(19)
(11)EP 2 550 140 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
08.01.2014 Bulletin 2014/02

(21)Application number: 11710897.7

(22)Date of filing:  03.03.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B28B 5/02  (2006.01)
B05C 3/18  (2006.01)
B28B 19/00  (2006.01)
B05C 5/02  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2011/055563
(87)International publication number:
WO 2011/118396 (29.09.2011 Gazette  2011/39)

(54)

SHEET FORMING APPARATUS FOR USE WITH DOCTOR BLADE

BLATTFORMUNGSGERÄT ZUR VERWENDUNG MIT EINER RAKEL

APPAREIL DE FORMATION DE FEUILLE DESTINÉ À ÊTRE UTILISÉ AVEC UNE RACLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 24.03.2010 JP 2010068570

(43)Date of publication of application:
30.01.2013 Bulletin 2013/05

(73)Proprietor: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Minato-ku Tokyo 107-8556 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • KOIZUMI, Atsushi
    Wako-shi Saitama 351-0193 (JP)
  • TANAKA, Toshikazu
    Kanazawa-shi Ishikawa 920-0059 (JP)

(74)Representative: Trossin, Hans-Jürgen et al
Weickmann & Weickmann Postfach 860 820
81635 München
81635 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 3 610 201
US-A- 5 326 401
US-A- 4 550 681
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present invention relates to a sheet forming apparatus for discharging a slurry into a sheet shape to produce a green sheet in combination with a doctor blade.

    Background Art



    [0002] Generally, doctor blades are used to form green sheets having a small thickness and a large width from a slurry, which is a granular fluid, that is less viscous than a granular fluid for use in extrusion molding applications.

    [0003] If a green sheet is formed from a slurry having a relatively high viscosity by a doctor blade, then the green sheet tends to have thickness irregularities along its transverse direction, particularly different thicknesses in the central region and opposite edge regions of the sheet along the transverse direction.

    [0004] To solve the above problem, there has been proposed in the art a method of and an apparatus for manufacturing a green sheet as disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2007-190828. The disclosed method and apparatus make it possible to manufacture a wide green sheet of uniform thickness which is free of thickness irregularities along its transverse direction without the need for replacing a sheet material discharger such as a coating head or the like even when a slurry of different viscosity is used and also without the need for manually adjusting the opening of a nozzle of the coating head.

    [0005] According to Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2007-190828, as shown in FIG. 11 of the accompanying drawings, the thickness of a formed sheet 2 discharged from a nozzle opening 1a of a coating head 1 is measured by a plurality of thickness sensors 3 spaced along a transverse direction Y across the formed sheet 2. Based on thickness data of the formed sheet 2 which are measured by the thickness sensors 3 at a plurality of detecting positions spaced along the transverse direction Y, the flow rates of a slurry supplied to respective individual flow passages 1c connected to a slurry reservoir 1b disposed upstream of the nozzle opening 1a are controlled by respective control valves 5 that are controlled by a control means 4.

    [0006] Specifically, if the thickness which is detected by one of the thickness sensors 3 is smaller than a reference value, then only the opening of the control valve 5 which is aligned with the detecting position of the thickness sensor 3 is controlled by the control means 4 to increase the flow rate of the slurry in the flow passage 1c that is controlled by the control valve 5. Conversely, if the thickness which is detected by one of the thickness sensors 3 is greater than the reference value, then only the opening of the control valve 5 which is aligned with the detecting position of the thickness sensor 3 is controlled by the control means 4 to reduce the flow rate of the slurry in the flow passage 1c that is controlled by the control valve 5.

    [0007] As a result, the thickness of a portion of the formed sheet 2 at a certain position along the transverse direction Y is adjusted toward the reference value. In this manner, the formed sheet 2 is made uniform in thickness along the transverse direction Y.

    [0008] The apparatus disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2007-190828 is complex in structure, is made up of a large number of parts, and hence is highly costly to manufacture because it includes the thickness sensors 3 and the control valves 5 for controlling the thickness of the formed sheet 2.

    [0009] Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 10-329118 discloses a green sheet forming mold for forming a green sheet according to an extrusion molding process rather than a doctor blade process. The disclosed green sheet forming mold serves to reduce the difference between speeds at which a granular fluid flows in the central and central region and opposite edge regions of the mold, thereby minimizing thickness irregularities and density irregularities of a green sheet which is formed by the green sheet forming mold.

    [0010] According to Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 10-329118, as shown in FIG. 12 of the accompanying drawings, a green sheet forming mold 6 for extrusion-molding a green sheet of a granular fluid includes a forming body 7 having a constant thickness through which the granular fluid flows. The forming body 7 has a pair of constricting side walls 8 on its transverse edges which are inclined or curved progressively inwardly toward the tip end of the green sheet forming mold 6.

