April 22 1924. 1,491,092
.N. H. FooKs HEAT TREATING SUBSTANCE PACKED IN SEALED RECEPTACLES Filed Feb. 4 1922 Mison Eff 207w Gimme/174 Patented Apr. 22, 1924;
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE;
NELSON H. FOOKS, 0F PRESTON, MARYLAND.
HEAT-TREATING SUBSTANCE PACKED IN SEALED RECEIPTACLES.
Application filed February 4. 1922. Serial No. 534,236.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, NELSON H. Focus, a citizen of the United States, residing at Preston, in the county of Caroline and State of Maryland, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Heat- Treating Substances Packed in Sealed Receptacles; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.
This invention relates to continuous processes of heat treating foods or other substances packed in sealed receptacles. It. particularly concerns continuous processes of cooking or sterilizing foods in hermett cally sealed receptacles, such as tin cans, under relatively high heat and pressure.
Its object is to enable sealed receptacles containing food to be subjected toheat,
higher than 212 F., under pressures greater than normal atmospheric pressure and to be cooled under similar high pressure in a retort or' like container by a continuous process, whereby the receptacles, when discharged into the outer atmosphere, will have had their contents adequately cooked or sterilized and the temperature so reduced before discharge from the retort that the internal pressure will not be suflicient to strain or rupture them when discharged into the external atmosphere.v
The best heat transferring mediums for cooking and sterilizing purposes now known as are liquids, or vapors that condense to liquid form at ordinary temperatures.
In my Patent No. 1,354,962 I have disclosed a method and apparatus for succ'es- ,sively heating and cooling food or other substances, packed in sealed receptacles, by passing said receptacles in procession successively through a heating medium consisting of water or other liquid raised to a temperature higher than its boiling point in the external atmosphere, but prevented from boiling bya .fixed' gas held under pressure; over the water, and through a mass of cooling liquid held under the same pressure of the same bod of gas until the receptacles are sufiicient y cool to avoid danger of straining or rupture when subjected after treatment to the reduced pressure of the external air. Should the conveying mechanism within a retort in which water'or other liquid is the cooking or heatheated Water and allow the chamber to cool sufiiciently to permit men to work within it. By the use of m present method I am able to continuously heat a procession of food receptacles by means of steam or water vapor, similarly cool them in Water under pressure without excessive waste of steam occurring with the admission of the receptacles into and discharge of them from the retort; and also to secure the advantage, in case of obstruction of the conveying mechanism, of being able to quickly blow off the aeriform fluid contained within the cooking chamber whereby little time need be lost in making needed repairs. In the apparatus that I prefer to use to carry outthis process, a body of cooling liquid, such as water, is maintained in one chamber of a retort and is held under pressure higher than atmospheric by a cooking medium consisting of air saturated with steam filling another chamberand overlying the water by-reason of an always open passageway between said chambers at the upper part of the retort.
In the accompanying drawlng I have shown in side elevatlon, partly 1n section,
one form of apparatus by which this procv ess may be practiced.
For illustrative purposes the drawing discloses a retort or closed container comprising an outer cylindrical shell 1 closed at one end by a convex head 2 having a man hole and cover 2 and, in the center thereof, a
stufling box 3 through which extends a shaft the shell are a plurality of ports preferably in horizontal alinement.
One of the ports is at the left of the retort as indicated in the drawing-and serves to admit cans or other objects 'into that end of the retort. The other or discharge port is indicated near the right of the drawing and is the port through which the cans or other objects are discharged from the retort. Over the ports are secured casings 40 and 52, respectively,
ably insulated, if desired, and may be secured to the cylindrical shell 1 by means of two annular angle bars 1; or by any other suitable means. The partition P does not completely separate the two chambers H and C but stops short of the top of the shell 1 in order to provide, free communication through a passage P, always open, between the upper portions of said chambers to allow free movement of aeriforin fluid within the retort from one chamber to the other and admit of the passage of cans or other objects being treated from the chamber-H to the chamber C. The chamber His designed to be completely filled with a fixed gas, such as air, under pressure, saturated with hot liquid vapor, such as water vapor and thechamber G is designed to receive a body of cooling li uid, such as water, into which'the cans or t e like are introduced after the cooking or other high heat treatment to which they have been subjected in their passage through the vapor saturated gas under pressure in the chamber H, the said saturated gas overlying the body of cooling liquid and maintainin it under the same pressure as exists in't e chamber H.
