The invention relates to a mobile cleaning and blasting cubicle for protecting the surroundings, the environment, and the operator during a blasting process using a blasting device and a blasting medium.
During blasting of a movable item or a non-movable object, such as, for example, a wall, without a blasting cubicle, the surrounding air and area are significantly polluted by the blasting medium and the particles being blasted off. The blasting cubicle serves to create a small room in which the blasting or cleaning process can take place, such that the pollution of the air and area occurs only in the blasting cubicle and not outside of it. A blasting process is generally carried out with garnet sand, granite granulate, glass granulate, corundum, plastic granulate, nutshells or steel balls added to compressed air. However, depending on specific applications, bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, ice crystals or dry ice pellets are becoming more common. In this process, however, a water mist is added in addition to the compressed air. During the blasting process, the surface of the blasted item is treated by the grit being hurled at high pressure in the direction of the item. Normally one or more layers on the surface of the item or wall are removed by the blast of fine grit. This is advantageous when, for example, varnish, rust or another patina needs to be removed from an item, or a house wall needs to be cleaned of graffiti. The examples given are only a sample of hundreds of application areas where blasting technology has become common meanwhile.
Various blasting cubicles are known from the state of the art. These have the disadvantages, however, that they are fixed in place and therefore not mobile; can only be operated using a dry blasting medium; and, having only a small holding capacity, are suitable only for blasting a small movable item. Blasting of an immovable object such as a wall, a statue, a monument, etc., is not possible with such a cubicle. Specific blasting and cleaning processes that employ moist or wet blasting media such as jets of dry ice or bicarbonate with water mist added, are also not possible. The blasting cubicles from the state of the art are only suitable for placing an object inside and then blasting with a blasting device while adding a dry blasting medium. Due to the small size of the blasting cubicle in comparison to a house wall, blasting of immovable items such as a house wall is not possible with such a blasting cubicle. Therefore until now, to blast a house wall, for example to remove graffiti, an enclosure had to be built. These enclosures, however, can only ensure that the blast medium and the coarse particles being blasted off remain in the enclosed area. Because the housing is not sealed, the dust and fine particles that arise are released into the surroundings by the air turbulence. Furthermore, the person doing the blasting is fully exposed to the blasting medium and the blasted particles and must take measures to protect himself, such as respiratory protection with fresh air supply, eye protection and special protective clothing. In addition, special permits must be applied for. This applies equally for dry or wet processes. All of these measures and efforts cost significant time and materials and thereby make the blasting process much more expensive. In addition, blasting during damp weather or rain is not possible.
In contrast, the object of the present invention fulfills the task of creating an improved mobile blasting cubicle and a system consisting of a mobile blasting cubicle and a blasting device.
The objects of the invention are each solved with the characteristics of the independent patent claims. Embodiments of the invention are given in the dependent patent claims.
According to the invention, a mobile blasting cubicle is created that features two sides, a roof and a front cover. The front cover has two openings for the passage of human arms. Thus a person who is outside the blasting cubicle can reach his arms through the two openings and blast a movable or immovable object, such as a wall, inside the blasting cubicle using a blasting device. The two openings for the arms can also be termed reach-through openings. This is advantageous because the person is located outside the blasting cubicle and therefore does not come into direct contact with the blasting medium or the particles being blasted off. Therefore elaborate personal safety measures such as respiratory protection with fresh air supply, or special protective clothing, are unnecessary.
In other words, the sides, roof, back and front cover form a workroom. A blasting device, for example, which can be used to blast an item, can be brought into the workroom. Through such blasting the item can for instance be cleaned. Thereby a user can put his arms through the arm openings and manually operate the blasting device.
The rear cover is at least partially removable from at least one of the sides. In other words, the blasting cubicle can be opened in that the rear cover can be at least partially detached from at least one of the sides. The rear cover can also be detached completely from the sides and thereby completely removed. If the rear cover is also connected to the top when the blasting cubicle is assembled, the rear cover can also be detached from the top.
