(19)
(11)EP 2 969 226 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 14778291.6

(22)Date of filing:  10.02.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B02C 18/36(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/015548
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/163759 (09.10.2014 Gazette  2014/41)

(54)

DUAL TAPERED ORIFICE PLATE FOR A GRINDING MACHINE

SCHEIBE MIT DOPPELT KONISCHEN BOHRUNGEN FÜR EINEN FLEISCHWOLF

DISQUE À TROUS DOUBLE CONIQUES POUR UN HACHOIR


(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: 11.03.2013 US 201313793868

(43)Date of publication of application:
20.01.2016 Bulletin 2016/03

(73)Proprietor: Weiler and Company, Inc.
Whitewater, WI 53190 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • WIGHT, E., William
    Roscoe, IL 61073 (US)

(74)Representative: Dauncey, Mark Peter 
Marks & Clerk LLP 1 New York Street
Manchester M1 4HD
Manchester M1 4HD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
RU-U1- 57 639
US-A1- 2001 052 558
US-A- 3 730 444
  
      
    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 disclosure relates to grinding machines and, more particularly, to orifice plates used in grinding assemblies of grinding machines for grinding meat and other materials.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Grinding machines are known in the food processing industries. It is widely known that some grinding machines can convert cuts of meat, trimmings, and/or other meat stock into ground meat products. This can be done by way of rotating knives that scrape across a front surface of an orifice plate while the cuts of meat and/or trimmings are pushed through orifices that extend longitudinally through the thickness of the orifice plate, such as by operation of an auger. Some orifice plates include conically tapered orifices in which entry openings of the orifices at the front surface of the orifice plate are larger than exit openings of the orifices at an opposing back surface of the orifice plate. RU 57639 U1 discloses an orifice plate according to the preamble of claim 1. US 3730444 and US 2001/0052558 A1 disclose other examples of orifice plates.

    SUMMARY



    [0003] In an aspect of the present invention, there is provided an orifice plate for a grinding machine, the orifice plate comprising a first end surface; a second end surface opposite the first end surface; and a plurality of orifices defined in the orifice plate from the first end surface to the second end surface, wherein at least one of the plurality of orifices includes a first tapered section decreasing in width as it extends in a first direction from the first end surface toward the second end surface and a second tapered section decreasing in width as it extends in a second direction from the second end surface toward the first end surface, further comprising a first outer section defined in the first end surface adjacent the at least one of the plurality of orifices and a second outer section defined in the second end surface adjacent the at least one of the plurality of orifices, wherein the first outer section defines a first side wall that intersects the first end surface of the orifice plate at a right angle and the second outer section defines a second side wall that intersects the second end surface of the orifice plate at a right angle.

    [0004] In a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a grinding machine for processing material, the grinding machine comprising: a grinder assembly adapted to receive a material to be processed and convey the material along a travel path extending generally longitudinally with respect to the grinder assembly; an orifice plate according to the first aspect of the invention, wherein the orifice plate is arranged with respect to the grinder assembly to have the material forced through the orifice plate while the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly, wherein
    the first end surface of the orifice plate is facing upstream with respect to the travel path of the material; the second end surface of the orifice plate is facing downstream with respect to the travel path of the material;
    the plurality of orifices defined through the orifice plate from the first end surface to the second end surface, wherein at least one of the plurality of orifices includes a first opening defined at the first end surface and having a first width; a second opening defined at the second end surface and having a second width; an intermediate portion between the first and second openings and having a third width that is smaller than the first width and the second width; a restriction segment defined between the first opening and the intermediate portion; and an expansion segment defined between the intermediate portion and the second opening.

    [0005] In a further aspect there is provided a grinding machine for processing a material, the grinding machine comprising:

    a grinder assembly adapted to receive a material to be processed and convey the material along a travel path extending generally longitudinally with respect to the grinder assembly;

    an orifice plate according to the first aspect of the invention, wherein the orifice plate is arranged with respect to the grinder assembly to have the material forced through the orifice plate while the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly, wherein at least one of the plurality of orifices defined in the orifice plate include

    a restriction segment including a length and a width, wherein the width of the restriction segment decreases moving along the length in the first direction from the first end surface toward the second end surface; and

    an expansion segment operably connected with the restriction segment and including a length and a width, wherein the width of the expansion segment decreases moving along the length in the second direction from the second end surface toward the first end surface.



    [0006] In a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of using a grinding machine for processing a material, the method comprising:
    mounting an orifice plate that has multiple orifices extending there through in a grinder assembly in a first position, in which a first end surface of the orifice plate faces an upstream direction with respect to a travel path along which the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly and a second end surface of the orifice plate faces a downstream direction with respect to the travel path of the material, wherein at least one of the orifices of the orifice plate tapers inwardly from both the first and second end surfaces; and wherein a first outer section is defined in the first end surface of the orifice plate adjacent at least one of the multiple orifices and a second outer section defined in the second end surface of the orifice plate adjacent at least one of the multiple orifices, wherein the first outer section defines a first side wall that intersects the first end surface of the orifice plate at a right angle and the second outer section defines a second side wall that intersects the second end surface of the orifice plate at a right angle;

    forcing the material through the multiple orifices of the orifice plate while the orifice plate is in the first position;

    mounting the orifice plate in the grinder assembly in a second position, in which the second end surface of the orifice plate faces the upstream direction and the first end surface of the orifice plate faces the downstream direction; and

    forcing the material through the multiple orifices of the orifice plate while the orifice plate is in the second position.



    [0007] A grinding machine is described herein for processing materials, such as a food product, and includes a grinder assembly and an orifice plate that is operably mounted to the grinder assembly. The orifice plate has orifices, each of which has two tapering segments, which may be defined by a restriction segment and an expansion segment, that taper from locations that are near first and second end surfaces of the orifice plate downwardly and inwardly toward an intermediate portion of the orifice plate. This dual tapering of the orifices may provide an orifice plate that is symmetrical about a transversely cross-sectional plane so that the orifice has the same dimensional characteristics in a traverse direction through the orifice plate from either the first or second end surface and out of the other one of the first and second end surface. This may allow the orifice plate to be mounted with either the first or second end surface facing an upstream direction with respect to a travel path of material through the grinder assembly so that the orifice plate can be flipped over if the upstream facing one of the first and second end surfaces becomes worn due to the flow of material and/or engagement of blades of a knife assembly that may scrape against such surface, which may double the use-life of the orifice plate and reduce inventory requirements for replacement orifice plates. This may also provide orifices that have defined restriction and expansion segments, regardless of which one of the first and second end surfaces faces the upstream direction with respect to the travel path of the material through the grinder assembly. The restriction and expansion segments of each orifice may provide radial compression followed by controlled and restricted radial expansion of the material which may provide improved textural characteristics of a meat material when compared to forcing the material through either openings having constant diameters or openings having continuously reducing diameters along their entire lengths. The radial compression in the restriction segment followed by controlled and restricted radial expansion of the material in the expansion segment of the orifice plate may also prevent shattering of frozen material that is being ground with the grinding machine.

