US 1999419 A
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Aprrl 36, W s. M. MERCIER LQAW coNvEYER APPARATUS Filed Jan. 22, 1952 4f Sheets-Sheet 1 San /ey M. Mercier ATT Y /N VEN TOR prll 30, R99. s, M. MERCIER coNvEYER APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Shet 2 Filed Jan. 22, 1952 j 7A? O y R w N Ev/ w@ RWM AWN W9 H935, s. M. MERcaER CONVEYER APPARATUS Filed Jan. 22, 1952 v 4 Sheets-Sheetl 5 /NVENTOR I n/ey /Vv Merc/.er
s. M. MERCIER CONVEYER APPARATUS Filed Jan. 22, 1932 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 88 Aall] ATT'Y Patented Apr. 30, 1935 UNiTED STATES CONVEYER APPARATUS Stanley M. Mercier, Boston, Mass., assigner, by mesne assignments, to Silas Mason Company, Inc., a corporation of Delaware Application January 22, 1932, Serial No. 588,162
: 3 Claims.
My invention relates to conveyer apparatus particularly adapted for use in connection with underground excavations. p
One of the objects ofV my invention is the provision of a continuously operable conveyer system between a tunnel heading underground to an unloading station above ground'.
Another object of the invention is the provision of improved and efljcient mechanism for conveying material through a Ypartition from a compressed air chamber.
A further object of the invention is the method of removing excavated material vfrom a cornpressed air chamber through an auxiliary airlocked auxiliarychamber to avoid vdisturbance of the air in the compressed air chamber.
More particularly it is the object of the pres'- ent invention to provide for conveyer apparatus in a tunnel auxiliary compressed air chambers and mechanism'to control the pressure of the air therein and the passage of excavated material therethrough so that withoutinterruption such material Vmay be elfectively Ytransferred through a bulkhead in a tunnel from the compressed air chamber where workmen `are excavating at the tunnel heading.
Other objects of the invention will appear hereinafter, the novel features and combinations being set forth in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings more or less Ydiagranrimatically my improved method and apparatus for removing excavated material from a compressed air chamber at a tunnel heading.
Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of Fig. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows. Y
Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken on'the line .10 5--5 of Fig. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows toward the bulkhead in the tunnel;
Fig. 6 is a sectional view non the line 6-5 of Fig. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows to Ward the bulkhead in the tunnel;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged side view of a portion of the conveyer shown in Fig. 1;
Fig.. 8 is a sectional View on the line V8--3 of Fig. 7 looking inthe direction of the arrows; and
Fig. 9 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 9,-9 ofvFig. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows. l
Referring to Fig. l, l0 designates a cylindrical shield having transverse horizontal platforms II on which the workmen may stand while manu- Figs. 1, 2 and -3 placed end to end representY ally excavating the material from the working face I2 of the cylindrical tunnel. Hoppers shown diagrammatically at i3 may be located in convenient positional; the various platforms I I to receive excavated material for passage into the chute I and then into the receiving end of the endless conveyer. I 5..
Back of the cylindrical shield lil the cylindrical wall of the tunnel may be composed of con crete I6 reinforced by theY metal Vstructure illustratedv at Il inthe usual manner of lining such tunnels to withstand enormous external pres@ sures particularly when the tunneling is being carried on f through` earth beneath body oi water.
As the excavation from the-working face or tun nel heading I2 proceeds andthetunnel is thereby lengthened the shield IIJ is moved forward from time to time and the tunnel lining I5, I 'l extended accordingly. f
' I therefore prefer to mount the conveyer I5 on a carriage I8 thelateralends of which are provided with longitudinal guide shoes I 5, I9 adapted to engagethe Vupper sides of two series of rollers 2U, 20 motmted on the brackets 2|, 2l which are located on opposite walls oi the tunnel at the elevation illustrated in Figs. l and 4. It should be particularly understood that the frame I8 serves to support the conveyer structure I5 for movement forwardly along the brackets 2l, 2l sothat as the 'shield I0 is stepped forward to the working face or Vtunnel heading from time to time and the tunnel lining is extended accordingly the frame I8 is moved along thebrackets 2I, 2l to maintain the receiving end 22 of the conveyer I5 under the chute I 4.
The frame of the conveyer structure I5 is secured rigidly at its rear end to the carriage frame I8 `so as to move bodily therewith at all times. The forward inclined portion of the conveyer I5 and the receiving end 22 thereof are therefore suspended in a space which is free-and unobstructed, thereby facilitating loading excavated material onto the conveyer and the operations necessary to move the shield I0 forwardly and to extend the tunnel walls. If desired the floor 23 may be extended forwardly under the conveyer I5 so as to lend support to the inclined portion thereof as shown in Fig. 1.