For example, the rear cover can be detached from one side completely and connected to the other side. In this way, the rear cover can be folded away to one side to open up the workroom. Alternatively, the rear cover can also be detached from both sides. In this case, the size of the opening can be freely determined. This is advantageous when, for example, a house wall is to be blasted, whereby a particular area of the wall is not to be blasted. In such a case, the rear cover can be detached just enough to expose exactly the desired area. Thus the rest of the house wall is protected.
The rear cover can also be detached from the sides with the aid of two zip fasteners, one on each side. This easily creates in the workroom an opening that can be shifted freely and whose size can be freely defined.
The term mobile blasting cubicle means here that the blasting cubicle can be broken down and therefore easily transported. Such a mobile blasting cubicle can be transported comfortably by one person, because it consists mainly of lightweight plastic. For example, it can be transported in a bag that can be carried easily by one man. Thus this mobile blasting cubicle can be assembled in any location and in a very short time.
This is of particular advantage because it makes the blasting cubicle extremely flexible in its application. Movable items that are smaller than the blasting cubicle can be blasted inside it. In addition, it is possible to assemble the blasting cubicle directly on an object that is larger than the blasting cubicle. In this case the rear cover is removed or opened, and the front cover is displaced toward the back in the longitudinal dimension. Then the object can be blasted without the environment or the operator—aside from his arms—coming into contact with the blasting medium. It is thereby unimportant whether the object is movable or immovable, because the blasting cubicle is so mobile and flexible that it can simply be assembled directly on the object. With a blasting cubicle according to the invention, then, any item can be blasted that is smaller than the blasting cubicle and thereby fits into it. In addition, any larger object can be blasted, regardless of whether it is movable or immovable.
According to embodiments of the invention, the blasting cubicle features a floor made of a robust and watertight plastic film. The two sides consist of an air- and watertight plastic sheeting, and the roof is also of an air- and watertight plastic sheeting. The front cover consists of a clear, transparent, air- and watertight plastic sheeting with two separated slits for the passage of human arms. It must be noted hereby that the slits run from top to bottom in the front cover, such that the operator's arms can move freely upward and downward without deforming the front cover. The sideways mobility results from the moldability of the front cover. The slits are preferably 30-60 cm long. The rear cover consists of an air- and watertight plastic sheeting, whereby the side and rear covers are attached to the roof with hook-and-loop tapes, and with straps and fastening clips to the floor pan. This is advantageous because the mobile blasting cubicle can thus be easily assembled, and the side and rear covers can be attached to the floor without tools.
The rear wall is attached to each of the two sides by means of a zip fastener. This is also advantageous for quick assembly and disassembly of the mobile blasting cubicle. In addition, this allows the rear wall to be easily removed, for example, if a house wall needs to be blasted. The two side covers and the rear cover are also attached to vertical supports. The roof is supported by a folding frame, whereby the folding frame is attached to the vertical supports. The folding frame consists preferably of multiple rods that are connected to one another with joints, thus allowing it to be folded.
The front cover is attached to a crossbar, wherein the crossbar is attached with a clip to two longitudinal supports of the folding frame and can be displaced in the longitudinal direction. The front cover therefore can be displaced toward the back in the direction of the rear cover, which is advantageous if the distance to the object being blasted needs to be reduced, or if a house wall is to be blasted, because the operator can thus move closer to the wall.
Openings are located between the floor and sides and between the floor and front and rear covers, said openings being suitable for passing through at least one hose to feed blasting medium for a blasting device. The blasting cubicle is therefore not completely closed off from the surrounding space, so there can be an exchange of air between the blasting cubicle and the surrounding space. Therefore the floor, front and rear covers, and the sides do not need to be connected in an air- or watertight manner. In addition, it is not important that air can exit the blasting cubicle through the slits provided for a person's arms. There is some clearance between the front cover and the roof.
A blasting cubicle designed in this way is advantageous because—although air exchange with the surroundings of the blasting cubicle can and does take place during a blasting procedure—dust cannot exit the blasting cubicle, due to the thermodynamic conditions in the blasting cubicle. The thermodynamic conditions are characterized by a suction device which is located below the object being blasted during most blasting processes, for the purpose of suctioning the dust and blasting medium. Flow experiments have demonstrated that no blasting medium escapes from the openings because due to the suction in the lower part of the blasting cubicle, the free space between front cover and roof, and the four-cornered shape of the blasting cubicle, the flow rises from the spot where the blasting generally occurs in the middle of the blasting cubicle upwards in the direction of the free space between the front cover and the roof. However, the blasting medium does not move through the free space between front cover and roof into the space surrounding the blasting cubicle, but rather falls—after a twisting movement—downwards again, in the direction of the floor and the suction.
