows in detail part of the apparatus shown in Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 shows a chamber and stationary blade part of the apparatus shown in Figure 2;

Figure 4 is an exploded view of a rotor and rotor blades as employed in Figure 2; and Figure 5 is a perspective view of apparatus of the present invention, with the apparatus being such that it may include all or any of the component parts of the apparatus in Figures 1 - 4 and which further includes components required by the present invention.

Referring to Figures 1 - 4, there is shown apparatus 2 for crushing glass. The apparatus 2 comprises a rotor 4, rotor blades 6 on the rotor 4, and a stationary blade 8 which co-operates in use with the rotor blades 6 as the rotor 4 rotates. As can be seen from Figures 2 and 4, the rotor blades 6 are separately formed from the rotor 4 and they are secured to mounting portions 10 of the rotor 4 by bolts 12 which pass through holes 4 in the rotor blades 6. The bolts 12 may alternatively be clamps (not shown).

The apparatus 2 also comprises a chamber 16 for receiving crushed glass. As can be seen from Figures 1 and 2, the rotor 4 is upstream of the chamber 16 by being mounted above the chamber 16.

As can be seen from Figure 1 , glass in the form of bottles 18 is fed to the apparatus 2. The glass in the form of the bottles 18 is first broken into fragments 20 on impact with the rotor 4. The glass fragments 20 are then reduced in size and formed into cullet 22 by passing through a gap 24 between the rotor blades 6 and the stationary blade 8. The gap 24, the rotor blades 6 and the stationary blade 8 cause the cullet 22 to be such that it will not cut, is safe for handling, and is suitable for further use without further processing.

During use of the apparatus 2, the rotor 4 rotates at 1750 revolutions per minute. Bottles 18 are fed to the rotor at a feed speed of 60 metres per second. The glass bottles 18 can be fed manually or automatically. As can be seen from Figure 1 , the glass bottles enter the apparatus 2 and are directed towards the rotor 4 by a chute 26. The glass bottles 18 fall under gravity down the chute 26 until they strike the rotor 4 whereupon they implode. The imploded glass fragments drop down on to the rotor 4 and pass through the gap 24 where they are further reduced in size to the cullet 22.

The stationary blade 8 is an adjustable stationary blade 8. Thus the size of the cullet 22 is able to be controlled by moving the stationary blade 8 towards or away from the rotor blades 6 in order to vary the size of the gap 24. By appropriately varying the size of the gap 24, the cullet 22 is able to be reduced in size right down to a powder if desired.

As shown in Figures 2 and 3, the chamber 16 is in a housing 28. The housing 28 has an upper edge 30 and a pair of recesses 32 in the upper edge 30. The recesses 32 receive a shaft 34 of the rotor 4. The recesses 32 are provided with retention seals 36 for retaining dust from the cullet 22 in the chamber 16. Without the retention seals 36, the dust could escape from the chamber 32 through the recesses 32 and along the side of the shaft 34.

As shown in Figure 1 , the apparatus 2 includes drive means 38 for driving the rotor 4. The drive means 38 comprises an electric motor 40 having a drive shaft 42. The drive shaft 42 supports a pulley 44 which drives an endless belt 46. The endless belt 46 drives a pulley 48 which is mounted on the shaft 34 of the rotor 4. Thus rotation of the pulley 48 via the endless belt 46, the pulley 44 and the electric motor 40 causes rotation of the rotor 4. As shown in Figures 2 and 3, the stationary blade 8 is held in position by bolts 50. Adjustment of the stationary blade 8 is effected by releasing the bolts 50, adjusting the stationary blade 8 to the required position, and then re- tightening the bolts 50. This adjustment movement is illustrated by arrow 52 in Figure 3.

As can be seen from Figures 2 and 3, the apparatus 2 is provided with a cleaning stationary blade 54 which operates to clean the rotor blades 8 with a scraping action as the rotor 4 rotates. The cleaning stationary blade 54 helps to remove glass fragments from the edges of the rotor blades 6, and thereby helps to make sure that the balance of the rotor is maintained. The rotor blades 6 are then able to act more efficiently in grinding the glass fragments 20 to remove sharp edges from the glass fragments 20 so that the cuilet 22 can be handled safely without fear of persons or animals being cut by the cuilet 22.

The chute 26 is provided with a lining (not shown) adjacent the rotor 4. The imploding glass has a tendency to erode the chute 26 and the lining helps to prevent this erosion. The lining may be a ceramic lining, a composite lining, or a wear-resistant steel lining.