The conveyer apparatus I5 may be composed of V two Asections 24, 25 each operable independently of the other by separate motors 26, 21 connected by the chains 28, 29 to the sprockets which drive the chains of the conveyer sections.
Either conveyer 24 or 425 may be operated or both may be simultaneously operated to deliver material to the hopper 39 for passage to the belt conveyer. Lateral spaced-apart Vertical guides 32, 32 may be mounted on the supporting frame 33 of the conveyer 3 I to prevent the material delivered to the belt 3| from spilling 01T the sides. The vertical guide walls 32 may extend rearwardly to the rear end of the conveyer 3l' as shown in Fig. 1 so that as the carriage I8 moves forward step by step toward the tunnel heading the lower delivery mouth of the hopper 36 will remain in delivery communication with the conveyer belt 3|.
When the rear end of the conveyer 3|' is reached by the step by step movements of the conveyer E5 toward the tunnelheading the conveyer 3l and the frame 33 may be extended by having sections added thereto and a section of belt 3| may be inserted and the apparatus reassembled in its extended position. The walls 32 may be moved forwardly accordingly. Such extensions of the conveyer 3 i may be repeated until the tendency for water to seep into the tunnel through the working face becomes so great that the compressed air is unable to prevent it, whereupon'the building of another bulkhead or parti.
tion in the tunnel, Vto the right of the conveyer 3 l as viewed in Fig. l, will become'necessary.
While Various types of conveyer apparatus may be mounted on the floor 23 in the manner shown in Figs. l and 2 I prefer'to use an endless belt conveyer for use in tunnels. The belt 3l is shown in Figs. 7 and 8 mounted on the rollers 35, 36 in trough-shaped formation so far as the upper run is concerned while the lower run is guided along the cross rollers 31 journaled in the framework 33. The rollers 35, 36 are shown supported by means of the standards 38 secured to the fra-mework.
The rear end of the conveyer 3| is supported in an upwardly inclined position as shown at the left-'hand end of Fig. 2. 'Ihe belt 3l is arranged tobe driven by the motor 40 and sprocket chain 4I.
deliver material intothe hopper 42 as Vshown in Figs. A2 and 5. From the hopper 42 the material may pass into one of the branches 43 or 44 of a bifurcated chute. The entrance of the material into Vone of the branches 43, 44 is controlled by the deilector valve 45 hinged at 46 as shown in Fig. 5. This valve may be operated by applying proper power to one of the arms 41. When the valve 45 is in the position shown in Fig. 5 the material will pass from the conveyer 3l through the hopper 42 into the branch chute 44.
Near the lower ends of the chutes 43, 44 are slide valves 48, 49 which may be operated by means of the exterior rods 50, 5l. When the deflector valve 45 is in the position shown in Fig. 5 so as to establish communication between the hopper 42 and the chute 44 the valve 49 should be open and the valve 59 closed. v
Extending through the bulkhead or partition 96 in the tunnel are two tanks 52, 53 each preferably of metal and each preferably cylindrical and capable of withstanding an internal air pressure equal to that used in the chamber at the tunnel heading to the left of the bulkhead 96 as viewed in Figs. l and 2. The auxiliary chambersaiorded by these tanks are each entirely closed. The chute 43 communicates through an airtight connection with the tank 52 and the chute 44 communicates through another air tight connection with the tank 53. f
Each tank is provided with an endless belt con- The rear end of theconveyer 3| is arranged to veyer a cross-section of which is shown in Fig. 9. The conveyer frame 53 is secured by means of brackets 54, 54 to opposite walls of the tank and guide rollers 55, 56 are mounted on standards 51 to support the upper run of the endless belt 58 in trough formation while the lower run of the belt is guided on the lower rollers 59 journaled in supports on the under side of the framework 53.
Also mounted on the framework 53 are the standards 59, 59 which serve as supports for the vertical walls 6D, 69 at the sides of the belt conveyer. The lower ends of these walls connect with the longitudinal plates 6I, 6| and angle bars 62, 62 to support the angular sealing plates v63, 63 which engage the upper surface of the upper run of the belt. While an arcuate crosspiece 64 extends between the upper ends of the walls 60, 60 it should be understood that the longitudinal chute formed bythe walls 68 is in free communication with `other portions of the tank so far as air pressure is concerned.
