The drained sugar may either be lifted over the top of the basket (in machines which stop to be emptied), or be cast through openings in the bottom provided with valves. A section of the best form of valve may be seen in Figs. 15 and 17. Fig. 23 is a plan of the openings. The valve turns on the basket bearing. It may be constructed to open in the same direction in which the basket turns; so that when the brake is put on, the inertia of the valve operates to open it and while running to keep it closed. There are many other styles, but no other need be mentioned.
The different styles of casing may be seen by reference to the various drawings. In one machine (not described) the casing is rigidly fixed to the basket, space enough being left between the bottom of the basket and the bottom of the casing to hold all the molasses from a charge. This arrangement merely adds to the bulk of the revolving parts, and no real advantage is gained.
The various styles of bearings can be seen by reference to the figures. One which deserves special attention is shown in Fig. 16 and Fig. 19. In one case it consists of loose disks, in the other of loose washers, rotating on one another. They are alternately of steel and hard bronze (copper and tin).
"There is probably no machine so little understood or so imperfectly constructed by the common manufacturer of sugar supplies as the high speed separator or centrifugal." Unless the product of experience and good workmanship, it is a dangerous thing at high velocities. Besides, its usual fate is to have an incompetent workman assigned to it, who does not use judgment in charging and running. So that designers and manufacturers have been forced not only to take into account the disturbing forces inherent in revolving bodies, but also to make allowance for poor management in running and neglect in cleaning.
The first step in the process of sugar making is the extraction of the juice from the beet or cane. This juice is obtained by pressure. The operation is not usually, but may be, performed in a special kind of centrifugal. One style (Pat. 239,222) consists of a conical basket with a spiral flange within on the shaft, and turning on the shaft, and having a slight rotary motion relative to the basket. The material is fed in and moves downward under increased pressure, the sirup released flying out through the perforations of the basket, the whole revolving at high velocity. The solid portion falls out at the bottom. Another plan suggested (Pat. 343,932) is to let a loose cover of an ordinary cylindrical basket screw itself down into the basket, by reason of its slower velocity (owing to inertia), causing pressure on the charge.
Various other applications of the different styles of sugar machines are the defibration of raw sugar juice, freeing beet crystals of objectionable salts, freeing various crystals of the mother liquor, drying saltpeter.
Another important division of this first class of centrifugals is that of driers or, as they are variously styled, whizzers, wringers, hydro-extractors. The charge in these is never large in weight compared to a sugar charge, and its initial distribution can be made more symmetrical. The uses of driers are various, such as extracting water from clothes, cloth, silk, yarns, etc. Water may be introduced at the center of the basket from above or below to wash the material before draining. A typical form of drier is shown in Fig. 24. (Pat. Aug. 22, 1876 - W.P. Uhlinger.) Baskets have been made removable for use in dyeing establishments, basket and load together going into dyeing vat. Yarn and similar material can be drained by a method analogous to that of hanging it upon sticks in a room and allowing the water to drip off. It is suspended from short sticks, which are held in horizontal layers around the shaft in the basket, and the action is such during the operation as to cause the yarn to stand out in radial lines.
Driers are not materially different from sugar machines. Any of the devices before enumerated for meeting vibrations in the latter may be applied to the former. There is one curious invention which has been applied to driers only (Pat. 322,762 - W.H. Tolhurst). See Fig. 25. A convex shaft-supporting step resting on a concave supporting base, with the center of its arc of concavity at the center of the upper universal joint, has been employed, and its movements controlled by springs, but the step was apt to be forced from its support. The drawing shows the improvement on this, which is to give the shaft-supporting step a less radius of curvature.
An interesting form of drier has its own motor, a little steam engine, attached to the frame of the machine. See Fig 24. This of course demands fixed bearings. The engine is very small. One size used is 3" × 4". When a higher velocity of basket is required, we have the arrangement in Fig. 26.
This naturally introduces the subject of motive power. We may have the engine direct acting as above, or the power may be brought on by belting. Fig. 27 shows a drier with pulley for belting. Fig. 28 (W.H. Tolhurst) shows a very common arrangement of belting and also the fast and loose pulleys. When the heaviest part of the engine is so far from the vertical shaft as to overhang the casing on one side, there is apt to be an objectionable tremor. To remedy this, it is suggested to put these heavy parts as near the shaft as possible. It has been suggested also to use the Westinghouse type of engine, although the type shown in Fig. 24 works faultlessly in practice.