    [0011] The green sheet forming mold 6 disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 10-329118 forms a thick narrow green sheet of a capillary according to an extrusion molding process. The disclosed concept is not applicable to a doctor blade process that forms a thin wide green sheet of a slurry which is lower in viscosity than a capillary.

    [0012] In US 3,610,201 A, on which the preamble of enclosed claim 1 is based, the partition is made by an assembly of a plurality of elements, i.e. a plurality of parallel plates connected by a plurality of intermediate spacers.

    [0013] In US 5,326,401 A, a slurry flow is equalized by branching a single chamber into a plurality of passageways.

    [0014] US 4,550,681 A shows a slurry flow equalizing structure made by superimposing a plurality of sheets each having passageways offset from the passageways of the adjacent sheet.

    Summary of Invention



    [0015] It is an object of the present invention to provide a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade, which is capable of easily and reliably forming a green sheet having a uniform thickness of a slurry.

    [0016] According to the present invention, there is provided a sheet forming apparatus for discharging a slurry into a sheet shape to produce a green sheet in combination with a doctor blade, in accordance with claim 1.

    [0017] The sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade comprises a supply port for supplying the slurry, a discharge port for discharging the green sheet, at least two slurry spreading chambers for spreading the slurry in a transverse direction of the green sheet which extends across a direction along which the green sheet is transported, the slurry spreading chambers being disposed between the supply port and the discharge port and arranged downstream along a direction in which the slurry flows from the supply port to the discharge port, and a plurality of joining holes through which adjacent ones of the slurry spreading chambers are joined to each other, wherein the joining holes include at least two joining holes disposed one on each side of the supply port along the transverse direction.

    [0018] According to the present invention, the slurry which is supplied to an upstream one of slurry spreading chambers is supplied to a downstream one of the slurry spreading chambers through at least two joining holes which are disposed one on each side of the supply port in the transverse direction. Therefore, the slurry is spread along the transverse direction. The sheet forming apparatus can produce a green sheet of uniform thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet, the viscosity of the slurry, the width of the green sheet, and the width setting of a clearance provided by the discharge port.

    [0019] The slurry spreading chambers are effective to absorb slurry pulsations from a slurry supply for thereby supplying the slurry stably along the longitudinal direction of the green sheet. Consequently, the green sheet is uniformized in thickness along the longitudinal direction thereof, can be produced with an increased yield, and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0020] The above and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which preferred embodiments of the present invention are shown by way of illustrative example.

    Brief Description of Drawings



    [0021] 

    FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a sheet manufacturing system incorporating a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the sheet forming apparatus according to the first embodiment;

    FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the sheet forming apparatus according to the first embodiment;

    FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the sheet forming apparatus according to the first embodiment;

    FIG. 5 is a view showing joining holes defined in a partition of the sheet forming apparatus according to the first embodiment;

    FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrative of the thickness of a green sheet formed by the sheet forming apparatus according to the present invention and the thickness of a green sheet formed by a sheet forming apparatus according to the related art;

    FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a second embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 8 is a view showing joining holes defined in a partition of a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 9 is a view showing joining holes defined in a partition of a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 10 is a view showing joining holes defined in a partition of a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention;

    FIG. 11 is a plan view of an apparatus for manufacturing a green sheet disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2007-190828; and

    FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a green sheet forming mold disclosed in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 10-329118.


    Description of Embodiments



    [0022] As shown in FIG. 1, a sheet forming apparatus 10 for use with a doctor blade according to a first embodiment of the present invention is incorporated in a sheet manufacturing system 12.

    [0023] The sheet manufacturing system 12 comprises a slurry supply 16 for supplying a slurry 14 to the sheet forming apparatus 10, a web supply 20 for supplying a web 18 to be coated with the slurry 14, and a drier 22 for drying a green sheet 21 which is produced when the web 18 is coated with the slurry 14. The sheet forming apparatus 10 is positioned above the web supply 20.

    [0024] The slurry supply 16 includes a slurry tank 24 that is filled with the slurry 14 which is prepared by adding a binder to a powder of a raw material. The raw material may be YSZ + NiO + C, YSZ + NiO, YSZ, SSZ, NiO, SDC, GDC, LC, or LSC.

    [0025] The slurry supply 16 also includes a slurry supply pipe 26 having an end connected to the slurry tank 24. The other end of the slurry supply pipe 26 is connected through a pump 28 to a supply port 30 of the sheet forming apparatus 10.

    [0026] As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the sheet forming apparatus 10 includes a supply box shield plate 32 in which the supply port 30 is defined. A nozzle 34 is mounted on the supply port 30. The sheet forming apparatus 10 also includes a supply box 38 mounted on the supply box shield plate 32 with a partition 40 interposed between the supply box shield plate 32 and the supply box 38 (see FIGS. 2 and 4).