In order to introduce air, which is the most suitable fixed gas for main my proc-' ess', aninlet pipe 20 is. provided which, it will be understood, is connected with an air compressor or suitable source of compressed air whereby the .retort or container may be filled with air under any pressure sustainable by the retort. In order to introduce steam-or other-liquid vapor the pipe 15'may be led into the lower portion of said retort,
' it being designed that the. pipe 15 shall be connected to a boiler (not shown) under'sufficient pressure to force the steam into the container against-the pressure of the air forced through said pipe 20. The. pipe'15 may be controlled by. a suitable hand valve an may have an extension within the chamber I-I providedzwith perforations to allow the steam to escape into the com ressed air.
' A drain pipe 19 may be provi ed for the purpose of draining ofi water of condensation.
Cooling water may be admitted continuously into the chamber 'C by a pipe 15 and may overflow continuously therefrom through an outlet pipe t which. may be connected to a suitable trap. In order to force the water in against the pressure of the air held within the retort a force pump (not shown) may be used or the water may be taken from a stand pipe of suchhead or elevation as will overcome the pressure within the retort. Thus a constant circulation of water may be kept flowing through the chamber O in order to keep the temperature sufiiciently low for the purposes in view. Chamber C may be emptied through drain pipe 19.
cans or other objects through the chambers overthe longest practicable path so that they may be submerged in the heating medium and subjected to a high temperature during a period lon enough to cook or sterilize them thorough y and a lower temperature long enough to cool them sufliciently, helical guides 21 ma shell 1 between the inl et valve and the partiti'on P and between said partition and the outlet valve. A rotary rack 22, divided by said partition'into sections, each comprising longitudinal flights or guide ribs, each flight,
formed by a flange 23 of an angle iron the other flange 23 of which constitutes a shelf for supporting the objects, is'mounted within the turns of said helical guides 21 and concentric therewith. The guides 21 may be formed of T-section metallic shapes, bent into helical coils with the flanges on the convex side forming, as it were, single threadedscrews, the insides of adjacent overlapping flanges of the T-irons constituting the tracks or surfaces upon which the oans or other bodies are rolled 6r otherwise moved by the ribs 23 of the rotary rack. The said r bs are spaced apart a. distance to receive the cans or other objects between them and as the said objects'roll or move along the helix' formed by the turns of the guides 21, they are also. pushed by the latter longitudinally of the rack, always toward the discharge valve' The flights 23, 23 may be carried 'on the peripheries of wheels or spiders 27 keyedor otherwise secured to a shaft .24 which projects at one end through the: bearing boss 3 in thecenter of the head be fixed within the 2 and through a suitable stufiing box. The 1 other end of said shaft 24 may be journaled in a hanger on the inside of the retort adjacnt the'door 4, as shown in my prior United States Patent No. 1,363,103, patented December 21, 1920," or in any suitable manner. Betweenits end said shaft 24 r0- tates in a fluid tight journal box 24" in the partition P. The turns of the helical guides 21 in chambers H and C are so positionedjacent chamber C in order that it may be moved through the latter and through the cooling liquid therein. To shift the cans from one rack section to the other across the partition P it is necessary to move the cans endwise a distance equal to the space between two turns of the guides 21 within a.
. distance of their helical course equal substantially to' the circumferential extent-of the opening P in the partition. For this purpose a cam or crossover device S of greater pitch than the guides 21 is fixed with respect to said guides. This crossover may be, as shown, a' channel iron secured to said helical guide members and so constructed and arranged as to shunt the cans from the delivering end of the rack section in one chamber to the receiving end of the rack section in the other chamber, as disclosed in my priorPat-ent No. 1,402,488, patented J anuary 3, 1922. In accordance with the disclosures of said patent a curved plate 80 may be provided in order to afford an unobstructed surface for the passageof cans from one rack to the other.
It will be understood that suitable pro-v visions are made at the receiving end of the retort whereby the cans or the like, to be treated, may be delivered successively one by one from the-inlet valve in casing 40 into the receiving end of the rack and within the starting end of the helical guideway, and that suitable provisions are made at the delivery end of the rack whereby the cooled cans or the like may be removed-from the retort by means of the discharge valve in the casing 52 at the delivery end,-all as more fully disclosed in my prior patents referred to herein.
