(19)
(11)EP 2 657 418 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.01.2015 Bulletin 2015/03

(21)Application number: 12165713.4

(22)Date of filing:  26.04.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
E03F 1/00  (2006.01)
B64D 11/02  (2006.01)

(54)

Noise reduction unit for vacuum suction drains

Geräuschunterdrückungseinheit für Vakuumsysteme

Unité de réduction de bruit de drains d'aspiration sous vide


(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

(43)Date of publication of application:
30.10.2013 Bulletin 2013/44

(73)Proprietor: Airbus Operations GmbH
21129 Hamburg (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • Seibt, Christian
    21244 Buchholz i.d. Nordheide (DE)
  • Müller, Matthias
    21698 Harsefeld (DE)

(74)Representative: Maiwald Patentanwalts GmbH 
Elisenhof Elisenstrasse 3
80335 München
80335 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 544 363
DE-A1-102005 013 566
EP-A1- 1 832 689
  
      
    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

    Field of the invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to a noise reduction unit for inserting in a vacuum suction drain.

    Background of the invention



    [0002] The term "vacuum system" and "vacuum suction drain" refers to special pneumatic conveyors. Generally speaking, in such conveyors transportation takes place in that a pressure difference is applied to the material to be conveyed, i.e. the material to be conveyed is entrained in the fluid flow generated as a result of the pressure difference, wherein generally speaking air is used as the transport medium.

    [0003] Especially in aircraft, vacuum systems are used for the transportation of waste from the cabin, for example from toilets or galleys, to a central waste collecting tank. In this arrangement the material to be conveyed is conveyed to the waste collecting tank by way of a pipeline network, i.e. vacuum suction drains. Negative pressure in the waste collecting tank in relation to the cabin pressure provides the required pressure difference.

    [0004] In aircraft with pressurized cabins the pressure difference between the cabin and the environment is used directly to generate the negative pressure for pneumatic conveyance. When this pressure difference is insufficient, e.g. on the tarmac or at low altitudes, the required pressure difference is generated by a compressor.

    [0005] In the case of toilets with a pneumatic conveyor system in aircraft systems, often a loud noise level arises. This noise is even noticed by the passengers in the cabin and is perceived by passengers to be uncomfortable.

    [0006] DE 10 2005 013 566 A1 and US 201210014757 A1 describe an arrangement for adapting the transportation behavior of material to be conveyed through drains of a vacuum system wherein a valve is arranged in a vacuum suction drain.

    [0007] EP 1 832 689 A1 describes a waste water device for suction of waste water coming up at a toilet bowl. A vacuum pipe connects the toilet bowl with a container and an expansion chamber is arranged at the vacuum pipe between the toilet bowl and the container.

    [0008] EP 1 544 363 A1 describes a muffling apparatus for preventing the occurrence of a noise. The muffling apparatus is connected to a jet pipe and has a tubular portion which is connected to the jet pipe. The apparatus is adapted for storing air which is in the interior of the jet pipe.

    Summary of the invention



    [0009] It may be seen as an object of the present invention to provide an alternative noise reduction unit for vacuum suction drains with improved noise damping characteristics.

    [0010] The object of the present invention is solved by the subject-matter of the independent claim, wherein further embodiments are incorporated in the dependent claims.

    [0011] According to the invention, a noise reduction unit for inserting in a vacuum suction drain is adapted to be flown through by a material to be conveyed through the vacuum suction drain, wherein the noise reduction unit comprises an inlet section with a first diameter, a middle section with a second diameter and an outlet section with a third diameter, wherein the middle section is arranged between the inlet section and the outlet section, wherein the middle section is adapted to affect a flow velocity reduction of the material to be conveyed from the inlet section to the outlet section and wherein the second diameter differs from both the first diameter and the third diameter. The second diameter is less than the first diameter and the reduction of the second diameter with respect to the first diameter is adapted to reduce the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed. The middle section comprises a flexible hose which is arranged between the inlet section and the outlet section. The flexible hose comprises a constriction, which constriction corresponds to the second diameter.

    [0012] The vacuum suction drain may be a pipe of a vacuum suction system, which vacuum suction system may be adapted for conveying material from a suction point to a collection point, for example from a first container like a wash basin or toilet bowl, i.e. the suction point, to a second container like a waste collection container, i.e. the second container.

    [0013] The material to be conveyed may in particular be a multiphase material, i.e. consisting of liquid phase material and solid phase material.