    [0027] As shown in FIG. 2, the sheet forming apparatus 10 has at least two slurry spreading chambers. Specifically, a first slurry spreading chamber 44a connected to the supply port 30, a second slurry spreading chamber 44b, and a third slurry spreading chamber 44c are defined between the supply box shield plate 32 and the supply box 38 by the partition 40. The partition 40 is formed by bending a single plate to shape.

    [0028] The partition 40 has a plurality of joining holes, e.g., two joining holes 46a, 46b, defined therein through which the first slurry spreading chamber 44a and the second slurry spreading chamber 44b are joined to each other, and a plurality of joining holes, e.g., four joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d defined therein through which the second slurry spreading chamber 44b and the third slurry spreading chamber 44c are joined to each other.

    [0029] FIG. 4 shows the partition 40 in perspective. The joining holes 46a, 46b, which are positioned in an upstream region with respect to the direction, indicated by the arrow F, along which the slurry flows from the supply port 30 into the sheet forming apparatus 10, are disposed one on each side of the supply port 30 in the transverse direction, indicated by the arrow H, of the green sheet 21. The joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d, which are positioned in a downstream region with respect to the direction F, are greater in number than the joining holes 46a, 46b and spread in a wider range than the joining holes 46a, 46b along the transverse direction H.

    [0030] The joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d provide respective fluid passages having cross-sectional areas, the sum of which is smaller than the sum of cross-sectional areas of respective fluid passages provided by the joining holes 46a, 46b. The number of the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d is twice (n times) the number of the joining holes 46a, 46b. Adjacent ones of the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d are spaced a constant distance 1 from each other along the transverse direction H (see FIG. 5).

    [0031] As shown in FIG. 2, the supply box 38 has a channel 50 defined therein which has an entrance end that is open into the third slurry spreading chamber 44c. The sheet forming apparatus 10 includes a slurry reservoir case 52 defining therein a slurry reservoir chamber 54 into which the exit end of the channel 50 is open. A blade 56 is mounted on the slurry reservoir case 52.

    [0032] The slurry reservoir chamber 54 has an upper end closed off by a plate 59 for preventing the slurry 14, supplied from the channel 50 into the slurry reservoir chamber 54, from being dried. The blade 56 has a lower end spaced upwardly from the web 18 supplied from the web supply 20, defining a discharge port 56a between the lower end of the blade 56 and the web 18 and providing a clearance S therebetween.

    [0033] The total cross-sectional area of the supply port 30 is greater than the total cross-sectional area of the discharge port 56a. The sum of the cross-sectional areas of the fluid passages of the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d is greater than the total cross-sectional area of the discharge port 56a. The total cross-sectional area of the supply port 30 is greater than the sum of the cross-sectional areas of the fluid passages of the joining holes 46a, 46b. The supply port 30 is disposed upwardly of the discharge port 56a.

    [0034] As shown in FIG. 1, the drier 22 is disposed downstream of the web supply 20 and the sheet forming apparatus 10 with respect to the direction, indicated by A, along which the web 18 travels through the drier 22. The drier 22 includes a drying booth 60 housing therein a plurality of heaters 62 disposed beneath the web 18 which is supplied from the web supply 20. After the green sheet 21 is dried by the drier 22, it is wound around a takeup shaft 66 that is disposed downstream of the drier 22.

    [0035] Operation of the sheet manufacturing system 12 will be described below in relation to the sheet forming apparatus 10.

    [0036] As shown in FIG. 1, the pump 28 of the slurry supply 16 is actuated to supply the slurry 14 contained in the slurry tank 24 through the slurry supply pipe 26 to the supply port 30 of the sheet forming apparatus 10. In the sheet forming apparatus 10, as shown in FIG. 2, the slurry 14 is supplied from the supply port 30 into the first slurry spreading chamber 44a.

    [0037] As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the two joining holes 46a, 46b which are defined in the partition 40 are spaced from each other along the transverse direction H and are open into the first slurry spreading chamber 44a and the second slurry spreading chamber 44b. The slurry 14 which has entered the first slurry spreading chamber 44a flows through the joining ports 46a, 46b into the second slurry spreading chamber 44b. The joining holes 48a, 48b, 48b, 48c which are defined in the partition 40 are open into the second slurry spreading chamber 44b and the third slurry spreading chamber 44c. The slurry 14 which has entered the second slurry spreading chamber 44b flows into the third slurry spreading chamber 44c.

    [0038] The slurry 14 which has entered the third slurry spreading chamber 44c then flows through the channel 50 into the slurry reservoir chamber 54, and is placed on the web 18 supplied from the web supply 20. The web supply 20 is actuated to move the web 18 in the direction A shown in FIG. 1.