    [0008] A method of using a grinding machine for processing a material, such as a food product, is provided. The method includes mounting an orifice plate that has multiple orifices extending there through in a grinder assembly in a first position in which a first end surface of the orifice plate faces an upstream direction with respect to a travel path along which the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly. A second end surface of the orifice plate faces downstream with respect to the travel path of the material. Material is forced through multiple orifices of the orifice plate while the orifice plate is in the first position. The orifice plate is then mounted in a second position in the grinder assembly in which the second end surface of the orifice plate faces the upstream direction with respect to the travel path of the material and the first end surface of the orifice plate faces the downstream direction with respect to the travel path of the material. Material is forced through the multiple orifices of the orifice plate while the orifice plate is in the second position.

    [0009] Also described herein is a grinding machine for processing a material, such as a food product, is provided and includes a grinder assembly that can receive a material to be processed and can convey the material along a travel path that extends generally longitudinally with respect to the grinder assembly. An orifice plate is arranged with respect to the grinder assembly so that the material is forced through the orifice plate while being conveyed through the grinder assembly. The orifice plate includes a first end surface that faces upstream with respect to the travel path of the material and a second end surface that faces downstream with respect to the travel path of the material. Multiple orifices extend through the orifice plate, generally transversely between the first and second end surfaces. Each of the multiple orifices includes a first opening defined at the first end surface and having a first width and a second opening defined at the second end surface and having a second width. An intermediate bore is arranged between the first and second openings and define a third width that is smaller than each of the first and second widths. A restriction segment may be defined between the first opening and the intermediate bore and an expansion segment may be defined between the intermediate bore and the second opening.

    [0010] (i) the first opening and restriction segment, and (ii) the second opening and the expansion segment may be mirror images of each other about a cross-sectional plane extending transversely through a center of the orifice plate.

    [0011] The first and second openings may have circular perimeter shapes and a common diameter. The intermediate bore may have a circular perimeter shape and may be aligned coaxially with respect to the first and second openings.

    [0012] Each orifice may include a first outer bore that extends from the first opening in the first end surface, toward the central bore, and a second outer bore that extends from the second opening in the second end surface, toward the central bore. The first and second outer bores may have the same diameter as the first and second openings. The first and second outer bores may each define a length thereof and each of the diameters of the first and second outer bores are constant along the respective lengths.

    [0013] The restriction segment may include a tapering bore that extends between the first outer bore and the intermediate bore. The tapering bore of the restriction segment may connect respective ends of the first outer bore and the intermediate bore to each other. The tapering bore of the restriction segment may conically taper downwardly from a connection location with the first outer bore to a connection location with the intermediate bore. The expansion segment may include a tapering bore that extends between the second outer bore and the intermediate bore. The tapering bore of the expansion segment may connect respective ends of the second outer bore and the intermediate bore to each other. The tapering bore of the expansion segment may conically taper downwardly from a connection location with the second outer bore to a connection location with the intermediate bore. In this way, (i) the first opening and restriction segment, and (ii) the second opening and the expansion segment may be mirror images of each other about a cross-sectional plane that extends transversely through a center of the orifice plate. This may allow the orifice plate to be flipped over so that at each orifice, what was initially an expansion segment can serve as a subsequent restriction segment and what was initially a restriction segment can serve as a subsequent expansion segment so as to provide improved textural characteristics of a food product that may result from radial compression followed by controlled and restricted radial expansion of the food product while traveling through the orifice plate, regardless of which end surface of the orifice plate faces upstream versus downstream.

    [0014] A grinding machine for processing material is disclosed herein. The grinding machine includes a grinder assembly adapted to receive a material to be processed and convey the material along a travel path extending generally longitudinally with respect to the grinder assembly, and an orifice plate arranged with respect to the grinder assembly to have the material forced through the orifice plate while the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly. The orifice plate includes a first end surface facing upstream with respect to the travel path of the material, a second end surface facing downstream with respect to the travel path of the material, and a plurality of orifices defined through the orifice plate from the first end surface to the second end surface. At least one of the plurality of orifices includes a first opening defined at the first end surface and having a first width, a second opening defined at the second end surface and having a second width, an intermediate portion between the first and second openings and having a third width that is smaller than the first width and the second width, a restriction segment defined between the first opening and the intermediate portion, and an expansion segment defined between the intermediate portion and the second opening.

    [0015] A grinding machine for processing a material is also provided and includes a grinder assembly adapted to receive a material to be processed and convey the material along a travel path extending generally longitudinally with respect to the grinder assembly, and an orifice plate arranged with respect to the grinder assembly to have the material forced through the orifice plate while the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly. The orifice plate includes opposing first and second end surfaces and multiple orifices defined through the orifice plate from the first end surface to the second end surface. At least one of the multiple orifices includes a restriction segment including a length and a width with the width of the restriction segment decreasing moving along the length in a first direction from the first end surface toward the second end surface, and an expansion segment operably connected with the restriction segment and including a length and a width with the width of the expansion segment decreasing moving along the length in a second direction from the second end surface toward the first end surface.

    [0016] An orifice plate for a grinding machine is provided and includes a first end surface, a second end surface opposite the first end surface, and a plurality of orifices defined in the orifice plate from the first end surface to the second end surface. At least one of the plurality of orifices includes a first tapered section decreasing in width as it extends in a first direction from the first end surface toward the second end surface and a second tapered section decreasing in width as it extends in a second direction from the second end surface toward the first end surface.

    [0017] A method of using a grinding machine for processing a material is provided. The method includes mounting an orifice plate that has multiple orifices extending there through in a grinder assembly in a first position, in which a first end surface of the orifice plate faces an upstream direction with respect to a travel path along which the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly and a second end surface of the orifice plate faces a downstream direction with respect to the travel path of the material. At least one of the orifices of the orifice plate tapers inwardly from both the first and second end surfaces. The method also includes forcing the material through the multiple orifices of the orifice plate while the orifice plate is in the first position, mounting the orifice plate in the grinder assembly in a second position, in which the second end surface of the orifice plate faces the upstream direction and the first end surface of the orifice plate faces the downstream direction, and forcing the material through the multiple orifices of the orifice plate while the orifice plate is in the second position.