As can be seen from Figure 1 , the entire apparatus 2 is in a cabinet 56 which can be free-standing and which is arranged for receiving the bottles 18 manually through an opening 58. The bottom of the cabinet 56 may be provided with a pull-out drawer 60 which is pulled out when full and which contains the cuilet 22. Referring to Figure 5, there is shown apparatus 62 which may include all or the majority of the components shown and described above for the apparatus 2. Thus the apparatus 62 is for crushing glass and it may alternatively be for crushing ceramic material. The apparatus 62 includes the rotor 4, the rotor blades 6, the stationary blade 8 and the chamber 16 for receiving the crushed glass or ceramic material 16.

The chamber 16 comprises a multi-directional chute 64 for directing the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 to a plurality of containers 66 used for removing the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 from the apparatus 2. The multi-directional chute 64 directs the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 to the containers 66 one at a time. The multi-directional chute 64 comprises a plurality of chute outlets 68. The multi-directional chute 64 is a bidirectional chute 64 and it therefore has two of the chute outlets 68.

The apparatus 62 includes gate means 70 for causing the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 to pass to a selected one of the chute outlet 68.

The apparatus 62 also includes a surge hopper 78 which is positioned upstream of the multi-directional chute 64 and which is for accommodating excess crushed glass or ceramic material 18 waiting for being directed to the containers 66 by the multi-directional chute 64.

The apparatus 62 includes control means 74 for controlling the amount of the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 directed to each one of the containers 66. The control means 74 operates the gate means 70. The control means 74 is an adjustable control means 74 which is able to be adjusted to vary the amount of the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 directed to each one of the containers 66. The adjustment is by means of moving a weight 76 inwardly or outwardly along a shaft 78. The shaft 78 is connected to a shaft 80 which is able to operate the gate means 70. The control means 74 dispenses a predetermined weight of the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 into a chosen one of the container 6, whereupon when the predetermined weight has been reached, the control means 74 automatically operates the gate means 70 and directs the crushed glass or ceramic material 18 to the other one of the containers 66. The full container 66 can then be removed and replaced by an empty container 66 for filling.

The apparatus 62 includes feed means 82 for feeding the glass or ceramic material 18 to the rotor 4, for example three metres per second, with the rotor rotating from 1200 - 2800 revolutions per minute. The feed means 82 may include an opening which may be like the opening 58 shown in Figure 1 so that the feed means 82 is able to pass the glass or ceramic material 18 to the rotor 4.

The feed means 82 is associated with switch means 84 for causing the apparatus 62 to be off when the feed means 82 is closed, and to be on when the feed means 82 is open.

The feed means 82 comprises a feed chute 86 which is pivotable between closed and open positions. Pivoting of the feed chute 86 is controlled by curved closed slots 88. The switch means 84 comprises a proximity switch and a magnet. The apparatus 62 is such that the feed chute 86 must be closed to turn the apparatus 62 off. Similarly, the feed chute 86 must be open in order to enable the apparatus 62 to operate. This is advantageous in that the feed means 82 basically needs to be open to insert the glass or ceramic material 18, and at this time the apparatus 62 will be caused to operate because the feed chute 86 will be in the open position enabling the glass or ceramic material 18 to be inserted into the apparatus 62. This helps to avoid a situation where an operator might otherwise put a lot of glass or ceramic material 18 into the feed means 82 before switching on the apparatus 62, in which case the glass or ceramic material 18 could jam in the apparatus 62 when the apparatus 62 was initially turned on. Thus the feed means 82 in the apparatus 62 operates to prevent this possibility happening.

As shown in Figure 5, the apparatus 62 has legs 90 and adjustable feet 92. The feet 92 are provided with apertures 94 so that the apparatus 62 can be bolted to a floor if desired.

The apparatus of the invention as shown in the drawings is advantageous in that it enables large amounts of glass and ceramic material which would normally be thrown away as dangerous waste in land-fill sites, to be processed and re-used in a wide variety of applications in complete safety and without the need for further processing.

It is to be appreciated that the embodiments of the invention described above with reference to the accompanying drawings have been given by way of example only and that modifications may be effected. Thus, for example, the apparatus of the invention may include fluid filter means for filtering any fluid contained in the glass prior to crushing, the fluid filter means being such as to separate contaminants from water whereby the water can be freely discharged to waste. The apparatus of the invention may also include a pre- breaking device for breaking up large pieces of glass which are too large easily to be handled by the remainder of the apparatus of the invention. The apparatus of the invention can be constructed to be stationary or movable as may be desired. The apparatus of the invention may be used for crushing any suitable and appropriate type of glass including bottles, jars, windscreens, laminated glass, plate glass and window glass. The apparatus of the invention may also be used for crushing any suitable and appropriate types of ceramic material. Individual components shown in the drawings are not limited to use in their drawings and they may be used in other drawings and in all aspects of the invention.