    [0039] As the web 18 is traveling in the direction A, the slurry 14 is continuously applied to the web 18 to a height in the thicknesswise direction of the web 18 through the discharge port 56a defined by the lower end of the blade 56. The web 18 which is coated with the slurry 14, i.e., the green sheet 21, is then carried into the drier 22. The green sheet 21 is dried by the heaters 62 housed in the drying booth 60, and then wound around the takeup shaft 66.

    [0040] According to the first embodiment, the slurry 14 which is supplied to the first slurry spreading chamber 44a is supplied to the second slurry spreading chamber 44b through the joining holes 46a, 46b are disposed one on each side of the supply port 30 in the transverse direction H. The slurry 14 which is supplied to the second slurry spreading chamber 44b is supplied to the third slurry spreading chamber 44c through the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d which are greater in number than the joining holes 46a, 46b and spread in a wider range than the joining holes 46a, 46b along the transverse direction H, so that the slurry 14 is spread along the transverse direction H as the slurry 14 enters the third slurry spreading chamber 44c.

    [0041] Since the slurry 14 is spread along the transverse direction H as it goes out of the discharge port 56a, the sheet forming apparatus 10 can produce a green sheet 21 of uniform thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a.

    [0042] As described above, the sheet forming apparatus 10 has at least two slurry spreading chambers, e.g., the first slurry spreading chamber 44a, the second slurry spreading chamber 44b, and the third slurry spreading chamber 44c. These slurry spreading chambers are effective to absorb slurry pulsations from the slurry supply 16, i.e., slurry pulsations produced by the pump 28, for thereby supplying the slurry 14 stably along the longitudinal direction of the green sheet 21, i.e., along the direction A. Consequently, the green sheet 21 is uniformized in thickness along the longitudinal direction thereof, can be produced with an increased yield, and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0043] Furthermore, as described above, the sum of the cross-sectional areas of the fluid passages provided by the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d is smaller than the sum of the cross-sectional areas of the fluid passages provided by the joining holes 46a, 46b. Therefore, the slurry 14 supplied to the first slurry spreading chamber 44a is reliably prevented from flowing into the second slurry spreading chamber 44b before it is spread along the transverse direction H of the green sheet 21.

    [0044] Consequently, the sheet forming apparatus 10 can reliably produce a green sheet 21 of uniform thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0045] As described above, the number of the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d is twice the number of the joining holes 46a, 46b. Therefore, as the slurry 14 flows downstream successively through the first slurry spreading chamber 44a, the second slurry spreading chamber 44b, and the third slurry spreading chamber 44c, the slurry 14 is spread along the transverse direction H of the green sheet 21. The green sheet 21 which is produced by the sheet forming apparatus 10 is thus uniformized in thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0046] As described above, the total cross-sectional area of the supply port 30 is greater than the total cross-sectional area of the discharge port 56a. Therefore, the slurry 14 supplied to an upstream chamber, e.g., the second slurry spreading chamber 44b, is effectively prevented from flowing into the third slurry spreading chamber 44c, which is located downstream of the second slurry spreading chamber 44b, before the slurry 14 is spread along the transverse direction H. Accordingly, the green sheet 21 which is produced by the sheet forming apparatus 10 is thus uniformized in thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0047] As described above, the sum of the cross-sectional areas of the fluid passages of the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d is greater than the total cross-sectional area of the discharge port 56a. Therefore, the slurry 14 supplied to the third slurry spreading chamber 44c, which is the most downstream chamber, is effectively prevented from being discharged out of the discharge port 56a before the slurry 14 is spread along the transverse direction H. Accordingly, the green sheet 21 which is produced by the sheet forming apparatus 10 is thus uniformized in thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0048] As described above, the total cross-sectional area of the supply port 30 is greater than the sum of the cross-sectional areas of the fluid passages of the most upstream joining holes 46a, 46b. The slurry 14 supplied to the first slurry spreading chamber 44a, which is the most upstream chamber, is effectively prevented from suffering a shortage from the supply port 30 before the slurry 14 is spread along the transverse direction H. Accordingly, the green sheet 21 which is produced by the sheet forming apparatus 10 is thus uniformized in thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0049] As described above, the supply port 30 is disposed upwardly of the discharge port 56a. Therefore, the slurry 14 is smoothly and effectively spread along the transverse direction H by gravity as it flows downwardly from the supply port 30. Accordingly, the green sheet 21 which is produced by the sheet forming apparatus 10 is thus uniformized in thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0050] As described above, the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d which are arranged along the transverse direction H and are open into the second slurry spreading chamber 44b and the third slurry spreading chamber 44c are spaced the constant distance 1 from each other along the transverse direction H. Therefore, the slurry 14 is uniformly spread along the transverse direction H as it flows downstream from the second slurry spreading chamber 44b into the third slurry spreading chamber 44c. Accordingly, the green sheet 21 which is produced by the sheet forming apparatus 10 is thus uniformized in thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0051] The joining holes 46a, 46b and the joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d are defined in the single partition 40, and the single partition 40 defines the first slurry spreading chamber 44a, the second slurry spreading chamber 44b, and the third slurry spreading chamber 44c between the supply box shield plate 32 and the supply box 38. Consequently, the slurry 14 is highly effectively spread along the transverse direction H by the simple and economical structure. Accordingly, the green sheet 21 which is produced by the sheet forming apparatus 10 is thus uniformized in thickness without being adversely affected by the materials of the green sheet 21, the viscosity of the slurry 14, the width of the green sheet 21, and the width setting of the clearance S of the blade 56 provided by the discharge port 56a. As a result, the green sheet 21 can be produced with an increased yield and can be manufactured at a reduced cost.

