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Title:
CENTRIFUGAL SPRAY APPARATUSES AND ROTOR DISC CARRIERS FOR APPLYING LIQUIDS TO MOVING SUBSTRATES AND RELATED METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/076816
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Centrifugal spray apparatuses, rotor carriers and related methods for applying liquids to moving substrates are disclosed herein. A centrifugal spray apparatus for applying treating liquid on a moving substrate can include a rotor carrier having a single assembly plate with one or more rotor assemblies and a motor secured to the single assembly plate. The centrifugal spray apparatus can also include a catch housing assembly secured to the single assembly plate. The catch housing assembly can be configured to open to dispense treating liquid supplied to the rotor disc assemblies from the centrifugal spray apparatus.

Inventors:
NIEMANN ARNE (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/055857
Publication Date:
April 22, 2021
Filing Date:
October 15, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TUBULAR TEXTILE MACHINERY INC (US)
International Classes:
B05B3/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SIGMON, David, M. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is Claimed is:

1. A centrifugal spray apparatus for applying treating liquid on a moving substrate, the centrifugal spray apparatus comprising: a rotor carrier comprising a single assembly plate with one or more rotor assemblies and a motor secured to the single assembly plate; and a catch housing assembly secured to the single assembly plate, the catch housing assembly being configured to open to dispense treating liquid supplied to the rotor disc assemblies from the centrifugal spray apparatus.

2. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the single assembly plate has a top surface and a bottom surface and has rotor apertures and a motor mount aperture therein, the rotor apertures and motor mount aperture being aligned.

3. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the motor is secured to the bottom surface of the single assembly plate with the motor having a motor shaft that extends through the motor mount aperture and has a motor pulley secured to the motor shaft above the top surface of the single assembly plate.

4. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the one or more rotor assemblies are secured to the single assembly plate at the rotor apertures, each rotor assembly comprising a rotor shaft that extends through the corresponding rotor aperture with a rotor pulley secured to the shaft above the top surface of the single assembly plate and a rotor disc secured below the bottom surface of the single assembly plate.

5. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the rotor apertures have widths that are less than diameters of the rotor discs.

6. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 4, wherein each rotor assembly comprises a securing flange that is configured to abut the bottom surface of the single assembly plate when the respective rotor assembly is installed in the single assembly plate.

7. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the securing flange of the respective rotor assembly has a width that is less than the diameter of the rotor disc of the respective rotor assembly.

8. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the catch housing assembly having a first housing section secured to the single assembly plate and a second housing section attached to the first housing section by one or more hinges, the second housing section being movable between a closed position and an open position that forms a window slot through which the rotor discs dispense treating liquid.

9. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 8, further comprising one or more fluid-activated cylinders secured to at least one of the single assembly plate or the first housing section and to the second housing section, the one or more fluid- activated cylinders configured to move the second housing section between an open and closed position to open and close the window slot for dispensing treating liquid.

10. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the one or more fluid-activated cylinders comprise one or more pneumatic cylinders.

11. A centrifugal spray apparatus for applying treating liquid on a moving substrate, the centrifugal spray apparatus comprising: a rotor carrier comprising: a single assembly plate having a top surface and a bottom surface and having rotor apertures and a motor mount aperture therein, the rotor apertures and motor mount aperture being aligned; a motor secured to the bottom surface of the single assembly plate, the motor having a motor shaft that extends through the motor mount aperture and has a motor pulley secured to the motor shaft above the top surface of the single assembly plate; and one or more rotor assemblies secured to the single assembly plate at the rotor apertures, each rotor assembly comprising a rotor shaft that extends through the corresponding rotor aperture with a rotor pulley secured to the shaft above the top surface of the single assembly piate and a rotor disc secured below the bottom surface of the single assembly plate; and a catch housing assembly for enclosing the rotor discs, the catch housing assembly having a first housing section secured to the single assembly plate and a second housing section attached to the first housing section by one or more hinges, the second housing section being movable between a closed position and an open position that forms a window slot through which the rotor discs dispense treating liquid.

12. The centrifugal spray apparatus according to claim 11, further comprising one or more pneumatic cylinders secured to at least one of the single assembly plate or the first housing section and to the second housing section, the one or more pneumatic cylinders configured to move the second housing section between an open position and a closed position to open and close the window slot for dispensing treating liquid.

13. A rotor carrier comprising: a single assembly plate having a top surface and a bottom surface and having rotor apertures and a motor mount aperture therein, the rotor apertures and motor mount aperture being aligned; a motor secured to the bottom surface of the single assembly plate, the motor having a motor shaft that extends through the motor mount aperture and having a motor pulley secured to the motor shaft above the top surface of the single assembly plate; and one or more rotor assemblies secured to the single assembly plate at the rotor apertures, each rotor assembly comprising a rotor shaft that extends through the corresponding rotor aperture with a rotor pulley secured to the shaft above the top surface of the single assembly plate and a rotor disc secured below the bottom surface of the single assembly plate.

14. The rotor carrier according to claim 13, wherein the single assembly plate is a unitary plate of metal.

15. The rotor carrier according to claim 10, wherein the single assembly plate has a thickness of between about 0.375 inches and about 1.25 inches.

