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Title:
A TYRE CRUMBING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/087379
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tyre crumbing apparatus (1) for producing random shaped rubber crumbs that includes a chuck assembly (3) that engages at least one of a hub portion (4) or wall portion (5) of the tyre (2) and rotates the tyre about an axis (6), a knife assembly (7) that engages or is engaged by an outer perimeter surface portion (8) of the tyre, a means of bringing and maintaining the rotating tyre (2) and knife assembly (7) into engagement, a means of moving the knife assembly (7) in an oscillating manner across the outer perimeter surface portion (8) of the tyre (2), a metal detecting proximity switch (9) that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly (7) and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre (2) when it detects metal in the tyre (2).

Inventors:
PINCOTT EDWARD NOEL (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2005/000340
Publication Date:
September 22, 2005
Filing Date:
March 11, 2005
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PINCOTT EDWARD NOEL (AU)
International Classes:
B02C18/02; B02C18/26; B24B5/36; B29B17/02; B29B17/04; (IPC1-7): B02C18/02; B02C18/26; B02C18/40
Foreign References:
US4216916A1980-08-12
DE3217149A11983-11-10
US4852812A1989-08-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Park, Sam (King George Chambers Suite 415, 375 George Stree, Sydney New South Wales 2000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A tyre crumbing apparatus including: ■ a chuck assembly that engages at least one of a hub portion or wall portion of the tyre and rotates the tyre about an axis; ■ a knife assembly that engages or is engaged by an outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; ■ a means of bringing and maintaining the rotating tyre and knife assembly into engagement; ■ a means of moving the knife assembly in an oscillating manner across the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; ■ a metal detecting proximity switch that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when it detects metal in the tyre.
2. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre is the tread portion of the tyre.
3. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 2 further including a limit switch that initiates disengagement of the knife and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when a designated cutting depth limit is reached.
4. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein the knife assembly rotates about an axis.
5. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein the knife assembly oscillates relative to the outer perimeter surface portion in a direction parallel to the axis.
6. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 5 wherein the knife assembly rotates about an axis.
7. A tyre crumbing apparatus including: « a chuck assembly that engages at least one of a hub portion or wall portion of the tyre and rotates the tyre about an axis; ■ a knife assembly that engages or is engaged by an outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; ■ a means of bringing and maintaining the rotating tyre and knife assembly into engagement; ■ a means of moving the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre relative to the knife assembly in a direction parallel to the axis; ■ a metal detecting proximity switch that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when it detects metal in the tyre.
8. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 7 wherein the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre is the tread portion of the tyre.
9. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 8 wherein the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre is moved in an oscillating manner relative to the knife assembly in a direction parallel to the axis.
10. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 8 further including a limit switch that initiates disengagement of the knife and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when a designated cutting depth limit is reached.
11. A tyre crumbing apparatus in accordance with claim 8 wherein the knife assembly rotates about an axis.
12. A method of manufacturing artificial bark pieces made of rubber including: 1) loading a rubber tyre on a tyre crumbing apparatus that includes: a) a chuck assembly that engages at least one of a hub portion or wall portion of the tyre and rotates the tyre about an axis; b) a knife assembly that engages or is engaged by an outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; c) a means of bringing and maintaining the rotating tyre and knife assembly into engagement; d) a means of moving the knife assembly in an oscillating manner across the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre and in a direction parallel to the axis; e) a metal detecting proximity switch that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when it detects metal in the tyre f) a cutting depth limit switch that initiates disengagement of the knife and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when the distance between knife assembly and the tyre reaches a designated cutting depth limit. 2) bringing and keeping the outer perimeter surface portion of the rotating tyre into engagement with the rotating knife assembly until the metal detecting proximity switch operates to initiate disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre or the engagement is otherwise terminated by the cutting depth limit switch.
Description:
A TYRE CRUMBING APPARATUS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The invention is in the field of tyre crumbing apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A first aspect of the invention provides a tyre crumbing apparatus including: ■ a chuck assembly that engages at least one of a hub portion or wall portion of the tyre and rotates the tyre about an axis; ■ a knife assembly that engages or is engaged by an outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; ■ a means of bringing and maintaining the rotating tyre and knife assembly into engagement; ■ a means of moving the knife assembly in an oscillating manner across the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; ■ a metal detecting proximity switch that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when it detects metal in the tyre.

Preferably the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre is the tread portion of the tyre.

Preferably the tyre crumbing apparatus includes a limit switch that initiates disengagement of the knife and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when a designated cutting depth limit is reached.

Preferably the knife assembly rotates about an axis.

Preferably the knife assembly oscillates relative to the outer perimeter surface portion in a direction parallel to the axis.

Preferably the knife assembly rotates about an axis.

Preferably the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre is the tread portion of the tyre.