    [0014] The noise reduction unit may be adapted for modular insertion in the vacuum suction drain such that the material to be conveyed flows through the vacuum suction drain and as part of this flowing or suction process flows through the noise reduction system. The noise reduction unit may be inserted additional in an existing system of vacuum suction drains as well as in a mounting process prior to an initial operation of the vacuum suction drain.

    [0015] The inlet section and the outlet section of the vacuum suction unit connect the noise reduction unit to the vacuum suction drain, wherein the material to be conveyed flows through the noise reduction unit in a direction from the inlet section via the middle section to the outlet section.

    [0016] When the material to be conveyed passes the flexible hose it will expand or stretch such that solid phase material may pass the flexible hose without blocking or clogging it.

    [0017] The middle section is adapted to affect a flow velocity reduction of the material to be conveyed. The middle section may also reduce the flow velocity of the air which serves as the transportation medium for the material to be conveyed.

    [0018] In general, the suction of the material to be conveyed in vacuum systems occurs because of a pressure difference between the suction point and the waste collection container.

    [0019] During the conveying process, i.e. the movement and motion of the material to be conveyed through the vacuum suction drain, this pressure difference decreases gradually as air is soaked into the waste collection container. Thus, the initial pressure difference has to be high enough such that the material to be conveyed passes the whole length of the vacuum suction drain. In particular the high pressure difference when starting the conveying process causes an unpleasant and inconvenient noise comparable to a burst noise or a bang. Reducing the initial pressure difference is not an alternative, as then there is a danger that the material to be conveyed does not pass the whole length of the vacuum suction drain. Instead, the noise reduction unit as described above and hereinafter reduces the velocity of the material to be conveyed directly when starting the suction process. Thus, the suction pressure will be sustained for a longer time, as the passed air volume and material to be conveyed volume per unit of time will be decreased.

    [0020] In other words, the initial conveying velocity will be reduced (which also reduces the generated noise during the suction process), such that the pressure difference will be sustained for a longer time instead of having a high initial conveying velocity which results in a high initial noise as usual by now.

    [0021] The noise reduction unit as described above and hereinafter may be used in particular in vacuum suction systems like vacuum toilets.

    [0022] According to the invention, the second diameter differs from the first diameter such that the flow of the material to be conveyed through the vacuum suction drain causes turbulences in the noise reduction unit and/or in the vacuum suction drain, wherein the turbulences reduce the effective flow cross-section of the vacuum suction drain such that the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed is reduced.

    [0023] As the second diameter of the middle section is less than the first diameter, the cross-section of the noise reduction unit is reduced such that in particular a flow velocity of the transportation air in the initial phase of the conveying process is reduced which may also reduce the noise when starting the suction process and the noise of the suction process itself.

    [0024] According to the invention, the middle section comprises a flexible hose, wherein the flexible hose is arranged between the inlet section and the outlet section, wherein the flexible hose comprises a constriction, which corresponds to the second diameter.

    [0025] The flexible hose is flown through by the material to be conveyed during the suction process. The flexible hose comprises a wall which is adapted to stretch or expand in a direction orthogonal to the flow direction, i.e. in a radial direction of the hose. In other words, two opposite points of the wall of the flexible hose are moving towards each other and away from each other when the flexible hose expands or contracts, respectively.

    [0026] In an unloaded state of the vacuum suction drain and the noise reduction unit, i.e. when no material or just transportation air flows through the noise reduction unit, the flexible hose is in the contracted state such that the cross-section of the middle section, that is the flexible hose, is reduced and the flow velocity of the transportation air is reduced. When the material to be conveyed passes the flexible hose it will expand or stretch such that solid phase material may pass the flexible hose without blocking or clogging it.

    [0027] Once again, this structure or design of the noise reduction unit will reduce the velocity of the transport air used for transporting the material to be conveyed without reducing the initial pressure difference between the suction point and the collecting container such that the pressure difference ensures that the material to be conveyed will pass the whole length of the vacuum suction drain and yet the initial suction noise will be reduced.

    [0028] In order to avoid adhesion of parts of the material to be conveyed the flexible hose and/or the middle section as described above and hereinafter may comprise an anti-adhesive layer on a part of an inner surface or the entire inner surface, that is the surface of the inlet section, middle section and/or the outlet section towards a central axis of the noise reduction unit. The anti-adhesive layer may comprise Teflon or a material comprising Sol-gel, for example.