According to embodiments of the invention, the mobile blasting cubicle features a right and a left side tab on the front cover. The right side tab covers an opening between the front cover and the right side, and the left side tab covers an opening between the front cover and the left side. The side tabs are fastened to the front cover with the aid of a hook-and-loop fastener. This is beneficial for preventing particles of the blasting medium from emerging between the front cover and the side parts. In addition, the side tabs influence the flow characteristics of the blasting medium inside the blasting cubicle such that no blasting medium or particles emerge from the blasting cubicle into the space surrounding it.
According to embodiments of the invention, the rear wall can be removed. If the rear wall is removed, a right, a left and an upper side extension can be arranged on the right and left sides and on the roof. The side extensions can be attached, for example, on the respective vertical supports and on an upper crossbar.
In other words, the right side extension is attached to the right vertical support, the left side extension is attached to the left vertical support, and the upper side extension is attached to the crossbar. The attachment can be effected, for example, with a screwed joint, a clamped joint, or a plug-and-socket-connection. Attaching the side extensions has the advantage that when a house wall is being blasted, no blasting medium can escape from the blasting cubicle to the right, left or top. When a house wall is blasted, for example, the front cover is displaced toward the back in the direction of the rear cover, the rear cover is removed and laid to the side, and on both sides the side extensions are affixed. Thus it is possible to comfortably blast the house wall using the mobile blasting cubicle, without the surroundings or the operator coming into contact with the blasting medium or the dust. The operator comes into contact with the blasting medium and the dust only on his arms, which extend through the openings of the front cover. The arms are therefore protected with so-called arm gloves. If desired, a tray can be placed below the area to be blasted, which catches the used blasting medium and transfers it to a suction device which collects the used blasting medium in a container. The blasting medium thus collected can be recycled. The blasting medium left on the ground can also be recycled.
According to embodiments of the invention, each of the side extensions features a magnet. If desired, each side extension can have multiple magnets. This is advantageous because with a side extension that has at least one magnet, automobiles, for example, can easily be blasted. To this end, the side extension part with the magnet is attached to the auto body. The blasting process then occurs similarly to the process for the house wall (described above). Although the automobile features a curved surface, no blasting medium or dust escapes into the surroundings because the side extension part is attached to the automobile with at least one magnet. Through the use of at least one magnet on each of the side extensions, the shape of the side extension adjusts to the shape of the automobile body, thereby allowing no blasting medium or dust to escape from the blasting cubicle.
According to embodiments of the invention, the at least one magnet is in the form of a strip. The strip-shaped magnet extends from top to bottom of the side extension such that, along its entire height, the side extension lies against the automobile being blasted. The mobile blasting cubicle preferably features additional round magnets with which especially large or oddly shaped areas of the surface being blasted can be incorporated, for example, the body of an automobile. To this end, at least one of the additional magnets is applied near the uneven area, whereby the side extension nestles closer to the surface being blasted and thereby produces an improved seal between the blasting cubicle and the surrounding space.
According to embodiments of the invention, a tray is located between the side extensions, for intercepting the blasting medium.
According to embodiments of the invention, a blasting table is located in the central area of the blasting cubicle, with a tray located beneath the blasting table. Such a tray serves the same purpose as that of the tray located between the side extensions, which catches the blasting medium used and transfers it with a suction device into a receptacle for blasting medium so that the blasting medium can be used again next time the blasting cubicle is used.
According to embodiments of the invention, the tray is connected to a suction device via a hose. Here it is especially advantageous that the mobile blasting cubicle is not hermetically sealed off from the surrounding space but instead features openings between floor and side pieces and/or between floor and rear cover or front cover, through which the hose can be fed.
