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Polishing jig air injection apparatus and method

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Title: Polishing jig air injection apparatus and method.
Abstract: This invention discloses a polishing jig air injection apparatus including a polishing jig installation base including a surface on which a spectacle lens polishing jig is placed, an injection member which is inserted into an air injection port of the spectacle lens polishing jig, and an air supply device which supplies the air into a balloon member of the spectacle lens polishing jig via the injection member and the air injection port. The injection member includes a main body formed in a pillar shape, and a seal member. The main body includes an air passage, and an annular groove formed in the outer circumferential portion of the main body. The seal member is inserted into the annular groove, is formed in an annular shape, and uses an elastic body. The seal member has an outer diameter larger than the inner diameter of the air injection port. ...


Browse recent Hoya Corporation patents - Tokyo, JP
Inventors: Hideo Toriumi, Makoto Tajima, Kazuhiko Katagiri
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120084967 - Class: 29559 (USPTO) - 04/12/12 - Class 295 
Metal Working > Method Of Mechanical Manufacture >Work Holding

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120084967, Polishing jig air injection apparatus and method.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a polishing jig air injection apparatus and method for injecting air into a polishing jig provided with a balloon member which inflates by the air pressure.

As a polishing apparatus for polishing the surface of a spectacle lens, a polishing apparatus which uses a polishing jig provided with a balloon member which inflates by the air pressure is available, as described in, for example, Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2004-106117 (literature 1). The polishing jig disclosed in literature 1 includes, for example, a balloon member, a support member which supports the balloon member, and a valve which opens/closes an air passage formed in the support member.

The air passage is formed to extend from an air injection port which opens on one end surface of the support member into the balloon member. The valve has a structure which opens by the pressure of air supplied into the air injection port.

The air is injected into the balloon member while the polishing jig is mounted in an air injection apparatus. The air injection apparatus includes, for example, an installation base on which the polishing jig is mounted, an injection member inserted into the air injection port, and an air supply device used to discharge air from the air discharge port of the injection member into the air injection port.

The injection member is attached to the installation base while projecting from it so as to be inserted into the air injection port by mounting the polishing jig on the installation base. The injection member includes a main body formed in a disk shape, and a seal member used to seal the gap between the main body and the air injection port. The air discharge port opens on the outer circumferential surface of the main body. The seal member is formed using an elastic material to have a cup shape which surrounds the outer circumferential portion of the main body so that it is held on the main body by its self elasticity.

Upon discharging air from the air discharge port of the main body into the air injection port while the seal member is inserted in the air injection port, together with the main body, the outer circumferential portion of the seal member inflates outwards in the radial direction and comes into tight contact with the wall surface of the air injection port. The seal member thus deforms, thereby sealing the gap between the injection member and the air injection port. The air discharged from the air discharge port flows into the air injection port from the central portion of the seal member upon passing through the gap between the main body and the seal member.

That is, a polishing jig air injection method related to the present invention is performed by a step of supplying air into the injection member while it is inserted in the air injection port, and a step of inflating the seal member outwards in the radial direction by the air.

Unfortunately, in the apparatus and method disclosed in literature 1, air needs to be passed through the gap between the seal member and the main body of the injection member, so the shape of the seal member has a given constraint. That is, the seal member must be formed in a shape to cover the main body of the injection member, and therefore inevitably uses a dedicated component with a special shape. This leads to an increase in manufacturing cost of the air injection apparatus used to inject air into the polishing jig.

Also, when, for example, the seal member deteriorates after it has been used for a long period of time, its force for clamping the main body may weaken. When this happens, the seal member easily falls off the main body of the injection member. When, for example, the polishing jig is detached from the air injection apparatus after completion of air injection, the seal member may fall off the main body of the injection member while it is still attached to the air injection port. If the seal member falls off the main body, an operation of loading the polishing jig into the polishing apparatus is interrupted, thus degrading the polishing efficiency.