    [0029] According to an embodiment of the invention, the flexible hose comprises a material tension, which material tension results in a constriction of the flexible hose, i.e. the constriction of the flexible hose is a result of a material tension of the flexible hose.

    [0030] Hence, the flexible hose may comprise an elastically reversible material which is adapted to keep the flexible hose in the contracted state in its original position. In case that solid phase material passes the flexible hose, it will expand from its original position such that the second diameter enlarges and the solid phase material is able to pass the flexible hose.

    [0031] According to a further embodiment of the invention, the noise reduction unit as described above and hereinafter comprises a pressurization element, which is adapted to cause the constriction of the flexible hose.

    [0032] The pressurization element may be arranged to support or replace the material tension of the flexible hose of the middle section. The pressurization element may be a circumferential element arranged at the middle section of the noise reduction unit and adapted to press the wall of the flexible hose towards the central axis of the noise reduction unit.

    [0033] According to a further embodiment of the invention, the pressurization element comprises a gas volume which is adapted to press the wall of the flexible hose towards the central axis of the noise reduction unit.

    [0034] Thus, the pressurization element is adapted to apply a pressure by means of the gas to the flexible hose, such that the flexible hose is pressed towards the central axis of the noise reduction unit in order to reduce the cross-section of the middle section. Further on, the pressurization element may comprise an elastic cushion, a liquid or a foam which is adapted to keep the flexible hose in an unloaded state of the vacuum suction drain in its original shape, i.e. to keep the flexible hose constricted, but allows an enlargement of the flexible hose when being passed by solid phase material.

    [0035] According to a further embodiment of the invention, the gas pressure of the gas volume is controllable, wherein the controlled gas pressure is adapted to vary the second diameter, i.e. the extent of the flexible hose, wherein an increased gas pressure causes a greater constriction of the flexible hose such that the second diameter is reduced.

    [0036] The gas pressure may be controlled in order to increase or decrease such that the gas volume increases or decreases, respectively. Corresponding to the varied gas pressure and the according gas volume the flexible hose will become stretched or released, wherein the second diameter gets smaller or larger when the gas volume increases and decreases, respectively.

    [0037] A reduced second diameter reduces the cross-section of the flexible hose such that a flow velocity of the transportation air and the material to be conveyed is reduced. As to not result in blockage or clogging, the flexible hose and the gas volume allow an expansion of the second diameter, in particular when being passed by solid phase material.

    [0038] The gas pressure may be controlled by a control loop or control system, wherein the noise originated in conveying material through the vacuum suction drain may be the control variable. The noise may be detected by a microphone or any other sensor suitable for detecting noise or a noise level. In general, the control loop may increase the gas pressure (that is: reduce the second diameter, which results in a reduction of the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed) when the noise level exceeds a given threshold value.

    [0039] Of course there may be used other control variables than the produced noise like the weight of the material to be conveyed or the composition of the multiphase material. The gas pressure may be increased in case there are no solid phase elements in the material to be conveyed such that the cross-section of the flexible hose or the middle section in general may be smaller and the flow velocity is reduced.

    [0040] The gas pressure may vary during the transportation of the material to be conveyed or may be constant for the time period of a single transportation process, i.e. the gas pressure may be determined prior to each single transportation process, wherein the detected control variable during the previous transportation process determines the gas pressure of the following transportation process.

    [0041] According to a further embodiment of the invention, the pressurization element comprises an elastically reversible element which is adapted to press the wall of the flexible hose towards the central axis of the noise reduction unit.

    [0042] The elastically reversible element may be a foam like foamed plastic or foamed material in general. The foam may be adapted to bring the flexible hose in its constricted position such that the second diameter is being reduced. As the foam is elastically reversible, the second diameter is able to vary in case solid phase material passes the middle section and a blockage or clogging is avoided.

    [0043] The elastically reversible element may be used as an alternative or additional to the pressurized gas volume. In the latter case, the gas volume may intrude the hollow spaces or cavities of the foam.

    [0044] These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiments described hereinafter.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0045] Exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described in the following with reference to the following drawings.

    Fig. 1 illustrates a noise reduction unit according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention.

    Fig. 2 illustrates a noise reduction unit according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention.

    Fig. 3 illustrates a noise reduction unit according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention.

    Fig. 4 illustrates a noise reduction unit according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention.

