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Numéro de publicationUS2680710 A
Type de publicationOctroi
Date de publication8 juin 1954
Date de dépôt14 sept. 1950
Date de priorité14 sept. 1950
Autre référence de publicationDE1015658B
Numéro de publicationUS 2680710 A, US 2680710A, US-A-2680710, US2680710 A, US2680710A
InventeursHerbert Kenmore, Manson Walter J
Cessionnaire d'origineKenmore Metal Corp
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for continuously electroplating heavy wire and similar strip material
US 2680710 A
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Description  (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)

ORE ET AL CONTINUOUSLY ELEC MILAR STRIP MATER H. KENM PARATUS FOR WIRE AND SI P w DA m A 0 5 D 9 0 4H E S M, 9

P 8 .m e d e m n J F KENMORE ETAL 2,680,710 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUSLY EILECTROPLATING HEAVY WIRE AND SIMILAR STRIP MATERIAL Filed Sept. 14, 1950 June 8, 1954 I 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 TIN I] H lllHllllllllH H 1954 H. KENMORE ETAL 2,680,710

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUSLY ELECTROPLATING HEAVY WIRE AND SIMILAR STRIP MATERIAL Filed Sept. 14, 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 1 N V E N T0125 #56552 7' Emma- ATTORNE YS' H. KENMORE ETAL June 8, 1954 2,680,710 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUSLY ELECTROPLATING HEAVY WIRE AND SIMILAR- STRIP MATERIAL Filed Sept. 14, 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 l NV EN TOR-9 #:ezer ffavmaze M40150 J. Mum

ATTORNE Y5 m I I H June 8, 1954 H. KENMORE ETAL 2,680,710

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUSLY ELECTROPLATING HEAVY WIRE AND SIMILAR STRIP MATERIAL Filed Sept. 14. 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 N WIWH NM Max 5 3 L3; LE1 in}; d #8 an as DWN.\\ wmx iw mx m l mlm 3 Q 11 Ii mmmmmmmmmmmmmmlflflnfllnmlmnllllmmnw T l Twl Q3 INVENTORS HAT-wager l ew/waa M71150 J. MAO? Patented June 8, 1954 FATENT OFFlCE METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINU- OUSLY ELECTBOPLATING HEAVY WIRE. AND SIMILAR STRIP MATERIAL Delaware Application September 14, 1950, Serial No. 184,884

1 ll Claims.

This invention relates to a new process and apparatus for treating rigid metal rod material, such as heavy Wire or strips, in various liquid treating baths. More specifically, the invention relates to an apparatus and process for coiling heavy metallic wire and similar strip material and continuously passing it in the form of a helix through a series of baths including an electroplating bath.

The coating of wire by the hot dipping method or by electroplating heretofore has always been done by the passing of wire through a series of tanks in straight line for treatment and coating. These tanks are arranged linearly and are of a length such as to provide for the necessary period of contact between the wire and the treating baths. The faster the'wire is to move or the heavier the coating, the longer each individual tank has to be. The wire itself has to be flexible enough to be bent over the walls of the tanks from one operation into the other.

Where heavy deposits are needed, the time for the wire to stay in one tank is such that tanks sometimes 300 to 400 feet long have to be constructed. Some tinning or galvanized installations necessitate a working space which is 400 to 800 feet long. In order to increase production, a multitude of strands are fed through the equipment. This type of operation does not pro duce a wire with a concentric coating and limits the choice of the base wire or coating. in the first place, only soft and very pliable base Inaterial can be used and the wire has to be in very line sizes. In the second place, the amount of coating is very restricted because heavy coatings would necessitate impractical tank sizes. It has been repeatedly suggested to do away with these disadvantages by moving a helix through a series of treatment baths and thus reduce the working space to a considerable Xtent. Many attempts have been made to improve such operations, but none of the improvements have been entirely successful in overcoming all the difliculties accompanying this type of plating process.

The prior disclosures have the following two characteristics in common:

1. The disclosed apparatus requires that the process be a batch or discontinuous one (at least the work always has to be stopped in order to allow time to weld the beginning of one wire coil to the end of another wire coil).

2. The material plated always must'be soft and this requires that the operation oi the machine be extremely slow. The present invention avoids these two limitations and in so doing gains some very distinct advantages as will be seen in the disclosure below.

In application No. 534,543 filed May 8, 1944, now Patent No. 2,495,695, an apparatus has also been disclosed for continuously passing a heavy wire which has been formed into the shape of a helix through a number of baths by suspending and rotating the helix between a pair of horizontally arranged, positively driven rollers and dipping the suspendedportions of coils of the helix into a plurality of baths.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved process and apparatus whereby a heavy gauge wire can be continuously tempered,

- straightened, formed into a helix, having a uniform diameter and pitch (which it retains due to the temper) and passed (primarily by pushing) through a series of baths and electroplated automatically as described hereinafter in such a uniform manner as to make it possible to redraw by conventional methods such plated wire to any desired gauge as fine as any ordinarywire can be drawn.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide .an improved apparatus and process whereby relatively heavy gauge and/or still wire can be continuously and eiiiciently metal plated to produce a stiii finished product at very high speeds of-over90 feet per minute.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and process whereby a still, tempered wire may be formed into a helix and run at .high speed through a series of treatments.