16. A rotor disc assembly comprising: a rotor shaft having a top end and bottom end; a rotor bearing housing surrounding a bearing that is secured to rotor shaft, the bearing enabling the rotor shaft to rotate while the rotor bearing housing is stationary; a rotor pulley secured to the rotor shaft proximate to the top end of the rotor shaft above the rotor bearing housing; a rotor disc secured to the rotor shaft proximate to the bottom end of the rotor shaft below the rotor bearing housing; and a distributor secured to the rotor shaft between the rotor bearing housing and the rotor disc.

17. The rotor disc assembly according to claim 16, further comprising a securing flange that extends outward and is configured to be secured to a single assembly plate of a rotor carrier to hold the rotor disc assembly within the rotor carrier.

18. The rotor disc assembly according to claim 17, wherein the flange extends radially outward from the rotor bearing housing.

19. The rotor disc assembly according to claim 17, wherein the flange extends radially further outward than the distributor and has a: tube opening therein for receiving a supply tube for supplying treating liquid to the distributor.

20. The rotor disc assembly s according to claim 17, wherein the securing flange has a diameter that is less than the diameter of the rotor disc of the respective rotor assembly.

21. The rotor disc assembly s according to claim 17, wherein the rotor disc has a diameter of between about 80 mm and 150 mm.

22. A method of treating a moving substrate, the method comprising: providing a centrifugal spray apparatus for applying treating liquid on a moving substrate, the centrifugal spray apparatus comprising: a rotor carrier comprising a single assembly plate with one or more rotor assemblies and a motor secured to the single assembly plate, each of the one or more rotor assemblies comprising a rotor disc the motor configured to engage the one or more rotor assemblies to rotate the rotor discs of the one or more rotor assemblies; and a catch housing assembly secured to the single assembly plate, the catch housing assembly being configured to open to dispense treating liquid supplied to the rotor disc assemblies from the centrifugal spray apparatus; supplying treating liquid to the rotor discs of the of the one or more rotor assemblies; rotating the rotor discs of the one or more rotor assemblies with the motor; opening the catch housing assembly to dispense the treating liquid from the centrifugal spray apparatus; and moving a substrate to be treated in front of the open catch assembly such that the treating liquid is dispensed on the moving substrate.

23. The method according to claim 22, wherein the step of rotating the rotor discs comprises rotating the rotor discs at between about 3,000 rpm and about 5,000 rpm.

24. The method according to claim 22, wherein the step of rotating the rotor discs comprises rotating the rotor discs at about 10,000 rpm.

25. The method according to claim 22, wherein the step of rotating the rotor discs comprises rotating the rotor discs at about 15,000 rpm.

26. The method according to claim 22, wherein the catch housing assembly comprises a first housing section secured to the single assembly plate and a second housing section attached to the first housing section; and the step of opening the catch housing assembly comprises moving the second housing section relative to the first housing section between a closed position and an open position that forms a window slot through which the rotor discs dispense treating liquid.

Description:
DESCRIPTION

CENTRIFUGAL SPRAY APPARATUSES AND ROTOR DISC CARRIERS FOR APPLYING LIQUIDS TO MOVING SUBSTRATES AND RELATED METHODS

RELATED APPLICATION

The presently disclosed subject matter claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial. No. 62/915,018, filed October 15, 2019, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present subject matter relates to apparatus for applying fluent materials to a moving surface and, more particularly, to an improved method and apparatus for applying fluent material, such as a treating liquid, to a moving substrate, such as a fabric or sheeting, or film, in a uniform manner.

BACKGROUND

Treating substrates such as textile fabrics, plastic and/or paper sheeting, web materials and film have often included the application of fluent materials to the surfaces of the moving substrate. In some systems, the fluent materia! can be applied through centrifugal force by expelling the fluent materials from rotatable bodies, such as rotating spray discs or rotors, hereinafter spray rotor discs. Application of such fluent materials by centrifugal force from rotating discs finds advantage over fixed spray nozzles by eliminating clogging of narrow nozzle openings, and by eliminating the need of compressed air or other pressure sources to force the fluent materials through the spray nozzles.

For example, centrifugal spray apparatuses can be provided that are used for moistening a moving surface of a substrate. A centrifugal spray apparatus can include a housing extending adjacent the path of movement of a surface of a moving substrate. The housing of the centrifugal spray apparatus can include one or more spray rotor discs mounted for rotation on parallel axes to deliver a portion of liquid spray centrifugally expelled from each spray rotor disc through a corresponding open window of the housing. In some embodiments, the width of each window in the housing through which the liquid spray passes from each spray rotor disc may have the ability to be adjusted so that the width of each spray stream striking the moving surface either abuts or overlaps its next adjacent spray stream across the moving surface depending on the intended use of the substrate and the reasoning for treating the substrate with the liquid.

In most embodiments of such centrifugal spray apparatuses, once the distance between the moving substrate and the rotor disc is determined, the width of the opening of windows is fixed so that the width of each spray stream striking the moving surface either abuts its next adjacent spray stream across the moving surface to be treated to facilitate uniform distribution of liquid across the width of the surface of the moving substrate. The centrifugal spray apparatuses can have employed multiple rows of side-by-side rotating discs extending across from the surface to be treated and spaced therealong in the direction of surface movement, with the width of the spray from each rotating disc being controlled by its window to abut spray streams of adjacent discs in each row and uniformly apply the liquid to the surface.