    Fig. 5 illustrates a noise reduction unit according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention.

    Fig. 6 illustrates a noise reduction unit according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention.

    Fig. 7 illustrates a noise reduction unit according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention.


    Detailed description of embodiments



    [0046] It should be noted that the same reference signs may be used for similar or identical elements.

    [0047] The illustrations in the figures are diagrammatic and not to scale.

    [0048] Fig. 1 illustrates a noise reduction unit 100, wherein the middle section 103 comprises a flexible hose 163. The flexible hose comprises a constriction, such that the second diameter 113 is reduced compared to the first diameter 102 of the inlet section.

    [0049] Fig. 1 illustrates a noise reduction unit 100 with an inlet section 102, a middle section 103 and an outlet section 104. The inlet section comprises a first connector 122 and the outlet section comprises a second connector 124, each for connecting the noise reduction unit into a vacuum suction drain (not shown). A noise insulation element 140 surrounds or encloses the noise reduction unit circumferential. The inlet section comprises a first damper 132 and the outlet section comprises a second damper 134.

    [0050] The inlet section 102 has a first diameter 112, the middle section 103 has a second diameter 113 and the outlet section 104 has a third diameter 114.

    [0051] The noise reduction unit 100 is adapted to be flown through by material to be conveyed in the direction of the arrow 150, i.e. from the inlet section via the middle section to the outlet section.

    [0052] Viewing in flow direction 150, the flexible hose 163 first constantly narrows towards the central axis 151 until reaching the maximum constriction depicted by the second diameter 113 and subsequently broadens such that the flexible hose is adaptable to the outlet section 104.

    [0053] In order not to be vulnerable to clogging by solid phase material the flexible hose is adapted to be expandable such that the second diameter 113 enlarges and the second diameter adapts to the first diameter 112 when being flown through by solid phase material. In contrary to that, the flexible hose reduces the cross-section of the middle section such that the flow velocity of the transportation air or fluid in general may be reduced. This may reduce the amount of air used for the transportation process, which results in a noise reduction.

    [0054] The noise reduction unit may comprise a casing or a jacket in the area of the flexible hose, wherein the casing or jacket is adapted to protect the surrounding of the noise reduction unit from leak out liquid in case of a leak in the flexible hose.

    [0055] Fig. 2 illustrates the noise reduction unit of Fig. 1, wherein a pressurization element 170 surrounds the noise reduction unit in a circumferential manner. The pressurization element 170 comprises a gas volume 171 which is adapted to apply or exert pressure to the flexible hose in the direction indicate by arrows 172, that is towards the central axis 151 of the noise reduction unit. The pressurization element 170 and the noise reduction unit may for this purpose be connected substantially gas-tight or sealed.

    [0056] The pressurized gas volume and the material properties of the flexible hose are adapted to reduce the second diameter 113, wherein a solid phase material may still pass the noise reduction unit as the flexible hose and the gas volume allow an extension or enlargement of the second diameter. Thus, the flow velocity of air and liquid phase material and the according transport noise may be reduced due to the reduced second diameter without being vulnerable to clogging due to the extensible second diameter.

    [0057] The gas volume and the flexible hose work as an attenuator or a damper with respect to the movement or fluctuation of the walls of the flexible hose in a direction orthogonal to the flow direction (that is: to and from the central axis) when being passed by solid phase material such that the second diameter needs to extend.

    [0058] Fig. 3 shows a noise reduction unit comparable to the embodiment shown in Fig. 2 but further comprises a gas duct 175 for letting the gas flow into and out of the gas volume 171.

    [0059] The pressurization element further comprises an elastically reversible element 173 which is arranged in the gas volume in order to apply or exert a pressure to the wall of the flexible hose toward the central axis 151.

    [0060] The gas duct 175 applies a pressure from the surroundings or ambience of the noise reduction unit to the gas volume 171. For example in an aircraft the cabin pressure may be applied to the gas volume, as the cabin pressure is in general higher than the pressure in the vacuum suction drain. The gas duct 175 is adapted to let out the gas of the gas volume 171 in case solid phase material passes the flexible hose and an extension of the flexible hose is necessary to let the solid phase material pass through. Thus, clogging of the flexible hose is avoided. When being passed by fluid phase material such as liquid or gas, the flexible hose constricts or contracts and gas will be let into the gas volume 171 through the gas duct 175.

