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Article separation apparatus and method for unit operations

United States Patent

June 22, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Commercialization Program Website
An apparatus and method are disclosed for separating articles from a group of articles. The apparatus includes a container for containing one or more articles coupled to a suitable fluidizer for suspending articles within the container and transporting articles to an induction tube. A portal in the induction tube introduces articles singly into the induction tube. A vacuum pulls articles through the induction tube separating the articles from the group of articles in the container. The apparatus and method can be combined with one or more unit operations or modules, e.g., for inspecting articles, assessing quality of articles, or ascertaining material properties and/or parameters of articles, including layers thereof.
Pardini; Allan F. (Kennewick, WA), Gervais; Kevin L. (Richland, WA), Mathews; Royce A. (Kennewick, WA), Hockey; Ronald L. (Richland, WA)
Battelle Memorial Institute (Richland, WA)
11/ 355,608
February 15, 2006
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC05-76RLO1830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.