|Publication number||USRE39468 E1|
|Application number||US 10/214,833|
|Publication date||16 Jan 2007|
|Filing date||8 Aug 2002|
|Priority date||1 Dec 1997|
|Also published as||US6098724|
|Publication number||10214833, 214833, US RE39468 E1, US RE39468E1, US-E1-RE39468, USRE39468 E1, USRE39468E1|
|Inventors||Michael J. Ricker|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (38), Non-Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (3), Classifications (10), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of Reissue application Ser. No. 10/050,800 having a filing date of Jan. 9, 2002, now abandoned, which is a reissue of Ser. No. 08/980,904 having a filing date of Dec. 1, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,098,724.
The invention relates generally to soil sampling, to tools for extracting a soil sample from the ground, and to methods of procuring and handling a soil sample until subsequent analysis.
The invention also relates to methods and apparatus for procuring and handling soil samples containing volatile components, such as gasoline or other ground contaminants.
Attention is directed to the following U.S. Patents:
Attention is also directed to the following publications:
The invention provides a method for taking a soil sample, which method comprises the steps of providing a hollow member having an open end, forcing the open end of the hollow member into the ground to locate a soil sample in the hollow member, ejecting the soil sample from the hollow member and into a sealable vial, sealing the vial, thereafter injecting methanol or other suitable organic material capturing agent into the vial without opening the vial, and thereafter analyzing the contents of the vial.
The invention also provides a method of taking a soil sample, which method comprises the steps of providing a hollow member having an open end, a plunger housed in the hollow member, and a sealable vial having a self-sealing penetrable part, forcing the open end of the hollow member into the ground to locate a soil sample in the hollow member, promptly ejecting the soil sample from the hollow member by the plunger and into the sealable vial, promptly sealing the vial, thereafter injecting through the penetrable part a first quantity of methanol into the vial, shake for fifteen seconds and thereafter adding to the vial a second quantity of methanol, if necessary, such that the total volume of methanol in milliliters in the vial is equal to the weight in grams of the soil sample in the vial, and analyzing the contents of the vial.
The invention also provides a tool for withdrawing a soil sample, the tool including a frame member having spaced upright legs and a foot portion fixed to the lower ends of the legs. The foot portion includes a slot adopted to removably house a horizontal flange projecting from the upper end of an elongated hollow cylindrical member. The elongated cylindrical member is open at its lower end and is adapted to be forced into the ground. In one form of the invention, the elongated cylindrical member can be a syringe having the end removed. The tool also includes a plunger member housed in the elongated hollow cylindrical member and having an upper projecting end located between the legs of the frame member. The plunger is supported for slideable movement within the hollow member and includes an upper end engageable with the abutment portion of the frame member to restrict the extent of upward movement of the plunger member during insertion of the tubular member into the ground. The apparatus of the invention also includes a vial for receiving a soil sample from the elongated cylindrical member, the vial including a removable cap having a septum. The septum is intended to permit injection of methanol or other organic capturing agent into the vial without opening the vial.
Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, claims and drawings.
Before one embodiment of the invention is explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and the arrangements of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.
More particularly, the frame member 15 can be fabricated of any suitable strong and rigid material, such as plastic or metal, and includes horizontally spaced upright legs 23 and 25 having upper and lower ends 27 and 29, and a bridge 31 connecting the upper ends 27 of the legs 23 and 25.
In addition, the frame member 15 includes a foot portion 35 fixed to the lower ends 29 of the legs 23 and 25 and including, as best shown in
The slot 39 also includes a groove 71 which is located in the vertically extending wall 41 and which extends horizontally. More particularly, while other constructions can be employed, in the disclosed construction, the groove 71 includes a pair of horizontally spaced straight and parallel portions 73 and 75 which are respectively located in the straight portions 51 and 53 of the vertically extending wall 41 and which respectively include inner ends. Still more particularly, the straight portions 73 and 75 of the groove 71 respectively include inner vertically extending straight wall surfaces 83 and 85 spaced horizontally from the straight portions 51′ and 53 of the vertically extending wall 41 at a first distance.