According to embodiments of the invention, the crossbar on which the front cover is fastened can be rotated. The front cover can be rolled up on the crossbar. This means that the operator can turn the crossbar and roll or unroll the front cover on the crossbar. This is advantageous because it allows, for example, a blasting table that may be present in the blasting cubicle to be easily removed from the blasting cubicle. If desired, the front cover can also be rolled partway up and positioned over the blasting table.
According to embodiments of the invention, the vertical supports can be telescoped, folded, or plugged together. This is advantageous because the relatively long vertical supports—in proportion to the other structural components of the blasting cubicle—can be reduced in size for transporting the blasting cubicle without its stability being affected.
According to embodiments of the invention, a lamp is located on a folding frame in the rear area. The lamp serves to illuminate the item being blasted, or e.g., a house wall or automobile.
According to embodiments of the invention, the lamp features a plastic covering. The plastic covering is insulated from the electronics of the lamp. This is advantageous in that the plastic covering cannot get electrostatically charged, which would lead to the blasting medium collecting on the lamp and thus darkening the lamp.
According to embodiments of the invention, the roof has a slope of between 1° and 15°. This is advantageous because any rain that falls on the roof when the blasting cubicle is used outside can flow off and will not weigh down the roof.
According to embodiments of the invention, the roof is white and at least one of the side pieces features a window. This is advantageous because it allows a lot of light to enter the interior of the blasting cubicle, and work can be done in conditions comparable to daylight.
According to embodiments of the invention, the folding frame and/or the vertical supports are made of metal. The use of a metal for these components is particularly beneficial because it makes them especially stable and resistant to environmental influences.
According to embodiments of the invention, the free space between the front cover and the roof is between 5 and 30 cm. This is advantageous for the thermodynamic conditions that influence the airflow within the blasting cubicle. It prevents blasting medium from escaping the blasting cubicle into the surroundings.
According to embodiments of the invention, the roof features upper overlapping sections that extend from the roof downwards and at least partially overlap the sides, the rear cover, and/or the front cover. The floor features lower overlapping sections that extend from the floor upwards and at least partially overlap the sides, the rear cover and/or the front cover. This is beneficial to prevent the blasting medium from escaping out of the blasting cubicle. The overlapping area makes it more difficult for blasting medium to escape from the blasting cubicle. The floor is therefore tray-shaped. The tray-shaped floor is advantageous because it prevents blasting medium from escaping the blasting cubicle. Due to the tray shape, the blasting medium collects on the floor and can even be used again, because it has come into contact only with the floor. No contamination with dust or other particles from the surroundings occurs because the blasting medium from the tray-shaped floor remains inside the blasting cubicle.
According to embodiments of the invention, the floor features a sealable opening, whereby the opening allows the blasting cubicle to be built around an item or object to be blasted, and the item or object extends through the opening in the floor into the blasting cubicle in its assembled condition. This is especially beneficial if an immovable object such as a gravestone, a monument or a statue is to be blasted. The blasting cubicle is therefore simply assembled around the object. It is important to be sure that the opening in the floor is opened so that the object can be guided through the opening. Therefore, after assembly of the blasting cubicle, the object is located inside the blasting cubicle and can be blasted with the blasting medium without exposing the environment or the operator, except for his arms.
In a further aspect, the invention relates to a system consisting of a mobile blasting cubicle and a blasting device for blasting a movable item or an immovable object.
In a further aspect, the invention relates to a process for treating a surface with a blasting medium, wherein the process comprises the following steps:
assembling a blasting cubicle is assembled according to embodiments of the invention, wherein, when the rear cover is closed, a space is formed by the blasting cubicle to hold an object to be blasted;
opening the rear cover;
displacing the front cover in the longitudinal direction toward the opening;
positioning the opening on the surface to be blasted, said surface being a surface of a movable or immovable object;
treating the surface with a blasting medium by means of a blasting device, whereby the blasting device is located within the blasting cubicle and the treatment of the surface is carried out by a person, whereby the front cover is located between the person and the blasting device.
In a further aspect, the invention relates to a process for treating a surface with a blasting medium, whereby the process features the following steps:
assembling a blasting cubicle according to embodiments of the invention, wherein the blasting cubicle has a lower opening;
slipping the blasting cubicle over an immovable item, while guiding a surface to be blasted through the lower opening, wherein said surface is a surface of said immovable item;
treating the surface with a blasting medium by means of a blasting device, whereby the blasting device is located within the blasting cubicle and the treatment of the surface is carried out by a person, whereby the front cover is located between the person and the blasting device.
