Patent Number: 6,294,791

Title: Article irradiation system having intermediate wall of radiation shielding material within loop of a conveyor system that transports the articles

Abstract: An article irradiation system includes (1) a radiation source for scanning a target region with radiation, (2) a conveyor system including a process conveyor positioned for transporting articles in a given direction through the target region, and (3) radiation shielding material defining the walls of a chamber containing the radiation source, the target region and a position of the conveyor system. The radiation source is disposed inside a loop defined by a portion of the conveyor system and is adapted to scan the articles in the chamber in a plane transverse to the given direction of the transport by the process conveyor. A shield (e.g., an intermediate wall) of radiation shielding material positioned within the loop supports a radiation shielding ceiling of the chamber, inhibits photons emitted from a beam stop in one of the chamber walls from impinging on the outer walls of the chamber and restricts flow in the chamber of ozone derived in the target region from the radiation source. A first queue is disposed outside of the chamber for transferring into the chamber articles from a loading area; a second queue is disposed in the chamber for moving the articles past the radiation source for irradiation by the source; and a third queue is disposed in the chamber for transferring articles from the chamber, after irradiation, for movement to an unloading area The operations of the first, second and third queues are synchronized. The shield inhibits radiation from the source from reaching the queues.

Inventors: Williams; Colin Brian (La Jolla, CA), Allen; John Thomas (San Diego, CA), Sullivan, Jr.; George Michael (San Diego, CA)

Assignee: The Titan Corporation

International Classification: G21K 5/10 (20060101); G21F 007/005 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018