The main class definition is divided into the following sections:
General statement of class subject matter.
Chemical compounds, compositions, foods and beverages.
Suspensions and colloids
Coating or shaping of material
Fibrous and laminated material
Heating, cooling, or drying material
Operators for comminutors
Separation of material
Material handling, excavating, distributing, harvesting
Grain, flour and starch
Comminutor, or comminutor element, supports and mounting means
GENERAL STATEMENT OF CLASS SUBJECT MATTER
A. This is the generic class for (1) the comminution and disintegration of solid material, and (2) the comminution and disintegration of solids combined with other treatment of the material where such combinations are not provided for in other classes and are not specifically excluded by the following notes and definitions.
B. As used in this classification, the terms "comminution" or "disintegration" necessarily include the following elements: (1) There must be a division of a solid mass into a number of smaller solid masses. (2) The treatment must include no operation which is directed toward imparting a desired shape to the initial solid mass or the resulting smaller solid masses.
The term "comminution" has been considered to be generic to all the terms ordinarily applied to the subject matter of this class (e.g., grinding, milling, disintegration, trituration, pulverization, etc.). Therefore, for the sake of brevity, the term "comminution" alone has been used in the notes and definitions below to denote the treatment which forms the basis of this class.
C. This class is limited to the treatment of solid material i.e., material in a self-sustaining, more or less rigid state, capable of resisting deformation to a certain extent. However, materials which normally may be considered "plastic", but which, in the course of the comminution, perform substantially as do normal solids, in that smaller nonshaped particles are formed from a larger mass, have been looked upon as being solids for purposes of this classification. (See COATING OR SHAPING OF MATERIAL below). Treatment of solids in fluid suspension is included. (See SUSPENSION AND COLLOIDS below).
D. This class provides for both processes and apparatus for carrying out the comminuting treatment but not products thereof. Since product claims were considered controlling, patents having such claims were classified in classes appropriate thereto, whether or not a claim to a comminuting process or apparatus was included.
E. Where a patent includes claims to a comminutor or a comminutor part and a method of making the comminutor or part, the claim to the article is deemed to be controlling and classification of the patent in Class 241 is proper, unless the article is provided for elsewhere.
CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS, COMPOSITIONS, FOODS AND BEVERAGES
In general, the compound, compositions, and food classes are superior to this class as to the production, reclamation or recovery of the materials provided for in those classes, and see GRAIN, FLOUR AND STARCH, below, for a special statement on grain, flour and starch.
A. The compound, composition, food and beverages classes will take:
(1) All patents, any claim of which is directed to a product provided for in those classes.
(2) Processes in which any step effects a chemical change in, dissolves, or forms a stable colloidal dispersion of all, or part, of the material (except where an added comminuting aid is removed from the material by chemical reaction or dissolution).
(3) Processes involving the formation of a composition by combining distinct ingredients which are sufficiently identified as to form a basis of classification, whether the process involves a chemical reaction or is merely physical (as by compounding by comminution, per se). However, where the larger mass, before comminution, is made up of a plurality of dissimilar materials, and following comminution and separation, the constituent parts of the same mass are recombined, or partly so, such processes were not considered to involve the formation of a composition and have been classified in class 241.
(B) This class (241) will take:
(1) Processes and apparatus having the sole function of comminuting solid material.
(2) Processes and apparatus in which a comminuting step or means is combined with a physical step or means which has the sole function of facilitating the comminution.
(3) Processes and apparatus in which a comminuting step or means is combined with such additional steps or means as have been provided for in this class, such as: (a) separation or classification of the material into grades or sizes, including the recombination of separated ingredients of a single starting material; (b) separation of fluids from the material involving no chemical change in the material, as by filtering or drying operations; (c) heating the material; (d) cooling the material; (e) separation of comminuting aids from the material, which operation may include dissolution or a chemical reaction; (f) apparatus combinations of a comminutor with means for applying a fluid to the material for any disclosed purpose, including performing or initiating a chemical reaction. See subclass 38.
SUSPENSION AND COLLOIDS
This class (241) provides for the generic subject matter of comminuting solid material in a fluid to form or improve a suspension. See subclasses 21 and 38+. For exceptions to this and for related subject matter, see the Refernces to Other Classes referring to this section (Suspension and Colloids).
COATING OR SHAPING OF MATERIAL.
(A) This class (241) does not include the shaping or coating of material, per se, (see the general statement of class subject matter in the class definition), but does provide for coating or shaping steps or means in combination with comminuting processes or apparatus in the following instances:
(1) Where the shaping is followed by a comminution which destroys the shape, as distinguished from causing a large shaped mass to be made into a plurality of smaller masses which retain one of the original dimensions of the large mass (e.g., flaking, where a formed sheet is broken up into flakes which retain the original sheet thickness dimension).
(2) Where a comminuting operation on a heterogeneous mass or mixture of material results in the simultaneous formation of shaped masses of a portion only of the material and the comminution of the remainder (e.g., the metallic constituents of an ore are formed into balls simultaneously with the comminution of gangue).
(3) Where the shaping is for the sole purpose of facilitating the subsequent separation of the material into grades. See Class 209, Classifying, Separating, and Assorting Solids, subclass 7, for this type of treatment, per se.