    [0061] The gas duct 175 may comprise a pipe with a variable cross-section or profile, wherein the size of the cross-sectional area may vary, that is: the cross-sectional areas of the ducts differ from each other.

    [0062] The cross-sectional area of the gas duct 175 may be adapted to dampen the compensation flowing of the gas into and out of the gas volume 171 in case the diameter of the flexible hose varies due to being flown through by multiphase material.

    [0063] In a similar manner, Fig. 4 shows a noise reduction unit, wherein the pressurization element comprises a gas supply 176 for compressed gas, which gas supply 176 comprises a valve 177 such that the gas pressure in the gas volume may be controlled.

    [0064] The gas pressure in the gas volume 171 may be static or dynamic.

    [0065] In the first case, that is: static, the gas pressure may be brought to a given value prior to starting the conveying process through the vacuum suction drain and the noise reduction unit, wherein during the conveying process no or substantially no gas escapes from the gas volume. The static gas pressure may in particular be adapted to a projected flow velocity of the material to be conveyed or to a pressure difference used for the suction process, wherein a high pressure difference requires a higher gas pressure than an low pressure difference, as the high pressure difference leads to a higher flow velocity of the material to be conveyed.

    [0066] In particular, the static gas pressure may be dependent from the distance of a suction point to the waste collecting container, as a suction point close to the waste collecting container is addressed to a higher pressure difference than a suction point more distant to the waste collecting container. Thus, the gas pressure in the gas volume 171 of a noise reduction unit related to a suction point close to the waste collecting container may be higher than the gas pressure in the gas volume 171 of a noise reduction unit related to a suction point more distant to the waste collecting container.

    [0067] In the second case, that is: dynamic, the gas pressure may vary during the conveying process. In a first phase of the conveying process, when in particular air passes through the noise reduction unit, the gas pressure in the gas volume 171 may be high such that the diameter of the flexible hose is tight and an initial noise when starting the suction process is kept low. In a subsequent phase of the conveying process, the gas pressure may be reduced in order to allow an expansion or extension of the diameter of the flexible hose such that the material to be conveyed is allowed to pass the noise reduction unit.

    [0068] Of course, the static and the dynamic case of the gas pressure in the gas volume may be combined, i.e. the gas pressure in the gas volume is static prior to starting the conveying process and varies during the conveying process.

    [0069] Furthermore, Fig. 4 illustrates that the flexible hose 163 may extend until the wall of the flexible hose achieves the dotted line 164 representing the extend of the flexible hose which corresponds to the first diameter 112 such that solid phase material does not lead to clogging in the middle section.

    [0070] Corresponding to the dotted line 164, a perforated sheet may be arranged such that the gas may pass through the perforations when the wall of the flexible hose extends towards or away from the central axis.

    [0071] The flexible hose may be adapted for folding or skin wrinkling, wherein the edges of the folds extend parallel to the flow direction 150. The folds may stabilize the flexible hose and may avoid vibrations or oscillations of the flexible hose, thus avoiding a noise generations due to material vibrations.

    [0072] Fig. 5 illustrates a noise reduction unit 100 and an outlet pipe 190 which are both interconnected via a compressed gas supply 176. The noise reduction unit 100 can be any embodiment of the noise reduction unit described above and hereinafter. The noise reduction unit 100 is adapted for being connected with its outlet section to the outlet pipe 190.

    [0073] The outlet pipe 190 comprises a broadened section 191. In general, in a pipe flown through by a fluid which pipe comprises a broadened section, an increased pressure will arise in the broadened section, wherein the pressure increases corresponding to the increased flow velocity of the conveyed fluid.

    [0074] As can be seen in Fig. 5, the compressed gas supply 176 connects the broadened section 191 of the outlet pipe 190 with the gas volume of the pressurization element surrounding the noise reduction unit, in particular the flexible hose of the middle section.

    [0075] Thus, an increased flow velocity of the material to be conveyed leads to an increased pressure in the broadened section 191 which increased pressure is coupled to the gas volume of the pressurization element and for its part leads to a higher extension of the flexible hose which results in a reduced second diameter in the middle section of the noise reduction unit. The reduced second diameter will reduce the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed. Hence, the system depicted in Fig. 5 may be a self-regulating system for the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed.