Note that degradation in seal performance of the seal member must be avoided in solving the above-mentioned trouble.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made to overcome the above-mentioned problem, and has as its object to provide a polishing jig air injection apparatus and method which use a seal member that has high seal performance, and does not easily fall off the main body of an injection member, but nonetheless is inexpensive.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a polishing jig air injection apparatus comprising a polishing jig installation base including an installation surface on which a spectacle lens polishing jig including an air injection port and a balloon member which inflates by a pressure of air supplied from the air injection port is placed, an injection member which is supported on the installation surface of the polishing jig installation base while projecting from the installation surface, and inserted into the air injection port of the spectacle lens polishing jig, and an air supply device which is connected to the injection member and supplies the air into the balloon member via the injection member and the air injection port, the injection member including a main body formed in a pillar shape, the main body including an air passage extending through two ends of the main body, and an annular groove formed in an outer circumferential portion of the main body, and a seal member which is inserted into the annular groove, is formed in an annular shape that extends over an entire circumference along the annular groove, and uses an elastic body, the seal member having an outer diameter larger than an inner diameter of the air injection port.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a polishing jig air injection method comprising the steps of inserting an injection member into an air injection port of a spectacle lens polishing jig, and discharging air from the injection member into the air injection port to inflate a balloon member connected to the air injection port, the injection member including a main body formed in a pillar shape, the main body including an air passage extending through two ends of the main body, and an annular groove formed in an outer circumferential portion of the main body, and a seal member which is inserted into the annular groove, is formed in an annular shape that extends over an entire circumference along the annular groove, and uses an elastic body, the seal member having an outer diameter larger than an inner diameter of the air injection port.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a sectional view showing the arrangement of a polishing jig and installation base;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view showing an air injection port in the polishing jig;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of an injection member attached to the installation base;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view showing the state in which the injection member is inserted in the air injection port;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view showing another embodiment of an injection member;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view showing the state in which the injection member is inserted in an air injection port;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view showing another embodiment of an injection member;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view showing the state in which the injection member is inserted in an air injection port;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of an injection member attached to an installation base;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view showing the initial state of a connection step;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view showing the end state of the connection step;

FIG. 12 is a flowchart for explaining a method of injecting air into a polishing jig;

FIG. 13 is a sectional view showing the initial state of a connection step;

FIG. 14 is a sectional view showing the end state of the connection step;

FIG. 15 is a flowchart for explaining a method of injecting air into a polishing jig;

FIG. 16 is a sectional view showing the initial state of a connection step;

FIG. 17 is a sectional view showing the end state of the connection step;

FIG. 18 is a flowchart for explaining a method of injecting air into a polishing jig; and

FIG. 19 is a sectional view showing the size of each portion in an experiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS First Embodiment

An embodiment of a polishing jig air injection apparatus according to the present invention will be described in detail below with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4.

A polishing jig air injection apparatus 1 shown in FIG. 1 includes a polishing jig installation base 3 on which a spectacle lens polishing jig 2 is mounted, an injection member 4 which projects from the installation base 3, and an air supply device 6 connected to the injection member 4 via an air passage 5.

The polishing jig 2 is equivalent to that described in literature 1, and is loaded into a polishing apparatus (not shown) after air is injected into it by the air injection apparatus 1 according to this embodiment. The polishing jig 2 according to this embodiment includes a rubber balloon member 11 which inflates by the air pressure, and a support member 12 used to support the balloon member 11. The balloon member 11 inflates upon being supplied with air from the air supply device 6 (to be described later), and mounts a polishing pad (not shown) while its surface is inflated to have a predetermined curvature. The predetermined curvature means herein the curvature of the surface of a spectacle lens to be polished.

An air passage 13 used to inject air into the balloon member 11 or discharge the air from the interior of the balloon member 11 is formed in the support member 12. The air passage 13 includes a circular hole 14 which is formed in the support member 12 and has a circular cross-section, and a valve 15 provided between the circular hole 14 and the balloon member 11. One end of the circular hole 14, which is positioned on the opposite side of the balloon member 11, opens on a flat attachment surface 12a of the support member 12 so as to serve as an air injection port 16. The air injection port 16 is formed to open on the attachment surface 12a in a circular opening shape and extend in a direction perpendicular to the attachment surface 12a.

The valve 15 includes a check valve 23 including a ball 21 and conical coil spring 22, and an exhaust mechanism 25 including an exhaust pin 24 opposed to the ball 21, as shown in FIG. 2. The check valve 23 adopts a structure which passes air from the air injection port 16 into only the balloon member 11. The exhaust pin 24 is used to press the ball 21 against the spring force of the conical coil spring 22. The exhaust pin 24 is supported by a valve housing 26 to be extendable/retractable between a retraction position shown in FIG. 2 and an exhaust position at which the leading end of the exhaust pin 24 presses the ball 21. Also, the exhaust pin 24 is biased in a direction away from the ball 21 by a conical coil spring 27 provided between it and the valve housing 26.