In addition, the groove 71 includes a circular portion 89 located in the semi-circular portion 61 of the vertically extending inner wall 41 and extending from the inner ends of the straight portions 73 and 75 of the groove 71. More particularly, the circular portion 89 of the groove 71 has an inner vertically extending cylindrical wall surface 91 extending at a common radius from the axis 63 of the semi-cylindrical portion 61 of the slot 39 and spaced horizontally form the semi-cylindrical portion 61 of the vertically extending wall 41 at a second distance greater than the first distance, i.e., greater than the spacing of the straight wall surfaces 83 and 85 from the straight wall portions 51 and 53 of the wall 41.
Still further in addition, the frame member 15 includes (see
Threadedly and adjustably received in the threaded bore 97 is an abutment member 99 which can take any suitable form and which, in the disclosed construction, is in the form of a bolt 101 including a head 103 located below the horizontal cross member 96, and a threaded stem 105 which extends upwardly from the head 103 and is threadedly engaged in the threaded bore 97 in the horizontal cross member 96. The head 103 of the bolt 101 includes a lower surface 107 constituting an abutment surface which will be referred to hereinafter. Accordingly, the location of the abutment surface 107 can be varied relative to the frame member 15. The abutment portion 95 can also include a set screw 109 to prevent inadvertent displacement of the bolt 101 in the cross member 96.
The elongated hollow member 19 can be fabricated of any suitable material and, in the disclosed construction, is fabricated of clear plastic material and is preferably sturdy and thin walled. While other constructions can be employed, in the disclosed construction, the elongated hollow member 19 is cylindrically shaped and includes an axis which, when the hollow member 19 is assembled with the frame member 15, is coincident with the axis 63. Still more particularly, the elongated hollow member 19 includes (see
More particularly, while other constructions can be employed, in the disclosed construction, the flange 119 includes a pair of horizontally spaced straight and parallel edges 121 and 123 which are horizontally spaced at a distance slightly less than the horizontal spacing between the straight wall surfaces 83 and 85 of the groove 71. In addition, the flange 119 includes a pair of opposed circular edges 125 and 127 which extend from and between the straight edges 121 and 123 in concentric relation to the axis of the hollow cylindrical member 19 and which are spaced horizontally from the axis of the cylindrical member 19 at a distance slightly less than the horizontal spacing of cylindrical wall surface 91 of the groove 71 from the axis 63 of the semi-cylindrical part 47 of the slot 39 in the foot 35 of the frame member 15.
If desired, a legend 129 indicating the volume of the soil sample 13 can be provided axially on the elongated hollow member 19.
The plunger member 21 can be fabricated of any suitable material and, in the disclosed construction, is fabricated of clear plastic material and includes upper and lower ends 131 and 133, and, at the lower end 133 thereof, a piston 135 which resiliently and sealingly engages the inner wall 111 of the elongated hollow member 19. In addition, the plunger member 21 includes, at the upper end 131 thereof, a horizontally extending portion or cap 141 which is engageable with the abutment surface 107 on the bolt 101 which is adjustably carried by the frame member 15, thereby to prevent unwanted upward movement of the plunger member 21 during insertion of the elongated hollow member 19 into the ground or soil.
Still more particularly, while other constructions can be employed, in the disclosed construction, the plunger member 21 includes a stem 151 which extends downwardly from the upper end 131 thereof, and which has a cross shaped horizontal cross-section and vertically extending edges 153 engaging the inner wall 111 of the elongated hollow member 19 so as to guide movement of the plunger member 21 relative to the elongated hollow member 19.
In a further preferred form of the invention, the elongated hollow member can comprise a suitable plastic medical syringe with the lower end cut off. The elongated hollow member can thus comprise a very inexpensive disposable component.