    [0076] The valve 177 in the gas supply 176 may be adapted to close or open the gas supply or to partially close the cross-section of the gas supply such that the transmission of the gas pressure in the broadened section 191 may be delayed or reduced such that a change of the gas pressure in the broadened section is transmitted only partially to the gas volume of the pressurization element. For example, the change of the fluid pressure in the broadened section may be transmitted at a given ratio of 2 to 1 (that is: half of the gas pressure in the broadened section is transmitted to the gas volume) to the gas volume. Of course, other ratios are possible such as 4 to 1 or 10 to 1. In particular, the ratio may be adjusted by means of the valve 177.

    [0077] Fig. 6 illustrates the system depicted in Fig. 5 and updated with a control system for adjusting the transmission of the gas pressure from the broadened section 191 to the gas volume of the pressurization element.

    [0078] The control system comprises a controller unit 200 which is connected to a pressure detector 202, a noise detector 205 and to the valve 177 in the gas supply 176.

    [0079] The controller unit is adapted to receive the sampled gas pressure in the broadened section from the pressure detector 202 and a noise level acquired by the noise detector 205. Depending on the acquired noise and pressure values, the controller unit may initiate a modification of the valve 177 such that the transmitted gas pressure from the broadened section 191 to the gas volume may increase or decrease and the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed is being reduced or increased, respectively.

    [0080] The controller unit may be adapted to adjust the valve such that the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed varies dependent on a given nominal value of the noise level.

    [0081] Fig. 7 shows an exemplary embodiment of the noise reduction unit similar to that depicted in Fig. 5 except that the gas supply 176 is connected to a gas funnel 178 which is adapted to soak up a pressure in the inlet pipe 210. The gas funnel 178 leads the pressure in the inlet pipe 210 via the gas supply 176 to the gas volume 171 such that the pressure in the gas volume either increases or decreases which results in that the constriction of the flexible hose, that is the diameter 113, either decreases or increases, respectively. An increases flow velocity, which corresponds to an increased pressure level in the inlet pipe 210 leads to an increased pressure in the gas volume 171 which further leads to a decreased diameter 113 of the flexible hose, such that the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed will be reduced. This interrelation between the flow velocity and the pressure in the inlet pipe on the one hand and the pressure in the gas volume and the diameter of the flexible hose on the other hand applies as well vice versa: on the one hand a high flow velocity and pressure in the inlet pipe results in a higher pressure in the gas volume 171 and a smaller diameter of the flexible hose such that the flow velocity is being reduced, on the other hand, a low flow velocity and pressure in the inlet pipe results in a lower pressure in the gas volume 171 and a greater diameter of the flexible hose such that the flow velocity may increase. The valve 177 is adapted to adjust the ratio of the transmitted pressure from the inlet pipe to the gas volume of the pressurization element.

    [0082] Furthermore, Fig. 7 depicts the inlet pipe 210 for connecting to the inlet section of the noise reduction unit.

    [0083] In an alternative exemplary embodiment, the gas funnel 178 may be arranged in an air intake pipe used for taking in air for the conveying process. In this embodiment, the pipe 210 shown in Fig. 7 corresponds to the air intake pipe and the suction point is arranged between the air intake pipe and the noise reduction unit 100 shown in Fig. 7. Thus, the air soaked in through the air intake pipe applies to the gas funnel and is lead through the gas supply 176 to the gas volume 171. The gas funnel 178 is not addressed to the multiphase material to be conveyed.

    [0084] In this alternative exemplary embodiment, the diameter of the gas funnel, i.e. the diameter at the largest opening of the gas funnel, and the diameter of the air intake pipe may vary such that the ratio of the diameter of the gas funnel and the air intake pipe is adaptable in order to affect the gas pressure in the gas volume 171. The greater the diameter of the gas funnel is and the lower the diameter of the air intake pipe is, the higher gets the gas pressure applied to the gas volume through the gas supply 176. The air circulation from the air intake pipe through the suction point, the vacuum suction pipe and the noise reduction unit may be a closed circuit, i.e. the transportation air enters the said closed circuit substantially through the air intake pipe.

    [0085] In the claims, the word "comprising" does not exclude other elements or steps and the indefinite article "a" or "an" does not exclude a plurality.