The installation base 3 is formed in a plate shape having a flat installation surface 3a on which the polishing jig 2 is mounted, as shown in FIG. 1. Also, the installation base 3 is supported by a moving device (not shown) to be movable between a height measurement position (not shown) and a jig attachment/detachment position at which the polishing jig is attached/detached. The height measurement position is a position at which a height measuring device (not shown) measures the height of the balloon member 11 inflated by the air pressure.

The balloon member 11 inflates upon being supplied with air from the air supply device 6 (to be described later) while it is mounted on the installation base 3. The curvature of the surface of the balloon member 11 changes in correspondence with the height of the balloon member 11. Therefore, the air is supplied into the balloon member 11 until the height measured by the height measuring device coincides with that corresponding to a target curvature (the curvature of the surface of a spectacle lens to be polished).

The injection member 4 includes a columnar-shaped main body 33 and seal member 34, as shown in FIG. 3. The main body 33 projects from the installation surface 3a, and includes a threaded portion 32 which is threadably mounted in a screw hole 31 in the installation base 3. The seal member 34 is formed from an elastic body and mounted on the outer circumferential portion of the main body 33.

The threaded portion 32 is connected to the air supply device 6 via the air passage 5. The air supply device 6 uses an air compressor (not shown) as an air supply source.

The columnar-shaped main body 33 is formed to have an outer diameter A smaller than an inner diameter B (see FIG. 2) of the air injection port 16 of the polishing jig 2. A through hole (air passage) 35 extending through the two ends of the main body 33 is formed at the axis center of the main body 33. The through hole 35 has its one end which opens on the projection-side end face of the main body 33 as an air discharge port 36. The through hole 35 has its other end connected to the air passage 5.

An annular groove 41 used to hold the seal member 34 (to be described later) is formed in the outer circumferential portion of the main body 33 to extend circumferentially. The annular groove 41 according to this embodiment is formed from a circumferential wall 42 parallel to an outer circumferential surface 33a of the main body 33, and a first side wall 43 and second side wall 44 which extend from the circumferential wall 42 outwards in the radial direction. The first side wall 43 and second side wall 44 are formed parallel to the installation surface 3a of the installation base 3.

The seal member 34 is formed from an elastic body and inserted in the annular groove 41. The seal member 34 has an annular shape which extends over the entire circumference along the annular groove 41. The seal member 34 used in this embodiment is a ready-made O-ring.

The seal member 34 is formed to have an inner diameter d1 equal to an outer diameter D of the circumferential wall 42. Also, the seal member 34 is formed to have a thickness W smaller than a groove width (an interval between the first side wall 43 and the second side wall 44) G of the annular groove 41. That is, while the seal member 34 is inserted in the annular groove 41, a gap g is formed between the seal member 34 and at least one of the first side wall 43 and second side wall 44 defining the annular groove 41. Moreover, the seal member 34 is formed to have an outer diameter d2 larger than the inner diameter B of the air injection port 16.

That is, the seal member 34 is inserted into the air injection port 16 of the polishing jig 2, together with the main body 33 of the injection member 4, thereby pressing it inwards in the radial direction by a wall surface 16a of the air injection port 16, as shown in FIG. 4. At this time, the inner circumferential portion of the seal member 34 is kept in contact with the circumferential wall 42 to prevent the seal member 34 from deforming inwards in the radial direction, so the seal member 34 elastically deforms toward the gap g. As a result, the gap g is sealed by the elastically deformed seal member 34. In other words, the gap g is formed so as to be sealed by the seal member 34 elastically deformed upon inserting the injection member 4 into the air injection port 16.

Note that the seal member 34 is not limited to an O-ring, and can take any form as long as it serves as an elastic body having a shape which extends over the entire circumference along the annular groove 41. For example, the seal member 34 can use an elastic body formed in a ring shape, or an elastic body having a shape obtained by cutting a ring in one circumferential portion. When the seal member 34 uses an elastic body having a ring shape obtained by cutting a ring in one circumferential portion in this manner, it can be opened in a C shape, thus making it possible to easily perform an operation of inserting it into the annular groove 41 and an operation of removing it from the annular groove 41.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120084967 A1
Publish Date
04/12/2012
Document #
13230257
File Date
09/12/2011
USPTO Class
29559
Other USPTO Classes
451390
International Class
24B41/06
Drawings
11



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