In other centrifugal spray apparatuses, a housing is provided having an elongated continuous opening therein positioned adjacent to and extending generally transversely across from the path of travel of a moving surface. A row of spray rotor discs mounted in the housing for rotation about parallel axes are positioned along the elongated opening. Fluent material, such as a treating liquid composition, is continuously supplied to each of the spray rotor discs and the heads are rotated so that next adjacent spray rotor discs in the row are rotated in opposite directions to centrifugally discharge fluent material through the elongated opening and onto the moving surface. The spray rotor discs are located, configured, and arranged so that fluent material from the spray rotor discs passing through the housing opening strikes the moving surface in multiple overlapping patterns to blend the fluent material in a substantially uniform concentration across the width of the moving surface.

Normally, with these centrifugal spray apparatuses, the spray rotor discs are installed in motor-driven sections with each section of spray rotor discs being operated by a belt driven by a single motor. Each section of spray rotor discs has its own housing. The spray rotor discs are secured to each section housing through a spray rotor disc carriage that is fitted into brackets within the housing and the motor is mounted to the housing through a separate motor mount. The spray rotor disc carriage and bracket often include imperfections. Due to the separate mounting apparatuses, the alignment of the motor mount and the spray rotor disc carriage and, thereby, the alignment of the belt with the drive axles of the spray rotor discs are often hard to ensure exact alignment. At lower rotational speeds, the belt alignment and the imperfections in the carriage mounts do not impact the distribution of the fluent material on the surface of the moving substrate or greatly increase the wear and tear on the apparatuses. When used in a high speed application, the current centrifugal spray apparatuses with the imperfections in the mounting of the spray rotor disc carriage and the motor and in the alignment of the motor, belt and spray rotor discs can create off-quality products with uneven distribution of fluent materials on the surface of the moving substrate and can have a large increase in the wear and tear on the components of apparatuses.

As such, a need exists for improved centrifugal spray apparatuses and spray rotor disc carriers used therein that can help reduce wear and tear on the apparatuses and improve the fluent material distribution on the surface of the moving substrate when the centrifugal spray apparatuses operates at high speeds.

SUMMARY

The present subject matter provides rotor spray disc carriers and centrifugal spray apparatuses for treating surfaces of moving substrates with a liquid and related methods. In particular, centrifugal spray apparatuses, rotor spray discs, and rotor spray disc carriers used therein are disclosed that provide continuous treatment to one or more surfaces of a moving substrate, such a woven, nonwoven, or knitted fabric, a web, sheeting or a film. Methods related to the manufacture and use of such rotor spray disc carriers and centrifugal spray apparatuses as disclosed herein are also provided.

Thus, it is an object of the presently disclosed subject matter to provide rotor spray disc carriers and centrifugal spray apparatuses and methods related to such spray systems. While one or more objects of the presently disclosed subject matter having been stated hereinabove, and which is achieved in whole or in part by the presently disclosed subject matter, other objects will become evident as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings as best described hereinbelow. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A full and enabling disclosure of the present subject matter including the best mode thereof to one of ordinary skill in the art is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, including reference to the accompanying figures, in which:

Figure 1 illustrates a diagrammatic side elevation view of an embodiment of apparatus for applying droplets of liquid to a moving substrate, such as a continuous length sheeting, fabric or film according to the present subject matter;

Figure 2A illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a centrifugal spray apparatus that employs an embodiment of a rotor carrier according to the present subject matter, the centrifugal spray apparatus having a window slot for dispensing treating liquid shown in an opened position;

Figure 2B illustrates a perspective view of the embodiment of the centrifugal spray apparatus according to the Figure 2A, the centrifugal spray apparatus having the window slot shown in a closed position;

Figure 2C illustrates a top plan view of the embodiment of the centrifugal spray apparatus with the rotor carrier according to Figure 2A;

Figure 3 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of the embodiment of a centrifugal spray apparatus according to Figure 2A and the present subject matter; Figure 4A illustrates a top-side perspective view of an embodiment of a rotor carrier according to the present subject matter;

Figure 4B illustrates a top-side perspective view of the embodiment of the rotor carrier according to Figure 4A with an embodiment of a single assembly plate being transparent to illustrate the positioning of rotor disc assemblies according to the present subject matter;

Figure 4C illustrates a top-side perspective view of an embodiment of a single assembly plate of a rotor carrier according to the present subject matter;

Figure 5 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of an embodiment of a rotor disc assembly according to the present subject matter; Figure 6A illustrates a schematic cross-sectional side view of an embodiment of a centrifugal spray apparatus in an open position with a window slot open for dispensing treating liquid to a moving substrate according to the present subject matter; and Figure 6B illustrates a schematic cross-sectional side view of the embodiment of the centrifugal spray apparatus according to Figure 6A in a closed position with the window slot closed according to the present subject matter.

Repeat use of reference characters in the present specification and drawings is intended to represent the same or analogous features or elements of the present subject matter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference now will be made to the embodiments of the present subject matter, one or more examples of which are set forth below. Each example is provided by way of an explanation of the present subject matter, not as a limitation. In fact, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present subject matter without departing from the scope or spirit of the present subject matter. For instance, features illustrated or described in one embodiment can be used in another embodiment to yield still a further embodiment. Thus, it is intended that the present subject matter cover such modifications and variations as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents. It is to be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the present discussion is a description of exemplary embodiments only, and is not intended as limiting the broader aspects of the present subject matter, which broader aspects are embodied in exemplary constructions.

Although the terms first, second, right, left, front, back, etc. may be used herein to describe various features, elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections, these features, elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one feature, element, component, region, layer or section from another feature, element, component, region, layer or section. Thus, a first feature, element, component, region, layer or section discussed below could be termed a second feature, element, component, region, layer or section without departing from the teachings of the disclosure herein.