    [0018] Various other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following description taken together with the drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0019] The accompanying figures, where like reference numerals refer to identical or functionally similar elements throughout the separate views, together with the detailed description below, are incorporated in and form part of the specification, and serve to further illustrate embodiments of concepts that include the claimed invention, and explain various principles and advantages of those embodiments.

    FIG. 1 is a top isometric view of an exemplary grinding machine incorporating various aspects of the present invention.

    FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a grinder assembly of the grinding machine shown in FIG. 1, the grinding assembly includes an exemplary orifice plate.

    FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the orifice plate shown in FIG. 2.

    FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the orifice plate taken along line 4--4 in FIG. 3.

    FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail of a portion of FIG. 4 taken at dashed circle 5 in FIG. 4.



    [0020] Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of embodiments of the present disclosure.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0021] FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary grinding machine 5 used for processing materials such as, for example, food and other products. The grinding machine 5 is described as being used for converting meat, trimmings, and/or other meat stock (hereinafter "meat"), by way of grinding, into a ground meat product(s), while noting that grinding machine 5 in other embodiments may be implemented for grinding-type processing of other materials, which may be food materials and other products. A suitable grinding machine 5 and its components are disclosed in the commonly owned U.S. Patent No. 7,905,436. The grinding machine 5 includes a base 7 that houses various mechanical components (including electric motors, drive components, and controls), as is known for suitably operating the grinding machine 5. The grinding machine 5 has a hopper assembly 10 into which the meat is introduced into the grinding machine 5 and a grinder assembly 12 that processes the meat into a ground meat product(s). Grinder assembly 12 includes a grinder head 14 in which an orifice plate 60 is incorporated, as explained in greater detail elsewhere herein.

    [0022] Referring now to FIG. 2, the grinder head 14 includes a generally tubular body 16, with a flange 18 at one end of the body 16 that connects to the hopper assembly 10. An opposing end of the tubular body 16 includes an outlet 20 that expands conically from the remainder of the tubular body 16 and has an externally threaded collar 22 and lugs 23 that extend radially inward toward a center of an opening defined at the outlet 20. At least a portion of an inner surface of the grinder head tubular body 16 includes flutes 24 that extend inwardly, radially toward a central longitudinal axis 150 of the grinder head 14 and are aligned angularly with respect to the central longitudinal axis 150 so as to define a spiraling arrangement. The particular dimensions of the flutes 24 may vary along their lengths and are selected to produce desired flow characteristics of meat through the grinder head 14, for example, to control a rate of material backflow between adjacent flutes 24.

    [0023] With further reference to FIG. 2, feed screw 26 is concentrically and rotationally mounted in the grinder head tubular body 16 and is arranged so that rotation of the feed screw 26 advances the meat from the hopper assembly 10 through the grinder head 14. In this way, a central longitudinal axis 150 of the feed screw 26 corresponds to a travel path that extends generally longitudinally through the grinder head 14 and thus grinder assembly 12, along which the meat is conveyed. When assembled, a single central longitudinal axis 150 extends through a longitudinal center of the components of the grinder assembly 12. Feed screw 26 has a circumferential sidewall 28 and flutes 30 that extend outwardly, radially from the circumferential sidewall 28 and are aligned angularly with respect to a central longitudinal axis 150 of the feed screw 26 so as to define a spiraling arrangement. Like the inwardly extending flutes 24 of the grinder head tubular body 16, the outwardly extending flutes 30 of the feed screw 26 can have dimensions that vary along their lengths and that are selected to produce desired flow characteristics of meat through the grinder head 14. An outlet end 32 of the feed screw 26 that is concentrically housed in the outlet 20 of the grinder head tubular body 16 includes a centrally located bore 34 that extends longitudinally into the feed screw 26. A shoulder 36 is defined at a bottom surface of a counter bore that extends into the outlet end 32 of the feed screw 26.

    [0024] With continued reference to FIG. 2, a center pin 38 includes a first end 40 that is housed in the bore 34 at the feed screw outlet end 32 and a second end 42 that extends outwardly beyond the feed screw outlet end 32. A bore 44 extends into the second end 42 of the center pin 38. A spacer washer and spring pack assembly 46 is concentrically arranged on the center pin 38, near the second end 42. In the complete assemblage, the second end 42 extends beyond the spacer washer and spring pack assembly 46, a first side of the spacer washer and spring pack assembly 46 abuts the shoulder 36 of the feed screw outlet end 32, and a second side of the spacer washer and spring pack assembly 46 face an opposite direction, away from the shoulder 36. A bushing 48 with longitudinally extending spaced apart lugs 49 at its exterior surface is concentrically arranged upon the second end 42 of the center pin 38. A knife assembly 50 has a central hub 52 and radially extending arms 54 to which blades 56 are mounted. The central hub 52 is arranged concentrically on the second end 42 of the center pin 38 so that the spacer washer and spring pack assembly 46 engages and biases the central hub 52, and thus the entire knife assembly 50, away from the feed screw shoulder 36.

    [0025] An auger 58 has a post 59 at an inwardly facing end that inserts into the bore 44 of the second end 42 of the center pin 38. The feed screw 26, knife assembly 50, and auger 58 are keyed or otherwise locked in rotational unison with each other. Orifice plate 60, explained in greater detail elsewhere herein, is arranged with respect to the grinder head 14 so that the meat is forced through the orifice plate 60 while being conveyed through the grinder head 14 by operation of feed screw 26. Orifice plate 60 has an inner surface 62 (FIG. 3) including spaced apart depressions 64 that accept the lugs 49 of the bushing 48 and defines an outer periphery of a central opening 65 in which the bushing 48 is arranged. Orifice plate 60 includes an outer surface 66 that has notches 68 that engage the lugs 23 of the grinder head outlet 20. This engagement prevents rotation of the orifice plate 60 relative to the grinder head 14. Thus, the orifice plate 60 is maintained in a fixed position with respect to the grinder head 14 while the blades 56 of the knife assembly 50 are pushed against, as biased by the spacer washer and spring pack assembly 46, and rotationally scrape across, the orifice plate 60. As shown in FIG. 2, orifice plate 60 may include collection passages 70 that allow hard materials such as bone gristle, which are unable to be cut by the blades 56, to pass there through.

    [0026] Still referring to FIG. 2, collection cone 72 is arranged concentrically outside of the auger 58 and abuts the orifice plate 60 so that hard materials that pass through the collection passages 70 of the orifice plate 60 are directed into the collection cone 72. Rotation of the auger 58 within the collection cone 72 advances the hard materials through the collection cone 72 and a collection discharge tube 74 (FIG. 1) that is operably connected to the collection cone 72. A bridge 76 that has radially extending plate guards 78 which prevent access into the grinder head 14 concentrically supports the collection cone 72. The bridge 76 includes a rim 80 that engages an outer portion of the orifice plate 60. A mounting ring 82 with internal threads 84 holds the bridge 76 against the orifice plate 60 by way of the mounting ring internal threads 84 engaging the threaded collar 22 of the grinder head tubular body 16 so as to secure the mounting ring 82 to the grinder head 14.