It is a further object-of the present invention to provide an improved process and apparatus for electroplating metalbodies such as relatively heavy wire or strip material continuously and in sucha way as to prevent excessive oxidation during the process and thereby produce a bond between the base material and the plating of such adhesiveness as .to permit redrawing without flaking, cracking or other deterioration of the coating.

3 coils and yet to eliminate any contact between the wire and the walls of the baths.

These objects and others ancillary thereto are accomplished by providing an apparatus which carries out the following process steps: first, straightening and, if necessary, additionally tempering the wire; second, continuously curving the straight, tempered wire into the form of a helix having a uniform coil size and a uniform pitch; third, passing the so formed helix (primarily by pushing the straight portion of the wire) to a horizontally arranged, rotating, supporting roll which roll. is of considerably less diameter than the diameter of the helix but which has a peripheral speed equal to that of the wire in the helix; fourth, dipping the major part of each of the suspended coils of the helix into a plurality of baths including cleaning and electroplating baths which baths are held by a series of abutting containers so constructed as to avoid any frictional contact between the walls of the containers and. the wire of the helix passing through the liquids in the containers. lJhe path that the wire being treated travels outside of the baths must be limited to prevent oxidation and in no part of the path from the cleaning bath to the end of the el ctroplating bath is a complete coil of the helix subj'ected to the oxidizing influence of the atmos phere. In other words when a given point on the helix passes out of one bath it then passes over the supporting roller and directly into the next bath.

The apparatus and process of the invention is applicable to any type of metal strip material which is bendable to coil form and at the same time of sufficient diameter and/or temper to retain the shape given it by a coil forming device. For convenience, such strip materials are referred to generally as wire regardless of the cross sectional shape thereof. The strip material should have a cross sectional area at least equal to that of 3" diameter round wire.

According to the disclosure of application No. 534,543 referred to above the sizes of the coils are maintained uniform in passing through the baths by pressing a top roller against the wire on the supporting roller. It has now been found possible to omit the top roller by providing properly tempered wire, by preventing frictional engagement between the wire and the bath walls and by forming the helix with a predetermined uniform pitch as well as with a uniform coil diameter. However, it is sometimes advantageous to add the top roller to improve the stability of the device. Whether the top roller is employed or not the main force which moves the helix through the baths according to the present invention appears to be the combination forces furnished by the bottom roller and the pulling or pushing force provided the two or more rotated gripping roller which grip and forward the wire back of the helix forming device. A set of straightening rollers is located adjacent to the rotated gripping rollers and a helix forming device follows the said gripping rollers. The helix forming device may consist of a single grooved roller which is ofiset from the common tangent of the gripping rollers and from the straightening rollers in such a manner as to impart both a definite curvature and a definite pitch to the wire which is forced to bend by the said roller. The roller type of straightening device may be placed between the gripping rollers and the offset roller or may precede the offset roller. At least one of the pair of gripping rollers is positively driven so as to impart a tan gential push which is not only sufficient to force the wire over the helix forming roller out is also sufficient, in cooperation with the rotating helix supporting roller, to cause the entire helix being passed through the apparatus to rotate.

In contrast to the general belief and quite unexpectedly, it has now been found that one basic and essential feature of the invention consists in transforming the wire into a firm, rigid body. This body can be visualized, for example, as a huge spiral having approximately 120 individual coils or contours 30" wide and a total 15 long. The pitch and the distances between any two adjacent coils are equal and predetermined. This firm body has to be continuously formed as it is treated. This firm body moves, as such, through the treating tanks and there can be no friction to the individual coils or contours when leaving one treatment tank and entering the next. If friction were present, the firm body would lose its shape and rigidity and could not move through the apparatus any more.

It is, therefore, essential that a substantially uniform temper be incorporated into the strip material or wire before this firm body of spirals or multiples of spirals is formed. In rare cases, the wire may have sufiicient temper already, but is is usually desirable to impart an additional temper to the wire or other strip material just before forming it into the helix. This additional temper may be given to the wire by pulling it through a reducing die located adjacent the coil forming mechanism. The reducing die in addition to adding temper to the wire serves to remove small kinks, scale and rust and in general, provides a smooth, stifi wire.

The wire may be pulled away from the original commercial coil in an axial direction so that the original co l may be held in a stationary position and so that the free end of the coil may be welded to the end of the next coil to be treated. In this way it is never necessary to stop the operation of the machine because the end of a coil of wire is reached. On the other hand, if it does become necessary or desirable to shut down the machine, the wire starting into the baths may be cut at any time without wasting either time or wire. When cut, the wire in the machine may be passed through the remainder of the machine with the aid oi a top roller and the pushing mechanism is shut down. Previously it was economically necessary to complete the plating of any coil of wire which had been partially introduced into the apparatus, and consequently, when the apparatus was started again, it was necessary to thread up the entire machine.