A second aspect of the invention provides a tyre crumbing apparatus including: ■ a chuck assembly that engages at least one of a hub portion or wall portion of the tyre and rotates the tyre about an axis; - a knife assembly that engages or is engaged by an outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; - a means of bringing and maintaining the rotating tyre and knife assembly into engagement; ■ a means of moving the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre relative to the knife assembly in a direction parallel to the axis; ■ a metal detecting proximity switch that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when it detects metal in the tyre. Preferably the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre is the tread portion of the tyre.

Preferably the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre is moved in an oscillating manner relative to the knife assembly in a direction parallel to the axis.

Preferably the tyre crumbing includes a limit switch that initiates disengagement of the knife and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when a designated cutting depth limit is reached.

Preferably the knife assembly rotates about an axis.

A third aspect of the invention provides a method of manufacturing artificial bark pieces made of rubber including: 1) loading a rubber tyre on a tyre crumbing apparatus that includes: a) a chuck assembly that engages at least one of a hub portion or wall portion of the tyre and rotates the tyre about an axis; b) a knife assembly that engages or is engaged by an outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre; c) a means of bringing and maintaining the rotating tyre and knife assembly into engagement; d) a means of moving the knife assembly in an oscillating manner across the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre and in a direction parallel to the axis; e) a metal detecting proximity switch that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when it detects metal in the tyre; f) a cutting depth limit switch that initiates disengagement of the knife and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre when the distance between knife assembly and the tyre reaches a designated cutting depth limit. 2) bringing and keeping the outer perimeter surface portion of the rotating tyre into engagement with the rotating knife assembly until the metal detecting proximity switch operates to initiate disengagement of the knife assembly and the outer perimeter surface portion of the tyre or the engagement is otherwise terminated by the cutting depth limit switch.

DRAWINGS The invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the following drawings in which:

Figure 1: illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2: illustrates the preferred embodiment in figure 1 shown in a different state;

Figure 3: illustrates the tyre illustrated in figure 1 ; Figure 4: illustrates the tyre in figure 3, shown in cross section through plane A-A;

Figure 5: illustrates the tyre and knife assembly in figure 1 shown in plan view and in a first relative position to each other;

Figure 6: illustrates the tyre and knife assembly in figure 5 shown in a second relative position to each other;

Figure 7: illustrates the tyre and knife assembly in figure 6 shown in a third relative position to each other.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described with general reference to figures 1 to 7 and where possible features common to the various embodiments illustrated in the drawings are referred to in each drawing by a respective common feature number.

Tyre crumbing apparatus 1 in figures 1 & 2 includes chuck assembly 3 mounted on pedestal 14, that engages at least one of hub portion 4 or wall portion 5 of rubber tyre 2 generally shown in figures 3 and 4- and rotates tyre 2 about an axis 6 in direction 11 a shown in figures 1 & 2. The hub portion 4 includes the inner circumferential beads of the tyre.

Chuck assembly 3 engages tyre 2 by radially expanding in the hub portion 4 of the tyre until tyre 2 is securely held on the chuck assembly 3. Advantageously tyre 2 can be securely held in place on chuck assembly 3 even if tyre 2 has tears or holes in its carcass providing the inner circumferential beads of the tyre remain intact. Chuck assembly 3 is actuated by hydraulics but can equally be actuated by any other suitable means. Advantageously chuck assembly 3 can engage tyres of different radial bead diameters.

Tyre crumbing apparatus 1 also includes knife assembly 7 mounted on pedestal 16 that rotates about an axis 12 in direction 13 being the same direction 1 1 of rotation of tyre 2. Of course in an alternative embodiment (not shown) knife assembly 7 can rotate about its axis 12 in a counter direction of rotation to he direction 11 of rotation of tyre 2.

Both pedestal 14 and pedestal 16 are mounted on chassis 15 and pedestal 14 can be controllably moved relative to pedestal 16 on chassis 15.

In one dimension knife assembly 7 linearly moves (not shown) in consecutive directions 18a, 18b in an oscillating manner relative to outer perimeter surface portion 8 and parallel to axis 6 illustrated in figures 5 to 7, and this is achieved by pedestal 16 being controllably movable (not shown) relative to chassis 15 in consecutive directions 18a, 18b parallel to axis 6. The outer perimeter surface portion 8 of the tyre is the portion of the tyre that contains the tyre tread. The length of linear travel in this dimension can be controlled by travel limit switches or some other suitable means.

In another dimension knife assembly 7 linearly moves towards tyre 2 as required to achieve a cutting engagement between the knife assembly 7 and the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of tyre 2 as shown in figure 2. Of course knife assembly 7 linearly can move away from tyre 2 to disengage the knife assembly 7 and the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of tyre 2 as shown in figure 1. The length of linear travel of the knife assembly 7 towards the tyre 2 can be controlled to set the required cutting engagement depth.