(4) Where the coating treatment is for the sole purpose of facilitating the comminution.
(B) The material shaping classes provide for shaping or forming, per se, and shaping processes and apparatus combined with preliminary comminuting steps or means.
FIBROUS AND LAMINATED MATERIAL.
Class 241 provides for processes and apparatus for comminuting fibrous and laminated material, and other treatments combined with comminution when such combinations are not of the type specifically provided for in other classes. See the References to Other Classes section for specific references to this section.
HEATING, COOLING, OR DRYING MATERIAL.
Class 241 provides for process and apparatus combinations in which comminution is combined with heating and/or cooling steps or means. See subclasses 8, 15+, 23, 38+, 65+. It does not include such combinations when the temperature modification of the material effects a change in the chemical nature of the material (e.g., removing water of hydration, etc), except those apparatus combinations in which the temperature change is effected by means which applies a fluid to the material, which may have the disclosed function of carrying out a chemical reaction. See the pertinent chemical classes for such combinations as are excluded above.
In general, Class 241 is superior to the following classes, or such parts, thereof that relate to the heating, cooling, or drying of solid material and takes combinations of the subject matter there provided for with comminution, unless a specific exception is noted: Class 34, Class 62, Class 110, Class 126, Class 148, Class 219, Class 266, Class 373, Class 432. See References to Other Classes, below, for an explanation of the lines between these classes and Class 241.
OPERATORS FOR COMMINUTORS.
Class 241 provides for the combination of a comminutor with means to move the comminuting members thereof. Organizations, per se, for effecting the movement of comminuting members are classified in the pertinent machine element, motor, or power plant class if no significant combination with the comminutor or comminutor element is claimed. Claims which include in addition to the specific operator (1) the manner of supporting the comminuting element relative to other parts of the comminutor, (2) mention of a plurality of cooperating elements, or (3) structural characteristics of the element itself, are considered to be claims to a significant comminutor combination for classification in Class 241. Mere naming of the comminuting element or its type is not deemed as significant inclusion thereof in the combination. Operators, per se, for comminuting elements are found in the classes listed below unless specifically excluded and the line stated above applies to each. See the References to Other Classes, below, for class references to this section.
SEPARATION OF MATERIAL
Class 241 is superior to the material separation classes and, therefore, provides for a process or apparatus in which comminution is combined with a step or means to separate the material into classes according to the physical characteristics of its components, before, during, or after the comminuting operation. See subclasses 9+, 24.1+ and 68+, or if the separation involves applying a fluid to the material, subclasses 19, 20 and 38+. As noted in CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS, COMPOSITIONS, FOODS AND BEVERAGES of this class definition, comminuting processes which include the separation of a comminuting aid from the material by dissolution or a chemical reaction are included in Class 241. The separating classes to which the above stated general line applies are: Class 95, Class 96, Class 209, Class 210, and Class 494. See References to other Classes, below, for specific references to this section.
MATERIAL HANDLING, EXCAVATING, DISTRIBUTING, HARVESTING.
In general, Class 241 provides for processes and apparatus in which comminution is combined with steps and means to move and handle the material prior to or subsequent to the comminuting operation. Means to feed material to the comminuting zone for treatment and to discharge it therefrom are classified in the various feeding and discharging subclasses in the class. Material handling combinations other than those limited to mere feeding to and discharging from the comminutor are classified in the subclasses 25 and 101.01+, unless more specifically provided for.
Certain types of material handling have, on the other hand, been considered so specialized that classes including such subject matter have been considered superior to Class 241. For a list of such classes and a statement of the line with each, see (B) of this section below.
(A) The following are examples of those classes which deal with types of material handling to which Class 241 has been considered superior in accordance with the above stated general line and any patent having claims to a significant combination of the type of material handling treated in these classes with a comminutor is properly classifiable in class 241: Class 141, Class 193, Class 198, Class 212, Class 221, Class 222, Class 312, Class 406, Class 414. See References to Other Classes, below.
(B) The following classes deal with special types of material handling or moving which are considered superior to Class 241 and patents claiming significant combinations of such handling with comminuting steps or means are classified with the particular type of handling involved: Class 37, Class 56, Class 171, Class 172, Class 175, Class 239, Class 299, Class 404. See References to Other Classes, below.
GRAIN, FLOUR AND STARCH
The comminution of cereal or other seeds or seed parts and combinations of other treatments of the type provided for in the class, to form flour or other grain products, are provided for in Class 241, and see the above section on COMPOSITIONS, COMPOUNDS, FOODS AND BEVERAGES in general. For related subject matter, see the References to Other Classes, belows referring to this section.
COMMINUTOR OR COMMINUTOR ELEMENT SUPPORTS AND MOUNTING MEANS
Combinations of a comminutor and a support or mounting therefor are provided for in Class 241. Combinations including means to stationarily support the comminutor are in subclasses 46.014+ and 285.1. Other mounting means (e.g., vehicular) are treated as combinations for subclasses 101.01+. See this class (241), subclasses 291+ for comminutor element-shaft combinations. For comminutor mounting means, per se, see the References to Other Classes, belows referring to this section.