The novel features characteristic of this iii-- vention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the fololwing description of specific embodiments when read in connection with th accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention.

Figure 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus, partly cut away.

Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view through an electroplating tank along line 3-3 of Figur 2.

Figure 4 is an end view of the apparatus.

Figure 5 is a cross-sectional side view taken along line 5-5 of Figure 2.

Figure 6 is a detail view showing how the egeaowre curvature and pitch of the helix is-imparted-t'o the straightened wire:

Figure 7 isa sideview of the stiff; spring-like coil.

Figure 8 is atop plan view of a modifiedformorbath construction;

The" preliminary treatment of the wireto-be' sure it has the" proper' temperand stiffness to retain a helical shape and to changeit to" the required helical shape inwhich the'ooilshave a uniform pitch and diameter before pushing and/or forwardingthe helix through theliquidtreating part of the-apparatus-isveryimportant. Asindicated'inFigure' 1 wire Whom the coiledbundle H", which" bundle H is preferably" heldnon-rotatably'on' the stand 28, isdiawn'offthe coil H more or less axially. Drawing the wire Ill off the coil axially gives it a 360 twist per coil but this does not interfere with the process when the subsequent trcatmentssetforth below are included andby holding thebundle H stationary on thestand 2Q-it' is possibletoweld the free end 12* thereof'to the end 12 of another bundle- H heldon stand 2-! while-the wire Hi" from bundle H is passing through the apparatus'. The wire It is pulledoff the bundle H by the drum Strand is passedthrough the die 31 between the bundle H- and the drum 30. The die 31 is small enough-tomeduee the diameter ofthe'wi're slightly and toremovescale and irregularities but it also i has abeneficial effect in'incre'asingthe-temper of the-*w-ire to" make-the wirestifi'er and capable-of retaining the curvature and pitch-to hei'mpartedj thereto. The wire is drawn from the drum 3!) by the'pair of gripping andforwarding or pushing'ro1lers-32; 33- and i'sthen passed through the straightening device 48, M andtothe coil reforming roller 50 which imparts a definite uniform curvature and a definiteuniform pitch: to: the wire forced over it. The roller 56 isspaced from: rollers :16; 43; as shown in Figure 6, both. tangentially and axially so as-to'i'mpart: a pitch as well as'a curvature to the wire- IB. From the coil: reforming roller 56 the coiled wire passes to the horizontalhelixsupporting'roller 6E3; Preferablyseveral coils of the'helix thus formed rotate outside. of the treating bath sectionof the device and the coils then passinto the first of the series of baths. Vfhen the machine is=to1 he closed clownv the wire can be cut somewhere between that portion which: is. just about to enterthe bath and the first complete coil following the roller 5!! and the remainder of the wire in the bath. is passed. on through and; completely treated.

The gripping rollers 32, 33'whichpush the-wire through. the apparatus arei driven from the shaft 34, gear35, chain drive 36;.and shaft 3 1 The shaft 61- which is attached to the forwarding roller 6'13; is-driven by gear- 62, chain 6%", shaft 64 etc. The shafts 3 and 51 are'd'r-iven from a commonsource of power if' desired, but the gear boxes 31% and 65; shown diagrammatically; include adjustable speed change devices (adjusting means not shown)- such as a Reeves drive.

In operation the speeds of these two shafts 34 and 61. must be synchronized to-maintain propercoil' size andmachine operation.

To illustrate: If the speed oishaft 3t is'faster than the speed of 6H, theoliameter' of the coils It immediately following the coil forming roll 5'0 will become larger and this enlarged" diameter will gradually-work its way 'int'o the'p'lating tanks and will eventually tanglewitlr the outside anodes I26"; l-ZT (see'Fig. 3').

If thespeed of shaft 3& is slower thanthe speed of shaft 6'1, the reverse wiil happena Thecoil size fellow-ingthe coil' ferming rollwill becomesmaller and this small diameter-- coil wiiP eventually tangle with the inside anodes W4 and 135;

It has beemlearned by experience that the coil diametershould-Z not vary more thanplus or minus orre inch' from that originally set by the coil forming roll 56. To accomplish this requii-es=centihual manual or automatic speed regulation of-"oneor the other driving parts-38 n 65 The speed of the devices cannot: be fixed ap-- parently because the various characteristics of the-wire=such as temper; uniformity of diameter,

etc. are continuously:- changing, making it impossihle; to'- perfectly: match the peripheral speedof? the drawing rolls 3'2", 33 and thebottom roller" 6'01 The: two'- units- Gil and 4%! of the straightening device are positioned at approximately right angles to each other: 'I l'ie first unit 49 comprises a plurality" of pulleys: 42; 42 mounted on vertical shafts 4'? at one sideof the'unit' and: an equal:

number of pulleys 1M mounted" on shafts at" the-opposite side of the unit and positioned so that the wireis contacted alternately: by: a' pulley 4113 and: a; pulley: M: as. it passes through the'unit 413i siniilarly'thepulleys 'fi inrshafts tl are: mounted: at the upper: side. of unittl and the pulleysafiaiin shafts-1. 4'9? are: mounted on the loweri side of: the; unit. d'ill.