One possible cutting depth control scenario includes moving the knife assembly 7 into cutting engagement with tyre 2 at the required depth and keeping the knife assembly 7 at that depth while knife assembly 7 linearly travels across outer perimeter surface portion 8 of tyre 2 in direction 18a or 18b. At the end of the knife assembly 7 travel in the direction of 18a or 18b which may be determined by a travel limit switch for each direction 18a 18b, the knife assembly 7 is moved back into cutting engagement with tyre 2 at the required depth and kept at that depth while knife assembly 7 linearly travels across outer perimeter surface portion 8 of tyre 2 in the opposite direction 18b or 18a to the direction 18a, 8b it last travelled before reaching the last travel limit switch.

In use knife assembly 7 is engaged by outer perimeter surface portion 8 of tyre 2 by moving pedestal 14 towards pedestal 16 until knife assembly 7 and tyre 2 are engaged, where figure 1 shows knife assembly 7 and tyre 2 in a non engaged or disengaged state and figure 2 shows the same in an engaged state.

As tyre 2 and knife assembly 7 rotate about their respective axis 6, 12 and move into an engaged state, and knife assembly 7 moves in an oscillating manner in consecutive directions 18a, 18b relative to outer perimeter surface portion 8 in a direction parallel to axis 6, then knife assembly 7 strips random sized rubber shavings (not shown) off the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of tyre 2 when it cuttingly engages tyre 2.

Advantageously when the tyre 2 and knife assembly 7 engage and move relative to each other this induces some flexing or bending in the wall portions 5 of the tyre 2 (not shown) as the walls of the tyre are not rigid and the tyre 2 is not in an inflated state. When the knife assembly 7 strips off a rubber shaving the resilience of the wall portions 5 of tyre 2 may momentarily partly restore the tyre 2 from its flexed or bent state (not shown).

This reactionary flexible resilience movement of the wall portions 5 of tyre 2 relative to knife assembly 7 in addition to the applied relative oscillatory movement between the tyre 2 and knife assembly 7 contribute to the random sized and shaped rubber shavings. Advantageously the oscillating travel of the knife assembly 7 distributes the cutting duty to the leading side 7a, 7b of the knife assembly 7 which changes according to the instant corresponding direction 18a, 18b of travel the knife assem bly 7 is at any particular instant, thereby ensuring that both sides 7a, 7b share the cutting duty.

Tyre crumbing apparatus 1 also includes a metal detecting proximity switch 9 that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly 7 and the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of the tyre 2 when it detects metal such as steel belt components in tyre 2.

Advantageously when sufficient rubber is stripped off the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of a steel belted tyre 2 so that metal detecting proximity switch 9 detects the steel belt (not shown) in tyre 2, then proximity switch 9 initiates disengagement of the knife assembly 7 and the outer perimeter surface portion 8 preventing the knife assembly 7 engaging or cutting the steel belt in tyre 2.

Advantageously the sensitivity of the metal detecting proximity switch 9 can be set to allow for the removal of the maximum possible rubber off the tyre 2 without the knife assembly 7 being allowed to come into physical contact with the steel belt in a steel belted tyre.

Additionally the crumbing apparatus 1 includes a limit switch 10 that initiates disengagement of the knife assembly 7 and the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of the tyre 2 when designated limit 17 reaches limit switch 10.

Advantageously when sufficient rubber is stripped off the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of a non steel belted tyre 2, limit switch 10 initiates disengagement of the knife assembly 7 and the outer perimeter surface portion 8 preventing the knife assembly 7 engaging or cutting beyond a predetermined depth in tyre 2 providing a means of preventing shredding of the tyre carcass.

Knife assembly 7 includes a number of serrated blade portions arranged parallel to each other and spaced apart from each other as can be seen in plan in figures 5 to 7. The profile of knife assembly 7 as shown in figures 5 to 7 is convex so that the cutting duty for knife assembly 7 moving in any given direction 18a, 18b is distributed between the leading side of the assembly 7a, 7b and the central portion of knife assembly 7.

Advantageously the leading side of the assembly 7a, 7b has an effective cutting depth less than the central portion of knife assembly 7 when the profile of knife assembly 7 as shown in figures 5 to 7 is convex. Advantageously the general size of the random sized rubber shavings (not shown) and shape of the shavings that are stripped off the outer perimeter surface portion 8 of tyre 2 can in some aspects be affected by the arrangement and profile of the knife assembly 7.

For example if the gap between the parallel serrated blade portions in the knife assembly 7 is varied then that can affect the size and shape of the rubber shavings. Furthermore if the rotating speed of the tyre 2 and knife assembly is also varied then that can also affect the size and shape of the rubber shavings.

In another embodiment (not shown) knife assembly 7 can be orientated so it rotates in a plane perpendicular to the plane that tyre 2 rotates.

The invention has been described by way of example only with reference to preferred embodiments which are not intended to introduce limitations on the scope of the invention. It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that alternative embodiments exist even though they may not have been described herein which remain within the scope and spirit of the invention as broadly described herein.