    [0052] FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrative of the thickness of the green sheet 21 formed by the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment of the present invention and the thickness of a green sheet formed by a sheet forming apparatus according to the related art. The sheet forming apparatus according to the related art is free of joining holes in a partition and supplies a slurry directly from a supply port to a discharge port. As shown in FIG. 6, the green sheet formed by the sheet forming apparatus according to the related art has its thickness at the opposite edge regions thereof considerably smaller than its thickness at the central region thereof. On the other hand, the green sheet 21 formed by the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment is substantially uniform in thickness along the transverse direction thereof.

    [0053] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a sheet forming apparatus 70 for use with a doctor blade according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

    [0054] Those parts of the sheet forming apparatus 70 which are identical to those of the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment are denoted by identical reference characters, and will not be described in detail below. This also applies to sheet forming apparatus according to third through fifth embodiments of the present invention to be described below.

    [0055] As shown in FIG. 7, the sheet forming apparatus 70 includes a box-shaped casing 72 housing a partition 74 therein. The partition 74 defines a first slurry spreading chamber 44a connected to the supply port 30, a second slurry spreading chamber 44b, and a third slurry spreading chamber 44c in the casing 72. The partition 74 is formed by bending a single plate to shape.

    [0056] The partition 74 has two joining holes 46a, 46b defined therein through which the first slurry spreading chamber 44a and the second slurry spreading chamber 44b are joined to each other, and four joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d (twice the joining holes 46a, 46b) defined therein through which the second slurry spreading chamber 44b and the third slurry spreading chamber 44c are joined to each other.

    [0057] The casing 72 has an channel 50 defined in a lower corner thereof. The channel 50 is open into the third slurry spreading chamber 44c. A blade 56 is mounted on the casing 72 and has a lower end spaced upwardly from the web 18, defining a discharge port 56a between the lower end of the blade 56 and the web 18.

    [0058] According to the second embodiment, the third slurry spreading chamber 44c functions as the slurry reservoir chamber 54 according to the first embodiment. The other structural details of the sheet forming apparatus 70 according to the second embodiment are the same as those of the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment. The sheet forming apparatus 70 according to the second embodiment offers the same advantages as those of the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment.

    [0059] FIG. 8 is a view showing joining holes defined in a partition 80 of a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

    [0060] As shown in FIG. 8, the sheet forming apparatus according to the third embodiment has a first slurry spreading chamber 82a, a second slurry spreading chamber 82b, a third slurry spreading chamber 82c, and a fourth slurry spreading chamber 82d which are defined between the supply port 30 and the discharge port 56a by the partition 80. The partition 80 has two joining holes 84a, 84b defined therein through which the first slurry spreading chamber 82a and the second slurry spreading chamber 82b are joined to each other, four joining holes 86a, 86b, 86c, 86d (twice the joining holes 84a, 84b) defined therein through which the second slurry spreading chamber 82b and the third slurry spreading chamber 82c are joined to each other, and eight joining holes 88a, 88b, 88c, 88d, 88e, 88f, 88g, 88h (twice the joining holes 86a, 86b, 86c, 86d) defined therein through which the third slurry spreading chamber 82c and the fourth slurry spreading chamber 82d are joined to each other.

    [0061] The relationship between the joining holes 84a, 84b and the joining holes 86a, 86b, 86c, 86d is the same as the relationship between the joining holes 46, 46b and joining holes 48a, 48b, 48c, 48d according to the first embodiment. The joining holes 88a, 88b, 88c, 88d, 88e, 88f, 88g, 88h are greater in number than (twice) the joining holes 86a, 86b, 86c, 86d and spread in a wider range along the transverse direction H than the joining holes 86a, 86b, 86c, 86d.