As; thewire: ltB'i is pushedi past the straightening unit41l: it iszcurved" by the roller: or pulley 5B;

spaced: vertically from the. wire: contacting grooves of; the pulleys; 451 and: 4&1 of; straightener. unit; 62!: to? impart a. definite. uniform. curvature to the: straightenedi wire; The plane of rotation of: the: pulley; is: substantially parallel. to but spacedihorizontally fromzthe: plane of rotation of the pulleys: 4'83. so) as to: give the; helix; I10? which is; formed: at definite' uniform'a pitch; The shaft 54=iSit013atab1ymfllllltBdiiII a: block 52.. which; con-- tainssuitableadjustihg means 5?. for varyihgz'the distance.- ofzthe" pulley-'51 fromithe block 52L.

As shown im the; drawing the straightening device 40;. 4 and. the: recoiling means '50 are locatedit'angentially withirespecttto the lowerpart of. the helix: which: is formed: These devices; howevergpan beilocatedi tangentially to. the" helix. [101 which. is; fbrnredgat' any point about-the cirrcunrference: thereof.

The'rollfin'zextends horizontally above a number of; separatezad jacenm. bathz chambers w -18'; The series? of? baths; 1.018 1 are adjacent one anotherfso: thattfromzthetimea givenrpoint on the helix: l0? immersed-in the firstbath it-nevertravelsiimtheizaiiz ateonatimefor a period as long the v time: intakes:- for the helix Hi to rotate once and/or it is never allowed access tothe air: for? a periods of over 2U seeonds at onetime. limitation: onthetime of contact withthe betweem the: cleaning: and electroplating baths and between each= emersiom and the next subsequent"- immersion in the electroplating bath is absolutely essential. It would be possible to permit: one or moreturns to" travel in air between: a' degrea-sing bath and the cleaning bath, for exampl'e. although: it is preferred-tohave all the baths abut one another'for'the sakeof compactness andi-rigidity of theapparatus;

So thatthe position" of theheliir H!" which is passing througlr the treating baths shall not be slowed upby frictiorror contact with the walls contact with the walls thereof.

of the baths a particular and unusual type of end wall and separating partition has been devised. That is, the upper part of the wall is sloped in one direction (the axial direction of the approaching wire) at one side thereof and is sloped in the opposite directions on the other side. The sloping portions start from a horizontal line which is located approximately at the center portion or axis of the helix It. A very satisfactory structure is shown at the end wall 89 of the bath 16. Below the horizontal line 85 the end 89 is substantially straight and is attached at right an les to the sidewalls and bottom of the bath structure. From the line 80 upwardly the right side 82 of the end 80 slopes inwardly with respect to the bath i and from the line So upwardly the left hand side 83 slopes outwardly so that that portion of the helix designated as A which is just passing into the bath it does not contact any part of the bath end wall it even though the wire passes over the roller 60 at an angle of approximately 90. The sloping portions 52 and 33 are connected by the triangular portion 8% which extends down from the central portion of the partition. So that the edges of the end wall or the partitions can be connected rectilinearly to the tank, the sloping areas 82 and 33 are shown as ending adjacent to but slightly spaced from the sides of the tank. The sloping areas extend beyond the space which is traversed by the helix and the side edge 85 of the wall 88, for example, lies in the same plane as that portion of the wall below the line 8!. This side edge 85 is connected to the slope portion 83 by a triangular portion 86 (only partly shown) which is approximately equal to a bisected portion of the triangular section 84. The drawing shows sharp right angle turns or bends connecting the sloping portions 82 and 83 to the center connecting portion 84 and the side triangular portion s6 but it is obvious that these bends may be considerably rounded off, if desired, since the helix does not approach closely to the extreme side portions or the center part of the partitions or walls 85. The side parts 85 and 86 can be omitted altogether since the only disadvantage of such omission is to make it slightly more difficult to align the partitions when building the apparatus. As best shown in Figure 2 the side walls SB, ill of the tank ii may be united to the side walls 92, 93 of an adjacent tank 72 by means of the laterally extending flanges 9Q, 95, 9E and 9'5. The edges 85' of the partition 80 being being held between two adjacent flanges 98 and 91. Some of the partitions may be attached to the edges of the side walls as shown at 85. The end walls 89 as shown extend above the level of the roller 65} and have a slot 88 (see Figures l, 3 and 4) which extends further away from one side of the roller Bil than from the other.