    [0027] Referring now to FIG 3, the orifice plate 60 has a generally circular outer perimeter shape that is defined by the outer surface 66 with the notches 68 extending inwardly, on opposing sides of the orifice plate 60. The orifice plate 60 has a generally circular inner perimeter shape that is defined by the inner surface 62 from which depressions 64 extend. A pair of mounting apertures 86 extends through outer portions and on opposing sides of the orifice plate 60. The mounting apertures 86 receive pins that extend from the bridge rim 80 to maintain registration of the orifice plate 60 and the bridge 76. As shown in FIG. 4, the orifice plate 60 has a first end surface 90 and an opposing second end surface 92, between which a thickness of the orifice plate 60 is defined.

    [0028] Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the orifice plate 60 defines multiple orifices 94 there through from the first end surface 90 to the second end surface 92. The orifices 94 are spaced apart from each other extend through the entire orifice plate 60 so as to provide a perforated configuration of the orifice plate 60 through which the meat can be forced during use of the grinding machine 5 (FIG. 1).

    [0029] Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, each orifice 94 of this embodiment is substantially symmetrical about a midpoint 152 along its length when viewed from transverse cross-section such as those of FIGS. 4 and 5. Each orifice 94 includes a first opening 96 at the first end surface 90 and a second opening 98 at the second end surface 92. A first outer bore 100 is arranged radially inward of a first outer bore side wall 101 (FIG. 5) that extends from the first opening 96 into the first end surface 90 toward the second end surface 92. A second outer bore 102 is arranged radially inward of a second outer bore side wall 103 (FIG. 5) that extends from the second opening 98 into the second end surface 92 toward the first end surface 90. The first and second outer bores 100, 102 have the same opening widths as the first and second openings 96, 98, respectively, and define substantially constant opening widths or diameters along their lengths.

    [0030] With further reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, each orifice 94 defines a restriction segment 104 which is defined by a tapering bore 106 (FIG. 5) that is arranged radially inward of a first tapering side wall 108 that connects to the inward most portion of the first outer bore side wall 101. An expansion segment 110 is defined by a tapering bore 112 that is arranged radially inward of a second tapering side wall 114 (FIG. 5) that connects to the inward most portion of the second outer bore side wall 103. The first and second tapering side walls 108, 114 may extend at a variety of different angles with respect to a central longitudinal axis 154 of the orifice 94 and be within the scope of the present invention. In some exemplary embodiments, the first and second tapering side walls 108, 114 may extend at angles of between about 10 degrees and about 20 degrees. In other exemplary embodiments, the walls 108, 114 may extend at an angle of about 15 degrees.

    [0031] With continued reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, an intermediate bore 116 extends between and connects the restriction and expansion segments 104, 110 to each other. The intermediate bore 116 is arranged radially inward of an intermediate side wall 118 that extends between and connects the inward most portions of the first and second tapering side walls 108, 114. Like the first and second outer bores 100, 102, the intermediate bore 116 has a substantially constant opening width diameter along its length. However, the intermediate bore 116 has a smaller diameter than the diameters of the first and second outer bores 100, 102. In some exemplary embodiments, the intermediate bore 116 may have a diameter that is about three-quarters of the diameter of first and second outer bores 100, 102. In one exemplary embodiment, the first and second outer bores 100, 102 may have diameters of about 25,4mm (one inch) and the intermediate bore 116 may have a diameter of about 19,05mm (three-quarters of an inch).

    [0032] In light of the above, the orifice plate 60 is directionally indifferent, whereby the orifice plate 60 can be mounted in the grinder assembly with either the first or second end surface 90, 92 facing toward the knife assembly (FIG. 2). That is because the orifice plate 60 is symmetrical about a cross-sectional plane that extends transversely through a midpoint of the intermediate bore 116, so that (i) the first opening 96, first outer bore 100, and restriction segment 104 and (ii) the second opening 98, second outer bore 102, and expansion segment 110, respectively, are mirror images of each other.

    [0033] Accordingly, the orifice plate 60 can be mounted in the grinder assembly 12 in a first position in which the first end surface 90 faces an upstream direction so that the first end surface 90 is engaged by the knife assembly 50 (FIG. 2) and the second end surface 92 faces a downstream direction. The grinding machine 5 (FIG. 1) can be operated with the orifice plate 60 in the first position until the first end surface 90 endures sufficient wear to justify changing. This may occur when, for example, the sharp corner edges defined at the first openings 96 of the orifices 94 dull due to the engagements with the knife assembly 50 and/or the meat being forced through the orifice plate 60, or when the first end surface 90 wears sufficiently so that it is no longer flat enough to provide a shearing interface against which the knife assembly 50 can scrape. At this point, instead of replacing the orifice plate 60 with a new orifice plate 60, the orifice plate 60 is flipped over. Referring to FIG. 2, this is done by partially disassembling the grinder assembly 12 by removing the mounting ring 82, bridge 76, and collection cone 72. The orifice plate 60 is axially withdrawn from the grinder assembly 12 so that the notches 68 are free of their engagement with the posts 23 of the grinder head 14. The orifice plate 60 is then flipped over so that the second end surface 92 faces toward the knife assembly 50. The notches 68 of the orifice plate 60 are aligned with and slid into engagement upon the lugs 23 of the grinder head 14. The collection cone 72, bridge 76, and mounting ring 82 are reinstalled into the grinder assembly 12. Upon reassembly of these components, the orifice plate 60 is in a second position. The grinding machine 5 (FIG. 1) is operated again with the orifice plate 60 in the second position. While in the second position of the orifice plate 60, the orifices 94 impart the same compression and restriction along with allowing for the same post-compression expansion as they did when the orifice plate 60 was in the first position.

    [0034] It is understood that the drawings and the above relate to a certain embodiment of the present invention, but that the invention is not limited to the specific configuration shown and described. It is also contemplated that the intermediate bore may be eliminated and that the tapered sections of the bore may directly intersect each other at or near the center of the orifice plate. It is further contemplated that the intermediate bore may have a longer length than that shown and described. In addition, it is contemplated that the bores need not necessarily be symmetrical about a central plane of the orifice plate. For example, the orifices on one side of the orifice plate may have a greater or lesser angle of taper then on the other, so that a selected side of the orifice plate can be used, for example, according to certain characteristics of the material being ground. It is also understood that, while the drawings and description relate to all orifices having a tapered configuration, only certain of the orifices may be tapered and others may be straight-sided.