    [0062] The sum of the cross-sectional areas of fluid passages provided respectively by the joining holes 88a, 88b, 88c, 88d, 88e, 88f, 88g, 88h is smaller than the sum of the cross-sectional areas of fluid passages provided respectively by the joining holes 86a, 86b, 86c, 86d. Adjacent ones of the joining holes 86a, 86b, 86c, 86d are spaced a constant distance from each other along the transverse direction H, and adjacent ones of the joining holes 88a, 88b, 88c, 88d, 88e, 88f, 88g, 88h are spaced a constant distance from each other along the transverse direction H.

    [0063] According to the third embodiment, the sheet forming apparatus has four slurry spreading chambers, i.e., the first slurry spreading chamber 82a, the second slurry spreading chamber 82b, the third slurry spreading chamber 82c, and the fourth slurry spreading chamber 82d, and the partition 80 has the joining holes 88a, 88b, 88c, 88d, 88e, 88f, 88g, 88h which are open into the third slurry spreading chamber 82c and the fourth slurry spreading chamber 82d.

    [0064] The joining holes in the three sets are successively twofold in number from upstream to downstream. The sheet forming apparatus according to the third embodiment offers the same advantages as those of the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment and the sheet forming apparatus 70 according to the second embodiment.

    [0065] FIG. 9 is a view showing joining holes defined in a partition 90 of a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention.

    [0066] As shown in FIG. 9, the sheet forming apparatus according to the fourth embodiment includes a first slurry spreading chamber 92a, a second slurry spreading chamber 92b, and a third slurry spreading chamber 92c which are defined by the partition 90 and arranged successively downstream from the supply port 30 to the discharge port 56a. The partition 90 has two joining holes 94a, 94b defined therein through which the first slurry spreading chamber 92a and the second slurry spreading chamber 92b are joined to each other, and three joining holes 96a, 96b, 96c defined therein through which the second slurry spreading chamber 92b and the third slurry spreading chamber 92c are joined to each other. The joining hole 96b, which is positioned between the joining holes 96a, 96c, is wider than the joining holes 96a, 96c. The joining hole 96b is wider than the joining holes 96a, 96c because it is supplied with the slurry 14 from both the joining holes 94a, 94b that are positioned upstream of the joining hole 96b.

    [0067] According to the fourth embodiment, the joining holes 94a, 94b are disposed one on each side of the supply port 30 in the transverse direction H, and the number of joining holes 96a, 96b, 96c is equal to (the number of joining holes 94a, 94b + 1). The joining holes 96a, 96b, 96c are spread in a wider range along the transverse direction H than the joining holes 94a, 94b. The sheet forming apparatus according to the fourth embodiment offers the same advantages as those of the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment and the sheet forming apparatus 70 according to the second embodiment.

    [0068] FIG. 10 is a view showing joining holes defined in a partition 100 of a sheet forming apparatus for use with a doctor blade according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention.

    [0069] As shown in FIG. 10, the sheet forming apparatus according to the fifth embodiment includes a first slurry spreading chamber 102a and a second slurry spreading chamber 102b which are arranged successively downstream from the supply port 30 to the discharge port 56a. The first slurry spreading chamber 102a and the second slurry spreading chamber 102b are joined to each other through two joining holes 104a, 104b defined in the partition 100. The joining holes 104a, 104b are disposed one on each side of the supply port 30 in the transverse direction H.

    [0070] According to the fifth embodiment, the slurry 14 which is supplied from the supply port 30 to the first slurry spreading chamber 102a is spread and supplied through the joining holes 104a, 104b to the second slurry spreading chamber 102b which is disposed downstream of the first slurry spreading chamber 102a. The slurry 14 is thus highly effectively spread along the transverse direction H to produce a green sheet of uniform thickness. The sheet forming apparatus according to the fifth embodiment offers the same advantages as those of the sheet forming apparatus 10 according to the first embodiment and the sheet forming apparatus 70 according to the second embodiment.

    [0071] Although certain preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described in detail, it should be understood that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A sheet forming apparatus for discharging a slurry into a sheet shape to produce a green sheet in combination with a doctor blade, comprising:

    a supply port (30) for supplying the slurry;

    a discharge port (56a) for discharging the green sheet;

    a partition (40; 74; 80) defining at least two slurry spreading chambers (44a through 44c) for spreading the slurry in a transverse direction of the green sheet which extends across a direction along which the green sheet is transported, the slurry, spreading chambers (44a through 44c) being disposed between the supply port (30) and the discharge port (56a) and arranged downstream along a direction in which the slurry flows from the supply port (30) to the discharge port (56a); and

    a plurality of joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) defined in the partition (40; 74; 80; 90; 100) and through which adjacent ones of the slurry spreading chambers (44a through 44c) are joined to each other;

    wherein the joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) include at least two joining holes disposed one on each side of the supply port (30) along the transverse direction,

    characterized in that the partition is formed by bending a single plate (40; 74; 80) to shape.
     