Similarly, when a layer or coating is being described in the present disclosure as "on" or "over" another layer or substrate, it is to be understood that the layers can either be directly contacting each other or have another layer or feature between the layers, unless expressly stated to the contrary. Thus, these terms are simply describing the relative position of the layers to each other and do not necessarily mean “on top of since the relative position above or below depends upon the orientation of the device to the viewer.

Embodiments of the subject matter of the disclosure are described herein with reference to schematic illustrations of embodiments that may be idealized. As such, variations from the shapes and/or positions of features, elements or components within the illustrations as a result of, for example but not limited to, user preferences, manufacturing techniques and/or tolerances are expected. Shapes, sizes and/or positions of features, elements or components illustrated in the figures may also be magnified, minimized, exaggerated, shifted or simplified to facilitate explanation of the subject matter disclosed herein. Thus, the features, elements or components illustrated in the figures are schematic in nature and their shapes and/or positions are not necessarily intended to illustrate the precise configuration of the subject matter and are not intended to limit the scope of the subject matter disclosed herein.

It is to be understood that the ranges and limits mentioned herein include all ranges located within the prescribed limits (i.e,, subranges). For instance, a range from about 100 to about 200 also includes ranges from 110 to 150, 170 to 190, 153 to 162, and 145.3 to 149.6, Further, as examples, a limit of up to about 7 also includes a limit of up to about 5, up to 3, and up to about 4.5, as well as ranges within the limit, such as from about 1 to about 5, and from about 3.2 to about 6.5.

As used herein, the term “microdroplet(s)” means liquid droplets that are much smaller than gravity-formed droplets of the same liquid composition and have a size of about 100 microns or smaller depending on the liquid composition and its properties and which in large quantities do not substantially form aerosols having a size of about 5 microns or smaller that suspend in air. For example, the size of a mierodroplet be about 100 microns or smaller and can depend on the treating liquid composition and its compositional weight, viscosity, and surface tension properties. For example, in some treating composition embodiments, microdroplets can be between about 30 microns and 70 microns. For some embodiments of the treating liquid compositions, microdroplets be between 20-30 microns.

As used herein the terms “rotor spray disc(s)” and rotor disc(s)” are used synonymously.

As disclosed herein, a rotor disc carrier can be provided in a centrifugal spray apparatus that can operate at normal speeds at which conventional centrifugal spray apparatuses operate but can also operate at higher speeds than conventional centrifugal spray apparatuses and systems. In particular, the rotor disc carrier comprises a single assembly plate to which the rotor disc assemblies and the motor that drives the rotor disc assemblies are attached. The single assembly plate eliminates the need for separate carriers for the rotor discs and the motor that can result in deviations in alignments that can lead to premature pulley and belt wear and unwanted vibrations especially when running at high speeds. The use of a single unitary assembly plate enables other beneficial modifications to the centrifugal spray apparatus including simpler rotor assemblies and cleaner window forming mechanisms.

As shown in Figure 1 , an example of a substrate treatment apparatus, generally designated 10, for applying droplets of liquid to a surface of a moving substrate 12 is provided. As shown, the moving substrate 12 can comprise a fabric, which can be a knit, woven, or nonwoven, or a film or other sheeting or web, and can be provided from a delivery roll 14 rotatably mounted on a delivery roll stand 16. In some embodiments, the apparatus 10 can be incorporated in a processing line such that the substrate 12 is traveling directly from a substrate production process (not shown). The treated substrate 12 can be collected on a take-up roll 18 rotatably mounted on a take-up roll stand 20. Take up roll 18 can be rotatably driven by suitable means, such as an electric motor, not shown. Treating apparatus 10 can include a main support frame 22 having vertical and horizontal support members 24-27 Fabric guide rollers 28, 30 extending across the fabric path can be mounted at their end for rotation on suitable support members of the support frame and may be adjustably positioned on the frame to guide substrate 12 in a desired path of travel through or by a centrifugal spray apparatus 32 depending on the design of the centrifugal spray apparatus and the types of housings used therewith. Centrifugal spray apparatus 32 can extend transverse to and across from the path of movement of the substrate 12 so that a treating liquid composition can be sprayed or deposited on the moving substrate 12 as described in more detail below. In some embodiments as shown, one or more support arms 34 can be pivotally attached to the support frame 24 and can be attached to upper ends of the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 by elongated slots 36 with fastening bolts 38 to support the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 at a desired angular position relative to the moving substrate. While the embodiment shown in Figure 1 illustrates the travel path of moving substrate being at an angular position relative to the centrifugal spray apparatus 32, the position of the travel path of moving substrate relative to the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 may vary and may depend on such factors that can include, but are not limited to, the treating liquid composition, the type of substrate being treated, and the different characteristic of the substrate as well as the characteristics that the treating liquid composition is to part to the substrate.