    [0035] The Abstract is provided to allow the reader to quickly ascertain the nature of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. In addition, in the foregoing Detailed Description, it can be seen that various features are grouped together in various embodiments for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments require more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive subject matter lies in less than all features of a single disclosed embodiment. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into the Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separately claimed subject matter.

    [0036] While various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that other embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be restricted except in light of the attached claims.


    Claims

    1. An orifice plate (60) for a grinding machine (5), the orifice plate (60) comprising

    a first end surface (90);

    a second end surface (92) opposite the first end surface (90); and

    a plurality of orifices (94) defined in the orifice plate (60) from the first end surface (90) to the second end surface (92), wherein at least one of the plurality of orifices (94) includes a first tapered section decreasing in width as it extends in a first direction from the first end surface (90) toward the second end surface (92) and a second tapered section decreasing in width as it extends in a second direction from the second end surface (92) toward the first end surface (90), further comprising a first outer section defined in the first end surface (90) adjacent the at least one of the plurality of orifices (94) and a second outer section defined in the second end surface (92) adjacent the at least one of the plurality of orifices (94), characterised in that the first outer section defines a first side wall that intersects the first end surface (90) of the orifice plate (60) at a right angle and the second outer section defines a second side wall that intersects the second end surface (92) of the orifice plate (60) at a right angle.


     
    2. The orifice plate (60) of claim 1:
    wherein the at least one of the plurality of orifices (94) further includes an intermediate section between the first and second tapered sections.
     
    3. A grinding machine (5) for processing material, the grinding machine (5) comprising:

    a grinder assembly (12) adapted to receive a material to be processed and convey the material along a travel path extending generally longitudinally with respect to the grinder assembly (12);

    an orifice plate (60) according to claim 1, wherein the orifice plate (60) is arranged with respect to the grinder assembly (12) to have the material forced through the orifice plate (60) while the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly (12), wherein

    the first end surface (90) of the orifice plate (60) is facing upstream with respect to the travel path of the material;

    the second end surface (92) of the orifice plate (60) is facing downstream with respect to the travel path of the material;

    the plurality of orifices (94) defined through the orifice plate from the first end surface to the second end surface (92), wherein at least one of the plurality of orifices (94) includes

    a first opening (96) defined at the first end surface (90) and having a first width;

    a second opening (98) defined at the second end surface (92) and having a second width;

    an intermediate portion between the first (96) and second (98) openings and having a third width that is smaller than the first width and the second width;

    a restriction segment (104) defined between the first opening (96) and the intermediate portion; and

    an expansion segment (110) defined between the intermediate portion and the second opening (98).


     
    4. The grinding machine (5) of claim 3, wherein the orifice plate is symmetrical about a plane that extends transversely through a center of the orifice plate such that (i) the first opening (96) and restriction segment (104), and (ii) the second opening (98) and the expansion segment (110) are mirror images of each other about the plane.
     
    5. The grinding machine (5) of claim 3, wherein the first (96) and second (98) openings have circular perimeters and the first and second widths are the same size.
     
    6. The grinding machine (5) of claim 5:

    (i) wherein the intermediate portion comprises an intermediate bore (116) having a circular perimeter that is aligned coaxially with the first (96) and second (98) openings; or

    (ii) further comprising a first outer bore (100) that extends from the first opening (96) into the first end surface (90) toward the intermediate portion, and a second outer bore (102) that extends from the second opening (98) into the second end surface (92) toward the intermediate portion.


     
    7. The grinding machine (5) of claim 6 (ii), wherein the first (100) and second (102) outer bores have the same diameter as the first (96) and second (98) openings.
     
    8. The grinding machine (5) of claim 7, wherein each of the first (100) and second (102) outer bores defines a length thereof and each of the diameters of the first (100) and second (102) outer bores is constant along the respective lengths.
     
    9. The grinding machine (5) of claim 8, wherein the restriction segment (104) tapers between the first outer bore (100) and the intermediate portion, optionally wherein the restriction segment (104): (i) connects the first outer bore (100) and the intermediate area to each other; or (ii) conically tapers downwardly from a connection location with the first outer bore (100) to a connection location with the intermediate portion.
     
    10. The grinding machine (5) of claim 8, wherein the expansion segment (110) tapers between the second outer bore (102) and the intermediate portion.
     
    11. The grinding machine (5) of claim 10, wherein the expansion segment (110) connects the second outer bore (102) and the intermediate portion to each other, optionally wherein the expansion segment (110) conically tapers downwardly from a connection location with the second outer bore (102) to a connection location with the intermediate portion.
     
    12. A grinding machine (5) for processing a material, the grinding machine (5) comprising:

    a grinder assembly (12) adapted to receive a material to be processed and convey the material along a travel path extending generally longitudinally with respect to the grinder assembly (12);

    an orifice plate (60) according to claim 1, wherein the orifice plate (60) is arranged with respect to the grinder assembly (12) to have the material forced through the orifice plate (60) while the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly (12), wherein at least one of the plurality of orifices (94) defined in the orifice plate (60) include

    a restriction segment (104) including a length and a width, wherein the width of the restriction segment (104) decreases moving along the length in the first direction from the first end surface toward the second end surface (92); and

    an expansion segment (110) operably connected with the restriction segment (104) and including a length and a width, wherein the width of the expansion segment (110) decreases moving along the length in the second direction from the second end surface (92) toward the first end surface.


     
    13. The grinding machine of claim 12, wherein the at least one of the orifices (94) further includes an intermediate segment interconnecting the restriction (104) segment (104) and the expansion segment (110).
     
    14. The grinding machine of claim 13, wherein each of the restriction (104) and expansion segments (110) conically tapers downwardly toward the intermediate segment, optionally wherein the restriction (104) and expansion segments (110) taper at an angle of between about 10 degrees and about 20 degrees.
     