Embodiments of the invention are explained further in the following section, with reference to the drawings as follows:
FIG. 1 schematic front view of a mobile blasting cubicle,
FIG. 2 schematic side view of a mobile blasting cubicle,
FIG. 3 schematic top view of a mobile blasting cubicle,
FIG. 4a-c schematic view of the use of a mobile blasting cubicle to blast an automobile,
FIG. 5a, b a schematic view of the use of a mobile blasting cubicle to blast a house wall,
FIG. 6 schematic, three-dimensional view of the mobile blasting cubicle, and
FIG. 7a, b schematic view of a folding frame.
Elements that correspond to one another in the following figures are designated with the same reference numbers.
FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a mobile blasting cubicle 100 with a front cover 102 with slits 104, a crossbar 106, and a blasting table 108. Below the surface of the blasting table 108 is a tray 110.
An operator can reach his arms through slits 104 and thereby blast an object, which is located on blasting table 108, for example, in the interior of blasting cubicle 100. The blasting medium used is thereby caught in tray 110 and if desired can be transferred into a blasting medium receptacle by means of a suction device. Crossbar 106 can be rotated. Due to the positioning of the front cover 102, front cover 102 can be rolled up onto crossbar 106 by rotating crossbar 106. This is advantageous if the person wishes to remove the object or the table from the blasting cubicle. Also visible in FIG. 1 is roof 112.
FIG. 2 is a schematic view from the side of a mobile blasting cubicle. In this case, an operator 200 has put his arms 202 through slits 104 in order, for example, to blast an object inside the blasting cubicle. The object can, for example, be supported on table 108 with tray 110. Sides 204 (only visible in FIG. 2), back cover 206, front cover 102 and roof 208, prevent blasting medium from escaping into the surroundings outside the blasting cubicle. Not visible in FIG. 2 is the floor, which also prevents blasting medium from escaping out of the blasting cubicle or touching and soiling the possibly damp ground.
FIG. 3 is a schematic top view of a blasting cubicle 100. This clearly shows the shielding of the blasting cubicle from the surroundings by means of sides 204, rear cover 206, and front cover 102. FIG. 3 also shows an operator 200 with his arms 202 put through the slits (not shown) of front cover 102, in order to blast an object on blasting table 108 with a blasting device.
FIG. 4a is a schematic side view of an automobile 400, which is being blasted with the aid of a blasting device in a mobile blasting cubicle 100. Automobile 400 is thereby not located within mobile blasting cubicle 100 but rather, the blasting cubicle is assembled such that it is located directly adjacent to automobile 400. In order to be able to blast the automobile, rear cover 206 of mobile blasting cubicle 100 must be removed so that the blasting medium can reach the automobile. Sides 204, roof 102, and the floor remain untouched. Front cover 102 is displaced in the direction of the automobile, that is, in the longitudinal direction of the blasting cubicle. Displacement is simple because crossbar 106 can be displaced on longitudinal supports (not shown in FIG. 4a). Operator 200 can thereby closely approach automobile 400 in order to blast it, whereby no blasting medium escapes into the surroundings.
Side extensions 402, which prevent the blasting medium from escaping into the surroundings, are best viewed in FIG. 4b. Side extensions 402 can for example be fastened to sides 204 by means of a zip fastener, which guarantees that no blasting medium escapes into the surroundings. Side extensions 402 further feature a strip magnet, which causes them to nestle to the contours of automobile 400 and prevent escape of the blasting medium out of blasting cubicle 100. On the top, an upper side extension 403 can be added, whereby the upper side extension 403 prevents dust or blasting medium from escaping upwards out of the blasting cubicle. This is best viewed in FIG. 4b. The upper side extension can, for example, be fastened to the roof or an upper horizontal support.
