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1. WO2004097845 - AMELIORATIONS APPORTEES A UN APPAREIL D'EXPOSITION A UN RAYONNEMENT, DESTINE A ETRE UTILISE DANS UNE CHAINE DE PRODUCTION

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

Claims :

1. A shielding apparatus for an irradiator having an enclosed irradiation zone, wherein
(i) a channel comprising conveying means and adapted to convey a plurality of carts each having a storage region for products for irradiation extends from an entry port to an exit port, and passes through the irradiation zone;
(ii) the channel includes a shielded first tunnel section extending in a substantially straight path from the entry port to the irradiation zone and a shielded second tunnel section extending ' in a substantially straight path from the irradiation zone to the exit port;
(iii) the first and second tunnel sections have a substantially identical vertical cross-section which is uniform along their lengths;
(iv) each cart has outside each end of its storage region an irradiation shield means which is configured for a clearance fit with the uniform cross-section of each of the first and second tunnel sections;
(v) each of the first and second tunnel sections has at least one displacement zone, adapted to reduce radiation leakage from the irradiation zone towards at least one of the entry port and the exit port, wherein for each displacement zone (a) a substantially horizontal first displacement is less than a maximum' cross-sectional width of the tunnel section;
(b) a substantially vertical second displacement is less than a maximum cross-sectional height of the tunnel section; and

(c) each displacement is greater than the corresponding clearance fit of the carts.

2. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the vertical cross-section of the first and second tunnels is substantially rectilinear.

3. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 1, wherein at least the upper portion of the vertical cross-section of the first and second tunnels is substantially arcuate.

4. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 2, wherein the first and second tunnels have vertical side walls.

5. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3 or 4, wherein the first and second tunnels are substantially aligned in a horizontal plane.

6. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, wherein each of the first and second displacements is less than one-quarter of the corresponding width or height of the tunnel sections.

7. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the irradiation shield means at each end of each cart has a substantially planar outer surface adapted to make flush contact with substantially all of a corresponding planar outer surface of the irradiation shie.ld means at an adjacent end of an adjacent cart.

8. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the conveying means comprises at least one conveyor driven by a drive means located upstream of the entry port.

9. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 9 wherein the conveying means further comprises a braking means located downstream of the exit port.

10. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claims 1, 8 or 9 wherein the conveying means comprises a plurality of rails adapted to cooperate with wheel means on each cart.

11. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claims 1, 8, 9 or 10 wherein the conveying means comprises pusher bars adapted to engage and deliver a substantially horizontal propulsion force to a corresponding surface provided on each cart.

12. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the conveying means comprises a plurality of conveyor sections.

13. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 12 wherein a conveyor section provided within the irradiation zone is provided with a speed regulation means adapted to provide for an increase in travel speeds of the conveyor whenever the irradiation shield means of a cart is in a target zone of an irradiation means.

14. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 12 wherein the conveying means comprises a return section adapted to return carts from an unloading zone downstream of the exit port to a loading zone upstream of the entry port.

15. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 11 wherein the conveying means comprises at least one accelerator means provided downstream of the exit port.

16. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 14 wherein the return section further comprises at least one turntable means.

17. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claims 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 wherein the tunnel sections comprise shielding constructed of machinable material resistant to ozone corrosion.

18. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 17, wherein the machinable material is selected from stainless steel and ceramic.

19. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the irradiation shield means provided to each end of each cart is constructed of lead encased in machinable metal resistant to ozone corrosion.

20. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 19, wherein the machinable metal is stainless steel.

21. A shielding apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the vertical cross-section of the first and second tunnels is selected from substantially square, truncatedly circular, partially arcuate, rectangular and trapezoid.