By way of example during operation of the embodiment of the apparatus 10 shown in Figure 1, the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 can be supplied with a suitable treating liquid composition to be applied to the moving substrate 12 from a liquid supply tank 60 by way of conduit 61, a motorized pump 62 and a feed conduit 64. The centrifugal spray apparatus 32 can comprise a single unitary assembly plate with a manifold 66 to which the feed conduit 64 is connected and a motor 50 is secured. The manifold 66 can supply the treating liquid composition to rotor discs (not shown in Figure 1) and the motor 50 can drive the rotor discs to discharge the treating liquid composition as will be explained further below. Thus, the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 can discharge at least a portion of the treating liquid composition toward the moving substrate 12. The discharged liquid can pass through a discharge window slot (not shown in Figure 1 but discussed in more detail below) to strike the moving substrate 12. Liquid supplied to, but not discharged from the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 can be collected in a catch housing assembly not shown in detail in Figure 1. Further, in some embodiments as shown, an outer housing 40 can be provided through which the moving substrate passes for collecting treating liquids that are discharged from the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 but which are not retained by the moving substrate. Such liquids that fall or are drained in the housing 40 can pass through drainage outlets in the housing 40 into a shroud 44 Liquid collected in the shroud 44 can be recirculated via outlet openings 44a, which can be positioned at each end of the shroud 44 and a conduit 72, to the supply tank 60 Similarly, a catch housing assembly (not shown in Figure 1 in detail) of the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 can have a similar draining system for recycling liquid not discharged from the centrifugal spray apparatus 32. An appropriate float-operated solenoid valving 74 can be provided to supply makeup liquid to the tank, as needed. A valve 76 can drain the tank 60 In some embodiments as shown in Figure 1, a filter 78 and a check valve 80 can be provided in the supply conduit 64 to free the liquid of solid impurities and to maintain a head of liquid in the applicator section when pump 62 is not in operation. In other embodiments, the check valve 80 may not be present or needed, depending on the design of the system. Referring to Figures 2A-6B, an embodiment of the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 is shown in greater detail. The centrifugal spray apparatus 32 can comprise a rotor carrier 90 and a catch housing assembly 100 that is secured to the rotor carrier 90 The rotor carrier 90 can comprise the motor 50 the manifold 66 and a plurality of rotor disc assemblies 110 that are used to disperse the liquid from a supply system, such as the supply system described above that includes supply tank 60, onto the moving substrate 12 The rotor carrier 90 can also comprise a single unitary assembly plate 92 to which the rotor disc assemblies 110 the motor 50 and the manifold 66 can be secured. Further, the rotor carrier 90 can comprise a belt tensioner 94 that can be used to add tension to a belt 52 that is driven by the motor 50 to drive the rotor discs of the rotor disc assemblies 110 and a belt monitor device 96 that can be used to detect the presence of the belt 52 and/or the tension on the belt 52.

The single assembly plate 92 can comprise a plate comprising a metal, such as aluminum or stainless steel, having a thickness T. The thickness T of the single assembly plate 92 can be large enough to support attachment of the rotor disc assemblies 110 and the motor 50 to the same single assembly plate 92 and reduce vibration of the rotor carrier that can be caused by the operation of the motor 50 and the rotor disc assemblies 110 at higher speeds (i.e., higher revolutions per minute or rpm). For example, the rotor discs can be run at standard rotational speeds such as between about 3,000 rpm and about 5,000 rpm or can operate at speeds of about 10,000 rpm or higher and in some embodiment at speeds of about 15,000 rpm or higher.

The thickness T of the single assembly plate 92 is greater than the thickness of the metal sheets used to form the catch housing assembly 100. For example, in some embodiments, the single assembly plate 92 can have a thickness T of between about 0,3 inches and about one inch. In some embodiments, the thickness T of the single assembly plate 92 can be between about 0.375 inches and about 1.25 inches. In some embodiments, the thickness T of the single assembly plate 92 can be about 0.5 inches. In some embodiments, the thickness T of the single assembly plate 92 can be about 0.8 inches, for example, about 0.75 inches. In some embodiments, the thickness T of the single assembly plate 92 can be about one inch. In some embodiments, the thickness T of the single assembly plate 92 can be 1 25 inches. In some embodiments, the thickness of the single assembly plate 92 can be greater than 1.25 inches. For example, the thickness of the single assembly plate 92 can be about 2 inches. The single assembly plate 92 is shown with a smaller section where the motor is to be attached. However, the single assembly plate 92 can be any appropriate shape. For example, in some embodiments, the single assembly plate can be rectangular in shape.

The single assembly plate 92 can have a top surface 92A and a bottom surface 92B. The single assembly plate 92 can include a plurality of rotor apertures 92C into which the rotor disc assemblies 110 can be inserted. The single assembly plate 92 can also include a motor mount aperture 92D through which the shaft of the motor 50 can extend. The motor 50 can be mounted underneath the single assembly plate 92 to the bottom surface 92B with the shaft extending through the motor mount aperture 92D, so that a pulley 54 secured to the motor shaft of the motor 50 resides above the top surface 92A of the single assembly plate 92 In some embodiments, the rotor disc assemblies 110 can be secured to the single assembly plate 92 by inserting the rotor disc assemblies 110 from underneath the single assembly plate 92 through the rotor apertures 92C so that pulleys 112 of the rotor disc assemblies 110 extend above the top surface 92A of the single assembly plate 92. in some embodiments, the rotor apertures 92C and the rotor disc assemblies 110 can be designed so that the rotor disc assemblies 110 can be inserted from the top. For instance, in some embodiments, the rotor disc assemblies 110 can be inserted from the top and attached to the top surface 92A.