    15. A method of using a grinding machine for processing a material, the method comprising:

    mounting an orifice plate (60) that has multiple orifices (94) extending there through in a grinder assembly (12) in a first position, in which a first end surface of the orifice plate (60) faces an upstream direction with respect to a travel path along which the material is conveyed through the grinder assembly (12) and a second end surface (92) of the orifice plate (60) faces a downstream direction with respect to the travel path of the material, wherein at least one of the orifices (94) of the orifice plate (60) tapers inwardly from both the first and second end surfaces (92); and wherein a first outer section is defined in the first end surface (90) of the orifice plate (60) adjacent at least one of the multiple orifices (94) and a second outer section defined in the second end surface (92) of the orifice plate (60) adjacent at least one of the multiple orifices (94), wherein the first outer section defines a first side wall that intersects the first end surface (90) of the orifice plate (60) at a right angle and the second outer section defines a second side wall that intersects the second end surface (92) of the orifice plate (60) at a right angle;

    forcing the material through the multiple orifices (94) of the orifice plate (60) while the orifice plate (60) is in the first position;

    mounting the orifice plate (60) in the grinder assembly (12) in a second position, in which the second end surface (92) of the orifice plate (60) faces the upstream direction and the first end surface (90) of the orifice plate (60) faces the downstream direction; and

    forcing the material through the multiple orifices (94) of the orifice plate (60) while the orifice plate (60) is in the second position.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Lochscheibe (60) für eine Wolfmaschine (5), wobei die Lochscheibe (60) Folgendes umfasst:

    eine erste Stirnfläche (90);

    eine zweite Stirnfläche (92), entgegengesetzt zu der ersten Stirnfläche (90); und

    eine Vielzahl von Löchern (94), die in der Lochscheibe (60) von der ersten Stirnfläche (90) zu der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) definiert ist, wobei mindestens eines der Vielzahl von Löchern (94) eine erste verjüngte Sektion, die in der Breite abnimmt, wenn sie sich in einer ersten Richtung von der ersten Stirnfläche (90) zu der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) hin erstreckt, und eine zweite verjüngte Sektion, die in der Breite abnimmt, wenn sie sich in einer zweiten Richtung von der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) zu der ersten Stirnfläche (90) hin erstreckt, einschließt, wobei sie ferner eine erste äußere Sektion, die in der ersten Stirnfläche (90) angrenzend an das mindestens eine der Vielzahl von Löchern (94) definiert ist, und eine zweite äußere Sektion, die in der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) angrenzend an das mindestens eine der Vielzahl von Löchern (94) definiert ist, umfasst, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die erste äußere Sektion eine erste Seitenwand definiert, welche die erste Stirnfläche (90) der Lochscheibe (60) in einem rechten Winkel schneidet, und die zweite äußere Sektion eine zweite Seitenwand definiert, welche die zweite Stirnfläche (92) der Lochscheibe (60) in einem rechten Winkel schneidet.


     
    2. Lochscheibe (60) nach Anspruch 1,
    wobei das mindestens eine der Vielzahl von Löchern (94) ferner eine Zwischensektion zwischen der ersten und der zweiten verjüngten Sektion einschließt.
     
    3. Wolfmaschine (5) zum Verarbeiten eines Materials, wobei die Wolfmaschine (5) Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Wolfbaugruppe (12), die angepasst ist, um ein zu verarbeitendes Material aufzunehmen und das Material entlang einer Bewegungsbahn zu befördern, die sich im Allgemeinen in Längsrichtung in Bezug auf die Wolfbaugruppe (12) erstreckt;

    eine Lochscheibe (60) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Lochscheibe (60) in Bezug auf die Wolfbaugruppe (12) so angeordnet ist, dass das Material durch die Lochscheibe (60) gedrängt wird, während das Material durch die Wolfbaugruppe (12) befördert wird, wobei

    die erste Stirnfläche (90) der Lochscheibe (60) in Bezug auf die Bewegungsbahn des Materials stromaufwärts zeigt;

    die zweite Stirnfläche (92) der Lochscheibe (60) in Bezug auf die Bewegungsbahn des Materials stromabwärts zeigt;

    die Vielzahl von Löchern (94) durch die Lochscheibe von der ersten Stirnfläche zu der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) definiert ist, wobei mindestens eines der Vielzahl von Löchern (94) Folgendes einschließt:

    eine erste Öffnung (96), die an der ersten Stirnfläche (90) definiert ist und eine erste Breite aufweist;

    eine zweite Öffnung (98), die an der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) definiert ist und eine zweite Breite aufweist;

    einen Zwischenabschnitt zwischen der ersten (96) und der zweiten (98) Öffnung und mit einer dritten Breite, die kleiner ist als die erste Breite und die zweite Breite;

    ein Verengungssegment (104), das zwischen der ersten Öffnung (96) und dem Zwischenabschnitt definiert ist; und

    ein Erweiterungssegment (110), das zwischen dem Zwischenabschnitt und der zweiten Öffnung (98) definiert ist.


     
    4. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Lochscheibe um eine Ebene symmetrisch ist, die sich quer durch eine Mitte der Lochscheibe erstreckt, so dass (i) die erste Öffnung (96) und das Verengungssegment (104) und (ii) die zweite Öffnung (98) und das Erweiterungssegment (110) Spiegelbilder voneinander um die Ebene sind.
     
    5. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 3, wobei die erste (96) und die zweite (98) Öffnung kreisförmige Umfänge aufweisen und die erste und die zweite Breite die gleiche Größe haben.
     
    6. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 5,

    (i) wobei der Zwischenabschnitt eine Zwischenbohrung (116) umfasst, die einen kreisförmigen Umfang aufweist, der koaxial mit der ersten (96) und der zweiten (98) Öffnung ausgerichtet ist; oder

    (ii) die ferner eine erste äußere Bohrung (100), die sich von der ersten Öffnung (96) in die erste Stirnfläche (90) zu dem Zwischenabschnitt hin erstreckt, und eine zweite äußere Bohrung (102), die sich von der zweiten Öffnung (98) in die zweite Stirnfläche (92) zu dem Zwischenabschnitt hin erstreckt, umfasst.


     
    7. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 6 (ii), wobei die erste (100) und die zweite (102) äußere Bohrung den gleichen Durchmesser aufweisen wie die erste (96) und die zweite (98) Öffnung.
     
    8. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 7, wobei sowohl die erste (100) als auch die zweite (102) äußere Bohrung eine Länge derselben definiert und jeder der Durchmesser der ersten (100) und der zweiten (102) äußeren Bohrung entlang der jeweiligen Längen konstant ist.
     
    9. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 8, wobei sich das Verengungssegment (104) zwischen der ersten äußeren Bohrung (100) und dem Zwischenabschnitt verjüngt, wahlweise wobei das Verengungssegment (104): (i) die erste äußere Bohrung (100) und den Zwischenabschnitt miteinander verbindet; oder (ii) sich konisch von einer Verbindungsstelle mit der ersten äußeren Bohrung (100) zu einer Verbindungsstelle mit dem Zwischenabschnitt nach unten verjüngt.
     
    10. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 8, wobei sich das Erweiterungssegment (110) zwischen der zweiten äußeren Bohrung (102) und dem Zwischenabschnitt verjüngt.
     