    List of reference signs



    [0086] 
    100
    noise reduction unit
    102
    inlet section
    103
    middle section
    104
    outlet section
    105A
    transition region
    105B
    transition region
    112
    first diameter
    113
    second diameter
    114
    third diameter
    122
    first connector
    124
    second connector
    132
    first damper
    134
    second damper
    140
    noise insulation element
    150
    flow direction
    151
    central axis
    163
    flexible hose
    164
    expanded position of the flexible hose
    170
    pressurization element
    171
    gas volume
    172
    pressure direction
    173
    elastically reversible element
    175
    gas duct
    176
    compressed gas supply
    177
    valve
    178
    gas funnel
    190
    outlet pipe
    191
    broadened section of the outlet pipe
    200
    controller unit
    202
    pressure detector
    205
    noise detector
    210
    inlet pipe



    Claims

    1. Noise reduction unit (100) for inserting in a vacuum suction drain (190, 210), wherein the noise reduction unit is adapted to be flown through by a material to be conveyed through the vacuum suction drain, the noise reduction unit comprising:

    an inlet section (102) with a first diameter (112);

    a middle section (103) with a second diameter (113);

    an outlet section (104) with a third diameter (114);

    wherein the middle section is arranged between the inlet section and the outlet section;

    wherein the middle section is adapted to affect a flow velocity reduction of the material to be conveyed from the inlet section to the outlet section;

    wherein the second diameter differs from both the first diameter and the third diameter;

    wherein the second diameter is less than the first diameter and the reduction of the second diameter with respect to the first diameter is adapted to reduce the flow velocity of the material to be conveyed;

    characterized in that

    the middle section comprises a flexible hose (163);

    wherein the flexible hose is arranged between the inlet section (102) and the outlet section (104);

    wherein the flexible hose comprises a constriction, which constriction corresponds to the second diameter (113).


     
    2. Noise reduction unit (100) according to claim 1,
    wherein the flexible hose comprises a material tension, which material tension results in a constriction of the flexible hose.
     
    3. Noise reduction unit (100) according to one of claims 1 or 2,
    further comprising a pressurization element (170), which is adapted to cause the constriction of the flexible hose.
     
    4. Noise reduction unit (100) according to claim 3,
    wherein the pressurization element comprises a gas volume (171);
    which gas volume is adapted to press the wall of the flexible hose towards a central axis (151) of the noise reduction unit.
     
    5. Noise reduction unit (100) according to claim 4,
    wherein a gas pressure of the gas volume is controllable;
    wherein the controlled gas pressure is adapted to vary the second diameter;
    wherein an increased gas pressure causes a greater constriction of the flexible hose such that the second diameter is reduced.
     
    6. Noise reduction unit (100) according to one of claims 3 to 5,
    wherein the pressurization element comprises an elastically reversible element (173); which elastically reversible element is adapted to exert a pressure to the wall of the flexible hose in a direction towards the central axis of the noise reduction unit.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Geräuschreduziereinheit (100) zum Einsetzen in einen Vakuumabfluss (190, 210), wobei die Geräuschreduziereinheit ausgeführt ist, von einem durch den Vakuumabfluss zu befördernden Material durchströmt zu werden, wobei die Geräuschreduziereinheit aufweist:

    einen Einlassabschnitt (102) mit einem ersten Durchmesser (112);

    einen Mittelabschnitt (103) mit einem zweiten Durchmesser (113);

    einen Auslassabschnitt (104) mit einem dritten Durchmesser (114);

    wobei der Mittelabschnitt zwischen dem Einlassabschnitt und dem Auslassabschnitt angeordnet ist;

    wobei der Mittelabschnitt ausgeführt ist, eine Reduzierung der Strömungsgeschwindigkeit des von dem Einlassabschnitt zu dem Auslassabschnitt zu befördernden Materials zu erreichten;

    wobei der zweite Durchmesser sich sowohl von dem ersten Durchmesser als auch von dem dritten Durchmesser unterscheidet;

    wobei der zweite Durchmesser kleiner als der erste Durchmesser ist und die Reduzierung des zweiten Durchmessers mit Bezug zu dem ersten Durchmesser ausgeführt ist, die Strömungsgeschwindigkeit des zu befördernden Materials zu reduzieren;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    der Mittelabschnitt einen flexiblen Schlauch (163) aufweist;

    wobei der flexible Schlauch zwischen dem Einlassabschnitt (102) und dem Auslassabschnitt (104) angeordnet ist;

    wobei der flexible Schlauch eine Einengung aufweist, welche dem zweiten Durchmesser (113) entspricht.


     
    2. Geräuschreduziereinheit (100) nach Anspruch 1,
    wobei der flexible Schlauch mit einer Materialspannung versehen ist, welche zu einer Einengung des flexiblen Schlauchs führt.
     