Additionally, belt tensioner 94 and the belt monitor device 96 can be secured to the top surface 92A of the single assembly plate 92. Further, manifold mounts 66A can be secured to the top surface 92A of the single assembly plate 92 to attach the manifold 66 in proper alignment with the respective rotor disc assemblies 110. The single assembly plate 92 can include other apertures as needed or desired for securing other features of the rotor carrier 90 including the catch housing assembly 100 to the single assembly plate 92.

The single assembly plate 92 can be configured so that, when the rotor assemblies 110 are inserted into the rotor apertures 92C and secured to the single assembly plate 92, the rotor pulleys 112 are properly alignment with each other. Additionally, the single assembly plate 92 can be configured so that the motor 50 is secured to the single assembly plate 92 with the motor shaft extending through the rotor apertures 92D with the motor pulley 54 properly secured to the motor shaft. The rotor pulleys 112 and the motor pulley 54 are also properly aligned with each other so that, when the belt 52 is placed around the belt tensioner 96, the rotor pulleys 112 and the motor pulley 54, the belt 52 is properly aligned with the belt grooves of the belt tensioner 96, the rotor pulleys 112 and the motor pulley 54. This proper alignment allows the belt 52 to rotate at higher speed without suffering undue wear on the edges and sides of the belt that can cause belt failure over time. By having the belt tensioner 96, the rotor pulleys 112 and the motor pulley 54 all secured to the single assembly plate 92 with preformed aperture configurations that ensure proper attachment of the components, the proper alignment of the belt grooves in the belt tensioner 96, the rotor pulleys 112 and the motor pulley 54 can be ensured. As stated above, with this proper alignment through the attachment of the belt tensioner 96, the rotor pulleys 112 and the motor pulley 54 to the single assembly plate 92, the belt 52 can operate at higher speed with less wear.

As shown in Figures 3 and 5, some embodiments of the rotor disc assemblies used in the rotor carrier 90, such as rotor disc assemblies 110 can have a design that allows for good treating liquid disbursement from the rotor discs at high rotational speeds. For example, each rotor disc assembly 110 can comprise a rotor bearing housing 114 that can house one or more bearings 116 through which a rotor shaft 118 extends and to which the rotor shaft 118 is held. For example, the one or more bearings 116 can be a needle bearing or one or more ball bearings. The rotor bearing housing 114 can have an aperture 114A therethrough which aligns with the aperture in the bearing 116 in which the rotor shaft 118 resides. The rotor disc assembly 110 can also comprise a securing flange 114B that extend outward for securing the rotor disc assembly 110 to the single assembly plate 92. In some embodiments, as shown in Figure 3 and 5, the securing flange 114B can extend radially outward from a lower portion of the housing 114 such that the upper portion of the housing 114 can be inserted into rotor apertures 92C in the single assembly plate 92 and the securing flange 114B abuts against the bottom surface 92B of the single assembly plate 92 The ring flange 114B can be used to engage the bottom surface 92B of the single assembly plate 92 to secure the rotor disc assemblies 110 to the single assembly plate 92. For example, threaded apertures 114C can extend through the ring flange 114B that can be aligned with threaded apertures in the bottom surface 92B of the single assembly plate 92 so that the housing 114 can be secured to the single assembly plate 92 with screws or bolts. The rotor disc assembly 110 can comprise a rotor pulley 112 that can be secured to an upper end 118A of the rotor shaft 118 and a rotor disc 120 that can be secured to a lower end 118B of the rotor shaft 118. In some embodiments, as shown, a bushing, or some other spacer, 122 can be placed on the rotor shaft 118 between the rotor bearing housing 114 and the rotor pulley 112 to ensure proper positioning of the rotor pulley 112 relative to rotor housing 114 even when the shaft 118 is rotating at high speeds. A distributor 130 into which the treating liquid is dispensed can be secured to the rotor shaft 118 between the housing 114 and the rotor disc 120. The distributor 130 can have a longer neck 132 that can extend upward around the shaft 118 to the housing 114. Further, a seal 134 can reside between the distributor 130 and the rotor disc 120. Thereby, the order of the rotor components along the rotor shaft 118 can be the pulley 112 at the top portion, followed by the housing 114 with the bearing 116 therein, the distributor 130 followed by the rotor disc 120 secured to the bottom portion of the shaft 118.

If microdroplets of treating liquid composition are to be used to treat a moving substrate in a substrate treatment apparatus, then the centrifugal force at the outer edge of the rotating rotor discs 120 needs to high enough to cause the treating liquid composition being provided to the distributor 130 to be forced outward from the edge of the rotor discs 120 in microdroplet form. The increase in centrifugal force can be accomplished through some combination of rotation speed of the rotor discs 120 by the rotor carrier 90 and the diameter of the rotor discs 120. For example, a rotor disc having a large diameter can be operated at a lower rotational speed and still achieve a centrifugal force at its edge that can be the same or similar to smaller diameter rotor disc operating a higher rotational speed.

In some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be between about 70 mm and about 80 mm. In some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be between about 80 mm and about 120 mm. In some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be between about 80 mm and about 150 mm. For example, in some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be about 90 mm. In some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be about 100 mm. In some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be about 110 mm. In some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be about 120 mm. In some embodiments, the rotor discs 120 can be about 150 mm.

In some embodiments, to aid with the integrity of the rotor carrier 90 and the single assembly plate 92, the rotor assemblies 110 can be inserted and secured from underneath the single assembly plate 92. Thereby, the upper portion of the housing 114 can be inserted into rotor apertures 92C in the single assembly plate 92 with the securing flange 114B abutting against and secured to the bottom surface 92B of the single assembly plate 92. In this manner, the rotor apertures : 92C of the single assembly plate 92 can be smaller in diameter than the rotor discs 120. Similarly, the width of diameter of the securing flange 114B can also be smaller than the diameter of the rotor discs 120.