The pressure of the air in the working chamber G5 may be controlled by the valve 6G in the supply pipe 61 which extends through the bulkhead 96 as shown in Fig. 2 while exhaust may be eiTected through the exhaust pipe 68 under the control of the valve 69. v
Likewise the air pressure in each tank may be controlled by means of valves in supply andy exhaust pipes. Each tank is provided with a supply pipe and an exhaust pipe reach pipe having a control valve therein. For the tank 53 a supply `pipe is shown at with a control valve 1l therefor and an exhaust pipe is shown at 12 with a control valve 13 therefor. l
Extending through openings in the lower sides of the rear elevated ends of the tanks 52 and 53 are chutes 14, each of which makes an air tight t with the walls of the tank towhioh it is connected. Slide Valves 16, 11 are relied on to control the passage of the material from the chutes 14, 15 into the hopper 18 which extends through the floor 19 as shown in Fig. 6.
The conveyers 58 and 88 in the tanks 52 and 53 are operable individually and independently of each other as shown in Fig. 6 whichis a view taken on the line 6 6 looking in thek direction of the arrows or to the left toward thebulkhead 52. Electric motors 8l and 82 may be connected through self-locking worm gearing 83, sprockets 84'and sprocket chains 85 to the conveyers 58 and 8B to drive the same alternately. v
lWhen material passes into the hopper 18 itis discharged therefrom through the mouth or spout 86 between the protecting walls 81, 81 onto the extensible conveyer. This conveyer may be the same in construction as that shown in Figs. '7 and 8, but on account of the inclined receiving end adjacent the hopper 18 the conveyer 88 is extended by inserting sections intermediate its ends and extending the endless belt likewise. .Such extension is effected from time to time when a tunnel underground is started and is discontinued after the position is reached where a bulkhead is necessary. A
The delivery end of the conveyer 88 is provided witha delivery chute 89 through which the material passes onto the receiving end of the conveyer 99. The latter is diagrammatically shown in Fig. 3 in position to take the material from the entrance to the tunnel and deliver it to the hopper 9| from which it may be discharged through the control valve 92 into wagons on the street level 93.
The conveyers 88 and 90 are individually' and separately operable. 'The conveyer t8 is operable by Imeans `vof the motor 94 geared thereto and the conveyer LSB is Aoperable by the `motor B5 geared thereto. Each of' the six conveyors between the tunnel headingand the stre-et level is independently and separately loperable- :so that any one of `them may be controlled :to start, .stop or 'opcrate at any desired speed.
ln the yconveying system disclosed the closed compressed `air tanks .52, 53 forming the auxiliary chambers are prefebaly inclined upwardly as shown in Fig. 2 so -as to aiord sufficient Aroom -or space for the receiving hopper and the discharge hopper and the chutes connected to these hoppers. v
iin operating the system disclosed itis desirable to convey the excavated material from the tunnel heading to the street above lground without interruption. That is to say, the excavated material is conveyed from the compressed air working chamber at the tunnel heading through the bulkhead and thence above ground in one continuous operation without disturbing the compressed air chamber.
The chutes 43, 44 leading downwardly from the hopper 42 have an air tight t with the tanks 52, 53 and the slide valves 48 and 4S when closed are also air tight. Likewise the chu-tes 14, have an air tight lit with the elevated ends foi the tanks 52, 53 and the slide valves 1G and 11 when closed are alsol air tight.
After the air in the working chamber E5 has been brought up to the desired pressure, such as a pressure of `between twenty and thirty-five pounds per square inch or more, by manipulating the valves 66 and 59 the pressures in the tanks 52, 53 may be regulated by means of the valves During such operations care must be exercised to keep the Valves 48, 49 and 16, 11 closed.
When excavated material is directed to the hopper 42 the latter may act as a storage hopper of material whenever desired. VEither or both conveyers 24, may therefore be operated continuously while a change is being made from one tank to another. When the valve 45 is in the position shown in Fig. 5 the material will be directed into the chute 44 but so long as the valve 49 is closed the hopper 42 continue-s to act as a storage hopper.
When all the valves 43, 49 and 1t, 11 are closed the air in either tank may be exhausted or compressed. If the material is to be directed into the tank 53 the exhaust valve 13 is kept closed and the supply valve 1l opened. The valve 11 should also be kept closed. Compressed air enters the tank through the supply pipe 1l] until the air in the tank 53 is at the same pressure as that in the working chamber S5, whereupon the valve 1I is closed. Then by opening the valve 49 the material may be discharged from the hopper 42 through the chute 4 to the conveyer 58. This will be accomplished readily since the air pressure is the same on both sides of the valve 49, that is, the air pressure in the tank 53 is the same as the air pressure in the working chamber 65. Consequently there will be no disturbance of the compressed air in the working chamber 55 when the valve 49 is opened.