    11. Wolfmaschine (5) nach Anspruch 10, wobei das Erweiterungssegment (110) die zweite äußere Bohrung (102) und den Zwischenabschnitt miteinander verbindet, wahlweise wobei sich das Erweiterungssegment (110) konisch von einer Verbindungsstelle mit der zweiten äußeren Bohrung (102) zu einer Verbindungsstelle mit dem Zwischenabschnitt nach unten verjüngt.
     
    12. Wolfmaschine (5) zum Verarbeiten eines Materials, wobei die Wolfmaschine (5) Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Wolfbaugruppe (12), die angepasst ist, um ein zu verarbeitendes Material aufzunehmen und das Material entlang einer Bewegungsbahn zu befördern, die sich im Allgemeinen in Längsrichtung in Bezug auf die Wolfbaugruppe (12) erstreckt;

    eine Lochscheibe (60) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Lochscheibe (60) in Bezug auf die Wolfbaugruppe (12) so angeordnet ist, dass das Material durch die Lochscheibe (60) gedrängt wird, während das Material durch die Wolfbaugruppe (12) befördert wird, wobei mindestens eines der Vielzahl von Löchern (94), die in der Lochscheibe (60) definiert sind, Folgendes einschließt:

    ein Verengungssegment (104), das eine Länge und eine Breite einschließt, wobei die Breite des Verengungssegments (104) bei einer Bewegung entlang der Länge in der ersten Richtung von der ersten Stirnfläche zu der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) hin abnimmt; und

    ein Erweiterungssegment (110), das wirksam mit dem Verengungssegment (104) verbunden ist und eine Länge und eine Breite einschließt, wobei die Breite des Erweiterungssegments (110) bei einer Bewegung entlang der Länge in der zweiten Richtung von der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) zu der ersten Stirnfläche hin abnimmt.


     
    13. Wolfmaschine nach Anspruch 12, wobei das mindestens eine der Löcher (94) ferner ein Zwischensegment einschließt, welches das Verengungssegment (104) und das Erweiterungssegment (110) miteinander verbindet.
     
    14. Wolfmaschine nach Anspruch 13, wobei sich sowohl das Verengungssegment (104) als auch das Erweiterungssegment (110) konisch zu dem Zwischensegment hin nach unten verjüngt, wahlweise wobei sich das Verengungs- (104) und das Erweiterungssegment (110) in einem Winkel von zwischen etwa 10 Grad und etwa 20 Grad verjüngen.
     
    15. Verfahren zum Verwenden einer Wolfmaschine zum Verarbeiten eines Materials, wobei das Verfahren Folgendes umfasst:

    Anbringen einer Lochscheibe (60), die mehrere Löcher (94) aufweist, die sich durch dieselbe erstrecken, in einer Wolfbaugruppe (12) in einer ersten Stellung, in der eine erste Stirnfläche der Lochscheibe (60) in eine Richtung, stromaufwärts in Bezug auf eine Bewegungsbahn, entlang derer das Material durch die Wolfbaugruppe (12) befördert wird, zeigt, und eine zweite Stirnfläche (92) der Lochscheibe (60) in eine Richtung, stromabwärts in Bezug auf die Bewegungsbahn des Materials, zeigt, wobei sich mindestens eines der Löcher (94) der Lochscheibe (60) von sowohl der ersten als auch der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) nach innen verjüngt; und wobei eine erste äußere Sektion in der ersten Stirnfläche (90) der Lochscheibe (60) angrenzend an mindestens eines der mehreren Löcher (94) definiert ist und eine zweite äußere Sektion in der zweiten Stirnfläche (92) der Lochscheibe (60) angrenzend an mindestens eines der mehreren Löcher (94) definiert ist, wobei die erste äußere Sektion eine erste Seitenwand definiert, welche die erste Stirnfläche (90) der Lochscheibe (60) in einem rechten Winkel schneidet, und die zweite äußere Sektion eine zweite Seitenwand definiert, welche die zweite Stirnfläche (92) der Lochscheibe (60) in einem rechten Winkel schneidet;

    Drängen des Materials durch die mehreren Löcher (94) der Lochscheibe (60), während sich die Lochscheibe (60) in der ersten Stellung befindet;

    Anbringen der Lochscheibe (60) in der Wolfbaugruppe (12) in einer zweiten Stellung, in der die zweite Stirnfläche (92) der Lochscheibe (60) in die Richtung stromaufwärts zeigt und die erste Stirnfläche (90) der Lochscheibe (60) in die Richtung stromabwärts zeigt; und

    Drängen des Materials durch die mehreren Löcher (94) der Lochscheibe (60), während sich die Lochscheibe (60) in der zweiten Stellung befindet.


     


    Revendications

    1. Disque à trous (60) pour un hachoir (5), le disque à trous (60) comprenant :

    une première surface d'extrémité (90) ;

    une seconde surface d'extrémité (92) opposée à la première surface d'extrémité (90) ; et

    une pluralité de trous (94) définis dans le disque à trous (60) depuis la première surface d'extrémité (90) jusqu'à la seconde surface d'extrémité (92), dans lequel au moins un de la pluralité de trous (94) inclut une première section conique diminuant en largeur lorsqu'elle s'étend dans une première direction depuis la première surface d'extrémité (90) vers la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) et une seconde section conique diminuant en largeur lorsqu'elle s'étend dans une seconde direction depuis la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) vers la première surface d'extrémité (90), comprenant en outre une première section extérieure définie dans la première surface d'extrémité (90) adjacente à le au moins un de la pluralité de trous (94) et une seconde section extérieure définie dans la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) adjacente à le au moins un de la pluralité de trous (94), caractérisé en ce que

    la première section extérieure définit une première paroi latérale qui coupe la première surface d'extrémité (90) du disque à trous (60) à angle droit et la seconde section extérieure définit une seconde paroi latérale qui coupe la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) du disque à trous (60) à angle droit.


     
    2. Disque à trous (60) selon la revendication 1,
    dans lequel le au moins un de la pluralité de trous (94) inclut en outre une section intermédiaire entre la première et la seconde section conique.
     