The remaining partitions or end walls are constructed similarly with the two sloping sides 82 and 83, etc., so that in its complete path of travel through the baths, the wire never comes into When operating at high speeds of over 58 feet per minute, for example, this freedom from frictional engagement with the bath walls is of tremendous importance since at such speeds merely momentary contact with the bath walls frictionally holds back the particular coil which makes the contact sufiiciently to change its diameter and once the diameter of a coil at a particular part of the apparatus is changed every subsequent portion of the wire which passes that part will be given approximately the same reduced or increased diameter. The condition is likely to be aggravated more than alleviated by continuing the operation of the apparatus after one portion of the helix has been distorted. Every time one coil of the traveling helix is decreased in circumference another adjacent coil is increased in circumference by an equal amount. For example, variations of plus or minus one inch in diameter in the coils of a helix which is 36 inches in diameter result in a non-uniform plating. One may qualitatively estimate the cumulative result due to continued frictional contact from the fact that a forwarding roller til which has a diameter of about 6" and in which the diameter varies from end to end by does not work satisfactorily due to the variation in coil size which it gradually builds up.

A top roller it!) may be pressed against that portion of each coil which contacts the top of the forwarding roller 66. The roller EOE! is rotatably supported in the bearing plates l0! and H32 which in turn are held by the overhanging frame structures m3 and E54 located at the ends of the apparatus. Suitable adjusting means I05 and H36 are provided to adjust the distance between the top roller wt and the roller 60 so that wires of difierent diameters can be processed. This top roller Hit may be omitted in the apparatus or" this invention especially when the wire is tempered and when there is no frictional engagement with the walls of the tank.

The sequence of baths employed depends somewhat upon the metal being plated but it should always include at least one cleaning bath before the electroplating bath. In the apparatus shown the following sequence of baths may be employed. Bath 70 may be an electrolytic cleaning bath containing an aqueous solution of sodium phosphate. In this bath the wire is made the anode by means of the electrical contacts H0 held on the bar i i i. cathodes are shown at H2 and lit. From the bath it the wire passes to bath H which contains a cold water rinse. Suitable means such as tap H3 may be associated with this bath to continuously replenish the water therein. The next bath '32 may be a hot sulphuric acid bath which is followed by a cold water rinse bath 13. Bath it is another electrolytic cleaning bath containing electrode contacts 1 i l for the wire and electrode connecting bars H5 and N55 for the bath. The bath it may be a polarizing or a flash plating bath has an electrode contact ii 1, etc.

The electroplating bath ll shows 17 turns of the helix passing therethrough but in reality the turns are more closely spaced so that there are from 20-75 passes through the electroplating bath. The rod Hiwhich extends along the top of the bath adjacent the top of the helix contains a number of electrode contacts iZil and i 2 i, one on each side of the roller (ill for each coil which is passing through the bath.

The anodes in bath are spaced about equally on both the inside and outside of the helix (see Figure 3). The outside electrodes are suspended from the anode connecting bars !22 and 523. The electrodes 25 and lit which extend from bars Q2 and I23, respectively, follow the curvature of or are substantially concentric with the wire helix Hi. The electrodes 52d and 25 may be covered with the fabric bags lit and 12?. The inner electrode supports see, i3i hold the electrodes 432 and 133, respectively, which are also preferably covered with the fabric bags I34 and I35. The electrodes 1-32, It-3 are substantially 'equally spaced along the inside of the wire helix I. The pairs of electrodes 52%, iZl-anddt'd, I35 are tied together at their free ends 'to maintain their proper position inthebath.

The coil I0 which is formed'accordingto the present invention is a stiff, spring-"like helix ln which'all of the individual turns are-of substantially the same'diameter-andpitch. Thatis, the diameter d 'ofiall the coils-as shown 'in Figure 7 is the same 'and the'distance s between any ,tWO adjacent coils is substantially the same. -As long as no particular part'of the helix is slowed up due to friction-against a side of a bath wall the helix l0 retains the shape given it by the coil forming mechanism "50-54. The stiff j'helix 10 may be passed througha frictionless type-of bath without the aid of the top roller as illus- 'trated in Figure "7.

A'modified form of bath construction is shown in plan view in Figure '8. Inthis-figure the-sides I90 and IHI of the first death "are parallel but slightly-out of alignment so that the-end-sections I 80 connect to the side walls at-anangle which is slightly different from 'a right angle. The end walls I80 may be secured tothe side walls in the same wayathat the-end walls 80 of Figures land "2 are connected tothe side walls '90 and "SI, for example, by means of flanged sections I91 and I96 ,of the side walls I90 and I92 respectively, and theextending edge 185 of the-end walls'Hi'O. Additional end 'or cross walls T80 "may -be added as shown in Figure 8. Although Figure '7 is a :side elevation and Figure "8 is -a plan view, the

'way inwhich the 'coil f0 of Figure 7 may be introduced into and passed through the bath combination of 'Figurei8 without rubbing'against the'walls I180 or -l.80'"of"the baths may be visualized by imagining that the helix of Figure ",7 is

lowered into "the "baths .of Figure ,8. 'It can be seen 'thatthe walls -Ii30'or I80 will substantially bisect the space between two vadjacentindividual coils or turns of the helix.

