Overflow downdrawn glass forming method and apparatus

Patent No. 6,895,782

Issued: May 24, 2005
Filed: February 4, 2004

Inventor: Pitbladdo; Richard B. (415 Augusta Blvd. #111, Naples, FL 34113)

The present invention alters the flow path at the inlet of the sheet glass forming apparatus to improve quality. The bottom of the downcomer pipe is preferably shaped to alter the character of the vortex flow in the quiescent flow zone between the pipes. In another embodiment, a bead guide provides hydraulic stresses that are in opposition to the surface tension stress and thus reduces the influence of surface tension on the formation of thick beads on the edges of the sheet. The present invention also measures the temperature of the glass by immersing thermocouples in the glass, at locations where any defects caused by the immersion are in the glass that forms the unusable edges of the sheet. In another embodiment, the support structure for the trough is altered to substantially reduce the aging of the trough due to thermal creep.

This application claims an invention that was disclosed in one of the following provisional applications:

1) Provisional Application No. 60/444,728, filed Feb. 4, 2003, entitled "SHEET GLASS FORMING APPARATUS";
2) Provisional Application No. 60/449,671, filed Feb. 24, 2003, entitled "SHEET GLASS FORMING APPARATUS";
3) Provisional Application No. 60/505,302, filed Sep. 23, 2003, entitled "TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT FOR SHEET GLASS FORMING APPARATUS"; and
4) Provisional Application No. 60/534,950, filed Jan. 8, 2004, entitled "SHEET GLASS FORMING APPARATUS".

The benefit under 35 USC 119(e) of the United States provisional applications is hereby claimed, and the aforementioned applications are hereby incorporated herein by reference.

In addition, this application is a continuation in part of copending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/214,904, filed on Aug. 8, 2002, entitled "SHEET GLASS FORMING APPARATUS". The aforementioned application is hereby incorporated by reference.

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