    3. Hachoir (5) permettant de traiter un matériau, le hachoir (5) comprenant :

    un ensemble hachoir (12) adapté afin de recevoir un matériel à traiter et de convoyer le matériel le long d'un chemin de déplacement s'étendant généralement de manière longitudinale relativement à l'ensemble hachoir (12) ;

    un disque à trous (60) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le disque à trous (60) est agencé relativement à l'ensemble hachoir (12) afin de forcer le matériau à travers le disque à trous (60) pendant que le matériau est transporté à travers l'ensemble hachoir (12), dans lequel

    la première surface d'extrémité (90) du disque à trous (60) est orientée en amont relativement au chemin de déplacement du matériau ;

    la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) du disque à trous (60) est orientée en aval relativement au chemin de déplacement du matériau ;

    la pluralité de trous (94) définis à travers le disque à trous depuis la première surface d'extrémité jusqu'à la seconde surface d'extrémité (92), dans lequel au moins un de la pluralité de trous (94) inclut :

    une première ouverture (96) définie sur la première surface d'extrémité (90) et présentant une première largeur ;

    une seconde ouverture (98) définie sur la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) et présentant une deuxième largeur ;

    une partie intermédiaire entre la première (96) et la seconde (98) ouverture et présentant une troisième largeur qui est inférieure à la première largeur et à la deuxième largeur ;

    un segment de restriction (104) défini entre la première ouverture (96) et la partie intermédiaire ; et

    un segment d'extension (110) défini entre la partie intermédiaire et la seconde ouverture (98).


     
    4. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le disque à trous est symétrique autour d'un plan qui s'étend de manière transversale à travers un centre du disque à trous de sorte que (i) la première ouverture (96) et le segment de restriction (104), et (ii) la seconde ouverture (98) et le segment d'extension (110) sont des images en miroir l'un de l'autre autour du plan.
     
    5. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel la première (96) et la seconde (98) ouverture présentent des périmètres circulaires et la première et la deuxième largeur étant de même dimension.
     
    6. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 5,

    (i) dans lequel la partie intermédiaire comprend un alésage intermédiaire (116) présentant un périmètre circulaire qui est aligné de manière coaxiale avec la première (96) et la seconde (98) ouverture ; ou

    (ii) comprenant en outre un premier alésage extérieur (100) qui s'étend depuis la première ouverture (96) dans la première surface d'extrémité (90) vers la partie intermédiaire, et un second alésage extérieur (102) qui s'étend depuis la seconde ouverture (98) dans la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) vers la partie intermédiaire.


     
    7. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 6 (ii), dans lequel le premier (100) et le second (102) alésage extérieur présentent le même diamètre que la première (96) et la seconde (98) ouverture.
     
    8. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel chacun du premier (100) et du second (102) alésage extérieur définit une longueur correspondante et chacun des diamètres du premier (100) et du second (102) alésage extérieur est constant le long des longueurs respectives.
     
    9. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le segment de restriction (104) se rétrécit entre le premier alésage extérieur (100) et la partie intermédiaire, optionnellement dans lequel le segment de restriction (104) : (i) relie le premier alésage extérieur (100) et la zone intermédiaire l'un à l'autre ; ou (ii) se rétrécit de manière conique vers le bas depuis un emplacement de raccordement avec le premier alésage extérieur (100) à un emplacement de raccordement avec la partie intermédiaire.
     
    10. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le segment d'extension (110) se rétrécit entre le second alésage extérieur (102) et la partie intermédiaire.
     
    11. Hachoir (5) selon la revendication 10, dans lequel le segment d'extension (110) relie le second alésage extérieur (102) et la partie intermédiaire l'un à l'autre, optionnellement dans lequel le segment d'extension (110) se rétrécit de manière conique vers le bas depuis un emplacement de raccordement avec le second alésage extérieur (102) vers un emplacement de raccordement avec la partie intermédiaire.
     
    12. Hachoir (5) permettant de traiter un matériau, le hachoir (5) comprenant :

    un ensemble hachoir (12) adapté afin de recevoir un matériau à traiter et de convoyer le matériau le long d'un chemin de déplacement s'étendant généralement de manière longitudinale relativement à l'ensemble hachoir (12) ;

    un disque à trous (60) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le disque à trous (60) est agencé relativement à l'ensemble hachoir (12) afin de forcer le matériau à travers le disque à trous (60) pendant que le matériau est transporté à travers l'ensemble hachoir (12), dans lequel au moins un de la pluralité de trous (94) définis dans le disque à trous (60) comprend :

    un segment de restriction (104) incluant une longueur et une largeur, dans lequel la largeur du segment de restriction (104) diminue en se déplaçant le long de la longueur dans la première direction depuis la première surface d'extrémité vers la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) ; et

    un segment d'extension (110) opérationnellement raccordé au segment de restriction (104) et incluant une longueur et une largeur, dans lequel la largeur du segment d'extension (110) diminue en se déplaçant le long de la longueur dans la seconde direction depuis la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) vers la première surface d'extrémité.


     
    13. Hachoir selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le au moins un des trous (94) inclut en outre un segment intermédiaire interconnectant le segment de restriction (104) et le segment d'extension (110).
     
    14. Hachoir selon la revendication 13, dans lequel chacun des segments de restriction (104) et d'extension (110) se rétrécit de manière conique vers le bas vers le segment intermédiaire, optionnellement dans lequel les segments de restriction (104) et d'extension (110) se rétrécissent selon un angle compris entre environ 10 degrés et environ 20 degrés.
     
    15. Procédé d'utilisation d'un hachoir permettant de traiter un matériau, le procédé comprenant :

    le montage d'un disque à trous (60) présentant de multiples trous (94) s'étendant à travers de celui-ci dans un ensemble hachoir (12) dans une première position, dans laquelle une première surface d'extrémité du disque à trous (60) est orientée vers une direction en amont relativement à un chemin de déplacement le long duquel le matériau est convoyé à travers l'ensemble hachoir (12) et une seconde surface d'extrémité (92) du disque à trous (60) est orienté vers une direction en aval relativement au chemin de déplacement du matériau, dans lequel au moins un des trous (94) du disque à trous (60) se rétrécit vers l'intérieur depuis chacune de la première et de la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) ; et dans lequel une première section extérieure est définie dans la première surface d'extrémité (90) du disque à trous (60) adjacente à au moins un des multiples trous (94) et une seconde section extérieure définie dans la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) du disque à trous (60) adjacente à au moins un des multiples orifices (94), dans lequel la première section extérieure définit une première paroi latérale qui coupe la première surface d'extrémité (90) du disque à trous (60) à angle droit et la seconde section extérieure définit une seconde paroi latérale qui coupe la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) du disque à trous (60) selon un angle droit ;

    le forçage du matériau à travers les multiples trous (94) du disque à trous (60) tandis que le disque à trous (60) est dans la première position ;

    le montage du disque à trous (60) dans l'ensemble hachoir (12) dans une seconde position, dans laquelle la seconde surface d'extrémité (92) du disque à trous (60) est orientée vers la direction en amont et la première surface d'extrémité (90) du disque à trous (60) est orientée vers la direction en aval ; et

    le forçage du matériau à travers les multiples trous (94) du disque à trous (60) tandis que le disque à trous (60) est dans la seconde position.


     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description