It is readily understood -that :by combining "a wire straightening and coiling means with the electroplating apparatus any kind of wire which has the proper stiffness or isc'f sumc'ientsize to be made stiff by'temperingcan beplated insuch a way as toproduceaplated product "which can be drawn to any desired -final size. "With the apparatus of this invention heavy wires which may *be rusted, scaley and crinkled, in short or longflengths, and with various degrees ofitemper,

can-,be'plated.

This application is a continuation-impart of application Serial M03732 ,8'I'2,'filed March '6, 1947, nowabandoned.

'We claim:

1. In themethod of plating wire having across sectional area at least equivalent to thatof a round wire of 75 mils diameter to continuously produce a plated .wire which is capable of being drawn after plating without rupturing or .remov- .ing the plate, the stepsfcomprising prov'idinga wire having ,a large cross sectional area equivallent to .at least that of a round wire of 75,mils diameter witha work hardened surface sufficient to cause the wire to retain thelinear shapewhich is ,forcefully imparted thereto, applying a ,pro-

pellingsforce .to said ,wire tomove a strandof the Wire axially in a straight direction, subjecting the propelled strand of wire toa plurality oflinearly arranged-opposed.forceslperpendicular totheaxis of said =wire :tostraighten the same, immediately thereafter curving the propelled strand of wire in a direction whidh is in .a generally vertical direction but inclinedslightly from the true vertical so as to form the wire into=a helix-of uniform-size and pitch, =-the energy for straightening and curving said strand-of Wire being applied by said propelling force, continuously supporting "and applying -a rotating force to a "large number 01f adjacent coils of said helix as they are formed *s'o'asto *feedsaid helix along a helical path having a horizontal axis, synchronizing the said "rotating force applied to said coils of saidhli-x with said propelling force so as to prevent the development of frictional forces between the helix 'and themeans throughwhich said rotating force is "applied to said helix, "treating the suspended portions of said supported coils with a continu- "ous series of liquid treating baths including -a clejaning bath and an electroplating bath, thesa-id propelling "and 'rotating forces having such a speed that no substantial oxidation of the wire takes place from the time the wire of the helix enters the cleaning bath 'until it leaves the electroplating bath.

'2. In-themethod-of-plating wire-'having'a cross sectiona-l'area 'of at least equivalent to that of a round wire of '75 mils diameter to continuously produce a plated "wire which is capable of being drawn "after plating without rupturing or removing the plate, the steps comprising providing -a wire 'having'a large cross sectional area equivafl ent "to at least that of 'a round wire of mils force to "said work hardened wire strand'to push the wire axially in a first direction, subjecting .thepropelledstrand of wirie'toa plurality of llnearly arranged, opposed forces perpendicular to theJa x'is of said strand 'of wire-and extending said first -direction to continuously straighten said strand, immediately thereafter continuously curving :sa'id iwire into the form of ahelix about a horizontal axis perpendicular to the :plane of said first direction by continuously applying -a curving fforce 'which'is out'of alignment withboth the perp'endicular and "the "horizontal planes of said firstidirection, the energyfor propelling said wjire axially through said opposed straightening forces and "said curving force being applied by said propelling force, continuously supporting {and applying :a rotating "force to a large number of adjacent coils of said helix as theyare formed soas to continuously feedsaid helix-along a hellcal path having a {horizontal axis, synchronizing the said rotating 'force'with saidpropelling-force so as to prevent the development of frictional forces .on the supported portion of said helix, treating theisupported coils by passing the lower portions thereof in and: out of a continuous series of liquid itreating baths including a cleaning bath and an electroplating bath, the said propelling and mating forces having such-a speed that no substantial oxidation of the wire takes place during itstravelyoutSide of said baths from the time 'thewire of the helix enters thecleaning bath until it leaves the plating bath.

3. apparatusforelectroplating heavy'gauge wire having across sectional area at leastequiv- 'alent to thatof a round-wire with a diameter of 1075' comprising means forholding a coiled-bun- :dle of said Wire so "that the wire can be unwound therefrom in an axial direction without rotating the-bundle, a wiredrawing die positioned "to receive a 'wire withdrawn axially from said -bumile, pullin meansadjacent said die {for zpull- 1 1 ing the wire coming from said bundle through said die, a pair of opposed rollers adjacent said last named means adapted to grip between them the wire coming from said pulling means, means to positively rotate at least one of said gripping rollers, an elongated Wire straightening means with a plurality of generally aligned wire enga ing elements having one end thereof adjacent to said gripping rollers and being aligned with said gripping rollers to cooperatively coact therewith, a wire curving means comprising a curving roller adjacent the other end of said wire straightening means but out of alignment with the wire path of said wire through said straightening means and the gripping rollers so as to impart a definite curvature and pitch to the wire which is forced over the said curving roller, a rotatable elongated horizontal supporting roller having one end thereof in the region of said curving roller and extending horizontally in a vertical plane which is at substantially a right angle with respect to the path of the wire passing through said straightening means so as to cooperatively coact with said straightening and curving means for receiving said wire curved by said curving means in the form of a helix and to support a number of the individual coils of said helix in a suspended position, means to rotate said elongated supporting and suspending roller and a plurality of juxtapositioned tanks below said supporting roller adapted to surround the lower portions of consecutive coils of said helix suspended from said supporting roller, at least one electrode contact adjacent said supporting roller for carrying current to said wire and at least one electrode within one of said tanks.

i. The device as set forth in claim 3, in which said wire straightening device comprises two sets of opposed straightening rollers, a first set of said straightening rollers having their axes of rotation in a pair of substantially parallel vertical planes and the second set of rollers having their axes of rotation in a pair of substantially parallel horizontal planes, said wire curving device being located adjacent the end of said second set of straightening rolls.