    2. The sheet forming apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) include an upstream set of joining holes (46a, 46b) and a downstream set of joining holes (48a through 48d), the joining holes (48a through 48d) of the downstream set being greater in number and spread in a wider range than the joining holes (46a, 46b) of the upstream set.
     
    3. The sheet forming apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) provide fluid passages having respective cross-sectional areas, the sum of the cross-sectional areas being progressively smaller downstream along the direction in which the slurry flows from the supply port (30) to the discharge port (56a).
     
    4. The sheet forming apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the number of the joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) increases by n times downstream along the direction in which the slurry flows from the supply port (30) to the discharge port (56a), n representing an integer of at least 2.
     
    5. The sheet forming apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the total cross-sectional area of the supply port (30) is greater than the total cross-sectional area of the discharge port (56a).
     
    6. The sheet forming apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) include a most downstream set of joining holes (48a through 48d) which provide fluid passages having respective cross-sectional areas, the sum of the cross-sectional areas of joining holes (48a through 48d) of the most downstream set being greater than the total cross-sectional area of the discharge port (56a).
     
    7. The sheet forming apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) include a most upstream set of joining holes (46a, 46b) which provide fluid passages , having respective cross-sectional areas, and the total cross-sectional area of the supply port (30) is greater than the sum of the cross-sectional areas of joining holes (46a, 46b) of the most upstream set.
     
    8. The sheet forming apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the joining holes (46a, 46b, 48a through 48d) include at least three joining holes (48a through 48d) disposed along the transverse direction and being open into one of at least two slurry spreading chambers (44b), and adjacent ones of the at least three joining holes (48a through 48d) are spaced a constant distance from each other along the transverse direction.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Blattformungsvorrichtung zum Austragen einer Schlämme in einer Blatt-form, um in Kombination mit einem Rakel ein Rohblatt zu erzeugen, umfassend:

    eine Zuführöffnung (30) zum Zuführen der Schlämme;

    eine Austragöffnung (56a) zum Austragen des Rohblatts;

    eine Unterteilung (40; 74; 80), die zumindest zwei Schlämmeverteilerkammern (44a bis 44c) definiert, um die Schlämme in transversaler Richtung des Rohblatts zu verteilen, welche sich quer zu einer Richtung erstreckt, entlang der das Rohblatt transportiert wird, wobei die Schlämmeverteilerkammern (44a bis 44c) zwischen der Zuführöffnung (30) und der Austragöffnung (56a) angeordnet und stromab einer Richtung angeordnet sind, in der die Schlämme von der Zuführöffnung (30) zur Austragöffnung (56a) fließt; und

    eine Mehrzahl von Verbindungslöchern (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d), die in der Unterteilung (40; 74; 80; 90; 100) definiert sind und durch die benachbarte der Schlämmeverteilerkammern (44a bis 44c) miteinander verbunden sind;

    worin die Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d) zumindest zwei Verbindungslöcher enthalten, die eines an jeder Seite der Zuführöffnung (30) entlang der Transversalrichtung angeordnet sind,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Unterteilung durch Formbiegen einer einzigen Platte (40; 74; 80) gebildet ist.


     
    2. Die Blattformungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, worin die Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d) einen stromaufwärtigen Satz von Verbindungslöchern (46a, 46b) und einen stromabwärtigen Satz von Verbindungslöchern (48a bis 48d) enthalten, wobei die Verbindungslöcher (48a bis 48d) des stromabwärtigen Satzes eine größere Anzahl hat und einen breiteren Bereich verteilt sind als die Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b) des stromaufwärtigen Satzes.
     
    3. Die Blattformungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, worin die Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d) Fluidkanäle mit jeweiligen Querschnittsflächen bereitstellen, wobei die Summe der Querschnittsflächen stromab entlang der Richtung, in der die Schlämme von der Zuführöffnung (30) zur Austragöffnung (56a) fließt, fortschreitend kleiner wird.
     
    4. Die Blattformungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, worin die Anzahl der Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d) um n Male stromab entlang der Richtung, in der die Schlämme von der Zuführöffnung (30) zur Austragöffnung (56a) fließt, zunimmt, wobei n eine ganze Zahl von zumindest 2 repräsentiert.
     
    5. Die Blattformungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, worin die gesamte Querschnittsfläche der Zuführöffnung (30) größer ist als die gesamte Querschnittsfläche der Austragöffnung (56a).
     