In practice water should be kept in the chamber C at a suitable level determined by the height of the outflow pipe. Air should be forced in through the pipe 20 until the required pressure is reached within the retort. The air under pressure within the retort may then be heated by opening the valve in the steam pipe 15 and forcing the steam into the air until the proper temperature is attained at the pressure suitable therefor. The retort may be charged, for ex-' ample, with compressed air at a gage pressure of fifteen pounds; steam may be ad-' ,mitted from aboiler where the ga indicates a pressure of say eighty poun s until a temperature of say 240 F. is indicated within the retort, at which temperature water would not boil within the retort under said pressure of fifteen pounds. There is then within the chamber a. body of air under high pressure saturated with steam or water vapor and said saturated air overlies the .water in the cooling chamber C. Thus, with a comparatively small volume of steam in the space through which the objects to passed, a temperature may be treated are beattained within the heating chamber as far above 212 F. as may be'desired for the purpose in View, and the air pressure maintained high enough to prevent the boiling of water within the vessel at the temperature desired.
The passa eway between the two chambers H and beingalways open, there will be the same pressure in the chamber C as in the chamber H. The water may be kept at a sufficiently low temperature by continually forcing it into the chamber. C and allowing it to wastethrough the pipe t. As there is no valve separating the chambers, cans or the like may be passed from the heating chamber to the cooling chamber with facility without reduction of external pressure on them, the same pressure being held in both chambers and in the passage P.' The absence of a valve between the chambers simplifies the structure. The receptacles may be fed into one end of the heatin chamber H, in succession, submerged in an moved in a procession through the steam saturated air therein, into and through the body of coolingwater in the cooling chamber and out through the discharge valve without wasting any' considerable amount of steam and heat into the external atmosphere.
Having described my invention what I retort or like container, under pressures higher than that of the atmosphere surrounding the retort, a .heated medium comprising a body of fixed gas, saturated with vapor, and a cooling medium consisting of a body of liquid maintained at a lower temperature; introducing the receptacles successively into the retort, submerging them in the heating medium until their contents are cooked or sterilized, then subjecting them to contact with-the cooling medium until their temperature and internal pressure are sufliciently reduced, and then removin'g themsuccessively from the retort,-
all as a continuous operation.
2. A continuous process of heat treating alimentary substances in sealed'receptacles which consists in maintaining within a retort or like container, under pressure higher than that of the atmosphere surrounding the retort, a heated medium. consisting of abody of fixed gas, saturated with vapor, and a cooling medium consisting of a body of liquid maintained at a lower'temperature thanand overlaid by said heating'medium; introducing the receptacles the retort, submerging them in the heating successively into medium until their contents are cooked or sterilized, thensubjecting them to contact 1 ly from the retort,--all as a continuous operation.
, 3. A continuous process of heat treating alimentary substances in sealed receptacles which consists in maintaining within a re-' tort or like container, under pressure hi her' than that of the atmosphere surroun ing the retort, a heating medium consisting'of a bod of fixed gas and a cooling medium consisting of a body of liquid constantly flowing through said retort and maintained at a lower temperature than and overlaid by said heating medium'; introducing the receptacles successively into the retort, 'submerging them in the heating medium until their contents are cooked or sterilized, then subjecting themto contact with th cooling medium until their heat and internal pressureare sufiiciently reduced, and then removing them successively from the retort,--all as a com tinuous operation.
4. Ajcontinuousprocess of heat treating alimentary substances in sealed receptacles which consists in maintaining within a chamber, under pressure higher than that of the atmosphere surrounding said chamber, a heating medium consisting of fixed gas saturated with vapor; maintaining in another chamber, under pressure higher than atmospheric, a body of cooling liquid; introducinv the receptacles successively into the cham lier, containing the heating medium subjecting them continuously to the heat of theheating medium until their contents are cooked or sterilized, transferring them to the chamber containing the cooling liquid without materially reducing the external pres sure on them, subjecting them to the cooling action of the cooling liquid until their temperature and internal pressure are sufli'ciently reduced, and then removin them succes- A sively from the cooling cham' er,--all as a continuous operation. 7
5. A continuous process of heat treating alimentary substances .in sealed receptacles within a retort or like container divided into chambers having an always open passageway between them; said process consisting in maintaining a body of coolin liquid in one chamber and a heating me ium overlying said liquid and filling the remainder of the space in said chambers, said heating medium consisting of a fixed gas saturated with vapor and held under pressure higher than that of the atmosphere surrounding the retort; introducing the receptacles successively into the retort, submerging them in and moving them through the heating medium until their contents are cooked or sterilized and then through the passageway into and through the cooling liquid and out of the retort in succession,all as a continuous operation.
6. A continuous process of heat treating alimentary substances in sealed receptacles within a retort or like container divided into chambers having an always open passage- .way b'etweenthem'; saidprocess consisting in causing water to flow through one chamber contents are cooked or sterilizedand then through the passageway into and through the cooling liquid and out of the container in succession,-all as a continuous operation.
In testimony whereof I affix my signature.
' NELSON H. FOOKS.