This is the residual class for apparatus for, and corresponding methods of operating on fluid, viscous, plastic, or fluent particulate material solely for causing portions of the material to move irregularly with respect to each other so as to intermix. The material may be in motion or at rest immediately before agitation.
Apparatus for agitating articles which are treated in the same manner as fluent particulate material will also be included in this class, unless classified elsewhere.
This class (366) includes apparatus for forming colloid systems (such as suspensions, emulsions) by agitation, not elsewhere provided for. See LINES WITH OTHER CLASSES AND WITHIN THIS CLASS, below, for related information.
This class (366) also includes stirrers, per se, which are disclosed for use as agitators. However, see Lines With Other Classes, below, for impellers.
[Note: Patents issued prior to 1945 have not in all instances been classified by their claimed disclosure so that placement of these older patents does not necessarily indicate lines of classification.]
Lines with other classes and within this class
See appropriate composition classes for processes which form colloid systems (such as emulsifying or foaming), and see Class 516, Colloid Systems and Wetting Agents; Subcombinations Thereof; Processes of Making, Stabilizing, Breaking, or Inhibiting, for processes of making, stabilizing, breaking, or inhibiting colloid systems when such is generically claimed (no claimed art use for the composition) or when there is no hierarchically superior provision in the USPC for the specifically claimed art to the composition of the colloid system.
See Class 241, Solid Material Comminution or Disintegration, for the generically claimed subject matter of comminuting solid material in a fluid to form or improve a non-colloid suspension. Processes of forming non-colloid suspensions or dispersions of solids in fluids, and in which the ingredients of the non-colloid suspensions or dispersion are not claimed with such particularity as to form a basis for classification in Class 252, the that are an integral part therein, or some other appropriate composition class, are classified in Class 241. In general, Class 241 provides for all apparatus for forming suspensions of solids in fluids by comminution, whether such suspensions are disclosed as colloid-sized or not.
See Class 138, Pipes and Tubular Conduits, subclasses 40+ for conduit provided with a flow restrictor disclosed for use in forming emulsions of a plurality of fluids. Where such apparatus has additional combined features, such as means to feed material to the restrictor, etc., the patents have been placed in this Class 366.
See Class 127, Sugar, Starch, and Carbohydrates, subclass 14, for mixing devices for a sugar-bearing solution with other liquids or solids for promoting the separation of impurities from the solution.
See Class 366, Agitating, subclasses 69+ for apparatus which may be used for working liquid into a gel, subclasses 101+ for apparatus which includes agitation and injection of gas which may be a foam, subclasses 108+ for apparatus wherein the agitation is effected by vibratory device, subclass 176.1+ for apparatus for forming suspensions or emulsions wherein the feed means is in the form of a pump for forcing the material through a narrow restriction for the purpose of mixing the material, particularly for the purpose of emulsifying or homogenizing the material, subclasses 279+ for apparatus with rotatable stirrer which may be used for making lather or foam, cross-reference art collection 604 for mixing apparatus for making foam or lather, cross-reference art collection 605 for mixing apparatus for stirring of paint.
See Class 416, Fluid Reaction Surfaces (i.e., Impellers), appropriate subclasses for an impeller, per se, which may be useful as a stirrer but where the disclosed use is solely as an impeller, or alternatively as an impeller or stirrer.
Since agitation of material is incidental or ancillary to many apparatuses for treating material for various purposes, an agitator in combination with other means for treating material will be found in the class providing for the particular treatment. Similarly, an apparatus for treating or handling material which inherently or incidentally agitates the material will be included in the appropriate class providing for the treating or handling means. Cross references have been placed in this class (366) where the agitating mechanism claimed in combination with other treating means has been deemed to have general utility as an agitator.
Also see References To Other Classes, below, for additional lines between this class (366) and other classes and for references to the following:
Apparatus Including Agitating Incidental to or Combined with Other Primary Areas;
Agitating Apparatus Classified Elsewhere;
Feeding and Discharging Subcombinations;
Agitator Subcombinations Classified Elsewhere.