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United States Patent Application 20170268836
Kind Code A1
Hsu; Chia-Hsi September 21, 2017

HOLLOW BOARD COOLING APPARATUS

Abstract

A hollow board cooling apparatus is for cooling a formed hollow board and includes first and second cooling devices, a coolant-circulating device, and a temperature-controlling unit. Each of the first and second cooling devices has a main body, a cooling channel extending through the main body to form inlet and outlet openings for passage of the hollow board, and a coolant channel formed in the main body. The coolant-circulating device introduces a coolant into the coolant channels via coolant inlets, and retrieves the coolant therefrom via coolant outlets. The temperature-controlling unit controls the coolant-circulating device to cool the coolant when the board temperature is higher than a reference temperature.


Inventors: Hsu; Chia-Hsi; (Taichung City, TW)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

GMA MACHINERY ENTERPRISE CO., LTD

Taichung City

TW
Family ID: 1000002104939
Appl. No.: 15/076293
Filed: March 21, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F28D 15/00 20130101; F28F 27/00 20130101
International Class: F28F 27/00 20060101 F28F027/00; F28D 15/00 20060101 F28D015/00

Claims



1. A hollow board cooling apparatus adapted for cooling a formed hollow board which is transported in a transport direction, comprising: a first cooling device; a second cooling device disposed downstream of said first cooling device in the transport direction and spaced-apart from said first cooling device, each of said first and second cooling devices having a main body that is substantially board-shaped, a cooling channel that extends through said main body to form an inlet opening and an outlet opening for passage of the formed hollow board therethrough, a coolant inlet that is formed in an outer surface of said main body, a coolant outlet that is formed in said outer surface of said main body, a coolant channel that is formed in said main body and that is in fluid communication with said coolant inlet and said coolant outlet; a coolant-circulating device introducing a coolant into said coolant channels of said first and second cooling devices via said coolant inlets for cooling the formed hollow board, and retrieving the coolant from said coolant channels via said coolant outlets for recycling the coolant; and a temperature-controlling unit configured to generate an upper-limit reference temperature, to detect a board temperature of a section of the formed hollow board located between said first and second cooling devices, and to control said coolant-circulating device to cool the coolant when the detected board temperature is higher than the upper-limit reference temperature.

2. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said temperature-controlling unit includes a temperature detector for detecting the board temperature of the formed hollow board, and a comparator that is electrically coupled to said temperature detector for receiving the detected board temperature therefrom and that is operable to compare the board temperature with the upper-limit reference temperature.

3. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said temperature detector is disposed adjacent to said inlet opening of said second cooling device.

4. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said coolant-circulating device is operable to heat the coolant, and said temperature-controlling unit is operable to further compare the board temperature with a lower-limit reference temperature and is operable to drive said coolant-circulating device to heat the coolant when the board temperature is lower than the lower-limit reference temperature.

5. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said temperature-controlling unit is configured to detect a thickness of the hollow board and is operable to adjust the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures based on the detected thickness.

6. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said temperature-controlling unit is configured to detect a transporting speed of the hollow board along the transport direction and is operable to adjust the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures based on the detected transporting speed.

7. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said temperature-controlling unit is configured to detect an ambient temperature and is operable to adjust the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures based on the detected ambient temperature.

8. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said temperature-controlling unit further includes a reference temperature-generating module for generating said upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures.

9. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 8, wherein, for each of said first and second cooling devices, said coolant inlet and said coolant outlet are respectively formed in two opposite surface portions of a top surface of said main body.

10. The hollow board cooling apparatus according to claim 9, wherein, for each of said first and second cooling devices, said coolant inlet is disposed away from said coolant-circulating device, and said coolant outlet is disposed adjacent to said coolant-circulating device.
Description



FIELD

[0001] The disclosure relates to a cooling apparatus, more particularly to a hollow board cooling apparatus.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Conventionally, a hollow board formed by an extruder will be transported by a transporting mechanism to a cooling device for cooling until a board temperature of the hollow board is lower than a target temperature. However, a cooling temperature of the cooling device is usually set to be relatively low and at a constant value so as to assure that different hollow boards manufactured under various manufacturing parameters, such as board thickness, transporting speed, ambient temperature, etc., can be cooled enough to reach the target temperature. Such setting of the temperature of the cooling device inevitably results in energy loss and thus increases the manufacturing costs.