In use, the assembly of the elongated hollow member 19, with the plunger member 21 partially inserted therein, is located in the tool 11 by sliding the flange 119 of the elongated hollow member 19 into the groove 71 formed in the slot 39 in the foot portion 35 of the frame member 15 and so that the cap or horizontally extending portion 141 of the plunger member 21 is located below the abutment surface 107 of the frame member 15. As thus assembled, the plunger member 21 is generally located between the legs 23 and 25 of the frame member 15 and the hollow elongated member 19 extends outwardly of and downwardly from the foot portion 35 of the frame member 15. When thus assembled, the elongated hollow member 19 is fixed against axial movement relative to the frame member 15 by reason of the engagement of the flange 119 in the groove 71, and the cap 141 of the plunger member 21 is located for movement upwardly until engagement with the abutment surface 107 of the frame member 15, thereby limiting upward movement of the plunger member 21 relative to the elongated hollow member 19.
The elongated hollow member 19 supported by the tool 11 can be forcibly inserted into the soil or ground, with the soil or ground entering into the hollow interior of the tubular member 19 and engaging the piston 135 and the plunger member 21 to displace them upwardly into engagement with the abutment surface 107, thereby limiting further entry of soil into the hollow member 19 to define the soil sample 13 of fixed predetermined volume.
Thereafter, the assembly of the elongated hollow member 19 and the plunger member 21 is immediately removed from the frame member 15 and the plunger member 21 is immediately manipulated to inwardly displace the plunger member 21 relative to the elongated hollow member 19, thereby displacing the soil sample 13 from the elongated hollow member 19. The soil sample 13 is immediately discharged from the hollow member 19 into a vial or container 175, which is shown in FIG. 5. The container 175 has a larger interior volume than the volume of the soil sample 13, and is sealable so as to prevent loss of any volatile component of the soil sample 13 and to also prevent interaction between the soil sample 13 in interior of the container or vial 175 and the exterior atmosphere. In addition, the vial or container 175 includes a self-sealing penetrable portion or part which will be referred to hereinafter.
While other constructions can be employed, in the disclosed construction, the container or vial 175 is fabricated of plastic and includes a container portion 177 including an open, exteriorly threaded mouth 179. In addition, the vial or container 175 includes an interiorly threaded cap portion 181 which can be tightly threaded on the mouth 179 of the container portion 177 to seal the contents of the container or vial 175. Preferably, the cap portion 181 is provided, in the top surface thereof, with a self-sealing diaphragm or septum 185 which can be penetrated by an injection needle.
After the soil sample is deposited in the container portion 177, the cap portion 181 is immediately threaded on the container portion 177 to seal the container or vial 175.
Thereafter, the sealed container or vial 175 is transported to a laboratory for analysis of the soil sample 13. The diaphragm 185 is pierced by a hypodermic needle, twenty-two gauge or less, (not shown) and a quantity of methanol or other capturing agent is injected into the vial or container 175, which quantity preferably is sufficient to capture any volatile component in the soil sample 13. The vial can then be opened to add to the container or vial 175 a further volume of methanol so that the total volume is milliliters of methanol is approximately equal to the weight in grams of the soil sample 13. The vial can then be stored until analysis of the soil sample.
Thus, the above described tool 11 is employable in a method of taking a soil sample, which method comprises the steps of providing a hollow member having an open end, forcing the open end of the hollow member into the ground to locate a soil sample in the hollow member, displacing or ejecting the soil sample from the hollow member and directly into a sealable container or vial, promptly sealing the container or vial, thereafter injecting methanol or capturing agent into the vial without otherwise compromising or disturbing the sealed condition of the vial or container and thereafter analyzing the contents of the vial.
In a preferred embodiment, the method further includes injecting a sufficient quantity of methanol into the vial that the volume of methanol in milliliters in the vial is approximately equal to the weight in grams of the soil sample in the vial.
Various of the features are set forth in the following claims.
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|U.S. Classification||175/20, 73/864.44, 175/58|
|International Classification||E02D1/04, G01N1/04, G01N1/08|
|Cooperative Classification||E02D1/04, G01N1/08|
|European Classification||G01N1/08, E02D1/04|
|20 Aug 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CHEMISPHERE, WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:EN CHEM, INC.;REEL/FRAME:015008/0154
Effective date: 20040810
|31 Jan 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12