Now by starting the motor 32 the conveyer 58 may be operated to ll with material the trough formed by the walls 6B, 60 and the upper run of the belt 53 until the hopper 15 is lled while the valve 11 is still closed. The conveyer 53 should then be stopped. When the hopper 42 and chute f44 are lemptied Ior nearlyso the valve 49 is again closed .and the motor 82y stopped. The valve 49 must .be closed before the valve 1? can be opened. But before the valve 11 is lopenei'l after the valve 49 is closed the compressed air inthe tan-k 53 should be bled 'by opening the exhaust valve 13. When the air in the tank 53 is at atmospheric pressure the valve 'l1 may be opened and the motor 82 restarted whereupon the lmaterial in the tank 5S and the hopper 15 will be discharged through the hopper 1B and spout 85 onto the conveyer 88 for delivery by the vflatter to the street hopper 9i.
While the compressed air is being bled from one tank, the 'other tank may have'i'ts interior pressure ibmught up to of the'working chamber. The conveyors 'in the tanks :may 'therefore be alternately operated so that there need be no interruption of the excavating 'operations at "the tunnel heading.. y
After the conveyer 'in the tan-k 53 has l'led with materialand `the valve. 49 closed the deiiector valve 45 shown in Fig.. 5 may be thrown to its opposite position so as to direct material from .the vhopper d2 into the chute 53. As 'soon as it .is certain the air pressure .in the tank 52' is equal to that in the working chamber TEE the valve 48 maybe opened and the motor 8l started until the hopper '42 and chute 43 are emptied or nearly so. Then after closing the valve'l, stopping the motor iii., and bleeding .the compressed air from the tank .52 the material may be discharged to the conveyer 88.
VrThe motors 3i and B2 maybe provided with the usual and well known starting, stopping and controlling devices; the motors may be operated at varying speeds. For instance, in order to obtain a substantially continuous discharge of material through'the hopper 18 onto the conveyer 88 the motors 8|, 82 may be operated and controlled so that as soon as one conveyer 58 stops delivering material the other may be started to discharge material to the hopper 18. This may be accomplished by operating one of the motors at two speeds and the other always at the same speed. The two speed motor is operated at its higher speed while its conveyer is being loaded and is operated at its lower speed while discharging. The distribution of transfer of material through the bulkhead is therefore regulated by timing the starting, stopping and operation of the motors 8l, 82 in accordance with the desired distribution along the constantly moving conveyer 88. Consequently a continuous transfer of 'material from the tunnel heading to the unloading position above ground may be assured.
It can readily be seen that by having two tanks to aord two air looked auxiliary chambers the material may be delivered alternately to these chambers while having the air pressure therein equal to that in the working chamber. Furthermore, the material may be alternately discharged from these air-locked chambers while at atmospheric pressures. The air pressures on opposite sides of the valves 48, 49 being equal there will be no tendency for the air to flow into or out of the working chamber 65 and these valves can be operated very freely. The valves 16, 11 are also freely operable since they are opened only when atmospheric pressure is present on both sides of the same.
In Figs. 5 and 6 I have illustrated diagrammatically at 91, 98 and 99 the usual air tight doors in the bulkhead 96. The door 91 is preferably at the level of the floors 23 and 19 shown in Fig. 2.
The door 98 may be used for ingress and egress of the workmen relative to the working chamber 65, while the opening for the door 9S serves preferably as an emergency exit from the compressed air chamber B5.
Obviously those skilled in the art may make various changes in the details and arrangements of parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims hereto appended, and I wish therefore not to be restricted to the precise construction herein disclosed.
Having thus described and shown an embodiment of my invention what I desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:-
- 1. In conveyer, apparatus, the combination with a tunnel bulk-head, of two air pressure cylinders extending through said bulk-head, a hopper, conveying mechanism for delivering material to said hopper, means for delivering material from said hopper to either or" said cylinders, two valves one for each of said delivering means to cut off com,- munication between said cylinders and said hopper when material is not being delivered to said cylinders, conveyers one in each of said cylinders, means for directing discharge of material from said cylinders, valves in said discharge means to close communication between said cylinders and the atmosphere, and means for controlling the air pressure in said cylinders to effect maximum air pressure therein when receiving material from said hopper and minimum air pressure when discharging material.
2. In conveyer apparatus, the combination with a bulkhead, of means comprising an upwardly inclined compressed air chamber extending through said bulkhead, means comprising traveling conveyer mechanism and a chute for effecting the introduction of material into said chamber at one side of said bulkhead, means comprising a chute and traveling conveyer mechanism for transferring the material away from the other side of said bulkhead, a traveling conveyer within said chamber for transferring the material from the rst-named chute along the upward incline to the second-named chute, inlet and outlet valves for the passage of material into and out of said chamber, and means for controlling the air pressure in said chamber. v
3.111 conveyer apparatus in combination with a tunnel bulkhead cf two air pressure cylinders extending through said bulkhead, a hopper, means for delivering Vmaterial from said hopper.
hopper and minimum air pressure when disg charging material. .Y
STANLEY M. MERCIER.