SUMMARY

[0003] Therefore, an object of the disclosure is to provide a hollow board cooling apparatus that can alleviate at least one of the drawbacks of the prior art.

[0004] According to the disclosure, a hollow board cooling apparatus adapted for cooling a formed hollow boa rd which is transported in a transport direction may be provided. Such a hollow board cooling apparatus may include a first cooling device, a second cooling device, a coolant-circulating device, and a temperature-controlling unit. The second cooling device is disposed downstream of the first cooling device in the transport direction and is spaced apart from the first cooling device. Each of the first and second cooling devices has a main body that is substantially board-shaped, a cooling channel that extends through the main body to form an inlet opening and an outlet opening for passage of the formed hollow board therethrough, a coolant inlet that is formed in an outer surface of the main body, a coolant outlet that is formed in the outer surface of the main body, and a coolant channel that is formed in the main body and that is in fluid communication with the coolant inlet and the coolant outlet. The coolant-circulating device introduces a coolant into the coolant channels of the first and second cooling devices via the coolant inlets for cooling the formed hollow board, and retrieves the coolant from the coolant channels via the coolant outlets for recycling the coolant. The temperature-controlling unit is configured to generate an upper-limit reference temperature, to detect a board temperature of a section of the formed hollow board located between the first and second cooling devices, and to control the coolant-circulating device to cool the coolant when the detected board temperature is higher than the upper-limit reference temperature.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] Other features and advantages of the disclosure will become apparent in the following detailed description of the embodiment (s) with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

[0006] FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an exemplary embodiment of a hollow board cooling apparatus according to the disclosure;

[0007] FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line II-II of FIG. 1, illustrating the exemplary embodiment; and

[0008] FIG. 3 is schematic block diagram of the exemplary embodiment illustrating a temperature-controlling unit and a coolant-circulating device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3, one exemplary embodiment of a hollow board cooling apparatus, which is adapted for cooling a formed hollow board 10 transported in a transport direction, is shown to include a first cooling device 1, a second cooling device 2 disposed downstream of the first cooling device 1, a coolant-circulating device 3, and a temperature-controlling unit 4.

[0010] As illustrated in FIG. 1, each of the first and second cooling devices 1, 2 has a main body 11, 21 that is substantially board-shaped, a cooling channel 14, 24 that extends through the main body 11, 21 to form an inlet opening 12, 22 and an outlet opening 13, 23 for passage of the formed hollow board 10 along the transport direction, a pair of coolant inlets 15, 25 that are formed in an outer surface of the main body 11, 21, a pair of coolant outlets 16, 26 that are formed in the outer surface of the main body 11, 21, and a plurality of coolant channels 17, 27 that are correspondingly formed in the main body 11, 21 and that are in fluid communication with the coolant inlets 15, 25 and the coolant outlets 16, 26, correspondingly. It should be noted that the number of the coolant inlets 15, 25, of the coolant outlets 16, 26, and of the coolant channels 17, 27 are not limited herein, that is, to have one single coolant inlet 15, 25, one single coolant outlet 16, 26, and/or one single coolant channel 17, 27 for each of the first and second cooling devices 1, 2 may also suffice according to the present disclosure. In this embodiment, for each of the first and second cooling devices 1, 2, the coolant inlets 15, 25 and the coolant outlets 16, 26 are respectively formed in two opposite surface portions of the top surface of the main body 11, 21. Moreover, for each of the first and second cooling devices 1, 2, the coolant inlets 15, 25 are disposed away from the coolant-circulating device 3, and the coolant outlets 16, 26 are disposed adjacent to the coolant-circulating device 3 in this embodiment as shown in FIG. 1.