These rotor disc assemblies 110 allow for easy rotor disc and bearing replacement by allowing for the changing of a full rotor disc assembly 110. The whole rotor disc assembly 110 with a bad bearing can be easily removed and a replacement rotor disc assembly 110 can be inserted into the respective rotor aperture 92C from underneath and secured to the single assembly plate 92 quickly to shorten the downtime of the centrifugal spray apparatus 32. The bad bearing in the removed rotor disc assembly 110 can be replaced and the rotor disc assembly 110 can be set aside to use the next time a rotor disc assembly 110 needs to be replaced.

As shown in Figures 2A-3, 6A, and 6B, the catch housing assembly 100 can be secured to the single assembly plate 92 of the rotor carrier 90. The catch housing assembly 100 can comprise a first housing section 104 that is securable to the bottom surface 92B of the single assembly plate 92. The first housing section 104 has a rotor opening 104B in a top panel 104A for receiving a portion of the rotor disc assemblies 110, including the rotor disc 120 when the first housing section 104 is secured to the bottom surface 92B of the single assembly plate 92. In this manner, the rotor discs 120 extend in the catch housing assembly 100. A sea! 103 can be placed between the first housing section 104 and the bottom surface 92B of the single assembly plate 92 to seal the attachment of the catch housing assembly to the single assembly plate 92 to prevent or minimize leakage of treating liquid during operation of the centrifugal spray apparatus 32.

The catch housing assembly 100 can also comprise a second housing section 102. The second housing section 102 can be secured to the first housing section 104 by hinges 106 that permit the second housing section 102 to pivot downward and upward along an axis of the hinges 106 to allow the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 to form a window slot WS as shown in Figures 2A and 6A that permits the dispensing of the treating liquid out of the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 during operation and allows the closing of the window slot WS as shown in Figures 2B and 6B when a substrate treatment apparatus in which the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 is employed is not in use or the substrate being treated is not moving with the treatment apparatus. The second housing section 102 can be shaped like a trough funnel excess treating liquid to low-point channel 140A at the bottom of the second housing section 102. The low- point channel 140A can be located at the lowest point of the second housing section 102 and can be connected to a draining conduit 140 that drains the dispensed excess liquid that does not exit the catch housing assembly 100 to be recycled and used again by a liquid supply system.

Referring to Figures 2A, 2B, 3, 6A and 6B, in some embodiments, the first housing section 104 can have side panels 109 and a front bar 108 that extends outward from a front portion of the single assembly plate 92 and can extend upwardly in front of the single assembly plate 92. On either end of the front bar 108, brackets 107A, 107B can be secured. The brackets 107A, 107B can be used to secure fluid- activated cylinders 105A, 105B on either side of the first housing section 104 that can be used to open and close the centrifugal spray apparatus 32 by moving the second housing section 102 in a downward direction A and an upward direction B. For example, the fluid-activated cylinders 105A, 105B can comprise pneumatic cylinders as shown in Figures 2A, 2B, 3, 6A and 6B or, in some embodiments, can comprise hydraulic cylinders. With reference to the figures herein, the fluid-activated cylinders will be referred to as pneumatic cylinders. For example, the body of the pneumatic cylinders 105A, 105B can attached to the brackets 107A, 107B, while the arms of the pneumatic cylinders 105A, 105B can be secured to side panels 111 of the second housing section 102. A controller, such as a programmable logic controller (“PLC”) or other computer, can be used to activate the pneumatic cylinders 105A, 105B to extend the pneumatic arms to move the second housing section 102 in the downward direction A to open the window slot WS and/or to retract the pneumatic arms to move the second housing section 102 in the upward direction B to close the window slot WS. The same or different controller(s) can operate the motor on the rotor carrier 90 to rotate the rotor discs 120 and/or drive the movement of the substrate.

During operation, when the second housing section 102 is rotated downward to open the window slot WS, the treating liquid TL can be provided to the distributors 130 as the motor 50 rotates the belt 52 and in turn the rotor shaft and rotor discs 120 at high speeds. For example, in some embodiments, when treating a moving substrate, the treating liquid can be provided to the distributor 130 with the rotor spray discs 120 spinning to start delivering the treating liquids in droplet form before the window slot WS is opened to make sure that, once the window slot WS is opened, the substrate will be sufficiently, consistently, and properly coated For example, the rotor discs 120 can be run at standard rotational speeds such as between about 3,000 rpm and about 5,000 rpm or can operate at speeds of about 10,000 rpm or higher.