The person 200 who carries out the blasting process stands—as can be seen in FIG. 4b—above the floor of the blasting cubicle and below roof 112 of the blasting cubicle; however, he is not inside blasting cubicle 100 because front cover 102 is still located between automobile 400 and operator 200. The operator is therefore not exposed at all to the blasting medium, aside from his arms. Below the blasting area, that is, between the two sides 204, is a tray 408 for catching the blasting medium. The tray 408 further possesses a connection 410 for a suction device for the blasting medium.
FIG. 4b also clearly shows that crossbar 106 is fastened to longitudinal supports 404 (only one visible in FIG. 4b) with clip 406. Clip 406 can be moved in the longitudinal direction on the longitudinal supports, whereby displacement of front cover 102 in the longitudinal direction also occurs.
FIG. 4c is a schematic top view of a blasting cubicle during a blasting operation on an automobile 400. Here it is clearly apparent that operator 200 stands between sides 204. However, he is not in the blasting cubicle because front cover 102 (not apparent in FIG. 4c) is located between him and the automobile 400. The tray 408, which serves to catch the blasting medium, is clearly evident in FIG. 4c.
FIG. 5a is a schematic view of a mobile blasting cubicle 100 being used to blast a house wall 500. In this case also, front cover 102 has been displaced in the direction of house wall 500. This takes place analogously to FIG. 4 in that crossbar 106 is displaced onto longitudinal support 404 in the longitudinal direction of blasting cubicle 100. Also analogous to FIG. 4, tray 408 with connector 410 on the floor is located in the blasting area, whereby the blasting medium is to be conveyed into a blasting medium receptacle. Such a use of the mobile blasting cubicle is particularly advantageous because there is no need to consider outdoor weather conditions, and no damage to the environment occurs through the blasting medium. Thus no barriers for the blasting area need be created because no blasting medium ends up outside of the area between house wall 500, side extensions 502 (see FIGS. 5b) and 403, and front cover 102. This translates to a cost savings because said barriers are unnecessary and permits are no longer required for the blasting operation. In addition, use of the blasting cubicle is possible in rain or other adverse weather conditions. The blasting medium does not become damp, as the side extensions and the roof shield the blasting area from the environment. The blasting medium also does not come into contact with the floor, as tray 408 catches the blasting medium and a suction device not shown here conveys the blasting medium to a blasting medium receptacle.
FIG. 5b shows a schematic top view of a mobile blasting cubicle 100 being used to blast a house wall 500. Side extensions 502 prevent loss of the blasting medium into the surroundings. Tray 408 catches the blasting medium and conveys it to a suction device.
FIG. 6 is a schematic, three-dimensional view of a blasting cubicle 100. The blasting cubicle features front cover 102 with two slits 104, two sides 204, rear cover 206, crossbar 106, blasting table 108, tray 110, floor 600, and roof 112. One side 204 also features viewing window 602, whereby the viewing window preferably consists of a transparent plastic. Slits 104 are preferably 30-50 cm long, in FIG. 6 somewhat longer. Window 602 serves to allow daylight into blasting cubicle 100, which enables the operator to work in daylight. Floor 600 features overlapping sections 604, which overlap with sides 204, rear cover 206, and front cover 102, such that the blasting medium is prevented from escaping. In other words, overlapping sections 604 together with floor 600 form a tray-shaped area.
FIG. 7a is a schematic view of a folding frame 700. Similar to an accordion, cross braces 701 are folded into or out of one another so that frame 700 can be easily transported. In the assembled state, frame 700 is unfolded out, whereby end braces 702 are attached to crossbars 106 and/or longitudinal supports 404.
For transportation of the mobile blasting cubicle, end braces 702 are disconnected. Then the frame can easily be folded together, in that the end braces 702 are moved toward one another.
Such movement is possible not only in one dimension, as shown in FIGS. 7a and b—but also in two dimensions, of course. The folding frame is then similarly compact in its folded state as in the one-dimensional case. However, unfolding takes place in the longitudinal and the transverse directions. If desired, the frame can also be designed such that when it is expanded, a post telescopes upwards in the middle to help hold the roof. Because the post is higher than the other parts of the frame and the other supports of the blasting cubicle, it produces a slope in the roof from the middle outwards on all sides.
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100 mobile blasting cubicle
102 front cover
108 blasting table