    6. Die Blattformungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, worin die Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d) einen stromabwärtigsten Satz von Verbindungslöchern (48a bis 48d) enthalten, welche Fluidkanäle mit jeweiligen Querschnittsflächen bereitstellen, wobei die Summe der Querschnittsflächen der Verbindungslöcher (48a bis 48d) des stromabwärtigsten Satzes größer ist als die gesamte Querschnittsfläche der Austragöffnung (56a).
     
    7. Die Blattformungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, worin die Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d) einen stromaufwärtigsten Satz von Verbindungslöchern (46a, 46b) enthalten, die Fluidkanäle mit jeweiligen Querschnittsflächen bereitstellen, und die gesamte Querschnittsfläche der Zuführöffnung (30) größer ist als die Summe der Querschnittsflächen von Verbindungslöchern (46a, 46b) des stromaufwärtigsten Satzes.
     
    8. Die Blattformungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, worin die Verbindungslöcher (46a, 46b, 48a bis 48d) zumindest drei Verbindungslöcher (48a bis 48d) enthalten, die entlang der Transversalrichtung angeordnet sind und sich in eine von zumindest zwei Schlämmeverteilerkammern (44b) öffnen, und benachbarte der zumindest drei Verbindungslöcher (48a bis 48d) entlang der Transversalrichtung mit konstantem Abstand voneinander angeordnet sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil de formation de feuille destiné à décharger une boue en une forme de feuille pour produire une feuille crue en combinaison avec une lame docteur, comprenant:

    - un orifice d'alimentation (30) pour fournir la boue;

    - un orifice de décharge (56a) pour décharger la feuille crue;

    - une cloison (40; 74; 80) définissant au moins deux chambres de dispersion de boue (44a à 44c) pour disperser la boue dans une direction transversale de la feuille crue, qui s'étend transversalement à une direction suivant laquelle la feuille crue est transportée, les chambres de dispersion de boue (44a à 44c) étant disposées entre l'orifice d'alimentation (30) et l'orifice de décharge (56a) et agencées en aval suivant une direction dans laquelle la boue s'écoule depuis l'orifice d'alimentation (30) vers l'orifice de décharge (56a); et

    - une multiplicité de trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) définis dans la cloison (40; 74; 80; 90; 100) et à travers lesquels des chambres de dispersion de boue adjacentes (44a à 44c) sont reliées l'une à l'autre;

    - dans lequel les trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) comprennent au moins deux trous de liaison disposés un de chaque côté de l'orifice d'alimentation (30) suivant la direction transversale,

    caractérisé en ce que la cloison est formée en pliant une seule plaque (40; 74; 80) à la forme.
     
    2. Appareil de formation de feuille selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) comprennent un ensemble amont de trous de liaison (46a, 46b) et un ensemble aval de trous de liaison (48a à 48d), les trous de liaison (48a à 48d) de l'ensemble aval étant plus nombreux et dispersés plus largement que les trous de liaison (46a, 46b) de l'ensemble amont.
     
    3. Appareil de formation de feuille selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) procurent des passages de fluide présentant des surfaces de section transversale respectives, la somme des surfaces de section transversale étant progressivement plus petite vers l'aval suivant la direction dans laquelle la boue s'écoule depuis l'orifice d'alimentation (30) vers l'orifice de décharge (56a).
     
    4. Appareil de formation de feuille selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le nombre des trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) augmente de n fois vers l'aval suivant la direction dans laquelle la boue s'écoule depuis l'orifice d'alimentation (30) vers l'orifice dé décharge (56a), n représentant un entier valant au moins 2.
     
    5. Appareil de formation de feuille selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la surface de section transversale totale de l'orifice d'alimentation (30) est plus grande que la surface de section transversale totale de l'orifice de décharge (56a).
     
    6. Appareil de formation de feuille selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) comprennent un ensemble aval extrême de trous de liaison (48a à 48d) qui procurent des passages de fluide présentant des surfaces de section transversale respectives, la somme des surfaces de section transversale de trous de liaison (48a à 48d) de l'ensemble aval extrême étant plus grande que la surface de section transversale totale de l'orifice de décharge (56a).
     
    7. Appareil de formation de feuille selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) comprennent un ensemble amont extrême de trous de liaison (46a, 46b) qui procurent des passages de fluide présentant des surfaces de section transversale respectives, et la surface de section transversale totale de l'orifice d'alimentation (30) est plus grande que la somme des surfaces de section transversale de trous de liaison (46a, 46b) de l'ensemble amont extrême.
     
    8. Appareil de formation de feuille selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les trous de liaison (46a, 46b, 48a à 48d) comprennent au moins trois trous de liaison (48a à 48d) disposés suivant la direction transversale et étant ouverts dans une desdites au moins deux chambres de dispersion de boue (44b), et des trous adjacents parmi lesdits au moins trois trous de liaison (48a à 48d) sont espacés l'un de l'autre d'une distance constante suivant la direction transversale.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description