The distributor 130 dispenses the treating liquid TL into the rotor disc 120 under centrifugal force. In turn, the rotor disc 120 dispenses the treating liquid TL through the window slot WS as shown in Figure 6A. The treating liquid TL is thereby dispensed onto the moving substrate (not shown in Figure 6A) that passes in front of the window slot WS. To provide the treating liquid for dispensing, liquid can be provided to the manifold 66 as described above. The manifold 66 can have nipples 66B that correspond to the rotor disc assemblies 110. The nipples 66 B can be connected to corresponding rotor supply tubes 98 by flexible tubing, such as a rubber or plastic tube or hose, for example. The corresponding rotor supply tubes 98 can extend through apertures in the single assembly plate 92 beside each rotor aperture 92C. The rotor supply tubes 98 can be long enough and can extend at an angle so that when the rotor disc assemblies 110 are inserted into the rotor apertures 92C, the ends of the rotor supply tubes 98 inside the catch housing assembly 100 are aligned with the distributors 130 of the rotor disc assemblies 110 to drop the treating liquid into the distributor 130 as the rotor shaft 118, the distributor 130 and the rotor disc 120 are being rotated. As stated above, the manifold nipples 66B and the rotor supply tubes 98 can be connected by a conduit such as a hose or flexible tube to transport the treating liquid under pressure from the manifold 66 to the rotor supply tubes 98 and then to the distributor 130. Through the use of the centrifugal spray apparatus, the rotor carriers, and rotor disc assemblies disclosed herein, the rotor discs can rotate at standard speeds and/or high speeds. As stated above, the rotor discs can be run at standard rotational speeds such as between about 3,000 rpm and about 5,000 rpm or can operate at speeds of about 10,000 rpm or higher and, in some embodiments, at speeds of about 15,000 rpm or higher. Thereby, the centrifugal spray apparatus, the rotor carriers, and rotor disc assemblies disclosed herein can be used to dispense treating liquid in very small droplets, such as microdroplets, by operating at high speeds and/or using rotor disc with larger circumferences or diameters. The ability to form treating liquid microdroplets can depend on the operational speeds, the rotor diameter, and the viscosity and surface tension of the treating liquid. For higher viscosity treating liquids, the centrifugal spray apparatus can operate at higher speeds through the use of a single assembly plate that can dampen vibration and can improve alignment of the motor pulley and the pulleys of the rotor disc assemblies. Such microdroplet distribution can be useful in certain applications. For example, microdroplets of treating liquid can be used to treat certain films, such as some films used in battery applications.

Thus, as disclosed herein, a centrifugal spray apparatus can be provided for applying treating liquid on a moving substrate. The centrifugal spray apparatus can comprise a rotor carrier comprising a single assembly plate with one or more rotor assemblies and a motor secured to the single assembly plate. The centrifugal spray apparatus can also comprise a catch housing assembly secured to the single assembly plate. The catch housing assembly can be configured to open to dispense treating liquid supplied to the rotor disc assemblies from the centrifugal spray apparatus.

More particularly, in some embodiments, a centrifugal spray apparatus can be provided for applying treating liquid on a moving substrate that comprises a rotor carrier and a catch housing assembly. The rotor carrier can comprise a single assembly plate having a top surface and a bottom surface and having rotor apertures and a motor mount aperture therein. The rotor apertures and motor mount aperture can be aligned to ensure proper positioning of rotor disc assemblies and a motor that drives the rotor discs of the rotor disc assemblies to reduce belt wear and increase potential operating speeds. The rotor carrier can thus comprise a motor secured to the bottom surface of the single assembly plate. The motor can have a motor shaft that extends through the motor mount aperture in the single assembly plate and the motor shaft can have a motor pulley secured thereto above the top surface of the single assembly plate.

Further, the rotor carrier can comprise one or more rotor assemblies secured to the single assembly plate at the rotor apertures. Each rotor assembly can comprise a rotor shaft that extends through the corresponding rotor aperture with a rotor pulley secured to the shaft above the top surface of the single assembly plate and a rotor disc secured below the bottom surface of the single assembly plate. Each rotor disc assembly can also comprise a: rotor bearing housing surrounding a bearing that is secured to rotor shaft. The bearing enables the rotor shaft to rotate while the rotor bearing housing is stationary. Each rotor disc assembly can additionally comprise a rotor pulley secured to the rotor shaft proximate to the top end of the rotor shaft above the rotor bearing housing and a rotor disc secured to the rotor shaft proximate to the bottom end of the rotor shaft below the rotor bearing housing. Further, each rotor disc assembly can comprise a distributor secured to the rotor shaft between the rotor bearing housing and the rotor disc. The rotor disc assembly can comprise a flange that extends outward and is configured to be secured to a single assembly plate of a rotor carrier to hold the rotor disc assembly within the rotor carrier. In some embodiments, the securing flange can extend radially outward from the rotor bearing housing. In some embodiments, the flange can extend radially further outward than the distributor and can have a tube opening therein for receiving a supply tube for supplying treating liquid to the distributor, in some embodiments, the securing flange can have a width or diameter that is less than the diameter of the rotor disc of the rotor assembly.

The catch housing assembly of the centrifugal apparatus can enclose the rotor discs. The catch housing assembly can comprise a first housing section secured to the single assembly plate and a second housing section attached to the first housing section by one or more hinges. The second housing section can be configured to move between a closed position and an open position that forms a window slot through which the rotor discs dispense treating liquid. One or more fluid-activated cylinders, such as pneumatic cylinders, can be secured to at least one of the single assembly plate or the first housing section and to the second housing section as described above. The one or more fluid-activated cylinders can be configured to move the second housing section between an open position and a closed position to open and close the window slot for dispensing treating liquid from the centrifugal spray apparatus.

These and other modifications and variations to the present subject matter may be practiced by those of ordinary skill in the art, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present subject matter, which is more particularly set forth herein above. In addition, it should be understood the aspects of the various embodiments may be interchanged both in whole and in part. Furthermore, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the foregoing description is by way of example only, and is not intended to limit the present subject matter.