5. The device as set forth in claim 3 in which said plurality of juxtapositioned tanks are separated from each other by walls the side portions of said walls being angled away from any plane perpendicular to the axis of said helix by an amount approximating the amount by which the curving device is out of alignment with the path of the wire through the straightening device.

6. An apparatus for electroplating heavy gauge wire having a cross sectional area at least equivalent to that of a round wire with a diameter of .075", comprising means for holding a coiled bundle of said wire so that a strand of wire can be unwound therefrom, a wire propelling means comprising a pair of opposed rollers adapted to grip between them the wire coming from said bundle holding means, an elongated wire straightening means with a plurality of generally aligned wire engaging elements having a first end thereof adjacent to said gripping means and being in alignment with said opposed gripping rollers so as to cooperatively coact therewith to straighten said wire, a wire curving device adjacent the other end of said straightening means but out of line with the wire path through said straightening means and the gripping rollers, means to positively rotate at least one of said gripping rollers so as to propel said wire through said straightening means and over said curving means so as to first straighten and then to impart a definite curvature and pitch to the wire, a rotatable elongated horizontal supporting roller having one end thereof in the region of said curving roller and extending horizontally in a vertical plane which is at substantially a right angle with respect to the path of the wire passing through said straightening means so as to cooperatively coact with said straightening and curving means for receiving said wire curved by said curving means in the form of a helix and to support a number of the individual coils of said helix in a suspended position, means to rotate said elongated supporting and suspending roller and a plurality of juxtapositioned tanks below said supporting roller adapted to surround the lower portions of consecutive coils of said helix suspended from said supporting roller, at least one electrode contact adjacent said supporting roller for carrying current to said wire and at least one electrode of opposite polarity with respect to said first named electrode within one of said tanks.

7. An apparatus for electroplating heavy gauge wire having a cross sectional area at least equivalent to that of a round wire with a diameter of .075", comprising a pair of opposed rollers adapted to grip a wire therebetween, means to positively rotate at least one of said gripping rollers, an elongated wire straightening means comprising opposed sets of wire engaging rollers, one end of said wire straightening means being positioned adjacent to and cooperatively coacting with said gripping rollers, said opposed sets of straightening rollers having a substantially straight opening therebetween to receive said wire as it comes from said gripping rollers and to guide said wire in a substantially straight path therethrough, said opening being substantially tangential with respect to both of the gripping rollers, a wire curving means adjacent to the other end of said straightening means but out of alignment with the path of the wire passing through said straightening means, a rotatable, elongated, horizontal supporting and suspending roller adapted to receive the wire curved by said curving means in the form of a helix and to support a number of the individual coils of said helix in suspended position, one end of said supporting roller being in the region or said curving means and the other end extending at approximately right angles with respect to the said path of said wire strand through said gripping rolls and said straightening means, means to rotate said elongated supporting and suspending roller, a change speed device connected to at least one of said means for rotating the gripping rollers and said means for rotating the horizontal supporting roller whereby the relative speeds of the two said positively rotated devices can be synchronized in accordance with the characteristics oi the wire and a plurality of juxtapositioned tanks below said supporting roller adapted to surround the lower portions of consecutive coils of said helix suspended from said supporting roller, at least one electrode contact adjacent said supporting roller for carrying current to said wire and at least one electrode of opposite polarity with respect to said first named electrode within one of said tanks.

8. An apparatus for electroplating heavy gauge wire having a cross sectional area at least equivalent to that or" a round wire with a diameter of .075", comprising means for holding a coiled bundle of said wire so that a wire strand can be unwound therefrom, a wire drawing die adjai3 cent thereto positioned to receive the wire strand withdrawn from said 'bundleppulling means -ad- ;jacentsaid die "for pulling "the wire strand comiingfrorn said bundle through said die, a'pair 'of ;posed gripping rollers and having a first -.end

thereof adjacent to said gripping rollers, a wire curving means adjacent to the second end of said elongated straightening means but out of line with the wire path through said straightening means and the gripping rollers, means to positively rotate at least one of said gripping rollers so as to propel said wire coming from said pulling means through said straightening means and over said curving means so as to first straighten said wire and then to impart a definite curvature and pitch to said wire, a rotatable, elongated, horizontal supporting and suspending roller having one end thereof in the region of said curving means and extending horizontally in a vertical plane at substantially a right angle with respect to the path of the wire passing through said gripping rollers and straightening means whereby to receive the wire curved by said curving means in the form of a helix and to support a number of the individual coils of said helix in suspended position, means for rotating the horizontal supporting roller, and a plurality of juxtapositioned tanks below said supporting roller adapted to surround the lower portions of consecutive coils of said helix suspended from said supporting roller, at least one electrode contact adjacent said supporting roller for carrying current to said wire and at least one electrode of opposite polarity with respect to said first named electrode within one of said tanks.