[0011] The coolant-circulating device 3 may introduce a coolant 31 into the coolant channels 17, 27 of the first and second cooling devices 1, 2 via the coolant inlets 15, 25 for cooling the formed hollow board 10, and may retrieve the coolant 31 from the coolant channels 17, 27 via the coolant outlets 16, 26 for recycling the coolant 31 along the directions indicated by arrows illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0012] With reference to FIG. 3, the temperature-controlling unit 4 of this embodiment is configured to generate an upper-limit reference temperature (T.sub.H), to detect a board temperature of a section of the formed hollow board 10 located between the first and second cooling devices 1, 2, and to control the coolant-circulating device 3 to cool the coolant 31 when the detected board temperature is higher than an upper-limit reference temperature (T.sub.H). The temperature-controlling unit 4 may include one or more temperature detectors 41 (three detectors are shown in FIG. 1) that are disposed adjacent to the inlet opening 22 of the second cooling device 2 for detecting the board temperature of the formed hollow board 10, and a comparator 43 that is electrically coupled to the temperature detectors 41 for receiving the detected board temperature therefrom and that is operable to compare the board temperature with the upper-limit reference temperature (T.sub.H). In this embodiment, the coolant-circulating device 3 may be operable to heat the coolant, and the temperature-controlling unit 4 is operable to further compare the detected board temperature with a lower-limit reference temperature (T.sub.L) and is operable to drive the coolant-circulating device 3 to heat the coolant 31 when the board temperature is lower than the lower-limit reference temperature (T.sub.L). It should be noted that, the temperature-controlling unit 4 of this embodiment may further include a reference temperature-generating module 42 for generating the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures (T.sub.H), (T.sub.L). Such a reference temperature-generating module 42 may be configured to detect manufacturing parameters of the formed hollow board 10, such as a thickness of the hollow board 10, a transporting speed of the hollow board 10 and an ambient temperature, and to adjust the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures (T.sub.H), (T.sub.L) based on the corresponding detected values. It is worth noting that such manufacturing parameters may be diverse, e.g., the thickness of the hollow board 10 usually ranges from 2 mm to 10 mm, and the transporting speed usually ranges from 5 m/min to 15 m/min. In other words, based on various manufacturing parameters of the hollow board 10, the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures (T.sub.H), (T.sub.L) may be adjusted accordingly so as to be efficient in terms of energy consumption.

[0013] It is also worth noting that, when multiple temperature detectors 41 are incorporated into the temperature-controlling unit 4, the board temperature detected by each temperature detector 41 may vary. Under such condition, the comparator 43 may perform an operation on the detected board temperatures to obtain an equivalent board temperature (T.sub.PP) and compare the equivalent board temperature (T.sub.PP) with either one or both of the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures (T.sub.H), (T.sub.L).

[0014] The hollow board cooling apparatus of the present disclosure has advantages as follows:

[0015] (1) The temperature-controlling unit 4 may control the coolant-circulating device 3 to cool the coolant 31 when the board temperature is higher than the upper-limit reference temperature or to heat the coolant when the board temperature is lower than the lower-limit reference temperature, thereby allowing the hollow board cooling apparatus to be relatively efficient in terms of energy consumption.

[0016] (2) The temperature-controlling unit 4 may be configured to detect the board thickness, the transporting speed, and/or the ambient temperature and to adjust the upper-limit and lower-limit reference temperatures (T.sub.H), (T.sub.L) based thereon, allowing the hollow board cooling apparatus of the present disclosure to be efficient in terms of energy consumption during various manufacturing processes.

[0017] In the description above, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details have been set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiment(s). It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that one or more other embodiments may be practiced without some of these specific details. It should also be appreciated that reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," an embodiment with an indication of an ordinal number and so forth means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic may be included in the practice of the disclosure. It should be further appreciated that in the description, various features are sometimes grouped together in a single embodiment, figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure and aiding in the understanding of various inventive aspects.

[0018] While the disclosure has been described in connection with what is (are) considered the exemplary embodiment(s), it is understood that this disclosure is not limited to the disclosed embodiment(s) but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.

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