    3. Geräuschreduziereinheit (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 oder 2, weiterhin aufweisend ein Druckbeaufschlagungselement (170), welches ausgeführt ist, die Einengung des flexiblen Schlauchs herbeizuführen.
     
    4. Geräuschreduziereinheit (100) nach Anspruch 3,
    wobei das Druckbeaufschlagungselement ein Gasvolumen (171) aufweist;
    wobei das Gasvolumen ausgeführt ist, die Wand des flexiblen Schlauchs entgegen einer zentralen Achse (151) der Geräuschreduziereinheit zu drücken.
     
    5. Geräuschreduziereinheit (100) nach Anspruch 4,
    wobei ein Gasdruck des Gasvolumens steuerbar ist;
    wobei der gesteuerte Gasdruck ausgeführt ist, den zweiten Durchmesser zu variieren; wobei ein erhöhter Gasdruck eine stärkere Einengung des flexiblen Schlauchs herbeiführt, so dass der zweite Durchmesser reduziert ist.
     
    6. Geräuschreduziereinheit (100) nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 5,
    wobei das Druckbeaufschlagungselement ein elastisch reversibles Element (173) aufweist;
    wobei das elastisch reversible Element ausgeführt ist, einen Druck auf die Wand des flexiblen Schlauchs in eine Richtung entgegen der zentralen Achse der Geräuschreduziereinheit auszuüben.
     


    Revendications

    1. Unité de réduction de bruit (100) à insérer dans une canalisation d'aspiration sous vide (190, 210), dans laquelle l'unité de réduction de bruit est apte à être traversée par un matériau devant être acheminé à travers la canalisation d'aspiration sous vide, l'unité de réduction de bruit comprenant :

    une section d'entrée (102) ayant un premier diamètre (112) ;

    une section intermédiaire (103) ayant un deuxième diamètre (113) ;

    une section de sortie (104) ayant un troisième diamètre (114) ;

    dans laquelle la section intermédiaire est disposée entre la section d'entrée et la section de sortie ;

    dans laquelle la section intermédiaire est adaptée pour effectuer une réduction de la vitesse d'écoulement du matériau à acheminer depuis la section d'entrée vers la section de sortie ;

    dans laquelle le deuxième diamètre est différent à la fois du premier diamètre et du troisième diamètre ;

    dans laquelle le deuxième diamètre est inférieur au premier diamètre et la réduction du deuxième diamètre par rapport au premier diamètre est adaptée pour réduire la vitesse d'écoulement du matériau à acheminer ;

    caractérisée en ce que

    la section intermédiaire comprend un tuyau flexible (163) ;

    dans laquelle le tuyau flexible est disposé entre la section d'entrée (102) et la section de sortie (104) ;

    dans laquelle le tuyau flexible comporte un rétrécissement, lequel rétrécissement correspond au deuxième diamètre (113).


     
    2. Unité de réduction de bruit (100) selon la revendication 1,
    dans laquelle le tuyau flexible comporte une tension de matériau, laquelle tension de matériau aboutit en résultat à un rétrécissement du tuyau flexible.
     
    3. Unité de réduction de bruit (100) selon l'une des revendications 1 ou 2, comprenant en outre un élément de mise sous pression (170), qui est adapté pour provoquer le rétrécissement du tuyau flexible.
     
    4. Unité de réduction de bruit (100) selon la revendication 3,
    dans laquelle l'élément de mise sous pression comprend un volume de gaz (171) ; le volume de gaz étant adapté pour appuyer sur la paroi du tuyau flexible vers un axe central (151) de l'unité de réduction de bruit.
     
    5. Unité de réduction de bruit (100) selon la revendication 4,
    dans laquelle une pression de gaz du volume de gaz peut être commandée ; dans laquelle la pression du gaz commandée est adaptée pour faire varier le deuxième diamètre ;
    dans laquelle une pression de gaz accrue provoque un rétrécissement supérieur du tuyau flexible de sorte que le deuxième diamètre est réduit.
     
    6. Unité de réduction de bruit (100) selon l'une des revendications 3 à 5,
    dans laquelle l'élément de mise sous pression comprend un élément élastiquement réversible (173) ; lequel élément élastiquement réversible est adapté pour exercer une pression sur la paroi du tuyau flexible dans une direction vers l'axe central de l'unité de réduction du bruit.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description