9. An apparatus for electroplating heavy gauge wire having a cross sectional area at least equivalent to that of a round wire with a diameter of .075", comprising means for holding a coiled bundle of said wire, a wire drawing die positioned to receive the wire withdrawn from said bundle, pulling means adjacent said die for pulling wire coming from said bundle through said die, wire straightening and propelling means comprising an elongated wire straightening means with a plurality of generally aligned wire engaging elements and an associated pair of gripping rollers aligned with said wire engaging elements to cooperatively coact therewith, one end of said wire straightening and propelling means being adjacent said pulling means, a wire curving means adjacent the other end of said wire straightening and propelling means but out of alignment with the wire path through said straightening device and the gripping rollers so as to impart a definite curvature and pitch to the wire which is forced over the said curving means, a rotatable elongated horizontal supporting roller having one end thereof in the region of said curving means and extending horizontally in a vertical plane which is at substantially a right angle with respect to the path of wire passing through said straightening means so as to cooperatively coact with said straightening and curving means for receiving said wire curved by said curving means in the form of a helix and to support a number of the individual coils of said helix in a suspended position, means to rotate said elongated supporting and suspending roller and a plurality of juxtapositioned tanks below said supii porting roller'adapted to surround'the lower portions-of consecutivecoils of said helix suspended from *said supporting roller, at least one electrodecontact adjacent said supporting roller 'for carrying "current to said wire and at least one flectrodewithin-one of'said tanks.

10. An apparatus for electroplating heavy gauge wire having .a cross sectional area at least equivalent to that of a round "wire with a diameter of {MST-comprising a wiregripping and forwarding means, an elongated wire straightensing means w-vith a plurality of generally zaligned wire engaging elements havin one end thereof adjacent to said wire gripping means and being aligned and cooperatively coasting therewith to receive and straighten wire as it comes from said gripping and forwarding means, a wire curving means adjacent the other end of said wire straightening means adapted to cooperate with said curvin means to continuously curve said straightened wire to the form of a horizontally extending helix of uniform coil side and uniform pitch, and a rotatable, elongated, horizontal supporting means having one end thereof in the region of said curving means and extending horizontally in a vertical plane which is at substantially right angles with respect to the direction of the wire passing through said wire straightening means so as to cooperatively coact with said straightening device and curving means to receive the wire as it is formed into said horizontally extending helix and to support a number of the individual coils of said helix in suspended position, and a plurality of juxtapositioned tanks below said supportin roller adapted to surround the lower portions of consecutive coils of said helix suspended from said supporting roller, at least one electrode contact adjacent said supporting roller for carrying current to said wire and at least one electrode of opposite polarity with respect to said first named electrode within one of said tanks.

11. An apparatus for electroplating heavy auge Wire having a cross sectional area at least equivalent to that of a round wire with a diameter of .075", comprising means for holding a coiled bundle of said wire so that a strand of wire can be unwound therefrom, wire straightening and propelling means comprising an elongated wire straightening means with a plurality of generall aligned wire engagin elements and an associated pair of gripping rollers aligned with said wire engaging elements to cooperatively coact therewith, one end of said wire straightenin and propelling means being adjacent said bundle holding means, a wire curving means adjacent the other end of said wire straightening and propelling means but out of alignment with the wire path through said straightening device and the gripping rollers so as to impart a definite curvature and pitch to the wire which is forced over the said curvin means, a rotatable elongated horizontal supporting roller having one end thereof in the region of said curving means and extending horizontally in a vertical plane which is at substantially a right angle with respect to the path of wire passing through said straightening means so as to coooperatively coact with said straightening and curving means for receiving said Wire curved by said curving means in the form of a helix and to support a number of the individual coils of said helix in a suspended position, means to rotate said elongated supporting and suspending roller and a plurality of juxtapositioned tanks below said supporting roller adapted to surround the lower portions of consecutive coils of said helix suspended from said supporting roller, at least one electrode contact adjacent said supporting roller for carryin current to said wire and at least one electrode within one of said tanks.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 642,339 Krummel Jan. 30, 1900 Number 10 Number Name Date Shuster Apr. 9, 1912 Gibbs Apr. 8, 1913 Kardong May 23, 1922 Parker Sept. 28, 1926 Lang Mar. 6, 1945 Camin et a1 Jan. 31, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date Germany Dec. 7, 1932

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Classifications
Classification aux États-Unis205/138, 72/162, 204/209
Classification internationaleB21C47/26, C25D7/06
Classification coopérativeB21C47/265, C25D7/0607
Classification européenneB21C47/26C, C25D7/06B